“But is that the only way to do it?”

The truth is, I think about what ifs a lot nowadays.

I try not to, and when I do, I try my hardest not to dwell on them. Because what changes?

I think it’s got a lot to do with my still largely uncertain future, and equally because time is my wealth right now; overthinking thus, becomes a natural but annoying disposition.

Are you sick and tired of me by now?

(I wouldn’t blame you)

I feel like I have been writing about the same thing, over and over, for the last two-and-a-half months. I’m home, but sometimes the emotional and physical displacement are too deeply felt. I’m home, and yes I’m happy. I’m home, and there are too many things to get used to again. I’m home, and some days are horrible. I’m home, and I’m okay. 

I’m home, and – and – and —

Above all though, I think, in some ways, while I’m not sorry nor do I regret my decision to return home for good, the possibilities of how my life would and could have turned out, especially in terms of financial security, haunts me somewhat. I can see a (professional) future had I stayed back in the States; here, I’m not so sure. I keep thinking about opportunities these days, and what it means at different points in my life. I’m trying to figure out what they mean here, now; what forms do they take in this exact moment, this particular phase? Because I am, in a way, haunted by those that I gave up. All the opportunities that I didn’t even bother trying, convinced I would never make the cut.

Is it… is this regret that I taste?

But I know this as truth, and I remind myself this often: I don’t regret my decision.

Whatever the outcome of my professional future, one that’s admittedly still unknown and yes there’s still zero callbacks from positions I applied to and this single golden offer I am waiting for has yet to materialize… no, it’s not regret that I taste. It shouldn’t. I’m telling myself to calm fucking down; patience is key in this transitional period.

Today I remember this that I wrote two weeks after arriving home:

Today my uncle commented that I ought to have stayed back in the US and without much thought, I responded that the timing didn’t feel right – I worry about my dad; it just feels like the right thing to do to be home. “Maybe I’ll venture out again in a few years – if I can – but right now, it doesn’t seem right.” And now I’m chewing on my words from this evening and it’s like clarity finally arrived in full force – so often in life we have to do what we need to do before we can do what we want to do. Such an obvious lesson, how did I overlook this?

In an interesting twist, my mother said something profound the other day, “Of course we want the money – making lots of them, living a good life in a better country… who doesn’t? I considered these when I was there, too. But is that the only way to do it? You want to make sure that your intentions are right and with that, the process to your destination is halal (lit. permissible).She paused, and when she spoke again, her tone was firm.

Is that really the only way to achieve these things?”

So I’m here, I’m back (for good) …and I’m working hard to rewrite my narratives, because whether the glass is half-full or half-empty – that’s up to me. Whether it’s half-full or half-empty – it’s up to me.

And so tonight I’m reminding myself that I didn’t just make a conscious decision, but my intention behind it is one that is sincere and, in its own way, on the path of God. I’m reminding myself that had anything happened to Dad in this timeline and near-future, I would have had a lifetime of regret to swallow. Tonight I’m reminding myself that my intention – and I know this too, as truth – when I made this decision, it was noble and grounded and necessary.

Anxiety can have the last laugh of any day, but whatever that I sincerely believe, I believe with resounding truth:

Everything will work out. Because between myself and God, He knows what’s in my heart.

And in answer to my mother’s question; once, many years ago, Dad said this to my young self, she who was troubled about fulfilling her life’s purpose while still living for herself, “Why are you in despair? There are many ways to the path of God.”

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