something foul lives in me,
and i stand quietly,
softly avoiding my former self.
with who i used to be,
with how i view myself through her eyes.
without that same feeling of emptiness,
of wrath, of pain, of having to survive the night,
and God willing,
Author’s Note: This poem is about coming to terms and accepting myself as a Muslim and as a human being, realizing that I cannot know everything and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Over the past week, I’ve traveled around different cities in Morocco and learned things about myself more than I did about the country I’m staying in. I’ve learned that it’s okay to continue to grieve for my biological mother who passed away nearly seven years ago. I’ve also learned that it’s okay not to know everything, whether it be about language or religion, because no one can really know everything.
The people around me, Muslim and non-Muslim, have helped me to see this, but I still have self-doubts and I end up being hard on myself. For example, when I pray, I pray for all of the people in my life: my host family, my mentors, those on my study abroad program, my family, my friends, then myself. At times I feel bad because I feel as if I’m praying for too much and never thanking Allah enough for what I have. I have doubts about whether I’m a good Muslim, about whether I even pray or fast correctly. But by the end of all this, I realized that I’m a human and it’s okay to make mistakes, that Allah can forgive me, and that tomorrow is always a new day to make up for everything I lost before.