24 — A Guest Post

September 21, 2018

If I was really a blog queen like McKay, this post would be a list of the 24 things that I’ve learned in my 24 years of life- but I’m not. I’m a tired high school teacher who tries to let off creative steam in small bursts, like this guest post. ☺ However, 24 is a big number and I don’t have time for that kind of listicle.

Instead, I want to list 10 things that bring me joy.
I want to celebrate that which makes my life meaningful, even the things that are difficult- because I’ve realized that through intense pain comes learning, and from that learning, it is possible to seek joy in all avenues of life.

My joy comes from
  1. My religion. My relationship with Allah سبحان و تالا. The everchanging ways that He shows His love for me.
  2. My family. My Baba jaan, whose love is tattooed in my heart. My Mama jaan, who lifts me on her shoulders every day so that I can reach the stars. Muqtadaa, who teaches me the meaning of resilience. Mustafaa, whose courage blows me away.
  3. My cats. Simba, who showed me unconditional love in the form of dead squirrels and long walks at night. Bano, who gazes into my eyes while I cradle her in my arms, who patiently purrs when I poke her chubby tummy.
  4. My job. I have the best job in the world, and I wake up every morning excited for a new day. I am entrusted with a task of immeasurable magnitude, and I am never unaware of the privilege I enjoy in my classroom.
  5. My students. These kids are going to change the world, and I get to say that I taught them for a tiny fraction of their life. Also, they tell me they love me even when I grade them really harshly on their essays.
  6. My friends. Words can’t express what they mean to me. I am proud of these courageous young women every day, and cannot believe what an honor it is to know them and love them. They are my sisters. They are my inspirations.
  7. My co-workers. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such wonderful, supportive people in my corner. I can rely on them for iced coffee, advice, lesson plans, snacks, and as always, never-ending laughter.
  8. Books. I have found my love of books and reading again- that love disappeared thanks to a particularly bad senior year, but it’s slowly back. The 8 year-old with her nose stuck in a book is back.
  9. My humor. I have chosen laughter in this life, because I don’t have time to fix my makeup every time I feel the urge to cry. 
  10. My voice. I exercise my right to free speech- frequently and freely- and teach my students to do the same. I speak my truth, I write my truth, and I fight for the truth- using my voice. 

Also, I want to shout out my favorite married lady in the world, McKay (Paxman in my heart) Strong! You pursue your passions relentlessly, and you show me the true meaning of emotional grit. I love you and thank God that you are in my life. I love you pookie ♡

Yours truly,

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