Languages!

A couple weeks ago I signed up for a private Quran class and alhamdullilah today was my first lesson.

I signed up for the Level 5 (final level) “Advanced” Class when I didn’t even join their first class lol. The Ustazah said I performed better than expected, which is okay I guess. She said some of my letters pronunciations are weak – that’s because we don’t have the letters in the English language so my muscles were not trained. Hm.

She also said that while my pronunciations could have passed as a “non-native Arabic speaker tongue”, the graduate of this Level 5 course needs her pronunciations to be perfect. I signed up for the ijazah course since I’m practically at the same time teaching Quran without a certificate lol.

What’s an ijazah?

An ijazah (Arabic: الإِجازَة ‎) is the grant of permission or authority usually represented by a certificate to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge.

So just to write them here for future reference, I have Quran classes on:

Monday – Thursday mornings
Monday and Wednesday afternoons
Saturday nights

For the past whole month I neither taught nor learnt anything about the Quran, and I think that kinda explains my nonsense and disconnection from everything I think. Sigh oh Fifi, so weak.


I’ve been invited to teach. I don’t want to go into details yet but yeah lol, who would’ve thought? All my life I said I don’t ever want to be a teacher yet everyone asks me if I’m a teacher because I look like it and I get this opportunity I might take just for the experience.


I might want to take up Korean seriously. But for what? I haven’t found a good concrete reason for me to invest my time in this foreign language looooooooooooooooool.

Posted in All

Issues

When I was 6 my dad Photoshopped my birthmark off my K2 graduation picture and asked me if I wanted it removed. I hated how I looked and said no. I thought I looked like a stranger, someone I didn’t know. Someone who wasn’t me.  Six year old me didn’t like her.

Ten years later that same birthmark I didn’t want removed started giving me problems like bleeding,  as if begging to be removed.

For four years now I’ve been wearing that stranger’s face. Somehow I tapped on my six year old’s memory about not liking my face without my birthmark. Hey I’m okay with it being gone now, but I feel like I’m at the peak of my self consciousness and lack of self-confidence.

I wear a freaking surgical mask when I go out. I stopped smiling in pictures. I no longer look at people in the eye when we talk.

It’s not due to the fact that I’m not doing “anything”, I think. I’ve been approached by really cool people to do things I’ve only dreamed of doing and I have taken a few key steps towards my goal in life yet my issues with myself are mountains high.

An old friend asked me what’s wrong, and I told her I think I’ve no confidence. Her reply, “You’re Fifi. Where got no confidence. You always bounce back no matter what.”

I changed topics because I really don’t know how to react to that. Is that what she remembers me for? How come I don’t remember that about myself? If only people realised how serious this is. It is to me. Ha.

I’m also no longer articulate. I don’t even know how to complete a sentence in speech. That’s probably because I’ve found myself no longer bothered to argue or try to explain anything to people so I just leave it hanging.

Constantly trying to tell myself that I am great at what I do, I am an independent woman, life works for me and believe it or not I BELIEVE in them. Yes! I am great at what I do, yes I can do things on my own and Life Works For Me but I still don’t know why I hesitate to smile or think about how ugly I look when I smile etc.

I think I should start eliminating the BUTs in my life. Let’s try this again:

Dear Fifi,

A few hours Jakarta Trip

Flew solo to bring my siblings back home. I don’t want to reveal much so here are some captioned pictures:

20140719_073940

Cute plane

20140719_095719

Figured out the air in plane is bad for my skin

20140719_093849

Posted this on Facebook for security reasons. The cab number there lol.

20140719_103421

Destination

20140719_125327

Hall

20140719_134401

Girl’s Dorm

20140719_134748

My sister being my sister scolding people or smth

20140719_204209

My baby siblings

20140719_211257

So scary looking

20140719_214807

Sat alone in the flight throughout lolz

Bye

Posted in All

Four More Days

Honestly, this year was unfortunately not my best-performed Ramadan. There’s only four more days of Ramadan left, and insha Allah I will try to get up and do and do and do again.

I’m disappointed in myself. I really am. First day of Ramadan I tell my students not to waste their Ramadan idling. For me, I won’t say I was idling, but I was preoccupied with doing other things than focusing on and gathering my ibadah.

Please note that I have no intention of “boasting” (riak) whatsoever. So far alhamdullilah Allah has allowed me to not miss a terawih session, but somehow my alarm clock keeps not ringing when I set it in the middle of the night to pray. I’m sad maybe Allah didn’t want to give me the opportunity to tahajjud, or maybe these are just excuses. I’ll try again.

Another thing I’m bummed about is that I’m only 1/3 finished with the Quran, whereas we’re supposed to at least finish the whole of Quran in Ramadan. I’m really slow this month, and I wrote a bunch of excuses here which I deleted.

Muslims reading this: Please do not waste your remaining Ramadan like I did.

Amazing Loneliness Confession and Exclusive Popped Face

It’s been two weeks into Ramadan and I’m just plain bummed that I have not been able to enjoy its privileges for about a week.

Also, my siblings have gone to boarding Sufi School somewhere which means their chores gets handed over to me.

Which I admit is not at all stressful, just kind of tired and lonely lol. Okay fine maybe lonely at first because I really was all alone (I chose not to send them off to care for the cats at home) and then the loneliness became sorta a bliss.

Note: I’ve NEVER felt lonely in my entire life. I’ve watched people walk away from me, I’ve had people leaving me, and I eat and do things alone a lot. Even though I was alone and left alone, the “lonely” feeling never managed to pierce through my shiny dragon armour. This, however, was different. I felt lonely for the first two days so I kept myself really really super busy, and by the third day I was able to dust my hands and put them akimbo, standing on top of a pile of garbage called negative feelings.

Which means if Salamahafifi can do it, nobody should let the lonely feeling guide them through their emotions and reactions.

However, if I’m ignored, I will leave. I will not spend more time brooding over why I’m being ignored and I will just leave. Understand that people may have been brought up in an environment where ignoring people is an “okay” thing. Maybe I came from Planet Pathetic Pluto that I just cannot fit in.

But still, never mind. Really, move on with yourself. If people can’t deal with you, at least you can!

Despite all these, I am, still, upset with my face.

I am sad and ashamed of my face, and I find myself uploading it more often. I understand now, that girls upload a lot of selfies because they are insecure and needed to feel the security behind the filters and likes.

But then again, why should I be ashamed of my face?

But then again, why shouldn’t I be crying over these acne on my face?

It is only with falling that I can climb back up.

I dreamt I walked into a spa, and it was a big spa, and booked an appointment at 10 AM. I tweeted about it. Someone replied to ask me if my face felt dewy and moist when I woke up. It hit me that I was tired and I needed a break. I was in the shower and first thing I did after I walked out of the bathroom was to call the facial place to book their earliest slot. 11 AM. #yes

The trainee beautician did my face and she was a bit rougher than my normal beautician (who is the branch manager). My face now hurts when touched and it is swollen. It will get better insha Allah.

I have what are called Coloured Bumps. I went for extraction (popping!) to get them out and yes they hurt!!!!!!! They can’t be seen face-to-face but it is disgusting under the sunlight. I can see it, therefore it disgusts me.

I’ve been told to use at least a Toner (I don’t use anything AT ALL since these stupid breakouts) so I’m trying to get back into the routine of only using this Herbal Care Lotion by Dr Schrammek they recommended. The Branch Manager is also trying to sell me some Moisture Intense Ampoule (because my skin according to everybody including my beautician is DRY) but it’s like RM300. Would anyone like to sponsor me a box of ampoules for my dry skin? ha ha ha.

BTW, I’ve stopped using all The Body Shop skincare products.

schrammek herbal care lotion

My face fresh after facial.

My face fresh after facial.

My Forehead DAY 1 Post Facial (ew but for documentary purpose).

My Forehead DAY 1 Post Facial (ew but for documentary purpose).

My Right Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (sigh)

My Right Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (sigh)

My Left Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (double sigh)

My Left Cheek DAY 1 Post Facial (double sigh)

Take care and till next time.

Random String

I really like the word string.

Strings.

You pull strings to get what you want.

Strings are pulled to be worn.

People string ideas to make a cause.

We string something to extend.

But don’t string someone along.

Do everything with no strings attached.

Pahala?

Yesterday my father told me that there will be a cleaning up session at the local surau and he was deciding whether or not we should go.

I unknowingly blurted out “Why not? We’ll get pahala.”

My dad frowned at me. “You know there’s no such thing as Pahala.”

“Of course. I meant that it’s not a bad thing to do.”

I was surprised myself as to why I mentioned it. I’m sure you’d rarely see me mention “pahala” which is a “reward” for doing good. Yes, I mention about avoiding doing or nearing sins, but I think I don’t ever mention getting a reward for doing good things.

I think it’s ridiculous and child-like to expect something for doing good.

Yes, in Islam they do mention getting “rewards” for doing good and avoiding the bad.

That’s only on the surface.

The “system” of “rewards” was implemented as a form of encouragement, and to give hope that there will be something better in the afterlife. I’m not saying that there isn’t, but it’s funny we really are like children: hoping for something for doing something.

Funny, huh?

Which is why I quote my Sufi saint role model Rabiatul Adawiyah “I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise.” People who are after the rewards of Paradise do so because they want the Paradise, not because they want Allah.

It’s like wanting to visit a beautiful country and saving up so much for it, and then enjoying it without getting to know the King who made the country flourish when you can. Waste, isn’t it?

Anyway it is known that even though you may enter ~Paradise~ later, not everybody can meet Allah.

Meh, I don’t believe that Allah is in ~Paradise~ anyway.

He’s inside each one of us, and it is up to us to find it.

Faces of Someone Who Sleeps Past Midnight

The past few months I have been diligent in sleeping early because I really like the feeling of waking up fresh.

Lately I don’t know what happened, I’ve been more tired and therefore napping in the afternoon, unable to sleep at night, wake up tired,….and the cycle continues. (Oh, I know. Cats.)

I look really terrible now. Also my face has gotten a lot worse. Random bumps on my cheeks, but my forehead is thankfully healing. It’s okay, I hope it’s just a phase.

An old friend told me that her face has now angry, red breakouts. She said she misses her flawless forehead too. And that before this picking on her pimples did nothing to her.

Apparently her other friends have the same problem as well. I quote her, “Being 21 is a total body change.”

Sad. So for my own records, I’m going to keep posting my face being 21 right now. This means I can’t wait to turn 22 then! (lol jk I don’t really care)

These are my faces in the morning, about to go out the past three days:

100% Bare, slept at 1.30 AM Face:

Muslimah No Makeup

Eyeliner, bits of makeup powder and lipstick, slept at 1 AM Face:

Shawlbyvsnow

Lip Conditioner and Baby Powder, slept at 12.30 AM Face:

Muslimah No Makeup

Lesson: Don’t sleep late. So means I should stop writing and get to bed.

I’m even thinking of rescheduling my Quran reading classes. Going to them in the morning means: Tired in the afternoon = Nap.

Anyway I don’t understand why people choose to sleep late as if they have no responsibilities?

I woke up late at 10 AM a couple nights back (because I had work past 1 AM too tired ok) and had to squeeze everything. The work I would’ve done at 7 AM had to be done at 10 AM, and 10.30 AM I had class so things I do at 9 AM had to be done later, and bah everything just gets postponed! I don’t get it why people choose to miss the sunset and getting work done for sleep-ins.

For a while I was kinda bummed David kept saying he’s so “not a morning person” and I’m glad the mission changed it!

Thank you for being another step closer to being my KOP lol.

Modesty Moves

Don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this but I really dislike how Muslimah “fashionistas” don’t dress modestly. Yes, they’re all covered from head to toe but the problem is they try to look HOT.

Nope, modest is not hottest.

(This post is intended for Hijabi Muslimahs)

You may wear full clothes, but to show your body shape and not covering your chest that one can clearly see your bosoms is no longer modest. The point about being “hot” is for you to be noticed, for guys to “sweat” thinking about you. You definitely want to look “hot” for someone. You may want to look good FOR yourself, but you want to look HOT for someone else.

Which is not the right intention for Muslimah hijabstas.

Modesty may mean being humble, kind, down-to-earth, and not specifically about whether you’re covered from head to toe or not.

Being fashionable is OK. You can be fashionable yet be modest.

An example: YouTuber Amenakin

It’s fashionable as in it’s not dull (I wouldn’t wear the blouse though), she’d stand out from the crowd and it’s modest in a way you can’t see what her body shape is; not in front, not at the back and it’s great!

I don’t really fancy that draped thingy at the back of the blouse but hey it’s a good idea so that her back body shape is not shown.

People, this is modesty.

amenakin modest

 

Then again, there’s no point of me just ranting about it, talking to myself on my blog. So I decided to create a new brand: Modesty Moves.

Modesty Moves means

Modesty WORKS,

Modesty is able to GET PEOPLE GOING,

Modesty CAN get people far,

Modesty IS fashionable,

Modesty can get you boys (you don’t have to dress to impress),

Modesty is a MOVEMENT.

Basically: Modesty Moves!

I do have all my fashion drawings, and folders of modest fashion inspirations all sorted out…..and then my brother decided to do something to the hard disk and all my clothing images scattered. When that happened, this OCD girl’s brain scattered too. I don’t even know where my drawing book is.

Also another thing that stops me from doing many many things that I want to do is: Money.

So this is what I did, I’m starting with Male T-Shirts, with instead of FASHION (to encourage women to cover up more), they’re simple Quran and Hadith reminders on the t-shirt.

Here’s a sneak peek:
Sal Walks Modesty Moves 1

Sal Walks Modesty Moves 2

and here’s one of my many designs:

SalWalks Modesty Faith

“Purity Is Half of Faith” is a Hadith, which means it was something said by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

I hope this works out! Insha Allah, Bismillahirrahmannirrahim.

Yes, SalWalks is my Personal Brand.

Finding Your Personal Brand

The words “Personal Brand” has popped up in my life a couple times now and it was yesterday when I realised it is something I should work on.

I don’t know what Personal Brand exactly means, but I think it’s along the lines of how others see you: what makes you unique, what is that THING about you, your reputation, a word or two that is spot-on about you.

If that’s so, I must have built my personal image/brand as “fangirl” – it’s probably the title that suits me best. I think it’s time to change that. If I live long enough I’ll be 22. “Fanlady” isn’t a fancy name. I still fangirl but I don’t want that to be my personal brand.

Why do I need to create a personal brand? It’s because I’m going to use this new word to describe myself now: an entrepreneur. I am a dreamer. I am an opportunist. I do not and will not depend on another person to give or provide me with anything I need. I look for my own resources. I create my own life.

So with that I will need to find the core, what represents myself.

According to WikiHow (I think?), these are the steps you need to create your own personal brand:

1) Have a website – I do have separate websites for work and personal
2) Be present and active on social media – Hm.
3) Get a unique business card – I have a cute business card. To me it is.
4) Get a great head short – I’m so unphotogenic, but we’ll work things out.
5) Put a lot of work into how you look – rolls eyes, #everyday #nomakeup
6) Get a good bio written – I’ll re-work on my bio

I’d like to expand this list to what I think we need to do to find your personal brand (online).

1) Don’t be afraid to talk about your passion.

Your passion makes your personal brand. I don’t have one definite passion, but there are many things I am passionate about. One of them being buying/supporting Cruelty-Free products. I’m happy to say that I have converted my family into buying cruelty-free products. It matters to me, so I talk to my family about it, and they agree.

In my eyes I still fail, though.When someone with me didn’t get what “Cruelty-Free” meant and thinks it’s just me being my choosy self. It’s not, I wanted to tell her that lives were put at risk in the process of making these makeup but I didn’t. I failed to make her understand what it is about. I’ll try again.

2) Be who you are offline and online: stay true to your personality.

I don’t get it. How can someone be so cheerful IRL but so depressed offline? There is an identity shift or confusion. Who you are should stay who you are wherever you are. KFC is not known for selling fish even though it does. KFC is known for selling CHICKEN. That is the brand, that is what people recognise KFC for. People are confused whether Pizza Hut sells pizza or pasta. They know Pizza Hut sells pasta, but they go for the pizza at the same time still forever wonder why they choose to sell pasta. Same goes with us, if we’re happy offline yet sad online, people are going to take that we’re happy and just trying to create an online persona because it’s “in” (like pasta). Unless you’re anonymous who is really edgy online – I think you’re probably a shy girl IRL. It’s okay that way if your both worlds don’t mix as in nobody knows your real identity.

Personal brand is yours for your one identity for your one whole world. If you have two worlds ie online and offline where your friends are totally separated then it’s okay. It’s kinda fun to play sorta that undercover character anyway.

3) Show your emotions.

If you’re sad, it’s okay to show us you’re sad. If you’re happy, it’s not selfish to show you’re happy. Your emotions make you, you. If you’re looking for an audience, they are 100% likely to connect with people who pour out their emotions in what they post. I’m always trying to show as less emotions as possible. I’m always afraid to offend people by my fiery soul. LOLJK it’s not that fiery. But I’ve noticed that the stuff I post with more emotions gets more comments than the ones when I’m being general. I’m going to be more emotional in my posts then.

-

I think those are the cores. Let me know if you have any to add.

I’d like to believe I do have my personal brand under control. So far, people are thinking of me what I want them to anyway: a fangirl. Because it helps to deter away potential………… never mind.

I’m going to be a fangirl who doesn’t just fans herself but a fangirl who gets things done!

Let’s just say I plan to take the term “Personal Brand” literally.

In 2001 my first site was actually something.something.com/SalamahafifiBMY – think I planned to own my own grocery store lol. When I was 7 I wanted to buy a Giant franchise. I tried again in 2007 when I had Salamahafifi.com, planned to make Salamahafifi shoes, a Salamahafifi Institute (LOL) but meh, Salamahafifi is a bit too mouthful. In 2011 I shortened it to SalWalks to initially blog about my walking  Sufism journey from teens-adulthood and to talk about the different grocery stores (I love them ok) but here we are now: scattered thoughts.

My obsession with shoes makes sense too, I think SalWalks could be a great potential brand.

Hmm, this means that for a long time I’ve always known what I wanted to do: create my personal brand.

Is this narcissism?