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Overdued: Ramadhan- Struggles that were blessings in disguise

The first day of fasting coincided with my first day of school.

To be honest, after my first day, I was pretty overwhelmed. A part of me felt like I couldn’t do it. But as time went by, I guess I got the hang of it.

Anyhoos. This Ramadhan, I didn’t really do much to prepare for Syawal. I just didn’t have the time. I have school on weekends and on weekdays I have to complete my school assignments. Out of all the Ramadhans that have passed in my 20 years of living, I have to admit that this Ramadhan was the hardest.

This Ramadhan, I was really tested of my patience and faith. Even though nobody saw what I went through, it doesn’t matter cos I know Allah knows and that’s all that matters.

Since I started school, it has been hectic. Foundation courses are pretty tight and cramped so I really had no time to contribute to the preparation for hari raya. I felt very bad but as always, salt is always being put on the would just to make it even more painful.

Basically, the reason why I said this Ramadhan was hard for me was cos I really didn’t feel confident in myself. I didn’t believe in myself. And maybe I still don’t. For once, I felt inferior to other people. Other people being my other cousins. I’m the only one who wasn’t worthy enough to get into a local university. It was definitely very pressurising to have your other cousins to make it and you didn’t. And Yeah, your family members are all for it… Telling you that it’s a good thing you’re trying your best to make it in the world.. to continue studying. But you know, you don’t know how they’re really thinking about it. Just putting it out there.

Juggling schoolwork and trying to help out for hari raya preparations. Sometimes, sadly, my parents can be quite insensitive with what they say when I bring up how I feel. And once or twice, I did cry in my room, on my prayer mat after prayers.. Just really asking God to bless me with strength and patience. Because I did feel very alone. I mean, I’ve always been alone since young, being the only child and all. But I really felt very alone cos nobody could relate to me. I’m the first one to venture into getting my degree via a private institution and from an overseas university.

My parents don’t know about me crying in my room, they don’t know how hard I beat myself up for being very unintelligent on paper, they don’t know I’m actually struggling with self- esteem issues. I know right.

Tiara? Self- esteem issues?

You must be wondering what happened to the confident Tiara. Well, everyone has their dark days. For most of you, your insecurities surfaced when you were probably in secondary school or something. Mine surfaced now.

I don’t blame my parents. They’ve raised me well. It’s just me who is simply NOT ENOUGH. I’m not smart enough, not hardworking enough, not intelligent enough. I’m just really not enough. Not enough for my parents to be proud of me. That hurts like a bitch, just in case you don’t know how it feels.

Like I said, for once, I felt so alone. And one day, I asked myself this question that made me feel even more terrible- “If Nenek was still alive, would she be proud of me?”

Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t know if she’s proud of me. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t, I’ll never know. But that thought really struck a chord.

I knew that if there was one person in the world who would be proud of me for me, it would be her. She would never make me feel lousy. She would never make me feel like I’m not good enough. Instead, she would push me to work harder, telling me that she really has faith in me and my capabilities.

But she’s gone. It has been so for eight years exactly.

I felt so connected to her this Ramadhan. I really miss her. Maybe I’m just lonely and feeling a tad bit emotional. Or maybe I just needed comfort from someone who would never see me as a loser.

Despite all this, I also got to see how blessed I am to be given a chance to continue to study. I choose to look at it in a positive way now. Especially since this Ramadhan, I got to share it with Khairun.

He’s my best friend, my favourite person. I did feel very alone at one point this Ramadhan. However, I guess God brought Khairun to me to replace that void since nenek left. I mean, no one can replace Nenek. But Khairun has been very supportive, especially during the times when I really couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I hated how I’m hurting my parents by burdening them with my school fees. I hated myself for not being the perfect daughter to and for my parents.

One thing I remember him telling me is that I cannot live to please other people. He has so much faith in me- it’s actually very heartwarming. It’s also amazing how proud is he of me, even when I’m not proud of myself. For every assignment that I did and the results I got, even though I thought it was nothing to celebrate about, he would reply me this,

“Yay!! Congrats hun!! I’m so proud of you!”

I’m very thankful to Allah for Khairun. Sometimes, I say Alhamdulillah so much, yet it never feels enough. I don’t think it will ever be enough, but Alhamdulillah is a good start.

I guess, this Ramadhan, I got to learn more about myself and how small and weak I actually am. But through weakness is how one finds strength, so I treat my tears during Ramadhan as a lesson from Allah to teach me about patience, faith and inner strength. So Alhamdulillah for that.

And I also got to meet Nenek in my dreams on the last day of Ramadhan… That was definitely something that really made me very happy yet sad all at the same time. Alhamdulillah for that as well.

Lastly, I got to appreciate the existence of my best friend, my confidant and my love, for being supportive and firm. Especially in times when I just wasn’t putting in effort to believe in myself. Alhamdulillah for that too.

It’s Syawal now, and Alhamdulillah, I’m feeling better. I’m done with my one week crash course of mass comm. I’m taking a break while waiting for school to officially start. I definitely definitely feel at peace with myself. I still am trying to gain my confidence to it’s full potential. So Insya Allah, when school starts, I’m gonna give it my all.

Not for anyone. But for myself.

To lighten the mood a little bit, here are some photos from my Ramadhan this year 🙂

Iftar at JB

Iftar at my place!

Our first iftar and Ramadhan 🙂

So here’s to a fulfilling Ramadhan, filled with struggles that are actually blessings in disguise.
Eid Mubarak everybody! Maaf Zahir dan Batin

I apologise if I had hurt you in any way. If my jokes are insensitive or I’ve used to much profanities in our conversations.
I apologise for the times I told you I’d meet you at 2:30 but I came at 3… Hahahah.
Have a blessed Syawal, everyone! And I hope your Ramadhan was as fulfilling and enriching as mine was 🙂

Here’s hoping that we’ll all get to meet the blessed month of Ramadhan again next year, Insya Allah Amiin 🙂

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