Posted in Life

The words I didn’t say

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country
-Kurt Vonnegut

It’s surreal to walk through the halls of my old high school. Memories lurk behind every corner, the ghost of laughter echoes in the rooms, and I can see a younger, more insecure me walking through the halls as one of two (and later the only) Muslim girls wearing a hijab.

Not much has changed in the school. Sure, the set up in the cafeteria is different and there’s a brand new gym, but the people are all the same. No matter the advances in technology (I will never be ok with them using cell phones in class) or changes in fashion, the tone of high school is still constant. I could go back in time and bring my entire high school class to compare, and I can guarantee that there would be someone similar for everyone (except for me, of course.. I’m far too unique and cool to be repeated in history).

It’s funny noting how many people don’t remember me. To be honest, many years have passed, and I know that there have been hundreds of students since then, but apparently this is the first year since my graduation that there is another young lady wearing hijab. I found it amazing that those who recognized me instantly were the school janitors. After a few times of catching up, I asked what made me stick in their minds after all these years (as they still remembered my graduation year and my name). The lady and gentleman looked at each other and smiled, then the lady turned to me and said “because, honey, you always talked to us, and when you did you had the biggest and brightest smile I’ve ever seen on your face.” Such power from an action with no words. I was literally speechless with awe.

Moral of the story is don’t underestimate the impact you can have on the world, even if it’s just to provide something with happy memories. And remember that smiling is charity, so be sure to spread the wealth 🙂



Enjoy my little descriptions of life and experiences, and feel free to leave any comments and or suggestions!

13 thoughts on “The words I didn’t say

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  2. Love how the janitors remembered you Salma! It’s amazing how smiling and taking out a little time to say hello can make such a difference! It is truly a great quality! Don’t ever loose it!

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