A New Beginning

I’ve been wearing my hijab for 15 years on my own will and it was my truth. But the last 2 years I’ve been feeling that I’m growing into a different version of myself that no longer can be represent with hijab. I tried everything to cope with my restlessness and at one point I know that I have to make a decision once again to be who I am.

When I finally took it off weeks ago, a friend asked me what changed me, I said this is how I always been for the past few years. I just finally dis-cover me.

At Nulis Buku Club
At Nulis Buku Club

Telling your mom you’re taking off your hijab felt the same like telling that you’re gay. It has the same volume. My mom still in big sadness and rejection over my decision and I’m respecting her by taking baby steps towards my truth. I understand her feelings, but I am my own person and I am responsible for my own happiness.

I find it liberating being able to choose moments when I want to wear headscarf and I’m thankful I live in a country that allows me to choose what I want to wear.

Girls in Tech Indonesia #WomenWin Awarding Night
Girls in Tech Indonesia #WomenWin Awarding Night

This is not an emotional decision, it’s been well thought of. I’m not a better or worse Muslim inside, I still wake up at 4.30am to pray, I still heavily quote Quran as my reference, I still learn and create good stuff every day, I still share my knowledge, and my number one goal is still to make the world a better place. I do what I did, now I just express myself differently.

Speaking at IBM Indonesia
Speaking at IBM Indonesia (photo by @yaldha23)
Rechoose yourself. Choose to be the person who you really are. Decide to love yourself unconditionally by giving yourself what you need.

I realized that the first basic human need is existence not food. That’s why we asked for WiFi connection even before we eat at a restaurant. Expressing one true self means existing greatly. Something unexpected happens when people start talking to me about how I inspire them to make a decision they have been delaying and become who they really are, it’s not even related to hijab and it’s never been about the hijab. It’s about expressing your personal values. Each and every single one of us has our own stage of understanding life and I respect that process as much as I need my process to be respected.

This is all new to me. The little things. The wind in my hair and how I should navigate this piece of me that I once ignore. But I am happier than I ever been. Thank you friends for your amazing love & support 💜



A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO & Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.