“O Allah! Convert our discomfort to comfort, our pains to gains, our tears to smiles, our good dreams to realities.”
I received this letter last week unexpectedly, just because I forgot my anniversary with the company that I stepped in 5 years ago. 5 years! A complete set of fingers to tell me that I’ve been here for such a significant duration. 5 years of undeniable blessings I can say. Having a job, a solid source of income is really something we can’t take for granted of that we should be thankful every day, not only on paydays okay. In total, I’ve been working for 8 years since I graduated and this is the second company I work for. 8 years and 2 companies – pretty loyal, no? Hehe, or maybe just unaggressive in finding opportunities.
I began my career journey in 2009 and what I can say is it was not a good start. The first company I worked for taught me the harsh truth of working life. Unreasonably heavy work load, bad boss, stupid system and sickening people surrounding me every day. It was so stressful and in fact the most stressful period of my life making me traumatic if I throwback the moments. Driving to work felt like handling a cable car – so heavy and the weather was always gloomy all the way to the workplace. In those 3 years, I lost appetite badly and turned from an originally thin girl to almost anorexic. That’s how ugly a bad job could make of me and that’s a true story.
Of course there were still good things I should be thankful for – the knowledge, the experience and there were still nice people I could talk to – and yes I did, thanked God for every little thing I gained from the company. And thank God I have my mom, she was there listening to my whine every time I came home crying. That was all my motivation when dealing with the depression with the hope that things would change for me even though I thought it was impossible. It was my first job and that concluded an impression that working life was never a good thing. I wanted to go back to my wonderful and happening university life but that was just impossible. And it was also impossible for me to not work because I am an adult already, so adults work, adults must work, we have bills and loans now, a pile! So all I thought was, then on and for as long as I’m w.o.r.k.i.n.g, my life is miserable. Nuff said.
But who actually said so? It was just a blind assumption of a hopeless young girl who just began to ‘live’. Who just hasn’t realized and truly believed the power of the Lord who can do miracles. After three years trapped in such a destructive environment, I married my husband and moved to KL. A few months of job hunting, I finally secured a position in here where in the beginning I brought with me the assumptions from my previous work life to the new one, just to be ready to face the “norms”. Amazingly as the days went by, my guesses got all wrong. This place is bliss! The people, the environment, the culture and the boss are all so nice I never thought they existed. Things totally changed as different as night and day. I turned to a positive person, happier and fatter! Haha.. that was due to another reason as well – being married, exactly.
Alhamdulillah I’m happy here. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the people whom I can call friends, not just colleagues. Work-life balance is something really necessary for employees and this company has it ready. Flexi work arrangement and tolerant superiors who understand our commitments at home, not just all work. Some days are bad days and some people are unpleasant which can’t be avoided anywhere but I choose to focus on the good. This place is my comfort zone.
Of course not everything is perfect and I’m not telling those means to brag that I am the lucky one to have the best job ever. No, I’m still at a moderate level of the career ladder and in fact I am not a good employee enough so how could I boast? What I’m trying to tell is, guys, if you’re having a hard time at your work place or have been going through such a disappointing journey to find the right job I truly, truly understand the feelings, because really I’ve been there. If you could see, Allah tested me for three years to grant me with such a wonderful gift I couldn’t ask for more. If you’re tested even longer or harder, imagine what’s awaiting for you in the future! Allah’s arrangement is beautiful. When He tested me with the stressful job, I was single and had less commitment. My focus and weekends could all be spent at the office and no one got affected. Now that I have a family to look at, He gave me a work-life balance job, a company that’s so supportive towards mothers. Our stories are different but believed; the best is yet to come, right on time.
Two years back, the oil and gas industry was having downturns and that affected the company as well. As a result, it worked through a few cycles of retrenchment that impacted even some of my lunch buddies from other department. It’s so devastating to know that from a steady position you held for years, suddenly being told that you’re out of place. It somehow threatened everyone’s security and belief on the company’s stability, including mine. Things improved after that but the incident somehow serves as a constant reminder to me to rely everything on Allah because anything could happen and that a good job does not guarantee a fine end. While I’m cherishing my time here on this anniversary, I pray that if you’re seeking, soonest Allah will bestow you with the dream job you’re wishing for. Ameen.
Till the next post,
17.7.17 – A beautiful date to remark a beautiful memory. Today was my best friend’s big day! After almost 4 years struggling to achieve her dream to receive that doctorate in Accounting discipline, she finally made it last year and today was the official graduation. It was held thousand miles away in UK but we, the friends, in Malaysia did not miss to witness the ceremony broadcasted live through the web. Like wow, technology! With the very clear video plus a 360 virtual reality live stream show, we really could feel the heat in the University of Manchester’s hall. Hehe really, the music sound was ding ding ding making me feel extra nervous that I would miss the moment. But with the friends on What’s app group together updating each other to get ready, it turned into an excitement. This friend’s graduation is a shared happiness, and a shared success too! Hence, we also own partial of that Doctor of Philosophy, yeah? Hehehe.
Congratulations my dear!! You did it!! I’m sooo proud of you. A PhD completion in less than four years? It’s a big wow. This journey wasn’t easy, you nailed it. Come what may, you got it. You deserved to be happy, you deserved to be proud of yourself. Well done, doc!
Last year I went to UK to visit her when she was still there in her final year. I flew alone and it was my first time travelling out of the country. From just a normal text conversation, suddenly she came out with an idea to drag me to her place like it’s just next door. This is how it started. I went to Genting Highlands with my little family and it was night time. It was soooo cold I couldn’t stand that 17 degree temperature outdoor. In my mind was – this is only Genting, not UK! UK is definitely colder but I wasn’t sure how low. So back home, I texted Lia and asked her what’s the normal temperature there in Manchester she’s living. She said “7 – 8 degree at the moment, why?” I was like whattt?? That’s damn cold how do you breatheee?! She replied “Why, are you coming??” I laughed and told her about Genting and so.
Three weeks after the conversation, I touched down UK and breathed in the coolness myself. That’s how simple a partner in crime worked the impossibility. It was spontaneous but timely, the day I arrived was the day Lia had the green light to submit her final thesis. So the very first place she brought me to visit, out of many interesting places in Manchester, was the printing shop! Haha.
I’m glad I was part of the journey, the very least one. The highlights of today’s occasion in some way flew my mind way back in our college time when we were students, pursuing our first degree. Those years we talked a lot about the future, our goals and dreams, like an open book. Our plans and preferences differed, making it fun listening to each other. Lia had always wanted to continue studies to the highest level, PhD. Who would’ve ever thought, after 10 years, the ordinary talk finally took its turn into real play. All praise be to Allah who listened and willed the plans as she wished for.
Being the witness from day one she voiced out the wish, I felt touched because I know the ride wasn’t easy, it’s flawed and bumpy. Not everything worked out the way we wanted it to be as we hoped everything would be smooth but Allah shaped it with a mix of sweet and sour of life. After all the sweats and tears, He finally handed the final result wrapped in the most beautiful package of persistence and determination. At this point, we couldn’t be any happier and more grateful. Indeed, Allah is the best of planners.
Today was one of those days that I sat with my chin cupped reminiscing the good old days. We’re blessed.
Till the next post,
“O Allah! I ask forgiveness for every good which I had intended to do solely for You and thereafter interpolated with something which was not solely for You.”
Ambition was one of the most common questions being asked when we were a kid. We’d be like “When I grow up, I wanna be this…I wanna be that”… answering people. When we’re alone, we daydreamed beyond everyone’s expectation on us. It seemed like a very long way to go but we just couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to grow up and be what we wanted to be. Be on our own.
Today I turned 31. I am already at the when-I-grow-up age that I looked forward to when I was a little girl. I am an adult now and in fact, I’ve been an adult for years already.
But then… I am not the lady I pictured myself as, when I was young. I used to be very ambitious, you know? I wanted to be a career woman with corporate dress up and look intelligent.*Laugh*.
But then, here I am. A wage earner of a multi-national corporation who works 9 to 5 daily, an average executive who doesn’t seem like climbing the corporate ladder any higher. I have no professional certification to high-price my CV and I dress simple. Well, that’s not too bad. I’m happy with my job and daily routine now. Work-life balance.
But then, is this what they call a ‘comfort zone’? Am I already in a comfort zone at this age when my career has not even reached a decade yet? Always a parent’s wish to see their children grow up, get a good job and be successful. Is this a success already? Apparently not what I ambition-ed.
But then, what do I do to stand prouder of myself? Nowadays, doing business is more highly regarded in the community. You’re perceived as more independent and strong by running a business especially if you could brand yourself or your product.
But then, doing business was never in my frame. In fact, I tried, once, but it didn’t work out and I just didn’t enjoy it. And then I tried stock trading. It doesn’t have to plead people to buy, I just had to gain as much knowledge on the economic ins and outs.
But then, it’s still so heavy to me. It’s like going back to college with an obsolete brain but it’s okay it can be polished. With my duty at work and as a mother, I juggled. I couldn’t spare time on the day to study the stuff so I stayed up midnight. I joined one-time classes on the weekends and left the kids with my husband or the babysitter with extra charges. I called it a sacrifice.
But then, I realized my attention to my family went condensed. Even when I’m with the kids, my mind was busy picturing the charts and whatnot. I also had disagreement with my ex-stock-dealer husband who differed my trading practice and a lot more issues. This clash of priorities was so demanding. I was thinking, why do I have to trouble myself with all these problems when I don’t have to? I have a fine job and a steady family who needs much of my attention now so I should just focus on them. And so gave up trading.
But then, the kids will grow up and things will slow down. That time, I will look back and might be regret that I did not push myself a bit harder. I will grow old, retire and live depending on my pension money which maybe has lessened due to early withdrawals. What a force. I’m not gonna live the life I can call a success. So what do I do with my LIFE??
But then, I realized all of my thoughts are all about life. Life in the dunya. The life that is certainly not permanent. I remember during my Umrah trip earlier this year, our first tawaf was led by the Mutawwif. After finishing the seven rounds circling the Kaabah, we performed prayers individually and gathered facing the Multazam (the part of the Kaabah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah) for the Mutawwif to lead the du’a, we followed with ‘Ameen’. The du’a was so long. In my silence, I was surprised that the whole content of the prayers were all on repentance. Asking nothing but forgiveness. Nothing health, nothing wealth, nothing happiness, nothing worldly. I was stunned but in the end cried too.
Seriously…my life had been all about the world like it’s never gonna end. I always looked back thinking if-only’s when life is all what Allah has willed it. I’d been thinking of the life when-I-grow-old when growing old is not even certain. I’d been looking forward to my future age when the ultimate future is Jannah that we hope for. This is why I have so much but-then’s in my life. This gotta stop.
There’s a quote that says, “When you wake up with no other intention but to worship Allah, you have found the purpose of life”. Have I? For the next 32nd year onward, InsyaAllah. I’ll do my best. May Allah forgive me and all us for the excessive worldly thoughts over the life after death.
But then? Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Alhamdulillah.
Till the next post,
Guys! Do you realize that Ramadhan is only 38 days to go?? Yes, it’s true and I’m sooo excited about it! It has been like 2 months people keep sharing the countdown update to welcome the holiest month again. Suddenly today I realized that it is just next month! 27th May 2017 to be exact.
And do you know why I am suddenly so excited?? Haha. Yesterday I went to this Silver Linings Talk by Ustazha Yasmin Mogahed at the Federal Mosque with my buddies. There were a few booths opened outside of the hall selling her new book and also other Islamic products such as Ramadhan Planner. Ramadhan Planner guys?! A planner specially designed for us to carry the month wholly? It’s sooo cool I bought it straightaway! Even the fact that I already have an all-year planner.
Just so you know, I’m a Planner-Addict. I loveee planners so much I mean physical planners not digital. I can’t welcome a new year without one and in fact I always have more than one, mind me. Each for different purposes. Not to forget the accessories like colorful pens, stickers, note pads, washi tapes and clips!
Knowing me and my interest, people around me always associated me as an “organized” person. Planner – planning – organizing – organized. Particular, meticulous, proper, detailed and not to forget the most of an overstatement one; “OCD”.
The truth is? I AM THE MOST CLUTTERED PERSON ON EARTH.
My life is cluttered, my brain is cluttered, my desk is messy, my things are everywhere. I am lazy, a big procrastinator, unproductive especially in the mornings, a slow decision maker. I have so many things in mind and they’re stringing to each other. And while they’re pulling and twisting in my head, a panic-ball kicked in out of nowhere just to get lost in the crowd and makes the whole system jammed!
Now you are jammed too? Sorry for the negative vibes. Haha.
That’s how I am the total opposite from what people thought I was. Reality is I am struggling with my slothful self to get my things done. This is why I always need a planner to keep me going, to keep me sane. But that still does not mean I am an organized one. Sometimes, I can’t or just don’t want to even make time to sit and think of the day. And so I go on live unprepared.
Things get messier, new priorities coming, multiple postponement finally becomes urgent and in the end, I get stressful myself. To make it worse, my body reacts to stress in a way that makes me sick and emotional. Worst? When it’s accompanied by that P.M.S!
Up to this point I will get back to my planners and restart my life. Re-arrange things in order based on the importance and urgency, re-motivate myself, meditate moments, clear my mind and there I go. And the cycle goes on and on in a high frequency. I mean, staying organized can last for just like…a week or two? After that, “drama” begins again.
You see…such a big deal myself is. And you’re telling me I am orrrganized?? That is just an annoying sound I can’t process. I feel like have I been faking myself all my life?? I don’t! I just do what I love to do and I do it my way. But why are people seeing the other side of the coin?
If only they knew how disturbed I am with the random good comments they make on me, they’ll know how funny I am. Or maybe they don’t even mean it? Thinking too much. Haha. I remember when I travelled to UK, a friend of my friend called me “Ms. Inventory” when she saw my multiple pages of packing list.
And she said “Oh My God! Your house must be sooo systematic, right?”
You said my houseeee?? I crumpled my 10-page packing list with rolling eyes and sigh! No, I’m kidding. Hehehe…
That’s how perceptions are killing me softly. And so I made this confession that I am not an organized person that you thought I was. I struggle with myself daily to be a better person, to appreciate time that I have because “By time, indeed mankind is in loss.” [Qur’an, 103 : 1-2]. And planners are my little helpers and I’m doing it also due to my true love for stationery so much! My childhood obsession that never fades as I age. The end of my confessions.
Oh yeah, the Ramadhan Planner. I can’t wait to officiate it as it’s dated starting from Sha’ban month to start preparing for Ramadhan, and Sha’ban is just next week, guys! Ya Allah, may we all utilize the month wholeheartedly and gain as much compounded rewards as we hoped for. Let’s try our best.
Till the next post,
18 February 2017 was my 5th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband. They say, the first 5 years is the first phase of marriage. That means we’ve passed the first phase but what’s the score? Question is, how many phases does a marriage have? Haha.
So what has 5 years taught me so far? A lot! Too many.. Rewinding 5 years, I believe the person I tied the knot with is not completely the same person anymore. Same goes to me! Time changed, things changed, people changed. We went through a lot, we grew from just a couple to parents and to parents-of-two. We love, we argue, we discuss, we fight, we rekindle and repeat. Enduring and enjoying everything in 5 years, these 3 marriage lessons I’d love to share.
BEING A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER. “Behind every successful man, there stands a woman.” But the woman is not only standing. She has to faithfully support her partner for what he chased for. The problem is, how are you going to support a partner doing something you don’t like? Here comes tolerance. Tolerance can be the most common advice we hear about marriage but one that takes the most effort too. Marrying someone who loves Motorsport so much and devotes himself into it, while I have no idea and no interest about it all, was no fun. Tolerance is just overrated, ignorance is better. So I never really involved myself into his activities and avoided any conversation related to it. When he wanted to chit-chat about his rides, I changed topics. When he watched racing shows, I left.
Until I realized these behaviours slowly bored our marriage, I decided to change. I love him and love is about accepting the total person, including his pursuit. I changed my prayers from hoping him to stop doing what he’s doing; to asking Allah to open my heart to love and support my husband’s true passion. I ask Allah to keep him safe all the time, keep myself calm from worrying so much on the risks and a lot more. I also pray for Allah to reward him with winnings if it’s good for him. After all, I thank Allah for destining this kind of partner to me. It’s not that I have an abusive husband! And you know what? Wonderfully since then, I see more rezeki coming his way in that aspect. He began to get opportunities to join track days at the Sepang Circuit, built a team, entered the Malaysian Superbike Championship 2016, received sponsorship and won podium positions. Alhamdulillah. It’s not that I’m saying it all because of me, but I learned that by supporting my husband, for the sake of Allah, we are happier.
RESPECT FOR FAITH. Generally, we respect people for some qualities in themselves and one of them is for being responsible. If someone who has the responsibility on us (in any other aspects, not marriage) and he or she is really responsible, we’d respect him for what he is or what he’s done. Sometimes, we choose not to respect the person because he is not fully responsible so he doesn’t deserve it. Common humane behaviour.
But in marriage, respecting the husband is an obligation come what may. Do we have a choice not to? Yes, it’s the same like choosing to go straight to hell. Nauzubillah! But then again, being a normal human and standing on a position titled ‘Wife’, I can’t avoid being selfish and demanding too. From the basic necessities to extra money to household chores to emotional attention to children to future plannings to everything; so I will respect him. Because? Those are his responsibilities. Question is, are we married to a perfect person? No, nobody in this world is perfect, nor our partners or ourselves. Still, obeying the husband is the key to Jannah. We can’t apply that common humane behaviour, above, in marriage because that’s not what we’re taught of. That’s why we are always reminded to say “I love you for the sake of Allah”. Have faith, remember the reward that Allah has promised and remember the punishment too if we don’t! 😥
PRAYERS CAN CHANGE. Everyone has a dream marriage or nowadays what people hashtag : #relationshipgoals. We want partners who tolerate, communicate well, be there when in need, is pious, loyal, all ears, appreciative, romantic…all sorts of qualities. And these all, we can mindlessly gain them in the beginning of the marriage, sounds right? Newlyweds oxytocin hormone :D. But along the way with our daily routines, occasional problems arisen and also knocking parenthood, we might overlook our partner once and that only can stop us doing our loving acts and slowly fade the spark in the relationship. Or, you never even had the kind of relationship you wanted? You’ve tried but all you get is frustration? I tell you, prayers can change, prayers do change. To me, stop putting so much effort to gain our partner’s attention because we are women. We don’t chase. Men come to us. Hahaha… Jokes aside, prayers work miraculously. If you believe in your #relationshipgoals and it’s for the sake of Allah, never stop hoping. Pray harder.
Entering the 6th year and more to count, I am pretty nervous of what’s coming. The past 5 years were a bumpy ride but we made it thus far. Things I mentioned above are still the things I’m learning to master. This post serves as a reminder to myself in the future. If you found it beneficial to you, I’m happy. If not, I apologized and please take it as words from just a 5-year-old girl in the world of marriage, still young! 🙂
Till the next post,