I was going through some old notes in my phone, and I found a date saved – both the Islamic and Lunar calendar equivalent. I wrote it down because I wanted to remember the day I first donned a scarf on my head and left home with the decisiveness of making the hijab a life-long commitment. I remember constantly worrying whether the pins would move about and the scarf would come undone. I left home feeling self-conscious, as though the world around me would notice a different woman amongst them. I remember feeling uncomfortable about my peripheral vision being blocked because I couldn’t check the side mirrors properly while driving or feel my sister’s presence – I had to quite literally turn my face 15 degrees to see if she was still walking beside me. I remember wearing a deep blue pashmina (one of my absolute favourites), although the style that I had worn that in has long been discarded. I remember walking with a renewed spirit in each step I took, a tad bit of anxiety concerning my outward appearance, hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew so early on – but with contentment consuming my body whole.
Obviously, no one on the outside could tell that I was full with all these emotions inside of me because of a piece of cloth artistically draped over my head. To them, I was just another woman. But for me, that was a momentous day. It’s probably just a scarf for you. But to me, it was an outward manifestation of the changes that took place within my heart.
It was knowledge and growth. It was empowerment and hope.
Friday 16th of Ramadan, 3rd July 2015.
A belated happy one year hijabaversary to meeee.
*hijab – One of my biggest pet peeves is when the hijab is synonymously used to say “headscarf”, because that is not what the word means. I have attributed the title to the concept, and not just a headscarf, because I have worn the headscarf countless times prior.