I wasn't always a "hijabi". In fact I am someone who changes their hair colour every 6 months and changes their hairstyle every 3.
You see styling my hair was part of my confidence and self esteem. I was never forced to cover my hair and in the back of my mind I thought "i'll do it when i'm old".
I really started to appreciate and learn more about my faith after my eldest started a islamic primary school. I remember thinking WOW. Some of the things he was saying when he came home made me feel as if I was learning it for the first time.
My son went to faith school from the age of 5, out of respect I would wear a scarf to pick and drop him off. When I came home the scarf would come off. Without even realising, I had taken up a part time hijabi job. To some it may seem hypocritical but the way I see it, for someone who never picked a scarf was a starting point.
As time went on, I started to question my own worth as I was struggling in my personal life. It was a battle as soon as you step outside to the fashion forward world. In summer 2016, that part time job became full time and permanent.
I had just lost a very important man in my life. My grandad. He was a kind which is very rare to find these days. Not one person can come forward to say something negative about him. A Kind God fearing righteous man. I knew my image back then was somewhat daring. Yet with him I never felt like an outcast. Imagine leaving this world and hundreds and thousand attending your funeral. All because they truly loved you and respected your every word.
After that moment things were not the same. I started to think who would come to my funeral. My time is coming and I have not even prepared. Never mind "i'll do it when i'm old" because time is not guaranteed.
I was fighting a war within myself trying to fit in at work, around friends and social media. ect. Everytime when I thought to myself "don't be a muslim just by name, but also by actions" I would get so scared and back out. Then I would remember the funeral. Finely near the end of 2016 I won the war inside me and decided to stick the middle finger at "what people would say".
I remember going work for the first time as a hijabi. I was sweating and so nervous. My heart was running the London marathon. It's true what people say. Think of it like ripping off a band aid. Do it quick and just do it. It's funny now come to think of it my work colleagues can not even remember or imagine me without a scarf. For them I am still the same Yasmine.
I am thankful for this piece of cloth draped around my head. Even though I know I am not perfect but in so many ways this piece of cloth keeps me away from so many things at 1 point I thought was no big deal. Its my uniform and a constant reminder of who I am. A PROUD MUSLIM.
Yes don't get me wrong, I may have those days when the thought crosses my mind......but alhamdulillah the scarf stayed on. It took me witnessing his death to realise what I was searching for. A jigsaw piece I was trying to fit into this puzzle of a my life. The jigsaw for me was to finally understand and accept who i am. A PROUD MUSLIM WOMEN.