31 July 2007

Spending summer

As I mentioned I am spending summer with my kids at my parent's house. It is of course great for the kids to be around their grandparents (who spoil them terribly) and the fact that they live in a small town-villa with a garden makes it even more of a needed change for an apartment family from the capital. Their town is located on the west coast, with many wonderful excursions and stuff to do nearby.

Yesterday was spent at my grandparent's summerhouse in the upper west coast, close to the border of Norway. My grandfather turned 74 so some family were there to wish him a happy birthday (I'll try to update with photos within short).

You know, I have a kind and somewhat open minded family, so they're at their best behaviour in trying to deal with me as they always have, even though I became a muslim (11 years ago) and left behind some of their ways and values. I consider myself very much the same person, but at the very least, I look different (with my hidjab i mean). Yesterday however was a close family thing so I got to wear and look like them for the evening. Not that I mind my hidjab, but I have come to realize just how much energy goes to being different. Always.

Another family event, my dear cousins wedding, is another big reminder for me of just how different i FEEL (I am not sure i really AM that different, but...). A church wedding is all about Swedish manners and traditions, and I'm finding it a bit hard to comply. I don't think that has so much to do with my religion as it has to do with my character. Dress code simply bugs me. My children not being invited kills me. Never the less I have to be there, cause I love her, so I guess I have to get over it.

My husband arrived this morning by surprise. For days I've been bugging him about when he's coming and he kept saying there's no tickets (I took the car). Until this morning he stood outside the door and the kids went crazy (they didn't see him for 1 ½ months). It makes me feel much better to have him beside me "against" all what everyone else take for granted, and I don't, but at the same time me and him are from two different cultures and loyal readers know I don't always comply there either.

And it leaves me with a huge empty feeling of not belonging anywhere. And my process, part of why I've been gone for some time, is accepting that place in between as my own.


John & Anthea Mullis said...

Asalamiayakum Imaan

Glad the weather at least has sorted itself out as there was no mention of rain in your posting!

You're really between a rock and a hard place aren't you. Being true to your self is hard, but betraying yourself just to make others feel more comfortable won't work either. So what to do?

I wouldn't presume to offer advice. And besides, you don't need advice, but Shakespear did say 'to thine own self be true' Your family might find that hard to accept but thy love you and I'm sure, in the end, that's what counts. So hang on in there and keep searching for God's peace in your family.

Imaan On Ice said...

That's about the most cute "salam" I've ever got. Thank you, and peace on to you as well.

You know, this hasen't so much to do with being accepted for who I am in my family, cause the more or less do, as it has to do with finding it difficult to be who I have chosen to be IN my country, my society, my family. Am I making sense? To be a muslim is one thing, but to be the one who's always different is another.

I think this is part of the process of one becoming more of oneself, than it have to do with religion. Just in my specific case, religion is involved.

Love the advice.


Imaan On Ice said...

cause THEY more or less do***

John & Anthea Mullis said...

Actually I know what you mean. I too am at a place in my life (we all come to them again and again) where I am having to discover the real me again. What I am beginning to think is that there is a 'real me' who is in God. Created by him for eternity. Then there is the made up me, my ego I suppose which I have to keep hacking back like a flourishing bush which is fighting against the real me. Is this this too heavy for this blog? Any way, in that sense I guess we are both pilgrims so travel well. Cute??

Imaan On Ice said...

I would hope no comment is too heavy. It is an ongoing struggle of becoming more and more of our true selves.

One day I might be feeling creative and write something about it here.


John & Anthea Mullis said...

Shukran Imaan

Your comments have helped me clarify my own thinking on this so I've posted them to my blog. It's a bit of a work in progress so would really value your comments, thoughts,perspective etc - whatever.

You can also listen to je m'apple baghdad while you're up there!!!

jfrancis said...

The cost of difference
is paid in empty days
gone into eternity
only to be followed
by the hopelessness
of tomorrow.
yours to choose or lose.

there is hope to be had,
but not in the shoes
in which you stand.