cor ad cor loquitur

where heart speaks to heart

Deeper than the surface — June 29, 2018

Deeper than the surface

You see me walking on the street, sitting in a coffee shop, or just walking around the mall, and I seem quiet and unapproachable. My face bears that chronic scowl and my attitude gives off that “I’m not interested in talking to anyone” vibe. On the rare occasion that you do see me smile, it lights up my face and that’s when you think I’m kind of cute.

So you approach me, but I revert back to what I was a few minutes before. I don’t talk much, and it seems like I’m not interested. Maybe I’m not, maybe I am. Social anxiety takes over and I make some excuse to leave.

Somehow you get to know me and I get to know you. I start feeling comfortable. The sarcasm comes out. The constant back and forth teasing. I’m not able to handle all the teasing, so I get huffy puffy, but it’s still cute. And you think, this is who she is. This is the real Komal. But it isn’t. I slowly start letting my guard down, one by one.

I tell you about my insecurities. I’m not the worst looking, certainly not the best looking either, but I’m pretty. People have said that to me many times in my life. Some have even called me absolutely gorgeous. But I tell you I never believed it.

So you sit there and list all the things about my appearance that are pretty or cute. You tell me I’m not fat. You tell me my asymmetrical face makes me unique and pretty. You tell me my eyes are perfectly aligned. You tell me my collarbones being visible is proof enough that I’m not fat. And so I start feeling comfortable again.

Another part of the wall down. I open up about the complicated relationship I have with my mother. How I love her more than anything in this world, but also how she says and does things that hurt me more than anything in this world. I tell you how important she is to me. And you listen and understand.

And then that’s where it ends. I want to tell you more, but all of a sudden you leave my life. And I end up broken. I opened up to you, I told you things no one knows because you meant something to me. And you just left because I guess I never meant something to you.

I try to fix myself. I try to pull myself together, tape the broken pieces of my heart. But nothing helps. It’s been days, weeks, months, and yet still no sign of recovery. Still I want to keep letting my guard down and continue opening up to you. I still want to talk to you when I’m feeling down.

It hurts all the time knowing that what I want isn’t what you want. That you meant more to me than I ever did to you. And I know I deserve someone who cares for me more than anything else in this world, but I want you and I can’t have that.

The facade of happiness — May 17, 2018

The facade of happiness

WARNING: this will be long.

Ramadan is here, finally, meaning Muslims all around the world focus on strengthening their relationship with Allah and ask for forgiveness for any and all sins committed within the past Islamic year. This Ramadan, I am at an all time low and let me tell you why. You know what’s funny? When I started this blog, I used to write about happy things and then as you scroll through the years you can slowly see my mental stability declining and depression consuming me. I’m not even going to apologize now for only writing when I’m depressed. That’s my fate. I was just never meant to be happy.

So if you remember from my New Year’s post, I did a thing last year which I now immensely regret. I made an account on Muzmatch for the fun of it and because my dad kept putting so much pressure on me to get married. I wasn’t really looking for anything serious at the time, just kinda testing the waters. One terrible guy after another, one failed attempt after another.. I was ready to give up.

I match with this one guy who okay at first glance I don’t find him attractive. He’s not bad looking, but he’s also not the Fawad Khan type of guys I usually like. But I read his about me and I’m intrigued. He starts it off by saying “I am not boring.” We start talking and I’m like oh okay this guy seems really nice, but no way in hell is he interested in me. If he were interested in me, then wouldn’t he ask for my number? We’ve been talking for three weeks now and none of that. But it happened. We would talk daily. I’d forego my sleep and talk to him well past midnight every day. But he still didn’t say anything about liking me.

And then that happened to. He sent me this wonderful message which I have saved to this day. It makes me cry every time I read it for so many reasons. It made me cry the day he sent me the message because I felt that, for the first time in my life, someone could see past the facade I put on and really understand who I am as a person. Granted, he didn’t know much about me at the time, but that mystery and intrigue would keep things interesting. I had to tell him up front though, I wasn’t looking for a casual dating relationship. I wanted marriage, but I agreed that we both needed time to figure that out.

He lived 10 hours away in a different state, but was willing to come down and meet me here. Seeing all that, I couldn’t continue to be guarded, so I decided to slowly open up to him. It was only fair since he had already opened up to me and told me things about himself that you could never guess at first glance.

I went on one date with him. That’s right, just one. And that too was after we had been talking for three months. So I felt comfortable enough meeting a stranger who I’d met online. But I had to tell my mother. I had to, and she wanted to meet him. Bad idea, terrible mistake. That did happen, and that’s when everything went downhill.

It should be no surprise to regular readers of this blog how hopeless of a romantic I am. I have desperately wanted a significant other since the age of 22, and now that hope has been destroyed. Now it’s truly hopeless.

See the thing about me is, I want that love and romance and companionship, but I don’t like most guys. I talked to so many guys on Muzmatch and only ended up having feelings for one. I’ve gotten so many rishtas, but I only said yes to one (and that was a disaster too). With him though, things felt different…they felt right. Don’t think I wasn’t wary, but in the bottom of my heart, I knew that all of that was just my defenses kicking up. I even did istikhara seven times and each time the result was positive. Look at me now. A shadow of my former self.

I’m not going to go into the details of what made everything go downhill. That’s not something I want to share, but I will say that he stopped talking to me completely for months. Until one day, I picked up the courage and asked him what’s up. I said so many horrible things to him during that time. I’ve had panic attacks, multiple depressive episodes, and many nights without sleep. I lost 20 pounds over those 6 months that we didn’t talk. If you read the messages I sent him, you can clearly see my mental stability going on a rollercoaster.

And when I told him, I still liked him, he couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it either. Usually I’m not confrontational and let things die down, but I knew that if I was putting in all this strength and literally killing myself (yes, that’s how low the depression got), then that meant what I felt for him was more than infatuation. Maybe not love, but certainly not infatuation.

So yeah, things are over now. I used to hopefully say I was a hopeless romantic, but now when I say that I mean hopeless in the truest definition of that word. I am hopeless now. I don’t ever want to join that app again and look again. Guys on there were horrible with no respect for women. I was called a waste of time. I would be unmatched once they saw my face. I would be ghosted on once they saw me on Snapchat.

To top it all off, my uncontrollable sobbing led to my dad hearing me cry. I lost all control and just told him about everything. He now says he’s done with the rishta process and I can do whatever I want. Which you might say is good. It’s not. Because I am adamant about not joining that app or any app for that matter.

Over the past few days, I have thought there are things wrong with me. I have thought that I was not pretty enough. I have thought that I deserve this because of some sin I have committed in my life.

I have accepted the fact that happiness is not meant to be. I have accepted the fact that my white picket fence dream will be just that–a dream. And I look back at myself a year ago, and I want to yell at her. Why did I join that app? Why did I do this? And though I shouldn’t be saying this, certainly not in Ramadan, why did Allah have to put me through this again?

I am a shadow of my former self. I will graduate next week. I will start a residency in July. I will be moving out and into the adult world. All things exciting, right? Hopefully, the facade of happiness will convince you.

A plethora of things — February 5, 2018

A plethora of things

This blogpost will be about a multitude of different things. Usually my blogposts are dedicated to either depression or marriage/love, but I’ve been feeling so many different things all at once that I decided to just write about everything. I have been in such a low point of my depression for the past few weeks, it’s honestly terrible. My emotions are constantly yoyo-ing back and forth from ecstatic to extremely depressed. I don’t know what topic to start with first, so let’s just see how this goes.

I went to Orlando in December for a conference, but I also treated it as a vacation because I stayed there for a few days longer than the conference. This conference was life changing for many of my friends because they had to go through various interviews for pharmacy fellowships. I stayed with my two good friends and one friend/acquaintance of sorts. But you know when you live with someone for a few days, you basically become good friends with them. It was actually wonderful living with 3 other girls. I am a very careful person in terms of my actions and what I say, but it was great to just live an uncensored life with these girls.

There’s also a downside to living with other people, though. You have to become accustomed to their style of living. I am someone who tends to adjust and adapt based on the people I am surrounded with. However, when it comes to living or staying somewhere, I need cleanliness. Let’s just say one of my roommates was not the most organized or clean person. On top of that, she would take hour long showers in the morning and at night. Such a waste of water. You don’t need to shower twice in a day!!

That affected our friendship a bit because I have a tendency to say whatever comes to mind. She didn’t take it well since her interview stress was also getting to her. We didn’t talk for a good month and a half after returning from Orlando because I was so pissed at everything she did there. Oh well, it was a nice vacation and great way to clear my mind (Or so I thought. I honestly think my mood worsened after I came back from Orlando).

I’ve been going to many dawats (basically dinner parties) with my family over the past few months and weeks as well. I think I did a blogpost, but a family friend’s son got married a few months ago, and what has followed after that has been a slew of dawats. The newlywed guy’s cousin also just recently had a baby (like in April okay, but still a baby). Annndddd, you guessed it, I get baby fever EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I don’t even know why I get baby fever considering the fact that I don’t really have anyone in my life and my career hasn’t even started. But the baby fever is real, and just seeing the bond between baby and mom makes me want the same for myself.

I have always loved children (not in the creepy, pedo way okay). That’s one of the main reasons why I thought I wanted to work in pediatrics, but then I started rotations LOL and realized pediatrics is not for me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized how much I wanted to be a mother. But I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship or get married at that time, so it was like meh whatever (and yes I know you can have kids without actually being with someone LOL, but those religious boundaries you guys!).

If I’m being honest though, I sometimes do think maybe having kids would not be right for me. It’s weird. On one hand, my biggest fear in life is not finding love and then raising a family with the one I love. On the other hand, with all of my mental health issues, I doubt that I would be able to properly care for a child. But I guess if that desire to have kids is so overwhelming at times, then that must mean that God will allow that and make things better. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Going along with the dawat thing, at every single dawat, aunties will ask me or my mother when I plan on getting married or if they’ve (i.e. my parents) found someone for me yet. Honestly, it frustrates me, but then it also gives me so much anxiety because once again, it leads to the question of is this even something that’s meant to be in my life. Maybe I’m not destined to get married and raise a family.

I have to travel in the next few weeks for career-related things. And while I’m someone who loves my parents and is super close to them, goddamn they need to chill. My mom can’t even eat anything because she’s so worried about me going to a new city alone. She won’t even let me go to Chicago for a few extra days because she thinks it’s unnecessary. My dad keeps telling me to take a picture of the Uber and drivers and send it to them because in his mind I will get raped. My parents are liberal-conservative and let me do many things, but travelling is something I want to do, but I can’t because every single time I’m gonna have to deal with this. It’s frustrating to no end.

So this is everything that has been suffocating me for the past few months now. It’s been tough, but also wonderful at the same time. Like every other Desi girl, I desire that independence to do whatever I want without feeling that suffocation by my parents. But unlike some Desi girls, I just don’t have the strength or energy to truly fight for that independence. I don’t want to end on a depressing note, but that’s just where my mind has wandered off to now. I just think that in 5 years time, I’ll probably be working at a job I don’t really enjoy and married to someone who I don’t love because I gave into the pressure. Maybe I’ll have a kid by then, and that might be the single glimmer of hope.

2017 onto 2018: A recap and a restart — December 31, 2017

2017 onto 2018: A recap and a restart

Another year is winding down while a new year awaits its welcome. I never understood the premise behind the new year celebrations, but the older I get, the more I understand. The one day celebration is done so that we can welcome a new year and hopefully new beginnings. So that we can restart our lives a better version of our past year’s self. I hope what I’m writing makes sense, that’s just my understanding of the whole new year’s celebrations.

Currently, I’m going through another phase of depression. I think my depression is affected by seasonal changes and tends to get worse during the winter months. There was a time when I romanticized winter, but now with the whole depression component, it’s just harder to appreciate the colder weather. Anyway, because of this phase of depression I’m currently going through, I really wanted to just do a recap of 2017 and create resolutions for the upcoming year.

Let’s begin with a recap of 2017. I didn’t like the year 2016, so when 2017 came around I was truly looking forward to it. I’m not really a superstitious person or anything, but generally the odd-numbered years have always fared well for me in comparison to the even-numbered years. But honestly, when I think about it, 2016 wasn’t really bad, and neither was 2017.

In 2017, I did things that were well out of my comfort zone. It was our last didactic year in school, so once we were done with our final exams, our class had planned a bar crawl. Now, I’m not really someone who goes to things like this. I never even went to my high school prom because I just did not want to socialize with everyone in my class. So I went to bar crawl with my friends and went to a sort of pregame party before bar crawl with my friends. It was a wonderful way to relax after the tough 5 years we had at school. It was also the first time I kind of got the real college experience that I had always secretly desired.

Then rotations started on May 30th, and I discovered things about myself that I had never realized. My preceptors thought I was very knowledgeable and knew the information, but I needed just a little bit more guidance and a lot more confidence in my answers. They thought I was a very empathetic individual who really tried to understand how patients felt. I heard so many wonderful things about myself from my preceptors and grew so much as a person and as a healthcare practitioner. Rotations were one of the best things about 2017.

Amongst all this, I decided to take another step forward in my life. I made an account on a dating app for Muslims. Now, if you’re a regular reader, then you know I’m a hopeless romantic who has always desired to find the one. I was kind of tired of being alone and the pressure from my dad to get married got to me. I made my account during finals week, and man was I distracted that entire week. All in all, I am going to say that making an account on the app was a great way for me to overcome my shyness and build a little more confidence in myself. There were downsides to it as well, but we’re all about the positivity lately so that’s all I want to say about this rendezvous.

In December, I went on my first vacation/trip without my parents. If you know me, you know how close I am with my parents and though I am very independent, I can depend on my parents quite a lot. This trip was one of the best trips I’ve went on and it allowed me to overcome my fear of traveling alone. It was also one week where I had to live on my own–that meant making the bed in the morning, making sure to eat all 3 meals, etc etc. I have to say I loved the independence and feeling of living alone. I did get homesick a few times and really missed my mother’s delicious homemade meals. I also got to go to Disney and Universal for the first time ever which was such a wonderful experience. So much nostalgia.

Those are really the major things that happened to me in 2017 that I feel comfortable sharing. There are a few other things that happened, but I don’t want to share those online for the whole world to read. Even though I’m at one of my lowest points, I think it’s safe to say 2017 was not a terrible year at all.

2018 is a year I’ve been looking forward to since I have started pharmacy school. In May 2018, in shaa Allah, I will graduate and finally get my PharmD degree (that’s when you guys will call me doctor and only doctor). And maybe, just maybe, a girl will find the one, but that’s wishful thinking. Anyway, here are my resolutions for 2018:

  1. Use social media less. I have realized that social media worsens my depressive episodes. In order to help maintain a steady mood and not sink into anymore severely depressive phases, I have decided to use social media less. I already started working on this resolution when I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram for a few weeks. I am back on both now, but I find myself checking them less and instead using the time spent endlessly scrolling to now read more books. Snapchat is going to be hard for me to give up, but I’m going to try my best (starting today) to not post on there as much.
  2. Learn to live with the depression rather than fight it. I read this wonderful essay a few days ago about a woman (or a man, I can’t remember) who learned to live with their depression rather than fighting it. It’s hard to constantly try and fight the depression, but I think I need to just accept that it’s a part of me and makes me who I am as a person. I’m not going to let the depression define me, and I am certainly not going to let it get the best of me.
  3. Eat healthier. This is another one of the resolutions I have sort of started on already. During rotations, I ended up losing some weight because I opted for healthier options instead of the typical pizza, chicken over rice, etc. I want to eat healthier so my body feels more energized and to prevent those carb crashes during the evenings.
  4. Be more positive. This kind of goes hand in hand with the depression resolution. If I learn to live with the depression and accept that my negative thoughts and feelings are due to it, I can hopefully become a more positive person.
  5. Accept that everything is the will of God alone. I’m someone who tends to plan for everything in my life–be it wedding, career, children, etc. But that often leads to lots of disappointment and hence more episodes of severe depression. I want to live my life becoming a better Muslim who has faith in God and accepts that whatever happens always happens for the better.

So that’s it for my last post of 2017. I will see you all in the new year!

On marriage: part God knows what — November 20, 2017

On marriage: part God knows what

Two posts so close together, you guys must be lucky! (Jk I’m like super duper stressed out right now and need to distract myself today. I have to work on my CV/resume and my final presentation for rotation, but LOL). Today’s topic will be (NEW FLASH, nothing new there) marriage. This is kind of an update, or at least I hope, from my last post(s) on marriage and love and all that fun stuff. The last time I tried to write this post I was full of sass, but I’m feeling very down and in another low point of my depression today so it’ll probably be less sassy and more serious.

So I’ve mentioned many times on here before, but as a Desi girl, 23 is apparently the magical age where you need to get married and settle down. It doesn’t matter that I want to focus on my career and become a successful pharmacist. In society’s eyes, I’m not successful if I’m not married yet. That is a pressure that is very heavily felt by my father and to a lesser extent, my mother.

So to begin with, let’s go over my father and mother’s ideas of marriage. My dad sees marriage as a union, not between two people, but rather between two families. Weddings are not supposed to be simple affairs, but rather extravagant affairs where the entire world can see how happy he is that his daughter is getting married. The guy his daughter is getting married to must like her, but love may not necessarily be a requirement for the marriage itself. Said guy must never hurt his daughter and must treat her with respect, but he also must be from a good family because after all, this marriage is uniting two families. He wants me to desire the idea of marriage– his idea of marriage– and we often get into arguments about this.

My mother, on the contrary, just desires happiness for her children. She does also see marriage as a union between two families, but to a much lesser extent. She doesn’t care if the guy’s family is rich or poor, they just need to be decent people with caring, loving hearts. She doesn’t care what the guy does; he must be a good Muslim, pure at heart, and must treat her daughter with love and respect. Respect for women is very important to my mother, and if a guy is not able to treat women with respect and disregards women’s rights, then the guy is nothing to my mother. She doesn’t care how the wedding is–the simpler, the better. She wants me to wait until I’m ready for marriage, but not too long. In fact, just a few days ago she told me that I’ll be married in 2 years, so she’s slightly more liberal, but still very conservative.

A few weeks ago we attended the wedding festivities of a close family friend of ours. His son was getting married. It was your typical arranged marriage and typical huge Desi wedding with dollars upon dollars just being spent on things that people would later talk shit about anyway. Marriage is a very large part of Desi culture. Essentially, everything you do in life must lead to one final goal– marriage. That weekend, Bob and Molly* had fulfilled their goal. Their life had now begun.

As Muslims, marriage is an important part of life. The Prophet (SAW) has said that the best amongst Muslims are those who are married. Marriage helps fulfill the internal desires essentially preventing Muslims from committing sin. But Islam also says that marriage should never be forced upon someone. Additionally, if a guy or a girl likes someone, then they can bring that forward to their parents. Interestingly, even during the actual signing of the marriage contract, the woman must agree prior to signing her name– even if she has already consented to the marriage. (This was something interesting I learned during the wedding)

So since Bob and Molly got married, and Bob is only a year older than I am, everyone has now been saying that it’s time for me to get married. The one good thing that came out of the wedding was no rishtas, so score one for Komal against Desi aunties. And so comes the real reason for writing this post? Do I feel pressurized to get married? In all honesty, a little bit, but…

I have this idea of marriage and love and all that cutesy stuff that is probably so delusional and not reality. When you’re in a romantic relationship, you’re able to fully be yourself with that one person. They know you inside and out, and you know them inside and out. You get intimate, obviously physically, but I’m talking about the emotional intimacy. They’ll know your deepest, darkest fears. They’ll know your deepest, darkest thoughts. They’ll sense your anger, your sorrow, and your happiness. Every emotion will be laid out in the open, and if you both truly care for each other, you’ll try your hardest to keep the good emotions afloat and drown the bad emotions. You’ll both be each other’s shoulder to cry on. To me, that is what a relationship is between two people.

It was the craving for this that drove me to say yes to a total of two rishtas that came forward. Looking back, I probably agreed to them for all the wrong reasons, and I was naive at the time. The first one was this guy who I actually really liked. Med student, super attractive, beard on point, Pakistani, well-dressed, seemed well-mannered upon first impression. Basically, he was the perfect guy, or at least he fit the idea of ideal man, but it didn’t work out and I was devastated for silly reasons.

Then more recently, I said yes to a rishta that was bought forward around January of this year. There was nothing about the guy I liked (and this based on the superficial looking at his pictures and based on his career), but I still said yes. You know why? Because I was tired– tired of being alone, tired of everyone asking me if I had someone in my life, tired of getting these rishtas, just tired. This one was also a no because apparently they had found someone else. That’s cool.

So do you know what that did to me? I kept thinking, and still do sometimes, that there is something wrong with me. Something is wrong with me that prevents people from ever being able to consider me a romantic counterpart. I mean all this would have been so much easier if someone had just liked me and wanted to go out with me. If I think logically, there’s nothing wrong with me. I care for those around me, I go out of my way to do things for people who mean a lot to me. But you know, it’s those dark whispers that tell me there’s something wrong with me.

I want this post to be all encompassing, so apologies for how long it is and how unorganized it seems. I don’t mean for things to take on a dark turn, but it’s something that haunts me from time to time. One of my biggest fears is not finding love and being alone in the world. I know 23 is a young age to be worried about this. But after 23 comes 24 after comes 25 and so on.

I feel like there’s so much more I have to say regarding this topic. But it’s just gonna be even more unorganized if I continue writing. So far, at 23, these are my thoughts.

Suffocation — November 11, 2017


I feel suffocated today by my depression. I can’t breathe, I can’t think, I can’t do anything. Depression is like a dark cloud that hangs over you, and when it’s time to strike, it comes down to strangle you. You’re still breathing and seemingly alive, but in reality you’re just a walking corpse. And you know that suffocation, it prevents you from screaming for help. It stops you from crying out loud.

Depression is the dark, black monster that your parents warned you about. You thought it didn’t exist. You thought it wasn’t real. But it’s real, and it haunts you every day of your life. 

Exactly 1 year ago today, I was in college learning how to treat different mental health disorders. The dean of the pharmacy school was going to teach us these mental health disorders which made the idea of learning this topic all the more intimidating. But the first lecture happened, and I left the lecture feeling that it was the best lecture I’ve received in pharmacy school. She had a way of teaching such a difficult topic with ease and entertainment.

A few days later came the depression lecture. “SIG-E-CAPS” was the acronym she told us to remember what the signs and symptoms of depression are. SIG E CAPS stands for:

  • Sleep
  • Interest (lack of)
  • Guilt
  • Energy
  • Concentration
  • Appetite
  • Psychomotor activity
  • Suicidal ideation

Depression isn’t an easy topic to talk about. It’s not an easy illness to acknowledge and come to terms with. Quite often we throw around the phrase, “I’m depressed”, without truly meaning that we are depressed. Because if you’ve ever been depressed then you know just how difficult depression is to deal with. You don’t just stay in bed all day because you want to, but because something internally is stopping you from getting up and going about your day. You don’t feel this overwhelming sadness all of a sudden because something devastating has happened, but simply because your brain has decided that now’s the time for you to feel like shit. It’s so hard to describe why I feel a certain way or why I’m depressed to someone because in all honesty, there is no reason, it’s just the way my brain was wired.

How exactly does depression manifest itself for me? SIG E CAPS. I feel more sleepy, less interested and motivated to do things, an overwhelming feeling of guilt and insecurity, lack of energy, decreased concentration, increased appetite, slower movements, and yes, I have had my moments of suicidal ideation. So often people have said to suck it up and deal with it because this is what life is. How naive of them to say so.

I’ve been asked many times, why are you depressed? I can’t answer that question. I ask myself that question all the time. Why are you depressed, Komal? What exactly in life are you not content about? I’m content with each and every thing Allah has given me. Life has been, alhamdulillah, relatively easy for me. So then why are you depressed? Isn’t your depression just a sign of ungratefulness? I have been told those exact words before. I’m depressed because I’m not grateful and because I don’t believe, but those statements are false in every which way.

These things just happen, and while I can have months of me being relatively normal and content with life. There’s always that darkness at the end of the tunnel, just waiting to engulf me. That darkness is indefinitely long while I’m a part of it, but then slowly the tunnel moves toward light. I return to my usual self yet again, but if I’m being honest, that darkness will always be a looming cloud over my head. And so while it may seem like it’s gone, it’s omnipresent and suffocating, leaving me to wonder how exactly do I get rid of this darkness.

#NotMyPresident: Donald Trump’s Terrifying America — November 10, 2016

#NotMyPresident: Donald Trump’s Terrifying America

Side note: sorry for not blogging much lately. I’m not abandoning this blog, but just cutting back from how often I want to blog. In terms of quality, I think it’s better to write when I particularly feel passionate about an event or topic. Maintaining a blog schedule does not result in quality writing, and I’m honestly not proud of any of those blog posts I’ve written. Okay, so now let’s talk about the elephant in the room (or rather the title).

By now we are all familiar with the results of the election and the man who is now our President-Elect. We are all familiar with the protests conducted all across the country as a result of the election results. We are all (hopefully) familiar with the hate crimes that started as a result of the election.

As a Muslim-American woman (and obviously a POC), I am terrified, but I’m not terrified because of Donald Trump. Rather, I’m terrified because the racist, white supremacist rhetoric that has unfolded as a result of his candidacy and now election. Let’s be clear, I’m only 22 years old (so I’m young, but I’m not naive by any means). I never wanted to admit it, but the second he was selected as the Republican nominee for president, I knew that racism had not gone away. The Civil Rights Movement of the 60s would be resurrected, except this time, it wouldn’t include just Blacks, it would include Muslims, Latinx, LGBTQ, and women. White supremacy never died, it was just buried under ground waiting for someone to unearth this.

My father, a Muslim Pakistani-American, had experienced racism long before Trump was elected. Do you know what it was fueled by? Trump’s campaign. He was given a Bible by one of his coworkers who told him to consider conversion to Christianity because Islam does not preach peace. Islam is a backwards religion, according to his coworker. His coworkers subtly hinted at white supremacy by ganging up against him and trying to get him to quit. They made his life a living hell, to the point where he experienced his first episode of depression.

But this was all long before Trump’s election, now that he is elected, I fear for my father. Not just because of the financial aspects that result from losing a job, but because this is the America he worked so hard to come to. This is the America that caused him to leave his entire family in Pakistan and come to in order to provide better prospects for his children. So while it is easy to joke about booking a one way flight to the motherland or Canada, it leaves you wondering– what was the point of my parents’ sacrifice?

We leave our countries to come to America, the land of freedom and liberty. A land where we are free to practice our religion and free to maintain our traditions. I can wear what I want and not be taunted by every one around me. This freedom was not present in Pakistan. But now, it seems that the country my parents wanted to come to has let them down. Freedom is simply a catchphrase for America, but is that what the general population truly stands for?

Since when did America become a largely become an evangelical entity? The answer is, it’s always been. Trump’s election has just unearthed this ideaology, and like many other minorities, I am terrified. Does this mean it will now be okay to burn POC’s houses, steal their cars, physically assault them on the streets, and hurl racist insults at them? I want to say no, but the truth is I’m not sure. A day after the election, hate crimes have surged. Hate crimes against women, against Muslims, against Blacks, against Hispanics. If this is what will continue for the next four years, then this is not the great America my parents sacrificed their happiness for.

People have said the election will not affect anyone, but they are privileged. If you are not genuinely terrified about what will happen to your family, what will happen to you, then you are privileged. Privilege is such a nice place to be right now. Just because we’re in 2016, it does not mean the world is perfect. It’s still racist, sexist, and homophobic– and that is a scary place to be.

I’ve written a lot, and if I continue, I think the message I want to get a strong won’t be as impactful. I do want to say that maybe Trump won’t be as bad as a president. Maybe he just utilized racist and misogynistic rhetoric to get votes. What I do know is that we have unearthed something terrifying, and we need to be strong and support each other. If Trump stands for everything he mentioned on his campaign, then I’m sorry, but he’s #NotMyPresident.

I’m not the person I used to be — June 5, 2016

I’m not the person I used to be

Okay, so the title is a little bit misleading, but it’s true, I’m not the person I used to be. And I don’t necessarily mean that in the personality or physical appearance sense, I mean that in terms of my adventurous side.

Yesterday (was a wonderful day, alhamdulillah), I went to Six Flags with a few of my friends from college. It was wonderful. Most of us had sort of drifted apart this past school year for certain reasons (which I might make a blog post about soon, but maybe not), and it just felt nice to reconnect with them and talk about things that were not school related. There was still some awkward tension between us because we’d drifted apart a lot during the school year, but I think it was one of the best days for our friendship because we hung out outside of school for the first time doing something fun. Anyway, that’s not really what this blog post is about lol. Somehow I always end up going on tangents.

When we got there, I realized that the amount of anxiety I have for roller coasters in general just sort of increased over the few years. Last time, I went to Six Flags was in eight grade, when I was a mere 13 years old. While I was still scared of coasters like Kingda Ka and Superman, I still managed to go on coasters like Nitro and El Toro. These two coasters are still pretty huge (as in more than 100 ft tall) and have steep drops, but 13 year old me was able to go on them with no problem. In fact, though I was scared, I actually enjoyed it.

This time around (age 22 years), I was absolutely terrified of roller coasters to the point where I became anxious during the smaller coaster rides like Runaway Mine Train and the kiddie coaster- Harley Quinn. In fact, my anxiety reached a breaking point when we went on Skull Mountain, where I didn’t know what to expect at all since it was so dark in there. I was screaming during the entire ride. When the ride ended, I didn’t realize why I was screaming so much.

Needless to say, it was certainly a fun day, and as a group of 6, we made so many memories that I will never forget. In a way, it was a way to celebrate us completing 4 years of a 6 year PharmD program. Here’s to many more fun times ahead.

DISCLAIMER: This isn’t a post about anxiety or anything. I don’t think I actually have anxiety to the point where I have panic attacks. I realize how severe a condition such as anxiety is, and I have never been diagnosed with anxiety. Maybe I have become so aware of certain things, that my mind doesn’t allow me to enjoy rides as much as I used to.

Why does everyone care so much? — May 24, 2016

Why does everyone care so much?

I received my Bachelor’s degree the other day. That doesn’t mean I’m done with school; I have two years left until I receive my PharmD and become a pharmacist. But apparently in Desi culture receiving your Bachelor’s signifies eligibility for marriage. So there’s that, and quite repetitively that’s what I’ll be writing about today.

If I haven’t made it clear before, I am not against the idea of marriage, even arranged marriage. I want to get married and have kids more than anything in the world. But I want to approach the issue in a halal way (aka Muslim aka Islam approved). I’m a semi religious, semi conservative Pakistani girl. Yes, I’ve been raised in America, but I never agreed with the American culture of dating around until you find the one.

Now, in order to approach the topic the halal way, I have to talk to my parents about it. And that’s the most difficult part. No matter how close I am to my parents  (very close btw), it’s always difficult to bring it up and talk to them about this matter. What do I tell them? Do I go, “listen I know I have 2 more years left until my PharmD and I want to do a residency, but I also want to get engaged”? It’s so simple to write it out, but it takes a lot of courage to actually say it.

Then there’s the fear also. What kind of boys (erm, men rather) will be sent my way? What if they’re too old? What if they’re too paindu? What if my own heart is broken? What if there’s someone more perfect and I’m just going to settle for someone now?

I’m so particular when it comes to everything. Decisions I make on a whim result in disastrous outcomes. This decision is the rest of my life. And I’m only 22, so what’s the rush?

There’s also the fact that I’m just tired of being alone. Yeah, yeah feminism and you don’t need a man to feel (insert stuff here). Feminism is supposed to accept all beliefs. Okay so back to the main topic, I feel alone. There’s something a significant other gives emotionally that a parent or friend cannot. It’s hard to explain, but the emotional support from a SO is vastly different from that of a friend.

I tried to talk to my mom about this once, but she didn’t seem interested. She kept ignoring my questions and the conversation didn’t move forward. I also got very angry with her for ignoring me because who else will I talk to about this stuff? Friends, yeah, but if I want to take this major step I need my mother to help me also. But she doesn’t provide that support. It’s as if she doesn’t even want me to get married.

Sorry went off on a little tangent there. But this is how I feel and the pressure from everyone is too real. It’s my life, but everyone’s concerned about it.

The Value of Education — January 24, 2016

The Value of Education

(This won’t be one of my normal blog posts, but nonetheless it’ll be interesting.)

My parents college education is worth nothing. My parents have both graduated college with a Bachelor’s (B.S.) degree in Chemistry and Physical Therapy (father and mother, respectively). The only problem is they obtained their education in Pakistan, so in this advanced first world country their college education means nothing.

They have worked just as hard as anyone else who has received a Bachelor’s degree. They worked extra hard to legally enter the U.S. in hopes of obtaining further education. However, since their education was not valued as highly as an American obtained Bachelor’s, they financially could never afford to further their education and obtain a higher level degree.

That doesn’t mean they’re not as qualified for the positions they apply for. They left their white collar positions in Pakistan to come to the land of freedom to pursue the American dream. Yet when they arrived, they were forced to work lower level positions. (**NOTE: Nothing wrong with these positions. Trust me, no job is too little and under circumstances you just have to take up whatever job you can get to survive.)

Here’s the thing, my father was a supervisor in the Pakistani branch of a well-known pharmaceutical company. My mother owned her own clinic and worked as a PT in a hospital. However, after coming to America, they never worked in these fields ever again.

To pay the bills, my father took to becoming a security guard at the airport during the night while selling phone cards during the day. My mother worked in a warehouse. We had to rent out a room, bathroom, and kitchen because we couldn’t even afford an apartment.

Things got better, though. My dad received a job offer at a chemical company in New Jersey. We packed up and moved. But even then, my mom started working at a dry cleaners. When my brother was born, she gave up her career to take care of us.

Eighteen years later (present day), she’s looking for a job. Any job, if she’s lucky even a job in her field, but her education is nothing. Her sacrifice to properly raise her children haunts her daily. She applies to multiple positions daily. These positions range from cashier to physical therapy aide. Yet every single time, they reject her. She never gives up hope, but I have because while this country is great, it ruined my parents life.

My father’s job helps pay our bills, bring food to the table, and let’s us enjoy life once in a while. He was the supervisor at a pharmaceutical company, but now when he applies to those jobs, they reject him. He has the qualifications, he meets the requirements, but still he’s rejected.

Our family income places us in no man’s land (since the middle class is disappearing). Our total income is slightly more than the poverty line, but significantly less than upper class. With this, we survive and manage to pay out of pocket whatever remaining tuition I have for college.

My parents have worked hard. They are educated and would continue to work hard. But the ones who judge based on resume never see that. My parents college education is worth nothing. But my parents sacrifice means everything to me. When I graduate with my PharmD, I know that they realize it was all worth it.