Tag Archives: Marriage

The Family You Choose

“Blood is one thing, but that’s not all that goes into family. The family you choose is the family that really matters. They’re the ones who’ll keep you standing.” 

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire

The husband and I celebrate 3 anniversaries. And by celebrate I mean I remind him what day it is, and he says, “happy anniversary.” Sometimes.

In April, we celebrate our official wedding anniversary. The day we got married in the eyes of god, or more precisely, the eyes of the government, and witnessed by a few friends. All of our paperwork match that date. That’s the day we started receiving extra BAH. Technically, it’s our only anniversary.

August is when we celebrate our relationship. Our first real date. That’s the day our love story started. It was when we found the missing piece in our lives. It is the real start of the Zeenat and Husband show.

But officially and reality aside, marriage to the both of us didn’t start until the world accepted us as a couple. Obstacles were put up to prevent that day from happening. From family to the army, from flower issues to my worsening depression, I thought someone, who didn’t want this marriage to happen, would come in and ruin our weekend.

But four years ago, family and friends, those that loved us and believed in our love, got together to make my dreams come true. People from all stages of my life, from childhood to college, Shuttle and Army, took up responsibilities and jobs to make the 3 day event happen. Because of them, four years ago I got my dream wedding. A wedding where we redefined the meaning of family.

Happy anniversary to my “family”. Thank you for all your love and support, and for blessing our hard earned marriage. You are the family we choose.

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Great Reread of The Great Gatsby

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead,”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This isn’t a review of a “Great American Classic”, but rather comparing my thoughts from when I was a teenager to now.

I still love the story. It is a story about a person observing the wealth, craze, and vapid selfishness of his peers. The fancy lifestyle fascinated me now as it did 10-15 years ago. Nick Carraway is still the innocent but sweet character who is in over his head with New York’s wealthy. He’s probably closest to being my first book boyfriend. He’s my favorite character in the book for two reasons. One, he’s honorable, even when he didn’t have to be. He doesn’t care much for what others thing. He’s the narrator of the story and appears somewhat neutral, but in reality, he’s not a neutral narrator. He is our moral compass.

That brings me to my next point: I love the “I’m watching” narration. It’s first person objective POV, officially. Nick’s role is detached from the main story. However, that is not completely true either  Nick Carraway may be objective to the actual events that happen, but his opinion is still inserted throughout. It’s debated whether a first POV can be truly detached, but either way, it’s a form of narration that appeals to me, especially when it comes to eventual stories I want to tell.

One of the major changes this time around was that I noticed how empty all the rich people were. When I was younger, I thought Daisy, Tom, and the gang were selfish and corrupt people. This time, I noticed that they weren’t bad, but rather they were “nothing”. Machines of society, they moved through the motions. Instead of hating them, I pitied them. At 15, I believed Daisy loved Gatsby but was stuck in bad choices. I now think she never loved anyone, not even herself. It’s sad; I pity them.

And speaking of pity, Instead of finding Gatsby romantic this time, I found him pathetic. He believed till the last minute that Daisy loved him and would run away with him. He searched for someone to love him since he never loved himself. Maybe it’s me finding my own happy ending–love isn’t about changing everything you are for someone else. I don’t think Gatsby loved Daisy, but he did believe he loved her.

When I was a child, I saw the book through an innocent’s eyes: a romantic tragedy, full of pretty people and pretty things. Now as a happily married woman, I saw a tragic story about people who are searching for love but never find it. They never knew what LOVE is.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Back to the Heart

“It’s not that I can’t live without you
It’s just that I don’t even want to try”

“Back to Your Heart” by Backstreet Boys

Happy (legal) anniversary to my husband! We have been married for four years. He hasn’t run away yet! 😉

Yesterday on my Facebook page, I posted this editorial in regards to Marriage Equality. It resulted in a friend unfriending me. I don’t hold it against her; she was very graceful about it. Bigot is defined as someone who is intolerant of other ideas because of their own ideas. I can see how the word is inflammatory and hurtful. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

But, how do the people who know my history, think I would believe differently?

I grew up in a Muslim household and knew growing up that my only option was to marry a Muslim man. How hard could that be with over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world? When I grew up and fell in love with a non Muslim man, I realized it wasn’t that simple. It wasn’t about who was available or what was moral, but what my heart wanted. Your heart knows when you are compatible in ways that matter, when you complement and support each other, and that you understand each other in a way no one else does. Not about desire or physical attraction, but rather a soul deep connection. Hey I tried to move on, but my heart had made her choice.

Neither of our families were happy. His was better. They were against it for various reasons, including religious. His mom even suggested he, “not get married, just live with me.” But they eventually supported his decision and their relationship is rebuilding. My family was, and still is, against it. They tried to not only prevent me from marrying my husband, but also tried to prevent my younger sister from this “dangerous path.” My father sent out e-mails and dragged other people into the conflict, in order to make me look bad. He told people that supporting my marriage and going to my wedding was a sin because, “Muslim women cannot marry non Muslim men.” Not only did my parents not come to my wedding, nor did a bunch of other people. Some of my parents’ friends wanted to support them, others because they agreed with his philosophy. My relationship with my parents were over. And, It spilled over to my sisters. One sister chose to side with my parents, and the other chose me. The one that chose my parents, joined in to control my youngest sister. They tried to prevent her from participating in my wedding planning. They watched who she spoke to, and kept her under lock and key. Literally. They locked her bedroom door at night so she wouldn’t run away.

All because they felt my marriage was sinful. Sound familiar?

I swallowed and took what people threw at me, from the empty concern to the blatant, “you are not Muslim. I’m not coming to your so called wedding.” Relatives and friends I was close to reduced their contact with me to polite interactions. People lied about why they couldn’t come to my wedding, thinking that was the better than owning up to their own beliefs. I hurt when people said, “I support your choice even though I think your marriage is immoral and wrong”. My heart constricted when my marriage is referred to as “illegitimate.”Abandonment hurts, and in combination with other difficult situations in my life, I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t get out of bed on most days and contemplated suicide on several occasions. While I dragged myself through grad school and planned a 250 people wedding from 800 miles away.

But I was lucky. I also had a terrific support system. My husband. My youngest sister. Extended family. Friends. People who stood by me, helped me put on a fabulous wedding, and kept me together. After our wedding, I learned the true meaning of love. Of Family. Of friends. It’s not based on blood or morality. It all goes back to the heart.

And, I have legal protection.

So, yes. I think you are acting bigoted if you are against marriage equality. Why would I think otherwise? Sure, you have the freedom of speech, the right to your feelings and opinions. You have the right to vote according to your morality. Having that right doesn’t change definitions of the term “bigot”. It doesn’t change how your righteousness suppress other people’s lives. It is our right to have the love that our heart chose for us, and the legal protections associated with it. It doesn’t matter if the marriage is between two Christian men, two Atheist women, or a Muslim girl and a Christian man.

Regardless of anyone’s morals, I have been married for four years to a man who exemplifies love, kindness, and tolerance. Here’s to a hundred more!


Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Three in a Row

My glasses are half-full, dammit.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

So I’m celebrating my third period 28 day cycles. Actually, the last two was 28 and a half day cycles. You’re probably thinking, why is she excited about getting her period? Who in their right mind gets excited about that!?!?

Well, during my teen years, I got my period regularly every month, exactly 28 and a half day cycles. For fourish years it was perfect. Well perfect in the sense that it was regular. I was usually in bed for days, in so much pain I could barely move. I hated it. I was too young to appreciate what I had.

One day, I stopped getting my period. I didn’t get it for four cycles, and being the good little virgin girl, I knew it wasn’t pregnancy or STDs. So my mom took me to the doctor and they put me on birth control so I would get my period regularly. Never really found out what was going on.

When we started trying to get pregnant, I found out I had PCOS. I was not ovulating, so my body didn’t give me a period. Which is why it is exciting that I am getting my period regularly again. I may be ovulating again, and the chances of me getting pregnant (when the husband gets back) is a lot higher.

So although it’s gross and painful, and my day is worrying about buying tampons before I run out, my glass is half full, dammit! I will deal with the pain if it means I can get pregnant.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Decisions Matter

“…when you know life isn’t forever, the decisions you make matter. You don’t have the next hundred years to try to fix a mistake.”

Dying Bites by D.D. Barant

I was sitting at home, trying to decide what I should do about the truck. Should I sell it? Should I get it registered? Should I wait around and save money to buy a car? I ponder and then pick up my phone to text the husband to see what he thinks.

But wait. He’s deployed. Not here. I can’t simply text. I can’t call. He may or may not be online at some point today.

There are so many things that are hard about deployments. The distance, the increased responsibility. The loneliness. The fact that I have to wash my own damn dishes!

But it’s the little things like this that trips me up. There is no easy way to ask my husband his opinion. I just have to decide. No input, no “team decision making”. Just make a decision. Sure, that’s fun when I’m trying to decide whether I should buy that new book or not (the answer is always yes when I’m making the decision by myself!). But, it’s not so easy making decisions that impact both of us as a family. The decision I make matters for our life together and we should be making them together. I hate making them alone.

Less than 9 months…

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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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HAES: My Personal Struggles with Weight Loss

“What you eat is less important than why you eat it.”

Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon

So I finally finished the book, Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon.  You can find the review for it here.  Instead of posting a review of it here, I decided to write multiple posts this week discussing some of the points the author made and how it relates to my life.  Before I write those posts, here is a brief summary of my struggles.

I have been overweight ever since puberty hit.  One day I was a normal child, the next day my boobs were bigger than that of a pregnant woman.  My habits have been on and off healthy and unhealthy.  At my unhealthiest, I would eat ice cream cake for breakfast (my dad’s choice of course), sat around and studied or chatted on IM because I wanted to avoid my family, ate chocolate because nothing else made me feel good.  What else? I threw temper tantrums like a pretty emotionally unbalanced teenager.  As a young adult, I appeared emotionally stable, but inside I felt like a constant pressure cooker.  I used food and the occasional needle (literally, not drugs) to ease the pain.  Fast food was especially a refuge.

What diet haven’t I tried? Everything from slim fast to atkins to weight watchers to raw food . . . Lemonade fast?  Oh I did them all.  Sometimes I lost as much as 45 lbs.  And then I would gain it back and then some.

My biggest problems in life came from emotional issues.  Abused (emotionally, physically, sexually).  People who didn’t understand as a kid or even as an adult.  Friends who thought I was lazy or stupid abandoned me when I needed them the most.  I hated myself, felt I was ugly and unattractive.  On top of all of that, the negative attitudes of my weight and the comments of “oh you would be so beautiful if you lost weight” just perpetuated the cycle.  And the dam broke four years ago, and I became suicidal and withdrew from everything and everyone.  Rationally I knew something was wrong, but no matter what, emotionally I could not bring myself out of the hole.  I started therapy, diagnosed with depression, and the tide started to turn.

I got married to the most wonderful guy who I call “my knight in shining leathers” because he took me away from negative people and shrouded me in positivity.  I made friends who loved me and tried to understand me as I was.  Therapy started delving into the deeper issues.  The issues of my sexual abuse.  My parents and family.  My self-confidence.  My weight.  I started taking Welbutrin, which worked like a miracle drug for me.  All of a sudden I could handle my life.

My views of myself changed.  My weight became less of an issue.  Sure people still tried to tell me what to do otherwise.  But I started to realize that I was beautiful, and I didn’t really care about my weight.  Food started to mean, fuel, not emotional comfort. I don’t crave sugars as much as I crave fiber now.  I want to eat the banana so I can feel full longer.  I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast because then I feel fuller longer. I go to the gym because I want to, not because I have to.

And guess what? I lost 30 lbs, and KEPT IT OFF.  When weight stopped mattering, and my health, both emotional and physical, started taking precedence–I started feeling a lot better.  If I don’t lose any more weight, it won’t matter because my health just improves day by day.

So when I read this book, I knew I had to share some of the points the author made with you guys.  So tomorrow I will write about negative attitudes.  I don’t know how many posts there will be, but rest assured, it won’t go on for longer than a week 😉

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Take My Hand and Walk With Me

“Yes I will, take your hand and walk with you
Yes I will, say these three words I promise to
Yes I will, give you everything you need
And someday start a family with you”

“Yes I Will” by the Backstreet Boys

I just finished Stygian’s Honor by Lora Leigh and thought it was only ok (gave it 2 out of 5 stars).  I was disappointed, but it did give me some food for thought.

You can’t get more formulaic than romances.  Boy meets girl, chemistry sparks, they progress from steamy kisses to romps in the bedroom.  They have a fight or someone’s lies come out, they stay away from each other until they realize they love each other and have an exciting reunion.  Boom, all over.

That’s not romantic to me.  What I find romantic show up in series.  In the Breeds series, there are now 27 “mated couples”, with 27 books focusing on a couple getting together and following the above formula.  In later books, however, mated couples show up.  And in those scenes we see the couple who has been married for 10 years hugging each other.  You see the husband kissing his wife on the forehead.  Another couple and baby playing.  A woman who has found her love after overcoming years of abuse, cuddles with her husband underneath a blanket.  Romance is the building of relationships that can’t be seen in a solitary book, but over a period of a few books.

That is what romance is about.  Sure, reading a hot erotic sex scene is downright fantastic.  New love is always thrilling.  But Romance is in the sneaky looks where the couple talks with their eyes, the sharing of the joys of their children, and the hand holding.  Maybe it’s cause i’m old and married, give me seasoned relationships over new love stories any day.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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