When people ask me “How’s Istanbul?” I can’t help but cringe and answer in a very unconvincing manner that it’s okay, got few problems here and there but okay in general.
I always did this when I was home for the last summer break and it got to my mum’s nerve and she questioned why am I so doubtful that Istanbul is marvellous.
Well, it’s quite complicated. I’d say me and Istanbul are like in a love-hate relationship. It feels like, it pisses you off again and again then it gives you a bouquet of lilies and roses (more like tulips tbh but I love lilies and roses hoho) to pujuk you off and it’s so pretty it swept you off your feet.
Like, I don’t hate it, but I don’t entirely love it either.
Then life slapped me so hard one day and I realised that actually, it’s not that bad that I have to whine so much about it. I contemplated deeply and realised that all this while I’ve been using a wrong set of eyes to view the situation, and a wrong attitude when handling it.
I learnt one day that the more we expect, the less happy we are.
I’d say I had quite a high expectation of everything. I didn’t get a head-up that I’d have to go through so many things. The datang sekolah-belajar-balik is no longer the way of life, and having to go through it with long-distance support was quite challenging.When I saw my friends studying in UK or Brunei I can’t help thinking how lucky they are to not have to go through what I was going through. I wondered how did they get by so easily.
But that’s where the problem lies. We tend to be so nosy peeking at somebody else’s lawn, and feel miserable later to see that our grass does not seem to be as green as theirs, and we wish that we had their lawn, forgetting that we actually only have ours to take care of, and their lawn is none of our business.
So actually, this is how one of the faces of ungratefulness looks like. It’s focusing on what we don’t have and neglecting what Allah has blessed us with. With ungratefulness, everything will look so wrong. We will never be satisfied with what we have because all we see is what others have that we don’t have. We need to start living our own life instead of wishing to live others’.
Hence, to be happy we need to start focusing on what is already in our hands, and the first step to happiness is being grateful. Being grateful lets go of the unnecessary worries that burden our heart. Being grateful means utilising what we already have to its maximum, benefiting ourselves and others.
Be grateful, and He will increase you. [14:7]