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  • Writer's pictureNajah Amatullah

What Had Happened Was...

I could not blog and do grad school all at once. But now the master's is complete, I could finally write the manifestation blog I've been promising y'all since I left Oklahoma.


This is going to be partially "written out" and partially just listed. Something you should know before reading. I do not now and have never believed in coincidence. If you do believe that unrelated and disconnected things "just happen," this is not likely to convince you otherwise.


Also, you don't have to believe in the power of a Jesus year or anything like that, but I do. And so did the John the Disciple who Jesus loved (chapter 14:12). So I turned 33 on August 1, 2021 and celebrated my 34th birthday in 2022 at a living room kick back in my brand new apartment in Guatemala. We had been here ten days. It took the whole year.



Most of the following information is coming from my journals.


I started setting the goal to practice Spanish daily in early 2021.


In 2021, I spent more time out of Oklahoma than in forever. That good old stimulus money took me to Panama, Gulf Shores, AL, and circumstances took me to Houston and Galveston, TX. Three trips between March and August set me up for a big let down in 2022. Until...


Things that happened just because I said so.

  • On 2/4/2021, I wrote in my journal: I wonder if I need to move... I went on with the questions. Then I ended with this poem fragment: Oklahoma only hold trash and treasure. Tools always move somewhere they can be of use.*

  • At Christmastime 2021, I felt very alone and unhappy. I promised myself I would not spend another holiday season/Christmas living in Oklahoma. I didn't know where I was going or how I would get there, but I wanted out.

  • Some where near 4/22/22, I was working on things with a group I'm in, and the question was asked: "Where does your thriving self live?" My answer was this: It doesn't matter as long as there is gathering space and books.

  • When my friend told me about the job opening here in Guatemala, I immediately drew the flag in my journal and wrote that my daughter and I were moving. I also texted it to my other best friend without details.


Things that happened because I said it and worked toward it.

  • Apply for new job was on my January to-do list in 2021 and I applied to countless jobs for 18 months. The last one would have started May 1, 2022, and it was for a poetry company. It was a travel job and I thought I was a shoe-in. I didn't get it because I said my longterm goal was education and they wanted someone to stick with the company longer than 5 years. Less than 2 weeks later, I was preparing to move to Guatemala.

  • When I went to Panama in July 2021, I told friends and family: "Don't be shocked if I get there and love it so much that I start applying for jobs and then only come home to pack and make an exit plan." If you know me well, you likely remember me saying that. I didn't think I'd so quickly move somewhere other than Panama, and if we are honest, I would still rather be in Panama. But for now, I'm glad to just be not in Oklahoma.


  • Let's talk about music for a second. In 2013, back when I was definitely still a Christian, Hillsong United made "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)." In 2016, I was a very disbelieving Christian standing on a beach in Alabama singing this song. In 2021, as most definitely NOT a Christian, I was looking at the water around Panama City and my videos from Veracruz beach and this song popped up somewhere. I'm realizing that the song transcended the theology that made it. In Panama, I internalized this mantra: el mar no tiene limites. These days, I acknowledge and leave space for God/all the gods of the elements and the earth. Once I learned to be limitless, I was able to go "where my trust was without borders, and walk upon the waters."**

  • When I was posting about Panama, I was looking for songs to go with my pictures on TikTok. I don't love the message of this song, but it also resonates for a reason that is so far unclear. I don't leave behind songs that strike a cord in me. Sam Fischer "This City:" - "This city's gonna love me then leave me alone/This city's got me chasing stars."

  • On 12/8/2021, I wrote in my journal: Can I go back to Millwood? - I was in between contracts when this Guatemala job popped up because I had decided to return to Millwood, but had tried to negotiate some things that weren't set. Without this exit plan, I might have re-signed with the school I was at and had to break contract.

Things that didn't work so I would be free to come to Guatemala.

  • On 1/23/2022 I made a list of people in OK that I like because I was so alone.

  • Also

in January 2022, I was trying to decide if I should move to a different city and get pregnant again (this is not the place for the story).

  • My house lease would have run out on April 30, 2022. In February or March, I sent an email to my landlord saying that I was applying for jobs out of city and state and hoping to know more really soon. I requested an extension just until June 30th. When I didn't get the poetry company job, I drafted an email asking for a one-year lease extension. And sent it. But the next week, I was applying for the job in Guatemala. I was surprised I hadn't received a response from my landlord in over a week so I went to my sent mailbox. I had not sent it to him. I had sent it to myself.


  • Here's some very old information that almost no one knows but that became very relevant while moving. My child's father has never seen her, known her, nor has his name ever been on her birth certificate. I'm not going to tell the whole story, but here are two important details: 1) If he were on the birth certificate, there is no way in logistical heaven or hell that I would have been able to get his signed consent to leave the U.S. with her in the exactly 7 weeks between applying for her passport and leaving the country. 2) I went countless rounds with my conscience and a few of my loved ones about why I hadn't or whether I was going to find him and establish paternity. Who knew that depression and procrastination would be the characteristics to thank for this?

Things in Guatemala that align that I didn't know to ask for.

  • an apartment near a great hiking spot

  • The global pandemic proved that we can do things virtually. If it had not been for that, I would have had to choose between moving to Guatemala and finishing my master's because I could not have taken off the days at the end of our school semester to go to Oklahoma and defend my thesis. Everything was virtual.

  • a modern too-small apartment where I learned to fight with bugs before we go where there are likely to be more bugs and I need to not have a panic attack when they pop up.***

  • an apartment further away from the group so I could start with some privacy.

Notes:

*Oklahoma friends, I'm not calling y'all trash. You may be a treasure. But you should also consider if you are a tool and you need to go where you can be of use. (There are some ways to still be of use there, but it's getting harder to see with every election.)

**🧿The next part of manifesting a life I love is either living near water, or having an income that takes me regularly to beaches. We will see which and how. But ever since 2016, I have felt in my gut that I belong on a waterfront. 🧿

***🧿A closer manifestation is that we will move next year to a different neighborhood here. I am already asking for advice and taking inventory on the place since we have friends who currently live there.🧿


I saw this saved graphic in March or April and felt like this was gonna be the year I fell flat on my face. But that's not what happened. Om Na My Ah Shi Vay Ah - I honor the divinity that resides within me. Or "it's the God in me," whatever the Marys said.



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“I’se been a’climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark, Where there ain’t been no light.” -Langston Hughes “Mother to Son” I am from Oklahoma. Midwest Ci

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