Making Choices

Jihad Al-Nafsi. In english, the Battle of Self. Its the greatest war only because your own Nafs, soul, will betray you and call it love. Because you will obey it and call it freedom. But what is freedom without discipline?? And how is there success with no regime??

— yesshabazz


An old draft, but tonight I’m reminicing ..

Here in Satun I’m experiencing two different weathers almost simultaneously. Burning hot and pouring rain. Usually the burning hot leads to the pouring rain, which I actually rather enjoy. The rain in Thailand is beautiful. I come from Seattle Washington where it rains everyday, at all hours of the day regardless of the season. But I’ve come to learn that in Seattle it doesn’t really rain. It drizzles.

Its different here. When the weather gets too hot, and the clouds gather dark and low, it begins with the series of lightning shows. Sometimes followed by thunder but not always. The lighting is always powerful and consistent for about 10-15 minutes. 

The wind blows a little harder and the temperature cools considerably. And before you know it, water is pounding on the roof, and slipping through the creeks of the windows. The rain is not subtle, there is no drizzling here in Satun. It forces people off the roads and searching for shelter. It doesn’t last long. Possibly 30minutes to an hour. 

But on some nights I get lucky. Some nights the lightning last longer, late into the night and it only begins to rain as we prepare for bed. On these nights the clouds release the gallons of water they’ve been holding in all day and the sound of rain drowns out the sounds of the crickets. Prehaps the rain lasts through the night. I’m never certain for when I awaken it always appeared to have just recently stopped.

Come morning time the sun is strong but the fog is thick and low. The land green and the view clear out as far as the eyes can see. Its mornings like this that make me regret that this trip will only be for a year. I take pictures and I snap shot away these moments into my memory ..


Phases

I notice I go through phases. Lots of them and I go through them with all the life one can give an idea and all the speed one can force through time. I am constantly looking for the next evolution of myself and in that process I often lose too much but (and i say this with all of the soul one can give a prayer) THANK THE GOOD LORD that I always gain enough in return #blessedbe


Again

You know what? I’m going to try again. Every so often I find myself back here, rereading once again what i’ve already read. And everytime I sit and wonder why I stopped. Today i’m finally going to stop wondering and start writing. 

My first entry of 2014. There is more to come, alot more, alot different more and perhaps no one will even follow this time around but this time I promise to be, if not consistent, at least present. I’m going to stop talking to myself and start writing again instead. Maybe it will allow me to keep my sanity for the time being ..


Todays, Tomorrows &Yesterdays

One day you’re thinking about tomorrow &before you know it you’re in the future looking back on that same day. 

Already I’ve been home for 2weeks and as this new reality becomes more &more concrete, I find myself thinking back more often.

I remember everything. Every moment, feeling &image is alive, intensified, in my brain. Before I left, I couldn’t stop thinking about the future and what it would be like to be home. Now all I can think about is what I’ve left behind. 

Tbh; i’m just exahusted by this whole “cultural re-adjustment” process :/


The Thing Is ,

I’m really bad at this blogging thing. I have too much to say, and such little memory space in my head that by the time I get around to this screen, I’ve already forgotten the essence of what I was trying to convey. 

I had begun this blog with the intention of sharing an experience but whenever I attempt this, It feels like I’m simplifying an entire existence. Thailand is absolutely NOTHING like America. &the longer I’ve been here, &the closer I come to going home, the more the differences shock me. 

I’ve done a lot of things for the first time, and a few things for the last time. I’ve changed about a million times but each time I discover something vital about myself. I have embraced a lot of new ideas, but at the same time have become firm in my absolute distaste for other ones.  

I learned for the first time, the true meaning of hospitality. I’ve been welcomed and embraced into numerous peoples homes, respected and honored to the extent of my own embarrassment. I am humbled and uplifted but mostly I am so completely and unquestionably grateful for the love extended to me.

I am having a hard time sharing Thailand with you but when I think about the time that has passed? Its been 7months and I’ve eaten too much, talked too fast, laughed too hard, and slept too little. For every post that I forgot to write, and for the ones I wrote &forgot to upload, I am blessed to say they were moments filled with life.


Some People Don’t

I can’t blame it on my upbringing, though perhaps my parents were more supportive than most, and I can’t blame it on my environment because my friends were the first to tell me I can’t. Yet I’ve always been the kind of gal who dreamed about making millions and changing lives. When I imagine my future I see big things happening, but more importantly, I see myself making those big things happen. 

So as of this morning, it has come as quite a shock for me to realize that this dream is not shared by women all over the world. I have always been the girl telling everyone to dream bigger, to work harder and that everything was possible. Only this morning did I realize a lot of people actually don’t want everything.

I can honestly say it bummed me out a little (quite a bit really) to realize that all of the amazing women I know and continue to meet are more than satisfied working 9 to 5, with a mediocre husband and children that they will love. 

I guess I’m still suffering from the shock of this but in the 9 hours I’ve had to digest this information, I’ve also realized that in disregarding my own sense of accomplishment, achieving domestic bliss is in its own right a ‘big thing’. 


After another brutal incident, I’ve got to say that I’ve witnessed enough dog fights here to miss the domesticated obedience of American dogs.

— yesshabazz


I Choose God

I believe that there is only one God, and after the many messages brought down to earth, I believe Muhammad Ibn Abd’Allah is the last and final messenger. I believe in Heaven and Hell and I believe that fate is inevitable but destiny can be determined by your actions. I believe man has confused belief with institution and spirituality with power. I believe in the character flaws of humans and I deeply believe in God’s endless mercy. 

So when you ask me my religion and I tell you I believe in the betterment of humanity, do not tell me that is not a religion.

Ibrahim was sent to teach the ignorant, Moses to humble the arrogant, Jesus to guide the lost and Muhammad to perfect the manners of mankind. Buddha was a man of vision, Gandhi a man of patience, and Malcolm a man of action. 

The betterment of mind, body and soul is my religion, the actions of those before me my example and the word of God my guidance. 

In a world where religion is an identifier, and practice is a symbol of status. Where punishment is the go-to solution, forgiveness a last resort and open-minds considered hypocritical.  Understand that today I choose my old beliefs to memberships in your new religions of politics and ‘spiritual’ power. Of choosing sides and killing for pride.

I choose a belief that extends only between two. Me and the Creator (الخالق), the Guardian(المهيمن), the Almighty (الجليل), the all Wise (العليم):

God الله, as He is glorified and exalted. 


What Makes Me Happy

Through the ups and downs, the days I’ve wanted to pull my hair out and the nights when I felt life were perfect I’ve forced myself to establish a quota on which to live by: Positive energy only. 

Before I left America, I had a busy life going. Between work, school and other recreational activities I barley had time for my family and even less time for my friends. Tossed into Satun, for about 2months I had all the time in the world. I had to start from scratch all over again and though I didn’t realize it at the time, establishing a life when you don’t know anyone is possibly the most difficult thing to do. 

The past week, I finally found a schedule that allows me to come home exhausted  satisfied and excited. My life now revolves around my boxing training and though extremely tiring, I had never before really believed endorphin’s made you happy .. I guess I just wasn’t working hard enough. 

5am every morning I go for a 3mile run, come home, go to school or whatever activity the day holds. I arrive home around 5pm and I again run to the neighborhood gym where a 50yr old man built like an olympic athlete trains me to gain the muscle I need in order to competitively compete in Muay Thai. 

As I run through the neighborhoods in the mornings and evenings, its a different feeling to have people recognize you and invite you to come in for a drink of water, to pass children on the street and have them call your name or ride their bikes alongside you. Coming from a city, I’ve never had that and as I begin to learn the names of those who already know mine, I begin to feel like a part of my community.

My attitudes, my motivations and my choice of activities have changed so much since I’ve been in Thailand. And nothing makes me happier than to recognize and embrace them all as positive changes than will stay with me in the future. 


Big Fat Chicken

I saw a chicken beheaded and skinned (or do you call it feathered?). And I had no qualms about eating it the next day for dinner.

That’s proof enough that I have no desire, and not a single motivation to ever become a vegetarian. As I watched them pull the feathers out the body and toss it into a pile, I realized how ignorant I was about the process in which my food was made.

Did anybody else know that you can simply pull the feathers from a chicken and it’ll come right out? No resistance.

Is it the same with humans??? That worries me a little :/