I received a newsletter from David Morin (one of my many subscriptions) about self-awareness. In it were questions for me to answer. I usually leave these questions unanswered but I haven’t done self-reflection in a long time, so I decided to answer the questions here. I have had this post in my draft, questions unanswered, for about a month, but since I can’t sleep for some reason, here I am at 2 am answering them!
Self awareness questions:
What am I really proud of in my life?
I’m proud of my son and how he is growing up to be an incredible person. I know I complain about him a lot but whenever there is a playdate with other kids, I see how well-mannered he is compared to them. About myself, I’m proud of publishing books on Amazon, and everything I’m doing to try to be financially independent. It’s not just about money. I’m doing something for myself, and it makes me feel more than just a mom and wife. Most of all, I’m proud to be a hijabi Muslimah. In this era, it’s hard for someone to hold on to their religion. I’m witnessing people who used to be religious take off their hijab or wear a lot of makeup or do other things a religious person shouldn’t do like smoke or drink and it makes me proud of myself that I’m still holding on. I have no desire to take off my hijab or wear makeup or smoke or drink, and I’m proud of that, but that guidance was bestowed from God onto me, so I guess gratitude is a better-suited term than pride on this occasion. I just meant I’m not ashamed to be a hijabi Muslimah.
What would I like to go back in time and change?
I wouldn’t have shared my secrets with people who didn’t deserve to know them. I wouldn’t have cried over people who didn’t deserve my tears. I wouldn’t have mistaken a smile or kindness or decency or courtesy for care.
What made me happy as a child, and would that make me happy now?
When I was a kid, books and sports. We grew up without a TV. I had been doing Tae Kwan do at the age of 5, soccer since I was 6, kickboxing at 10, gymnastics at 12, and basketball at 14. I swam. I rode my bike. I rode horses (for one summer). Injuring my knee 11 years ago slowed me down a bit, but that’s when I started writing poetry, so it’s all good. Getting married and having a kid made me sedentary. I walk when I can, but the operation I had on my foot 4 years ago makes that difficult too.
I had always been the smart kid in the family, I guess. I don’t feel smart but they called me that because I skipped a grade. They also called me lazy so I don’t know. However, for as long as I can remember, my dad was getting me books and making sure I read in both English, and once I learned Arabic at the age of 10, Arabic too. I used to read college-level religious books at the age of 12. I don’t know-how, though, because I couldn’t read those same books again today. I read novels for a long time before I transitioned to self-help and psychology books 11 years ago. It’s when I found my passion in psychology. So I guess the year I fell and ripped the cartilage in both knees was the year I started training to become a writer. I still read novels and self-help books, but I also write and create designs. So I guess these 3 things make me happy.
Of course, I’m only talking about hobbies. Playing with my younger siblings was a favorite pastime of mine. We didn’t have many friends but we had each other. We made a club and had breakfast together. We built forts and played monopoly. We used monopoly as real money with each other. We laughed a lot. We talked a lot. We shared a lot. I still have a bond with my younger sisters but my younger brother is in the US so we’re not very close anymore. I also spend time with my older sister when our kids play together.
What word would I most like others to use to describe me?
Creative. A lot of people call me interesting, as in I’m not boring, and that is flattering. Some people call me resourceful. Others call me responsible. I’ve been called pretty a lot. I’ve also been called talkative, impulsive, serious, and moody, but we are focusing on the positives here. So I guess if I were to think of one thing I would like to be acknowledged for (and there are a few people who call me this) is creative. I guess it’s because I’m very passionate about my writing and designs, so someone calling me creative strokes my ego 🤭
What word would I be most unhappy about others using to describe me?
Lazy. I despise being called lazy because I’m not! I mean, I’m only human so I can get lazy sometimes, but I guess since a lot of the times when I’m accused of being lazy, I’m either tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, or depressed, it triggers me. Especially since I grew up with the concept that unless I was being productive 24/7, I was lazy. I finished my studies in 2 hours? Lazy. I slept in till 9 am? Lazy. I got a B? Lazy. Heartbroken in bed? Lazy. Feeling down? Lazy. And now as a wife: cleaned 99% of the house but missed a spot? Laaaaazy.
What is my most unconventional/unpopular opinion, and why do I hold it?
Ohhhh I have too many of these. Hold on while I think of one that won’t be offensive to some people. I love pineapple on pizza but hate pepperoni. There! I said it. No reason. I just do.
What would I change about myself if I could?
My personality? Just kidding. Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, the self-love journey I’m taking is appalled by this question. I know I’m supposed to say “I love myself just the way I am”, but when I imagine myself saying that, I’m saying it in a mock tone like I’m making fun of someone. I guess I would remove my social anxiety because it would make my life much easier. But then maybe I wouldn’t be so self-aware and maybe I wouldn’t be who I am and I kind of like the good parts of myself that wouldn’t have existed if the bad parts hadn’t existed too.
What wouldn’t I change about myself under any circumstances?
My looks. I would never dream of dying my hair or wearing colored contacts or undergoing plastic surgery (unless my face was burned off, God forbid). God created me perfectly as he wished and I pray he perfects my manners as well.
What couldn’t I change about myself and still be ‘me’?
My purity. I don’t claim to be perfect or innocent or anything like that, but after dealing with people who have hate and evil in their hearts, I’m glad I don’t. Despite everything I have gone through, I hope my purity hasn’t been tarnished. People tell me I’m pure so I assume it’s true but I guess one can never say that about themselves because you never know. I can only hope and strive to be better and do better.
What values are most important to me?
Honesty. Integrity. Loyalty. Purity.