Wow, has it been so long? Well, I have been pretty darn busy. Working in retail means that I’ve been my company’s b— since mid-November. Despite my efforts, I was unable to find a second job… which is probably a good thing, since I don’t know I would have survived working all that overtime AND working my few days off. The downside is I can’t afford school this quarter, which depresses me more than I can say. I’m hoping to at least get back in the spring, but we’ll see. Part of the problem is my boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot about money. He didn’t want me to get a 2nd job, and he didn’t want a 2nd job either (his schedule varies a lot, so in fairness it would be tricky if not impossible to keep both commitments), but he also felt that school was an investment “we” couldn’t afford yet. Why is it always “our” money when spending on something we disagree about? Anyways, the fights got ugly pretty fast, we both said some awful things we can’t take back, and now I think we both feel a little wounded. But we are trying to get through. We are still very much in love, and I don’t think either of us wants money to be the reason we don’t work as a couple. My quitting school has really knocked the wind out of me, and I think he finally sees how much it means to me… or at least I hope so, because I WILL go back in Spring, with or without his support. Maybe I just need to show him the money I’ve saved so he sees it’s taken care of – I was so focused on being independent that maybe I came off as secretive, and not knowing our financial situation probably made him nervous. The feminist in me says I shouldn’t have to justify how I spend MY money, but the partner in me realizes if he did the same thing to me, I’d be pissed.
Love is complicated.
I have been reading the Quran daily for a while now, even if only for a few minutes, and I continue to find great comfort in doing so. I tried again for several weeks to find some information within or about hadiths to convince me to put my faith in them… to no avail. If anything, I become more convinced every day that the hadiths will never be part of my faith. This troubled and frustrated me, because I felt if I was really destined to become a Muslim I would be able to believe in what the hadiths related, right? And why is it so hard, when the Quran seems to deliver faith without much effort, or even consent! What gives? But, once again, the Quran has been a great comfort for this problem.
“Man is a creature of haste; [but in time] I shall make obvious to you [the truth of] My messages: do not, then, ask Me to hasten [it]!”
Surah 21:37, Muhammad Asad’s translation
I have been beating myself up over this, feeling like I’ve failed by not understanding the point of hadiths, when I should have just been taking things one step at a time. I don’t need to feel like there is something wrong with me or my faith – God will show me the truth when I am ready. I will continue my studies, but I will no longer impatiently await some grand revelation that makes this whole thing simple. Even if I never find faith through the hadiths, I shouldn’t try to force myself to accept something my heart rejects. Nor should I pretend to believe or follow for the sake of conformity, because God will still know what’s in my heart. Even if I convinced people that I follow the hadiths and went through all the motions, I can’t lie to God, and its HIS judgement that matters.
So where does that leave me? Once again, I face the label dilemma. “Hello, my name is Sophia, and I’m a —-“. A what? A Muslim? A very-confused-former-agnostic? God knows, but I sure don’t.