Credits to Ronald Cooley (taken from this website).
You know when you first meet a stranger and it's all so awkward in the beginning? You feel the gap and you don't know whether you should talk or just keep quiet because you wanna beat the silence and awkwardness, but you're afraid you might make s/he feels annoyed. That was what I thought a few days ago. I almost canceled my weekend plan because of the thought and I'm really grateful I did not. I have to admit that I'm not comfortable to be in a new place or situation alone. It all started when my Maklang (aunt) could not make it for the Twins Of Faith.
She offered me a Twins of Faith (TOF) ticket for free. TOF is an annual Islamic conference, where they will call a few sheikh(s), ustadh(s) and imam(s) to deliver Islamic talks based on a theme, and this year it is about Qalb, which means heart.
True they say that if you were to do a good thing, Allah will make it easy for you.
When Maklang offered me the ticket, I checked my academic calendar. Coincidencely, I would be having a 1-week holiday, so I straightly accepted it. Before Maklang sent me the ticket via email, she asked me once again whether I wanted to go or not. I'm not sure how much is the early bird price, but the latest price I saw in the website was RM227, so if I did not go, it would be better if Maklang could give to another person. So, I really thought about it carefully. I was contemplating although I really looked forward to it. I will be alone, traveling from Melaka. Where should I stay? How should I travel to Matrade early in the morning? Won't it be dangerous?
While I was still in dilemma, a whatsapp message came and it was from my SSP batch whatsapp group. Tsam asked if there's anyone who wanna go to TOF as she had an extra ticket. I sent Tsam a text and she told me she's going to join the conference. My heart leaped in joy, knowing that someone I know would join the conference. She even asked me whether I wanna join her and her friends staying in a hotel nearby. And she told me they could pick me up when I arrived in KL, although we were coming from different directions. (She came from Ipoh, while I was from Melaka). I thought she would come with a friend, but instead, she came with another 4 friends. I only knew after I asked about the hotel and transportation. So, actually, I might be a burden. Imagine a car and a hotel room, which can fit in 5 people nicely, and suddenly this one stranger wants to join. That was what I thought. But, Tsam kept insisting me that it will be okay and her friends were all okay with it as well. I agreed although I felt so embarrassed at that moment.
Long story cut short, 2 days with them and they treat me not like a stranger. At all. They treat me like a good friend. I can't say they only do it to a person they just meet because they treat each other so nicely that if you look closely, you'll adore and admire their friendship. None of them is selfish. 1 and a half-day were not that long, but they touched my heart with their kindness and acts, which they may not even realise. When you come alone to a new place and meet a new crowd, you expect yourself to feel like a stranger, but it turns out you ask yourself,
"Am I not a stranger?"
And I have to admit, they are so humble. So, so humble that I feel ashamed of myself. They made me realised that you don't have to say anything, telling others you're better or you're nice or you're good. Instead, your act will do it for you. Actions are louder than words, and now I really understand about it.
I'm really grateful and so touched that when I think about what happened, my heart will become so warm and tears will flood my eyes. The experience was so beautiful that even John Green or Mitch Albom could not describe it perfectly. I'm so grateful that I followed my heart, to participate in the conference although I was alone at first. I could never replace it with something better if this was what He decided the best for me.
He will make it easy for us, if it's a way to make us closer to Him. InshaaAllah. I did not only get the points that went straight to my heart from the TOF itself, which I hope they will stay there and help me to become a better person, with His guide, InshaaAllah. But, I also met new friends and experienced things that I never imagined I would get. I'm not sure whether you guys will read this post or not, but if you guys did come across this, I would like to thank you and I'm really blessed to meet you guys. Only Allah can repay all of you.
And of course, a big thank you to my Maklang. Because without her, I might not get this once in a lifetime experience. Why did I say it a 'once in a lifetime experience'? Because you will never get the same exact experience twice and you can never turn back time. So, every single thing that happens in our life is a once in a lifetime experience.
A photo of me with the amazing girls.
P/s: I have a lot more to share, inc the moment when a stranger cried and I cried as well haha. InshaaAllah soon :)