Yesterday, Facebook memories shared a status I had posted 11 years ago when I was sitting at a Panera Bread alone, crying tears of joy when I looked down at a piece of paper that would change my life forever. Despite all odds, I had gotten accepted into @loyolachicago’s nursing school. Now I know what you’re thinking “big deal, many people go away to college” but my path wasn’t so smooth. I grew up in an extremely strict and isolating Middle Eastern community and family that expected women to get married at a young age and settle. And if you left your family before getting married, you’d be considered a black sheep. And that, I sure was. I constantly questioned why the females in my community were expected to follow all of the rules and expectations but the males could do whatever they pleased without judgement. I knew this wasn’t the path I wanted to take and I constantly fought for my rights. But of course, when you stand up against the norm, you will receive resistance. I ended up suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, had begun to loose majority of my long brown hair and dropped down to 90 pounds. I was frail, heartbroken and was about to give up on life until I moved in with my aunt and she gave me the courage to believe in myself and to believe that I can make it on my own outside of these circumstances. And so, I went. I took a leap of faith and I moved to Chicago, started a new life there and that’s where my first experience of true growth began. This story was just the very beginning of my rocky yet rewarding journey and I honor it and all of the rough patches I went through because it has given me a great amount of grit. I’ took the road less traveled and it made all the difference. And so you ask, what lifts me? Courage and unwavering faith lift me and have given me wings to fly to where I am today and I hope you find strength in them too 🦋 #believeinyourself#mommacallsmebutterfly#whatliftsyou
To get a sense of how huge The Monastery is, here’s a photo of me standing in front of it! (bottom right-ish). Thinking of doing a Q&A on Instagram Stories (or maybe an Instagram Live) to answer any questions you might have about our trip here (prior to doing the full-on blog posts, of course). Would this be of any interest/useful to you? If so, what part of the trip would you be the most interested in hearing about (planning, costs, transport logistics...etc?)
1,710504 hours ago
Guess this beautiful beach destination in India?? Pic Credits- @ashish_shenoy
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1212 minutes ago
예쁜거 여기 다있네
6922 minutes ago
I saw the light from the distance, and the guy sat down at that same spot. My friend excitedly whispered to my ear and said the exact same words that I have in my head: take that shot.
513 minutes ago
Every spot in Havana just seems so much artsier than anywhere else (Does anyone know why there are so many bird cages by their front doors?)
Here’s to one of the most inspirational people — and baddest bitches — I know @rach_letendre ✨ And to think, she was still smiling after that gnarly scree field! Link in bio for more on our wild climb up Mt Sneffels this fall.