Whilst November is a writing festival month in University of Sheffield, I also have one regular day as an annual writing moment: yes on my birthday. It just forces me to have a long post at least once in a year. However I didn’t have that kind of post last year which I really don’t know why. Well, probably because last year I was having a birthday in a pandemic or maybe just because I was quite busy preparing for my departure to my new home. Yes, I am here now in the UK (again), in Sheffield, my new home for almost a year. Living in a totally different world than my last couple years.

Long story short, I am currently working on my research to pursue a PhD. Hell yeah, am I crazy enough to consciously choose this path of life? Yes, I might said. I would never imagine that I am gonna be here to study again. Maybe some people said that I am so in love with study, education, or research. The answer is no. Sorry, I was not really that kind of academic person who loves science or whatever it is. I was an ordinary girl in class who never thought that she would have this kind of academic journey. It is true that she was a high achiever back then, but still she was not the top-notch student. She was probably not the one who be recognised by the lecturer. I know she was not that bad in grade, but still she spent a lot of time doing social activities, voluntary works, and many kind of sports. So probably she was not the only one who be surprised by the decision, a lot of her friends also were amazed seeing her current unpredictable journey.

Another unpredictable decision is the UK itself. As many of you probably know that I studied my master in Warwick. Based on those experience, I decided to find another country to live if I get a chance to pursue another degree. Not that I didn’t like UK, I really loved it to be honest, but still I was craving for something new, well especially in Schengen area. Yes, I was longing to travel easily to other countries over the weekend, by bus or train. Hence, I did a lot of search for any PhD vacancy in Europe. I was really digging and die trying to get one, but viola I got this offer in DoSSIER project. Wait what? It is based in the UK, the country that definitely is not on my dream list to pursue a PhD. However, this project offered me a lot of things I could not resist. Well, they provided the employment based PhD in human-computer interaction (which I am in love with!) along with three secondment in several European countries. I really did buy all of those things. Then the story began, I decided to take a leap and go to UK.

Well here I am now, blessed and happy enjoying my sweet birthday with my loved ones. One important lesson from my last year’s journey is that you are free to wish, to dream, to imagine anything that you want, but remember that Allah knows what you need better than anyone.

And Allah is The Best Planner, so do believe that the best things would come at the right time. All you need is to do your best effort, then you’ll get the reward after all.

For many years to come, many journeys to embrace, InshaAllah. Just never stop believing.

Sheffield, 19 November 2021