Mixed.

“Melange” – a French word I see every week when I pull out my colossal bag of frozen mixed berries to make a smoothie. It’s amazing how many French words you can pick up just by reading labels in Canada. I scoop out a spoon of blue and red berries with bits of frozen ice and layer them into my blender with yogurt, OJ, and honey. The sudden buzz swirls the mix into a medley of purple hues and I see my favourite colour emerge as I pour the smoothie in my daughters’ favourite glass.

I pause as I look at the colour. There I am.

When motherhood shook my world, I was almost sure I was completely changed forever. But my love for purple has never changed. From the lavender essence always by my bedside, the eggplant-coloured hijab I wear on special occasions, to the hints of purple peppered throughout my wardrobe and planner doodles, I manage to add a little purple wherever I go.

Purple is as mixed up as I often feel – jumping between languages, roles, and hobbies. As much as I love wearing multiple hats for the novelty it brings into my life, I sometimes wonder how far deep my own voice is buried.

Growing up, I’d speak Urdu at home and English at school. I became proficient at becoming who I needed to be for the setting I was in. Class presentation? Perfect English or Spanish, just as was expected to get the A. At a family dinner? Enough Urdu to say the right things. Qur’an class? Arabic pronunciation that made other parents ask if I could help their younger kids learn to read. But which language, which persona, is truly mine? I wonder.

I know my voice is there. I don’t need to search anywhere but inward to find it. It has always been a part of me and although I feel like I’m losing grip of a rope connecting me to my core, I feel the spark in me to pull myself up with greater resolve than even before my precious daughter entered my world. The purple part of me has its own beauty, and I am convinced that writing with my heart again is the only way to bring out the hues and shades in my story that no one else can write except me, inshaAllah.

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