Love is the Answer

This may be one of the most intimate posts I write because of its subject matter and how fiercely protective we are when it comes to this relationship and love. But considering the times we are living in, where hate and divide are prevalent and promoted, I wanted to share my story in hopes it’ll help open up dialogues and hearts.

It was pretty clear early on that I was expected to grow up and marry someone who was Pakistani and Muslim just like me. I dreaded and feared a day to come where I would have to open up to my parents about meeting a man who was anything other than the same culture and religion they were. Yet and still it happened.

My family has disagreed with a lot of life choices I’ve made including leaving home to pursue a career in acting. I’ve somehow found ways to dig deep inside and follow my heart regardless of  the opinions of others and my love life was to be no different.

I met a man a few weeks after I departed an unsuccessful relationship who would go on to become the best friend and team mate I could’ve asked for. I wasn’t ready for a relationship, hell or even a friendship but who are we to ever question God’s timing? I struggled with trust and was closed off to new people coming into my life. Fast forward 2 1/2 years, the list I had created in terms of a partner, Sam has encompassed and surpassed. Evolution is unavoidable when in his presence. Dreams and goals are that much more attainable. Patience, forgiveness and love are virtues that I now carry into each day because of the things he’s helped me learn. We were from two different backgrounds. He is African-American and I’m Pakistani-American. But our love and life plans saw no disconnection. Our love is love.

Turning 30 this year pushed me to want to live an even more truthful life and apart of that meant making the call to my mom a few weeks ago to share with her the excitement I had in my heart about this amazing friend. 

She was closed off from the moment I told her down to the minute when the call disconnected. There were harsh words and judgements. There was preconceived notions off the basis of skin colors and predictions of unhappy endings because we were from two different backgrounds. It hit hard but didn’t come as a surprise. I accepted the words that spoke of disownment should I choose to follow my heart. Just like that, without ever having spoken to or met him, the door was closed.

In the last couple of years, I have experienced more hate and racism living in America than in my whole life because of the color of my skin. The sad reality is that we as human beings are more focused on the things that separate us from each other rather than the things that unite us. I’ve learned from my experience with people from all backgrounds that at the core of who we are, we all long for the same things; to love and be loved. For a chance to be heard and to know we matter. 

These lessons have helped guard my heart when it comes to family separation. Knowing that families are full of people with different personalities, all operating from what they know best has also helped me to go forward and have no ill will in the words that have been spoken. It’s never easy being on the outskirts of your tribe but I’m learning that it is an opportunity to look deep within and figure out what works best for us as individuals. Following your heart is never a sin. Love is a friend of miracles. If we are blessed enough to experience that in this lifetime, hold onto it and nourish it. Love is and will always be the answer.