The other day at Wal-Mart, I saw a hijabi woman. She was wearing a dark abaya and scarf.
"There's a hijabi!" I remarked to my husband. "I'll have to mark this sighting in my blog." I said.
"What? I see hijabi's all the time," he said.
"All the time?" I asked cynically.
He said, "Well, it's not like it's so rare to see one." (He saw a hijabi working at Lowe's the other day--which is cool, I think, since Lowe's is a hardware type of store and seems like an unlikely place for a Muslim woman to work--so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that, and it opened up my mind to the possibilities of living in a place where Muslim headscarves were seen in every store---for a minute).
Then I told him that I want to see hijabis everywhere I go, all the time. So often that I wouldn't have to point one out every time I see one. I told him that I don't mind BEING different, I just don't like LOOKING so odd.
He said, "Well you're making it easier for the next hijabi to wear hers out."
I said, "But that's not my goal, really. I know for some hijabi girls that's important to them, to champion a cause, but I just want to..."
"Well, but, it's just a fact," he said. I wasn't so sure about that. I mean, 15 years ago I wore a headscarf in high school--did that make it easier for anybody else back then? If that was 15 years ago--then why haven't they multiplied in number?!
OK. So I'm going to stop here for a moment to discuss something. As I've said before, I started this blog as a way to vent my feelings, make sense of my conflicting thoughts and emotions, and to share my honesty with others. But now that I know that I have some regular readers, I am more self-conscious about what I say and the effect it is having on my readers. And I'm more sensitive to the message it is sending out into the world.
I realize that most of the posts are me basically complaining about how hard it is to wear a headscarf. I'm starting to wonder if my posting of these feelings and thoughts are doing a disservice, as one of the comments posted, "making a mockery out of something so beautiful." I sure as heck do not want to be doing that.
When I think about it, I realize that when I'm sharing my negative thoughts, my intended audience is mainly to those Non-Muslims who see a hijabi as someone with blind faith and/or as an unexplainable mystery. I think I'm trying (in addition to venting) to show people that we all struggle and we all need some empathy! And we're all the same somehow. Hmm.
When I was in high school wearing hijab, enduring terrible and constant harassment from my class-mates every day, I wrote articles and poems for the school magazine and even gave a speech or two at Islamic centers on the beauty and truth of hijab. But then, after I decided to take off the scarf because I couldn't handle the harassment anymore, I looked back on those articles and speeches and thought...hmm...do I still believe that? I guess I don't. I guess I've changed my mind. It was an embarrassing feeling--to sort of advocate doing something so strongly--and then decide to do the opposite. I don't want to do that again--which is probably why I stick to feeling and complaining about the difficult stuff.
I still do not see the light...but I want to keep looking. I hope this blog helps me do that.