A couple of Ramadan's ago, myself and a group of friends decided to go to Denny’s for Sehri (the meal Muslims consume before they begin their fast). It was late at night but spirits were high. The topic of conversation eventually turned to the future, and one of my close friends suddenly announces that he would like to go back to Saudi Arabia eventually to further his career. Chaos follows. What started off as a light hearted meal turns into a heated and intense debate, mainly about the pros and cons of going back to Saudi Arabia. We must have debated the topic for a good hour and a half. The sun was truly up by the time we left the restaurant.
“When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone?” This question, posed to me by one of my dearest friends (whom I love and adore), sent me reeling pensively in an unforeseen manner. In the moment, this question bothered me and I could not explain why. However, explaining why it bothered me is what I will attempt to do now.
It is undeniable that friends play an integral part in shaping our lives. Without the slightest of hesitation, I attest to the fact that the person I am today is because of the friendships I currently have or have had in the past. But before I carry on, let me make one thing very clear. This blog post is not going to flirt on the topic of “how amazing friends are.” Although I do agree that friends are pretty amazing, I want to be as real and truthful as possible. Each of us has lost good friends either by choice or by force and there is a story to be learned from every friendship won or lost. I want to share with you the three lessons I have learned from my friends thus far and how it has impacted me both at the highest and lowest points of my life.
Perhaps the greatest reality of life is that it is ever-changing. Inevitably, we face times in which we fall from our highest peaks to our lowest valleys. All too often, however, we remain focused on our defeats, and lose sight of our successes. We get stuck on the negatives, and find it difficult to navigate ourselves back to our original path.
For those of you that know me and have met me in person, it comes to no surprise that I have a minor case of vitiligo. In case you do not know what vitiligo is, it is a skin condition in which pigmentation is lost in certain areas of your body. Does it hurt? No. But to me, it hurts when people feel sorry for me because that is the last thing I feel for myself. Is there a definite cure? No. But similar to most other problems one faces in life, the cure to this rare skin condition does not lie in any medication, but rather in myself and my mind. It is amazing how underrated one’s power of thought is. They say a pen is mightier than a sword. I say the human mind is more powerful than both combined.
For many, lessons and life experiences seem to be learnt through negative or emotional moments in life. However, when I look back I realize that a lot of great life lessons have come from funny and humorous moments. I thought it would be a great idea to share some of them below.
I preface this post by saying that this job you want will not be handed to you. As cliché as it sounds, you will have to work hard and you will have to keep your head up high when you’re at your lowest.
Here are five tips that I lived and breathed during the pursuit of my dream job: working at a top-tier consumer packaged goods (CPG) company. I share them with you with the hope that they help you land your dream job as well.
All it takes is one second, one wrong turn, one blink of an eye for us to lose it all. Malaysian Airlines flight 370 is a prime example. Young children, newly wed couples, grandparents and grandchildren, mothers and daughters... literally vanished, nowhere to be found as of yet. I have been addicted to this story for many reasons, whether it be because of my sheer passion and interest in aviation or the unfathomable thought that such a disaster can occur in the high-tech era which we live in today. However, the one thing that I have come to realize is that to most individuals not directly affected by catastrophic events, this is merely another news story addiction that can be easily set aside once a news article is read or an interview is watched online. But to those unfortunate individuals, similar to myself, who feel the pain of losing loved ones due to tragic accidents, it is a cruel reminder of how vulnerable we really are in this world.
Let’s empathize on these obstacles together: the agonizing experience of a cancerous patient undergoing chemotherapy; a blind individual yearning to envision the beauty of life; a mother discovering that her 21-year-old son has passed away from Cystic Fibrosis; an underprivileged child in Bangladesh simply comparing his life to that of an opulent child’s; a man forcefully witnessing his legs being amputated by a gang so as to attain sympathy from the public as he would plead for Twenty Rupees on the scorching streets of Pakistan; an orphan waking up to a destruction in his home caused by a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti; a woman separating from her family in India to live in Kuwait as a servant to be able to financially support them; a wife receiving the body of her husband who is killed during a ferocious riot amongst Palestine and Israel, and a brother overhearing the excruciating news that his five-year-old sister has failed to escape the horrendous Connecticut shooting splashing behind a trail of memories.
As I sit down in this small but cozy bedroom of mine in front of my computer beginning to type, I have never imagined that one day I would ever write a blog. Rather than letting my thoughts live silently in my own world, I have decided to share them and communicate with others through my writings. Thank you, Fahad my great mentor, for your encouragements.