There’s this girl I once knew.

I heard she’s getting married soon, and it reminded me of a dark time…a time when I had met an occurrence that I couldn’t understand, despite my efforts. I cared about her, and stood by her for a long time as she figured herself out, even during times when she would push me, hurt me, and make me struggle within my own self because of her own struggles (and those times came often). I used to know her inside and out, and would be her support in fulfilling her every dream.

Then, one day, something happened, that until today I don’t understand. This girl, holding the potential of greatness in so many ways, threw away all of her dreams. She told me that she was confused and didn’t know what she wanted from life. She wanted time to understand herself better before taking any new steps in life. She was full of potential, but I felt she was restrained by her desire to please those around her over pleasing God and herself. I may be wrong, but it’s what I felt, based on my knowing her.

She put aside projects she had begun working on, changed future plans, threw away many of the dreams she spoke so passionately with me about, and became this whole new person that I just didn’t understand. She then told me that she was engaged to marry a man that she had only begun speaking to a few weeks before announcing that decision. I asked her about how it would change her life, and she said that she would be moving from place to place around the world because of the nature of his work, and will be spending a long period of time living in places known as active warzones. Nothing made sense to me, and so I gave her space, prayed for her, and let her make the decisions she felt was best.

Usually, at the end of an article, I come to a point of speaking on the lessons learned from an inspiring story, or something like that. This time, I’m left speechless because of my sincere confusion. All I can say is that I hope she is getting married and making these decisions because she’s looking out for herself and is trying to live out her dreams. I have seen a few people get married solely to avoid facing their own realities and the struggles that may come from facing their fears. I sincerely hope she isn’t doing that. Even if her fiancé is a good man, and from what she told me, I’m sure he is…I still hope that she is taking her steps carefully and is acting with wisdom and heart, and not because of others or her own fears. Some may consider it pathetic to still care about someone’s well-being, especially when they hurt me more times than they healed, but I believe it be to a reflection of my sincerity and genuine heart. That is something I am proud of, and I don’t believe it to be arrogant of me to be proud of something like that.

At the end of the day, I wish her the best, and pray that she stays happy, safe, loved by the One Above, and lives out to her greatest potential. May Allah give her clarity and guidance, and bring back the ambitious and confident woman I once knew – bring back the woman that was taken away from thriving, and brought to a life of simply surviving.

There was this woman I once knew.