You fear that you’re too ‘uptight’ for some, your pants unfashionably, floppily loose, your parameters too fixed and not obtuse.
You fear that your exuberance scares others, your smile too toothy and bright, your innate Islamic sensibilities obscured at times and out of sight.
You’ve been told that you’re too ‘intellectual’, your philosophising frustrating, your constant (over) analysis irrelevant and irritating.
But then, you fear that you’re not intellectual enough, your penchant for celebrity gossip distasteful, your hours of watching reality TV wasteful.
‘Be more high-maintenance’-but your attention to detail is too low; your clothes don’t always match, you forget to knot a loose thread into a bow.
You’ve been told that you’re too opinionated and ‘difficult’: too indecisive and in-between, too prone to hovering between hiding and wanting to be seen.
Some people may perceive you as ‘ambitious’, your bank balance too high; too well-educated and well-versed, your life goals stacked up to the sky.
But then again, you feel out of place with those in tailored suits; your lack of clear direction may not marry well with their high-flying pursuits.
You’re not the person whose face emerges from the crowd, your features are fine, ‘okay’ (Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah); you’re too sloppy to carry yourself in a refined, dapper way.
You meet people, but then don’t know how to flirt or engage; when they start flexing their charm muscles you get bored/intimidated and exit stage.
You’re told to be unresponsive, to let them ‘chase’-but you don’t like to run. You don’t bother to hide when you like someone; your openness makes the whole thing ‘no fun’.
You like cats, you read the Quran, Edward Said and the Daily Mail. You try to be more like the lovely (mashaAllah) people whose photos get 50 likes, but you simply fail.
You’re just you: clumsy, clever, fickle, fumbling. You walk on this earth with no one by your side, grateful to your Lord, striving, stumbling.
You don’t need to label yourself or others, nor need you fear being invisible. Marriage is important, but the most important thing is to make your heart and your Creator indivisible.
Your heart should be open and ready to give. But you don’t have to sit around, wishing, waiting, putting together a glory box; you’ve too much life to live.
You ‘re always told of the marriage half of the equation. It’s a beautiful, rewarding half, but no less beautiful or rewarding is the other fifty percent of the conversation.
You’ve been gifted with time, so build yourself up from your very foundations. Make your faith your fortress, and live life with more joy and less expectations.
Be strong, be brave, love easily and love well. When it works, it’s beautiful, when it doesn’t, it’s another layer to your tapestry, another story to tell.
If marriage is part of your story, then that is truly exciting. But it’s your story, and together or alone, you have to keep on writing.