I compare my living arrangement to a grown-up living in a dorm. Since settling into Qom, we found ourselves obviously not focused on a permanent housing solution, but rather just finding a simple, comfortable space.
When you move to Qom to study, your housing goal is find a good decent place, where you can live comfortably. That being said, push all those Western “needs” to the back burner.
2 baths? An island in the kitchen? Crown molding?
Let’s not bother with those at the moment.
Since we moved with two kids, our biggest priority was a 2-bedroom place. We’ve lived in places with Western toilets and Eastern squatters. We’ve had a bathtub at one point. And in one place our kitchen was so small that there was no room for the fridge!
But you try to see the positives in every situation. It actually helps you find peace in your life when you aren’t constantly trying to keep uncovering the next best thing.
I think for me, the biggest point is that I’m trying to improve my outlook on life. I’m trying to live simply, and still be happy. My goal is not to replicate the life I had in America in Qom.
Yes, I have less counter space and no dishwasher, but, hey, I actually don’t need those things to survive either. If I have them, Alhamdulillah, and if I don’t, Alhamdulillah.
It’s definitely easier said than done. But I’ve found that being creative in how one manages their situation really helps. We have become really good at living with less and also decluttering.
Silver lining: Less living space also means less space where you can hoard stuff!
If we find something is not getting used, we get rid of it.
We have also gotten really organized in how we manage our grocery and household purchases. We take monthly shopping trips to get those essentials like toilet paper, detergent, etc. We don’t have room to just overstock, so we plan accordingly. Same with meat and food shopping.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I do swoon for that huge kitchen, or that walk-in closet. But I remind myself of the wonderful things I do have, and what really matters.