It takes a village

Yesterday was the first day of Ramadan. The high was 28 degrees. It was Monday, so people went to work as usual. This is after seeing many of these people in the mosque the night before, praying extra supererogatory prayers until 1am.

This Ramadan will be the longest for the next 33 years. We’re at the peak of summer, when this time last year was spent camping in mountains and finding ways to pack every weekend and devouring insane amounts of sushi and gelato. Ramadan requires you to slow right down, if not pack all that away, and remember. Remember God who gave you the mountains you enjoy so much; remember God who gave you the pocket money to spend at restaurants. There’s a lot we forget when we’re high on sunshine and free time. And it’s easy to do so when your life is this full of blessings and ease.

It also happened to be my birthday yesterday. 26 years and a med school graduate, sister of the bride, daughter to the two proudest parents, and still a spring chicken, as I was assured by a friend. Said friend also had a fabulous grad party, in the theme of the many bridal showers and baby showers we’ve been to–except better. Because graduating med school is an accomplishment that not many people achieve, and it deserves a fabulous grad party. Anyone can get married. And yes, it is undoubtedly a joyous occasion. But not anyone just up and does 8 years of school with another 2-7 years of training ahead… and if they do, they deserve a freaking awesome grad party. It’s a shame that our family’s been too engaged in my sister’s wedding to leave room for a free weekend, but rest assured that even after I move for residency, I’m coming back here on a long weekend sometime to throw myself a grad party.

And while it’s nice to celebrate yourself, this perfect timing of Ramadan reminds me that med school coming to an end, the wedding celebrations, all of it comes down to gratitude for the Giver. It’s no accident that I breezed through med school with an incredible set of parents and a sister who gave me the utmost support in ways I couldn’t even imagine. Everything in my life seems to have been made easy for me, alhamdulillah. So when I celebrate this accomplishment, it’s really a celebration of the contributions of those around me, and from the Most High.

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