I’ve finally found the time to clean my room, which I have all the reason in the world to postpone considering my cold… but I couldn’t lie down and relax properly without feeling the dirt all around me and sensing the presence of the numerous layers of dust residing under my bed (also, there’s also the whole deal about them contributing to my sickness).

As is normal while taking on such a grand task, you come across a lot of stuff you haven’t looked at for ages. I came across one such thing, a greeting card, while I was dusting my bookshelf. It was lying at the top, folded and under a layer of dust and other junk. I have so far had a weird feeling about that card. I got it – or rather it was waiting for me – the day I moved back home from Luleå, from mom. I was at a very bad place. My studies had gone terribly bad and my future plans were falling down the ladder at a higher speed than I was ready to admit. My mom thought, or expected rather, that I had more or less graduated. That upset me… and in retrospect I realize the anger I gave her in response was more directed towards me than anybody else. I kept blaming the world for expecting too much of me, but I know now that I was my  own worst enemy. I was the one who had created all those expectations in the first place, telling everybody of how I was going to be this or that. I was more confident than I could afford; I had no idea what reality really looked like… or even what I actually was/am.

So I was not happy with that greeting card, despite the fact that it was a huge emotional gift to receive from my mom. The sheer size of the card (it’s huge) and my mom’s failure to write one single sentence in Swedish grammatically correct, brings a smile to my lips today. Because that’s typical of mom; her taste and grammar without my guidance is awkward. I’ve always had a symbiotic relationship with her. When I was growing up and was too scared to communicate with the outside world, she was always the mediator. And when I started stepping out of my comfort zone, she became the world’s interpreter of me; she always knew what I meant regardless of how weirdly I put it, and she would explain it to the world – she would finish my sentences. Even today, when I’m all grown up and live a life “out there” on my own, mom is always the one to observe the aspects I miss about myself. In return, I’ve been her confidante and guide.

Anyway… if we return to that card… I don’t feel sad or angry anymore looking at it. Because I’m on the right path now. Inshaa Allah I will be graduating next semester, and I don’t care how long it took for me to get there. After that I see a straight path to a Master’s degree. My mom always wanted a doctor in her family. But she’s also an avid reader and wrote some stuff herself as young. Besides, none of my brothers even finished getting their Bachelor’s degrees. I know she’s proud of me. She’s seen me go from a state of despair to a state of hope. And I know I owe it all to her upbringing.