A question many people ask themselves in latter life. Looking back, in retrospect, I’m sure they would produce a litany of regrets which make them hanker for their youth all over again.
I’ve learnt not to go down that dangerous path. Although life hasn’t been a walk in the park, it hasn’t all been jeopardy in a jungle either. In fact, those close to me would know that I often say that given the chance again, I’d have had pretty much the same life with all its imperfections. And there’s a perfectly good reason for that. It’s because all those peaks and troughs in my life so far have made me the person I am. No, I’m not vainglorious and I definitely know I have so much I need to improve on. However, without those exact sets of experiences, good and bad, I would not be who I am today.
So, who is this person I call ‘me’? Well, I know for one that my life, being circumscribed by Islam, gives me purpose and contentment. So when things get difficult or even ugly, I resort to my Creator for guidance and hope. The same goes for when life is smooth sailing.
To ask the question, which forms the title of this blog, also implies ingratitude. There is an innate assumption in it that if a person had made different life choices, it would necessarily have been a better life. To me, that is a wild and arrogant assumption. Who knows how things would have turned out if we had not studied at university, or if we had married someone else, or if we had taken a holiday in Prague instead of Paris? The ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ are too many to contemplate over and so it’s best we don’t. We tend to believe that if different choices were made, our lives would have been infinitely easier or better. Who is to say that would have been the case?
The fact of the matter is that we are all where we are meant to be -here and now. I am totally convinced that the totality of my life experiences have brought me to the point where I now live independently without a husband but with a total gratitude for arriving at this point. There is no sour grapes attitude and I definitely am not putting on a brave facade, Alhamulillah. It might be late, but I am now finally able to catch up on things I couldn’t do in my youth because of time and/or family constraints. I am having a secret party in my head! And yes, that’s notwithstanding the stresses and strains of daily life.
On the outside, it would appear that I have not achieved much. My marriage succumbed to an abrupt end, I don’t own a house, I don’t drive a fancy car and I definitely have not established a faithful following on any self-adulatory social media sites. But what I have is a freedom which is immeasurable in terms of money and social status. Living this post-divorce life, I have learnt to speak for myself and demand to be heard. I need no representation. Definitely, I refuse to seek male representation. I’ve had my fingers burnt already. No expectations, no disappointment.
In essence, I am truly grateful for all life has shown me because it has shaped the person I am today. And that person is one who is even more eager to nurture the relationship with her Creator. I wouldn’t have changed anything in my life because I understand this is the life Allah had planned for me anyway. Am I going to argue with that?