Counting Coins

A poem I wrote almost exactly two years ago, while in my last year of grad school. Seeing a couple give their savings for their own healthcare as the provider stood by waiting for the gains, hit me me harder than I would have ever imagined. –IH

You stood in line in front of me
Wearing your old, blue baseball cap
You began digging for something I couldn’t see
But soon I learned it was a map

But not the kind with cities and roads
to help you find your way home.
No it was a secret code.
You see, we palpate lymph nodes
Enter codes
In radiology we learn about the cathodes
And their role
in making a diagnosis
We look for oral pathosis

But to you none of that matters

Because this map you carry
Disguised in wads of hundred dollar bills
All meant for the woman you chose to marry
In your journey together going uphill
You were working to fulfill
her health needs as he drilled
and filled
with his meticulous hand skills

And I could tell–
Because your wife wore a spring jacket
in the dead of winter–
that you were humble
Your words were but a mumble
And in his mind I heard the rumble
And my heart began to crumble
Because like Ms. Trunchbull
He didn’t understand this mumbo jumbo

of being a hard worker.
As merely an observer
I knew you had to persevere
to get to this point, right here
And the fact that he simply doesn’t care
Is not fair
and why am I choking back tears

Over you,
A stranger I have never spoken to?

But he is privileged,
Never worked for a dime
Got what he wanted every time
It came to him as effortlessly as this rhyme
Because he had the time
and money to learn about the enzyme
that breaks down GI chyme
never had to worry about the climb

to monetary success
and I guess
that this puts me in distress
Because I know what it takes to progress
And I must confess
that this brings memories suppressed

of that time I was asked to join
As they sat there counting coins.





It was as unlikely as finding a teardrop in the ocean.
It was as majestic as the beautiful, broken language you speak.
So exquisitely crafted by our Creator that nothing could have hindered its existence.
It bore a promising seed
That is intricately decorated with faith and blessings.
It is adorned with simplicity and ease.
It shines with His light.


Ohhh, Transitions!

I detest change. Even to the slightest degree. Once, years ago, I came home from school and had to study for exams that week. I was stressed out and exhausted and was running on coffee (which I hate) and little … Continue reading

Adulting is Hard


This year, 2016, is a year I have looked forward to for a long, long time. It is the year that I  graduate from grad school; the year I start my big girl job; the year I move back home. And as much as I have been looking forward to this year, as much as the past few years have been truly difficult and life-draining and as many times as I prayed, through tears, that this year would come as easily and painlessly as possible, I find that I am very terrified for everything to come. School, the only consistent feature of my life thus far, will no longer be a part of my life. I can no longer use the shield of school to protect me from my adultness.

The sad, scary truth is that I’m an adult and there is no way around it. Adulthood came quickly and unexpectedly and after years of being dependent on others, financially and otherwise, I am expected to be independent. Just like that, I am thrown into the world, feeling overwhelmed by all the brand new changes I am about to experience. My fears are a result of the new array of responsibilities I have, of continued pity (read more about that here), messing up, and ultimately fear of losing the element of learning in my life, which can result in the loss of purpose and direction, if not dealt with properly.

I realize that I am blessed to have worries such as these. And I realize that despite how independent I am expected to be, my true dependence lies on God. I find comfort in knowing that He will guide these new challenges, and when I think this way, my fears turn to excitement and empowerment. I know He’s got my back, inshAllah. I pray that He allows me to develop a schedule that will allow for life learning beyond my career and that He grants me people in my life who will push me towards Him and towards success. That He gives me the strength, patience, and guidance to create a new life that will sustain me spiritually and push me towards becoming a better human in every regard, inshAllah.

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

And rely upon Allah; and Sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.

[Quran 33:3]



I write a lot about trusting God because it is something I am consistently working towards and struggling with. I worry a lot and worry is a sign that I am not trusting Him. In her book, Rising Strong, Brene Brown discusses that vulnerability requires courage and that it is an important step in rising from a fall. So que cringeworthy vulnerability as I admit, this constant struggle with trusting God shows a lack of faith on my part. I know that trusting Him should be second nature. I should not have to think twice and I should not be worried knowing that my life is in His hands. And sometimes that is the case. Some days it is easier than others because that is the nature of our vulnerable, little human hearts. But on the days when the struggle is too real, I am required to turn to Him even more. And when my fears are relieved and my stresses settle and I see the fruits of God’s blessings, my trust in Him grows. But along with that renewed feeling trust, I feel a sense of guilt in not trusting Him before I saw said results. I feel guilty for believing, even for a second, that I was in control. Because I never was. It was always Him.

As I’m ending a significant chapter in my life and entering a new stage of adulthood (how exactly did I become closer to 30 than 20?), I am learning a lot about myself and about the people I trust most on this earth. Last year brought many feelings of betrayal from people of different levels of importance to me. But it seems that the ones that impacted me the most were those who I have known the longest and trusted the most. In those situations, the hurt was fierce, but at the end of the day I blame myself for allowing another imperfect human, like myself, power over my life. True trust belongs to the One who will never betray me and always be there for me. But like the renewed sense of trust I got from seeing God build me up when I doubted most, I got an equal, if not greater, sense of trust in Him when He sent others to tear me down. Alhamdulilah. All praise is due to Him.

I pray:

Oh Turner of hearts, keep my heart steadfast on your religion.

يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ



Dimensions of Me

The fact that I am writing to you in English already falsifies what I wanted to tell you. My subject: how to explain to you that I don’t belong to English though I belong nowhere else -Gustavo Perez Firmat As … Continue reading

Look Up

My experience yesterday reminded me of a video I saw about a year ago. It also goes along with our theme of the month: Appreciating Others. On the phone in the middle of a conversation with my friend, I walked into … Continue reading