Aida Zabidi

Don't be scared to walk alone - and to like it. 

It's been so long since I've been alone that I've started to forget what it was like by my own. I don't know if I have the strength anymore, or the courage to break free from the overwhelming anxiety that I'm starting to feel. 

May Allah give me strength.
Aida Zabidi

I used to live by the motto - never regret. Each choice I've made was one with full consciousness, and I told myself that I would be fully prepared to embrace the consequences that come with the weight of these actions.

Now I'm older though, and the luxury of time and age is something that seems to hang heavily over my shoulders - there are decisions I've looked back and wondered what went through my mind when I did make them.

I do wonder, why only now am I starting to feel these twinges of regret?

Is it age? Is it the maturity that comes with experience?  

They made me who I am today, for sure, but they were difficult and painful decisions that I wish my past self didn't have to make.

I probably have to reach deep inside myself and find the insecurities, to take the time to learn to love myself again. I don't know where along this road where I began to doubt, but as with many things, it is the small subtle changes that sometimes creep up and cause the change in perception. 

Some positive thoughts needed, stat!
Aida Zabidi

You can't rush something you want to last forever - but what if you lack the emotional maturity for delayed gratification? 

What if you want it right now?

And why is it so hard?
Aida Zabidi

Wouldn't it be easy if we knew which paths to take - the ones that would have the least resistance, and the ones that would cost us the least hurt?

At the moment I'm reaching crossroads in my life, and I honestly do wonder if it would be easier to be selfish and walk away, but I know in my heart of hearts that the right path isn't always the easiest one. 

Mind you, I don't even know if this is the right path at all, but it's one that I've chosen, and I will walk it through until I can no longer walk that path.
Aida Zabidi

We all have the right to dream. 
Some say don't quit your day job - well, I say don't quit your day dream.
Aida Zabidi
It's been almost a year since we travelled to Turkey, and I've been asking Syaril to finish the video we took of our trip - only because he was forever filming while we were there, and I've been dying to see the finished product. 

I think he's also been putting it off because there was so much footage, because he ended up just filming random things as he had an idea in his head of how he wanted things to turn out, and as most holidays go, you just have to have an element of flexibility to give you room to move ahead.

Turkey was amazing, and I can't believe how much we did in two weeks; watching the video definitely makes me want to travel all over again with this man. 

In fact, I'm so inspired I'm actually going to find the energy to do a couple of write ups about the trip. I did manage to write a little bit about going on the hot air balloon here but I feel that this place just deserves a lot more mentions now! 

<3 br="">

 
Türkiye '16 from Syaril Ezzuddeen on Vimeo.
Aida Zabidi

 When I was younger,  I always wanted to be different.

I'm not entirely sure how I got it into my head that being different was better, infinitely more interesting than being another person in the crowd. 

It was a blessing that got me through my teenage years without too much angst about being bullied for how I looked, or being looked at for how I spoke - I was relatively comfortable in my skin and I found friends who appreciated that individuality as much I did.

"They laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at them because they're all the same."

Now we're older, I find that one doesn't have to fight to stand out or to be too different, and that there are times where you should reach out and find the similarities within.

Now we're older and wiser, let's all find ways to laugh together instead.
Aida Zabidi
I was shocked at coming across an account of a girl who was assaulted at a local surau because she was seen as dressed inappropriately for prayer. 

Perhaps it resonated so much with me because I myself do not wear a hijab, and there have been instances where my friends and I have stopped by mosques to pray in less than Islamic attire, but we have never once been turned away or attacked the way this girl was. 

In the wake of a so-called rise of anti-Muslim sentiment like Trump's Muslim ban, it equally important to focus on the rise in religious fundamentalism rooted in our country as well. 

There are always dark undercurrents of hatefulness in any society, and perhaps I have been blessed that I have not personally encountered too many of these distasteful things in my lifetime; despite being rather unconventional. That said, it is important not to brush off single instances - while perhaps an isolated incidence, and something that seemed shockingly out of place in Malaysia, where we are supposedly so tolerant and welcoming to those from our religion - it is important to address. 

That did happen. 

It may have been a one-off, but it did happen, and it is a reflection of how zealotry has put down roots in our society. 

Religion is something very personal, and each of us may choose to practice in very different ways, but the tenets of the five pillars of Islam is the basis that we cling to. 

However, as Muslims, we are supposed to openly share our religion and encourage others through kindness and good example, not by pushing each other away. 

The rise of a certain fundamentalist version of Islam seemed to be far away and not affecting our shores, but it is these small, hopefully isolated incidences that are coming to light, and creating a scarier picture of what may come to be. 

Can we close our eyes to the number of Malaysians lured by the struggle of so-called 'Islamist' groups like ISIS, while other Muslims blatantly condemn them? Is it any wonder that there is that divide between supposed religious liberals and conservatives? 

Who am I to speak? 

I am no one in particular, and I am only myself, a single individual with my own thoughts and beliefs and it is as an individual that I have the right to express myself. I am only myself, and I have my own thoughts and beliefs. and I do not feel that this is okay. 

It is not okay to shame someone for a lifestyle that you do not approve of. 

It is not okay to assault someone who is clearly trying to practice their faith just because they may not fit the image of the Muslim you have in your heads. 

It is not okay to sit and be silent when you see injustices around you happen. You may think that a single injustice is merely something small, that it is nothing in the scale of the injustices that are happening around the world, but you are wrong. 

It is the summation of these small individual injustices that make up the community that we live in, and if we do not speak up, those small injustices are buried, or even worse, deemed acceptable in the eyes of those who witness them. 

If you feel like there is a moral code that needs to be addressed, do so gently, and in privacy as to avoid shaming the other party. Is it not our manners as Muslims that there is a conduct on how to advice others? 

 Be gentle with others, and be kind. Everyone has a background story that you do not know about, and who are we to judge? 

Don't be afraid to speak up for what you think is right, and don't be afraid to speak up when you see others are being wronged. 

Don't be a bystander. 

It is a small thing to speak up, but bigger than you think.
Aida Zabidi

Didn't we all have our moments where we would look at each other in anger and wonder why the hell we chose to stay together in the first place? In those moments of despair, we would pick at things and agonize and wonder why, why indeed we had ended up with someone less than perfect.

And yet, there are those days where we sit and look at each other and despite not being the  beautiful, perfect individual of our fantasy lives, it is in those little imperfections that we grow to love, and grow to accept between the two of us - and that acceptance of those imperfections help us find ourselves in our love for each other.