It was the first weeks of fall, and because of some problems at home, I was remembering all the challenges in my life, and comparing myself with others who live in nice houses and look like they don’t have problems. At the end of thinking of all this, I thought: “Hey, Fatima, come on, even if it looks that way from here, they may have even bigger problems than I ever had, who knows? And my problems led to good experiences in my life, so there is nothing to cry about. Think of the bad days other people are facing now. If I am crying with so much confidence, what should those people do? It is how life goes.” I was trying to embarrass myself about crying, but no, I couldn’t stop. So I grabbed my laptop, went to the basement and started writing this poem:

I Am Glad…

I am glad for having a hard background
A mother who slapped me when I did wrong
A dad who limited my activities
The responsibility, when I was eight, to babysit my sister and brother
Because it led to competitive ideas
Trying to reach high.

I am glad I spent hours doing homework
Sometimes didn’t sleep all night
Had to write by lantern’s light
To save money on the electricity bill
I am glad that I was not born in a luxury house
So I could experience what the world is like
For all kinds of people.

I am glad to have a very good father
Who was sensitive about his children
Who in the worst of times
Wanted the best things for his children.

I am glad for all the times I cried when I was away from home
Glad I spent so much time thinking about my family
Thanking my parents for all the efforts they made for me
For all the risks they took to make me the person I am today
It led me to think and live independently
But to also be part of a family, a team.

Thanks, Allah, for letting me learn from good and bad experiences
I am glad for the position I am in today
I am glad that my parents are proud of me
I am glad for all the achievements that I’ve had.

By Fatima A.