inspired by Dearly Bethany’s video
Being 20 was an interesting time because it is the start of the third decade of your life. For many, it is a time of your undergraduate studies or some form of tertiary studies and also for many, you may be living away from family and loved ones. It is a time for self-discovery, independence, courage and adventure.
I was in my second year going into my third year of university and I remember it being really hard. They always said the second year of your degree in university generally felt harder as the grades count more and as such you are required to put in more effort. I had a lot of hard days, but I also had a lot of fun days. I generally don’t regret my time as a university kid, though I did wish I had done some things slightly differently.
I remember freaking out entering my 20s. I was like “oh here we go, entering into adulthood and expected to do all the adult things”. It is true, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
I still remember the young girl I was at the start of the decade. I was 18 and just finishing my pre-university course in 2010 and beginning the first year of university. It was a year of struggle and separation as my friends and I said our goodbyes and went off to various different universities. It was also a year of fond memories and meaningful encounters as I transitioned from one phase of life into another.
I remember how I looked like and how I felt distinctly. But interestingly, that young girl feels so far and so distant to the person I am today. I guess you could say, she is a girl of the past.
This year has been meaningful in many more ways than I could have imagined. I tapped into my intuition more, reflected on my innermost deepest thoughts, forced myself out of a cocoon of self-deprecation, and put more faith in God. As a result I felt a tidal wave of doubt pass by. It was one of the best personal feats I have experienced to date.
As usual, a list of self reflections is in order. I contemplated on whether to just write about one main thing I learned, but it seems I had a lot more to divulge haha.
12 things I learned in 2019
1. Gratitude multiplies with every thought
Perhaps the most common application of gratitude is that people only want to feel it when something good happens. But even with no new developments, you can still be thankful for your present life. The more I felt gratitude, the more I realised there’s a lot to be thankful for.
2. When you choose to open your heart, you will achieve greater understanding
A lot of times people say they want the best for someone but they say it from their head, not their heart. When you do that, the thoughts don’t translate to action, resulting in behaviour that is not truly accepting. If you want to better understand them, do it from the heart and you’ll find that there’s a lot of space for that there.
I went to pick up my niece from kindergarten the other day. And I always enjoy doing so because I get to see her with her friends mingling about, saying their goodbyes and “see you tomorrow”.
They’re really cute. But what they say to each other is even cuter. Especially since they’re just a tender innocent age of four years old.
So we were walking out of the door, getting her shoes to put on before leaving, when she bumped into one of her friends. Read more…
Life teaches you to be patient with the challenges thrown your away. It shows you that things will eventually get better. The silver lining is what most people persevere for. The dark clouds will always pass and bring out the sunshine.
Some challenges are extremely testing. Perhaps the use of the word extreme is itself that. But the feeling of struggle and remorse are never dishonest. If you’re struggling, you’re struggling.
But like an athletic race of hurdles, the race is forward and is only considered over after all obstacles are ran over. Running under or around does not count. That’s just the rule of the game.
I was a sprinter back in high school and used to run hurdles during athletic sport competitions. There were a few outcomes from the race. My favourite was obviously to win. But when I didn’t, I realised a few things which I used as life lessons:
“Don’t take it out on me just because you’re upset with the other person”
I believe we have all been victims of other people’s anger/grouses at some point in our lives. We’ve also probably made other people victims of our own. I’d like to think it’s unintentional and for some reason or another, just something that tends to happen.
For the most part, the people we’re dealing with are our loved ones. The classic case is they were upset about something or someone else in their life, and they took it out on you unintentionally.
My favourite line to joke around with friends when in the face of adversity is “The struggle is real”. Nothing seems to encapsulate the moment better I feel.
We will always face struggles in our daily lives. Adversity is that one friend in our life that we don’t want, but has something to teach us. It’s among us and frankly, we might as well learn to ride with it.
I know that by now, just mentioning Marie Kondo’s name is a cliché, let alone that term, spark joy.
But I must tell you, she came into my life at the right time.
Specifically, she came into my life in 2018, about 6 months after I turned 26 when I was slowly coming out of a phase of jadedness with renewed life spirit. As they say, I was ready to KonMari the heck out of my entangled mind, my soul, and of course, my room full of things.
Some days I do wonder if this was all fated.
You know what’s ironic? People’s behaviour on social media and in real life.
I’m a regular user of social media such as Instagram and Facebook and yes I do follow some celebrities here and there, in particular Muslim / ‘modest’ fashion bloggers whom I’ve grown to resonate with over the years because of the shared faith.
For some inevitable reason, these platforms have really evolved to become some sort of a space for open reflection. Everyone wants to post their opinion about what they think about this person’s post, whether they think it’s right or wrong, how that person could do better, how that person is either setting a good or bad example.
Depression comes in many forms and varies in degree. Some are very serious, need to be clinically treated while others are mild, possibly not even noticed. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
The latter best describes how I would diagnose myself if had to diagnose myself for depression. I don’t have it. But sometimes, some days, it feels like I do.
George Orwell listed four motives for writing in his 1946 essay Why I write which can be summed as Sheer egoism, Aesthetic enthusiasm, Historical impulse, and Political purpose.
While I do agree with Orwell that these motives probably exist in every writer, I’ve come to find that my primary motive in wanting to write is more intuitive and straight foward.
A friend once asked me whether I knew the difference between empathy and sympathy.
Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone, and empathy is putting yourself in their shoes?
Yeah! I thought you didn’t know. Anyways I feel it’s more important to show empathy.