Things (and people) I have learnt (and am learning) to appreciate.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

If we were given a chance to rant about every bad thing that ever happened to our life we might spend the rest of our life whining, but the wise words tell us to count our blessings instead.

Well actually if I was given a chance to rant I’d be talking until your eardrums blow up. But thinking again…

…..“This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his own self, and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his own self). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful” [An-Naml: 40] 

Mindset plays an important role to your mental strength. It highly affects your performance in everything you are involved in, from your career to being a social creature. Gratitude is one of the characteristic of a positive person. Gratitude is knowing that whatever we have, they all come from Allah. Gratitude, makes you forget about complaining.

The path that I have chosen to walk on has taught me a lot of things. I’ve come across with new people, new experience and many other things. Along the way I realised that I have taken a lot of things for granted. I’m currently in the process of accepting the fact that I can’t rewind and rewrite my life. The process is never-ending, anyway. But I know that I can fully utilise whatever I have now to create a better future. 

  • Islam.
I am, by birth, a Muslim. I had the privilege of listening to iqamah the day when I was going to start my journey in this world, but I don’t need to tell what came after that and how I was back then. I can never imagine where would I end up if Allah didn’t cross my path with the right people. Some people have lost the meaning of their life, and some found it, but they couldn’t find a way to reach it. Some struggle to the point of losing their life. But in my case Islam was like a beautiful gift wrapped up nicely that I couldn’t see among other perishable gifts I enjoyed unwrapping. This, too, leads to…

  • Brunei
I never really paid attention to it. Until I realised that it is my responsibility to serve the land that has served me first. Abode of Peace. It is indeed an abode of peace. Despite of internal conflicts that we have (don’t deny that we do have conflicts), it is my home. It is where I was born. The comfort might make me cling to it a bit more than I should, but listening to my friends talking about the problems of their respective countries has made me miss Brunei a bit too much. The people may make you wanna roll your eyes until you can see your brain, but aren’t people meant to annoy you anyway? There, I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the middle of a protest or riot at the Mall Gadong or tambing (closest equivalent of Taksim Square), or having to wait in a 200-people long line to get a health insurance. In relation to the previous point, I can practice my faith with ease, solat in a comfortable space, and taking wudhu in a clean and easy-to-move-around space. Free religious education, too is provided. Here, if you wanna study about religion you go to the source by yourself, but in Brunei it is given to you without you having to move around much. Not only that, you basically get free education and healthcare.

  • Education
Maybe because Brunei provides scholarship for everyone. Some of us even get monthly allowance to come to school beginning from the Sixth Form. Seriously, who gets money for studying? Bruneians do (disclaimer : I did not receive any monthly allowance during my 6th Form years) and we don’t have to pay for it afterwards. Education leads to advancement. Be it in economy, civilisation, technology and even towards Allah. Some parts of the world are struggling to get access to education, and here I am, sometimes resisting the urge to be absent from class. Some people have to fork out a large sum of money and loan to continue their study, and to make it worthwhile they need to work very hard, having to endure all kinds of pain while we don’t need to work even 100x less harder than them.

  • Money
And I feel sorry for myself for being waaaaayy too better in spending than in saving. Now I realised that I, too, might not be able to continue my post-grad study under a grant. Seriously, in 5 years time anything can change. Our national budget has been cut by a small percent, have you heard? Istanbul has taught me a lot on financial intelligence. Yes, money can’t buy a better future, but to ease your future the involvement on money is inevitable. Self-control is very much needed. Being put in a foreign place means being able to stand on my two feet without having to depend so much on the others in many aspects.

  •  Parents.
Like during those kapih moment I tend to love my parents more. But after quite a while I realised that I am no longer a little girl, I am an adult, who should be responsible for herself and all her actions and decisions,and when calculated it seems like they have spent a lot more than they should for me and I have received more than I deserve, not just in terms of money. And realising that I am an adult now, it comes to my realisation too that my parents aren’t as energetic as they were before, and it cracks my heart a little that I can’t be there to help around the house, and it cracks me more to realise that I haven’t provided a good helping hand while I was able to do so.
  • Family
Nothing can attach you to another person more than blood can. After a long day outside, having to deal with other human beings that are getting on your nerves, you know how good it feels to finally be able to meet the people that shares the same kitchen with you for your whole life, talking about the highlight of your day over a good food.
  • Time
But how many hours have we let to pass by doing other unnecessary things, spending it on other unimportant people, and not utilising it to improve the condition of the ummah? Your family is a part of the ummah, too. Apart from that, with that time we used socialising on social media can be used for us to improve other skills and advancing ourself more, so by the time we are 19 we don’t have to regret over the things we wish we had done when we were 15.
  • Opportunities
Too many chances have passed by, too over unimportant matters.
  • Mistakes
Mistakes = lessons. After a series of them, you will see the wisdom inside every potholes you fell into, and out of them, appreciation will grow.
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