To my younger self
This is the seventh in a series of articles by DearChereen’s contributors in honor of International Women’s Day. With the hashtag #beboldforchange, we are highlighting bold women, embracing the power of femininity, and celebrating women all over the world.
Written by: Khadeja
Allow me to take you away from your world for a few moments. . . to a world of Barbie dolls, bedtime stories, and an imagination that tends to run wild. Come with me just for a little bit, so that I can share with you some pearls of wisdom that I’ve collected throughout the years. Now, don’t expect any spoilers! You are going to have to go through everything that life has to offer with an open mind and an open heart.
You are blessed. Blessed with a caring and loving family. But most importantly, blessed to have been born into such an amazing religion as Islam. Not only that, but God chose you to be a woman. Yes, I know that sometimes you would rather not be one, that sometimes it feels like women have the short end of the stick. But we really, truly don’t. The double standards you always pout about have to do more with culture and society than with God’s words. Being a woman is amazing. And I know that almost every one of the Disney movies that you adore show women as only being princesses who need a prince to save them. But the reality is: You can be so much more. You can be anything you want to be. . . but, seeing as you can’t seem to choose just one thing to be when you group up, you already know that. (I will tell you a secret: Even when you do grow up, you will always have that sense of wanting to do everything under the sun!). The truth this the prince also needs you. You both need each other, as God created us in pairs. But don’t worry too much about which prince; God has your back and all I will say is that you will end up with an amazing person.
As a woman, you have so much power. You are able to influence the world and society. Not just by what you do or say, but by bringing children into the world and raising them, teaching them, and showing them the right path. I know you see how strong and powerful Batman is, but believe me, he would not be able to handle the things that women go through while still maintaining grace and humility. You are special because everything that you do for your family you will get extra credit with God. Can you image being rewarded just for cooking a meal? And somehow, you will be able to do 20 things at once! It is just how you are wired. Although I remember when you used to juggle reading 3 books at the same time, so I think you already know about your multi-tasking super powers!
You will also learn so much from your mother. God has blessed you with an amazing woman who will show you what it means to be strong, but also kind and soft. She will show you what it means to be caring and considerate of others. Cherish the time you have with her and soak it all in, for she will be the greatest teacher you will ever have. Who knows– maybe you will be someone’s greatest teacher as well! (I still haven’t figured that one out yet so I can’t tell you more, kid).
Always keep your head held high because that is how God created it to be held. Know that sometimes the world will have their opinions about you and what you do, but all that matters is what you think of yourself. That is your true power.