Do you ever have moments when you’re tired but not frustrated or annoyed, just warm and comfortable? Well that was me on the morning of Sunday 23rd, April, 2017.
I’d just finished praying Fajar Salah and since it was a weekend, I was planning to sleep in for a bit. But before getting too comfortable, I decided to scroll through a couple of Instagram Stories. After a few minutes of tapping through, I came across a picture (which you can see below):
(massive shout-out to @_staymodest , who’s Instagram Story I found the picture on. Her page consists of beautifully heartfelt reminders! May she be rewarded for her continuous efforts + be successful both in this life + the next, Ameen ~)
After scanning through the picture, I sighed. Why couldn’t I have found the poster sooner? The event looked absolutely amazing! There were so many awesome speakers in one place on the same day! Since my cousin lived in London, I figured maybe she’d have a shot of attending the conference even if I couldn’t.
Sleepily, I switched my phone off, turned towards my husband and mumbled something along the lines of, how he was going to miss seeing someone who he really liked to listen to. When asked who, I mentioned his favourite speaker that was going to be attending the event, not thinking he’d think much of it. But to my surprise he asked if he could look at the post I’d seen. After a few minutes of pin drop silence, his response was, “if you can get ready in the next ten minutes, we can go.”
Bearing in mind the event was going to start in about 2-3 hours, getting there would take about 2-3 + a half hours, and to top it off, we hadn’t booked or prepared anything in advance! So naturally, I thought he was either half asleep himself or was most likely kidding.
But when I double-checked and realised how serious he was, I moved swiftly, before he had a chance to change his mind. Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I rushed to get ready, in a giddy daze.
Camera, chargers, snacks, drinks, notebook and pens, headphones…the mental list carried on as I ran through all the things I thought we’d need.
Before long, we were bolting out the front door, and were greeted with goose-bump tingles from the spring chills of the early morning.
Stopping for petrol was a must! Didn’t want to worry about running out midway! Pins and needles of excitement seemed to be prickling me all over. I couldn’t help but feel secretly pleased with myself, for remembering to make some milky tea with cloves in a flask, for the long drive that lay ahead.
After falling asleep for a while along the way, I awoke to the the sky having changed from light blues to a steamy fogginess. The sun looked like a glowing moon. After what seemed like eternity, thanks to roadblocks and countless diversions, we sped through the tight streets of London with noticeably prettier skies, and finally arrived at our destination. Though slightly late, once we’d registered and walked through the big black doors, the traffic and endless twists and turns we’d had to make to reach the place seemed worth it.
Throughout the day the number of attendees grew increasingly! As far as I know, there were nearly 4,000 people in the hall, which I felt only made the experience all the more memorable and amazing!!!
Thousands of people came together for the sake of gaining more knowledge, what could be more beautiful than that? People had come from all over the country as well, to make it to the event, me and my husband included!
After the first half of the talks ended, there was a lunch break and it also gave us time to pray Salah-tul-Dhuhar (The Midday Prayer). While I waited for my husband to emerge from the crowded hall, I spotted the incredibly inspirational photographer Maaria (@justmebreathing) from afar. It was her radiant smile that caught my eye, it was so much prettier in person! (may she be blessed + protected always (Ameen) ~
But due to my shyness, and the fact she was talking to someone else at the time, I didn’t actually go up and check if it actually was her. My suspicions however were confirmed later that evening after I found the courage to message and check if it really was her.
I also had the pleasure of spotting the beautiful mind behind @_staymodest from a distance as well. It was her beautifully modestly draped hijab style reaching to her lower back, that caught my attention. Fangirl me, tried really hard not to freak out!
My nerves kicked in initially, unsure it was really her. However, since I’d met her once before in person, a surge of adrenaline took over. Due to the fact I hadn’t tried to overcome my shyness earlier that day, I pushed myself to go over and say Salam. I’m so glad I did because my gut feeling was correct! It also gave me the chance to thank her in person for sharing the reminder about the event in the first place! Neither of us knew we were going to cross paths that day, but it was such a wonderful blessing that we did.
One of the many reasons I wanted to share this story-time kind of post with you today, was to illustrate a few things in relation to time.
- When something is meant for you, it will never miss you no matter how sudden or impossible it may seem at first. My husband and I had no idea we were going to attend that event, miles away that day until, bang! It happened!!!
- It was also a beautiful reminder that we may plan but Allah (swt) ultimately is the Best of Planners.
- It’s okay to be shy at times. Your shyness isn’t a weakness, it’s an incredibly beautiful trait. If you’re unable to do things at times, instead of blaming qualities that you’ve been gifted with, remember, maybe it’s because it’s just not the right point in time to do it. Try to find reassurance in point number 1 if you forget.
I will try my best to share in a separate post some of the things I learnt from the speakers, my favourite parts and maybe even a few practical tips on how you can apply some of the things to your own lives. I’m sorry that there weren’t more photos uploaded from the event, I’m currently facing technical difficulties uploading them, so I’ll see if I can upload more some other time.
5 Things I Learnt For Future Road-trips + Large Events:
- Always keep your camera charged + ready! Clever me hadn’t had mine charged that day, and it did send me into a little panic prior to leaving, but Alhamdulilah (Praise Be To God) I managed to get it somewhat charged in time!
- Always pack chargers and battery packs! So you don’t need to stress about devices dying along the way. It can also be a life saver for other people as well, if you’re sitting next to someone who’s phone has just died, you may be the one to help bring it back to life!
- Always have a meeting point to fall back on in case anyone gets lost.
- Pack water bottles, snacks, chewing gum + wet wipes or tissues in your bag/pockets you never know when they’ll come in handy!
- Keep a prayer mat with you, for Salah (prayer) times, so you can easily pray wherever you find a quiet corner, without having to worry about finding a specific location that may even be overcrowded.
Side note: It’s taken me nearly a month to get this blog post up. I’ve been struggling with both writers block and with finding the motivation to write, due to having quite a hectic April which spilled into May . Whenever I managed to sit down however, one thing or another seemed to take priority over my writing, but Alhamdulilah (Praise be to God) I finally finished it!
Little bonus advise tip: no matter how far behind/overwhelmed you may feel about achieving something, try your best to be consistent and keep at it. Even if you feel like you’re making absolutely no progress. No progress, in my opinion, is not trying at all! In’Sha’Allah (If God Wills), eventually you’ll find a way to finish your task! If you can’t, always remember, there’s never any harm or shame in starting something fresh and new.
I’m sorry if this way a little too long to read, what did you guys think though? How have you all been? What have you been up to lately? I’d love to hear from you, and again, please feel free to follow me on either twitter / instagram to stay up to date + also to see what I’m up to, when I can’t blog as frequently.
Also, who’s excited for the fact Ramadan is only a week or so away? Crazy right?
I’m super duper ubbers of excited too ^-^
What are you looking forward to the most about the blessed month?
Until next time,
Take Care, Stay Hydrated + Keep Smiling (:
May peace and blessings be upon you ~