• Naima Shaltu

Story of the Walls Calling Me Home

Updated: May 19, 2019

This spring break has gone by so fast that it's hard to believe that many college students, like myself, are going to heading back to school soon. It makes me think about the time that I have spending during this one week break. Every break during my four years in college, I have mostly spent my time working on campus, letting each day slip past till the next quarter, as I check the clock every now and then. However, TODAY... I decided that it would be different. I honestly don't know what changed for me to make the decision at the moment, but it felt that it was needed - and BOY was I right. All I knew was, I just needed one day... One day to just take the day off - not just to go home and be caught up with the work stored there but, time to find a space away from all of life's chains.

"When's the last time I really hung out with anyone? " I asked myself.

And here is what happened...

Time and Time

I messaged a couple of folks I hadn't seen for a while and we spent our day catching up on life, enjoying some Shrimp Pad Thai and the sweet satisfaction of ice cream. By the time we knew it was time to pray Asr (afternoon prayer, one of the 5 daily prayers that Muslims pray) and so we headed towards the local masjid (a place of worship for Muslims) North Gate, and rushed to make sure we didn't miss prayer. I hadn't seen or been inside of this particular masjid, in fact, I realized while walking inside the House of God, that I realized it had been 7 months since I even stepped foot into a masjid.

Masjid and Fun?

At that moment I didn't just ask myself why had it been so long since I have been in a masjid. I asked myself, "Why did I miss out on this". You see, most of time, when we have our breaks or time off, what do we do? We visit sights, hang out with friends, watch movies, play games, sleep - spending our money and our time to do things that we enjoy not just in those moments, but, temporarily. And I admit all of those things are fun and great to do but then I thought about it more when it comes to things that we don't do. I mean ask anyone - who gonna say that they went to the masjid for spring break? I mean do people think its even "fun" to go to the masjid? 

The Call Home

For the first time - in a long time - when I stepped foot into the masjid, I felt as though the walls were hugging me. As if I finally came back home from a long journey... and boy has it been a journey alright. My heart melted with love in the room and I found myself smiling, and let me tell you - it's been a minute since I have genuinely smiled like that before. As I finished praying, I realized what I needed. I found at times, even doing things that many people wish they could be doing, that it don't bring your true happiness, but temporarily. True happiness shouldn't be just seconds or moments, but feelings of contentment and fulfillment through each action you make. For me, I realized my connection with my faith is something that I have been lacking and need to spend more time on because at the end of the day even when I may have opportunities of a lifetime, they will mean nothing, if I feel empty inside, if I am missing something in my life.

Wake Up and Find the Happy

The reason why I am saying all this and telling this story is that I realized that true happiness is only steps away and not miles. Its right at our front door yet we choose to go to different directions. When we feel like we don't have time, MAKE TIME because time is a gift and too precious to loose in this life. Use that time, do things that are beneficial and will help you continuously have the strength to stay resilient and push forward - this is what we call, self-care

Instead of watching other people's snaps on Snapchat or Instagram pic of people enjoying their moments of happiness, remember where your happiness lies. You don't have to travel to far, or go somewhere to be happy. It could be as small as praying, meditating, reading books, spending time with people whom are positive and motivate you go to the places you want to in life. Don't forget, we all have something that someone else's wishes they had. You might be sitting down reading this and thinking, "dang this break sucks, I can't afford to travel or spend money to go out" and trust me, I know that feeling. But, let's not forget things that we do have around us that people wish they could have. Write them down!

And most of all: don't forget what you've got that is most valuable that anything on this planet. Time. So let us not waste it. 

The question is now, how will you decide to spend your time?

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