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Assalamualaikum, May Peace Be Upon You.

In usual Tiqah style, I would normally take this opportunity to write a heavily edited, wanna-be philosophical, introspection of what 2016 was for me. But considering one half of me insists on posting this on the 1st Jan 2017 and I have about an hour left – in addition to this other nagging side of me that thinks that not everything I write should be super criticised and analytical because those kind of posts are the reason why I rarely blog anyways – SO! Without further ado, let me dump you with a couple of my HIGHLIGHTS of 2016, taken from the Frankenstein of a brain dump draft I did last night. 

  • JAN-FEB: appreciated my health more. Remember health before sickness indeed. 
  • SEM 4: a comparatively less productive semester to previous ones, but I tried my best. Reflecting on it, it must have been related to “looking for Allah”. Remember Tiqah, the only reason you are here, the only reason for your success are due to Him. If you lose focus on Him, you lose focus on everything.
  • DY preparations makes the whole DY thing felt more real, and I felt too excited too early. Allah is the Best Planner love, trust Him.
  • MAY: found a new hobby with watercolour and lettering. Also I regret the massive TV Show marathons I binged watched for the entirety of summer break. In similar news though, Taylor R is my new favourite vlogger. Which is a highlight because I’m not one to continually watch vloggers. Hurrah!
  • JUNE: Worked at stadium family vendor for Ramadhan.
  • Learning the hard reality of losing grips on friendship and that I shouldn’t be too attached to anything, even people.
  • EVENTS: Joined a workshop with qabs hosted by ka bazi and wiqa AND went to the first #PenMeetBN with ka zati and ka amalina (cil) 
  • Had social media detox for 4 months. Learnt that sometimes, this doesn’t solve the problem but it might help in layering steps to fully understanding yourself and give you more insight and perspectives.
  • AUG-NOV: interned at DSS. Met friends whom I cherished and kept in touch until now. Also learnt a lot about myself too in terms of pushing the limits of my comfortable zone in the realm of my degree.
  • Read 27 books out of 12 for #2016ReadingChallenge In which most of the books I actually read during intern, courtesy of (ex)supervisor turned friend.
  • After SEM4 ended: started a new interest in being healthy with hiking and (home) zumba
  • PEMBELA Youth Camp was certainly memorable to say the least. 
  • HS Family Day was truly tiring yet it was a wonderful bonding time with the family. I know I’d appreciate this more when I’m abroad.
  • Finally but arguably the most important to me – Allahyarhamah Nurun Naqiah’s Return to Allah. She once said something on the lines of “May the only reason that separates me from This Path (to Him) is Death (Syahid or martyr) that ignites the sleeping souls”. Oh my dear, I hope I could send you my love and message that yes, you had ignited my cold, hard, sleeping soul – made it burn with motivation and wet with tears for Him. Your death was truly a highlight to me, as it was a bridge between the reignition of my path towards Him. Wait for me while I work on myself, so we could meet again side by side, in Jannah, if Allah wills it for me. Rest well, our little diamond. You have done tremendous work under His Name.

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Simply, a one word definition for 2016 was struggle. An ongoing endeavor of “looking for Allah”. I kept trying and failing throughout the year and I was never satisfied – obviously – how did I even missed Him as Allah SWT is closer than my jugular vein? #TepukDadaTanyaIman

“Remember me, I will remember you.” (2:152) There was a reason why I couldn’t find it in my heart to connect to Him during the year, and it is up to me to figure out and fix that part of myself. “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (13:11) #RefreshNiat #RefreshIntentions

On a positive note, In Syaa Allah, I’ve taken baby steps towards 2017 with a better burning desire and motivation towards His Cause. May Allah keep our hearts firm on His Path and not let it be astray and fall into futur, munafiq and riya’.

I may not know what lies ahead, whether I’ll even get to see the end of 2017, but I know that “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” (2:286). I know I have what it takes, I believe in His Plans.

Again, ma’aa salaamah 2016. With peace I bid you adieu.

Wa ahlan wa sahlan, 2017. I welcome you with open arms.

For the past two weeks I’ve been reading non-fiction the likes of The Productivity Project, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and am currently reading Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life. See a trend? (I blame my supervisor for feeding me his books).

So it wasn’t surprising that with this new diet, the topics of articles I consequently read rang similar. Is Tiqah finally shedding her childish demeanor to a fully functioning matured woman??? (Pfft, you wish) BUT!! while sadly I don’t feel like much of an adult than I already am (which is basically nada if we’re being totally honest am I right), I did find an inspiring and eye-opening “adult” essay called “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace, which I wholly recommend for everyone to read it – whether or not you see yourself as a properly-functioning-adult-thankyouverymuch or a Child Overlord whom needs all the deets about adulthood to be able to take advantage of it so we could all live under the fun and highly dangerous lives based on children’s morality which, speaking from experience, is more fun btw.

In all seriousness, the essay seems to be a speech about liberal arts education but I feel that the nuggets here are applicable for all. Without further ado, here’s some of my favourite excerpts:

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Assalamualaikum, May peace be upon you.

It is quite ludicrous that I have spent many nights through December, January and February coaxing words out and making them look presentable and yet all the attempts ends with unfinished introductions and half-baked ideas. Absurd, yet not unfamiliar. With 8 years of written trivial reverie, surely I have a solution by now? Alas, I have yet to prevail.

I had plans for this specific post. The “Welcome to 2016”. Sadly, I assume that the strive for structure and cookie-cutter was what held me back in the first place. Delaying it was distressing and pursuing the notion was awaking the thunderous waves within. Caught midway again – suspended in ceaseless static motion. A Stationary Cycle.

I have always been an emotional writer – but aren’t we all? Nevertheless, with an unknowing mind, I endeavour.

A pithy rundown of the winter tracks; the blurred and the frozen, the reflection and the scenes, the chill and warmth of December all through February.

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The expectations I had for December were mostly realised: made family during LESTARI, caught a plane to South Korea, quenched my thirst for fiction and kinsfolk. I have written them under the series “Back to December” in which you can access here.

Alhamdulillah thumma Alhamdulillah. Regardless of the melancholic disposition of this piece, I praise and thank Him for 2015 and for His endless blessings that includes these steps into 2 0 1 6.

The year so far is of sanguine dreams and restless clouds of impending disappointment. I am either too positive or the other way around. Preparations for mirages cementing castles in the skies, only the perpetual pull of gravity is my anchor to actuality.

Effort, effort, effort. I cannot be Walter Mitty forever.