Mayday.

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Since it’s mayday, I thought, “why don’t I write about my thoughts on being a worker, trying to earn a living while making my life worth it?”

I finished my masters in October 2016, went back for good after i spent almost 6 years in the UK in November 2016, started working (I mean, serious work here) in January 2017. Hence, it has been almost four months or so? Yep, about four months. So like any other fresh graduates out there, who was once yearning to go out on the ‘real world’ and do ‘real job’, I was too. Except that I didn’t have any clear path on what I really want to do (or maybe most of fresh grads didn’t have any clue too). I remember the days where I wanted to be an architect, because I liked art but being a painter would make my life quite difficult especially if I want to sell my paintings. One has to be truly exceptional to earn a living as a painter. I also remember the days when I wanted to be like my mother, and climb up the career ladder, being a manager in the corporate world and all. Just to show that women have guts too. But who would’ve thought that I would graduate as a social science student, with a masters in IPE. Plus, I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but I never thought I would spend 6 years of my life overseas. But I did. Damage done. LOL no-lah. And I still remember how I rejected JPA’s offer for me to go to Japan because my parents forced me to. LOL. no-lah. It’s a blessings in disguise too, apparently. And here I am, trying to write my thoughts of being a worker.

Being a worker, I thought was the time of one’s life. Go out in the morning, come back home in the evening, and got paid.

“you finally get to go out to the real world”

But it isn’t as easy as it looks like.

They say millenials are lazy. They are too picky. They jump jobs too frequently. But Poswolsky  said that millenials generation are simply full of aspirations. They are a generation that are yearning to make a change, wanted to find meaning in what they do, in their workplace, find a work that makes your heart sing, creates impact, and pays rent (or food in Malaysian case). So, commemorating my four months-versary (I doubt that I spelled it right), here are my thoughts on being a worker:

1. Live a life worth living.
As I was about to graduate, I considered applying for jobs in the UK, but I received abah’s text, “ten, balik Msia lah. Farah needs you here.” Like a mutant receiving Professor X’s order, I decided to go back home for good. Gus’ fear in The Fault in Our Stars is oblivion. Mine? is not being able to make my life worth living. Holding on to that aphorism, I took a job that some advised me not to. I was optimistic as I believed what I believe. I had faith in the fight I believed worth fighting. As Poswolsky said, it is crucial to find your purpose. And it’s okay if it keeps on changing. Maybe at the time being, it’s about earning experience, exposure regardless if it’s not related to your degree. Maybe you just want to earn money. Or maybe your purpose now is to go into the corporate world. Maybe it’s to pursue you graduate study, maybe it’s to make people’s life better and do charity work. Or maybe you just want to change the world to be a better place to live in. But make sure to have a purpose as life goes along. And it’s okay if it keeps on changing. It should.

2. Take a risk and jump that cliff.
I ventured into a field that isn’t popular. And perhaps, there is very little market for it locally. I’m not even sure where will it’s going to bring me in the next few years. But I decided to just jump that cliff. It is not a secure work that would promise you a high remuneration but it is something that everyone would willing to do. So, I thought, why don’t give it a try?

3. Always try to put your heart out.
Somewhere along the line, you will get demotivated. Sometimes, that day isn’t just your day. Sometimes you feel like you just not doing things that you like. Or enjoy. It’s normal. Despite that, just try to put your heart out in every work that you do. Some days you will feel useless, or you will feel, “i’m not qualified to this kind of job”, sometimes you’ve been spending hours and hours in your office/cubicle in front of the computer but achieved nothing. It’s normal and despite that, just try to put your heart in everything – if you feel like doing a bad job, make sure you put your heart in doing a bad job. It’s normal.

4.Learning does not end when you graduate.
Maybe if you graduate, with a degree in your hand or a masters certificate scroll, you might feel like you’re equipped with all the skills and expertise to handle the ‘real world’. You’re not. Learning does not end when you graduate. When you enter into the world of work, you actually continuing the process of learning – except that you get paid for it. Sounds cool ite? You might learn different things. How to handle your work (or how not to), how to be innovative and present new ideas, different perspectives, work with people with different perspectives, how to handle you emotional health and all sorts of things.

5. No matter how hard it gets, make sure have time for coffee, cendol or a stroll.
Due to the nature of my work, I decided that I have to make sure that I have time for coffee with friends, family and cendol with my anak-anak usrah. They say that the work you choose is synonymous with the life you choose. But to keep me sane, I know that it’s important to stitch people that matters in my life. Some people might call it escapism, but I call it personality theraphy. Yes, you are subscribed to a life you choose, work revolves around your life but try to make sure that it does not consume you. Especially when the friends that I have at the office are basically zero, I have to make sure that I’m still human at the end of the day and I am still me.

But one good lesson that I am learning is that – you need to have a purpose. And it’s okay if it keeps on changing because it needs to. It’s what keeps you a purposeful human being. As you get older, the troubles and the problems that you face will become more complex and harder. But, life is too short to be unhappy and lost yourself. You can depend all you want on other people, feeling like grass is greener on the other side, but the grass is greener where you water it. Unless, it’s a really bad grass then it might be the time to change. I do not know how far this current life will take me but I am trying to keep my head up high.

Another thing, try not to be afraid of who you are and holding on to your dreams. Selagi tak melanggar syariat, jalani saja! I’ve been holding back on something that I really wanted to do. I guess, I should just start before I turn 50 and said, “I wished I had just submitted those photos and just try.”

p/s: Wrote this on the 1st of May but published it on the 2nd because Kenji decided to bite my laptop cable sampai putus. And, I spent about RM500 in PBAKL. Looks like Ramadhan is going to start a little bit early for me. LOL.

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She accompanied me doing work at a coffee shop. The most wonderful question that I received from her besides “u okay yang?” is, “will you be my bridesmaid?”

 

 

 

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Walau ke hujung dunia

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Kemana langkahku pergi
Slalu ada bayangmu
Ku yakin makna nurani
Kau takkan pernah terganti
Saat lautan kau sebrangi
Janganlah ragu bersauh
Ku percaya hati kecilku
Kau takkan berpaling

Walau keujung dunia, pasti akan kunanti
Meski ke tujuh samudra, pasti ku kan menunggu
Karena ku yakin, Kau hanya untukku
Seorang seniman yang sangat dikagumi, Tulus menyanyikan lagu untuk seorang seniman yang veteran, yang berperanan meniupkan inspirasi pada seorang Tulus. Lagu Chrisye, – Untukku. Di permulaan video, Tulus menyatakan Chrisye berjasa dalam memberi inspirasi, yang telah menjadikan Tulus siapa dia hari ini, seorang yang bisa hidup dengan cita-citanya.

I loved the verse

Saat lautan kau sebrangi,
Janganlah ragu bersauh

A reaffirmation for his loved one to never doubt. The journey of menyeberangi lautan might seem daunting and an impossible task, but never doubt yourself. And it ends with,

Walau keujung dunia, pasti akan kunanti
Meski ke tujuh samudra, pasti ku kan menunggu
Karena ku yakin, Kau hanya untukku.

I am infatuated by the verse.

One is willing to go through the hardship, tribulation and calamity because one is confident that ‘Kau hanya untukku’. That’s just charming.

And here is the original song by Chrisye himself. This is just a sweet escape from Chapter 2 🙂

 

The Agony of Waiting

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

I would always start my post with what I’ve written above. In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful. It’s incredible in the most mundane and spontaneous habit, we find solace.

I am not good in waiting. But, I am getting better at it. If someone made me wait for hours and hours I might throw some curses here and there but I will wait. That was me, then. I tried killing time doing something useful and meaningful while waiting but sometimes it costs me. Like the other day last week, while I wait for the oil in the pan to reach its almost boiling point, I went upstairs and did something. Luckily, I put the fire at a very low level. Or the other day when I was waiting for my flight, I read a book. If I were to travel alone, I would have almost missed it. Waiting is an agony. Sometimes you tend to lose your senses.

A friend of mine the other day whatsapped me about her life in Malaysia. Most of my friends are now currently working, living lives as careerwomen/men. Matters such as jodoh, work and dakwah, self-development were discussed. And it came to me that, no matter where you are now, just remember that you will not be there forever. Time will pass and so do you. You will grow, you will flourish, you will fall, but you will get back up.

I can never remember the countless times that I did cry while going through this journey abroad. But it is indeed the path that I’ve chosen. Time difference do suck and it is an agony waiting for someone over there to wake up while you are trying as hard as you can to stay awake. Waiting is an agony.

Waiting for uncertainties is an agony. But cherish the ones who wait with you.

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Moving on

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Mencintai bukanlah hal yang mudah. Kesusahan dalam mencintai bukan terletak kepada nikmat dan perasaan bahagia tetapi mencintai sehingga menyakitkan perasaan. But that’s part of life. Like onerepublic’s lyric, ‘Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad’. One of the hardest part of falling love is to move on. And it requires time. When you feel that you made a wrong decision, time will heal.

I watched and read karya Hamka, Tenggelamnya Kapal van der Wijck. Dalam kebanyakan orang mengatakan their favourite was “Demikianlah perempuan, dia hanya ingat kekejaman orang kepada dirinya, walaupun kecil, dan dia lupa kekejamannya sendiri kepada orang lain walaupun bagaimana besarnya.”

Tapi my favourite quote ialah apabila Zainuddin di marahi Muluk kerana seakan-akan mati jiwa akibat kekecewaan. Dalam karya Hamka, Muluk seorang manusia yang biasa tahap intelektualnya memarahi Zainuddin kerana seakan-akan tewas dengan godaan iblis yang membuatnya putus asa akan cita-citanya, hidupnya. Katanya Muluk pada Zainuddin,

“Lihat anak-anak muda zaman sekarang, yang menangis tersedu-sedu meminta belas kasihan
perempuan, mau dia berkorban, sengsara, Nina, hanyalah mencari apa yang disebut orang
cinta. Salah persangkaan yang demikian, hai guru muda. Cinta bukan mengajar kita lemah
tetapi membangkitkan kekuatan. Cinta bukan melemahkan semangat, tetapi membangkitkan
semangat.

Guru sendiri yang mengajarkan kepada saya, dan sekarang saya kembalikan kepada guru, [152] bahwa banyak orang benar-besar yang kalah dalam percintaan, lantaran kekalahan itu dia ambil jalan lain, dia
maju dalam politik, dalam mengarang syair, dalam mengarang buku, dalam perjuangan hidup,
sehingga dia naik ke atas puncak yang tinggi, yang perempuan itu wajib melihatnya dengan
menengadah dari bawah. Dengan itu; biar hatinya sendiri hancur dalam kekecewaan yang
pertama, maka orang banyaklah yang mengambil hasilnya.”

Jelas yang paling susah dalam aspek mencintai adalah memahami bahawa cinta harus membangkitkan kekuatan dan semangat. And just trying to move on from one chapter of my thesis to another. Tapi chapter before ni tak siap lagi cano.

 

 

Now set forth the rants.

“analysts and activists alike seek to re-socialize finance so that those whose interests it serves can be identified and so that new, socially embedded forms of exchange can emerge.”

 

Tak ke mudah kalau simplify in layman’s language. New ethical system is to be set forward. Kan senang. Ini jadinya kalau nak tulis 5k+5k esei dalam dua minggu. Anything is possible!

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

I read an excellent article. Answers to my questions and confusion. It’s from a blogger and also a writer who blogs here

I’m just going to quote what she wrote.

“Ini analogi gue ya, Fu. Orang yang ‘nyoba’ berbagai bidang itu memperluas tangga mereka ke samping, makin lama makin lebar, tapi sama sekali nggak membantu mereka untuk naik tingkat dan mendekat ke tujuan sebenarnya.”

“great men (or women) who were really excel and made history were the ones who have their thoughts focused and set on what their passion is.

You can participate gazillions of societies, but you will make very little contribution and changes towards what you are working on. And this brought me to a conversion that I had with Kak Sarah. She shared what she listened to in IKIM fm. An islamic scholar was asked, “we have so much trouble in this world. how do we overcome all this problems? asa if we have too much to do”. “We have a lot to fight. But choose your fight and fight properly.”

“We have a lot to fight. But choose your fight and fight properly.”

I have too many thoughts running through my mind. How i have myriad of passions to pursue. but yes, indeed it is important to be focus and what you can do well and potentially develop. and concentrate on just that to make a difference.

and i hope to be a researcher, writer and film-maker.

bi iznillah.

Life explained.

 

Word.

Yesterday was my presentation on data analysis. Despite the on-point timing of my presentation, I felt bad for myself as my progress was not very good. I haven’t foun any significant result on my analysis hence, my project could go down the drain. And I cried, watch some crappy videos and I slept at 5am.

I’ve been watching some very good videos and it hit me. I love telling stories, documentaries and writing. That was my passion. And i think teh reason why I study international political economy is solely due to the reason that I want to understand the world as it is and make it a better place. But, I feel like people don’t benefit from what I’m doing. So, I’ve decided something quite radical.

I’m going to resume my passion of story-telling. So basically, I’m going to re-ignite my relationship with my camera. My Blaise, and perhaps a new member of the family.

So today will be my planning day. I will plan my life, my KPI and my milestone.

Ok lunch time. till then insyaAllah.

 

Because of incompetency and insecurities that make us human.

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

I am defined by what I feel as what I feel will move me or stagnate me. Movies, music and words can move or stagnate me. They will put make a mark on my head, my heart.

 

“Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana;
dengan kata yang tak sempat diucapkan
kayu kepada api yang menjadikannya abu

aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana;
dengan isyarat yang tak sempat disampaikan awan
kepada hujan yang menjadikannya tiada” – Sapardi Djoko Damono

I first encounter that poetry above form a book that was given by Hisan. And I found an extract:

“Dalam diriku mengalir sungai panjang
darah namanya
dalam diriku menggenang telaga darah
sukma namanya
dalam diriku meriak gelombang sukma
hidup namanya
dan karena hidup itu indah
aku menangis sepuas-puasnya”

Menangis tak berarti seorang manusia itu sedih. Sedih menandakan seseorang itu manusia yang menikmati hidup dan liku-liku sebagai seorang manusia. Tidak menangis juga tidak bermakna seorang itu tidak punya perasaan tetapi menandakan manusia itu perlukan Tuhannya. “Bagaimana bisa kita melakukan tahajud tanpa menangis?” Menangis kadang menandakan erti bahagianya seorang manusia itu dengan Tuhannya dan takdir yang ditentukanNya. Dalam diri seorang manusia itu mengalir sungai darah, yang menandakan terdapatnya roh yang hidup. Dan kerana manusia itu hidup, dia bisa menangis!

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There’s an arabic saying that “kesusahan itu akan menghasilkan seorang rijal!” Jiwa seorang rijal adalah jiwa seorang pejuang, seorang pahlawan. This year, I went back to square one when I was in Cambridge back then. I was a private, self-sponsored student, funded by my parents. And I’m using my reimbused money to fund my one year study here. And I barely survive. Despite the hardships, what worries me even more is the hardship of studying and doing well in my study. But I realized one thing. I remember a conversation that I had back in Cambridge. I am not the most intelligent person in class. I am the most average person that one can ever encounter. My only talent is that I am a hardoworking person. If I lose that, I lose everything. So remember one thing, don’t take time for granted. The longer you live, the more resposibilities that will be endowed upon you. So never take time for granted.

Apa yang penting adalah bagaimana kita memandang diri sendiri dalam pengembangkan diri sendiri. Bagaimana perkembangan diri akhirnya menyumbang kepada keyakinan diri. Why do I choose what I choose? Because I fear of the fact that time is passing!

 

 

 

It’s the same concept.

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Last September I’ve enrolled to a Postgraduate programme at the same university that I did my degree for 3 years. Yes, another year abroad in the UK. It’s a collective decision yet a very hard decision for me to make. But hopefully insyaAllah for the greater good.

It has almost been 2 months since I started my Master programme but little do I have the chance to reflect upon what I’ve been through. So I’ve decided to do something very important, personally and socially. in Warwick, they have something that they call study blog, which is basically a blog that students posts their thoughts or experience of studying at Warwick. Thought it would be helpful, to see how I evolve and progress as I go through my postgraduate programme, I’ve decided to blog specifically about my postgraduate experience in Warwick. Finished my degree for three years, and just now that I thought of blogging about my studies. Yey.

To cut the story short so far, postgraduate is definitely tough and more challenging than degree life. What I learn the most so far is personal responsibility and independence on your passion. I was honestly quite hesistant on doing postgraduate study at first as I though it was daunting. But, to think for the greater good of the ummah insyaAllah, I decided to give it a go.

 

Hence, my first point is PASSION.

This does not apply to postgraduate study, or any other academic experience. Instead, this is applicable to all aspects of your life. If you are passionate about someone, or an author, you would love to know everything about the author as if he or she is your best friend or the neighbour that you say hi everyday. Find something that drives you crazy, sesuatu yang membuatkan jiwa gelora, hati yang kering menjadi basah, iman yang lesu menjadi sedar. Personally for me, my passion is for the ummah, untuk redhaNya. And along the way you might lost it, or went astray because of the difficulties or obstacles that you face, but keep on tajdid-ing your niat. Itu kepentingan tajdid, memperbaharui. So set yourself your ultimate passion before you set a ‘follow-up passion’.

 

My second point is RESPONSIBILITY.

As you go one with your life, chose the path of tarbiah, you will face multi-responsibility. Map your responsibilities and focus upon it one by one. Set priorities (which I personally am struggling) and deal with it one by one. Responsibility demands energy and dedication. Never trade-off one for the other because if you do, you can never manage and execute your responsibility well. You will feel exhausted at the end of the week, but the level of satisfaction can never be beaten.

 

Third point is INDEPENDENCE.

My postgraduate period is absolutely different with my undergraduate years where you were set specific homeworks and problem sets. For postgraduate, especially if you are on the path of social science stream, you will face a whole loads of reading lists. You will have to learn to master the art of reading. Interestingly, I read an article by Dr Hatem Bazian and quoting him,

 

“My main contention is that reading has become a lost art among the overwhelming majority of Muslims, and companionship with books in all their varieties is a dying enterprise.

The door to knowledge are writings – from books, articles etc. but the key to the door of knowledge is to read. To make my postgraduate journey worthwhile, I will start to list and write review on the books that I am currently reading and have read for the purpose of my study of otherwise.

First, you need passion. But passion requires responsibility and independence. This is the art of passion.

 

p/s: This week I’ve finally submitted my project plan for data analysis where I will be working on the role of religion in affecting development growth, which is inspired by an article that I read last Ramadhan during the summer. And I just started reading The Problem with Banks, to understand the narrative on banking sector.