The 2011 Lenten season has officially come to a close, and so too has the Hijabi Season. Well, at least the part of the season where I wear the hijab. Now, I am experiencing the re-entry phase, the unveiling phase, which part of me was very ready for, but another part of me was apprehensive. I have become so familiar with wearing the hijab and covering my knees and elbows that I could already anticipate feeling vulnerable and very exposed without the hijab.
The transition so far has been smooth for the most part. I, of course, felt those few instances of vulnerability, but am realizing more and more that I have developed a confidence from wearing the hijab that I have been able to carry with me into this post-hijab phase. I am excited to see where and how this newly-discovered self-assurance reveals itself.
I have already been asked by a few women at my work who have been very supportive of my hijabi experience, "Would you do it again?" I have answered them without hesitation, "Absolutely." Wearing the hijab has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It has been a learning experience, a spiritual practice, a window into the invisible expectations of society and culture, and a renewal of my commitment to all those who are not regarded as fully human.
It is my hope that all people can experience something as meaningful and liberating as this hijabi season has been for me. I think one key is to allow the experience to open itself up to you. My hijabi season arose as the culmination of my education and my personal interest and relationships, and with my unfolding and release into it, it blossomed into a unique, unexpected flower. May we all cultivate flowers of compassion, love, solidarity, and understanding.