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The Aram

with Tahmina Begum
Being tested with what you love is probably the hardest thing in the world. It doesn't have to be the kind of love that keeps you up until fajr, phone cradled into the nooks of your neck or legs unbalanced over shoulders at 3am.

It could be the friend you always thought would make up the background of your gaye holud. Letting go of a newer friendship you thought had time. Feeling undone by all the unlearning and relearning you do, when processing what part of yourself you’re keeping and which is it, that you're forgiving yourself for today. 
Yet over the years, I've learnt the power of letting go of what’s not meant to be for me. There have been plenty of moments, of grinding myself into the ground, of being left screaming, over what I felt like was supposed to be mine. 

Whether it was words I thought would surface on a page, a role I thought I should have been playing in life by now or a person I once called mine.

Until I truly realised I didn't own any of those things in the first place. That the intentions and actions behind the word 'should' is in fact a tool to ward off the new skin required to go ahead. That the faith that has been instilled in me never falters in its message: whatever is meant to be for me inshallah, won't miss me.
What I meant earlier about 'should' and it being a dangerous word, is that there's a presumption that you're somehow incomplete if you haven’t ticked off the expectations you had of yourself. That you've let yourself down for not following through the lifestyle you dreamt up when you were fourteen. Or at twenty-three, or thirty-five, or even six months ago. When in reality, all those expectations were simply not meant to be a part of the ebb and flow that's currently creating your present. 

If anyone knows me, they'll know the prayer I often make is for whatever's meant to be good for me, to stay and for Allah to remove what's bad and replace it with something better. And though I make that prayer every night, that doesn't necessarily always make the act of letting things go, feel any easier. However, it's the act I'm most grateful for, Alhamdullilah. The bathing in the temporary. 
I used to think if a decision couldn't last forever, it lacked substance and therefore, wasn't worth my current efforts. Until I realised that thinking in forevers came with the pressure of maintaining that singular ideal of what forever looked like.

Albeit cliche, if things weren't temporary, then the bad things — the things that leave you screaming into the ground — wouldn't change also. And the new layers, the space that allows for what has been written for you, wouldn't be able to reveal itself either.

Without immersing into who I am right now, I miss out on who I am on the way to becoming whoever I’m going to be. And that my darling, would be the biggest shame. 

As ultimately, we are the people of our dreams. 

With aram,

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Salaams, I'm Tahmina Begum 👋🏾 I'm a freelance writer and editor of XXY Magazine. If you like The Aram, feel free to buy me a digital chai or grab a copy of XXY. Photography credits in order: @yrsadaleyward @paulinematty. 

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