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When we were young and growing up, experiencing life and learning to trust no one (or was that just me?) we would be in friendships that would end with “you’ve changed.” Back then, more often than not i’d be a little heartbroken but most of all confused. I didn’t think I’d changed, I didn’t want to change. I wanted to be myself. As I grew older, I started to realise that change was good. Change is growth. Growth is learning, getting better, improving, becoming yourself.

I’ve been doing some soul searching. Some really deep, break everything down to its core, soul searching. The past few months I’ve been in a bit of a rut. Not a creative block, no. More like just being unsure of where I am and where I am going. I had to ask myself some tough questions and came to some eye opening realisations. I wanted to rebrand NAYMA, change the name, change everything. When I started NAYMA, I was in a totally different place in my life than where I am now.
I was still at university, getting through one day at a time and hating every single minute of it. I did not enjoy university at all. I love learning. I hate assessments, exams and group work. I was the friend who would encourage everyone to skip class and go shopping/grab lunch/go to the lolly shop/insert every other thing you could do instead of going to class. I am not proud of being that friend, and I sincerely apologise to all my friends that I encouraged to skip classes. I used to say that university was a complete waste of my time and I regret having spent 6 years there (yep, 6, ya Rabb).

F and I got married while we were still completing our final years of studying. We lived with his parents and it was a hugeeee adjustment period for me. Alhamdulilah my in laws are pretty awesome and we had a separate living space but it was still difficult to adjust to a new family that does things completely different to what you were used to. I’d come home from university and would often procrastinate doing my assessments/studying by being on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat etc but then one day, lettering overtook all those other forms of procrastination. It was my solace. My peace. What I did to destress.

After thinking about where I was, I came to two pretty hard core realisations:

  1. I met F at university, so how can I say that it was a waste of time? How can I regret it? If I didn’t go to university would I have met my soulmate? (yep, going full cheesy on you guys but he really is my soulmate)

  2. The work that I produced when I first started NAYMA reflected the emotions I was going through. I wasn’t happy. I was stressed. I was trying to fit in with my new family. I missed my family, my room, my mum’s house in general and not having to cook and clean. My work reflected my state of mind i.e. lots of black and very dull photos.

    My life is very different now. I actually graduated university, something I don’t think myself or my parents ever thought would happen lol! F and I are living in a new city, by ourselves. Which comes with its own hardships but overall I am happier. I am appreciating life more. I am able to look back at all that I have been through and actually be grateful for everything.

    You know those “aha!” moments when you can look back on something and you suddenly realise why it happened. When you see Allah’s plan had fallen into place and you can’t help but be like “THANK YOU ALLAH YOU ARE AMAZING AND MY PLANS DEFINITELY SUCK COMPARED TO YOURS”. I’ve had far too many to count recently, and I am ever so grateful. I think I can say I now see the world in colour. I mean, i’m even wearing colour these days, which guys, is a super big deal for me.

    So, here I am, looking into the future now. My thoughts of rebranding NAYMA have vanished (but I will be changing/creating a new logo because it’s about time I have one). NAYMA has changed, it’s grown and it is becoming the brand. It is a personal brand, one that reflects me, my mood, my life experiences. It’s also a brand that strongly reflects my religion. A religion that has made me who I am. That has allowed me to grow, change and appreciate everything that happens in this life. It is the religion that inspires me, ignites my passion, teaches and guides me in everything I do.

    I realise now I’ve been in this rut because I was lacking the confidence to put it out there that I have changed. That NAYMA has changed. Some of you are going to be like “ugh you’ve changed, you can’t sit with us anymore” and that’s okay. My work isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and I finally have the confidence to accept that and be okay with it.

    Here’s to change. To believing in ourselves. To growth. To becoming better. To learning. To appreciating. To practicing sincere gratitude. To being ourselves. To being confident. To being who and what we want to be. To not worrying about what others think or say about us. To trusting Allah.

    To the future of NAYMA, which will no doubt change as I do. Thank you to all of you that are following my journey, purchasing my artwork and believing in me, I sincerely pray that The Almighty rewards you with goodness in this life and the next and that my work is of benefit to you, that it reminds you of Your Lord and brings you closer to Him. I pray that together we help each other enter The Gardens of Firdaus.


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