Okay, I’m gonna come out with it now. I know I’ve been very secretive about it – sharing a password protected post (which I later on made completely private) here, hinting in a cryptic post there – but I feel like if I don’t become more determined about this then I’ll lose the small amount of self-confidence I have managed to gather throughout my adult years.
Somewhere around the end of Ramadan this year, I sorta started wearing hijab. I say sorta because it wasn’t one of those overnight transformations. Mine was an extremely clumsy and untimely one to be honest, but there wouldn’t be a perfect timing anyway.
My issue, as I have mentioned before, is that my family generally isn’t religious. Most of my Islamic knowledge comes from self studies which took off seriously not long after I moved back from Luleå more than three years ago. The first time I wanted to start wearing hijab was actually right after I had moved to Luleå, but my mom wasn’t supportive at all and I wasn’t determined enough.
Which lead me to a month ago… Now making a change like this when you’re 26 and not 16 is… awkward and difficult. So far I haven’t had any problems or challenges in the outside world (mind you I haven’t even started school/work for the semester yet)… I mean if there is a difference in how I’m perceived… well I wouldn’t be able to make an intelligent guess there because I’d be clouded by that slight paranoia I carry of living in a white world. [Well actually there is something new; I’m greeted with assalamu alaikum by Muslims… and it’s pretty amazing because I’ve always wanted to be perceived as a Muslim without having to verbally get it out there.] So my biggest challenge is my family. Slowly but surely though, as discreetly as I possibly can, I’m trying to get them used to it.
I know some girls who have gone through similar transformations, but in their cases it’s really been transformations… like they’d start praying and basically change their lifestyles overnight. In my case, I’ve been praying since… well since teenage but I didn’t start being serious about it until in my 20s, and more so, as I mentioned, after moving back home from Luleå. So basically in my case it’s only that extra piece of garment that changes things. I started making slight alterations in my wardrobe prior to that… but even that happened slowly and not something that anyone would notice because it’s not that different from how I dress now; I just make sure I wear looser clothes.
Why is this important? Well it’s not… I’m still the same person, I just dress differently. And I guess that’s the point I want to get across. Along with the fact that I need to make this official. I’m always waiting for some perfect timing… but I’ve realized that the timing is something I need to create on my own.