Before I begin, let me preface this post with this:
These are my thoughts and my feelings. I will not accept anyone delegitimizing or silencing them. I will not accept anyone telling me that I'm wrong, or I'm doing something wrong, or I just need to pray more/try harder/etc.
This blog is an honest look at the life of a convert in a Muslim-minority country. I post very blunt things here, in the knowledge that if I'm thinking and/or feeling them, then someone else is, too - and that someone, those someones, need to know that they're not alone.
You are not alone. Even when it feels that way. And if you feel the way that I do in this post, you are normal. There's no shame in what I'm about to post. There is shame in trying to shame people about it.
That said, I don't like Ramadan.
I really don't like Ramadan. Not because I can't eat or drink - I don't care about the fasting. That's easy. That's nothing.
But I have no one to share it with. I either wake up or stay up for the pre-prayer meal and then the first prayer of the day, and I do it alone. I pray alone, except for the rare times my roommate prays with me. I break my fast alone. I can't get to the mosque because I have no bus money, but even if I did have the money, I'd have to leave before breaking my fast with the other Muslims because I'm stuck on the bus system and it's not favorable to late-night gatherings.
I don't have a car and I don't have a job (that one's my own fault for not looking hard enough) and my "friends" in the area know this, but I'm never invited anywhere. I don't ask to hang out because I always need a ride. I can rarely do things with Islamic groups because of my carless situation.
So I wake up and eat and pray alone, I break my fast and pray alone, I don't get invited to other people's homes to break the fast and I'm too poor to invite anyone over to my home and feed them. Ramadan is a huge family affair and I'm the only Muslim in my family.
I don't get a spiritual high during Ramadan. People gush about it, about how revitalized they feel, how amazing it is. I don't feel that. All I feel is this deep, aching loneliness. I'm usually fine with the thought of being foreveralone, until Ramadan. Then I realize that while this beautiful and holy and amazing month is going on, I'm feeling alone and depressed and resentful because I'm not feeling any of it. I have no one to share it with and no way to get to people with whom I can share it. It makes me really want to marry the next interested guy regardless of who he is or how well I know him (I'm not going to, btw) just so I don't have to spend another Ramadan alone.
So, yeah. I don't hate Ramadan, I just currently really, really, really dislike it. I feel the exact opposite of how it's supposed to make me feel.
I don't usually think of all of this. I ignore it fairly well, even during Ramadan. But after sundown, when I'm alone, I get depressed.
So that's my secret. Ramadan does nothing but depress me, and I don't like Ramadan that much.
Welcome to my blog!
This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.