Day 29: On doing what you love and loving what you do
There is a verse in Surah Rahman which I always, always come back to around Eid time every year (this is my third mention of the Surah in this series, so if you haven’t yet read the meaning yet, please do!) which goes
هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ
Roughly translated, the meaning is “is the reward for good, anything other than good? [55:60]
I love it because I think it so perfectly encapsulates what Eid is. A day of love and happiness and an abundance of goodness (and good food) after a month of sacrifice and striving to do good.
But besides just Eid, I think it’s a really great verse to always remind you to keep striving, in whatever it is that you do. On Monday I graduated, quite a few months after I actually qualified, with my Honours degree in media studies. I was so excessively happy for a couple of reasons. I love what I study, and always have, and it was wonderful to have the hard work put into my studies get recognised. But I had a hell of a hectic year last year, particularly towards the end, and it was so rewarding to be able to say that I persevered and managed to still make it work.
I am so lucky to have the opportunity to do things that I love. I have had the best time studying and find my course extremely stimulating, and I am so lucky that in my work I get to put skills that I have learnt to use, while at the same time learning so many new ones.
That said though, I have to be really honest: sometimes writing is really painful, and I really struggle. Getting down and actually noting things down coherently can be really HARD. But it’s exhilarating to read well-written content and be able to say that you produced it, and it’s wonderful to see people engage with your work.
And I hope, dear reader, that you find the things that you love doing, and relish in your experiences. That you’re able to have the opportunity to be so good to yourself that you’re able to do whatever it is that makes you the happiest. That in between real life, you’re able to exhale sometimes. That you always remember what your end goal is, and you engage in as much goodness in this life as you can – that is, the stuff we’ve tried to focus on this past month – and make the most, and the best, out of everything thrown at you.
And to always remember such an important verse, that I have mentioned before in this series, and one that I hope comes full circle with the above one:
Translated: “So where are you going?” [81:26)
And on that note – thank you, for all of the love, the support, the comments and feedback – good and bad – and for taking the time out to read what I had to say, and for sharing it, or even just reflecting on it. It’s a bittersweet ending – as much as it was hectic to write this everyday in between everything I did, it was something I looked forward to doing at times and a great opportunity for me to keep a track of my Ramadan and my thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Feel free to engage with me at any time via social media – I tweet at @aaishadadipatel – and stay watching this space for what comes next!
This is the final post in a special Ramadaan series by our fave Muslim reporter, Aaisha Dadi Patel. For Day 28’s musings, click here.