I’ve always viewed life as a series of different loves and relationships. Each of these loves are unique; some may overlap, some may end before we’re ready, some may end tragically, and some may continue forever. It may be love for a color, a friend, a lover, but also maybe a person who you connect with on the subway, who says something to change your mind… it could be someone you meet on twitter, a character in a book, and it could be yourself.
My relationship with myself is as complex and evolving as a relationship could be, and I can see all of the changes by reading my journals from past ages. In vivid color: at my happiest, I’m swimming-pool blue, and at my worst, I am neon yellow. At my happiest I feel feminine yet strong, at my worst I feel lonely and out of control.
When I say ‘lonely’ I don’t mean what some others mean when they say or think of the term ‘lonely’. I mean to say that I feel without deep, personal connection and laughter at a time that I desire laughter and connection, which is to say, I don’t have my sisters or my close friends and family. Obviously, something is terribly wrong with me because I don’t care to have a boyfriend to keep me from feeling lonely. Just playinnn! The fact is, I haven’t met any boy who has satiated loneliness when I feel lonely, which is to say, I haven’t felt the right combination of close personal connection and admiration. Of course, the short relationships I’ve had weren’t false, and they’ve contributed to my life in that they were chapters in the series of relationships that I’m speaking of as life. I’ve lost what little tolerance I had for false intimacy.
I’m the most ‘girly’ I’ve ever been, or ever imagined I would be. I’ve stopped caring about what others think more than I ever imagined, also. Liberating myself from worry of the opinion of other has, in turn, allowed me to become more feminine. I don’t care what someone thinks of the color of my hair, or the shade of my nail polish. If I look how I feel, why should I care about what other think of me? Should they think me luke warm or unoriginal, I don’t mind. I honestly think this feeling comes from being educated, which is so liberating and re-enforcing, I don’t care to prove myself to anyone, only to myself.
I’m watching Generation Islam, which displays EXCELLENT, inspirational reporting by Christiane Amanpour. She investigates the good and the ugly of the Muslim religion in a number of different countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. I think that whenever a society targets an ‘enemy’ they should saturate themselves in education about that ‘enemy’ because everyone knows education=tolerance and normally you will find that there is nothing to fear. Unfortunately, that is not the case with fundamentalist Islam, but knowing about their interpretation of the Qur’an and the way they recruit more fundamentalists will help us to stop the circulation of violence.
Something I’ve learned while studying Iran and Islam is the different interpretations of ‘beauty’ and how all are beautiful. A brown-eyed woman wearing a hijab is just as beautiful as a south-eastern woman dancing in a grass skirt. Knowledge makes the world a more beautiful place, makes me feel like a more beautiful person, more in touch with who I am as a woman, and better able to relate to the woman in the hijab and the grass skirt. I believe in silver lining and that the world can be a small and beautiful place. All it takes is curiosity, laughter and a willingness to share what you know of beauty.