It has almost been 10 years since I graduated High School. It seems like a life time ago. Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking…”wait till you hit 20!” but I’m not there yet. I’m on my 10th and it sure makes me think about things.
Where have I been and come in the past 10 years…how things have changed. How I have changed.
High School was a trying time for me. I moved to the US in 2001, a month after 9/11 and went to a mostly white High School where they have never seen a hijabi (Girl in a scarf) and boy did I get some nasty reactions. Yet, I also got some great ones. I was surrounded by people who didn’t get it and didn’t want to get it but on the flip side I was surrounded by people who didn’t get it and wanted to get it. People who made my experience so much better and helped to shape the person I am today.
I can’t forget those teachers and friends who helped me but I also can’t forget the people who made the experience so much worse.
I remember distinctly the countless “threats” I got from students about forcing me to take my hijab off or the questions about Jordan and where it was.
I also remember crying to my counselor about being unfairly treated and her telling me “that you choose to wear it, you deal with the consequences” without her understanding that it wasn’t a choice anymore. It was a part of me, like wearing clothes.
Or when they sat me down with the Indian lady who had to stop dying her scalp red because the students didn’t understand. She changed to fit in…but I refused to change. I’m thankful to Allah for letting me stay on this path. It has led me to some really amazing places.
10 years have passed but the memories are still fresh.
And I don’t think I will be attending that reunion. It’s one period in my life that I just don’t want to revisit.