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

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It’s Okay, It’s Love

Falling in love was once easy. Two people meet and gravitate towards each other. The chemistry is built effortlessly and the emotion flows naturally. The two are happily committed to one another and foolishly think that the relationship they’re in right now will last a lifetime.

Falling in love gets harder, especially after we had our heart broken by someone we truly love. Someone we once thought will be our better half in some years time.

This time, not only the heart that decides. The brain gives it’s perspective too. It has a lot of considerations and unnecessary (or sometimes necessary) anxieties about us throwing ourselves to the same feeling that had destroyed us in the past.

It’s not merely about i like him and he likes me anymore. We start to think about whether it is worth all the risks. We ask repeatedly to ourselves if it’s truly the love that we deserve. We over analyze everything. We doubt our feelings. We become hesitant in falling in love. It is a tight war between denial and acceptance, we can’t seem to be honest about our own feeling because we’re too afraid of another disappointment.

Some people then choose to be alone and avoid falling in love.

A guard is built, strong and steady, to protect the heart from allowing another bad person to enter. Yet some people say that we will only get better once we open our heart. Let the new beginning comes in. So then we try, slowly letting other people come. And everyday we pray that this time is going to be different, this time the love will stay forevermore. When one day it feels different and it somehow makes perfect sense with this person, we have to be honest. If it’s love then it’s love. And it’s okay to love.

When we love, it feels somehow terrifying. But… it’s okay, it’s just love.

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Thoughts on Finding the One Part III

Have I told you that I love wedding very very much? Well, if I haven’t, I do. I love how the ceremony radiates happiness to people and brings a warm feeling in their hearts. To me, it’s magical. There’s something about it that cannot be described into words. This weekend I witnessed the wedding of two of my best friends. It got me to think, again, about finding the one.

The story of how my best friends met their spouse is somewhat unexpected. The first best friend, he met his wife when he was traveling. Back then, one chance came to him. One little chance that he bravely took, which was to talk to the girl, brought him to his true love. Who would guess that a small talk can help you in finding the one? The second best friend is not much of a difference. The man she’s now married to has never crossed her mind before. Without warning, he came to her life and decided that she is the one. Then she said yes.

Love comes in the most unexpected way, some said. For the two of my best friends, it’s true. But I personally think, sometimes love comes to us and somehow we already predict that love is going to happen. So it’s also expected and pretty munch predictable. Because for some people, they have built a long and strong relationship before they decided she/he is the one. Some others are trapped in a platonic relationship until they finally realize that they are a match made in heaven. Every love story is unique. There’s no two identical love story. Thus, I believe, we have to be open to many different opportunities and possibilities. The expected, the unexpected, the ‘too good to be true’, the ‘there’s no way I can be with her/him’.. anything. And once we realize that we have settle our heart to someone, we should be truly honest with ourselves, admit and embrace the feeling. Because in any love story, whether expected or unexpected, all it takes is one chance and a bold courage to make it come true. Without being honest with ourselves, how are we going to see the opportunity and build the courage?

As Stevie Wonder said, for in romance all true love need is a chance.

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

What Stays the Same

I have been scrolling down through my old blog since the afternoon. It brings me nostalgic kind of feeling.. I have been blogging since 2011 and there were just so many things, so many stories and feelings. I can’t help myself to smile.

One thing I realize is that other than the style of my writing, everything else stays the same. I often talk about happiness and life. I always write a birthday post (except on my 22nd birthday, I don’t know why). Porridge still is my favorite food. Airport has always been one of my favorite places on earth. I was more open back then, I wrote pretty much in daily basis and I talked a lot about my life – which I actually still do, but I now wrap it differently.

After all, it’s good to know that some things stay the same and remain unchanged 🙂

❤️ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Keep Calm and…

This one post is rather spontaneous than planned. I was having a writer’s block before and then I decided to re-read my old blog, the one I wrote when I was in university. I found one article and I think it will be nice to re-write it. And though I can just copy and paste the words here, for the purpose of having a consistent writing style, I have to re-make the article. Please enjoy 🙂

Several days ago I re-opened my postgraduate personal development plan assignment. For that assignment, I had to create a survey and ask people (obviously those who knew me) what they see as my strength and weakness. I saw a consistency in the respondents’ answers. Most of them thought that calm, well organized, well prepared, very detail in planning, and a good planner are my strengths. I didn’t realize that I am such a person, until the survey. The survey was conducted a little bit more than a year ago. And today, during my visit to my blog that I wrote five years ago, I found a piece of writing about keeping calm. I was sharing how I learned to keep calm in that article. There were seven ways to keep calm that somehow worked for me. Guess what? The second one was to be well-planned. So, who I was in 2016 (I hope it is still who I am now), has been there since five – or many more – years ago. Characters and habits take a good deal of time to built, yes?

Here’s the 7 ways to keep calm (as written in 2012, but I edited the explanation a little bit).

  1. Pray. Before anything, pray. Sometimes we do everything first, then pray last. Well, it should be the other way around. God promises that He will not burden anyone beyond what he can bear. So this is a very good reason to stay calm and not over-worried about something.
  2. Arrange the schedule and don’t be a deadliner. There comes a time when we have too much on our plate. The only way to sort them out is to get all of them done. Make plans, set a priority rank for each task, and do it one by one. Having an everyday to-do list is a life savior. And never delay what we can do now because, as wise man said, later sometimes become never.
  3. Make sure to have some fun. Even in the most hectic time and the hardest situation, allow yourself to have some fun once in a while. It is important to keep ourselves calm and to release the stress. Don’t go too overboard, but do have fun.
  4. Self-assuring. Repeat to yourself that this too shall pass. Remind your self to be calm. Take a deep breath. And do it all over again every time you are about to explode.
  5. Be opportunist. This may sounds negative but what I actually meant was to realize when an opportunity comes and to know when to take it. This will get things done even quicker and solve problems too. Thus, no need to be anxious and worry.
  6. Focus. Multitask is the opposite of a catalyst. It will lower our productivity. We can handle so many things at the same period of time. But each of them has to has a slot time. Focus on one task at a time. This is why point number 2 is utterly important.
  7. Pray. Again. When we have put all our efforts, pray. ‘God, please do not make this world as our biggest concern.’ If nothing is a big concern, then why worry, right?

 

Keep calm, and… well, just keep calm because it feels good.

By the way, if you want to read the original article, you may read it here.

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Thoughts on Finding the One Part II

During lunch time, my colleagues and I talked about something a little bit different than usual, as we normally have the kind of conversation during dinner – once we have it together. Someone brought up the topic and we all seemed to enjoyed it. It’s about love. Particularly, about finding the one.

Long story short, one of my colleagues, despite having a girlfriend, had a crush on someone at the office. But, he just declared that he will never look at anyone -ever again- with such adornment. When we asked him why, he answered “because last weekend I met my girlfriend and I realized how wonderful she is.” Aww. Sweet. It’s quite a surprise to hear those words came out from his mouth.

Then his answer reminded me of something I read not too long ago. Someone was asked regarding how he figured out that his wife is ‘the one’. How he finally decided the love of his life. The man aswered “it was when we went grocery shopping together that I realize she’s the one with whom I want to do grocery shopping together for the rest of my life.” Very simple.

Perhaps that is how we find the one. Through simple incident and small gesture. It’s nothing special and grand. It makes sense though. Because we are going to live with that person everyday. And our everyday life is more often a mediocre than anything extraordinary. So to be able to love the person everyday, we have to fall deeply in love with his mediocrity. No one will pick us up at the office everyday with a bouquet of flowers, no one will cook us a five star Michelin restaurant menu from Monday to Sunday, no one will wear a flawless make up for 24 hours. In finding the one… it’s not because those ‘special treatment’ we occasionally receive from the person. It is the person himself, how he lives from day to day, who he truly is. Just the way he is.

We don’t always see it at the first time we saw a person. It takes some time for some people to realize. But one day, we will realize the sparks, the light in his eyes, or the warmth of his voice, or anything of him that makes us pledge to ourselves to love him for the rest of our life.

A little bit addition, I am very happy for my colleague for having a very nice girlfriend. Since he’s with her, he has become a better person. I don’t know whether the kindness of his girlfriend affects him or what but I like how this girl brings a good influence to my fellow friend. Maybe this is also how we find the one. The one will be a person who makes us want to be a better human being. Not because he forces us nor because he encourages us, but simply because we want to be equally good as him. Without him doing anything, we’re already motivated to become the best version of ourselves.

Well, all I could say is maybe.. because I haven’t find the one. But hopefully, we soon will gravitate towards each other. Till the time comes for us to meet, then 🙂

❤️, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Advice on Work, and Life in General

I went for lunch with my director this afternoon. It was my fourth time to sit with him on the same table and listen to his ‘wejangan’. He mostly talked about leadership, well, as expected. But he also mentioned two things that inspire me. It’s about responsibility and life goals. Both words closely related to my current phase of life, of becoming an adult. And his ‘wejangan’ kind of gave me the idea that I have been searching for lately. Pretty much the answer to ‘what should I do next?’ Such a beautiful coincidence, wasn’t it?

On Responsibility

Adults will have bigger responsibility in life compared to kids and teenagers. Mostly because adults choose their path, on their own. We’re not anymore getting the facility of our parents picking which company to work for, as they picked which high school to go to in the past. Many times my director reminds us that to work for the company is fully, consciously, our own decision. No one pull out a gun in front of our head and tell us “you have to work here”. It is our own decision in the very first place. And once we have made a decision, we have to take the responsibility of that decision. Including the consequences.

So to work hard or not to work hard simply is based on how we take the responsibility. Get paid every month while doing not much thing at the office might sounds nice but it is to some extent unfair and irresponsible. You chose to work at that company but it turns out you just want to get paid from the company. I’m not saying that we have to fall in love very deeply with and be fully dedicated to the company. That’s what they called corporate slave, no? What I’m saying is we have to be responsible. Do the bare minimum that is required, at least. Or do even more, depends on what we want to become.

Some people want to be just ordinary. Some people are happy with earning 5-10 mio per month. And that’s okay. But some others are not. They want to earn much more. Not to mention that once they get married and have kids, they will have a greater responsibility to earn more to support their family. To gain more, we have to do more, of course. The truth is, generally, we have to be in a high level of position to earn big bunch of money. That’s where the work hard takes role. Be outstandingly good in order to reach the position. Or just be ordinary to stay at our current place. It’s, again, our choice to choose. What we have to remember is that we can’t blame other people for our misfortune. Don’t be envious of someone getting higher salary because he works super hard everyday. He deserves it. Do we deserve it too? It depends, do we choose to be a person who deserves a position and a bunch of money?

That is why, our goals, who we want to become, pretty much determines how we do our life. Which correlates to the next topic.

On Life Goals

Might sounds lame, but my director reminds us to keep a list of goals in a piece of paper. We’ve heard this enough, haven’t we? But have we really do it? For instance, me, I don’t have one… yet (I’m planning to make one this weekend though).

The grand plan of our life. Write it down so we know where we are now, we know by the end of the year how much we have progressed, we know when to work harder, when to stop, and when to adjust. It is okay to have the plan go off the track, that’s reality, that’s life. The most important thing is that everyday we wake up, we know where we’re heading to. We don’t merely exist everyday and do the same thing all over again and be the same person for the rest of our life. Hasn’t the religion taught us that we’re in such a disadvantage if today is no better than yesterday?

So, do we want an okay life or an extraordinary one?

Again, we decide.

❤️, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Finitude of Life

I just finished a book titled When Breath Becomes Air. I bought the book because the reviews are good and it turned out that they did not fail me at all. The book is, in fact, very good. It is a true story of a neurosurgeon who was dying from a lung cancer. In his remaining time, he wrote a book about how it’s like to be dying and how he understands death. His wife also took part as she wrote an epilogue for the book. And that part literally brought me into tears.

The book makes me think of life, a lot. Especially about how all of us very often neglect the fact that death might actually be very close to us. We’re not granted with 80 years of life in this world. We might, we might not. Some live longer, some not. No one knows. Not knowing when it is going to happen does not mean it is not going to happen, though. Yet we still live as if we got forever.

Not knowing when our final time will be is somehow very tricky. We always have the mindset that there will be tomorrow. However, when the time comes, it comes so suddenly. What if we don’t get the chance to do one thing we want the most in life? What if we haven’t told someone how we really feel for them? What if we haven’t lived life to the fullest? Everything will be way too late by then.

Perhaps it is somewhat easier for people who are diagnosed with an illness and their remaining time in this world can be predicted. Even though there may be miracles, at least they’re already prepared. I’m not sure if this is the right analogy, but think of my time when I was in Manchester. I lived there for a year and when I have booked my flight ticket to go back home, I made a list of things that I would like to do before I went home. Eat a portion of half chicken al-faham, stroll around the city center on my own, take my last picture in front of the university, and so on. Even since the very beginning, I already had a list of things that I would like to do during my time in Manchester. I also took almost all of the opportunities that came to me. Maybe if we do know when our last breath will be, we will already have that kind of list, if that makes sense.

Shall we then start to live our life as if today is our final moment? I don’t know, honestly. But I think, to fall in love with our life, to be content with it and hold no grudges pretty much resembles a ‘life lived to its fullest’. Do you?

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

More Than We Ask For

I was not expecting my first weeks in Manchester to run so smoothly when I prayed to God for easiness in my solo journey. It turned out that the experience has taught me a lot of lessons. From which I became a better person. School went very well and life was full of adventures. It all happened, as if I’ve begged God for it. Yet all I asked was easiness.

When I prayed to God so that I become a stronger person who forgives other people easily, never in my mind I imagined myself to actually wish the people a happy and wonderful life. And I realize that sincerely wishing a happiness for other people actually help ourselves being happy and satisfied.

When I came back home from Manchester to Jakarta, I wished to build a brand new life. What I have now is an amazing life, surrounded by people I love. And it keeps on progressing. It changes me, little by little, and it has a huge force that encourages me to live better.

I asked God for a decent job after graduating from my postgraduate study. Not only I get a job, I get myself best friends too. With whom I discuss a lot of things during lunch or our 4 o’clock escape. Not to mention that I actually like the job too. My prayer was actually very simple. A job. Without any further details. Yet I gained so much more than that.

He always gives more than what we asked for. He generously gives an extra to whatever we wish for. He meticulously calculates the complimentary for our needs. He saves us from the risks we overlooked. And he provides things we forget -or do not ever think of- to ask.

He, Himself, is the One who told us to pray, to ask, to beg for anything we wish. It’s not always immediate, how He answer the prayer. But He always answers. And He answers with more than we have ever asked. Imagine ourselves praying every night and day, the prayers accumulate in heaven, how much more would He gives us once it’s finally answered? How extra special would the answer be?

It’s going to be much, much, much, more than we have ever asked for, I believe. Oh, and do not forget the prize for those who are patience 🙂

❤️, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Thoughts on Finding the One

There is this one poem that I like very much. It’s simple, far from any sophisticated word and rocket science sentence. Yet, to me, it is undeniably romantic. Period.

And I’d choose you.

In a hundred of lifetimes,

In a hundred worlds,

In any version of reality,

I’d find you, and I’d choose you.

If I were to fall in love, I want to be able to say those words to the man I love. Not only say, but to sincerely feel it for him. The feeling that assures me that we both will survive through a lifetime, through any favorable and unfavorable circumstances in life.

For that reason, I think it totally makes sense that I have to find a guy who would never change his mind. Not when the roads get bumpy, not when one or many of our dreams go shattered, not when life turns out to be unexpected, not even when we started to get bored of and hate each other. Despite it all, he would not change his mind. He’d choose me. And I’d choose him too.

I don’t know if a love that perfect does exist.

Honestly, I’m too scared of falling in love, because it’s uncertain and too risky. Because I’m afraid that one day I’d change my mind and regret the choice I have made. And maybe that is the only reason why I’m being very picky. I never let my guard down, not before I know the person well enough. So it’s not that I’m keeping a distance. I’m actually willing to dive deep, to know someone better and to understand him, to see life from his perspective. That is how I’m going to decide if there’s a chance that I might change my mind in the future.

Truth is, finding the one is ain’t easy for me, for some reasons.

But I’m sure I’ll reach the end, someday. (And you will, too).

♥, Atiqah Zulfa Nadia