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November 30th, 2004

08:44 am - a long time again...
I know I told you all I was going to keep up with this again.... and then I went weeks without writing...

and I don't have an excuse, other than it was Thanksgiving and the most emotional and exhausting Thanksgiving of my life... partially my fault.

but partially because at least in terms of being accepting of all this, my parents aren't making it easy... my father was just completely an asshole to hershel... which caused loads of issues.

I have a ton more to say on exactly how my week went, what happened that was important... and how it all ended up ok... but I can't right now because i have to get to class, but i thought i'd at least let you all know i was still alive and promise to write again this afternoon, when i have some downtime and naptime...

i miss this...

Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: about to start the iPod....

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November 15th, 2004

03:04 pm - Holy Goodness....
I know that you all are probably asking yourselves... who is (or was) this graceisgone person?!?!?! Or least where in the hell has Becca been?!?

Well, I decided its been way too long since I have used my livejournal... I had forgotten how much of a release it was for me to write.

It has been months, so I am just going to start over of sorts... There is so much insanity going on in my life right now none of you would ever believe. It is like I am a completely different person now then I was when I stopped writing. A completely different person built entirely on the person that I was where and when I left off...

So I guess we'll start with the biggest news of all, for those of you who don't already know... I am pregnant.

That statement... are you soaking it in??? I am pregnant, is the one thing most shaping every single breath I take these days... as almost can be expected. There are surprising sort of undercurrents to all this which I will develop shortly...

Anyone have a guess as to who the father is??? I am just about 16 weeks pregnant... Starting to expand and feel very pregnant...

No guess?? Well, many of you knew that one day I would be the proud parent of a bi-racial child you just didn't know when or how or who else it would belong to. And maybe Hershel Carter isn't the black man of my past and present (and now future) that you most expected or wished upon me... but he in fact is the father and to be honest... I am happy.

What in the hell brought this all about... Well after returning from Egypt, to the Ryan Powell who I adored and loved so much only to find him unwilling and unable to really even speak to me, much less spend a moment with me trying to figure out what the hell happened all of sudden... I was very thrown and escaped into a cloud of drugs, drugs, and more drugs... marijuana, the gateway drug... the drug that I still very very much believe in... was certainly not the problem...

Anyway the second day I arrived home I was driving down the street and Hershel was hanging out a car window next to me... We had been together for about 7 months before I left for Egypt in the first place. I loved him very very much, but didn't think we were forever... I didn't know if I wuold ever see him again, I didn't know where he was, how to contact him, nothing... And there he was...

We talked for a long time, weeks... He was convinced from the moment he saw me again that we would be together again, I kept avoiding it. And strongly encouraged by friends, I gave in and early in July we were together again...

Turns out not long after he came and lived at my house, with my sister, myself, and my parents for about a month and that was hell. Neither of us had jobs, and all we did was fight... I smoked pot, Hershel drank a lot, was really mean to me when he drank, and passed out on my couch lovelessly and thanklessly.

Needless to say that was an intense time... we learned a lot about each other, more than you could ever imagine... and mostly that without jobs, living with parents is not good for anyone at anytime... much less us, a black guy and white girl living with my parents in my house with nothing better to do than hurt ourselves and each other. It was horrible... but seemingly at no fault of our own, or of our ability to be together and love each other but more a product of our situation.

I was taking birth control this whole time... protected as always... not a thought in my mind that I could get pregnant... not a thought.

He came with me up to school at MHC, he was here for about 2 weeks, it was almost as bad as life at home though, which was very disconcerting, for me at least... I needed to have time for myself... I had to or I wouldn't make it.

Early September, I found out I was pregnant... Turns out, my doctor who prescribed me both my medication for irritable bowel and my birth control neglected to tell me that birth control basically doesn't work if you are regularly taking the other... so here we are today... Hershel left two days after I found out I was pregnant.

I love him, I do. And we are doing this, and doing it together. We aren't getting married anytime soon and are going to have to spend a lot of time working on us before the kid arrives... living together on our own supporting each other and not doing drugs and drinking... which is easy for me, at present... but for him, I only hope... so far so good.

I am happy and excited. I am so nervous... I worry about money the most. I just don't know if we are going to be able to do it on our own. But I keep telling myself we will and we have to and that is that, no questions asked.

I am graduating in December, I have applied and interviewed for Teach for America and want with every part of my being to get the job with them... I don't know what I will do if I don't... Pray for us... I can only wait now.

And that brings me to today... desperate to escape to the LJ to let out everything that led me up to today...

I am happy with everything else, school, work, my family, etc... Pregnancy for a sort of single women, just graduating from college is added stress to every aspect of many lives... but I am coping I think and remembering what matters. (even if I am an EMOTIONAL MESS!!)

I will write more soon, I don't want this to be too long for anybody to read... And that is the most important first... just let it all soak in...

Not day goes by still where i don't have a random moment in the day where I say to myself "Wow, I'm having a baby." "Or, in 5 months I am going to be a mom."

Kids are about the biggest deal in life. Are you ready??

Current Mood: nervousnervous
Current Music: NSync.... hahaha.

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July 2nd, 2004

10:16 am - home.
i know it has been almost a month now that i have been home. I can't even begin to comprehend that.

I am sorry, really that i have taken this long in posting again... even with Randy and others doing some encouraging.

I still don't know if this entry is going to be what I had hoped it would, for that I offer my deepest apologies.


I have been feeling this very odd haze over my entire being, since i have been home, every word, every thought, every gesture, nice or not, about nothing or about everything... something very heavy and odd and like nothing i have ever felt before... its not the humidity, or the never ending rain... or the cloud of marijuana smoke I have surrounded myself in since mere moments after my arrival (the first time in my life I am actually worried about its role in my life, I might add)...

but rather something very different, that i did not have any idea about before tonight... I realized that this little bubble I have been travelling around in since I have been home... is ANGER. I am fucking angry.

I am not an angry person, at all... I never have been. I am stoner. I don't even really know how to be angry. And I guess, that is my problem, I didn't know what is was I was feeling, anger makes me sad, you don't need it, it shouldn't be there.

But I am fucking angry... really angry for the first time in my life.

I am angry at America, politics, people, my parents, my friends, my family, my RP... I am really angry at him... (another story, another time)... I am angry at myself. I am angry all the time here... I don't like it. I want to hang a punching bag in my room and just hit it until my hands bleed.


Two other things I have realized that I leatned in Egypt: I don't want to be famous. And, I am now a bitterly honest person all the time, and as a result hate politics for everything it is, everything it has been, everything it will be, and everything that is creates.

there is a much much longer list that you will get later, but I am really really freaking tired.
You know how I realized that I was angry?? Today I saw Micheal Moores new movie. I didn't particularly like it... one more mismanaged fact booklet that will make a lot of really ignorant americans think they are even less ignorant than they are... but I really appreciate what he does, his effort and all... somebody should have gotten so much of that out I will admit....

But this is how I realized... I wanted to put my arms up and cheer for the militant Iraqis... I wanted to fight with them, I literally thought about buying a AK and storming the... you know... can't say... God bless america and our individual rights... so happily infringed upon because the average person knows that we will continue to participate in racial profiling and the average american, not of middle eastern decent could give a rats ass about phone call taping, internet monitering, undue search and seizure... We gave them a little and many of out rights are gone, our money is excessively mismanaged and overspent on guns for israelis, and thousands of innocents have died....

yay! america!

I am just angry really really really really angry... and I don't want anyone else to say anything to me, especially my parents, because everything they say wants me to scream even more... its like they are trying to take all that egypt was to me and undermine everything i feel and believe and know...

and i don't even begin to explain things, i start to mouth off, just as much as i can... then its done... BECAUSE I COULD NEVER MAKE THEM UNDERSTAND...

they have both been living inside the american bubble for 54 years... every breath that free, oh so free, american air... can't argue with that?!? can I ?!?


p.s. I have so much more to write on that I can't do it tonight... expect more later...


For now... on the fourth of july... I will be smoking pot and burning flags. yes, yes I will be. I can't wait...

and on my trip back up to school, I am going to stop in DC and I am going to stand on the white house lawn, by myself, and I am going to have a huge sign next to me that reads: I am a Muslim. I am woman, a college student, 21. I am from Texas. I used to be proud to be an American. I am here for people that knew what freedom and liberty were before George W. Bush decided that they did not and we needed to take their lives so they could feel it.
There will be a sign right next to it that reads the exact thing in Arabic. Then I am going to stand there, on the White House lawn and I am going burn a flag for every Iraqi and Palesitinian that has died at the hands of the Americans or the Isrealis, I don't care how long I have to stand there....

Islam is not the enemy... THERE IS NO ENEMY!!! Think about it... who is going to fight us, unless we fight first!?!?!?!? We are being told that there is an enemy, and who that enemy...

I miss Hassan so much. so so so much.

I am angry.


Current Mood: angryangry
Current Music: none... the hamster.

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June 3rd, 2004

08:37 am - Malesh...
In Amsterdam and I don't have enough time to go and get high... boo.

Hassan took me to the airport, he brought his Egyptian girlfriend... In my fragile state when he told me in the lobby of the Hostel that she was in the car... I almost burst into tears right then... You don't even understand that it took every single thing in me not to cry, and then twice in the car with the eye contact in the rearview mirror... and then with the Egyptian kisses goodbye... there aren't words, there aren't words...

I sobbed my eyes out the moment the plane left the ground.


I report again when I have made it home and my RP picks me up from the airport...

ma' salama.
p.s. I am ALREADY bothered to no end by the Americans in the Airport... this is going to be really really really hard...
Current Mood: numbnumb
Current Music: none... notice my mood has been numb for like three days now

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June 2nd, 2004

12:51 pm - insha'allah... i will be ok...

here goes...


In less that 11 hours Hassan will pick me up from the Hostel and take me to the Cairo Airport. I think that I am realizing now that the hardest and most important part of all this is just beginning. I am embarking on what could be the most difficult part of my journey... I am going home.

Home to America with a different me than the one that left nearly 5 months ago; a different me in so many ways I can't even describe, real tangible ways, I feel like I have gained weight, might be really sick, am not healthy, am a cigarette smoker (insha'allah, not after today...), I am a Muslim, and in less tangible ones, I have grown up, am able to see for the first time my place in the world, am able to see America and politics for what it really is, am sitting on a completely new perpective of family, friends, and romantic relationships, have realized what I am and am not capable of, I am Muslim.

I realized last night talking to Yasmine that the reason I feel like I can't process all this now, why I can't take advantage of the person that has emerged is that I am not in a healthy place, emotionally, physically, mentally, and I don't want that to undermine my time here, where this journey has taken me, but I can't help it... When I left America I had gotten myself to one of the best places I had ever been in my life, I loved myself, finally. I was stable, and happy, and confident, and looked in the mirror and for some of the first moments of my life, everytime I looked in that mirror I loved what I saw inside and out. The inside now, is stronger and greater, and more free than it ever was before, but in this process I have deteriorated my physical self, maybe in order to gain everything I needed in every other way. So, I feel as if I need to go home, rebuild myself physically, get healthy, get back into the physical me that I was before, better than I was before, back to the me that wanted to run a marathon, that knew she could, so that my physical self matches and is strong enough to understand, materialize, and live the new mental and emotional self that has emerged from this journey.

I have family here, friends, people that I love and care for... from my adopted bowab down the street, to Hassan, to Yasmine, to Mohamed and his whole family. I have a million and one memories new and completely different than any memories I had before. I have a million and one experiences new and completely different than any experiences I had before. I have a completely new perspective on what family is, maybe most importantly. I have a new perspective on friendship, love, and caring... and I am taking all this home to the people who have known me, really known me for 21 years and all have not had the opportunity to experience and gain memories, and gain perspective like I have, have not shared in all this that has molded and changed and provided growth for the person that left them.

I can't wait to sit with my family and breath with them, I can't wait to talk to Ryan and Derek and Jenn and Sara, Fernando and Ben. I know which ones are going to be the most difficult to truly share all this with, the ones that won't ever be able to feel or understand it all, but I am promising myself now I won't ever hold that against them. From the beginning I am going to tell them this: "I am not what I was when I left you, physically I need to recover so that I can be comfortable accepting and feeling everything else. Please, Please give me time and be understanding while my chrysalis prepares itself to open and sees the butterfly emerge."

I am going to tell Ryan to love me anyway, while I fix myself, to bear with me, until I am better than the woman he loved when he left. I don't think it will take long, but time and a journey nonetheless.


Egypt.   Hash.   Dahab.   The Middle East.   Islam.   Politics.   Sheesha.   Freedom.   Hippy.   Religion.   Society.   Family.   Friendship.   Diarrhea.   Cigarettes.   Yasmine.   America.   Power. Home.   Cairo.   Pollution.   Loyalty.   Language.   Taxis.   Sinai.   Mothers.  Sexual Repression.   Bongo. Belly Dancing.   Hassan.   Ishta.   Tears.   Music.   Goats.   Eid.   Zayak.   Love.   Sharm.   Donkey Carts.   Sisters.   Akool.   Omar Shariff.   Constipation.   Communication.   Poverty.   Education.   Cats.   GT. History.   The British.   Brothers.   Stella.   Growth.   Oppression.   Military Police.   Flowers.   Kindness.   The Veil.   Dirty Feet.   Chocolate.   Haram.   Pyramids.   Camels.   Desert.   Women.

The Azan.


I think I could have sat here all day long and come up with 500 more words to include on that list... but I have to prepare my things, my room, myself to leave this place... and I only have all day.


Ma'Salama Misr, Sadiqee ala'tool, bahibek khalas.

Insha'allah, Haga Taney.




Current Mood: numbnumb
Current Music: Aisha - Cheb Khaled

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04:24 am - adruss fe cahira halas... mish mumkin...
I can't believe my time in Egypt (this time anyway) is over...

I seriously still haven't pieced it all together that I am leaving tomorrow... really leaving...

I will right another long journal entry in the morning... a final hoorah and goodbye to this place and a catalogue of my weekend escapades...

yay islam...


for now, i at least must attempt to sleep even if it is 4:30 in the morning...

ma' salama.
Current Mood: numbnumb
Current Music: mafeesh musica dilwaltee.

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May 27th, 2004

12:47 pm - mektaba taney...
Again writing you all from the library, just finished another final...

One left, I can't freaking believe it, really, really i can't. I am glad its almost over though and I can't start to really think about what's important to me right now...

Can I just say that I love it when I don't really have any responsibilities?? It is amazing what even a weeks time can do in refocusing and building oneself... after my last final I will have already essentially packed up, only have my trip to mansoura, my conversion, my time with mohamed and a flight left until I am back at home... I am going to use that little bit of a week to get myself ready to have a summer of brand new me and rebuilding...

All I want at home is to focus on Islam and Arabic, have a job, and get myself back into shape and healthy...
I know that will happen and I am very very very excited for it to begin...

I am feeling less stressed about converting and everything that will happen this weekend. Mohamed said one thing to me and it really calmed me down and hit home...
"Don't be nervous or scared, remember you are choosing what is natural. The way we are all supposed to comfortably live."
He was definately right... He knows how to settle me like no other... Wallah, I am going to miss him.

Ok, just so you know didn't see Hassan last night, but we are having lunch today, lets just pray that I can stave off the tears... Frankly I don't know if that is possible... Maybe it will convince him he needs to hang out with me before I go... Or at least take me to the airport... hehe.
and now its study for Political Economy time.

Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Outlandish - Fatima's Hand.... great song.

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May 26th, 2004

03:45 pm - .....
hi there....

so i should be studying for my arabic exam, but i vowed this morning that i would stop in at the library before hand and write a little journal here...

SO, i am going to Mansoura on Friday and Saturday I will become a Muslim, in sha allah... I would like to say that in my heart and soul I am now, maybe always have been and just didn't know it... but I am about to make it real... and as a result I am shaking all over uncontrollably and feel like my heart is going to explode. I am asking for about one million unanswered questions for who knows how long and that scares me... I am so so nervous about my arabic, about everything...

I am so so scared. That is about all I can even say.

I saw Hassan today for like 2 minutes, we communicated almost entirely in arabic and I made jokes (in arabic mind you) and he loved it... He says, "Wow, St. Peter isn't going to understand this...(in Arabic, i would type it but a waste of time)" and all I say to that is, "Ma lesh." (Not really translatable, but all you semi-arabs out there will know what i mean)...
Anyway he says we really really really are going to see each other at some point this evening, and we have got to talk about all this...
I concur.
(p.s.) I almost cried right there in the middle of the cafetieria with all the people, when I said can i please, please see you? Seriously, after my arabic test upon my arrival home I am going to burst into tears... I need it.

I think that is all for now, or all I am going to let myself write for now, because I need to spend the next 45 minutes re-learning Egyptian Colloquial Arabic... in sha allah.

Current Mood: nervousnervous
Current Music: none, but about to bust out the iPod... yay!!!

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May 25th, 2004

03:34 pm - down...
hi all.

i am at the AUC library typing this entry... I went to class this morning and Lee did not attend, boo on him... we watched some dumb movie and took notes on something I will never have to know for any purpose at all... boo.

After that I was expecting to see Hassan for lunch, but alas that didn't happen... I'd like to think that he is avoiding me, maybe not even on purpose, because I am leaving in a week and he can't handle that connection we have he speaks about so much... all in all it makes me very frustrated because frankly i enjoy his company (and he owes me either 120 pounds or some hash) and I really really really want to see him before i go... really...

it just makes me more sad that i have to leave and i won't get to see him for who knows how long... i miss his laugh.

And i guess all that pales in comparison to the way i am aching knowing that i am leaving mohamed... so i don't know if i want to marry him and certainly not tomorrow... but for god sakes, i care about him so so so so so so so much and he loves me more than any person i have ever known... and his family, and 'our' family... my heart is sort of empty without him next to me... and i am really scared about that...

what about ryan? what about my family and home in america?
i know i don't want to live there forever... and who knows what is going to happen with Ryan and I this summer...

my heart and head are competing so much these days i don't know which is what or what is going on... it is really stressing me out... i can't take it. i just can't.

i just want to go see Shrek 2 with my mom and sister... one week. only one week...

I am going to convert at the mosque in mansoura while i am there this weekend. i am excited, very excited... but oh oh oh so scared... part of me knows i don't know what i am doing yet, i know what i believe in, i know what i want, where my faith is and what i feel... but i don't completely know 'how' to be muslim yet... mohamed says everyone takes time to learn... and i am cheating because i do already know so much, and my arabic is good... some people take six months to learn how to pray and still can't pronounce things right...


mohamed is getting me a prayer rug, and while in mansoura i will get a few more things for my family and friends and muslim things that will be hard to find in the states... i am excited and very very very happy i will be spending my last time in Egypt, there, with my family...

i think i might cry for the entire 19 hours it takes me to get home. wait until ryan sees that... puffy faced, exhausted, america loathing me...


gotta go to my last arabic class... i'll probably make a thousand and 1 more entries before i leave this place... therapy, i say.

Current Mood: numbnumb
Current Music: the sounds of a bunch of rich priveledged egyptians...

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02:38 am - hi kids...
i don't know if i have much to say right now...

i am still processing the whole leaving Egypt biz...

i still want america's weapons to backfire... and have seriously thoughts on ever paying them my tax money again... looks like i'll make my home the mid-east after school... hmm...

officially have had convos with both my father and brother about liberating palestine... both of them top notch... (and re-affirm what i have been fearing about the hell it is going to be chatting with all my texas loved ones upon my arrival home...)

Haven't seen Hassan much, but HOPEFULLY HOPEFULLY will oh so soon... i did inform him about converting though... he was shocked, but excited to talk about it with me... i am excited to hear what his thoughts are... interesting perspective from a not-so-good muslim who went to all boys jesuit school in egypt his whole life...

i miss mohamed... oh so much... oh so much... there aren't words... you have to love someone that makes you laugh with your entire soul and wants to eat you (and I mean literally eat me, like swallow... so i will never leave...)

oooohhh.... I bought the greatest skirt today, around 10 american dollars, and worth every freaking penny, i am so so excited to wear it to mansoura... yay!


i have been picking out Muslim baby names... getting a little ahead of myself?! hehe. i don't think so at all...

I have decided the name I will choose when I convert will be Sarah, that is my mom's name for those of you who don't know... for her...

also found an excellent, excellent website to memorize the qur'an... woohoo!


gotta sleep... i have a million tests this week. boo.


Ma' Salama...

Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Ismou al'rahman al'raheem... hemdu allah...

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