26 November 2012

A Story of Defeats

I joined two writing competition in the past 3 months. I wrote about my research for both events, tried to introduce it to more people. The first one was an international essay competition about sustainable energy, in which I offered the hydrogen production method I currently studied, as one of possible solution for the presently established yet unsustainable energy system. I wrote the essay carefully, I proofread it several times, I was quite satisfied with my writing though I realize there was a lack in the closing part. I counted the days left to the announcement impatiently, pretty much sure my piece was a decent one even for such a big competition. Turned out I didn't even make it to be one of the finalists. 

The second one was just last week, it was an innovation proposal competition. The deadline was only about a week from the event's announcement. My effort for this piece was not as much as for the first one, but still I found my work quite satisfying. Story of the proposal was neat and logic, the elaboration of my idea was understandable, my proposal was all ready and set to submit. I informed my husband about this, as innovation competition was usually his thing. Somehow it turns out that his first reaction was not excited at all. Just after I showed him my already-submitted proposal, he quickly changed his mind. He prepared his writing in just a day, and asked me to proofread and edit it rightaway. His proposals was also then submitted. 
Again, I waited for the announcement excitedly. Again, I was pretty sure my work would meet the jury's requirement. A bit too much confident I must say, that I needed to calm myself down; reminding myself that nothing could happen unless He permitted. Laa haula wa laa quwwataa illa billah, I repeatedly said to myself. 
The result was finally announced, and once again I was defeated. This time by my very own husband, whose work I proofread and edited. He himself seemed to be surprised by the result. He was out of town when he first mailed by the jury, informing his winning. He then forwarded the e-mail to me, adding his surprise and said "Laa haula wa laa quwwata illaa billah". I felt happy and annoyed at the same time. It was a slap on the face. 
It felt like He is showing to me, things are only happended with His will. Leave alone your confidence and satisfaction; it was nothing without His will. It was a hard lesson, I got to admit, took me sometimes to chew. Even up to now I still deal with the bitter taste, I must say. 

Yet I learned a lot anyway, from these defeats. It reminded me to keep my feet on the ground at anytime, to never never ever have a thought or feeling better than anyone, to never never never ever feel enough of learning. And what actually did I chase? Was it His please in the first place? Renewal of niat (intention) everytime, on everything I did -including writing this note-, is crucial. Very crucial. 
On the other side, I finally come to comprehend that my research -which I (finally) carry out wholeheartedly-, is far away from mature. I believe I could offer something useful with this. But in this stage, it is not something chewable for the major society. Unlike my husband's research for instance, in which with his expertise on GIS, he offer to give spatial understanding for people living in disaster-vulnerable area. A "geo-literacy concept", he named it; a practical solution that anyone could comprehend. If I seriously want to bring my research into establishment, I got to find the right place and community. I got to start to consider what to do after graduation more seriously. 

Thank you Allah, for giving me these lessons. It tasted bitter, but I believe You always offer sweetness in the end, for those who are willing to learn. I pray I could be one of those with the eagerness to learn and earn hikmah (understanding). 
Aa, please please pardon my weird behavior this last couple of days. It was me trying to swallow my own foolishness XD. I'm a proud wife anyway, now go show your ideas to wider audience! I always know more people should recognize it, you had so many things on your head to share. May each step of yours is always under Allah's guidance. I love you :)

No comments: