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Hello, this is me!

Nur Imroatun Sholihat

Your friend in learning IT audit Digital transformation advocate a-pat-on-your-shoulder storyteller

About me

Hello

I'mNur Imroatun Sholihat

IT Auditor and Storyteller

So I heard you are curious about IT and/or auditing. I'm your go-to buddy in this exciting journey. My typical professional life consists of performing (and studying!) IT audit and managing the award-winning magazine, Auditoria. Armed with a Master of Commerce in Digital Transformation from UNSW Sydney, I'm currently wearing multiple hats—ambassador at IIA Indonesia's Young Leader Community, mentor at ISACA Global, Head of Public Relations at MoF-Cybersecurity Community, and trainer at IIA Indonesia. You'll also find me sharing insights on my YouTube channel, speaking at seminars, and crafting content on LinkedIn. Let's connect and dive into the world of IT and auditing together!

Blog

Life is Slipping Through Me

Have you ever noticed when you’re tired, your fingers don’t grip things as tightly as they should? That things slip through them more often than you wish? I feel as though I am those fingers and life is slipping through me.” - Kelsey Danielle, Life and Other Things.

 

For the past 30 days, I've been battling a relentless headache and occasional nausea. This isn’t just a minor discomfort; it’s a constant, throbbing reminder that I’m not okay. Waking up each morning, I find myself already exhausted, worried, and feel uneasy. When I moved or walked, I noticed that I was somehow not adequately stable. This persistent pain and anxiety have seeped into every aspect of my life, making even breathing feel heavy.

 

It coincidentally happened when I was emotionally worn out. It added a chunk of sadness to my already sorrowful self. Now, it’s as if my heart is carrying an invisible huge burden that I can’t quite shake off. I've cried many times, even when I told myself that I was strong enough for this. There were moments where I said, “If I should be honest, I feel like it’s beyond my ability.” No matter how hard I tried to stay positive and grateful, this time I miserably failed. I simply couldn’t be collected enough for this.

 

The last time I felt this emotionally drained was six years ago when I was diagnosed with mild scoliosis.

 

Work, which used to be a source of fulfillment, now feels like an uphill battle. I’ve struggled to perform properly, and the guilt of letting my colleagues down weighs heavily on me. The pressure to meet expectations, both theirs and my own, is overwhelming. If I tell them, they would be understanding and supportive, but I can’t help but feel that I shouldn’t be a nuisance.

 

There were constant questions that played on repeat in my mind: How do I handle everything when it feels beyond my capacity? To whom should I rely? After all, I am just an ordinary person who needs consolation and help at times. I’ve always pulled myself to be strong and resilient (well, I don't have any other choice), but these days, that strength betrayed me. Most of the time, I am okay with facing everything by myself, but in this case, I was afraid to face it alone. This time around, my world crumbled down as I tried to keep everything intact by myself.

 

I feel like I have been abandoned. That life abandoned me and left me alone suffering. I wished I was stronger and braver. But truthfully, nobody is entirely strong and brave in facing life, I guess.

 

I'm typing this in the Jakarta Islamic Hospital while accumulating all the bravery left to face the reality I've avoided. Out of nowhere, I found renewed courage and calmness. A sudden profound sense of peace washes over me while tears stream down. I feel that as long as Allah is with me, I can be at peace. It’s the biggest comfort to realize that it’s okay even if nobody's around, I can always rely on Allah.

 

I walk through the hall while whispering to myself, “No, Iim, life isn’t slipping through you.”. In that quiet moment, I've come to realize that life could feel overwhelming at times. We are human, and it's natural to have moments of struggle. I remind myself that I am not alone in this journey. Allah is always with me, patting my shoulders and saying this isn't beyond what my soul can bear.

 

Allah didn’t abandon me, neither did He hate me (inspired by QS 93:3). His beautiful fate isn't slipping through my fingers. I will hold that belief with me tightly.  

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(I haven’t been able to respond to comments, DMs, and emails due to my condition. Thank you for your understanding and patience.)

image source: Sandy Torchon via Pexels

Even Simply Brushing Clothes with Someone Is Fate

There is a word in Korean, ‘in-yeon’. It means providence or fate… It’s an ‘in-yeon’ even if two strangers walk by each other in the street and their clothes accidentally brush,” – Past Lives (2023)

 

Recently, there were moments when my mind occasionally wondered about where fate would bring me. Then fatefully, I stumbled upon a movie that eloquently talks about fate namely “Past Lives”, written and directed by the talented Celine Song. In Korean, there exists an expression for providence particularly regarding human connection: “in-yeon”. The narration of the Korean proverb 옷깃만 스쳐도 인연 (“even simply brushing clothes with someone is fate") made me pause the movie and think deeper. It suggests that a seemingly insignificant encounter with someone on the street, when the edges of our clothes brush, is fate. That the presumably minuscule scenes in our lives carry within them the destiny.  And for 2 individuals to eventually marry each other, they have 8.000 layers of in-yeon between them. 

 

In Islam, we're taught of qadar (divine decree), where even the fall of every single leaf is governed by Allah’s will.

 

I can write a long essay on how beautiful the movie is—the storyline, cinematography, dialogues, performances, and everything. However, I am here today to specifically talk about my thoughts about fate after watching the award-winning movie. This isn't the first time the concept of “fate” in Korean culture has been discussed and caught my attention. In Reply 1997, the series also delves into its role in human relationships.

 

Some people believe they are born with an invisible red string tied around their little finger… The string is tied to a person they’re destined to be with. However, it’s hard to find out who is the person at the other end.” – Reply 1997


In Islam, too, we find the notion of predestined connections between individuals. It is said that who we will end up with was inscribed 50.000 years before the earth was created. 


So, my heart should be at ease, right?

 

Despite the comforting embrace of destiny, an unsettling unease grips my heart. Even within this framework of destiny, where I should find solace, there remains an element of uncertainty I couldn’t help but be worried about. Sometimes I sensed that my paths are not predetermined in their entirety, but rather shaped by the choices I make and the people I encounter along the way. It whispers to me that while fate may guide us, we are, to some degree, the authors of our own stories. 


Hence, I fear I may have avoided a fate that will eventually bring goodness.

 

What if, in my haste, I've overlooked the subtle signs that guide me toward him? What if that someone has crossed paths with me but I barely register? What if he slipped by, unnoticed? 

 

What if, in my hesitation, I forfeit the chance for a love?

 

What if my destined other half is forever beyond my reach?

 

I am haunted by the possibility of missed connections, of souls meant to intertwine and then destined to remain forever apart instead. 

 

But also I am afraid that I will give up too early.

 

Thus, I couldn’t help but think about it over and over while grappling with my own destinies. If there is someone on this earth who is destined for me, why does it feel so impossible to find him? Should I just give up on the idea that somewhere someone is also looking for me? Borrowing Past Lives' analogy: Is there someone out there who shares 8.000 layers of in-yeon with me? Truly, as mused in Reply 1997: If the red string of fate really exists, where will mine end?”.

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image source: Henry & Co. via Pexels

Jannabi and Lessons of Storytelling (Part 1): The “Landmark”

source: Hyundai

Journalist: “Everyone’s talking about the driveway to the past. To when do you want to go back to if you could visit?”  

Choi Jung Hoon: “Hmmm. The moment I decided to become a singer?  My mom always had her compilation album in her car and listening to it…”

Recently, I stumbled upon a captivating collaboration project between Hyundai and Jannabi titled “Pony”. It's not often that an advertisement captures my attention so thoroughly. This particular ad isn't just something to skip through—it's one I find myself happily watching again and again. Among the many factors contributing to its standout appeal, storytelling undoubtedly takes the spotlight.

Have you heard that storytelling is the future of advertising? In this instance, Hyundai borrowed Jannabi’s profound storytelling skills in a package with the story itself.


Jannabi, a South Korean indie band, has gained widespread acclaim for their exceptional lyricism, nostalgic melodies, and musical finesse. Their raw authenticity has endeared them to audiences across generations, propelling them to commercial success that surpasses typical indie boundaries. They became a prominent name, headlined big festivals, topped music charts, won awards, and appeared on major TV programs --all while keeping full control over their artistry. Becoming an independent artist while gaining mainstream recognition, don't you think it is too good to be true?


No wonder, people were curious about the secret behind Jannabi’s triumph in getting the best of both worlds. Frontman Choi Jung Hoon credited his mother's influence for inspiring his career path as a singer-songwriter. Her enthusiasm for music shared through car rides with him, introduced him to influential musicians and shaped his artistic ideals. This piece of story clicked with the fact that Jannabi’s songs sound like “the music you heard in your parents’ car”. It makes all sense that the band’s tunes always feel warm, nostalgic, and unique yet somehow familiar (and humans love familiarity). Walking on top of Jannabi’s noteworthy popularity, it instantly became a well-known story among South Koreans.


Hyundai, recognizing the potency of this narrative, seized the opportunity to advertise in a unique way. They collaborated with Jung Hoon to create a song inspired by his memories of listening to his mom’s favorite tunes in her Hyundai car. The video beautifully depicted him being transported to 1975 in a classic Hyundai retracing her youthful passion for music, closing it with a seamless transition to the present-day Hyundai model he drives. It's a subtle yet powerful message highlighting Hyundai's enduring presence across generations. They implied that the manufacturer has served South Koreans for generations without even saying anything about it in the video.


Through Jannabi's vivid storytelling and heartfelt expressions, listeners find themselves drawn into narratives that resonate on a deeply personal level. The song tapped into shared experiences and emotions of sitting as a passenger in their parents’ cars. The lyrics allowed listeners to empathize with the joy of youth, passion for something, and the dear memories of their parents. This is why storytelling will always win against any advertising methods. It evokes emotions that resonate with audiences, encouraging the listeners to reflect on their own experiences and relationships.

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Heath and Starr in their book “Making Numbers Count” called it a “landmark”--where we leverage existing well-known information to create our narratives. As people already knew this “landmark”, it would be easier to take people on the journey. In this case, as the story of how Jung Hoon’s mom shaped her son's career was popular among the people, it served as the landmark that brought people into the narratives Hyundai wanted to create. This is a powerful move that I, as a storytelling enthusiast, must applaud.


In a world packed with advertisements competing for our attention, only the ones that touch our hearts and souls endure. Hyundai has leveraged Jung Hoon's stories about his passion for music and his bond with his mom which are potentially the collective stories of many people. The story belonged to many people and as an implication, it created an "unconscious" sense of belonging to Hyundai.


To conclude, the shift from product-centric advertising to narrative-driven storytelling has fundamentally changed the way brands connect with consumers. Because at the end of the day, stories are the things we remember, cherish, and share the most. They will stay forever with us. I meant, you still remember the fable or fairytale you heard as a kid, right? Those stories will forever etched in our minds, even without us trying. Those are the "landmarks" we all dearly keep in our hearts.


The "I Want to Touch People's Souls Like Jannabi's Songs", 

iim

Woman My Age Shouldn’t Have Cried Because of SQL

  

If a woman my age cries, one can predict several possible reasons behind it but structured query language (SQL) is probably unthinkable.


Dear my teenage self, we hit a roadblock again. Our current job demanded proficiency in SQL, a language founded on the principles of logic. Don’t you remember how much you struggled with logic? During high school, you were so afraid of attending classes in logical subjects. You were so fixated on the thought that you weren’t built for logic, proven by your low marks on almost every assignment and test. Mathematics and physics seemed to dance just beyond your reach, leaving you feeling inadequate and frustrated. I can still taste the bitterness of embarrassment from those days when your math teacher distributed the results and said “Take the remedial test next week” to you.


Fast forward, the present you should learn SQL’s lines of code. I hid my confusion and fear as I confronted the daunting task. Try as I might, there were moments I couldn't wrap my head around the SQL queries. I felt so out of place again—feeling small as a familiar ache in my chest resurfacing. I once again realized that this journey would be far from easy as every function felt like a tangled web. Witnessing my friends study much faster than me, one even jokingly teased my turtle pace, I couldn’t stop tears from streaming down. It gave me all the years of “smart people are the ones proficient in math” where I don’t belong there.


As tears flowed down, I realized that the emotions weren't just about SQL anymore. It was about the years of feeling inadequate--the years of constant embarrassment coming from red marks in logical subjects. It was about the countless times I'd struggled to prove myself in a world that seemingly revolves around numbers and logic. It was about the weight of expectations and the fear of failure that threatened to consume me.


And guess what? Just like you back then, I allowed myself to feel the frustration and embarrassment again. I will face everything with my shaken bravery. I may not have been born with an innate understanding of logic, but I refuse to let that define me. For years, even when I was the weakest one in the room, I knew that persistence ran through my veins. I will walk slower than anyone, fail, be frustrated, and cry again many times but it’s okay.


Until then, let's keep pushing forward, one query at a time.


The “I might be the weakest but I can learn”,

Your present self

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image credit:  Zeeshaan Shabbir via pexels.com

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