Solving a decades-old identity crisis

First of all, I want to thank all my lovely readers who left such encouraging comments on my last post. You don’t realize how much it meant (and means!) to me to read your comments. It was just the soothing balm I needed.

Alas, I got my (second) answer yesterday. Another No. So for the time being, I find myself looking forward to a blank weekday.

Perhaps not for long though. Along with this ‘no’ came another potential opportunity. One that might be better for me, but not in the comfortable and assuring way that the fearful little girl in me would prefer.

One thing I’ve gained from these rejections is an experiential knowledge of how things in the world work. I really have been Bubble Girl for most of my life. I’m getting better at verbal communication, my writing has no doubt improved, and I’m even starting to believe in my own self-worth again.

This opportunity would not be a cushy one. If I do get it, I would be forced to confront one of my greatest fears: public speaking.

But for the first time in my life, I actually want to overcome this fear. I’ve lived so much of my life not believing in myself because… I’m not a natural orator (Obama, I am indeed not – not even close). I limited what I can and cannot do simply because of this fact. I built my entire identity on this premise.

More than anything, what this opportunity would do would be to deconstruct this identity I’ve created for myself.

And how wrong I have been in the past!

When I was younger I had accepted that I would always be the Fat Girl – and that’s partly why I have trouble seeing that I haven’t been her for over 7 years.

I had thought that I would never go to my dream school – but then about a decade after that first college campus visit, I graduated from that dream school with a Master’s Degree.

And if I did manage to ever get married, it would be to a recently-arrived immigrant from Hyderabad that my parents arranged – but instead I married a man I found on the internet!

What I’m trying to say is up until now, I’ve decided who I am, who I am going to be and who I must be because of this.

But identities and even goals in life are fluid, which I never allowed myself to embrace until now.

Maybe it’s hubris that’s kept me this way. But I’m starting to find joy in being so wrong about everything. Even when God kept me waiting, when He did finally deliver, He delivered beyond my wildest imagination.

And so maybe if I hope and pray for the best – the unfathomable – I might find myself enjoying the journey of discovering I don’t know who the heck this Rafia is.


10 thoughts on “Solving a decades-old identity crisis

  1. I’m trying to find the silver lining in my own life right now by reading your post and realising that I need to stop limiting myself to what I’ve thought I can and cant do. And you said so yourself, God answered your prayers in ways you never thought possible. Thanks, Rafia :)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Aww, I’m glad you’re finding hope in my personal realization. Sometimes I wonder if my blog is not awfully selfish, but in the end allowing my readers to take the nuggets that applies to their lives is in a way even better than offering advice! Thanks, Naureen! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can I just say, I’m totally digging this whole blogging experience? It has allowed me to discover your blog and so many other amazing Muslim bloggers. To have these types of platforms where we can all voice our own personal experiences and find commonalities with other people’s lived experience is just awesome. I think discovering oneself is meant to be a lifelong process. The important thing, in my humble opinion, is to allow ourselves to embrace the journey and let go of all the fear and self-doubt that too often hinders us from doing just that. Trust in Allah ‘aza wajal that He will always guide you toward what is good and beneficial to your person.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I literally feel like I’ve been brought to your blog for a reason. Your posts peer into my actual soul, haha. I’m in a gloomy place right now and I think I feel very much like you felt before. It’s like, I know, 100%, that Allah (swt) will provide. That is not the question here. I’ve just been knocked down a lot. So many times in a row, in fact, that it’s beginning to really feel like I’m set in a sort of pattern of failure. It’s nice to see things working out for someone who’s been where I am now. Regardless of where this next opportunity takes you, it’s inspiring to see you wanting to face your fears.

    As you said, embrace the journey :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It honestly is! Reading what others have to write and this community of support is what brings me back to the blogging table, time and time again. I totally agree. I’ve come to learn that Allah (swt) presents you with opportunities when the time is right. In those moments, there are always lessons to learn. We’ve become so accustomed to hitting targets that we’ve lost touch of the fact that Allah (swt)’s plan for us way better than what we want for ourselves. He created us; He knows us better than we know ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, wow! Thank you! I noticed that you followed me on IG. I don’t know if you found me through my blog or found this blog through my IG page, but in either case, I checked out your blog and I have to say I love yours as well!

    You know, I can’t really speak to your current predicament, but it’s understandable you feel as if you’re set in a pattern of failure when the things you want don’t happen within your timeline. I only came upon this realization in retrospect. I certainly didn’t feel at the time those setbacks were actually God’s way of bringing something better to me. I know it’s hard now. Take time to cry, if you need. But I know in the next couple of weeks or days even, something positive will come your way. It may be a small thing (something as small as a perspective change) – but it will be enough of a spark. Soon, you’ll find yourself wanting what’s coming to you!


  7. I appreciate the advice sis, your words are kind. <3 I actually found your IG through this blog, as I want to be more active on social media too. I've been wanting to meet more bloggers and learn from you guys so I've been looking for blogs just like this one to inspire me to keep on writing. I'll definitely be seeing you around the blogosphere in shaa Allah!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Me during the journey: Why is this happening to meeeeeeee? This is horrible and I want to take my ball and GO. HOME.

    Me after the journey: Oh. I see. *small, sheepish smile despite myself*

    Liked by 1 person

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