There is that time of the year that people either get excited or ignore it and pretend like it’s a normal day. I am one of the former – I’m one of those people who get excited on my birthday without reason. This year though, I wondered why: Why am I excited to get old again?
And so I decided it was a great time to do a self-evaluation. Kinda like where am I now compared to where I was last year. I don’t normally do this much thinking of my (existing or non-existing) progress, and I would say Ramadan is also a good time, but there is so much planning and thought that goes on before it that I don’t give myself time to sit down and think about this.
So here goes:
Last year around this time, I was finishing my Qur’an study course. That in itself was a roller coaster of knowledge, of discovery, of emotions, of decisions. It was amazing, and I feel like being in that environment gave me a strength that I don’t quite possess now. I wouldn’t say I was a better person then than now, but I do feel like I was stronger in saying no to things I had to. The constant daily reminders were powerful, and it is what I miss the most. There is nothing quite like that connection with the Qur’an, and anything that gets me even that close now makes me happy.
In other ways, I feel like I have settled into myself more. When you have time to live life a little bit, you realise how to implement the things you’ve learnt. It’ still VERY much a trial and error method, and I am always slipping and stumbling and shaking my head at how I could have handled that better, but I do feel like I’m calmer now. Like I can take a step back from things and evaluate it before jumping into a judgment call. Take this move, for example. I know “get married, live wherever your husband is” is engraved into our DNA, but it was not something I was completely ready to do last year, and I was still fighting it. Now though, as hard as it is, I have accepted it, and I’m excited about what life has to offer.
So my resolve isn’t as good as it was. It appalls me how I can so easily fall back into something I would not have approached last year, and SubhanAllah, that’s why du’a is so important – du’a to keep us firm always.
What amazes me is that it has become much easier to let go – of people mostly, of situations, of things. If you asked those who are close to me, they will tell you that I am clingy, possessive, and all-round annoying in that department. I have to be in control of a situation, and I lose interest if I’m not. I am very sentimental and hold onto things in the hope that doing so will make nothing change. I’m still somewhat that person, but I am not trying to hold on so tightly anymore. What is meant to be will be, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. To say this and mean it, for me, is a big deal.
I am still trying to push myself out of my antisociable moments, make random friends, be more considerate, and be more of a giver than a getter (but this one is a hard one because who doesn’t like getting presents??). I’m trying to live a life with purpose and do what I love, rather than just live.
There are still a lot of things I’m working on – controlling myself from falling into a mood, focusing my intentions, trying to be a bit more punctual, and not procrastinating so much. I’m still the same old busybody who takes on too many things and is trying to slow down, but I still maintain my motto of “live while you can” – when I have no responsibilities or duties! I’m still learning something new almost everyday, and I have started reading random informative articles that absolute delights and fascinates me, because I am very much a nerd and want to soak up as much information there is on offer (thank you, Pocket!) I have also started taking care of my body more, and hoping to stick with it. Because it is a trust from my Rabb, and I want to be old and fit, not wincing at the sight of stairs in a few years. We take so much advantage of our youth, health, and energy, that we don’t realise that this is not how we’ll be years later, and the key to maintaining it as much as possible is to start now.
Life should be nothing but an uphill climb, with our best day being our last day, our best deed being our last deed, and our best moment the one we meet our Lord, bi idhnillahi ta’ala!