Letters to July: Ending Ramadan

July 14, 2015.

“You know what the hardest part about Ramadan is?

It’s not the long hours of fasting, or the attempts of memorising the Quran, the standing in Tarawee prayer or even staying up for Qiyaam.

The hardest part is realising that we are our biggest enemy. Acknowledging that our nafs are stronger than we think. Even though he is locked up, he has managed to leave pockets of influence all over us. It’s a very tough and bitter pill to swallow, to know that when we slip in temper, our impatience, our laziness in ibadah, is not because of waswasa, but rather it’s own self and the evil that has built with us.”

Yes, indeed. This is the revelation of this Ramadan. I can’t believe it’s gonna be over soon and I haven’t even used it at all. But at the very least, I’ve learned my lesson this Ramadan, about finding myself, letting go, patience, and trusting God to take the wheel even during times when I’m so mad at Him.

“Sabar dan ikhlas, itu Islam,” said Fedi Nuril in one of my favourite movie Ayat-Ayat Cinta. I guess he’s right, but then again, easier said than done.

Time is fleeting and Ramadan is ending. All I hope that the next time Ramadan comes around, I’ll already be a better person and will have already fulfilled the promises I set for myself.

Thank you, Ramadan, for what you’ve become and for what you’ve taught. You’ll be sorely missed.

With love,

A.

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Letters to July: History

July 12, 2015

Dear July,

I guess history repeats itself. You’ve put me in this position thrice and each time I said to myself, “this time it should be different than the last time.” But then again, it’s either history repeats itself or this girl just doesn’t learn.

Soon you will go, as fast as you came. We’re almost halfway of our journey and I haven’t been complacent with what I gained in you. I have been trying to reconstruct myself and I know, there’s still a long way to go. Soon you will go and so will I. I have to bring the work in progress to a different place and a different phase.

July, I hope you will be enough for me to find out what I want and what’s best for me. I hope you teach me enough to compromise and be patient so I can be a better human being in the future. I hope you bring me closer to people that need me, to those who I need to understand, and to those who love me unconditionally. I hope you throw more of those whose lives intertwine with mine, not only now, but also for the long run.

It’s been an emotional ride, my dear July. I’m still floating in my insecurities, my fragile feelings, and my hopes. I’m still longing for, clinging to the same thing, the same people. My story keeps repeating itself, but I guess this time I’d be more prepared.

But thank you for being here, dear July.

With love,

A.

Letters to July: Unsent adieu

July 9, 2015

Oh, hi. Time is ticking and I guess it’s finally time to say goodbye. As I am not good at saying things, I’d just do what I do best —putting my thoughts into written words and unsent notes.

These past months have been so intense, with all the workload, expectations, and the many brouhahas. There were days where things got overwhelming and it felt that I just dont have enough hours each day just to breathe and chill. But then again, there are always reasons to keep me coming back for more. There’s always a reason to stay —the friendship, the trust, the encouraging words, and even the sense that I might be in the middle of doing something good. It’s a love/hate relationship, but it was love most of the time.

Yes, I’ve fallen in love in this short period of time.

Last time, falling in love was a slow but steady process. I stayed for months and eventually fell for the routine and the comfort. Falling in love this time was a fast one instead. It was like the kind of passionate love you never knew you needed —the one that consumes you and leaves you breathless, but you wouldnt have it any other way.

The very first talk we had made me believe in what we’re trying to do and most of all, it made me believe in myself. It gave me the courage to jump from my comfort zone, to take the leap of faith and be here.

It hasn’t been long and we haven’t spent much time together, but I could not thank you enough for the warm welcome, the kind words, and for believing that I can do something good. Thank you for your support and trust in me.

Thank you for making me believe in human kindness again and for making me brave enough to stand for what I believe in when people scolded me for doing so.

I’ve learned a lot, gained so much, and got a lot of life lessons from our short time together.

Thank you for everything. I hope everything will be well and you’ll find a suitable replacement soon, just don’t forget me too soon, pretty please?

And as Maria said in Jet’s farewell note, no good bye is permanent. So, ’til I see you!

Love,

A.

Letters to July: A knock to the head

FullSizeRender-6 July 6, 2015

It’s funny, some people can disappoint you and some other people can come up with unexpected yet simple things to make you feel better. I started the day with a simple ‘Hai nondel, udah sehat?’ that led to a realization that… dammit Adelia, do not forget what you’ve learned from the past departures —do not take anyone for granted. And again, I guess it’s true. Expectation is the root of disappointment. I’m gonna miss these bunch of sillyheads. Toodles!

Letters to July: Dear Billy

July 3, 2015

I woke up at the wee hours feeling much calmer than I’ve been these past two weeks. Admitting that you might be doing things wrong and spending more time to breathe and leave everything in God’s hands could really do magic to your wellbeing.

I opened my chat apps and among the hundreds notification I found a simple line: “check this out, the song suits you.”

And it is.

After a few loops and long minutes of smile, I thought, this is actually a perfect way to start a day —with a good song (and it’s Billy Joel!) plus a thoughtful greeting from a friend. Little things like this make the world goes round.

Slow down, you crazy child. You’re so ambitious for a juvenile. But then if you’re so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid? Where’s the fire? What’s the hurry about? You better cool it off before you burn it out. You got so much to do and only so many hours in a day.

Don’t you know that when the truth is told, that you can get what you want or you can just get old. 

You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through. When will you realize Vienna waits for you?

I guess I’m getting ready for what the future has in store for me.

Good night. Be kind.

First letter to July

July 2, 2015

I dont like February. April has always been my favorite. July is…. I dont know. July usually comes with changes and insecurities about the future —be it with a ticket to move to another place, taking a further step in a relationship, or jumping into a workplace that I know nothing about.

This July started off with another emotional breakdown of life, love, and work. And quoting someone who’s seen my train wreck moments throughout the years, “You are a strange creature when you’re stressed. You cant think, you don’t make sense, and you cannot handle anything. You’re not yourself.”

But I guess, you are who you truly are when you’re stressed. Your walls crumble down and you don’t have the chance to put on the usual social-self to conceal what’s inside. Maybe that’s why people say that you have to see how someone acts under pressure to really know who he/she really is.

Me? I’m a crybaby who tries to look poised, yet at times I get so hostile. Man, I remember those crazy weeks before the thesis deadline. I argued got into a fight with one of my best friends while he was trying to help me figure out what should come first in my final chapters. That actually happened many times. And that guy had helped me from the very beginning of that 8-month-process, from choosing topic to driving me to chase the sources.

Even before, during college years, my another best friend and I usually ended up yelling at each others and hating each other’s guts every single time a project deadline approached (and by ‘approached’ I mean ‘dammit it’s in 30 minutes!”). But then again, as dysfunctional as the relationship is, we always end up fist-bumping at the end of the day.

I guess it’s true, we should stick to those who have seen our worst yet decided not to leave.

I hope this phase end soon as I really need to be functioning properly again. But then again, there’s always good even in the darkest time. These past few days, I’ve been reminded how little things can really make a difference —how a stupid meme can make you laugh, how bumping into a good article can give a tiny relief, how an honest talk with a friend you usually only gossip with can make you feel liberated, and most of all, how sitting down for a tad longer in your prayer mat can really bring calamity.

It’s the little things that matter. Grand gestures only live in movies. And as someone told me, it’s the baby steps you take that can make a change.

So, July, I hope you’d be good to me.


Today’s piece of gem is taken from Humans of New York post:

“Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. Life is too short— enjoy it. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present and the future. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn’t be in it. 

Take a deep breath, it calms the mind. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

When it comes time to go after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

Burn the nice candles, use the nice sheets, wear the nice lingerie, wear the nice clothes. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

Over prepare, then go with the flow.

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years will this matter?’

Always choose life.

Forgive but don’t forget. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

If we all threw our problems in a pile and we saw everyone else’s, we’d grab our’s back. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need. Yield. Friends are the family we choose. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”


This series are inspired by Emily Diana Ruth’s annual Letters to July. Special shout out to Christabelle for introducing it!

On stress and Mraz

I work best under pressure, but I crack under stress. It’s not easy to get me to that state as I’m usually able to multitask and I think best during the critical hours. And yes, like the movie “I Dont Know How She Does It”, I do make to-do-lists in my sleep. But sometimes things go haywire, but well, the show must go on.

Thankfully, I got my mantra. It is sung by Jason Mraz and James Morrison. Proven since 2009.

The key is to never play it on regular occasions. Save it for the times you really need a good cry and a friend to tell you that all the things that make you panic is only a fault in mother nature’s sewing machine —everything will be fine in no time.

Then, when the tears have stopped and you finally can think clearly, start over.

If I have to point out the best advice I’ve gotten these past 2 years, it’s this: “Take baby steps, Del. One step at a time. It’s okay to be afraid and unsure, but never forget to take those baby steps. That’s the only thing you can do.” Someone gave me that piece of gem when I was crazy with my final year thesis and I was about to abort the mission and opt for the easy way out. I took those steps and the words have been my rock ever since.

I dont even know why I’m writing this in the middle of the night. Maybe I just need a good cry. Maybe I’m convincing myself that everything will be fine eventually. Just when you thought that you got it all figured out, life decided to shake things up. Maybe it’s true, there is no such thing as control. Humans are such vulnerable creatures.

And this rambling needs to stop.

Night night.