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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What's so bad about being unashamedly yourself?

This blog post (trigger warning for eating disorders) about Luna Lovegood and how people who are just being themselves, unashamedly, are treated when they don't fall into a socially-constructed "norm" has me thinking.

"You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. ... [Y]ou carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognised this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself."

This what my pants/socks/shoes looked like today. I was on the bus and sitting in the higher-up chairs. On this system, the first four seats are higher than the rest. I don't know why. Because Buddha.

I was giggling and talking softly to myself*, as I'm wont to do, and kicking my legs and fiddling my feet around and grinning all over the place - I was in a bloody fantastic mood. Another passenger complimented me on my scarf (I had three people today tell me I look nice/beautiful/etc) and I said thank you and told him I get most of my scarves at Wal-Mart or Target and he was cute and nice and laughing at me in a good way.

Then I said (because I start random conversations) "I'm a grown-up. I wear what I want! I do what I want! People tell you "You can't wear or do that, but you can do whatever you want when you're an adult" when you're a kid. Well, I'm an adult! I wear what I want!"

And it's sad because that really doesn't happen a lot. We're told we can eat dessert first when we're adults, or wear mismatching shoes and socks, but by the time we get to adulthood, that individuality, that lack of caring to fit in and lack of caring what others think on that level, is largely beaten out of us. We're looked down on if we honestly do as we please, even when it's not harming ourselves or others.

And why? What's the point? If I don't fit in exactly with socially-constructed norms and I'm not harming anyone, why is it so bad for me to talk to myself in public? Why is it so bad for me to wear neon-green shoes and pink plaid socks? Have we really become a society (were we ever not?) where someone being honest and open about who they are is a bad thing?

I've decided that my favorite Harry Potter character is Luna Lovegood - because she's not weird. She's herself, and every person who pretends to be something other than who they truly are is the weird one.

*I've stopped thinking homeless people who talk to themselves are weirdos because I realized that I do it all the time.


  1. Couldn't have said it better myself!

    P.S. I think your neon shoes look pretty cool :)

    1. Thank you on both counts! I have more to add but it's late and I'm tired, so those thoughts will have to wait for another day. :)