Post 3: Trying to keep up with “time” when time is a struggle.

I’ve struggled with the concept of time my whole life. I struggle to get anywhere on time. I underestimate how long everything will take me. It takes me forever to say something aloud that I think will take me a few seconds.

Priority was a foreign word.

Related, I’ve always had trouble prioritizing. Everything. For majority of my life, that was never an issue. If I needed to get x, y, and z done, I’d get it done within milliseconds of their ultimate due time. Writing an undergraduate honors thesis? Done (research done two weeks before due date, written in 3-4 days). If I had to do a, b, and c things together no matter how intense, I would and I could. Taking a 3-day intensive weekend Islamic course the same week as mid-terms? Done. Help curating a photo gallery which required traveling 1.5 hours (one way) weekly for 2 months during my undergrad years and spending a bunch of hours learning how to use GIMP to photo edit while “studying” for Calc Honors, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Math? Done. All-nighters were my life because I decided all duties related to being VP of MSA, no matter how minute, trumped all classes. Sahar never said no to anything. “Sahar could you…?” Yes. Almost always. People asked because I never said no and I knew I would get it done. Everything. Without much compromise.

I got things done. I did them well. So there was no urgency for me to get my ish together.

That changed three years ago, when I started teaching. The inability to juggle everything thrown at me, inability to plan and execute my lessons in the best manner (as I was used to doing everything else in my life), and the inability to say no hit me all too hard. So much stress and anxiety manifested physiologically. My adult acne was at its all time worse and I had stress induced acid reflex and ended up going on meds to put both under control.

multitasking multitask multi-tasking
I wasn’t naive per se. I went through 5 years of undergrad/grad education, 3ish years of student teaching, so I thought I knew what to expect going into teaching. I also knew to expect the unexpected. Countless of teacher friends and mentors told me: you won’t truly understand what teaching is until you’re a teacher.

yes seinfeld true kramer correct
So now 3 years later, time, pacing, getting things done, and being an organized teacher are daily struggles. I’ve learned ways to cope and have grown somewhat. I’ve had to change my mindset about somethings. Perhaps if I have time, I’ll write about that later…


Post 2: Dear Teenage Self…

Posting twice in one week probably means I won’t be posting for a while. #oops #sorrynotsorry

friends sorry joey sorry not sorry im sorry

I went through a list of 30 reflection prompts Tina Cardone shared on her first #mtbos30 post and #2 seemed the most intriguing/stuff I wouldn’t mind being out and floating about the virtual universe. While only a preteen in 2001, the 9/11 attacks very much defined my young adult life and acted as a catalyst in my exploration of Islam. I began to develop my identity as a Muslim American during my teen years, so it feels appropriate to start there.

Things I would say to Sahar (circa:2001-2008):

  • Don’t be hasty: You do not need to become the ultimate Muslim overnight. That’s not even the purpose. You just need to do the best that you can and everything else will sort itself out.
    tina fey stop calm down cool it you need to cool it
  • While finding your identity as a Muslim American, don’t forget that a part of the religion is maintaining a good relationship with your family, especially your parents. THAT is not optional-it’s actually a part of Islam. If you end up neglecting that, you’re really going to regret it one day. Trust me.
  • Islam is not black and white. There is a grey area. It is purposeful in order to make the religion easy on people. So don’t make it black and white because you’re going to make it really difficult to function on a day to day basis for yourself; it’s also easy to fall into judging people and #onlygodcanjudge.
  • Seriously your wardrobe needs work. I get it, you want to make sure you’re dressing within the guidelines of a Muslims women, you’re going through a weird identity crisis, but read the previous point. Ask your sisters for help in this department. Don’t wait until college. Seriously. Don’t.
    lol comedy jon stewart comedy central the daily show
  • Consider applying to a college away from home. While you will be extremely happy to be a product of the NYC public school system (K-12, undergrad, and grad school) teaching in the system with $0 in school debt, you’ll sometimes wish that at the very least you had considered a college away from home.
  • Don’t ever stop practicing Spanish. It’s going to come in handy when you end up working with students whose families are from Puerto Rico and Domincan Republic.
  • Don’t want until you’re 22 to get your license. You might think that the MetroCard is life, but once you drive you’ll think otherwise. You can drive and use your MetroCard around the city. You can also easily escape the city. It’s the best of both worlds.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure there’s a ton to say to young Sahar.