To read part 2, click on the following link: https://lubnah.me.ke/my-other-half-part-2/

Assalam aleykum warahmatu llah wabarakatuh 🙂

Had I known there would be a part 3, I would have written it last year in 2019, so that the gap between the letters are equal. The first was in 2015, then 2017, then now :/ The perfectionist me is a bit bothered by that. I also realized that I have the totally wrong title for this letter series. Should have been, ‘to my other 3/4’ because really, whom I’m kidding? I’m just a 1/4 human, so you gotta be 3/4 to complete me. You gotta be the bigger person. Huh, pun intended! 😀

Okay, wait. Let’s rewind a bit. CAN YOU BELIEVE WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC? It is crazy right?! I hope you are sane though? Hopefully coping okay with all that is happening? I am okay. Alhamdulilah 🙂 I was very alarmed at first. It was too overwhelming seeing everyone panicking and the too much misinformation wasn’t making it any easy. I am better now alhamdulilah. It is the empathetic side of me that is struggling more. There are a lot of emotions being laid out and I absorb everything like a sponge. This in turn makes me anxious sometimes. Anxious because now, people are too anxious. I’m used to being the most anxious person in the room 😀 But this too shall pass, aye?! I am just trying to avoid social media at the moment and too much news. Really hoping things only get better from here. Ameen.

I really hope you’re doing well though; catching dreams, flights and sunsets. I have grown since the last time I wrote to you; emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Physically? Not so much 😀 2020 especially started way too rough, but wasn’t it for everyone? Nonetheless, I’m still me. The same cry baby who wrote the first letter in 2015. I still watch murder documentaries and horror/thriller movies then ask one of my younger sisters to sleep with me because I’m too afraid. I still pace up and down for several minutes before taking a pill because pills give me anxiety of sorts. Sometimes I opt to take 4 tablespoons of baby liquid paracetamol than take the actual pills. I still go to my mum to comb my hair. I still cry when my friends forget about me or when someone raises their voice on me. I still cry in weddings, sometimes more than in funerals. Not the two tears of joy. I cry. Literally, sometimes until I get a flu. I am very weird. Very paradoxical. I am the most dumb & naive, smart person I know. I am also the strongest, most fragile person. Can you imagine I turned 26 today? I am literally a baby. Everyone knows that tears are my forte. My best friend Husna has said she’ll ensure that in my nikah contract I write ‘Don’t be mean to me’ and I want to add, ‘or else I’ll cry’ because really, that should scare you. It’s like dealing with a literal big baby. My other best friend Amina is betting that I’ll have no make up on my wedding not because I wouldn’t have applied but because I’d have cried way too much, people would think it is a forced marriage. You get the picture? 😀

But waiiiit!! About me being a literal baby, FLASH NEWS: I did not cry watching ‘Miracle in cell no 7’ (Watch it if you haven’t!) Can you believe that?!!! I’ve been telling it to everyone and anyone who bothers to listen. Saying it like it is a badge of bravery 😀 Someone said if you watched the ‘Miracle…’ movie and you didn’t cry then you’re an assassin. Well hallo, you’re looking at one 😀 I also didn’t cry when I read ‘The Kite Runner’ or even ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. Quite the achievement I tell you. Howeveeerrr, few days after reading these, I had huge breakdowns over the smallest, most stupid reasons. I came to realize, sometimes, that I tend to postpone my crying till further notice; when I get a more sillier reason to cry. Like hit my toe on a door and cry for an hour about it. See? Paradoxical. I also realized my crying is like an art. I’m still trying to figure out my patterns 😀

I’m still terrified of the idea of divorce which in turn makes me terrified of marriage in the first place. The marriages crumbling around us are barely any consolation. For a very anxious person like me, uncertainty is our poison. Yet nonetheless, it makes me dig deeper into myself and be more keen on my choices in this life. Not just about marriage but everything else. I know some people think I am waiting for a fairy tale but trust me, I am very very aware of how reality is. And fairy tale is so far from it. Mwanzo the way I was too invested in Umm Abdullah and Hasanat’s seemingly perfect marriage, and what it turned out to be, mahn! I was too heart-broken I swear and even more sad for their reality *Insert too many tears*. Anyway, I guess such is life.

I have this colleague of mine who when he first read my first letter in 2015, was so excited because he had written something similar on his blog. He then narrated how his wife reacted when they got married and read the letters. She ransacked his entire blog, reading everrrything and asking about every girl that was mentioned on it 😀 They were a seemingly sweet couple. Five years down the line (after the conversation that is), they’re divorced. My heart sank when I heard about it. They’re both good people, but life happens. You can never know what will come your way tomorrow, a week from now or ten years later. It terrifies me how life is so temporary, unpredictable. You can NEVER claim that you have it figured out. Everyone is just stumbling through life and dealing with the snowballs rolling towards them. Throwback to when I was in high school and I’d see people in their mid-twenties, I’d marvel. I always thought ‘they have it figured out.’ The age where one has a job, is newly married and deeply in love, taking on adventures and life is just kicking off. I was so so wrong. I could never be more mistaken in my life. Adulthood is a scam. It is the heftiest slap on the face. Jokes on me 😀 Someone should have prepared me though! ( By the way, my colleague is happily remarried alhamdulilah. May Allah protect his marriage, bless it and make it long-lasting.ameen.)

So anyway, I met this lady, more than 10 years older than me. She is like the splitting image of me but personality wise. Very sensitive, very anxious, very compassionate, a very good writer, tiny like me…we even have similar health issues. Mind-blowing I tell you. It is almost like I met myself in the future. And you know, I see her seemingly happy in her marriage, with her grown children mashallah; they’re so adorable I could cry…Here’s the catch though; she is in a polygamous marriage!! When she told me about it I was like ‘whaaaatttt!! Hooooowww!!’ Cause I can’t imagine myself in one honestly I’d die so please don’t get ideas 😀 What’s even harder, is that she is the first wife! Her response was simply, ‘My husband is a good man’ and my heart melted at how she said it. She did admit it was tough but they made it through. I am still A.M.A.Z.E.D. mashallah mashallah may Allah keep blessing their marriage. Ameen. It gives me hope though; that people like me can be happy after all despite all the noise in the head.

To be honest, I am not where I want to be spiritually. I struggle. A lot. Mostly because of the anxiety. It makes you seek control. You have this desperate need to be the captain of the ship and control the direction of the wind too. Which is impossible. I am still learning and unlearning so many things. I am accepting of how too flawed I am. I am accepting that I still have a lot to work on on myself. I had this classmate in university, whom I really look up to. He was always so laid back. So much so, you’d think he’s entirely unbothered. But he wasn’t. He just never allowed matters to get to his skin. Whether it was the pressure from the lecturers and university projects, whether it was people mocking him, whether it was things not going as planned. A project that I would stress about for an entire month, he would plan himself keenly and do it in one week. No, don’t be mistaken. This wasn’t just someone who was playing around. This was someone who knew exactly how much importance to give any matter because, well, he was always top in class and he was the only other person who got first class honors besides me in our lot.

When I ponder over how I dealt with my university studies versus how he did, it was the extreme opposite. I would get panic attacks or even cry right before an exam sometimes. Yet he would never let anything disturb his peace of mind. Throughout the years in the same class, I never ever heard him complain about his personal life. He would complain about the lecturers or the challenges (just the usual, small stuff) but never about his personal life. I doubt anyone in our class knew much about his life. After graduation, while the rest of us were worried and stressing over getting jobs, you know what he was up to? Walking around his neighbourhood, taking brilliant images and editing them. When anyone would ask him how he could afford to be so relaxed, he would say, ‘I already sent my CVs. Now I can only wait.’ He did eventually get a job, a good one mashallah and it was as if he always knew he’d get it.

During this quarantine period, my mate is busy making happy and silly videos, recreating images and making memes despite being far from his family. As an avid complainer and a highly sensitive person, I learnt a lot about choosing my battles just from observing him. I know for sure he too has problems of his own, but he always had that utmost belief and optimism in life. I always yearned for that kind of peace (May Allah keep blessing him and grant him tranquility always. ameen). I still yearn for that kind of peace. I think if I master the art of ‘choosing battles’ then i’ll be way ahead in life. That is the goal.

I’m learning a lot just by observing people to be honest. That kind of education no one will ever teach you. There’s always something to learn from every single human being, even if not a positive thing, you learn about a negative thing to avoid doing. So yes, I’m still feeding on human stories. They shape me greatly and have been a huge part of my growth. I’m also still studying alhamdulilah (yes, neeerddd! 😀 )

Imagine Ramadhan is just a few days away. I’m deeply sad about the world right now. It will be a very strange Ramadhan while people in lock-down. Imagine watching taraweh in empty Makkah and Madina 🙁 I hope this pandemic ends soon wallahy. So many people are affected. So many people are struggling. So I’m praying that by eid all this will be over, at least people can have some part of ramadhan back in the masjid, may He help us all and protect us. Ameen. Try to make the best out of this Ramadhan as I strive to do as well biidhnillah. Also, you should try watch ‘Qalby Etmaan’ on youtube this Ramadhan cause Ghayth is absolutely my hero when it comes to charity and he inspires me too much *I am still crying*. Perhaps he’d inspire you too!

Do include me in your prayers please, 26 looks scary to be honest. But turning one year older, I am also very very grateful. For my amazing parents, for my dear family, for my very lovely friends, for the blessings from Allah. I never take these things for granted. And the more I grow up, the more I appreciate their presence and all the love. Alhamdulilah ala kul hal. Hoping you join the team soon enough 😉 Ameen. About that, by the way, you are wasting such an opportune moment because with this quarantine, it is the best time to do a nikah. We’d just have gone to the kadhi and skipped all that chaos of the normal weddings 😀 But oh well, everything happens at its time I guess.

Just a disclaimer as we wind up, I sought the permission of the above people mentioned before writing about them, so don’t you assume I’m a snitch 😀

I am hoping there won’t be a part 4 because I am getting too old and hopefully you’d be around before I ever have to. If I’m writing another letter then it should be to my husband 😀 In shaa Allah. Stay safe wherever you are.

Till we meet in shaa Allah 🙂

P.S I now realize this was too long. It’s been three years anyway, we’re compensating 😀

Sending you Love and Light,

Lubnah with an ‘H’.

***

Thank you for reading 🙂 Kindly subscribe and stay tuned for the Ramadhan special edition in shaa Allah. I am also starting a Ramadhan fundraising in shaa Allah to support a family of 5 , who are deeply affected by the corona virus. The father is in the transport business which is now in pause till after corona. Ramadhan is coming, and they have bills to pay with no other way to earn their livelihood. Kindly do support me in this project as well by sending to my mpesa: 0704 731 560 (Lubnah Said). I love you all for the sake of Allah. Please take care wherever you are!

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Author

A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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