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

When You Greet… in Arabic

The Arabs have a weird way of greeting their friends. They would ask the following questions:

  • How are you?
  • How’s everything?
  • How’s your health?
  • How’s your family?
  • How’s your son/daughter?
  • and the list is expanding… (but usually those first four questions are asked)

And what’s the answer to all those questions?

Alhamdulillah. All praise is due to Allah SWT.

In Saudi Arabia, when you greet a person, you’d kiss him/her on the cheek. So if you ask him/her four questions above, then you’d kiss him/her for four times. So it all depends on the number of questions that you ask. And all of them must be answered with alhamdulillah.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I suggest you watch this funny and short video made by MTV Arabia about Saudi kiss:


My brother and I used to make fun of the way Arabs greet. It’s funny, when you think about it. I mean, you ask so many questions and no matter what you ask, the answer will always be alhamdulillah! It’s soooo “basa-basi”.

Anyway, it turns out that this way of greeting has existed for so long β€” it was once the habit of salafus shalih (the ‘pious predecessors’ from the first three generations of Muslims) which has been passed down until now! The reason why they did it was so that they can say the word alhamdulillah for so many times. In other words, they deliberately did it so that we can praise Allah SWT more often β€” i.e. so that we can be grateful to Allah SWT more often.

Subhanallah, I didn’t know that!!! I’m such a loser for thinking about it in another way. Oh God, please forgive me.

* Taken from a book titled “Kaya & Bahagia dengan Syukur” by Ahmad Hadi Yasin.

The World Today

Nowadays the world is becoming increasingly materialistic, and mankind is reaching toward the very zenith of external progress, driven by an insatiable desire for power and vast possessions. Yet by this vain striving for perfection in a world where everything is relative, they wander even further away from inward peace and happiness of the mind.

— Dalai Lama


Brené Brown wrote:

Sometimes the toughest part of embracing vulnerability is recognizing vulnerability. There are so many secondary emotions that spring to the surface and grab our focus. I wrote this in my journal this morning as a little reminder to look deeper, be mindful, and practice self-compassion. I don’t want to shut myself off from vulnerability because I don’t want to miss out on what it brings to my life: love, creativity, joy, authenticity, courage, and hope (just to name a few).

So, here is my own version of recognizing vulnerability….

Vulnerability is…

  • Unable to forgive, let go, and move on
  • Failing to finish the work on time
  • Unable to satisfy my boss/professor/friend with my work
  • Failing a course for the second time
  • Exposing your weakness
  • Admitting that you’re weak
  • Asking for help
  • Feeling that you’re not good enough for you family/friends
  • Being different than everyone else
  • Telling the truth
  • Admitting that you’re wrong
  • Asking for forgiveness
  • Telling (some) people that they’re wrong
  • Loving someone so deeply & unconditionally, without worrying about being hurt
  • Risking to be judged
  • Sharing your problems with others

Vulnerability feels like…

  • Disappearing
  • Failure
  • Embarrassment
  • Sad
  • Anger
  • Depressed
  • Helplessness
  • Withdrawal
  • Worried
  • Weak

The list is expanding… One thing I notice about this list is that most of them have to do with exposing myself, being transparent, and allowing myself to be really seen. Obviously I have a lot of "work" to do πŸ˜€

The Same Pattern

2007. I started my final year project with 6 other great teammates. I became involved in a student organization called AIESEC, became in love with it, dived myself into it, and devoted my time for it. It was such a busy year, but I found a way to divide my time between uni, AIESEC, and Saman Dance. I met a lot of new awesome people, but I had much less quality time with my closest friends. I was ignorant enough to realize that this was my final year! I wasn’t ready to be apart from my best housemates in the world, Jenny and Mayu. As expected, time flew by and suddenly I held my farewell dinner. I had planned on going back to Jakarta upon graduation. But suddenly, my mum changed the plan; she would rather having me back in Jeddah.

2011. I’ve started my thesis project. I’ve been involved in an Indonesian student organization, PPI/e, become in love with it, dived myself into it, and have been devoting my time for it. It’s been quite busy time for me: thesis, PPI/e, and angklung! I’ve been meeting a lot of new awesome people, but I’ve been having much less quality time with my closest friends. No more potluck dinner or hanging out in a café for hours β€” I wonder if it was me or them who have no time. As usual, I’m ignorant enough to realize that this could be my last year in the Netherlands. I’m not ready to face farewell and to give up my routine that I come to love and enjoy. I’ve been planning to go straight to Jakarta upon my graduation, but 2 days ago, my mom called and she told me to go to Jeddah first because she misses me hahaha… πŸ˜› So it seems like Allah SWT still wants me to go back to visit the Baitullah, uh? Lucky me πŸ˜‰

I feel like my life is in a circle and I’m almost approaching the finish line. After the finish line, I’ll start the lap again β€” from the beginning β€” fresh, confused, and excited. I’ll be in the stage where I’ll try to adapt again, find new friends, be longing to go back to the past, and then… at some point in time, I’ll be enjoying my life again and thinking nothing but about the present and future. If my life is a process, then this would be the so-called steady-state (geek mode: ON hahaha).

Oh dear life. Please be gentle on me.

Hoping to Be More Alive

You are an ocean in a drop of dew,
all the universes in a thin sack of blood.

What are these pleasures then,
these joys, these worlds
that you keep reaching for,
hoping they will make you more alive?

— Jalal ad-Din Rumi

A reminder for myself.

Live Creatively

Full of Hypocrisy

Isn’t it funny that…

I keep on complaining about those who are so ignorant about the world’s current events and how they’re able to live in this world without thinking about others, while I keep my eyes and ears shut about what’s happening in Indonesia?

I criticize people who love to buy gadgets whenever the new one comes out because it is such a waste of money, while I spend so much money on traveling? (although I can give you a long list of arguments, benefits, etc about it hehe)

I get overly irritated when ANY of my guy friends commented on the physical aspect of any girls on the street (e.g. "look at that sexy woman"), yet I find it perfectly fine for my girl friends to admire handsome boys?

This is the world we live in. It is full of hypocrisy β€” whether you realize it or not.

Go easy on yourself…

No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.

Umar Ibn al-Khattab

Life and Death

This place is a dream, only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.

— Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Years of My Life

*Posted on my Twitter, but I gotta put it here too…

2000 was the year of freedom. I got the opportunity to live far away from my parents for the first time in my life. It felt great to finally be the pilot of my own life. I was in control of everything.

2004 was about getting away from my comfort zone and experiencing things that I never experienced before. My love for cultures started here.

2007 was the important milestone of my life. I was one of the proudest kids around. But farewell was the hardest thing. I had to do it…

2008 was a dream come true. I had been wanting to step into this continent since high school. I finally made it! Alhamdulillah.

What will 2011 be for me? Insya Allah I’ll pass yet another milestone. And it’ll be the year when I’ll be searching for my passion and my home.

I used to be passionate about one thing that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But that passion was gone. I’m searching for a new one. And how about home? I haven’t found one. And that’s okay. Coz that means I won’t stop exploring πŸ™‚

I still remember the comment in my blog by a blogger friend of mine, Mulia, loooong time ago. "Luck is not for free. The more you get, the more you have to give." That comment struck me. And I’m determined to pay it back. That’ll be my focus from 2012 onwards. Amin.

I may not be certain about what exactly I’ll do in the future, but I know that I’m going to work in an NGO somewhere outside of Java, preferably Aceh. If I have enough money, I’m seriously considering volunteering in Palestine, but that’s still impossible.

I realize now that the only reason for me feeling rather hesitated to go back to Indonesia is because of Jakarta! I don’t want to live there. I’m not excited to live there for too long. So now I have to find a place somewhere outside of Java to live in. Friends suggested me Bali or Balikpapan. Well, let’s just see where I’ll end up in :).

To conclude: there isn’t anything in my life that I regret. I’m grateful for everything. Alhamdulillah. Allah is great.