Sweet Love Of Mine

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I remember giving up on my pursuit of a passionate romance and I remember specifically choosing to pursue my passion for music.

It was the best decision of my life.

That decision led to marriage and an evolvement of my music career of sorts, as well as meeting people I get to keep as friends.

Learning to let go is just as important as learning to hold on. I have been blessed both ways. It has made me a wiser adult.

Another thing I found out about adulting is the importance of boundaries. Setting boundaries is not easy. Keeping to boundaries is harder. Recently, I have just been scolded by my husband for my loose lips. I don’t want to be scolded again! XD

I’m very happy now. But I’m still harbouring some resentment and anger towards women who have/had it easier but still choosing to be a complete ass to their husbands/partners.

In the end it’s all about boundaries and choices.

I rewatched Moulin Rouge on Netflix recently. I’m still a hopeless romantic at heart. Really enjoyed the flick.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Had to wait a good two decades or so just to be loved in return.

It feels good to love and be loved.

By my husband.

And by music.

Do not underestimate the power of love. It gives you belief.

I used to hate my voice, envying the voices we all hear on the airwaves. I always thought that a voice is only nice if it’s high-pitched.

But now I know, believing that, is like believing a body is only nice if it’s slender.

So I now believe in my voice and I’ve fallen in love with it.

Nothing quite like a stranger complimenting your voice. Because it’s frank when done on the spur of the moment. Nothing calculated.

I’m going to keep working on my craft and just be better each time.

Speaking of which, my husband helped me to put together my intro song idea for my YouTube videos. Have a listen on my Instagram. We used effect because we think it’s cool for an intro!

I actually asked my followers to vote and they preferred this idea to another intro idea I had called “Airhead”. But one day I’ll get my husband to help me craft it. I believe in its potential!

I finally got to knock off work earlier than usual. Looks like I’ll have time to start on my coriander!

Shike told me that it’ll be rather challenging. I barely managed to scrape a 7/10 for my previous micro broccoli harvest. So now I’m really nervous for coriander. If I can successfully scrape another 7/10 in rating, I will be happy with being consistent at least. You can watch my Planting Broccoli IGTV episodes on my Instagram as well.

My calendar is getting fuller and my work responsibilities are increasing as well. Believe me, I don’t know how I end up being this busy and it’s crazy. What’s crazier is that I know I’ll be busier. Goodness.

Taking a step back, I can’t help but feel mystified by my recent interest in microgreens. I never knew I could grow stuff. Never knew I had it in me.

I think I’m really turning out to be a jack of all trades and master of none. But it’s not so bad to me. I think that’s why I lead a colourful life and I get to explore more. Therefore, I’m forever busy.

And I’m forever thankful to Allah for letting me lead this very challenging yet beautiful life.

And Allah is Al-Mu’akhir, The Delayer. – MM

Moving In The Right Direction

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Alhamdulillah for all things that have gone right. Extremely grateful for all I have right now.

I don’t know, I’ve just been full of gratitude lately, I guess. Gotta enjoy the good things while they last!

Watching my bank account go dry is nudging me more to doing what I want to do instead of earning more money, ironically.

It should be the inverse, right? Maybe it’s not the concept of money that haunts me but the concept of time.

Seeing my money run out makes me feel like time is running out just as fast. That I’m pretty much halfway to my death. Thus, the greater sense of urgency to achieve what I want to achieve.

For anyone else perhaps, the idea of death is morbid. But thanks to Harry Potter, death now looks like an old friend I’m bound to meet before I can meet my Maker in the end.

If I should go, it would be nice to leave my mark on the world, in the form of words or music. For example, this blog itself, will be part of my legacy. I hope that I can do it some justice, even when I can’t commit to it as much as I would like to.

Speaking of commitments, I discovered that my bandmates are far more versatile and talented than I am. So I’m feeling the pressure of picking up an instrument. It’s always good to be versatile and swap around instruments. And it’s always more fun too!

So many things to do yet so little time. Why and how am I so busy?!

It’s good to be occupied though.

And being in the company of new friends, who are amazing by the way as they’re never calculative towards my husband and I, makes me realise that I’ve lived quite a chunk of my life accommodating to toxic people. And I think I exhibited toxic behaviour too. I am no saint. So when there are people who showed you kindness you’re not accustomed to getting, it feels extremely refreshing. For the most part, I keep on questioning where have all these people been in my life?! But then I would take a step back and realise that we were meant to meet after having gone through what we each have gone through.

Such a serendipity.

Myself (foreground), my husband (background), Shike (centre), and Teck (left).

I had to be very patient all my life and I still have to be very patient but I must say, patience is very rewarding.

So here’s to more patience and more opportunities with friends!

And Allah is Al-Muqaddim, The Expeditor. – MM

Trust in His Timing

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I figured it’s time I get back to blogging. I’ve left this place post-less for the past month! Goes to show how much I was occupied with work and life. Not necessarily a bad thing. I do feel fulfilled for the most part. And extremely thankful for where I am right now and what I have right now.

There’re so many things that I want to share but as usual, I don’t know where to begin.

My life feels amazing right now. It’s very tiring and I’m tied to my commitments but it’s nonetheless amazing.

I’m still neglecting my prayers and haven’t been punctual for them. I’m still trying! I won’t give that up yet. It’ll stay in my to-accomplish list.

I’ve been recording and editing videos for work on my cellphone. That must be an accomplishment, right? People usually edit them on the computer. I hope my colleagues are able to appreciate the videos I made to help them improve their provision of customer satisfaction.

I still have six more videos to make before completing my personalised course of handling customer complaints. Hehe. Good luck to me!

The videos are not particularly draining to make but I find it a little challenging to brainstorm for ideas and scenarios to best explain the company’s principles for handling complaints.

To be honest, I don’t see myself growing at the workplace anymore. I’ve kinda hit a plateau now. I feel like I’m just clocking in and clocking out whenever I have to work. I just don’t enjoy my work that much. But don’t worry! As a professional, I still do my best to ensure that the quality of my work is not compromised.

I guess it couldn’t have come at a better timing — having something new to look forward to everyday after work. Let me be specific: I’m trying my hand at growing microgreens!

My friend and bandmate, Shike, had this crazy idea of letting little old me try growing microgreens. But I’m crazy too so I said, sure, I’d try it out.

Lo and behold! He gave me the setup I needed: the metal frame with an affixed growing light, the tray with holes, some really good soil and arugula and kale seeds as well as fertilisers. I offered to pay for those because they seemed pretty industry-grade to me but he rejected. I wasn’t home when he delivered the kit as I was at work. Knowing that my husband, Beedin, was home, Shike bought coffee for him. Top drawer la that guy. Free sample, free delivery, and free coffee. In retrospect, I felt really bad that we didn’t give him anything to bring home in return. But Beedin shared with me Shike’s awe at his guitars, amplifier, and drumset as well as my guitars and keyboards. I do want to create a little studio room in our tiny box home but I haven’t gotten into gear to head into that direction. Insya-Allah, one day, we’ll get there. With an iMac and Macbook, please. And more amps. And of course, soundproofing materials!

And well, I guess Shike was happy to play Beedin’s guitar although he couldn’t stay for long.

But I digressed! Back to my little science project. I have been posting daily stories on my Instagram, relating the progress of the growth of my first batch of microgreens. First ever, yeah! I’ve organised the stories into a highlight reel so you can go through it on my profile. I decided to grow arugula first because it starts with A and I like being alphabetical like that. Apparently I was supposed to use the whole packet of arugula seeds but I didn’t! I thought I was supposed to be stingy with them! But they turned out pretty well and I am feeling like a proud mama of my little plant babies!

Oh, yeah. I have completely zero knowledge of general horticulture, what more growing specific specimen like microgreens. Shike basically left vague instructions to Beedin, which he had dutifully shared with me but I was still a blank canvas at this. I could, of course, ring that brother up and ask, yo, you gonna teach me or what?

But I had this little feeling that the test was not simply for all of us to find out if my fingers may be somewhat green. It felt like there was a test of character going on as well to see if my work ethic is as good as I claimed it to be.

But I may have been overthinking, which is what I am extremely good at. Which is not such a good thing most times!

I did what I could do by myself first, read articles, watched videos, and tapped on my intuition for certain parts that felt a little vague or confusing to me. To be honest, I was in despair on the second morning. I didn’t see much growth going on and I was soooo worried. I thought I wasn’t cut out to be a farmer. 😦

As you can see above, there were very little signs of life when I checked in the morning before I went to work.

I carried that weight of disappointment to work and harboured little hope. So sad.

But when I reached home, had the shock of my life!

My baby seeds turned into toddler sprouts!

Magic, I tell you.

And now, they’ve turned into lovely teenage clovers that you saw in the first photo of this post. Even Beedin was impressed at how quickly they grew. Yup, he got to witness my emotional rollercoaster ride throughout my experiment!

Everyone kept calling my arugulas taugehs. Haha! Never mind la. I’m happy they’re turning out well. Can’t wait to harvest and start again! I still haven’t eaten it although Shike suggested me to. I kinda don’t want to pluck anything out yet. They’re still so precious looking!

I reported to him daily as well. I felt like a guinea pig, trying out the microgreens setup in a HDB home for him. Perhaps he wanted to see as well if it could work for us regular Joes who don’t have luxurious space for gardening. But he gave me a more atas title, R&D Consultant. LOL.

So yeah, life is amazing now and I feel more rejuvenated. I’m still scattered but more focused.

And right now, I’m comtemplating learning the bass.

I’m forever all over the place la hahaha!

To surmise, by end of September, I must accomplish:

– Not missing out a single Salah
– Successfully grow arugulas
– Learn bass basics

Wake me up when September ends.

And Allah is Al-Muqtadir, The One With Full Power. – MM

I have a drinking problem.

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I’ve been overdosing on coffee. So unhealthy.

Also, I’m training myself to shorten my sentences. Been rambling and mumbling my entire life. Time for a change!

Or not.

Work has been increasingly tiring. Recently, I felt like my kindness and capabilities were taken advantage of.

I really want to turn away but whenever I think about Singaporeans who lost their jobs during the pandemic, I tell myself to suck it up and take one for the nation.

It also helps that more people at work have begun to acknowledge me, trust me, and feel comfortable around me. I saw for myself how a little effort goes a long way. Like there’s this guy at work whom I’ve never even said hello to when I see him. I decided to give him a thank-you card recently. (My company has a thank-you card culture. Everyone writes at least one each day.) The next thing I know, he is already bantering with me and saying goodbye to me when clocking out.

Clearly, a little kindness goes a long way. Like having friends talking to you out of the blue at a time you need a listening ear the most because once upon a time, you were kind to them.

I wish we can all be kinder to ourselves too, though. Let’s take it one step at a time during this difficult period.

I can’t hug everyone but here’s a virtual pat on the back for all for having done a good job in navigating the corona life so far even when you think you haven’t.

Dammit, when will my sentences ever be short? XD

And Allah is always fair and He loves those who are patient. – MM

Evisceration By Election

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

The election fever has not died down and while some might have gotten tired of seeing all things election in their social media feed, I am quite addicted to it.

Nothing quite like an evisceration of the pandemic via a different drama offered by the election period, eh?

I made an effort to watch Singapore Votes 2020: Nomination Day Special by CNA on YouTube on my off day yesterday. At the end of it  I feel robbed of about three hours of my life but I did take away some Ls.

1) What is social distancing?

Seems like many have forgotten to maintain a safe distance amongst themselves. The rate at which everyone is clumping together makes all the nomination centres look like high-potential clusters. I don’t think the reporters sanitised their recording devices when interviewing different candidates. Jeng jeng.

And seriously, are we not going to talk about how the incumbent East Coast team shared one microphone when the alternative party could use individual microphones? The message I received from that is image > social responsibility by the incumbent. Some heads might roll over this.

2) Don’t forget Red Dot United.

In all of my fervour of following familiar alternative parties, I have completely overlooked Red Dot United. If I didn’t watch the Nomination Day special, I would have completely kept myself uninformed of their presence.

It’s interesting to see a party being led by a female. While both Michelle Lee of RDU and Sylvia Lim of Workers’ Party holds the chairperson position in their respective parties, Michelle is leading her party more obviously than Sylvia. If RDU is clever, they would play the female leadership angle — campaigning the need to have more alternative voices in parliament so as to ensure that women become more empowered in politics. That Singapore is indeed ready to be led by a capable and competent female, and not by one simply chosen by the supermajority. Or that Singapore can indeed have a healthily competitive political playing field.

As for Sylvia, it’s simply tactical on her party’s part. Rather than giving the competition a chance to take cheap shots at her via the old Town Council allegations made against her, they rather put forward a young Indian leader. Who says the young aren’t capable of working in politics? President says she’s not Indian? It’s okay, we have an Indian leader who is interested in representing you in parliament.

3) There is never enough airtime for the alternative candidates.

I kept watching the candidates from alternative parties get cut off during their interviews whereas the candidates from the ruling party get full soundbytes. Honestly, it felt plain rude to me. And to be honest, I’m quite sick of being bombarded with mail from the ruling party. Where’s my mail from the alternative parties? Come on, I’d like to make an informed decision here. If you are confident in your manifesto, you’d never needed to worry about your voters supporting other parties. The more you are spamming me, the more desperate you look to me. And desperate is not a good look.

Additionally, I felt that there were many missed opportunities for many nominees across all the parties in terms of maximising their given airtime. How could you not have prepared better for your nomination speech? You don’t have to be fancy with the team bowing and arm-raising or even trying to ensure the cameras can get a good view of you and your team. You just have to ensure that your message to your constituents is clearly expressed on your ever-so-rare national airtime. Debunk what needs to be debunked. Clarify what needs to be explained. Introduce yourself properly and your mission so that your voters can build a curiousity towards you and want to hear more from you. Yes, you may argue that you don’t have time to fully prepare for a speech due to the short time period of our election events. However, it is not the first rodeo for most of you and you have had five years to strategise and solidify your campaign. The speech comes naturally when you are clear on the direction that your party is taking.

To those of you who are still full-time students: when it comes to class presentations, stop pushing them to the person who always present well. Instead, rise to the challenge and practise your presentation skills lest you should find yourself having to address the nation out of the blue.

Ugh. So much frustration!

Yet I’m still pursuing election news. Oh, the things we do to ourselves.

If you’d like to torment yourself too, here’s the video:

And Allah is Al-Qadir, The All-Able. – MM

Election Fever

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

In case you missed it, Singapore is holding a General Election on 10 July 2020 amidst the current global pandemic.

Yes, only in Singapore can you afford to hold one while the rest of the world is grappling with the pandemic-related crises.

Makes us sound very selfish. Perhaps a reflection of the government?

Anyway, the election fever has struck me and many other Singaporeans. Suddenly everyone is interested in the local politics, myself very much included, of course.

But it’s nice to see more people calling out on the biasness of the local media and the flaws of the incumbent. And people realising the importance of their voice most of all.

Just recently, we the people, managed to oust a potential elitist candidate from entering the parliament. He couldn’t stand the backlash after just three days of announcing his candidacy. Imagine what the opposers had to go through throughout their lives and political careers. Yet, they still soldier on despite having to go against all odds. Pretty damning.

Although I harbour little hope of seeing an improved political landscape, I still feel interested enough to read up on all things related to the election.

May the better candidates win.

And Allah is As-Samad, The Satisfier of Needs. – MM

And I’ve Got No Plans To Retire

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Hello! So the Singapore government decided to open Phase 2 this Friday.

If you can only see the look on my face right now. If you know me, you’ll know exactly my sentiments. I’ll leave it up for interpretation.

Now that I’m forced to recondition my body to be ready for work, I have found some consolation in Eminem featuring Juice WRLD’s Godzilla.

LOL, I know. I’ve been sharing a lot of Eminem music. But I have a reason for this. This is going to be a long post. Strap in.

My newfound obsession began with a random stumble upon a video that detailed the feud between Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) and Eminem. From that video, I stumbled upon another video that propagates why Eminem’s diss track, Killshot, is better than MGK’s Rap Devil. I learnt that Eminem actually wrote his raps/lyrics with a lot of depth. So much depth that you need to study it closely like a piece of literature schools made you read.

Needless to say, I started to look for more breakdown and reaction videos to Eminem’s music. And needless to say, I began to like Eminem’s writing style more and more. There are so many layers to his sentences. It’s only a matter of whether you get the context of his lines or if you just needed somebody to switch that lightbulb on in your head. Not only did Eminem play with metaphors intelligently, his use of literary devices is next level, yo. Assonance, alliteration, homophone, rhyme, rhythm, flow, and more… he doesn’t use those devices simply for the sake of using them but purposefully. What I like about the video I shared above is that the guy shows the difference in the writing calibres of the young generation artist (MGK) and the old generation artist (Eminem).

I enjoy good writing. That’s my favourite part of music. Good lyrics are harder to come by in today’s music. If you couldn’t catch the lines in Godzilla, there is an official lyric video.

I pity the bloke who had to produce the lyric video. Hahaha! That speed at the end. Oh, my God. Eminem is also clever in naming this song Godzilla. His fastest rap was in Rap God, which people said he had set a record. Many believed he has beaten that record in Godzilla. If you’re going to beat yourself, and you’ve already claimed that you’re the rap god, then how do you outdo yourself? How do you outdo a (rap) god? What’s bigger and better than a god? (That’s imagery for you!) Godzilla! (That’s wordplay for you!) See? Bloody brilliant!

I hope you manage to comprehend what I tried to convey so far. Hahaha!

So that’s Eminem and his impression on me.

I’m going to talk about another person who has made an impression on me, Michelle Obama.

Netflix recommended her documentary, Becoming, and I watched it. I enjoyed it. In fact, was so inspired by it that I bought her book, Becoming, and its companion guided journal.

In her guided journal, the first question she posed was, “What is your story and how have you embraced it?”

And I’ve been stumped by it for what feels like weeks now. I really have no idea how to answer that. It has even partly contributed to my insomnia. I kept tossing and turning in bed nowadays, kept awake by the contemplation of that question.

And even now, I still don’t have the answer. I feel like I’ve entered this existential crisis. Like, damn, what is my story?

I feel like my life comprises of many stories. On one hand, I keep wondering, okay, do I just pull out one story from the hat and on the other, I keep thinking, there must be an overarching theme to my series of stories. I just couldn’t figure out what that is.

Most people will go for the thing that has the most impact in their lives or the identity that they’ve established for themselves. I mean, how else would you answer that question, right? It’s like introducing yourself and what you’re about. But I’m struggling with that introduction. It’s much easier to state my name and how old I am, where I came from, and the likes. But when people ask me, “So what’s your story?”, I’m like, “Eh?”

Look, I’m still stumped. I don’t even know if I will be able to answer it in this post.

*Thinks really hard.*

It’s starting to feel like that itch on my back that I can’t scratch.

Let’s just hold that thought process for a while because I also wanted to share something else.

A couple of nights ago, I decided to start a new Let’s Play and bravely picked Call of Duty: WWII. I didn’t have the faintest idea of what the game is about and how it works. It was made free to play by Playstation Network for Playstation Plus members and I thought, why not give it a go? So I did and I was so terrified to play it. I still am terrified to play it! Haha! I believe I shared my second recording last night. Here’s the first ever recording and I absolutely love my genuine reactions while playing it! Hahaha!

I was so clueless! I had no idea what was going on or what I was even supposed to do for that matter. I felt like a headless chicken entering a barbecue! Goodness! It was so intense! I’m still sorting out the audio issues. Hopefully, the quality of the playthrough will get better over time with the right audio adjustments.

This really was the first time I actually enjoyed watching myself play. I’m happy that I get to experience the joy of doing a blind let’s play.

Now back to the what’s-my-story conundrum.

Still stumped.

Gee, you know what? Let’s just lookup the Quran randomly and whatever verse I land on, that shall be the hint to help me answer the question.

Okay, I’m on Quran.com. Let’s try typing in ‘story’ in the search bar.

First result: And has the story of Moses reached you? (20:9)

. . . -_-?”

HOW IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP ME?! HAHAHAHA! I’m no Moses! I’m no prophet! Help! Hahahaha!

I vaguely know the story of Moses so let’s refresh my memory. Might as well take the opportunity to learn more about him since I was on the topic about people who made an impression on me.

Wow, yeah, I just realised it! Allah just gave me a better role model to be impressed by. He truly is The All-Knowing and The Best of Planners.

Gosh. I’m gobsmacked.

Guys, now I’m stunned after reading the next verse because I see my name at the end of the verse! :O Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut. Oh, wow. Chills, man, chills! Oh, Lord, I only asked for a hint not for goosebumps. What is this?!

(20:10): When he saw a fire and said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”

There, guidance. Oh, wow. Oh, this is so creepy. Moses was looking for something. I was looking for something. He was looking for a source of light for his family just based on that verse alone. I was looking for an answer to Michelle’s question. Moses thought he might find some guidance at the fire; his source of light, which applies figuratively as well as he mentioned guidance. I thought I might get find a hint from the Quran, my figurative source of light.

Oh, my heart.

Okay, you know what, I don’t even have to read on. I know what’s my story now.

My story is that my name is very special and I have embraced its importance to me.

It’s very special because I was supposed to be named Nurhazwanni, which ended up being my younger sister’s name. My dad went for Friday prayers while keeping that name in mind the whole time. (I was born on a Friday at 10.32pm.) However, when he was about to register my name for my birth certificate the next day, he was stumped. (Wow, how eerily similar is that to my situation just now?! :O ) He just couldn’t remember the name that he wanted to give me. He totally spaced. His favourite singer at that time was Wann, a female Malaysian, which inspired the name he wanted to give me. Even that didn’t come across his mind. What struck his mind instead was another female Malaysian, but this time an Olympic swimmer, Nurul Huda. (At this point, I’m thinking my dad watched too much Malaysian TV. XD )

So that’s how I ended up with Nurul Huda. Light of Guidance.

My name is very important to me as I used to feel the burden of its weight. I am no exemplary creature. How am I supposed to guide others when I feel so lost? I used to have no confidence in my abilities. I used to wish that I had the name Nurhazwanni instead because my sister was pretty and cool. People found her friendly and approachable. I envied her for all that. All that changed when she told me one day that she envied me. That I was pretty. That I was cool. That people looked up to me. That made me more receptive to my name. I’m not the best but I could kind of lead. When people needed help, I could come up with some creative solutions sometimes. I don’t always give the right directions but I feel like I can read the map better than most. Haha!

So yeah, that’s my story and that’s how I’ve embraced it. Thank you, Allah, for your blessings on me.

Not a fan of the reciter but this was the best short video I could find.

And Allah is Al-Ahad, The Only One. – MM