Facing Fears

From now on, if something scares the crap out of me… I need to do it. As long as it’s lawful and not going to kill me, there’s no reason I can’t face it. I want to be real with myself about what I can do, and the truth is, I can do anything. I just don’t believe I can.
I’m going to stop myself from getting in my way and start chasing goals rather than avoiding them for fear I won’t live up to expectations.

Other peoples’ expectations of me really don’t matter all that much. It’s the expectations I have of myself that I need to pay attention to. If someone else reacts to me a certain way, or hurts me in some way, that’s actually their problem, not mine. That has nothing to do with me and who I am, so it shouldn’t affect how I live my life. And it won’t.

I treat everyone around me very well. I respect people, and I would never tell someone they can’t do something. So why do I tell myself that? And I do it without even knowing it! It’s all these subconscious ideas surfacing themselves in the most inconspicuous ways that are creating barriers in my life.

This post is for me, and a promise to myself. I will love myself more, and believe in myself more. I’m completely capable. I’m a leader. I’m a change agent. I’m intelligent. I’m creative. I’m all the things I think I’m not. I can do anything.

So there, old self! You’re history.

Colorado

The first time I went to Colorado, I hated it. I was there for a week on business, and there were literally three blizzards during my stay. I remember eating every single meal in the hotel for about 4 days straight. Not the most enjoyable experience. But ya know what? You make the most of it. I met the Muslim community and found some of the most dedicated and aspiring young people of all the places I’ve been. Before the blizzards, I attended some programs they had put on for Black History Month, and I was really impressed by how diverse and accepting the community is. I’ll share some photos eventually of Minkailu and my adventures in trekking through the blizzard but for now, a photo of summer:
from our ride up to Mt. Estes earlier this year – Abdullah, Nunu and I

Colorado is SO BEAUTIFUL. Living in California really makes me miss the greenery I was blessed with in Virginia my whole life, so it was nice to see such lush hills and mountains, and rivers and creeks flowing nearby. This trip was a vast change from the weather and conditions I experienced on my past trip. I can’t wait to continue exploring the next time around πŸ™‚ I don’t think I’ll go back in the winter unless there’s a 4-wheel drive car available at the car rental!

The Grandest of Canyons

a few days ago i took a short trip to the Grand Canyon. how crazy is that to be able to say?

Minkailu and i spontaneously drove up from Phoenix after work, took a short hike down Bright Angel Trail in the wrong shoes and just stared out into the never-ending twists and turns of the canyon imagining what kind of life the valley below held.

looking into the canyon gives you such a strange feeling. your eyes can’t quite take in the magnificent views. it seems almost 2-D with all of the sediment layers and the extensive depth. if you have the chance, this is a site worth seeing in person.

we had a difficult but doable hike back up to the top and we walked over to a look-off point to see the sunset, an indicator of iftar. not too long after i squeezed through the crowds to sit on the ground by the edge did we start to see lightning in a distant thunder storm. it was incredible to say the least. everyone was oohing and aahing at the intense strikes of lightning and counting the seconds between thunder.

yep, that’s a rainstorm.
the sun finally set and we made our way back to the car while downing water and chomping on delicious beef jerky, as the storm grew closer.
alhumdulillah. i’ve now experienced the canyon twice. the first was with my family on a cross-country road trip. next time i’ll hike down to the valley and explore for longer than a few hours, inshallah!
side note: i should really start using my camera. excuse the quality of my phone pics. no photo could do the canyon justice anyway πŸ˜› hope you’ll have the chance to visit!

This is Strong

Today I’m wearing my “THIS IS STRONG: Mudderella” t-shirt to support Futures Without Violence and to remind myself of my own self-worth. There are so many warning signs for an unhealthy relationship that you may not recognize until it’s too late. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore that feeling. A healthy relationship should feel GOOD to be part of. If you feel inadequate, guilty, or like you’re walking on egg shells all of the time, chances are you are not with theΒ right person. If you’ve stopped telling your family and friends about the person you’re with because they’re convinced he’s an asshole to you, chances are you’re not with the right person. If you need help leaving an unhealthy relationship, because it’s often extremely difficult to leave despite what people say, it’s OK to seek professional help.

Samirah sent me this article on some of the characteristics of a manipulator. I highly recommend reading this and similar articles on signs of manipulation and abuse.

And the article talks about guys, but I think it’s important to note that girls can be just as manipulative as men.

“Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior – it is always about what everyone else has “done to them”. One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the ‘hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me’ variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.” –cassiopaea
The article can be found here. And yes, I’ve linked it three times in this post because it’s THAT important.

my blog rules

I love looking back at my blog posts and seeing where my mind was at at different points in my life. I’ve grown so much, but still some things never change.

tip – music can make all the difference in your day. today, I recommend Marina and the Diamonds – I am not a Robot.

side note: i love andrew ward. ride or die.