Alia Abdullah

Bismillahirahmanirrahim.

In 2008, I was accepted to law school. It’s safe to say that I was absolutely thrilled. My heart pumped fast with anticipation. I kept grinning at anyone and everyone. I was that girl who had stars in my eyes.  Deep inside, I believed that I would change the world. I was completely convinced that I would love being a family lawyer because I wanted to fight for justice.

I was wrong.

I went from one internship to the next feeling positively puzzled. Bit my bit, my passion waned. Having to stay up till 2 am on hectic days, with no time at all for my family and friends, made me miserable. Worse still, I started to realize something that truly shattered my heart. I realized that junior lawyers could not choose our cases. I realized that I could be standing up for someone when my gut feeling was telling me…

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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.

Petite #Shelfie along with the (not so) petite reviews

Assalamualaikum, May peace be upon you.

Here’s the deal: I almost didn’t want to write this because these books were read more than a month ago and I am your humanised Dory. At least Dory remembers the P. Sherman address thing. Anyways, I feel like my “Back to December” series doesn’t feel complete without having bookish matters – especially since I was doing well compared to my devastating bookless semester in Autumn 2015. So without further ado, here are books I’ve read:

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Bismillahirrahmaanirrahim.

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Assalamualaikum, May peace be upon you.

I contemplated a lot about whether to post this on either the public or private account on Instagram. In the end, no matter what I decided, it would not do justice without sharing here in a public setting – even if it has been 2 months.

I embarked on this journey of self-discovery and Alhamdulillah, achieved what I have come for – albeit in a different way that I have imagined. While it was no smooth ride, I have come to appreciate the little things – both in others and in myself.

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Assalamualaikum, May peace be upon you.

You would think having a barbecue picnic with a bunch of your course mates whom you are not actually that close to would be SUPER awkward – and you’re absolutely right. Even though the picnic initially felt like I could literally jump into the nearby sea, I have experienced many more anxiety-filled moments and even embarrassing ones DURING the picnic and I can still say I enjoyed myself. (LATE) Thank you to those who made an effort in cooking, bringing food and whatnot. Jazzakumullahu khairan khateera (May Allah bless you in abundance). The day was a beautiful one indeed and nature had never been so praiseworthy, MasyaAllah wAlhamdulillah.

In the end though, my clothes could not agree less about my thoughts about the day but hopefully the washing machine gave it the comfort that the barbecue sauce and I cannot offer. It took me about half an hour just to get rid of all the burs that clung to my skirt (#RIPTiqah’sClothes)

Thankfully, before the #ClothesIncident, we took some pictures as per usual. While I’m no pro in either photography nor modelling (especially the latter gah, so awks), I still enjoyed learning a little of both from the girls. The more time spent, the more I appreciate the difficulty that is taking portraits and getting that sort-of-natural-but-nahh pose. It was a lot of fun even though I was so out of my element. Bless the girls for bearing with me. And also for the boys that we dragged into the shoot. I’m hoping I’d have time to go over them all and upload on both instagram and vsco but who am I kidding? For now, here are raw photos of outtakes, random selfies and a few that I already posted on my personal instagram account.

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Assalamualaikum, May Peace Be Upon You.

Alhamdulillah, December has started off with an enjoyable experience. Before I start to digress (like most of my other posts) let me gloss over to what is expected this month, In Syaa Allah, if He is willing:

3rd Dec: BBQ with course mates at Muara Beach (done and fun!)

4th – 6th Dec: Neighbour’s wedding

6th Dec: Cousin’s engagement at Tutong in the afternoon

7th -10th Dec: LESTARI (A Life Skills Training Programme)

11th Dec: LESTARI Appreciation Dinner

12th – 16th Dec: Planning to have catch-up/bookish/photoshoot sessions with Shaf, Brubookworm, Zbayani (+ Zahrah) & Derrick (+ library gang as models). If any of these are you, contact me soon so we can plan 😉

17th Dec: Catch up session with the Salbiyyah

18th Dec: Might squeeze in another session before I start packing seriously

20th – 22rd Dec: at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (flying from Miri, a nearby town in Sarawak, Malaysia). Probably staying at Nilai, where a friend is living in campus.

23rd Dec: Morning flight from KUL to Busan, South Korea and reaching there in the afternoon.

27th Dec: Late afternoon flight from Busan to KUL, reaching there near midnight. Probably staying in a nearby hotel.

28th Dec: Possibly an early flight back to Miri, Sarawak and maybe stopping over a few complexes before calling it a day and retreat back to Brunei

While I’ve been to trips with Effah’s family quite a few times I was always clueless about anything other than the country I was supposed to go so I’ll talk about details once they are over (so expect the BBQ post soon!). At the end of the day, no matter how much I plan He is still the Best Planner of all; may Allah ease, Ameen.

Until the next post, Assalamualaikum, May Peace Be Upon You. x