O Allah, ease all my affairs and provide me with strength, patience and compassion this Ramadhan. Keep me close to you as it is only to you that I prostrate and submit. I seek your forgiveness and mercy as I continue to grow amidst the worldly woes and desires. Guard my family and dearest friends from hardship and pain. My solace is within you first; followed by their happiness.

Like for likes

I’m not going to lie but my idle days these days have been filled with Korean dramas and films. Prior to this, I could never wrap my head around the appeal of the Hallyu wave but look at me now- I’ve become obsessed.

I think the same goes to just about everyone. We are so quick to disregard something as insignificant although we’ve not experienced it first hand. I’ve learnt to be more open and learnt to respect people for their likes and dislikes, starting with my own friends and loved ones. I can’t love them less just because they do not like the same thing as me.

You like what you like. You like who you like – I’ve figured that it’s as simple as that. We don’t have to explain or justify it to anyone.

Harbouring ill feelings would just cause more hurt to the people around us. Therefore, I really mean it when I say that I’m the happiest when you’re happy.

I know it sounds like a corny line from those Kdramas, but hey corny isn’t always a bad thing. To me at least 🙂

For thee

[I’m sorry for being judgmental. I’m sorry to those I’ve offended or hurt with my words, actions or just my being. I’ve been angry, bitter and much more and I am ashamed. In writing this, I am fully accepting my mistakes and I hope that all those who read this eventually, will forgive me for my shortcomings.]

I feel much lighter these days. Having real conversations with close friends who mean the world to me, who not only affirm me but also help me see humbly the people all around me, who just like me are wonderfully flawed. Dearest friends who constantly remind me that my purpose is not to change the world (I mean, who am I kidding with all these idealist fancies) but to change myself.

They also encourage me to continue being normal. That’s when I learn the most.

I am excited for fall this year. To see the bright brown and yellow leaves wither from the trees, praying for a fresh start. Like me, praying for a fresh new life and perspective 🙂

Counting breaths

10

A whirlwind of anxiety and angst that I am ashamed to admit, I cannot believe I let myself get to this stage. I just wanted everything to pass quickly so that I could wake up anew and pretend nothing happened.

9

Prentending that everything was okay; that was probably the toughest thing to do. If you are thinking that I’m trying to romanticise depression, trust me I’m not. There is nothing pretty or fashionable about feeling depressed. People think it is a phase but it’s not. It’s a mental condition. That’s what Mental Health Awareness week taught me.

8

Let downs and experiences with the people around me have also taught me to be stronger and learn to come to terms with the good and bad all around me. Indeed, better days are ahead 🙂

7

Once again, the skies, nature, sun, stars and the moon are constant reminders of His grandeur. I’ve returned to appreciate waking up every morning and greeting the new day with a smile and a fighting attitude.

6

We all have to fight for something at some point in our lives don’t we? It’s okay if we’ve not figured out what that something is. Some day, we will.

5

A friend told me in a cracked voice: how she believed that God put her through her rise and fall because He trusts that she is strong enough to endure the hardship and test of faith. I realise that strength resides in all of us. We just have to know how and when to use it.

4

I’m learning to trust myself more. One of my best friends told me, “Whatever you choose, I will support you”. Somehow I feel lighter. It truly takes just a handful of people and their words to help you see the world in a new light.

3

I am extremely excited for the path that lies ahead of me. No matter how I run, jog or simply walk along it, I will definitely stop and take a moment to savour the sound of leaves rustling in the wind and feel the breeze blowing through my hair and neck.

2

It’s a long journey but I’m looking forward to move on to the next chapter.

1

“Hey you’ve gotten this far. Breathe. You really did a good job” *pats own back*

Memo

A bright but aged woman sits across from me holding a tiffin. She looks around the train cabin, perplexed and occasionally shuts her eye while inhaling deeply. She must be looking back at her life and memories, I whisper to myself. I suddenly notice a lanyard she wears around her neck; a phone number and an address is handwritten on the tag. Could that be where her home is? 

In case she forgets everything and loses her way?

Half a heart

You know you’re stuck in a rut when you start to count down to the end of everything. There is hardly anything you look forward to except (eternal) rest.

In this moment of weakness the past week, a timely reminder came to me on Facebook. My dearest grandfather passed away four years ago on this day. Indeed, I miss having someone to dote on me, someone to call me up to ask how I was doing, someone who would always crack jokes just to see me laugh and smile. Looking back, I can’t help but feel sad and grateful that I was on the receiving end of his selfless love. 

I know that he is somewhere watching over me. I also know that God is there watching over all of us. I hope they both see the man I’m trying to become. 

If I can give just half of the love that my grandfather had given me, to my loved ones I’d be happy.