Speak Arabic, they cajoled. Speak your mother tongue: Once it flows, it will flow like the sweetest honey.
In hijab, you can't really hide. You become used to being seen, noticed, judged, or even gawked at. More than ever, it's become an act of courage in the face of hate.
"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.
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.