Saturday, 27 June 2009

Alone and Away (but not lonely)


Alhamdulillah for all the rizqi and barakah Allah has given upon all of us.

Winter Sonata

Since last November, I have been working on my literature review for my Phd thesis. I have been very busy throughout the winter season 2008. My time has been predominantly occupied by writing activities. I have been writing a lot. I put aside all the perasaan rindu, sedih and sunyi. Focus, and stay focus, that's what I have been telling myself. Jangan malas, usaha pasti membuahkan hasil biidznillah. Dengan izin Allah, pasti akan berjaya, tapi kalau putus asa atau putus usaha, tak akan dapat apa2.

Anyway, Professor Thomas Allen, my supervisor has been very supportive; he has been giving positive feedback on my research and suggesting some useful materials for the literature review process. ..and since then I have been struggling a lot too. Managing my thesis, constructing the research framework, excetera excetera.Alhmdulillah so far so good. Thanks to my loved ones for the du'a...

Still, I tend to be sad and emotional at times. I miss my husband, my family, and I miss being in Malaysia.

When hubby left for Malaysia after my registration in Durham, I was devastated for a while. The first week without him was excruciatingly painful. Living alone in a 3-bedroom house, I just had to keep myself busy by attending endless research training courses, short seminars and working in the library almost every day. I go to the library kadang-kadang hanya nak siapkan task yg amat mudah, yg kiranya kalau buat kat rumah pon bolehlah. Contohnya nak type satu paragraph pun pegi library haahhaa..tapi sebenarnya amat rindukan insan yg teristimewa itu. Wherever I go, whatever I do I always think of him. Sedih sangat. Bila la nk jumpa lg..rindunya nak balik Malaysia. So pegi library tu ada tujuan serampang dua mata: Satu sebab nk concentrate buat kerja, dan satu lagi sebab nak kurangkan rasa rindu pd org tuuu. Hahaha.

But I am lucky; Shila, Maz and Bisha have been lending their ears a lot. We always chat through YM. Syukur kepada Allah sebab mengurniakan rakan2 sejati, ikhlas dan memahami situasi diri ini..they regularly ask me how am I doing, how has it been with my research , how am I coping with life etc. We share a lot with each other. Maz di Southampton, Shila di Jordan and Bisha pulak di Newcastle. Luckily I have them. Thanks to the three of you!!

FACT: Studying abroad and being away from loved ones is not easy.


I first realized this a couple of years back when I came for LLM. LLM is course-work based, hence having to attend classes 5-6 hours a week and to participate in seminars once a fortnight has kept me and classmates busy throughout the term. Being single and living in university accommodation with 5 housemates to a dorm, we regularly attend events organized by the graduate community room of the college. Seronok juga aktiviti Ustinov College; "macam2 ada". Greek dance la (tapi takla ikut menari, sekadar ambil gmbar dan beramah-mesra sebelum upacara 'minum-minum alkohol' .Bila alcohol beverages dituang apalagi terus naik dorm, tak nak join le), cultural day, Ramadhan celebration, etc. Mcam2 acara ada dekat Ustinov College..macam cogankata Astro pulak. hahaha..macam-macammmmada..keh keh..
I realize that being away from family was not easy but thanks to the considerable amount of human interaction and colorful events around the school and college, I was able to 'function' mentally and emotionally as student and person. A balanced lifestyle is the essence of success, insya-Allah. Alhamdulillah I passed the LLM and I went back to USIM to teach for a year. Teaching and nurturing has been a wonderful experience. Syukur kepada Allah.


After teaching Tamhidi (this is USIM term for matriculation program) for law students for a year, I came back. I am back in Durham! This time I enrolled into Phd program. I rent a private home in Bowburn so that it will be convenient when family/friends come for a visit/vacation; hubby plans to come and visit me once every 6 months; sisters will come every three months. So that’s the purpose of renting a relatively huge space for one person: me. Staying in college can be fun but restricted space-wise and privacy-wise. Dan klau family dtg susah sebab ruang kecik. Sewa lebih kurang je dgan rumah, cuma rumah lg besar spacenya, jd sewa rumah lebih berbaloi dr sewa bilik kat College.

I am happy with this new home. If only hubby is here….ooh hush hush my wishful thinking…
I enjoy researching; but the research-based nature of Phd worsens my internal self; writing law has a lot to do with reading and analysing facts, legal provision and case law. Well, the list goes on…the point though is that research throughout term without classes at all does limit social activities. I put effort to attend social meetings and to schedule meeting with friends even to sit down for a cup of coffee. Friends are all on the same boat and they understand my situation, and I understand theirs. The least we could do for others is to listen and lend ears...and I got that. I have best listeners all around me. I have Shila, Maz and Bisha. Dayana and Tamadoor, my Durham uni friends have been very understanding. Thank you for your kindness and may Allah reward you.'Thank you'' wish is hardly an adequate compensation to your kindness and willingness to spend time chatting with me. I move on with life because of your word of wisdom and you listening to my heart, and we must thank Allah for giving us the chance to meet and befriend in this temporary world.

So, I may be alone, and away from loved ones, but insya-Allah with the motivation I have, the friends around me and the daily du'a that I make, I am not lonely....(tapi mesti make a point to meet people, have a balanced lifestyle, and do good deed to others). Hush hush loneliness!!



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