Sunday, August 9, 2009

Frustrations

The title says it all. I am down right frustrated. As you know I am leaving for college soon and I have been trying to plan the clothes I'll take. I want to start my college years modest, since it was hard enough transitioning in high school. I don't want people to question my sudden style change mid-way through the year and freak them out like I apparently did with my friends from hs. They ended up thinking I was crazy and that made them question my spirituality rather than respect it. I want to be accepted for my beliefs in college and I want to stay modest not only for the above reason, but for my own vanity and the possibility of sliding.

Every time I have gone to a college function, I have noticed the male population. Wham! back to my old ways. But when I take the time to dress modestly, I am more aware and conscious of my behavior. Modest from the get-go almost sends the message that I won't be playing those games anymore. The plan sounds good so far right? The only problem is implementing it.

My closet has pretty much stayed consistent throughout the years. I take good care of my clothes, that's why they last so long. However, 75% of it really doesn't measure up to the look I am striving for. I have jeans, but they aren't loose. Not like incredibly tight, (though I do have 1 pair of skinny jeans) but they show my figure a little too much. Which is ok if I have a longer tunic/shirt dress over it. But I only have a couple. And most of my shirts are form fitting or too short or too low cut...it's just so FRUSTRATING! Most of my modest clothes come in the form of good old maxi dresses, flowy skirts, and some cardigans. But those don't seem practical for winter. (any opinions?)

Building up a modest wardrobe is expensive. And I am a VERY frugal person. But it's all adding up. I try and get my inspiration from muslimahs because they are always modest and normally so chic. Most Christian conservatives tend to dress like the amish...and while I respect that...I don't want to look amish :( HOWEVER. I can never do it! My scarves never wrap right (usually because of fringe or beading, since I bought them with the intent of wearing them around my neck, not over my hair.) My one pair of modest pants make me look like a box and my shirts seem to follow suit. I think I need a pocket hijabi to help me with my shopping and styling. For a girl who used to be very fashionable, I am finding it hard to maintain my fashion sense while at the same time hiding my figure. And that is FRUSTRATING!

And apart from the technical aspect of being modest, I am frustrated with the outright rejection I am getting from the Christians around me. I thought I met someone from school with the exact beliefs as me, but now as we talk, he's revealing how he thinks we as Christians should blend in with the world. How else will we gain converts? UH HELLO! We are called to be a separate people; set apart and holy. I don't think wearing a wash cloth for a dress, going trick or treating on Halloween, or forgetting the laws of the Bible will make God happy OR win over nonbelievers. Because *ahem* I lived that way for years and I didn't "save" one soul. Uhg. He just made me feel like a zealot.

I don't understand why the world hates when a Christian tries to follow their Bible to a "T", but respects the piety of most other faiths. Who am I kidding? It's not even the world who hates practicing Christians, it's fellow "Christians"! That's where I get the most flack. It's like your faith must be left behind in the Church pew every Sunday and if it even tries to peak its ugly little head out of the Chapel doors, there will be hell to pay! I don't see my loneliness subsiding anytime soon either. My college is pretty liberal. I wouldn't be surprised if the bible study club shied away from me too. I wish there was a Christian Ummah in a way. You find nothing but piety in practicing Muslims.


Sorry about my rant. It's the only way I can release this anxiety without questioning my journey entirely. This is all going to escalate in difficulty once I am living in a dorm room. My study will be out in the open, my praying, my head covering. And it's not even the rejection I am afraid of, since I am very used to it...but it's the thought of being all alone. That I will never be able to get over. I need some face to face Torah interaction so that at least I know what I am doing is real. That is has some purpose or meaning for YHVH and his plan.

Matt 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "

5 comments:

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I can definitely identify with you.

I started college with some jeans and a lot of fairly long skirts, but looking back most of my shirts were way too tight. Some of my skirts also had slits up pretty high even though they were long.

Once I got to Minnesota I found the Somali community, and my love for Muslim fashion began. I saw girls wearing floor-length skirts year long with beautiful scarves over their hair. I was able to start shopping at their affordable stores, and things got a lot easier for me. They have the best skirts for $20!

Now I still wear mostly the same long skirts, but a lot of my shirts are still too tight. It is hard to find a balance. I want my clothes to be something I can wear in a semi-professional environment like school or a retail job.

It is hard that other Christians, even those who believe similarly, don't care about looking nice. People at my parents' Messianic cong. in IL dress like "pilgrims" according to my husband. Most of the ladies wear denim jumpers and skirts at awkward mid-calf lengths. Some of them wear headscarves that look like dishrags or towels. Its too casual and not a look that makes you look like a serious student or employee.

I think you can probably do a lot with the maxi dresses that you have. Get some leggings or light sweatpants to wear underneath for winter. Roll up the waistbands for when there is rain or snow to shorten them a bit. Get a few long sleeved shirts in basic colors to wear under. Pashminas and sarongs can go a long way to cover your chest if the shirts are too tight. Take a pair or two of the jeans with you. If your skirts or dresses are loose enough these can be worn underneath too.

I almost always have a pashmina with me to cover my chest and body or hair too if I don't have it covered already.

My opinion is if you start by always wearing long dresses and maybe jeans with a tunic top, people won't really be surprised if you eventually pick up a few looser tops and start covering your hair sometimes too. I did this gradually too and even started wearing full hijab to class sometimes at my Christian school. I got a few looks and negative responses, but most people thought that it was cool.
After all, I was studying Biblical languages and was already into ancient Israelite culture. I guess I just dress to fit the part :)

Let me know what cities you will be located near too and I can tell you if there are any Somali clothing stores there.

Email me at subculturistic@yahoo.com if there is anything else I can do to help.

A Covered Sister said...

I understand you, girl - am I'm married! *LOL* My hubby hates the "pilgrim look" that you talked about so I am having to find modest clothes that aren't too dated.

I am a born-again Christian but also look muslimah fashion. If you have a way to check the blogs I subscribe to you will see a couple of muslimahs' blogs because their fashion is modest and modern. I love it! Check out some of the blogs I subscribe to and you will see some inspirational fashion.

Then what you do is go to thrift or cheap stores like Wal-Mart and Conway to try to duplicate it if possible.

Your logic is good. Go ahead and let those college folks know where you stand from the beginning. You will probably still have stares and questions though. You may never see the fruit of your obedience to God but SOMEONE will surely be blessed by it. I wish you the best dear heart and pray for your strength!

R.A.~ said...

thanks ladies! :) the advice really does help and encourage me. ah such blessings!

MissFifi said...

Though I am far from devout, I find all religion fascinating and read up on it quite a bit.
I respect your desire to be faithful. Do not let anyone hamper your beliefs. You can encourage a positive dialogue if they are sincerely interested, but if someone is nasty, pass them by.
Here are some sites I have come across that may assist you on your journey:
http://ccostello.blogspot.com/
http://www.modestswimwearsolutions.com/
this may be too pilgrimy, but you may find some stuff
http://www.prayercoverings.com

best of luck to you!

R.A.~ said...

thank you missfifi! it's great getting positive feedback and advice