Life in Constant Gratitude

2017 has been beyond awesome. There’s no other way to best describes the year other than: life in constant gratitude. God, life, people, and the whole universe have been so kind to me throughout the year. I would be such a terrible person if I don’t end the year feeling content and happy.

On Passing the Storm

Life is an endless series of trials and challenges. We all are created in such perfection and complemented with all the skills and ability to conquer the storm that life throws us. Or at least to survive it. Once in a while, life surprises us with unexpected and unfavorable circumstances. Failed at a test, missed a deadline, trapped in a job we hate, unable to get what we wanted the most in life, and all the things that are off the plan (our plan, of course).

I’m lucky that my parents raised me very well and I have such an amazing support system around me. They all have helped me went through all those unfavorable situation and what’s even better is that they all have accompanied me in every best moments of my life. I’m grateful for my ability to control my emotion during the storm, to stay positive, to remain calm, and to finally sort things out.

On Friendship

As we grow older, our inner circle gets smaller and smaller. We become less comfortable with too many people around (well, I am). I choose the people I want to be very close to and I keep them around. I am very glad that my closest friends are those who are kind, who bring so much joys, who encourage me to be a better person, who share their stories and their knowledge, who have been there for me, who discuss all the important things in life with me, and who have stayed and kept up with me all these times. I truly treasure the friendship I have now and I am fully aware that we might grow apart at some point in life, so I just want the guys to know that I can’t thank God enough that they have been for once a very close friend of mine that I love very, very much.

When you’re twenty-something, it seems like your best friends are the only one who understand you the most. And that’s a valid reason enough to be grateful for their presence.

On Life Lessons and Staying Inspired

I remember during an interview I was asked “how do you see yourself in life?” and that time I spontaneously answered “I always learn, who I am today is not who I was one or two years ago.” For the sake of keeping my own promise, I continuously seek for lessons in life. In fact, it’s not hard and life lessons are actually everywhere. The things we see, people we meet, things that happen to us, etc. I am blessed with such life that teaches me lessons everywhere it takes me. In 2017, I learned especially self-value and inner peace. Self-value is different from being narcissist or snob. Self-value simply means acknowledging ourselves and know how much we’re worth so that we will never settle for less than we deserve. When we value ourselves, we will love ourselves and do what’s best for us. For instance, start to control the sugar intake, take care of our body, etc. It’s simply another way of being grateful to God. Inner peace is something everyone has to master. Or else we will get easily pissed off and things will get messy very quickly, we’ll end up regretting. Having an inner peace (although not all the time), I found myself living a more relaxed life. In the midst of everything moving in such a rush, I feel utterly relieved to be able to slow things down.

Life lessons help us grow. Stay inspired, too. It keeps us motivated in life. I am surrounded by amazing people that inspire me to achieve great things in life and in the afterlife, to be kind, to live healthy, and to live the life in the best way possible. Inspiration does not come from other people only, we can read a book and be inspired. Or watch movie. We just have to keep looking for it, because things like motivation and inspiration are not given, they are earned.

On Love

One of the greatest things in life is to love and to be loved. I have sooo much love around me this year. I’m grateful that love is here all along and for once I took the chance (and the risk) to love again. No matter how it turned out, I’m glad that I opened my heart and I’m glad it happened. I’m still being very careful at loving, but I know now that I’m capable of loving again.

On Travel and Adventures

I didn’t go to too many new places this year, but I do have some great adventures. I went to my very first caving experience in 2017. One hell of a activity – probably won’t do it ever again. I also went to Labuan Bajo and Palembang, both remarked my first time to step my two feet in Nusa Tenggara and Sumatera. Since my everyday life has been pretty much mediocre, time-off brings such pleasures and recharges my whole self.

 

I’m overwhelmed with all good things that happened in 2017, I can barely remember things that pissed me off or made me sad. I’m very hopeful for 2018, as I have sooo many wishes I would like to come true next year *fingerscrossed* 🙂

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Advertisements

The Truth

“Isn’t there a danger that you’ll get so good at being single, that you’ll miss out on the chance to be with somebody great?”

There is a bliss in solitude. There is a pride of being independent. And only once one can feel joy out of solitude, she can feel joy out of being with someone else. But the question remains. How good at being single does one has to be?

Some people have been living a tough life, some others are having a rather easy life. Several conditions in life (and in love) shape people to be strong, independent, and maybe cold. The characters reflect on their face and the way they behave. It somehow creates a barrier for other people to see through. Independent person is often avoided by other people (especially by those whose looking for a partner), people who enjoy solitude are sometimes avoided too because other people think that they are already happy and not keen on having a relationship.

Should we not try so hard to be good at being single then…?

What they don’t know is no matter how good someone is at being single, there’s always a room for someone else. There’s a blank space that is waiting for someone to occupy. There’s a secret longing of being with someone. No matter how much independent a person is and how much she can sort things out on her own, she’d love to have a company; a partner to go through life.

Humans are created in pairs and we’re by nature a social creature. There’s a need and a desire to interact with other people, to start a conversation. One can never always survive alone. There is a point in life where a person finally decided that he/she is ready to collaborate with another human being and survive life together.

I hope when the time comes, despite how good I am at being single, I don’t miss out the chance to be with someone great. Ever.

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Books I Read in 2017 (a Short Review)

Never did I take record of books that I have read in a year. I think it’s the right time now to start doing it because I read some great books and they deserve a short review. I finished 8 books in total (fail to finish another 3 or 4 because they didn’t hook me there or because I couldn’t follow what the book is saying). Here’s the list of the 9 books I read and maybe it can be your list for 2018!

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

It was my second Haruki Murakami book. I still enjoyed how the author wrote the story and most importantly, how the book contains a lot of inspiring quotes. Typical to other books written by Murakami, the story of Norwegian Wood is dark and deep. As expected, the book also bluntly describe all the occasions in the story. It tells a tale of a man who can’t let go of a woman in his past. Even though in the present there’s a very attractive woman that loves him. The book taught me (and perhaps other readers too) that we should open our heart, never cling to the past, and never take anything we have right now for granted.

Favorite quote from the book: “what a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for and to do it so unconsciously.” It reminds me to always be considerate, especially for people i care for.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason

This one I definitely recommend. The title might sound a little bit rude but the content is awesome. In life, we often give a f*ck (read: throw our mind) to things that actually don’t matter. As a result, our happiness reduced. We become easily pissed and feel exhausted all the time because we let little things bother us. The book tell us how not to give a f*ck unnecessarily. We ought to choose the thing we deliberately give a f*ck to. The book underlines that we all are going to die anyway, this life is temporary. So why spend a single time overthinking and bothering about things that have very little value in our life? I feel very positive after reading the book. I stop thinking too much about what other people say and I try to keep looking for little things that makes me happy instead of the other way around. I’m a person who get pissed quite easily but now I can regain my inner peace rather quickly.

Happy Little Soul by Retno Hening

Who does not love Kirana? A very famous toddler on Instagram who will brighten up everybody’s day. In this book, her mother shares the journey of raising Kirana until she becomes a very happy toddler. Although I am not a mother (yet), I learn quite a lot from the book. It emphasizes the importance of quality communication between parents and children. For instance, how parents should really pay full attention the their children when they are having a conversation. There are many other useful parenting tips that we can learn from the book. At first I don’t expect the book to be very enjoyable to read. It turns out that Kirana’s mother has a good writing skill. Plus, the book comes in full color.

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Another Haruki Murakami’s book. This time, the book consists of several short stories. All the stories take place in Japan, after (or near the time of) an earthquake. I’m honestly not a big fan of this book. There is this one story about a frog that can walk and speak like human, trying to safe the world.. and I don’t like reading fantasy (that’s why I watched, not read, Harry Potter). Unlike other Murakami books, this one does not leave me any moral message.

L’art de la Simplicité by Dominique Loreau

The initiative of tidying up or decluttering has been popular this year. There are massive books that discuss how to declutter and how it can benefits us. I did not have any intention to apply this way of living, to be honest, because I found it pretty extreme to some extent (also because I pretty much declutter my wardrobe regularly). The book is divided into several sections, from social life, wardrobe, and healthy lifestyle. I have to both agree and disagree to whatever the book is saying. For example, I completely agree that it is better to buy one expensive cardigan with fine quality in neutral color that is versatile and will last a lifetime than a cheap colorful cardigan that easily torn or will only be used once or twice. But I disagree that we have to limit how much we eat, especially dessert. So, I guess I will just take whatever suits me and leave the rest.

Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan

This one is a very fun book! Highly entertaining. It’s my type of novel, just like Shopaholic and Revenge Wears Prada. Easy to read, perfect for a laid back weekend. They will make the book into a movie as well, fyi. It tells a story about crazy rich Asian people and their jetset life, complete with all the conflicts. The plot is actually pretty common, where a very rich guy dates a girl from middle class family. But the conflicts around the main plot is very interesting. I’m currently reading the second book of the trilogy and I’m all excited.

Revive Your Heart by Nouman Ali Khan

Nouman Ali Khan is very popular nowadays and we can listen to his lecture on Youtube. The content of this book is not much different from the content in some of his videos on Youtube. In fact, reading the book feels like listening to his lecture. The way they build the sentence is as if it is a transcript or subtitle from the video (maybe indeed it is). But I don’t really mind that. The topics inside the book are very relatable to our daily life and I think the book is a good reminder for us all. Every time we feel down, we can reopen the book and choose one topic to read. Some people asked me where to buy the book. I’m not quite sure where to get it in Indonesia, as I got it overseas. I hope they import the book soon.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

A very touching book that made me so emotional almost in every page. It is a story about a doctor who is diagnosed with cancer. He has to survive for as long as he could and he also need to rebuild his life and wisely choose how he’s going to spend the rest of the time that he has left in his life. I couldn’t hold my tears when I read the epilogue written by the doctor’s wife. I can’t remember any quote from the book but this has changed the way I see life and death.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg attempts to encourage all women to be in a significant position in their career. This book is about feminism, a very positive feminism. It’s not about woman reaching out a tremendous career and neglect all other responsibilities. It’s about how woman can have both career and life, to some extent. There’s a balance between the two, not perfect but manageable. What I like the most about this book is that the author does not think that one woman is better than the other (e.g career woman better than housewife or vice versa). The most important thing I learn from the book is to respect each woman’s choice and celebrate it. Woman, regardless of their choice, has to be beneficial for her surroundings and for the society. Either by having a good career, volunteering, or fully committed to raising brilliant children. To be able to balance their life, women need good life partner whose willing to co-work inside the house and equally take responsibility in parenting and household activities. The book is very encouraging and it’s not in the extreme side. It’s a must read (for both woman and man!).

So that’s my list for 2017. I don’t have a list yet for 2018 but surely there will be plenty of good and inspiring books to read 🙂

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Notes on Letting Go

Sometimes we fall in love and we try to stay in love but it just doesn’t work out. It doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, though. It shouldn’t be a sad kind of letting go. In fact, we can actually learn to appreciate things differently from it. Not all that ends are hurt.

Above all, we should accept and embrace that things don’t always go as expected. Yet it is still wonderful that we have once experienced love, even for only a short period of time. It was once there. We were once happy. It was once a good kind of love, a love that enlightened our days, that made us excited to see what the future would brings.

We ought to be grateful for the experience. For being courageous enough to open our heart and try. For believing, all over again, that all love meant was to be kind. It never meant to hurt us in any way.

Only by this time, we’re able to peacefully let go. And if one day it comes back, maybe it is meant to be. If not, better things await.

Have faith 🙂

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia