Sunday, November 30, 2008

November reflection

This month has served as a period of self-evaluation for me, which classically means a lot of clashing dialogues with my conscience at any moment in time. I think it’s good to maintain an active relationship with your conscience- as long as you keep it between you and your conscience, of course. It also reflects, to me at least, just how imperfect and unsure I am of every single step I make in life, more so than I had willed myself to admit. Perhaps some revolve around so-called redundant matters like what to cook for dinner, whether I should do the laundry now or later, etc. but some others do carve their makings into the patterns of my present and future. Besides, I intend not to belittle every small decision I make, even if it were a question of choosing between fresh and frozen broccoli, for the lack of a better example.

I suppose it began with me spraining my left ankle for the umpteenth time and pretended to be superman by continuing to walk up and down the hill on my way to class before taking buses and trams like I always did, play sports, and injuring it again with the coolest of bruises that extended up to 5cm above the ankle. My sister chewed me out with talks of permanent damage if I didn’t give it a proper rest and that I might not even be able to become a surgeon because I couldn’t stand for long. So I decided to be kind to my hurt ankle by selling my newly-bought bus-and-tram pass and taking marshrut to class for the entire month. I was also to come straight back home after every class without any unnecessary detours. To make a short story shorter, I’ve been having a lot of ‘me’ time as a result, which explains the self-evaluation part.

Some other trials and tribulations played their roles as well, and I’ve been trying hard to take a positive approach towards everything I’ve faced so far. It’s quite amusing when someone recently commented that I always seemed happy doing whatever I was doing, when in fact I had just cried my eyes out earlier that day. In one way or another, it’s a good thing that I managed to keep the negative aura within bounds, but some of my issues need solutions, for which I am yet to uncover. I’m turning to Allah for strength, and to my parents for inspiration in facing their own ordeals. My father is the archetype of calmness, and faces his current test in a most exemplary attitude as a Muslim. My mother, despite being a worrywart, never fails to give me the most necessary advices when I need them. I look up to them both, and pray Allah will ease them along their every path.

This year has been a year of tests for our family- plainly spelled out for my youngest brother and sister in the form of PMR and SPM, more intricately woven for the rest of us in many ways feasible. That’s not to say it’s a bad year- for me it’s been… enlightening, with lots of ups and downs. In the struggle for the better, occasionally- okay, more than occasionally- the demon in me will come out and spoil my willpower. It’s a constant frustration, the bane of my resolution. Yes, nobody’s perfect- everybody has their inner demons- but, whether it is due to better awareness in my part (how I wish so), or just for the degree of evilness it truly is, I really hate mine and wanna totally get rid of it. I suspect it won’t ever go away fully, but maintaining the struggle, or jihad, is essential nonetheless. Inner demons are not good for you- they mess with your mind, dim your hopeful future, and make you look totally uncool in front of your conscience.

Today, further sad news came to test us- my great-grandmother just passed away in the morning due to a lung infection. I last saw her in August, during which she appeared healthy and in high spirits- she even gave me a good hard slap on the thigh after laughing from a joke. I pray that she be placed amongst the blessed believers in the hereafter and spared from any torment in the grave. And let’s all reserve a moment to remind ourselves of this fleeting phase called life, and its nemesis, death- how near it is to each and every one of us regardless of age, gender, status, race… and how (un)prepared we truly are for it.