A few thoughts on community

community

I’m often humbled by God bringing people into my life who truly care when I least expect it.

Just this morning, when I logged onto Facebook (I’m just as surprised as you all are – sometimes Facebook does accomplish that whole “bringing people together” mantra), I was humbled by the extent of this care and concern.

I suppose it’s no surprise that the place I’ve most often felt a sense of community has been online… or with people I have only known for a short while, relatively speaking.

I suppose it’s the chance to present who I am today and be shed of the past that has been ascribed to me, whether justified or not.

That’s not to say that I don’t feel a sense of community from people I’ve known my entire life. I’m blessed to have these individuals, truly.

But I grew up thinking “family” was all that I ever needed.

Recently, I’ve realized that having known someone your entire life doesn’t necessarily mean that they really understand what you’re going through right now. And that’s okay. I think I’m finally learning to accept this.

But being able to connect in some ways with people that I’ve never met or have only known for a short while makes me feel a) that there’s nothing wrong with me per se and b) the vastness of God’s creation, in this case, human creation.

Breaking out of my bubble has been the most beautiful thing in my life. It’s not been easy, but the people I’ve met have given me a sense of hope and reinforced my commitment to the following Qur’anic verse:

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (49:13)

A great way to start my Friday! :)

To Cowtown and Back

It’s been over a week since I’ve blogged. I’ve read “advice” that you should not go more than a few days between posts, because then people will lose interest. And I’m like, “So you should write crap, even if you have nothing to say? You really think people are gonna keep coming back?”

Not that my intermittent posts are Pulitzer-worthy. But I feel that a heart-felt post when the author actually has something to share with her readers that they might either a) benefit from or b) be thankful about for not being the loser whose life-story they are reading is more effective. Or do I mean, affective? Yes, the latter.

Are you still with me?

But there is a reason for this lull. I went to Kansas City this past weekend. KC, if you don’t know, is also known as Cowtown and so naturally I’d have to visit.

Actually, the reason behind the visit was to attend a wedding of a friend of Mr. Rafia’s. It was my first ever non-Desi wedding. And I gotta say, I really missed my Desi weddings. The music they played was fun and Mr. Rafia and I did dance, which we didn’t do at our own wedding, but no one makes wedding music like India, okay? It’s weird that as I get older, I become more and more unapologetically Indian. How would emo teenage Rafia deal with this fact? I will spare you the details.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any real cows. But I did see this in the Children’s section of the Public Library!

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I think they placed that “Do not touch” sign specifically for me :(

OMG THE KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY IS THE GREATEST THING EVER.

I could have spent the entire weekend there just admiring the place like the idiot I am.

But fortunately, the rest of my weekend was super amazing that I didn’t have a chance to be angry for only being in the library for an hour or so.

I am not going to bore y’all with all the details, because that is what a diary is for. But have you personally experienced the phenomenon of meeting a person for the first time and instantly connecting with them? Well, I had that this weekend with two people! A mother and daughter. The mother became like an older sister, whether she wants this designation or not, and the daughter, pretty much my twin. I stayed up until way past 1 AM talking to the daughter about our INFJ personalities (dude, we even drive the same car!) and books and writing and life. It was awesome. I can count the number of times I’ve connected with another human being like that on one hand. It’s a rarity for me, an introverted AND shy person. So when it happens, it’s a big deal.

The fact that I had three different types of cake (and not just bites, this is me we’re talking about) in a single day has been dwarfed by the love and inspiration I’ve felt from the people I met this past weekend. I now have a better understanding of how tough it must have been for Mr. Rafia to have to say Goodbye to the city that become home for almost five years.

I am definitely going back to Cowtown. I need to see those cows!