Who am I? What am I doing here? What are you doing here?

I’m Faatimah, and I live in Southern California. I take a lot of pictures, I love collecting books from the library (I say collecting because, while I check them out for weeks at a time, I never seem to read them all the way through these days), and am a bit of a grammar freak. I’ve come to believe that chocolate really does make everything better, and when it doesn’t, there’s always ice cream. Or, of course,  twitter.

I’m somewhat obsessed with the idea of improving myself, and I always swear to myself that tomorrow the obsession will turn into action. It’s a process, what else can I say? For today, the prognosis is not looking good: It’s 2:20 am, and the first thing on my To Improve list is “Go to Bed Early.” Clearly, not good. The second thing on my To Improve list is “Exercise Frequently” and while I’m not there yet, I’m developing a plan which includes reaching a goal of 100 sit-ups a day, and alternating between pilates and running every other day. Transforming the plan to action begins…today. No kidding. (I’d better have some semblance of abs by the time June rolls around. If not, I’m just going to accept that I’m a pathetic loser. End of.)

I enjoy taking pictures, and am training myself in the art of restraint: less clicks means less photo-processing, and that means more time for, you guessed it, self-improvement. While I’m no photographer, I thoroughly enjoy feeling like one no matter what kind of camera I’m behind. I dabble with techniques I pick up from Digital Photography School, and once dabbled and perfected, I move on looking for something else to fill the void.

I also love to bake, and I occasionally take care of my roses. Mostly, I let them grow themselves, but in the back of my mind I feel like that is child abuse. Not that I’d ever let my (hypothetical) kids grow raise themselves! I’m a full-time hijabi (ok, almost-full-time–because no, I don’t wear the hijab in the shower), part-time niqabi (it’s difficult to walk on the beach with a niqab over my face) Muslim American, born in South Africa, of Indian origin.

Someday, I will learn Arabic, just because I think I should.

So that covers who I am. As for what I am doing here?

I’m here to indulge my fetish for the written word, mainly because I hold in my possession a terrible memory. This means that there are tons of things I’d love to remember, but unless it’s written or photographed and archived somewhere, remembering will never happen. I basically remember practically nothing from my childhood until I was 8 years old, and I suspect that the only reason I remember huge chunks from that time onward is because of the major upheaval that was wrought upon my being at that time: namely, moving countries continents and oceans away, to So Cal. (Now that we’re here, and settled down, I couldn’t fathom living anyplace else…except when tsunamis and earthquakes rock coastlines…and then I want to flee inland.) In the process of indulging my desire to write everything down, if I can maybe show someone a thing or two of what it’s like to be a Muslim woman in America, then I’d be incredibly honored. And, learning a thing or two from others on how to better be a Muslim woman in America is  definitely within the scope of this here bloggie.

What are you doing here? I promise to not judge you if you share! (Well, not out loud, anyway…) Whoever you are, and whatever you’re here for: welcome! Please do enjoy your stay!

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