Yesterday, at the top of the hormone roller coaster, I texted my friend/mentor, “I feel like a person today!”
Whereas last week consisted of lots of tears and sitting in bed, this week consisted of colorful dreams, hope for the future, battles with estrogen, trips to the vet’s office, awkward conversations about vomit, and marketplace adventures.
So what does it mean to feel like a person?
I’m currently working on about four projects: keeping this blog up to date and wonderful, applying to at least 15 jobs before Monday, freelancing, and getting every Muslim in Georgia to vote by harnessing the power of social media.
Operation Dear Future Daughter:
I want all the content here to be high-quality and benefit people beyond myself, or at least one other person. That means writing and writing and revising and revising and revising every day, which I haven’t been able to do this week since I’ve been focused on getting a job. But I have loads of things to talk about and stories to tell: what it’s like growing up in a multicultural family, or going from a small white conservative rural elementary school to teeny tiny black Muslim schools, my unique grandmother, how my gap year’s going so far, my yucky hospitalization, my love, love, love of a thing called VOX, how a mentor at VOX changed my life, my struggles with religion, and a little fellow named Poppa Wayne. And so much more. But sometimes when I even think about writing, all these stories pop into my head and it feels like my head will explode.
If you’re reading this, hit me up in the comment section, on Instagram, or by phone or email if you have those and let me know what you want to see in the blog (that I can realistically offer–don’t ask me to tell you about my nonexistent summer in Nepal). In starting this, I wanted to build community, process, and let others know that they were not alone. What does that mean to you, reader?
At one point when I was sick and hot and nauseous last week, it occurred to me that it might be fun to try freelancing. I looked around and there are plenty of publications that accept pitches for personal essays. I want to make a big spreadsheet full of details and deadlines and ideas, but I haven’t gotten the chance yet due to
Operation Job Applications:
I would summarize my mood of last week as a resounding UGHHHHH. I’m a bit of a busybody, and I despise sitting around the house with only my imagination. When you’ve left yourself to your imagination without anything concrete to anchor it down, you go to some dark places. Anyone would. But a mood is only a mood. I ranted to my therapist about it and she assigned for me to apply to 15 jobs by Monday when I see her again.
So far, I’ve applied to internships at the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, the Anti-Defamation League, PetSmart, this other animal shelter, New American Pathways, and Visionary Artistry Magazine. Given that I’m picky and I do not have a college degree, I think this is as far as I can get. Pray with me that by tomorrow, my inbox will be flooded with opportunities.
And finally…an idea…drumroll, please…
Operation Save Georgia from the Trumpness and Make Social Media Muslim Again:
I happened to be sitting in a meeting last week for a new Muslim political group. I think we’re calling it the Muslim Coalition for Civic Action (Mecca for short)? My mom’s been inviting me and my dad and my brother to her political meetings for weeks or months now with little success, so finally she decided that she wasn’t going to give us a choice anymore. My dad naturally sat at the head of the table and tried to get everyone to focus on what it is exactly that we are going to do (again, with little success) while my mom, who can’t hear very well, asked the women on either side of her to translate, my brother watched medium-volume YouTube videos on my dad’s phone, and I, wildly interested in the discourse but shy and starving for a good cheeseburger, furiously scrambled my thoughts on sticky notes that I handed to my parents which were then discarded. Which was of course followed by a lot of internal dialogue about why don’t you say it yourself, you’re almost 18 and dear God, I’m almost 18.
I thought more about it after Jummah, about how I have nothing to do, really, but change the world. I wondered about how we were using social media to recruit Muslim voters and overcome some of the obstacles between Muslims and the right to vote, which the Georgia Muslim Voter Project identifies as I’m ambivalent/not really American, I’m scared, and It’s not Islamic. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to start a social media campaign to counter those?
So I sent my ideas over to the director of the MVP and he liked them and we’re meeting tomorrow to discuss strategy, which is exciting! And terrifying? I’ll share more of the details of my plan once it’s more solid, but basically I’d really like to profile (the good kind, not the FBI kind) Muslim immigrants who are super excited about voting and make a video of imams across Atlanta talking about the importance of voting.
When I reached out to Muslim immigrant friends and classmates with, “Are you voting in the midterms by any chance?” to see if I could interview them about it to post on social media later, here were some of the responses:
Not sure, most likely not.
I will try my best to inshallah! so who’s running lol I’m clueless.
Should be IA!
No I don’t think I will.
This means we’ve really got to do a better job with getting young Muslims engaged. I think social media can help.
In short, lots of projects going on, too many ideas, and one very happy type A.
Oh, and I solved a Rubik’s cube. How cool is THAT?