Abdullah’s Story

 Abdullah was apart of the Actually, I Can campaign where he overcame his self-doubt and shared how he has learned to believe in himself and his self-worth. He expresses how everyone needs to embrace all life has to offer and to never compromise your dreams.

To my younger self,

I write this letter to you as your 24 year old self. You come from a normal middle-class family and you will experience a lot of failures in life. However, repeated failure will teach you to stop pretending that you are someone else and will give you the clarity to stick to the things that really matter to you.

When I peer into the looking glass that illuminates you I see a shy, quiet boy who is critically afraid of failure and rejections holding you back in all aspects of life, like an anchor holds a ship in stagnant water. That was 2005 – fast forward to 2017, when things started to fall in place. You are now living a fearless, successful life and wake up every morning with a sheer amount of energy and the will to take on the day.  

I want you to take a backpack, grab a few friends and travel,  even if it is only a few miles from home. Go from city to city, town to town, meet people, spend time learning how to deal with people and situations. That will teach you everything you need to know to buffer the experience of your failures. It will teach you to be pragmatic and will give you the recognition and belief that if one approach doesn’t work, then the other will or might!

The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Jolanta Opiola;Abdullah Ayub
The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Jolanta Opiola;Abdullah Ayub

Nothing is going to come easy and you have to be brave, patient and have faith in yourself. Though it sounds pompous, never be afraid to brag about yourself as being the “best”, because if you don’t sincerely believe in that then no one else will. Life is difficult, complicated, unfair, beyond your control and things don’t always work according to a plan – instead, have a passion and pursue it.

Focus on what you are doing so that nothing else in the world can distract you. Turn your focus into your strength and give it all you got even to the minuscule chores.  This will not only make you work in the right direction but will help you make the right decisions too. As much as I want you to focus, I want you to know that it’s okay to be confused in life because confusion is the route to all the clarity in the world.  

The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Jolanta Opiola;Abdullah Ayub
The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Jolanta Opiola;Abdullah Ayub

Don’t be sad with rejections, take them as fantastic learning lessons to build resilience from. Remember, you don’t have to make everyone around you happy, but what’s important is to be happy with yourself. Figure out what makes you happy and go do it!

“Get a job, leave a job, make friends, have fights, dance, sing, fall in love, rise in life – simply carve your own niche!”

Compromising is an imperative aspect of life, compromise anything but your dreams. You will get tested at your worst but you must live life on your terms, knowing when and what to compromise is the key.

Throw all negative thoughts and people out of your life, embrace the world and love everything around you. Love the birds, animals, oceans, deserts, grasslands and mountains. Embrace all that life has in store for you and while you are embracing everything else, take time to embrace yourself too! Fill in that bag of life with positivity, courage, friends and family.

The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Jolanta Opiola;Abdullah Ayub

Although things will ease out as you grow, never get comfortable with life – always learn to push your own buttons. Do not define success by a checklist of acquisitions and earning figures, rather let it be a space that cannot be defined or confined by numbers. You must inspire yourself because everyone else is busy.

Most importantly, live as hearty as you are in this very moment. Live now. Live today. Say YES to the universe!

See you in the future,

Abdullah