You know what I’m sick to death of?

Being asked by other Muslims about when I’m getting married.

Being asked by extended family about when I’m getting married.

Being asked by family friends about when I’m getting married.

Never. I’m never fucking getting married, is the answer.

You know what else I’m sick of dealing with?

The idea that I, as a perfectly functioning, capable, strong, independent woman who is confident and successful, am nothing on my own without a husband on my arm – or rather, without being the wife on a man’s arm.

The idea that I, in living my life to the fullest, am the subject of people’s pity and desperate prayers; the subject of their hushed whispers as I come into the room and concerned, sympathetic nods.

The idea that I, in being able to look after myself and hold my own – in being able to work and create a life for myself that I can sustain – am actually a broken rebel that needs to be tamed. That I am a tarnished commodity that is not going to be picked up.

I am sick to death of being forced to feel inadequate because I’m not married. I am sick to death of having all of my achievements thrown back at me as weaknesses; as reasons for why I’m single and apparently alone.

I am sick to death of being told that no man will marry me if I don’t tone it down/ lose some weight/ act like a lady/ stop being so funny/take on more of my femininity/ stop being so confident/ stop acting like a man.

I am sick to death of being told that if I continue being who I am, no man will want me.

I’m tired and exhausted of the persistent messaging that young Muslim women are bombarded with.

I am appalled by the realisation that for most Muslim girls that I know (myself included) our entire lives have been leading towards this path of finding ourselves a good Muslim man to get hitched to an start a life with. It’s not about becoming the best we can be so that we become contributing members of society or feel fulfilment. It’s the race to become the most eligible bachelorette to get the most lucrative marriage proposal – to reel in the doctor who comes from a family of doctors or the engineer who comes from a family of businessmen.

I am so fucking tired of having to explain why a suitor isn’t right for me. For having to justify why I’m not interested in a particular nobody who happens to throw me a bone and propose.  I’m not interested because. JUST BECAUSE. That’s a valid enough answer.

I’m exhausted of having to listen to people trying to fit these people, with whom I share no common history or experiences or aspirations, into my life; exhausted of watching them try to fit a square peg in a round hole and try to convince me that it’s magical. That this is the solution to my apparent unhappiness. I’m exhausted of having to convince people that I don’t want to slit my wrists everyday that I live as a single woman.

I’m tired of having to explain why I’m not getting married. It’s pretty simple. I’m not getting married because I haven’t found the right God damn person.

And no, the right person isn’t the boy that you think is right. It’s the man that I know will love me for who and what I am, and the person that I aspire to be. It’s the man who will share this marvellous fucking journey that is life with me – who will share it with me without trying to change my opinion or perspectives or jokes or passions in a way that suits the perception he wants the community to have of him. Not of us – of him.

I’m not crazy, I’m not a rebel. I’m not incomplete. I’m not lonely. I’m not miserable. I’m not someone who needs to be pitied.

I’m a person with value on my own; with a life of my own. For the love of God, just let me live it.

I might get married. I might find the right person. I might not! If I don’t, I’m not going to sit idly in the corner and cry about how miserable my life is.

I am valuable on my own. My achievements are worthy on their own. Stop trying to project your unhappiness onto me and convince me that my life is leading me to a dead end.

I’m going to live my life to the fullest and be the best version of me that I can be; for myself, and for my own happiness.

Love to you and yours xx

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