Today, I count my blessings to the safety and security that is offered to me in respect to where I live and who is with me. I am solely glad to Allah that He has his light shining on me and the people that are in my life today and how one turn of the hour could have made my life on a completely different tangent today.
I remember when I graduated from college in Pakistan. I started looking around for schools and education in the US. I would spend all day working at the library in the American Consulate at that time trying to find schools and their requirements that meet my pocket in terms of the tuition charges. Once there, I would find my regular three six-hundred-page college education guide books and I would sit in the corner with a pen and a notebook taking down names and tuition charges and contacts of the universities. I was so determined to go to college in the States that I set myself a goal or a maximum limit for the college tuition not thinking where the money is going to come from after the first semester.
Determined and confident, I applied to the schools and got responses from four to five of the schools after a few weeks. I made the appointment with the US Embassy for an interview for a student visa. I was nervous. I was confused. I was scared. Stepping out of my parent's house for the very first time on my own not knowing where I am going or who I am seeing. But I went to the interview window with shaky legs and answered the questions about my grades in school and what I aim to do once allowed permission to the States. After a long twenty minute chat with the officer, I sat back down in anticipation. At about four o'clock my name was called and I GOT THE VISA! I was very content as I could see my future now. Albeit, a lot different then who I am today, regardless it was my dreams of that age.
The next day I flew out from Pakistan to the US for school. The journey was long and tiring. I remember there was a stop over in Germany and once I got to the airport, I couldn't recognize any German language at the airport. And that scared me even more to what I was getting into.
I finally made it to the States and started my first semester. I was late getting the visa so I missed the first week of classes. Whatever was left to be enrolled, I picked up a hard Calculus class at seven in the morning, five days a week. As hard as it was, I made it through the semester and thus one after the other semester, I graduated after three years of hard work and two full time jobs.
To this day, I think of that moment when my passport was given into my hand with a handshake that I was granted the student visa. I was the lucky one out of only four that day to get a student visa. And today I think where I would be if I had been denied the visa that day.
The culture here has transformed me so much that I can’t even go back and connect to the youth over there. I am sure the culture itself has changed a lot since the mid 1990s but if I wasn’t here by the grace of Allah, I would be over there working in some government office with my three kids running around at home. My parents on the other hand would been a lot happier about my life as I would be a true picture of what they want me to be and how I would be spending my life because their dreams would have come true unlike my dreams which would have been suppressed to live a life of who I am today and to see in the future for who I could be tomorrow. Allah works in mysterious ways - He is the one who has your fate decided even before it begins.
Don't kill your imagination and your objectives. Your goals are yours to fulfill. Look at yesterday, experience today and rehearse for tomorrow as tomorrow would be a brand new sun around the horizon telling you that you have the chance to be yourself and start afresh. Chase your dreams and work on the present, worry about the future later.