"You're free now." "You're liberated!" Statements like this make me cringe, however well intentioned. This is because of the misconception that most woman who wear hijab are oppressed and don't experience freedom. It's also because I feel torn--- I want to explain my decision without putting down my religion or the many beautiful people in my life who choose to wear hijab, while also being true to what pushed me away. I believe it's possible to begin that conversation.
It was a sweaty summer night in Brooklyn, but as I walked home the winds lifted my hair and offered a respite from the heat. As wavy strands lifted off of my neck and even into my eyes, I grinned.
At the time of writing the article, I had a limited idea of what my future would look like. I never imagined that just a year or so later, I would pick up the mirror holding my image and drop it to the ground. That day, I had decided that I wanted to explore life without hijab.