Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rolling in mudd of gold

It has been the trend nowadays to congratulate someone on his birthday by saying, “You’re so-and-so YOUNG!” Never been a fan of current trends, I prefer not to be wished this specific way. I’m not turning twenty-two years young, I’m now twenty-two years OLD, and beyond doubt proud of it. With age comes wisdom, no matter how many times one hears the saying “age is just a number”. That is why we are supposed to respect the old, for they are wiser, even if you are ‘smarter’. Having realized all these, I paused to think of the people who have helped keep me grounded whilst growing up, and I can’t think of any better people to be surrounded with than my five wonderful best friends. Instead of talking about myself, I want to dedicate my birthday post to the five most amazing people I’ve met: Adilah, Syafiqa, Zaida, Asilah, and Fayyadhah. I’m truly blessed. Growing up is such a difficult phase, and God kept me in the company of the best people out there.

Where do I even begin talking about our friendship? From mere classmates, we grew inseparable during our last years of high school, and I’m grateful for that. You are such a brave person, and though I’ve said that many times, I’m not sure I’ve said it enough for you to believe me. You’re brave. You’re a brave young girl, even when we joked of you being the most na├»ve among us. God knows your strength, the kind that I don’t think the rest of us possessed at such young age. You’re beautiful in all you awkwardness, then. Now of course it’s obvious to all that crossed your path how you’ve blossomed into the confident woman you are, ready to take on the world head-on. For teaching me to be patient and nice, I owe you a big one Mrs. Ballack-Adams-Skywalker, the should-be princess of Wales.

My first hubby, the coolest girl I’ve ever met! Oh we had our fun, didn’t we? The most laid-back, yet principled person I know. From torturing me up the hill of Melawati by cycling our way, to holding me while I cried and trusted you with my darkest secret that until now only you know of. It is your gift to have that balance of grace and openness. Plus, your wisdom and maturity are comforting when we were surrounded by whiny fifteen and sixteen year olds. You and I, we both get that life does not always go the way we hope for, and still there is no need to complain of the tiniest distress when there are ninety-nine other things to be grateful for. Both passionate and realistic, you taught me to be real. Thank you, hubby.

My sweet, quirky, humble Adilah. My friend of friends that I pray each day will not change a bit, except to be more awesome than she already is. When I think of you, the first think that comes to mind is how close to earth you are – something that your height simply does not do justice to! Heck, I can’t even believe I have a friend who owns her own Mini Cooper! Yet, if it’s up to her, she would have preferred to keep that a secret because she is not lame and knows that she is more than her wealth. Bigger things define who she is, such as perseverance and determination. Seeing you in all your struggle trying to reach your dream is a beautiful reminder that just because something seems out of reach, it is not unreachable; that is the best gift any friend could give me.

Eighteen years. That should pretty much sum it up. If our friendship is a lesson on life, we would have graduated! I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I’ve always felt like a sister to you. We play together, we go home together, but we don’t go to school together. Someone who has truly watched me grow up, you could take one look at me and know not only what I’m feeling, but also what I’m thinking. We laughed, we joked, and when it’s time to be honest, we don’t cry our eyes out – we cry our hearts out. How you trusted me with so much, I cannot be more flattered to have someone loving me as much as you do. You came to all three of my weddings; I’ll try to go to all your anniversaries if I could! Aku sayang kau.

Two posts I’ve written about this young woman, yet they are not enough. How to end describing this incredible future doctor when she has more to offer? One look at us and it is apparent we are total opposites of each other. But God works in mysterious ways and the one person that is the least likely to understand me turns out to be the one person who understands me most. The only person that is smart enough to know when to tell me off, and when to wait it out. The person that has such emotional depth that it is unlucky not many seem to be able to recognize and appreciate that. The person that has to fight against all the odds only to win every battle she faces. She is definitely the best friend every one wish they had.

But then, when I take a step further to see all that’s in front of me from a different perspective, I try to connect the dots to find the common denominator among all of us, and that is when it hits me: we were brought up by equally, if not more, superbly remarkable parents. Our parents were part of the Baby Boom Generation, those who were born in a world once so entrenched in tradition, they had to find their own way through a progressive time. Our parents grew up having experienced the best of both worlds. Enveloped by a spirit of innovation and independence, they cease to lose their way because they had the backbone of a local fighter, not disenchanted by the shadow of the imperialist West mentality. With this foundation, my friends and I found ourselves in such households where we were taught to put our sights on the highest mountain, but our heads close to the earth we were created from. Though the world may seem like it is everything to the young mind, there is actually much more than these mortal pleasures. Pure happiness and contentment does not come from owning the best or being the best – it is from acting the best. And the best imaginable way to lead our life is through respect, wisdom, humility, consideration, dignity, courage, faith, and basically by being nice to one another – something all five of my friends are masters of. For teaching us how to stay grounded and cultured when faced with an adverse environment, I dedicate this post to our mothers and fathers, those still living and those already returned to God.

Thank you, Ibu and Papa for showing me the way, I do love you.


p/s: A shout-out to Sofiya, another great person I've met. Though we've only been friends for four years (4 years already?!), I know I want my kids to grow up just like you. I've always said to Rassyid, and to anyone willing to hear, when it's my time, I want to raise my kids the way your parents raised you and your three sisters. All four of you possessed the kind of mental, emotional - and most importantly - spiritual intelligence that I can only pray my kids shall have one day. Even in college, God kept a good friend nearby.