Some flowers near my apartment… How beautifully they have been made!
A lot of things have happened since the last time I wrote here. A lot of changes have happened to my life. I guess I will summarise them here in this post.
My niece, Ayah, was born and is already 3 months old. I still remember that the day she came into this world was a chilly day of Ramadan. I still remember sitting my room, typing a letter to my unborn niece, and sincerely praying that she would come out safe and sound. I still remember bursting into tears when my niece was sent to a special unit due to some issues with her body, and I still remember how I fell in love with her right at first sight.
Now Ayah is already 3 months old – healthy and chubby. She has become the apple of my eyes, the source of my happiness, hope and love. When I see her smiling at me, my heart melts. When I watch her sleeping, my heart prays that I would be able to be with her when she grows up. I imagine myself teaching her about the world, playing with her and listening to her sweet and innocent voice. To be honest, I find these feelings strange because I never thought I loved babies, or was able to care for others. I considered myself self-centered, whose main worries revolved around myself. However, when I met Ayah, I discovered what it meant to place hope on someone else, to care about somebody’s future even more than my own one’s. Thus, with the birth of Ayah Nur and me becoming an aunty for the first time, I think I have understood a little more about the attributes of Compassion and Mercy, that is, the capacity to love and care for somebody else unconditionally. This further increases my gratitude to God, because by ‘experiencing’ the names of God, I also understand (more) how Merciful and Compassionate God is to all creatures, how everything He does to us indeed is to facilitate us to reach our potentials, and how He would continue to assist us no matter how we respond to His provision and Mercy.
For the last few months, I also had to say goodbye to two of my housemates, who were also my friends. They moved out to begin their new life with their partners, and I was left with many memories. The new tenant has come, and although she’s super nice, sweet and amicable, I cannot help comparing the present with the ‘idealised’ past, when the apartment is not only a shared house, but a place of learning, sharing and laughters. This again shows me that no matter how life has prepared me, I am still slow in adapting to changes. It always takes me a while to get used to the new pace of life, and I am often in nostalgic mode for months. But as my experience has shown, I would eventually get used to the the new life, and everything would be fine (inshAllah).
I am doing a secondary teaching course and have finished placements at 2 high schools.
I still love the idea of teaching, but the course has really pushed me to confront many of my weaknesses. One of them is my stuttering, which is worsened by my accent and my soft voice. Although I know the content well, I never felt confident to speak in front of the local kids. My students, however, had been supportive, and they generally told me that they understood me. However, my mentor was frank: “Your soft voice and then the accent … can make it difficult to hear”. I really don’t know what to do. I cried a lot in the first semester, and in the second, I told myself everyday that I would improve with time and thus I must be patient.
Can I really improve, though? Can I really become a good teacher who inspires students, or will I become somebody who just lectures and the students just sleep off? Will somebody even hire me as a humanities teacher?
I don’t know. As usual, my future is uncertain and scary, and all I can do is striving and relying on God. For now, ahamduilah that Allah gave me decent students who respected me despite my incompetence, that my mentors were supportive and kind, and that I had learned a lot of theories on education, some of which were beautiful and inspiring.
Although I tremble at the pace of changes and the arrival of new obstacles, I am also deeply grateful to God. I’m grateful because I know that all these changes are designed to help me learn, or to overcome my weakness and thereby grow up.
And thus, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say ‘alhamdulilah.’
“Your short and limited lifespan, which lasts only until the hour appointed for it, is neither antedated or postponed. So do not grieve for it, be anxious about it, or burden it with worldly ambitions that cannot be achieved while you are live” (Said Nursi, “The Sixth Treatise”, in Al-Mathnawi Al-Nursi: Seedbed of Light).