Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: life

The Struggle

On my quest
I feel so confused and restless
Set on fire, my heart explodes
with the pain of separation.
In this struggle, I am caught forever
unless I go beyond this
‘You’ and ‘I’

— Jalal ad-Din Rumi

I need to go beyond the inner me to win this battle.

The Attempt

After going through some rough times that I would even categorize them as depression, I am trying to get back up again and walk with my head straight to the future. It’s hard. I know it is. I will definitely face another roadblocks. Another challenge that can bring myself down to my knee. Especially when I have so few friends. But this time, I am determined to do this. I really want to get out from this dark room that I’ve been living for so long.

If Rumi and Hafez can depend on no one but the Beloved, why can’t I do it? I need to discipline my desire to have many friends that I can relate to inside out. I need to get used to the fact that I don’t have anyone to spend with during the weekends. I wanna stay at home, do nothing, and be OK with it. It’s definitely hard to do it, knowing that I’m a very social person. But its been 6 months and the situation is not getting any better. It was getting worst at one point. I need to start living with no social life. I need to stop having the urge to talk to people. I need to keep my emotion to myself. My stories to myself. My happiness and sadness to myself. I just need to change everything that I was known of.

This is not the nicest way to make me feel better. But I am running out of ideas. Each idea and each step that I did led me to another breakdown. It was not working at all, unless I have close friends that I can rely to and family friends that I feel so attached to. I miss teh Rita and mas Umar. I really do. They are my second family.

There is a hole inside my heart and no one can covers it at the moment. It’s getting bigger and it hurts so damn bad. I can’t cover the hole, but I can make it frozen so that the pain is temporarily gone. So that I will feel numb and eventually, I hope that I will realize that it’s OK to have no one. Because Allah is always with me and never leaves me.

And that’s what I am trying to do. I hope it’s working. InsyaAllah. Please keep me in your prayers.

Connected, but alone?


I have just discovered this video! It’s been awhile since I watched a TEDTalk and wrote it here on my blog. After watching this talk delivered by Sherry Turkle, I decided to quickly write it here.

I have complained a lot in this blog about the Internet, gadgets, and social networking sites which have done a great deal in changing the way we, the humans, interact with each other. To be honest, they are not entirely bad. Thanks to social networks, I can be connected again to my long lost friends in elementary school or high school. I remember about a half a decade ago, I used to be the one who searched for them on the Internet and made a mailing list group so that we could keep in touch. When only few people used Friendster, I told everyone to create an account there. When Facebook gained popularity in the US (but not in other countries), I told all of my close friends to move to Facebook :P. I was busy making sure that although they’re not physically close to me anymore, I could at least reach them online.

But now, every single person can be easily reached. Virtually reached, that is. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, YM, LinkedIn, GMail, aaah…. you name it! People, including me, are addicted to it. Every time we encounter something, we update our status. We no longer call our closest friends to tell them about it, but updating a status seems to be the coolest way to go about it. Hi-by friends or even strangers suddenly become our best “virtual listeners”. Friends or families are busy with their smartphones while having dinner together. It is absurd, if you really think about it (I’m criticizing myself too, you know!). We spend less time to have a real and deep conversation with people because we spend too much time online with people who we think they care (but they are not, really).

So, this talk by Sherry Turkle  is exactly what has been running through my mind for the past few months or years — except that, she explains it more beautifully and persuasively than I do. One thing that struck me is this:

When I ask people “What’s wrong with having a conversation?” People say, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with having a conversation. It takes place in real time and you can’t control what you’re going to say.” So that’s the bottom line. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body — not too little, not too much, just right.

This is the major difference between real conversation and “virtual conversation” (texting, email, etc). Real conversation cannot be perfected with technology. There is no rewind or undo button. We can appear as perfect as we can virtually. We can appear as the person we always want to be virtually. We can pretend to care when we have a hard time to show our care to other people in the real world. We get to do things that we cannot do in real life.

What’s more is that, technology seems to be the thing we turn to when we are most vulnerable. As Sherry puts it: “The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.” Technology makes us feel connected, somehow. The moment that we are alone, have nothing to do, waiting for the bus, or have nothing to talk about with the person next to us, we immediately try to reach our small device.

For me, social networks are important to keep in touch with friends that are thousand miles apart from me. But to those who are within few km distances, I’d rather have a meaningful one-to-one conversation over coffee, lunch, or dinner. That’s the only way to understand and learn about my friends. No amounts of emails, Skype, and YM messages can beat real conversation. It is hard to loosen up my addiction to social networking, but at least I know that I still prefer the old traditional way of interacting. With the loneliness plaguing my life, talking to friends online in any way cannot heal this feeling. In order for it to disappear, I need friends who are physically here, talking to me. While some chats and emails did help in motivating and encouraging me, all of them are temporary. They are like medicines that can heal the pain but unfortunately, they cannot cure the actual disease.

I’m not suggesting to ban social networks and abandon them all together. But what I’m suggesting is to spend more meaningful time with the people around us. Talk to them. Know them well. Socialize. At least, put our smartphones away when we are with them. I do get annoyed by it when everyone is with their phones!!! 🙂 So, let’s do myself and everyone a favor that when you sit down with your friends, put your mobile phones away. Prove yourself that you can ignore this device, even though it’s merely an hour long.

Being (in)dependent

My parents raised me to be independent from the very early age. Back in those days when we’re still financially unstable, my sister and I had stay at home — just the two of us — while our parents worked hard to earn extra money during Hajj.  Being the eldest child, I was already trusted to take care of my sister and myself. I was still in the elementary school at that time, but we managed to live like this for a month every single year.

I then became totally independent when I came to Indonesia to study. For the next 10 years after that, I had been living independently without my family. I was too comfortable to be apart from my family that it felt weird to stay under one roof with them for more than a month. I had to re-adapt.

I love living my life without having to worry about others 24 hours a day. I don’t need to take care of anyone or be worried about anyone. The only one that needs to be taken care of is only me. It doesn’t mean that I prefer to live alone. I hate living alone. But there’s a big difference between living with your friends and living with your family. Yes, there’s a big difference.

This is something that I still need to get used to. Living with my sister is such a big challenge for me. She is the most needy person I’ve ever encountered. She doesn’t like to be alone at all. Even if it means going to the market next door, she wants to be accompanied. I don’t want to make it a big deal, because that’s what I come here for. I’m just not used to it and that’s a real challenge for me.

But then I thought to myself. Imagine if I have a child. Like any children in the world, this child constantly needs the care, support, and attention every single day. If I can’t even stand having my sister by my side, what would happen next if I have a child?!? Would I be able to stand with my baby?

I really need to sort out this issue!

Owning Our Story


I’ve been so busy these past few weeks! Too many things to write but so little time. I’ll resume this project next week, insya Allah 🙂

Take Back Your Heart

This is beautiful. The metaphors she used remind me of those used by Rumi 🙂

[…] If you allow dunya to own your heart, like the ocean that owns the boat, it will take over. You will sink down to the depths of the sea. You will touch the ocean floor. And you will feel as though you were at your lowest point. Entrapped by your sins and the love of this life, you will feel broken. Surrounded by darkness. That’s the amazing thing about the floor of the ocean. No light reaches it.


If you seek Him, God can raise you up, and replace the darkness of the ocean, with the light of His sun. He can transform what was once your greatest weakness into your greatest strength, and a means of growth, purification and redemption. Know that transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall. The ground is where humility lives. Take it. Learn it. Breathe it in. And then come back stronger, humbler and more aware of your need for Him. Come back having seen your own nothingness and His greatness.


And so, this is a call to all those who have become enslaved by the tyranny of the self, imprisoned in the dungeon of the nafs (self) and desires.  It is a call to all those who have entered the ocean of dunya, who have sunk into its depths, and become trapped by its crushing waves. Rise up. Rise up to the air, to the Real world above the prison of the ocean. Rise up to your freedom. Rise up and come back to life. Leave the death of your soul behind you. Your heart can still live and be stronger and purer than it ever was. […] Come back to where you began. Come back Home. Know that when all the other doors have shut in your face, there is One that is always open. Always. Seek it. Seek Him and He will guide you through the waves of the cruel ocean, into the mercy of the sun.

This world cannot break you–unless you give it permission. And it cannot own you unless you hand it the keys — unless you give it your heart.  And so, if you have handed those keys to dunya for a while–take them back. This isn’t the End. You don’t have to die here. Reclaim your heart and place it with its rightful owner:


— Yasmin Mogahed

Read the complete article at

The Bandaged Wound

Don’t turn your head.
Keep looking at the bandaged wound.
That’s where the Light enters you.
And don’t believe for a moment
that you’re healing yourself

— Jalal ad-Din Rumi

In this Ramadhan, all I wish is for Allah SWT to make you the person that I once knew. The person that I had a high regard for. I will beg Him to never leave you behind and always be dear to you. I will make a duaa that you will always remember Him and be constantly reminded every time you are about to displease Him. I will constantly ask Him to forgive you, purify your past mistakes, and make you completely repent.

May Allah SWT soften my heart, erase my wound, and make me one of those people who can sincerely forgive you and be fair to you. Amin ya rabbal alamin.

The Courage

The sun will stand as your best man and whistle when you have found the courage to marry Forgiveness; when you have found the courage to marry Love

— Hafez

The Pen Has Dried

You will never completely feel at ease until you firmly believe that Allah has already pre-ordained all matters. The pen has dried and with it has been written everything that will happen to you. Therefore do not feel remorse over that which is not in your hands. Do not think that you could have prevented the fence from falling, the water from flowing, the wind from blowing, or the glass from breaking. You could not have prevented these things, whether you wanted to or not. All that has been pre-ordained shall come to pass.

— Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni in Don’t Be Sad

I know that this is not the path that I want to take, but I’m determined to do the best I can now. Maybe KL will open many doors for me. I’m not going to give up, though. I’m still going to realize that dream. It could be in another form. It could be in any other country. It could be something totally different. Allah knows what’s best for me 🙂


Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best… [and] is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield… that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.

Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionists were raised being praised for achievement and performance… Perfectionism is more about perception — we want to be perceived as perfect. This is unattainable — there is no way to control perception, regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying.

Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough.

— Brené Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

I don’t think I’m a perfectionist although sometimes I do want some things to be perfect. Or maybe… I didn’t realize that I had been a perfectionist for so long?!