After 4 years….

me

Its been four years since I started my research and perhaps, I can share with you that I am have submitted my thesis, to prepare me for my viva (thesis defence).

I apologize to everyone that I had to say no to, or unintentionally ignored, or hurt throughout this emotional rollercoaster ride.

So here, I would like to thank each and every one of you who have been helping me with my research directly or indirectly, those who spends time with me virtually or in real life (thank you for sharing your time), and for the kind words of encouragement, also for the jokes and laughter shared to cheer me up in my darkest days.

Since that I only have one page to write my acknowledgements, I extend my gratitude towards everyone here. To other friends who is still struggling with their own research, keep on searching, you may not be there yet but you are on your way. Thank you.

All praise goes to Allah swt the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful. 

***

Research is like a long distance marathon,

You cannot sprint too soon, or you get tired halfway through the marathon.

You have to keep the pace, take a short (or lots of) break and continue running.

By the end of the finish line, your knees are shaking, your body aching and pretty much drenched in sweats, and you feel like crying almost to the point of giving up.

That’s when the real test begin, you and your own mind because that’s when you will start doubting yourself, scared and all kinds of negative feeling slowly get into your head.  And I admit, I do feel that way a lot of time. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Only God knows how tired I am right now even if you think you are almost finished, you still try to find the strength to carry on. And to find that is through the people who keep on cheering you as you run, they are the reason why you keep on going,  the ones who see you fall and getting back up again. The ones who believed in you, and your ability to overcome adversities.

Choosing research is not an easy path, but somehow, you just have to push yourself through it all.

Because only, and you alone can finish your own race.

You compete with yourself.

Whenever you feel like giving up, close your eyes, take a deep breathe and think of these people in your life. At the end of the day, it’s your journey.

You are your own cheer leader. So seek within you and it will drive you through the finish line. Have the courage to try just one more time, procrastinate, procrastinate better, fail, and fail better, give yourself a break, and sit through your darkness for as long as you need but always, always come back and try again.

One day, you will look back and feel glad that you didn’t give up.

(*Its not just a mere scroll, but a combined effort of everyone who help us through. You are never alone.)

How to deal with losing friends

“No matter what the reason, we all know what its like to lose a friend and it sucks. Its kinda like a break up where you have this period of being just sad and you wanna call them, and you wanna know where it went wrong and you’re mourning, you’re moping, until finally one day, you wish them well and you move on with your life.

The first step is to self reflect,and to try to find something that you learn from the friendship. There’s something about mentally learning something from an experience makes it feels whole and complete and in essence, finished

Second, don’t let this experience deter you from emotionally engaging other people. Don’t let one experience with someone completely change how you interact with other people

And finally, let yourself feels the feeling. There’s so many times when the past comes up, and we just wanna push it away. Or our first instinct is to be like “Oh don’t think about that” but its important to give yourself permission. So if you miss someone, let yourself just miss them and be like, you know what? That’s fine, I really miss that person in this moment, but its over for a reason and let yourself sit with that for as long as you need to sit with that

Ultimately, we all are going to lose a lot of friends in our life. But we also gonna gain a lot of friends and a lot of experiences.”

I used to be scared of losing friends, and blamed myself when they walk away. When my parents told me that they don’t have best friends, and pretty much don’t bother keeping in touch with anyone from school. Or how my dad dreads going to school reunion because they always talk about the past instead of the future. I was sad for them, because its as if they don’t have friends at all.But they actually do, they are best friends with each other. So I was happy to know that.

But I was also scared for myself, that when i grow up i will become like them, not having friends I can really call best friends. Or maybe i will through my future husband. But best friends..it takes a lot of effort as much as it takes a lot of effort to be with someone you love.

Friends comes first before your love life usually, they are the ones who knows who you like , what you like and if they understand you enough, knows how to cheer you up.

Being a friend, was easy for me. Making friends, well thats another thing. There are times that I can easily just say hi and be friends with people. Other time I just do my own thing not wanting to be friends with anyone. Sometimes it saves you from all the drama you have to deal with in the future, sometimes its the best thing you’ve ever done, for making that first move.

But then, when you lose your friend because they can’t stand being with you, because of silly arguments, because they lied on you, and sometimes because you grow apart , you can’t help to wonder what went wrong and whether or not its your fault.

I never felt good enough as a person, but as a friend, one single word from friends you trust the most, can change you. Friends can bring you down or lift you up, and when friends fight and they say mean things to hurt each other, it can really leave you a scar. And you’re left to yourself to heal that on your own. or if you are lucky, other friends will help to mend your broken pieces.

The first few friends that I had to lose, I had to deal it on my own. That time, i felt really bad, and took a long long time to recover. Somehow, they made me feel that it was all my fault, and you are not good enough for them. Its only after that recent episode I previously posted about, friends came from everywhere you never expect giving you support, reminding you that you are worth it and its not entirely your fault.

It was then I learn that you can’t force friendship to happen, and those times you fight with your friends are the time where you learn about each other, and know who is your real friends because only true friends see you through in spite of your flaw, regardless what happens, they trust you enough that you are still a friend. And that kind of friends are rare to find.

Still, even after all the heartache, months recovering from a fall out friendship, I do sometimes miss them and wish that we could still be friends. Though, I still get this hate feeling, not in contempt, just somewhat annoyed …why they can’t see you the way others see you? weren’t you good to them?  Somehow you don’t want to know because you fear their answer, also, it doesn’t matter anymore because you have already gone separate ways.

There was one time though, I manage to ask one of them, when we had a fight. The answer was, just because you fight with your friends, you need to face them and talk it out instead of walking away.Running away, wont solve the problem. So I learn to talk it out, but still it didn’t go quite well. I was never good at talking, because when I do, the words don’t really come out the way you thought. And you end up holding back your tears because you either lose a friend or be the one who walks away from them.

Another told me, that it wasn’t my fault but because they weren’t mature enough at that time and chose to walk away. So somehow that made me come to some sense that sometimes, its not your fault and its okay to let them go. Because one day, they will realize who you are and come back into your life.

There are times when I was the one who walk out on them, other time, they are the ones who choose to leave. You want them to stay, but you don’t want to become desperate enough to ask them to stay. There is still self worth that you keep to yourself not out of ego, but out of respect to yourself. You may lower your ego and compromise, but there are times you can’t do that if they push you too far making you feel so low. And for me, thats not friendship.

Friendship is when you can grow together in spite of your flaws, in spite of your faults, and regardless what happens, you still want to be friends because you know that its their personality, and you just have to accept them the way they are.

And last year, was about accepting people for the way they are, and accepting my own weakness. That I can be a b*tch sometimes, that I am also capable of hurting people, that I am also vulnerable, and that I am not perfect.There are something in  you that you don’t like either, so you can’t expect everyone to like you. Some things you keep to yourself and only open up your true side for those who really deserve to see that side of you. So all you can do is just be open to whatever , whoever that comes and let them leave because their chapter with you have ended. You can never repeat or change the past, you can only move forward.

So yes, I am still scared of losing people I love, but this time I’m gonna be brave enough to face them so that I can let them go when the time comes. Eventually, you will lose your friends, at every stage of your life, but you also gain new ones who stays. So thank you for staying, you know who you are..

Desire

“I wish i could tell you its going to get easier, I wish i could tell if you just keep going its going to get lighter. The truth is you got to find something within, and thats gotta push you, thats got to elevate you, drive you, move you, ..when you find your ‘why’, you find your way to make it happen

Time to face yourself and talk to yourself in the mirror, and im not going to allow anybody to turn me around, I am determined that I am going to make it.

The time for just wishing is past, time for doing thats the time right now. Time for acting on your dream , find out what it is you want and go after it as if your life depends on it”

To giving up friends

A friend came to me and ask, “Have you ever felt so down that you want to give up doing your master?”

I smiled and asked why they wanted to give up and feeling down. So they told me how their research doesnt seem to go anywhere, that it is not the world for them, how they no longer have much friends to hang out with or discuss it, and pretty much the same thing that i went through the past 4 years of my research

I thought of what is the best advice i could give , but nothing is better than your own experience. So i told them that yes i did felt like giving up, almost every day of it but never did.

The first thing i want them to think of is that without all the external obstacle they were facing, do they still love their research, perhaps not love it as in really love , but how connected are they to their research. Would they really have given up if there aren’t any obstacle and what is actually the main reason they wanted to give up, is it because its hard or because they were lonely?

That was the question that my mother asked me when i wanted to give up, difference is she let me figure that on my own.

In the end, it was because its hard, but it doesnt mean its not possible for me to find my way or people i could ask for help. Help was everywhere in thend, the only thing to do is to ask for it.

Of cause at the same time i was feeling lonely, but somehow it taught me the meaning of solitude. So in the end i learn how to be alone without feeling lonely.

I told them that in the end you cant always rely on people to keep you company and be with you all the time. Research is a lonely journey not because we are alone, but because we need a lot of time to be alone to figure out about our research. Its a journey to ourselves, discovering about our strength and overcoming our weakness. We are our own enemy and we have to fight our self doubt, fears,worries, anxiety every single day. Once we are in control with our own thoughts, nothing can stop us from doing what we want.

In the end, its self motivation (but also a good support network) that makes you want to persevere. Once we find that motivation, it will drive you till the end. The only way to succeed is to ignore everything that is bothering you and find as many people to help you with your research.

I may not be good in something but someone else does, so find people who may or may not know about your research. They may not know all about it but they may know at least one part of it, and thats good enough in the end we are the one who should really know about our research and what exactly we are doing. We are the ‘master’ of our research.

But we also have to remember that the one who really knows is The Owner of all knowledge, only He can guide us and help us through it all. My father always remind me of this,to ask Allah whenever i am in doubt and struggling with my research. The answer to our question can only be seeked from Him.

Ask for the strength for we are weak, ask for His wisdom for we know nothing without His help,and ask for help and He will open the doors for you, all we need to do is knock on His door.

We may not get the answer right away because it doesnt comes all at once, we have to learn the lessons one by one for us to get to the next stage. He reveals the answer when we are ready so we cant expect to know everything if we havent learn the lessons before that. Like a child, we cannot become an adult if we have not learn to crawl, walk and grow up to become an adult.

Everything happens at its own appropriate time, His timing and plans are never wrong. Theres a reason why we are the one who have to take this path and not others. Nothing that He test us are ever beyond our control, so take this test and accept it as it is, face our own fears and overcome our challenges with courage. If you think you can do it, then do it in spite of everything that is infront of you, else theres nothing wrong to let go if it really doesnt go anywhere. But make sure you are giving up after you have tried all the possibilities, and given it a good fight. Then you can let go because you’ve tried your best.

Whatever happens, only we can help ourselves.

Find out what makes you happy, and find ways to keep yourself happy. Take a break, take lots of breaks and then come back and try again. If you dont, its okay to feel sad,and cry about it. We dont have to be strong all the time, thats what friends and family are for, to support each other. But if you cant find anyone, you know that He is the only One to turn to.

Im far from finished but im on my way, but if these few words can help others to carry on, then I am glad that it helped you. Im only sharing this because someone else have also helped me and shared their experience with me.the only way for me to repay their kindness is to share what i learnt to others. So i hope when you do arrive to this stage, you will also share your experience with others and spread kindness to those around us. We never know who we might be helping just by the mere kind words from us.

Whatever i learn throughout my research is from Him, what is good comes from Allah, what is bad comes from my own weakness. May this benefit you the way it have benefit me. I pray for your success in whatever you do, whatever your choice is, may Allah make it easy for you and help you through

The perks of being friends with a research student

1) No news is good news
2) Lunch/tea is the only time we make human communication or not at all
3) We may be on fb, but so does 23 other tabs
4) We dont want to talk about our research, at least until we have presentation
5) We are not anti social, but selectively choose time to socialize.
6) we do have friends, but they live mostly on the internet bcoz most of them have graduated & works far away
7) fb chat/skype/hangouts is how we socialize with human beings
8) if we dont talk to you for months, it doesnt mean we hate you, we are too busy hating our research, you will always be in our heart, its just that our mind is occupied right now
9) procrastination is essential part of our breakthrough, it keeps us sane, for a while
10) expect emotional rollercoaster ride even by the end of the ride, so either you help to comfort us or stay far away from us. Honestly we dont want to hurt you either.
11) if you talk behind our back, stay there, we dont have time to look around and find out who said that coz we are too busy focusing on our life