So, now what?

Ramadan is mostly known in the West for being the month when Muslims are expected to fast. Of course, it’s also more than that as those of us who practice it know. It’s a time for charity, forgiveness and reflection. To understand suffering and to emerge as a better person because of it. I’ve had more time for reflection than in other years and more reason to do so. Anushka went back to Jeddah as soon as her last exam was done, which is understandable considering the fast there was only 15 hours (4am-7pm) rather than 19.5 hours (2:30am-10pm). To say fasting in Scotland is a challenge would be an understatement. To anyone else living up in the North and was fasting, I feel for you!

As for myself, I went from lectures, assignments and last minute cramming on top of working nights until 3am for the first half of the year, to having nothing on my plate (literally and figuratively) as soon as exams finished. With no immediate need to go places and without much energy to do so anyway, I spent a lot of Ramadan dozing around my flat, reflecting over the past year.

Why did I feel the need to dress so modestly for everyday life, yet take on an alter ego to do the exact opposite in the night? Why couldn’t I just feel content being one of these two people full time? In short, I suppose the answer is because I’m not really either and yet both. They are two extremes of the same person and I am somewhere in the middle. Perhaps then, it is time to take a step back from both of these personas until I know where I am most comfortable being.

The truth is I feel powerful as a hijabi and as a stripper, but in rather different ways. Being able to switch between these two makes me feel in full control. Perhaps it’s better to find a new way to feel in control without either of them. I can’t be an exotic dancer for the rest of my life. In fact, it was only meant to last a short while.

 

How funny it is that I started this blog as both a hijabi and a stripper and now it may be that I become neither. In the meantime, I suppose I will go back to doing pole fitness classes more regularly. After all, it’s an innocent pastime that builds strength, skill and flexibility. Plus makes full use of my addiction to Pleaser shoes. It’ll make a difference to be paying to pole dance instead of being paid to do so!

 

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Ramadan Kareem!

 

ramadan-mubarak

 

Ramadan Kareem to you all (and good day to all of you non-Muslims).

It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought I really should give the blog a wee update. I’ve finally got all my exam results, so no can finally relax and breath again! Two A’s and two B’s. Not my best, but certainly nothing to be ashamed about. My parents are just glad that the money they’ve spent on my fees so far appears to be a good investment. That’s the main thing.

One of the reasons why I haven’t updated in a while is because I haven’t been working at the club since the beginning of exam season. Having a mostly nocturnal lifestyle really doesn’t fit well with pre-exam cramming and 9am exams. It seemed a bit off to be writing as a Muslim exotic dancer when I haven’t been working as a dancer lately. Not that I’m short of stories from my time spent dancing. Also, with Ramadan just around the corner my occupation would be even more of an issue than usual. At times it seems hypocritical enough to be calling myself a Muslim while working as I have, let alone trying to work in that type of environment during the holy month. I may or may not go back to dancing when my next semester starts in September. Also, I may or may not continue to wear hijab after Eid. I have been giving both of these a lot of thought lately and have mixed feelings about both.

I have a tempting plate full of food covered in clingfilm ready for suhoor next to me on my bedside table and have to keep reminding myself not to pinch any of it now or I’ll regret it when I’m hungry in the morning. It’s definitely better not to be lazy and to go to the kitchen when I need a post-iftar, pre-suhoor snack. Looking forward to finally being able to eat a bit of junk food here and there without it sneaking up on you as it always seems to when you’re fasting. I’m sure many of you are too. There’s only so much filling wholegrain bread and avocado I can stand within a month!

Peace be upon all of you and have a blessed Eid.