Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rant

Warning: Teenage angst alert! Please do not read if you have low tolerance for bitter moanings and melodramatic declarations against no doubt well-meaning but bumbling parents. Also, just this once, please refrain from offering excellent advice on the virtues of patience... this is simply a selfish, sulky, good ol' angsty teen rant, not a cry for help.

It's 'Eid night, and I feel... bored, lonely, restless. In short, miserable.

I've noticed recently that I seem to be in a constant state of... evolution, almost - intellectual evolution. Right up until now, I've always been satisfied with reading, with absorbing knowledge in anticipation of a great future.

But now... now, I want things to change. I want to stop reading so much, and I want to go out into the world and start *doing* things. Reading the news, listening to the adults talk about what's wrong with ourselves and with the world, makes me want to scream. I want to stop talking, stop reading, and just go out and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!

I'm sick and tired of my passivity, and the passivity of others. By being so passive, by not doing anything, are we not indirectly responsible for the evil that's going on in the world?

My total lack of experience in the world frustrates me beyond belief. My parents, in their attempts to shelter me from the fitnah that surrounds us in this world, have perhaps been overzealous. As a result, my childhood was spent in isolation (hence my anti-social tendencies... like being downstairs typing this out while my Desi relatives socialize happily upstairs); my preteens were spent at the Dar (the Islamic centre my dad runs), and I was content; now in my adolescence I've been yanked away from my comfortable niche at the Dar and have been cruelly transplanted in a tiny backwater city where there isn't much to do and seemingly not much to learn from. As though the move to a new city wasn't devastating enough for me, it seems that my parents are insisting on making things worse by not recognizing how miserable I am here (even though it should be obvious - I've burst into tears often enough in the 6 months we've been here!) and waving off my loneliness as 'a phase'.

In my old city at least, I had the sisters from the Dar to help me out, to patiently listen to my passionate rants and convince my mother that I *wasn't* a silly, irresponsible child to be ignored, that I was a maturing young person with valid thoughts and opinions.

But now... now I truly am alone. Neither of my parents seem to realize that I need to be able to get out of the house, to be active, to be social with people other than the few giggly teenage girls I know from the Madrasah. They have no idea how desperate I am for the Dar women - or rather, they just don't think that my desperation is important.Telling them doesn't change anything. Once they've decided to think a certain way, nothing in the world will ever change their minds. Not even tears and tantrums from their sixteen year old daughter.

So I've given up on trying to convince them. But that just makes it worse for me. It makes me want to scream and cry and do something ridiculous and crazy just to make them realize how bad things are for me. Of course, I won't actually do something ridiculous and crazy, because I know from past experience how it'll turn out - the same as ever, for all my parents' talk of trying to make things better or whatever.

So. Back to my helplessness. It infuriates me. I've tried to be patient, but sometimes patience can really, really wear thin - like right now.

What does one do when one has been isolated from the world practically all one's life; when one's parents are totally stubborn and refuse to change their mind about anything, and having heart-to-heart talks don't change a thing; when one is virtually a prisoner on a (practically)desert island?

When dealing with others, my parents are fountains of wisdom and knowledge; when it comes to themselves and their children, they are deaf and blind to all reason.
They refuse to accept that I need to be able to experience life, to gain practical knowledge and wisdom in order to function in the real world. Yet it is they, who refuse to release me from my admittedly comfortable prison, who scorn me and my ideas, calling me naive and childish!

So here I am... helpless and useless... *Sigh* All right, I'll go to my room to tearfully bemoan my lot in life and leave you all in peace...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assalamu'alaykum,

Normally, I'd try to write something encouraging patience, but loneliness truly does suck. It doesn't really matter how old you are, in this case.

After living mostly on my own for the last six years, and spending most of my time in a city 3500km away from my family and friends, far from any Muslim community and with no convenient means of transportation... yeah, it's depressing.

Having a blog does help though. It's nice to know that there are people out there who care enough about me to care about what I think worthy of writing. Perhaps you'll find some relief from your own musings.

Take care, little sister. Insha-Allah, even when you're alone, Allah will be with you. Never forget that.

With hardship comes ease. Verily, with hardship comes ease. Allah says to seek His help with patience and salaah; you've done the patience part, now it's time for supplication.

Anonymous said...

(And I know this wasn't a "cry for help", as you stated, but still ... just thought I'd share my feelings.)w

Julaybib said...

I grew up with parents in a time in the UK where middel class adult and youth/child worlds were almost seperate realities (60s/70s). Like so many kids of my generation, I have a completely different relationship with my own kids. That's how things change in the world - slowly!

In the meantime, you can do something to meet your own needs. I am relatively isolated, but I write to and about the media vis a vis Muslims. There is other stuff you can do over the Net that makes a difference and ways of connecting with people that can make the world seem a little less lonely. Isn't this one example?

Wasalaam

Anonymous said...

Assalamu 'alaykum sis,

Congratulations - you're growing up and what you describe are growing pains. I don't mean to trivialise your problems with that statement, not at all. Just letting you know that you are a normal, mentally-healthy teenager (is that an oxymoron?).

I have also experienced loneliness and isolation for most of my young life. I'm an only child, so lots of molly-coddling from my folks which only stopped recently. My family also used to live an appreciable distance from the Muslim community when we were in Leicester. I was a bit of a loner during primary school - not because i didn't want friends, but i think i was too much of a goody-two-shoes. The girls would be playing kiss-chase with the boys and i'd be sitting on the flower-bed wall watching their antics!

Alhamdulillah once i entered high school, Allah graced me with a good circle of friends. I still have friends but have managed to isolate myself due to work commitments - how sad that i'm creating problems for myself!

Anyway, before the violins start to play, i must be grateful to Allah for all the fantastic opportunities he has allowed for me. Even isolation can be a blessing as only Allah knows what may have happened if I had been left to freely mix with the outside world.

I empathise with your impatience to get things done. This is a trait of the young (and young at heart). Most grass-root political and social movements are fuelled by youthful zeal. It has always been this way.

I pray Allah allows you to make the most of your situation. I'm sure this experience will mould you into a more assertive and independent individual, as now you have to rely on your own steam to move forward and not on that of your peers.

Wa'salam

Anonymous said...

P.S., i'd also like to add some pseudo-social science commentary to the fray... feel free to ignore it!

I think the "teenager" is an invention of the modern age. Not so long ago there were only two stages of development: child & adult. It is still this way in Islam.

Now society has created a distinct phase called "adolescence". This is supposed to be the period when a child develops into an adult over a distinct period of time.

IMHO the age of puberty is the time when Allah says to an individual "you are now an adult". At this point He gives the young person the mental and emotional ability to handle adult situations and responsibilities, under the guiding supervision of the established adult community.

You'll only find "teenagers" in economically developed societies. Here the adults refuse to recognise that these young people are quite capable of contributing to the community whilst giving them far too much freedom to behave like children. This is the source of teenage angst - absolute frustation with not being trusted by the older generation with responsibility. And this is also the source of teenage delinquency - having too much freedom to follow one's nafs.

In poor and developing communities, much like the times of old, every sentient individual is expected to pitch in. This is especially true where the age of life expectancy is low. Where people have to work hard to survive, you won't find rebellious teens - or at least it won't be the norm. You'll only find children, young adults, middle-aged adults and old adults.

Parents of post-pubescent inviduals should do their duty and introduce their offspring to the concept of responsibility, whilst allowing them to experience the adult right of having one's opinion heard and respected.

Mouse, i suggest you get a part-time job asap. I used to help out in my parents' shop since the age of twelve, but i knew it was nothing serious. At 17 i decided to get a "real job" and found employment at the local supermarket. Nothing glamorous and i only worked one day a week, but i needed the experience. I also felt such a buzz when i could pay for my driving lessons with my own money! Looking back, it really was a personal milestone.

Anyway, sorry to rant... i'm not even sure i made sense! Take care sis...

muslimah4life said...

long post long comments
what's bambling?
i told u many many times run away

The Intolerant One said...

"By being so passive, by not doing anything, are we not indirectly responsible for the evil that's going on in the world?"

You have hit on a very important reality here. As an adult I expeirence those very same frustrations and I have realised there is no point in "waiting" for other's to pick up the gauntlet.

Sometimes we are the ones who are called to do it.

A very wise Christian brother of mine once said to me (and maybe you have heard the expression before)

In order for evil to flourish it simply requires good men (people) to do nothing"

In my corner of the world I have chosen to be pro-active rather then to sit back and whine and complain. Believe me, this does not come without it's persecutions but I have chosen to avoid a "defeatist" attitude that tells me there is nothing I can do on my own.

Many great things have been achieved thru out history by one person heeding their call and then stepping up to the plate. When a noble cause is recognised many soon found the courage to follow.

It all begin's with one person who is willing to take the first step. Be a "Do'er".

"If you don't stand for something, you will believe anything"

C.S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh sister,

InshaAllah things will change for you. Have you ever read "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey? I think it really has helped me and it may help you too.

Keep making du'as!

your sis,

RoH

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, even being around others doesn't help and you still feel lonely.
Sometimes, you're alone and yet not lonely.

AnonyMouse said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

I don't have the time to respond to everyone's individual comments, so I'll just say: JazakAllahu khairan everyone, for your comforting words... :)

I really appreciate it... and al-Hamdulillaah I'm feeling better now... I think I'm gonna make some changes (however small) in my life, and insha'Allah I'll see how that goes...

Next post coming soon, insha'Allah! :)

The Intolerant One said...

"so I'll just say: JazakAllahu khairan everyone..."

Thanks, I think??? I am not familiar with some of the language you use here. Could you re-phrase the comment for my understanding?

I am curious to know what it all means.

AnonyMouse said...

Oops, sorry, TIO! Here's a little glossary thingy to help you out for my future posts as wel... :)

JazakAllahu khairan means something like, "May God grant you good."

Insha'Allah means, "If God wills."

Al-Hamdulillah means, "All thanks is due to God."

These are all expressions that Muslims regularly use throughout conversations... they're ways to remind us of God's Presence at all times.

:)

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu'alaykum sister

Masha'Allah, you are a talented writer! I have read your blog before.. but only dare to comment now.

I truly appreciate the warning that precedes this post. As for the general sentiments in the post..subhanAllah. I give you credit for utilizing your intelligence and facing the world with a critical mind, yet also attempting to utilize the resources (i.e. character, knowledge, and talents) that you've been given. More power to you sister for simply being able to articulate these thoughts.

Yes, so this has been the only 'rant' that I can say I've ever found some benefit in reading. Allahu akbar!

As you know, everything has it's time. If you ever find yourself in the east side (close to TO), ahlan wa sahlan.

Hang tight, and keep those brain cells moving sister. If you can't change it with your hands, then use your voice, if not that then your heart.

Maybe next time if you're willing to swallow some more food for thought in the area of social change, we can talk about the 6 Cs that Dr. Tariq Ramadan recently presented in TO (He's said the 4 Cs before.. the two other Cs are additions).

I'm glad you've found some resolve and peace. All the best insha'Allah! :)