of self-acceptance.

Literally spent the whole of last night conversing with newish (also older – an important point simply to indicate maturity) housemate about my workplace woe, our respective experiences as American graduates – those really were defining years – but mostly on religion: growing up Muslim; common societal viewpoint; delineating between ‘Malay’ and ‘Muslim’; being critical about contextualizing how, why, and what; questions we’ve received from non-Muslim friends; our other-religion experiences via conversations and visits with friends especially during college years…

This brought to mind similar conversations I have had and carried in the past from, most recently, my last night in Bario a month ago, trading stories with colleague-friend as rain fell hard on the homestay’s zinc roof; to those long nights with an older close friend, first at her place in Philly in my early undergrad years then Seattle where she lived briefly after her marriage; to even one March evening some three years ago when another close friend and I tried to sneak in a look inside the Stanford Memorial Church during my first visit to Stanford as a prospective graduate student.

When I went to bed last night, I realized that I will never be ‘easy’ – I will always ask ‘difficult’ questions; probe ‘serious’ topics; challenge and want to delve and dive deep into a person’s holy grail mind… how do I put this – it’s true? I will always be ‘too intense’ for the liking and comfort of most people – and that’s okay. That’s okay.

I might know the script by heart by now; but it’s time to put some ghosts from the past to rest.


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