Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Questioning Yourself

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Sometimes, when Im sitting all alone. Or Im driving by myself, my mind goes flying away on its own without my permission. Like right now. Im all alone in my room, on the bed, with the laptop in front of me. Having had crammed my way thru the past two weeks with research, I just can't go on with it right now. I just want to think about other things. I just want to do something that will make me happy again. But I always torture myself by doing the opposite.

Sometimes I wonder.. where is my life going? What is going to happen in the next 5 years? Am I really on the right track? Don't get me wrong, I have no doubts whatsoever with my religion. I don't doubt my responsibilities as a Muslimah. And I don't doubt the necessity to be an agent of dakwah.

My questions are concerning the 'other' part of my life. The dunya part.

I was once questioned about my decision to further my studies. My niat was questioned, and I did falter a bit. "Why on earth do you want to do your PhD? Why do you want to torture yourself for 4 more years just to get approval from men?" "Why do you want to prove yourself worthy when you know you can work, get money and still be happy" Why why why.

People questioned my motive, they questioned my sincerity, and they questioned what good it would do for whatever cause.

Acknowledging the importance of Islamic scholars and how important they are to the development of Islam, and putting that explanation aside, I'm going to give you my opinions on this matter.

I always thought that education was something people treasured no matter in what segment of time. I thought education and knowledge was something precious and those who were given opportunities to learn were those who are the chosen ones. Not many are given this opportunity, so those who got to do it were special in some way or another.

Reading about history, there were times where communities refrained females from education. They were not allowed to be too smart. Females who were knowledgeable were told to keep their mouths shut, and act dumb so that the males don't feel threatened by them. They were told to pet the man's ego by acting like they didn't understand the 'language' of men.

Females in the old English times were mainly treated like they were important for one thing. Marriage. And the community branded in their heads that intelligent women don't get good marriages because they will always be rejected by men who are threatened by them.

Now I ask you readers to come back to this time. Do you think the same thing is happening today in our 'modernised' world where the importance of higher-order-thinking skills are stressed upon? And the higher the qualification, the higher respect they are given?

I say yes.

I am talking from my own experience, so I'm very glad if there are others out there who do not agree with me.

When I first got the news that I was accepted to further my studies, I was beyond ecstatic. I was so excited to share my news with everyone. Being in an era that puts importance in education, I expected that people would be as excited as I was. Don't get me wrong, many were happy for me. But there were those who gave me reactions beyond what I expected.

"Laaa.. kenape sambung study lagi? Brape lama lagi tu? Tak nak kawen ke?"
(Translation: "Whaaaat? Why are u furthering your studies? How long is that going to take? Don't you want to get married?")

I was speechless.

And then there were times when people say to me how difficult it would be for me to find a life partner who is sekufu with me. "Adoi, lagi susah la awk nak cari laki" (Translation: "You're gonna have a harder time finding a mate")

I have also had the experience of being rejected by men who backed off when they knew I was doing my PhD. And the reaction from people were "Ha, tu laa. Sape suruh sambung blajar" (Translation: "Serves you right, who told you to go further your studies")

Why do I feel like PhD is an word that people are allergic with when the person doing PhD is a female who is single? It's as if it's not the right way to go and females who actually choose that path will be condemned and put aside. It's as if they will be given the cold shoulder and cast aside when men are looking for prospective life partners.

That is when you start questioning how worthy you are and start looking for all your faults as if all of it is your fault.

And you still say the view of the world on females and education have changed? Seriously?

After so many negative responses, you cannot expect a lady to not be a little offended and a little affected by what people say. Reluctantly, you start questioning your life and the path you decided to take. And you have this sudden urge to just leave everything and quit.

Today is one of those days. Today was a tough day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Guilty Pleasures

Assalamualaikum WRT WBT

Hey everyone :) How's everyone hanging? Hope everybody is fine and well. Yeah, yeah I havent been updating. No one knows better than me. Im sorry. Im way out of my schedule right now, but you know what, I need a break anyway. So here goes.

Previous posts have been pretty darn serious ey? So Im going to write something way waaaay different today.. tehee.. :P Oh come on, Muslimah are just the same as any other female. We have high ups and really low downs. We might have different ways in handling our problems, and accepting destiny, and ibadah, and aurat, and... oh ok ok.. There are some very marginal differences, but we are still similar in most areas.

So, what Im going to do today is.. I'm going to list down 10 guilty pleasures of mine.. Interested to know? Keep reading y'all.. Oh ye, they are NOT in order of preference ok. hehe. This is just a random and somewhat bizarre idea I had. Ah, I might need to warn you that this post is result from lots and lots of coffee. Ever seen the story The Robinson's? Remember the judge for the science fair? How hyper she was? Ahaaa.. which is why you see me writing in a way, so unlike me. Hehe.

Ok, so 10 of my guilty pleasures that you might not know about me.

1. Book reading while lying on the bed

Yup I know it's not good for the eyes. But.. I love it. Mak has been reminding me not to, for as long as I can remember, but I can't really kick the habit.

And most of the time, if Im not that tired, I just read until I find myself nodding off. That's the only time I would just put the book down, and switch off the lights.

2. Finding a piece of paper and practice my cursive writing

I've always had this thing for cursive writing. The interest in old English culture and reading them in books, seeing how they write the most beautiful cursive writing has always made me envious.

So what I do is just write down whatever I am listening to, or watching. If it's a song, I'll write down the lyrics, if I'm re-watching a movie, I write down the dialog. And well, I'm hoping my cursive writing has improved. Hehehe..

3. Shoes! Shoes! And Boots!

Hehhe.. If you ask my younger sisters, they would say.. Laaa.. kasut lagi. Yeah, I love shoes. And when I say shoes, I mean the ones that cover everywhere. Not sandles, not flip flops, etc. Shoes. I especially love black boots.

But having feet my size, shoe hunting isn't really something I look forward to. And the money I have to spend on a decent pair of shoes.. oh my.. So I rarely do it, but I LOVE doing it.

I still remember bringing the boots trend to my campus. Who doesn't love a good boot. It makes you look smart with whatever attire you are wearing!

4. Baskin Robbin's Mint Ice Cream

Ahh yes.. Absolutely delicious. I don't remember when I started liking mint ice cream, but oh so yummmmmmyy. Now I can't get enough of it.

I remember that mak was the only one who liked mint ice cream when we were small. We kept saying that Mak makan Colgate. Hehhe.. I guess, when u were little, the rainbowy colours are more attractive, and you tend to go for the sweet.

Now..? I do have a sweet tooth, but not as intense as before. Now, mild is so much better. So, anyone who wants to make my day, buy me some mint ice cream, preferably BR.. and preferably on Pink Day! 1/2 price!

5. Arnott's Shapes! 

 Those who LOVE pizza, but want something less full.. then you definitely have to try this. Those who know any Arnott products will agree with me, saying that Arnott's have the best flavours!

Shapes pizza is one of my favourite things of all time. I cannot get enough of it. Thank goodness it's hard to find in JB. Im sure in KL there are tons to go around. But in JB.. those who want to try.. go look around at Aeon Bukit Indah supermarket. In the biscuits section. Usually on the bottom shelf.

But again, they have limited stock. Don't be too disappointed if you don't find it. I have a hard time getting my hands on them too. But if there is no stock, maybe it's becoz I usually buy them all at once! hehhe..

6. Babies! hahahhha

I cannot resist babies. The cute, plump, adorable babies. I cannot resist just getting a hold on them from their moms. Well ofkos I don't just go and attack a stranger's baby. I usually go to those I know and always find a way to hold them and play with them.

I especially love the fact that they end up sleeping on me. Hehehhe.. Oh well, with cushions everywhere, it's irresistible I guess! hahha

I've been into small kids since I was also a kid. I tot maybe I'd grow out of it, but noooooo.. it's still there. Hehhe..

Thauban, siap la awk nanti time balik this weekend. Habis laaaa.. (that's my nephew by the way. The picture)

7. Belting out in the Car

Hehehhehhehe.. yes I do this. Im a confessed singing driver. Hehhehe.. Well, at least it's not in the shower.

I particularly like it when I'm on my own, just listening to favourite songs and just belting it out. Haha.

Never knew this about me? Oh well, now you do. You ask if I have a good voice? I seriously do not know. Hahha. But I won't be singing in front of anyone anytime soon. Hahahha..

8. Staying up to watch back-to-back series

When you have a bunch of good series in your hard disk, the back-to-back thingy cannot be helped. Hehe..

I don't do this all the time, but sometimes, when excitement overpowers the tiredness, then you will end up just finishing the series.

This also happens when I get a good book! Hahha.. It's a good thing it doesn't happen that often. If I have a good movie or a series, but no time, I just leave it for another time.

You don't want to start something when ur schedule is full to the max. haha

9. Grocery Shopping!

Believe it or not.. I actually like shopping for groceries. Hehehe.. Im such a weirdo aren't I. Hehhe..

I like making the list of things to buy, and finding them. I especially love the idea of thinking what to cook and buying the items for the dish! Hehe. I have no idea why.. but it calms me. MAYBE bcoz I actually like cooking. The rule of the thumb is, no rushing. If it's rushing, the joy just slips away and you become stressed out.

So to my neighbours and friends, if you see me at Jusco, that's bcoz I wanna be there, not becoz kene paksa. Hehhe..

10. A beautiful scenery

Looking at a beautiful scenery with my own eyes will lift my mood any day :)

I used to love sketching. Although Im not very good at scenery sketching, I still loved to try. So anywhere beautiful and peaceful is just perfect. Somewhere calm where all you hear is the wind, and there is green everywhere with different kinds of tones.

I particularly love a scenery with mountains and from a high land where you can see below. Just lovely. I don't need artificial landscapes (I do enjoy them mind you, but nature will do wonders for me).


So ok, those are among my top 10 guilty pleasures. Hehehe. You want to judge, condemn, look at me from a negative point of view, go ahead. I don't mind.

I am but a human with many faults :)

But who wants to live like a robot? Islam is beautiful and never narrow minded. We as Muslims are allowed to do anything, appreciate and love anything, as long as it doesn't breach syara'. So if you are actually getting this judging feeling towards me, istighfar please. Rethink your understanding of Islam.

Peace everyone :) Wassalam