My Weak Faith


I salute religious Muslims. Who practices their faith openly and constantly. I admire their strength and courage to resist wordly temptations. Now let me tell ya something about these worldly temptations. Oh, there are countless of them. And it’s incredibly easy to fall for them. Trust me, I’m living through these temptations. 

For these warriors to be able to resist them and follow one path, that is the single most strong thing a person can do. And right now, I’m nowhere near that. At all.

In this modern day and age, the modern society looks down upon hijabis and Muslims in general. That’s unfortunate. It’s an ongoing stereotype. The moment one sees a person donning a hijab, the impression/status goes from 100 to 0 just like that. But in God’s eyes, that person’s status goes from 0 to 100. Even more so if they’re a practicing Muslim. 

And that’s what these people​ aim for. For the latter. For the 0 to 100. They don’t fall prey to the negative opinions that other humans have about their faith, they mostly care in how God sees them. And that’s strong to me. Why? 

Because it’s human nature that when you meet another human, you want to impress/please/just seem likeable in the very least to the other person. And to identify yourself as a Muslim with how you dress already removes that “chance”. But still they don’t care. 

Thinking about that makes me feel like a super weak person. I’m weak in faith. And weak in a Muslim mindset, let alone practices. I feel like I’ve lived my life wrong all these years, because I lived by accumulating sins. The sins seem like a compounding interest. And that’s 22 years of it. What. A. Waste. Even though there are days or hours or minutes that I try to learn the holy book or try to fast or try to pray, I don’t think I did so with as much intent and religious/spiritual feeling. 

I see others repenting to God and I wonder why my heart isn’t as pure as theirs. Why do I keep postponing my own repentance? Has my heart hardened over the years? I did cry while typing this, but I know my tears are useless if I don’t act upon it. And despite even writing all of this with tears, I can still have the cheek to live my live the same. Which is why I am so damn weak. Why do I still choose worldly attention over God’s respect and love? Why am I WEAK? I have a lot to ask forgiveness for. The day I repent will be the day I cry non-stop, judging from my tears today. 

When they say change within is difficult, I think this is the most difficult change ever for me – Religious change. I just want myself to one day be able to feel like how those repenters feel and follow that one true path all the way and be as strong as the other Muslims. I’m nothing compared to them. Especially those living in extreme poverty/illness/war-zones and are still praying, still practicing their faith. They are of the highest status to me. 

May God help​ me and my family, but most importantly, may I help​ myself and make a paradigm shift in my own mindset. Soon.

Dear patient, have patience.


“I suspect you have Crohn’s Disease…”

 & just like that, life revealed one of its many mysteries to me. 

It was a good fight, I thought. How we fought to love life despite the pain; me and tummy.

19th April, was it? Yup. That day, and the day before and the weeks before. Period of nervousness, of restlessness even in the most peaceful of nights. 

One week I was staring at my bruised vein due to a needle injection, chanting, “recover, vein”. Another week downing my bowel prep solution, gulp after gulp, cup after cup, almost-give-up after almost-give-ups. (I made it, btw.) Another week of MRI scanning (a.k.a bad experience), and afterwards again chanting, “recover vein. shit” to my other hand. Sigh.

Why am I doing all these again? Ah, that’s right. They needed to know what was wrong with my stomach. I, for one, needed to know.

I can’t type this without my mind wandering off. Ugh. Focus, please.

Results day was a killer. Even my past school GPA results couldn’t send shivers down my spine one bit like this. 

I flipped the papers. My eyes darted to all the medical terms written on them. My doctor was calmly explaining to me. I had to maintain a straight face. I think I pulled it off. Maybe I looked a lil too serious. But still an appropriate expression, no?

“I suspect you have Crohn’s Disease… but we can’t confirm yet, hence we require another colonoscopy test to be done on you.”

& other blah blah blahs. Soon, I was introduced to another doctor. And then another one. Woah, 3 doctors? Hmm. 

And then lastly to a dietician. Okay. I’m impatient to read up on this Crohn’s thing once I’m dismissed.

I opened Google, typed those words in, and the first few words I saw were, “no known cure yet.” I read those words again. And again. And again…

And then boom — instant depression mode on. 

Am I actually having this…? This.. chronic, life-long disease? Hmm. How do I handle this? Clearly I handled it badly. That night and the next morning was utterly difficult. I didn’t talk to my parents or anyone, even. 

But thanks hugely to the inner optimist which still survived in me, I picked myself up. “Nadira, please. It’s not over.” 

“Remember what you love most about life? This isn’t a ruiner, just know, it’s not over.”

I mustered enough courage to talk to my mum. I explained to her what the doctors told me, what this condition is all about, while inhaling and exhaling slow, deep breaths in between words.

Then I moved on to my dad, and my bro. That wasn’t so bad. The fact that their responses were actually encouraging and so full of understanding. I felt…. sad no more. All of a sudden I found myself accepting all this, and it wasn’t so difficult after all. Thank you, inner optimistic mind.

In fact, I feel relieved now because I now know what has been affecting and troubling me for the past few years – why I wasn’t getting better despite seeing doctors, taking medications regularly and changing my diet. 

.

.

.

Life, how do you that? How are you so unpredictable, and yet still so… irresistible? Like the most interesting book, I can’t ever put you down. I can’t ever find the courage to give up on you, life. 

.

.

.

There’s love I still don’t know yet. From myself, from Him, from him, and all other hers and hims in between.

———————————————————

I still remember my dad sitting by me, saying, “Dira, you’re still young. Take this as a challenge from God. A challenge that He knows you’re strong enough to handle.”

What do you want out of your life?” he asked.

“To be happy.”

Yes, to be happy. So be happy.” 





You’re not 60 yrs old, you’re at level 60 ;-)


If there’s one thing that I’ve heard countless of times from old people is this, “I’m already old. I don’t need to achieve anything anymore, I don’t need to learn anything new, I don’t need to grow. Death is approaching anyway…”

For a good first few years I actually believed them and thought of those statements as true. Well, I haven’t experienced being old yet then, so I didn’t know how old people should really think and behave. But now, I kinda disagree with them. Of course, some points are rather debatable and subjective to their own personal successes, but in general, for those whom have purposely died down and just “waiting for death & doing nothing”, that is what bothers me somehow.

See, I’ve met and talked to old people from my neighborhood, those whom I grew up with, and commonneers that are linked to my social circle or just in my income class per say. Most of which are living their lives with problems still at hand, words of complaint still being muttered, and have fine stress wrinkles due to years of well, plain stress. In harsh words, the not so successful old people. And this came from their very own mouths; they deemed themselves as unsuccessful.

I feel sad when they usually complain of how they never fully enjoy their lives or found true meaning, of how debts are still ringing in their heads and not having enough food even, to fill their families’ stomachs. Not forgetting the “bills, bills, bills” and “if only/I wish I did this or that…” mantras.

There are times when I want to just look them in the eyes and say, “your life isn’t over yet, and your age is not a barrier or something to be blamed.”

“You can still do something about your life and at least make a change, no matter how small/insignificant or too late you think it may be.”

I’ve watched a few documentaries and read a few true stories of old successful and happy people that start late and I realized that their mentality about life and their golden age vastly differs from the many others I’ve encountered. These successful pioneers are still full of energy, and are motivated about life; it’s as though they’re still young and have a lot to love about life. Which inspires me immensely. The fact that they still practice meaningful habits and continue to live and not just exist, makes me want to follow their footsteps. I want to be happy when I’m old too, heck especially when im old — I don’t want to die feeling miserable of myself.

That’s it! Maybe it’s the mentality that separates these two groups of elderly people. Their perspectives on life. One make things happen in their lives, while the other just lets life happens to them.

Now I’m not going to bolt off saying that they’ve done nothing to achieve their goals, because I know a great deal of whom have had a string of personal accomplishments along the way and I’m just as proud of them as they are.

But don’t give up just like that, just because you’re already 60, 70. Why stop functioning upon reaching those numbers? Why give up your potential to progress? 

Do you prefer to lie on your deathbed regretting what you could have done or start now and die knowing that you’ve at least been involved in the process of achieving meaning, even if you still didn’t achieve anything, but your actions have left some impact to others. I’m sure they still have some goals they still want to achieve. Something as small as doing your hobbies like gardening can have you interacting with fellow gardeners, inspiring that kid who is interested in farming or share your knowledge with others. You’ll at least close your eyes one day knowing that you battled through greatness and leveled up in your happiness rather than nothing at all.

I believe that these aged pearls still have something meaningful to offer, (unless life forces them to lie in bed) and they can do so with even the smallest actions. Because there’s a ripple effect and small can eventually become big, so don’t underestimate it’s power. Look at Tuesdays with Morrie, for example. Lives are inspired even after Morrie’s death, because he chose to share his wisdom instead of shutting himself off completely from the world.

I kind of feel slightly emotional because I relate this to my own parents. They’ve been wonderful, and they’ve shared with me their beautiful moments of accomplishments with me. But they still appear to be unhappy about something in their lives. Something is still not fulfilled in their hearts.

I know especially my mother, has worked her ass off her whole life, and giving so much to her family – love, attention, provisions. I can’t thank her enough. She and dad.

And even though she advocates strongly the importance of finding a stable job for oneself, I know deep down that one day she might regret spending most of her years working. And she can’t be blamed because that’s what she learned to do growing up. Her biggest desire in life now is to just retire and relax and savour what life can offer… but feels discouraged because she still has to work.

I want to be able to ignite in her, and my father, and other elderlies that just because they’ve aged, and may have not accomplished much in their lifetime, that they still can.

– Nadira Shirlonna

Godmother.


God-daughter.

So… I’ve claimed a new title, guys.

Oh, how sweet. That dote-on-me relationship with an aged woman who was once just a stranger — or should I say, my ex-colleague, a cute aunty in her 50’s when I met her.

Honestly, my first impression of her was that she’s just a typical grumpy o’lady, with her apparent mood swings that aren’t easy for the weak-hearted :p I kid, she’s tolerable but not many people would be able to fully understand her emotions and that she really doesn’t mean it when she gets emotional over things.

I thought to myself, “Hmm, since I’ll see myself working here and with her for quite some time, why not try to understand her and work alongside her?”

— Challenge accepted. —

Turns out, she’s the one I ended up getting along the most with in the office. And not to mention wise, too. You may argue that it’s due to her age, but I prefer to say that it’s due to her golden character.

I really see her as a motherly figure and she treated me with care & concern. Our conversations would revolve around advises and personal attachments/emotions about life. I still remember her cute chuckles and funny bodily gestures when she expresses her stories. 

“Don’t forget about me”, she’ll say to me, or “I’m afraid you’ll forget about me”, she’ll mumble to herself aloud.

But how can I forget a precious soul like yours? 

Day after day, in between teaching me work-related stuff, she’ll ask how my morning was, how my day before was, and what my plans are for later. Mundane questions, you’d think. She’ll tell me how her morning was, how yesterday had been for her and yup, what her plans are for later. Mundane? Maybe in the moment. But I appreciate her attention towards me.

At a time when I was suffering badly from my gastric pains, I became more attached to my own mother and at work, to her. I felt lucky to have 2 mothers with me. Both cared unconditionally, irregardless of blood ties.

I can’t explain in words what I felt towards my godmother, but I knew I grew attached to her to the point where I cried if I see her being sad/weep. 

People like her ought to be cherished. She is so innocent and that’s what made my heart soften in her presence. She’s full of good intentions and doesn’t lie about her emotions. Thanks partly to her, I grew closer and learned to cherish my own parents much more. 

Although we knew each other for only a brief period, it was worth it. I’ll never forget you godmother, for I’m a memory hoarder — & you’re one of those etched in my mind always. (Love)
P.S. We still keep in touch every now and then, online and offline. 🙂

– Nadira Shirlonna

Unplanned Hiatus


Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Nadira.
Nad– Wait a minute….. SHE’S BACK?!

Ayy amigos. I IZ BACK.

And as the title suggests, I’ve been on a long vacation – I mean, hiatus. Sigh, if only it really was all sand and sea for me. It’s been like what? 4-5 months of a disappearing act? Whew.

To abruptly cut through the climax, I’ve quitted my job. Yep. While my previous post was about my first week of job, this one tells you right smack in the face – that I’ve quitted. And it’s the right decision, in my opinion.

For what it’s worth, it was 4 months of bittersweet ordeal. I especially love the people there. They are so friendly and nice omg. I don’t know about other companies, but so far this one got me smiling almost everyday because of the people. I even have a godmother in the same office! (More on her in my next post! Hehe.)

Though the job isn’t taxing, it’s not of my interest. So it was neutral & mundane for me. There was no stress, and every night and weekend is peaceful for me, not having to think (much) of what to do the next day. The only problem was that I started losing tremendous amount of weight since I started working there. My company’s not located near to any shopping malls/food places, there’s only one canteen with ONE halal stall that frequently closes whenever it wishes – and so that, to me, was the biggest downfall. Such a pity, I would have stayed longer if food was accessible. But it’s okay, it can’t be blamed. I had to leave because my health was deteriorating badly.

Now I’m not the type to give up on something precious so easily, I would have fought and stayed but my health was literally declining every single day. I remember crying/holding back my tears everyday either at home or in my company’s toilet (away from people), because the pain was unbearable. I felt useless. I couldn’t even sit in peace, can you believe it? I suffered from severe gastric pains, by the way, and the attacks come randomly and unmercifully.

To make things worse, my mum had to take care of me more than usual, and that meant less sleep for her. I know she was in a state of constant worry, and that made me feel like such a burden to her. I’m at that age where I’m the one who should be taking care of her, and my dad, so everytime I think of my mum I’d cry because of how much she had to sacrifice for me just to make sure I wasn’t suffering too much.

Maybe to others this is a small thing, not much of a big deal. I did think to myself back then, “Am I a weak person? Physically and emotionally/mentally?” I even mouthed the words, “I hate myself, mum. Why am I even living anymore?” And I couldn’t believe I said that because I know I’m an optimist. Guess the pain had really taken a toll on me. Was that mild depression? Idk.

So fast forward, I tendered my resignation because I don’t wanna die at work (lol), I felt strongly that I need a different working environment since I believe I have a sensitive stomach. That, plus a few other important factors, but I don’t wanna list them all here.

As I’m typing this, I’m seated comfortably on my bed, half an hour past my meal and so far no gastric pains since I woke up this morning. Alhamdulillah 🙂 I’m taking this time to fully recover before finding a new job that’s well suited for me.

There’s one last thing that I wanna talk about with relevance to my period of suffering then; and that is: the impact of words on a sufferer.

Throughout that period, I became utterly skinny. I was becoming close to just “skin and bones”. My brother whom I’m closest to, said that it was heartbreaking to see me in that state. I cringed every time I glanced at the mirror – if I stare long enough, I’d cry at how pathetic I looked. I couldn’t believe how much I’ve shrunk in size, and not only me, but others noticed it too. It was so bad that my SKINNY JEGGINGS still had a lot of fucking space in it when I wore them…. imagine how shocked I was. Dayum son.

For so long, I didn’t take any selfies, I didn’t wear nice clothes, I didn’t wear any smile on my face, because what’s the point? I slowly started to loathe myself, I didn’t wanna go out of my house or meet anyone – even my friends, and I stayed at home for most of my weekends just trying to recover. And then when the weekdays begin, hell starts all over again as there’s no food to eat at work. A vicious cycle that I so badly wanted to escape from. I did go to the hospital and got my medicines, but didn’t really work then.

Speaking of impact of words, I received comments from my colleagues that weren’t very sensitive. They’re nice people, but not very careful in how they crafted their questions/assumptions. I received questions & comments like, “Are you anorexic?” “Why go on a diet? You’re already very skinny!” “Too skinny not nice” “I think you can fit children’s clothes” “Let me see your wrist.. omg look at that! I can easily break that!” “Don’t take diet pills or else I can only see your shadow next time.”

Okay I did laugh at some and cried at some, but I didn’t react or respond hugely to them. I just shoved those words off and pretend that it doesn’t hurt as much. Because of this, self-love became increasingly difficult, I had to constantly remind myself that I’m beautiful no matter what and sometimes even that failed. I even hurt myself on purpose a few times… I don’t know why.

Now I’m recovering at a good progress, thanks to a healed mindset, medicines that are slowly proving their effectiveness, and most importantly, a group of humans whom have seen my worst condition, stayed by my side, gave words of encouragement and showered unconditional love and care towards me. These people are so very precious and I thank them for being such kind souls.

If you know of anyone suffering or going through some typa pain, or are just recovering from it, please be sensitive in your approach. Simple jokes/comments may be nothing to you but they can cause terrible damage to the ones receiving them.

P.S. Idk if I’ll keep up with this blog regularly, but for readers who checks my blog every now and then for new posts, know that you are highly appreciated by me. No promises, but I’ll try to resurrect my blog from the grave every now and then :p

 

Nadira Shirlonna

My First Job! (1st week)


*cues rihanna’s song* work work work work work work~

Okay I think this is an achievement for me so I wanna document my job experience down. 🙂

As you might already know, I graduated on May 2016, and from May to September I was unemployed and was not actively seeking for a job – all I wanted to do was indulge in other things that were productive in my definition. And boy did I enjoy those months thoroughly. However, amidst all my enjoyment, I did face some challenges of being unemployed. The eating part and the hanging out with friends part (basically no money means you’re financially handicapped at doing some things).

To add on, some of my goals require capital/financial funding so I decided that having a day job would suffice this need.

So by the end of August I was already sick of the lack of freedom to do things that money allows, so I started to apply for jobs online. I went a lil crazy with it – I did the “spray and pray” method where I sent my resumes to as many sites as possible and wait.

Naturally that method only gave poor results; only about 3 companies called me. I went for 1 interview but rejected their offer. Just FYI, I applied for Human Resources entry level position (1st priority), followed by admin position.

I rejected the job offer as the location was inconvenient and it was only a 2 months contract. So nahhh – Next please!

To my dismay, weeks went by and there was no response from other companies. I grew even more desperate by then. But one fine day…

*phone rings*

“Hello, is that Nur Nadira?”
“Yes, I’m speaking.”
“Hi, I’m your course manager from NYP and from your graduation survey you indicated that you’re currently looking for a job. Are you still looking for one?”

To cut the story short, thanks greatly to him, I ended up getting a job through his recommendation. I. WAS. SO. HAPPY!

…..

Date of commencement: 03 October 2016

I’m currently working under Logistics sector, which is different from my major (business/HR), but I’m open to learning because logistics is an integral part in business operations as well, so why not?

I have to say, after working for a week there, I like the environment and people. Of course, I couldn’t say more since I’ve only been there for a week, but so far so good. The only thing that poses a huge challenge for me is the timing – it starts at 8am and considering where I live, it’s pretty tough being punctual, but I’m trying my best. (Whew!)

I like the fact that I was given a full time permanent position, and an awesome buddy/partner to teach me about my tasks. The other colleagues are friendly, too – even the manager. Quoting him, “I want to treat everyone here as a family, and enjoy coming to work everyday.” Well, that should ring a promising bell, right?

Now here comes the fun moments during my first week of work! Hehe.

#1: I’m the youngest and TINIEST person in my workplace. They had a hard time finding uniforms of my size, safety vest and boots of my size. Their size XS was already big for me so I helplessly drowned like a kid in them. Oh well haha.

#2: Each time someone passes a dirty comment/joke, the manager would say, “Shush, she’s underage!”, referring to me. But… but… I’m TWENTY-TWO! He went on to say that because I’m not married yet, I’m still underage to him. Lel okay, if you insist.

#3: I was brought for a mini tour around other departments nearby by one of my colleagues, and she introduced me to almost everyone she knew. I got asked questions like, “Are you a local?” “You look so young!! How old are you?” “Are those your real eyes?” “Wanna work here instead?” Lolol. But they were all so friendly. I loved the tour.

#4: This is the first place where the people called me by my first name, “Nur”. Usually I’m being called “Nadira”. So I needed to get used to it. But I soon realized that one of my colleagues pronounces my name as “No”, so I thought I’d suggest some other names to call me.

1st day of work: “Yeah, Nur is fine.”
2nd day of work: “Actually you can call me Dira if you want.”
3rd day of work: “Hmm you know what, just call me Nad.”

(Nadira is how my teachers or authority figures would address me. Dira is how my parents and relatives address me, and Nad is how my friends address me. So I prefer Nad – it gives a friendly vibe.)

#5: I like how jokes are being shared daily by my colleagues. The fact that we can joke around with the manager makes me feel more comfortable, plus the ease of mobility – not having myself chained to my desk allows me to be able to complete my tasks more willingly and efficiently.

I know that the first few weeks and months are usually honeymoon-like, and the real work and other pressures will kick in the longer I work there. I hope that I’ll be mentally ready and strong to face and overcome them, and that my enthusiasm of looking forward to going to work remains the same or only amplifies in time.

I recently met up with my best friend, Tea, (that’s my loving nickname for her haha) and I realized that we can only meet up on Fridays/weekends when we’re free. Guess that’s how work is – time management will only get more important after this.

I hope to be able to improve on my health since I’ll be able to feed myself now. Furthermore, I want to contribute positively to my job – ideas/solutions perhaps. Since this is my first job, I’m going to have the mindset that I’m a sponge (absorbing as much as I can and letting out good things in return). Actually I’ll always be a sponge in life because I don’t know everything anyway.

So that’s it! My positive recount of my job experience.


Post Scriptum: This is for you, family, Mum & Dad. I wanna make you both happy and proud. In Shaa Allah 🙂

 

Nadira Shirlonna

 

Craving For Change


Empty (?) Inadequate (?) Stagnant (?) Stuck (?)

The reason why I punctuate those words with question marks is because I’m feeling all those but I’m unsure if I’m accurate.

“Oh, where’s the happy/optimistic Nadira I know?”

That’s the thing. Even I don’t know. And this is probably one of those days where the ‘negative demons’ come whispering in my ears – and succeeded. Ugh.

I just feel like in a rut sometimes, and I want out. I feel like I’m not living up to my highest potential or even anywhere near it, and it feels horrible. I hate wasting my time and being stagnant; not changing, not growing, and just….. rotting.

My soul is in despair – but of course, I’m always trying to think positively.

You know those “advice I’d give my younger self”thingies? Yeah well I need that right now. Like can the future successful & happier me guide me because I feel lost. I want to do so many things in life, but I know that time is not always on my side. The things that I want to do takes years, and I can’t do all of them simultaneously.

I have an endless list of things I need (& want) to do but to compensate one for another would be unfair. I want to do all those things while immersing myself in them completely, not being worried that time is passing as I do so. I want to live my live over and over again doing those things differently each time – because my soul feeds on them like they’re my “pieces of purpose”, the reasons I’m alive – without worrying that time is passing. But reality doesn’t work that way. Because time IS passing if I were to do those things. And that means I can’t do ALL of them.

Is it true that some things are not within our control? And that we just have to live with mediocrity, the average life and just staying in the comfort zone while progress makes its move at snail speed?

Because I’m not feeling it. And I don’t want to live that way. It’s torture, I’ve tried. And I hate it.

I hate how slow progress is in my life currently, despite others saying, “progress take time, dear.” What if I have an impatient soul? Should I train it to be patient? Or listen to it and do things according to its pace – fast paced?

To fall fast, learn fast, and grow fast…. all because I want to achieve all my goals before I die. Am I thinking wrongly? Am I rushing life? 

I guess it’s normal to feel an overwhelming, burning desire to succeed badly and quickly at some point in my life, but I shouldn’t let it consume me. I shouldn’t be greedy, and accept the fact that time isn’t something that is merciful, and that I should work my ways around it.

Good lord, you have a naive and an impatient soul wandering Earth, I hope this lady finds her way/direction in life in due time.

 

Nadira Shirlonna

A different life – What if


I don’t know if it is absurd to think about this, but it has been crossing my mind a lot… and my mind actually fancies the idea.

The idea of living my life waayyyy differently than how I’m currently living.

What if I were to just…..

~ delete all of my social media accounts?
~ move somewhere new? somewhere distant?
~ give my all in a dream job and/or just in my dreams in general?
~ make new friends – a circle of friends completely different from the ones I have now?
~ be the free-est, truest & purest version of me?
~ start over my life anew as a brand new person?

Because the fact is that I’m not even doing half of those things now. “So why bother with the change?”you may ask.

Well it’s something about the idea of living my life in polar opposite which seems attractive, in the sense that it represents novelty at the highest level, but at the same time, it’s still a reality. A reality so divergent and possible.

I guess that is what it means when people say, “The best way to predict your future is to create it” and “You are the captain of your ship.”

But I did think about what will happen if I were to do that. Will I be happier? I know for damn sure that the changes will be beyond surreal; I’ll experience a myriad of things, I’ll be exposed to situations I’ve never come across. But do I want all that? Yes… maybe.

If you were to ask me whether I have imagined a different reality, then I’d say yes. In fact, more than 1 version of reality. In one instance, I’ve imagined myself moving to (insert a country), working and pursuing my degree there, and then travelling around the world. There’s another instance where I imagined myself being completely religious, and being the second Mother Theresa meets Wonder Woman, going around the world spreading Islam, helping the needy and eventually settling down in the suburbs of Mecca/Medina.

Aaaand a few other instances, but with roughly the same context/concept: travelling the world, living my goals and dreams, helping others, and just live. Live as freely as I can be.

I’m afraid to say that these imaginations of mine might just be how I wish to live my life like, how I wished to be as a person – but I’m afraid because I’m currently not at that stage (yet) and I don’t know if I ever will achieve that reality.

What I do know now is that I am willing to make that reality happen one day (hopefully!!!) and that I’m making decisions day by day, step by step closer to it. I don’t know whether my future will paint a similar picture as my imagination(s) or not, but I will make it a meaningful one 🙂

 

Nadira Shirlonna

22 years old (Happy Bornday to me!)


I age on every 29 August.

And this year, I  turn 22. I am truly grateful for all the amazing years I’ve lived through to this day.

I dedicate this post primarily to myself, with credits to my Creator, my family, my circle of close friends and people who have helped me in small or big ways who have parted in their own ways.

If I see myself keeping up with this blog for a long, long time, which I think I will, then I’ve decided on making a list of things that I wish to speak about, with accordance to my age number.

Here’s my list of 22 things of embracing 22 (not in order):

  1. To be more genuinely happy.
  2. To be myself.
  3. Achieve something.
  4. Help more, to the best that I can.
  5. Be a better individual.
  6. Be a better Muslim, daughter, sister, friend.
  7. Save up.
  8. Travel, with my own money.
  9. Make more use of my skill(s)/talent(s).
  10. Network with others.
  11. Keep myself fit & healthy (healthier lifestyle)
  12. Treat my family.
  13. Treat ma self. Haha okay this goes without saying :p
  14. Start a convo if I want one (Bye, shyness!)
  15. Invest.
  16. Read more (Also goes without saying since I’m a bookworm)
  17. Develop at least one more skill and be good at it.
  18. Research more on my religion.
  19. Research more on anything, really. Especially relevant & important stuff.
  20. Improve bonds with my family members and friends.
  21. Be more involved in things, especially those which I like.
  22. GROW, GLO UP, EVOLVE. (Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically. Hehehe)

Of course, I’d love to add on to that list but 22 is 22. I’ll get to add on to my list every year 🙂 (In Shaa Allah)

 

I know that 22 is a time frame where I’m definitely still naive, clueless, fresh to mistakes and inexperienced in many things. And I’m actually super excited looking forward to life itself. I’m like a sponge, ready to absorb whatever experience I will encounter and learn as many things as possible.

If only I was this excited when I was younger, boy would I do things differently! But that’s the nature and beauty of growing up, isn’t it? You mature day by day, you stumble a lot along the way, and you get to look back at your life one day. Even at 22 right now, I look back at my life often, but I also have my goals to keep me looking forward.

Honestly, 10 years back or so, I imagined the 20 something year old me differently…

I imagined myself in a nice home, in a university, and have all the clothes and things I want. I’m smiling as I’m typing this. How cute my kiddish thoughts were. But life isn’t a fairytale, is it?

I’m still very proud of who I’ve become today, my current living conditions and what I have/what I don’t have. I’m extremely thankful for everything and for everything else that life has yet to offer. Alhamdulillah 🙂

Being a lil teary eyed,  I promise myself this: I’ll never go to the grave without living my purpose, realizing my potential and contribute to bettering this world.

I seek my strength, put my beliefs, my soul and my trust in you, dear Allah.

May we meet again, at age 23 and beyond. (So deep, right? HAHA)

 

Nadira Shirlonna 

 

Seize, In Your Time


Time is meant to pass, not stick around for too long.

Years will pass. You can bet everyone’s lives on that. And what’s left will be you looking over those years and decide for yourself whether or not you’ve lived your life to the fullest, be truly happy, achieved anything, etc.

Time is ticking even as we speak. So if you don’t consider this to be resourceful or worthy of your time then do yourself a favor.

After reading this, go and do something. Something worthwhile in your definition. Make yourself more happy, achieve that small or big goal you’ve always wanted to. Verily, time waits for no man.

You either make time your best friend, or your enemy. (Hopefully it’s the former for you!)

So stop waiting, stop wasting. Time and life are both way too precious to let slip away just like that. Don’t let your dreams go to the grave with you.

 

Nadira Shirlonna

//photo courtesy of artist Salvador Dali

Inspiration – Pass it on


Guess what – this post happened through inspiration itself. From someone that came across my mind.


 

And yeah, this idea hit me at (you guessed it): 4am-ish.

I was thinking of someone, and one person led to another. Soon, I found myself smiling widely. The string of people that appeared in my mind all had one common thing: they inspire me.

They inspire me to be better; in terms of character, skills, self-esteem, happiness, and heaps of other good things. And no, not all of them are of whom I’m close to. Heck, for a few, we don’t even know each other personally. Those said few are people that I admire (from afar), but never got a chance to get to know personally for some reasons.

Despite that, I chose to see the goodness in them, the positive aura, vibes, energy and feelings they give me. Each of them are unique in their own contributions. Boy, am I lucky to have them as my sources of inspiration.

For one, I admire his confidence; his ability to speak his mind, be his silly self and in encouraging others. For another, I admire his social intelligence; it seems like everyone loves him, his huge heart and contagious kindness that emanates from his smile.

And the rest, in their own ways. And all these bits of inspirational factors weren’t even imposed unto me, I am the one that have so willingly chosen to extract them out of an individual and use them as a means of bettering myself. Goes to show how inspiration works in interesting ways. (Credits to those people whom have unknowingly contributed to shaping me to who I am today.)

And that has got me thinking. Have I been an inspiration to anyone? Even in the slightest bit? I so wish I had/am. (But I know I’m working on that!)

The simple message that I wanna imply is that if you’ve received thanks from people who told you that you’ve inspired them somehow, then continue doing what you do. You never know who are in need of help/advice/motivation and if they were to stumble upon you. Which is one of the many reasons why your existence on this Earth is important.

You could be the reason why someone is smiling instead of crying at 2am, or the motivation for someone to set their alarm with hopes in their hearts instead of dreading tomorrow, or even the savior in disguise for someone who is suffering from a heartache.

If you’re good in words/writing, then do that, & pass it on.
If you’re good in character, then you keep doing you, & pass it on.
If you’re good in whatever, then go help others, & pass it on.

May we all be an inspiration to each other.
Inspire before you expire.

 

Nadira Shirlonna

 

4 a.m.’s as of late


I open my eyes; it’s 4 in the morning. “Ayy”, says Mother Nature.

Yeap. Mother nature calls, as usual, and I attend to it. Sometimes it’s 5 or 6am – time varies, but the purpose of waking up remains the same.

(There, I documented a rather not-so-glamorous fraction of my morning routine. But fret not, this post isn’t dedicated to my interactions with mother nature, heh.)

I have to admit, my brain works in mysterious ways sometimes (or maybe most), because it is at this godly hour that I’ll find myself lying down/sitting on my bed, with eyes wide open, and when my mind suddenly becomes activated with thoughts of many sorts. It’s like there’s an invisible switch in my head – and trust me, brilliant ideas and words start dancing around my head, forming a story/theory/deep reflection for me. It is odd, but I somehow like it.

Not so much with the timing, though. When I so thought of re-visiting dreamland, my mind chooses “thinking-land” instead. Pretty interesting.

And so, not to miss out on this opportunity – yes, an opportunity is what I’d like to deem it fit as – I quickly jot down those thoughts into words on my phone’s note pad. I realize that my brain worked so much better in that craft at that time, and it’s pretty neat how the habit of jotting down has effectively reminded me of those things for a later time. Where does all that pretty pieces of information go to? Well, some go to this blog, others onto my other works – offline and online.

I only started this habit of jotting down a few months back, really recent. And I regret not doing this years ago. Bummer. For what it’s worth, I’ve lost on so much of those thoughts in yester-years and I so wish I could re-think of them again. I love documenting & sharing my ideas/thoughts/ramblings, so I guess it’s only natural to feel rueful about this.

As I’m typing this, I’m mildly headbanging (& heavily heartbanging) to Partynextdoor’s and Arctic Monkey’s, oh how I wish WordPress would foresee a music inclusion in blogs in the future. Me and music have to be together. Haha. Well, at least that’s what I’d desire for. #musicfordays

A little rambling; musing managed. Nothing fancy, this post. Just in the mood for some. Ya feel?

 

Nadira Shirlonna

 

Is this world a good place?


Of course, good or bad, we have no choice but to live on this planet. But given what we know (and have yet to know), what can we do to make our lives “good”?

Considering the fact that none of us knows every single thing about life – the universe, our planet, histories, conspiracy theories, meaning of life & death, ourselves, others, plus SO MANY OTHER THINGS that we don’t fully know of. And I don’t think anyone will ever know ALL of life’s contents no matter how much they try to study/learn about them. (I’ll elaborate about this paragraph in another post!)

Right now there are political issues – some governments and citizens are at a state of unrest, there are armed conflicts happening between different nations/states/groups and it doesn’t help when the bloodshed situations seem to have no end, too.

Racism hasn’t been eliminated yet, education systems aren’t well suited to people’s best interests/learning abilities, and if we look at each individual, the majority of us are not living to our highest potential yet. We keep talking about “change” or painting “a new world” but the progress is far from that ideal position.

But who am I to complain? And what am I to do? I’m simply a resident on Earth who is trying her best to contribute to making those above mentioned words closer to reality – “change” and “a new world.”

Forget our future children’s lives, our own lives are still uncertain. But of course, as I’d like to believe, not all are lost. No matter how bad this world might be, it still has hope. Maybe not soon, maybe it won’t even be perfect, but good is everywhere – whether in the news or not. There are people who strive for greatness in humankind and the world.

With all the increasing number of new things making their appearances such as Pokemon Go, new inventions, newly found research, etc, I reckon we will keep seeing (positive/negative) changes in things and people. But all in all, despite the current happenings and/or distractions, I hope we still aim to achieve the meaningful things in life and be human, be aware/awake and save what we can.

 

Nadira Shirlonna

 

 

 

Poetry: You Are Enough


Don’t let others tell you that
You’re not good enough
Not even yourself
Especially not yourself

Because you are enough,
and special,
and nothing lacking thereof
You are worth more than you think

Even if you keep failing;
You may not have the looks,
the skills, the money, the fame,
Even if you may not have anything to offer

My dear, best believe me,
It’s all in your head

Come over here,
Let me tell you what you are

You are capable
You have potential
You have a mind and a heart,
You have a soul

You are unique
There’s no one like you
You see, you feel and you think of things differently
And no one can take those from you

Not even yourself,
Especially not yourself

So be yourself
For you are the universe

My love, you are enough.

 

Nadira Shirlonna


 

If you’re interested, I recommend this book of poetry by Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey, where it is a collection of experiences pertaining to violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

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Taking Risks


There’s an old adage that goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

This saying has been around for centuries and have been instilled in the minds of our grandparents – some even to our parents. And of course, what a parent knows, they tend to teach them to their young. While that adage may be a safe sanctuary to some, it may not be a desired route for others.

There are some individuals out there who have challenged this advice and did just the opposite – They took risks. They gave everything they’ve got because they believed that they have nothing to lose. And they remain focused till they get what they were aiming for.

Some of whom are self-made millionaires, some quit their jobs to travel the world, some decided to move to a rainforest and build their own functional treehouses, away from the city’s bustling nature, some set up a recycling movement to help build homes for the homeless and the less fortunate, and so on and so forth.

I’d be lying if I say that I’m not inspired.

Like some others, I come from an average household, and have learned to live without many things. Some things would be regarded as a luxury for me, and while all my other peers have them, I learned to live without those things.

But what I do have, though, are my goals and dreams that have been developed around my family’s experiences and struggles, as well as through witnessing what is happening to the less fortunate & innocent people around the world. Because of my goals and dreams, I keep going strong at making myself be constantly motivated to achieve them. (Slowly, but surely.)

And that would involve taking risks. I’m aware that some of the risks are not going to be small or easy. They can be energy-draining, time-consuming and requires consistent effort. But that is exactly what I’m willing to put in – and be devoted to. I acknowledge that my goals have become one of my biggest priorities in my life.

I used to be afraid of taking risks, but my mindset changed when I introduced myself to some really powerful books – which encompasses the untapped human potential in us, taking control of our lives and situations, as well as to not be afraid of failure and of fear itself. Instead, let failure be a motivation to succeed. Fear, on the other hand, has never been helpful anyway, and you can choose to rise above it, overcome it and strive for what you want.

I write this in hopes that our dreams, accompanied with brave actions will determine a fruitful learning journey in our pursuits, and eventually towards success. 🙂

 

Nadira Shirlonna

Letting Go: Difficult But Worth It


“How is it that a person can be so happy after letting go of someone? Especially of someone that has hurt me.”

If you’ve ever thought about this, then we were in the same boat, just like many others. We met someone, contacted, met up again several times, and then something happens, and you both were strangers again.

That kind of scenario is nothing short of typical. But the heartbreak that resulted in the aftermath, is nothing short of bearable. Damn. I feel you. But don’t worry, I got you.

As I’m writing to you, know that for my case, I’ve fully recovered from the said heartbreaks and I’ve become more positive & open-minded in the light of my recovery process. I now know better what (kind of partner & relationship) I want and what I don’t want. And that’s what I want to share with you who are still aching, with hopes that you may one day be a lifted and happy soul that you’re supposed to be.

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Usually when we’re experiencing a breakup/split, our natural instinct will almost always direct our minds into finding someone new as replacement. We think that by doing this, we will be loved again, we will be fixed, and we will forget and move on from the one that got away.

But news flash: That is not going to work.

Maybe you’ve seen someone else doing that and succeeding – they seem happy. But deep inside, whether or not they’ve fully healed or are fully happy, is another story that is hidden. This method will never fully heal you, because the lost love that we’re trying to find isn’t found in others, but from ourselves.

If you feel like you need someone so badly just to be happy again, or just to feel loved, or feel whole, then you need to realize that you’re not whole because you lack of self-love. It is the single most important and best love you can have, and you only need YOU to complete yourself, not someone else.

A partner is only that. A partner. He/She is only an ADDITIONAL individual that will give you ADDITIONAL love and companion. Keyword: ADDITIONAL. Which means, your self-love should be 100%, and your partner will give you the EXTRA 100%. It doesn’t work in a 50%-50% way, but rather, in a 100%-100% way.

Upon saying that, know that love isn’t supposed to hurt. Love only heals. So when you are still in pain, feed yourself with as much love as possible. It takes time – but that shouldn’t be a hindrance. I personally took a year to get over someone whom I felt deeply for. Others may take way longer, but trust time. It may leave you with scars, but you will be a much much better person who will find a much much better partner in the long run.

You are investing in yourself when you feed yourself with love. There is a quote that I created and was stuck with during my recovery process:

“Quality attracts quality. A good man is for a good woman. (Vice versa). Improve yourself so much that you will start seeing more good people come your way.”

Give yourself space, time, and immerse yourself with meeting friends, or new hobbies, and especially read up on self-help books. You need to also ACCEPT that the past is in the past, that you admit to any mistake(s) you’ve done, and research/read on how to understand humans better (psychology-related stuff.) Trust me, reading up really helps a lot. Read positive things and act positively constantly.

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I hope that the shattered hearts out there find peace and seek for the right ways to fully heal themselves before looking to be with someone new. May all the love be with you.

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Nadira Shirlonna

Tick Tock, Says The Clock


“Tick tock”
Says the clock.

Which clock is it?
It’s the Biological Clock.
Time starts for you when you open your eyes,
when you take in your first breath,
and it goes on and on,
every single day.
Till the last tick tock – your time has stopped,
but not for everyone else,
their clocks still wind.

“Tick tock”
Says the clock.

Which clock is it?
It’s the Earth Clock.
A planet has its own expiration date.
But when? No one knows
Except for the one who creates it.

“Tick tock”
Says the clock.

Which clock is it?
It’s the Life Clock.
They say “Life is a race”, but is it really?
What are we chasing for so much in life,
And is it worth chasing?
Time waits for no man,
But are you waiting for something –
Or perhaps a someone? New career? New love?
When you’re busy waiting,
Death silently awaits.

“Tick tock”
Says the clock.

Which clock is it?
It’s the Death Clock.
When everything stops,
Every heartbeat, every clock
And all that’s left are debris and memories
Will your life be worth it?

When death approaches,
Will the tick tock stop?
Maybe, for clocks.

But time itself? 
We will only know
if we hear another tick tock
When all souls revive


Post Scriptum: This poem-story attempts to narrate the reality of life and death…. and perhaps even after death. It is, however, open to your own interpretations.

 

Nadira Shirlonna

Poetry: Perceive – Freedom of your own mind


In whose eyes shall we see
what’s right or what’s wrong
what’s beautiful and what’s ugly

When the mind tires
of being held captive
of being narrated
on how things seem

O you who thinks
Who feels and thinks
Haven’t you deliberate over liberation

The freedom to believe
To shape your reality

This world is yours
And in your own eyes shall you perceive

 

Nadira Shirlonna

How We Should Perceive Beauty


If you’re a beautiful person on the inside, then you’re automatically beautiful on the outside too. 

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However, the sad reality is that a lot of us grew up being judged negatively at least once before. It pulls down our self esteem, and made us insecure about our own skin or even features of our own body that we didn’t regard as “ugly” before these nasty comments started to change our perspective of ourselves. And that’s sad.

“If only humans look at each other’s souls instead of skin, then they’d be able to see what true beauty means.”

But fret not, there are definitely individuals out there who look at souls and recognize its beauty, and don’t judge others without fully knowing them. These people are rare, and have beautiful souls themselves. They are among the best kinds of people you’d want to meet and keep in your life.

The best people strives to make you happy, and they don’t look at how crooked your teeth are when you smile, or how your wrinkles form up at the side of your eyes when you smile, or how weird your laughter may seem when you laugh. They may notice all these things, though, but here’s the difference. The best people see them as beautiful, as a part of you. Their only intention is to make you happy, and they don’t care about ugliness – nobody’s made perfect anyway, and that’s absolutely perfect. They know that the necessary is happiness, and the unnecessary is focusing on skin.

If you’ve met someone with a beautiful soul, let them know how much they mean to you. Kind words cost nothing. And if you have yet to meet a beautiful soul, then be one. Why? Because you will feel happier with yourself. And because eventually, you attract what you are. So if you are a beautiful soul, that’s exactly what is going to come your way.

Thanks for reading and be sure to spread love – through actions, words or both – to just anyone. Stay beautiful 🙂

 

Nadira Shirlonna

Poetry: Parents


I don’t remember
The first time I opened my eyes,
The first time I felt human touch,
The first time I mouthed a word,
Or the first time I said hello

I don’t remember
The first time I was being fed,
The first time I was being bathed,
The first time I was given attention to,
Or the first time I was being hugged

As I grew up,
The years catch up on me
Quickly

As I grew up,
The years catch up on my parents too,
Too quickly

And through all these years,
I’ve seen my parents’ sacrifices
I’ve felt their love
And then I realized…

Before time stops us from growing,
I want to make sacrifices for them,
and let them know I love them too,

Before it’s
The last time they open their eyes,
The last time they feel human touch,
The last time they mouth a word,
Or the last time they say goodbye

Before it’s
The last time they were being fed,
The last time they were being bathed,
The last time they were given attention to,
Or the last time they were being hugged

 



“If you still have parents – whether in good or in bad terms with, seek forgiveness from them, shower them with love and be there for them. That is all they need from the children they gave birth to. Love them while you still can, and pray for their well-being & happiness.”

 

Nadira Shirlonna