Friday, December 16, 2016

How has your year been?

I'm 20 but I still believe in the whole novelty of a new year - as if a change of date on the calendar means anything significant. I still believe that entering a new year means we bid goodbye to the past year and everything that comes with it - the sweet memories, the bitter heartaches, the successes, the failures, the gains and the losses. But deep down we all know that's untrue. No matter how bad your year has been, a new year won't erase the awful year from your life. Whatever happened or didn't happen to you will contribute to defining your life and ultimately defining you.

The point where I started to try to understand the concept of time was back in 2013, a year when I started to see 'time' in people and 'time' in places. When I would reset my goals and my outlook at the beginning of every year, lose hope in the middle and try to make the most of what is left of the year towards the end. I feel like this is how adults, *young* adults, for a majority of their teenhood live their years. Until some of us get overwhelmed by life and just start to see days as Monday-Sunday, and not milestones and markings with grand chapters. 

Skip to a year later, 2014, potentially my first encounter with depression. I say potentially because I understood more about what depression is and what it feels like - and boy, did I identify with it. It was not severe but living did seem optional to me and I would always settle and not expect happiness from most things, cause I thought happiness didn't happen for people like me. Sad, I know. But through this I learned to feel disgusted at how poorly I treated myself and how unkind I was to my body and soul. How I treated myself then affected how I treated other people. I wasn't the most open or supportive or helpful or kind or REAL person to be around. I tend to fake who I was to fit in or compromise my standards and values making it a phase in my life of undetected confusion; I was confused, but I was oblivious to my own confusion. Makes sense... the blind getting confused. 

I was confused long enough to not even have words to explain to myself, let alone anyone, what was up with me. Dont get me wrong, I talked. About these things. To my friends. A lot. But they were just words that even I wasn't sure was right. Like, I could be talking about a boy who really made me feel worthless to my friends and make it sound so humorous, as if I was hurt-proof. I could be talking about the night I downed 13 panadols in my room while my maid just sat by and watched like it was some stand up comedy. I was talking because I obviously needed help, because I was obviously reaching out, but silly little me, I thought making fun of dark moments of my life solves it all. (It does sometimes, but... yeah sometimes you just got to know when's the right time) 

The following year, 2015, is a phase in my life I recognize as 'sunrise'. The year that 'things got better, for the better'. Let's see... what happened in 2015? 

Well, I finished my International Baccaleaurate (IB) Diploma Program which used to cause so much stress in my life. Making it to the finishing line, with no permanent bruises, was a big weight off my chest (at the time). I was also excited to leave highschool because, truth be told, a need for a fresh start was imminent. Having that opportunity closer to me that it ever was, was a highlight. To celebrate graduating from highschool, my friends and I went on a gradtrip to a Koh Samui (an Island in Thailand) and it was one of the sweeter memories from highschool, I would say. I also moved back to my homeland, Malaysia. After spending 4 years in Thailand, in which, may I add, a place where I 'grew up' - In the sense where I learned some 'life lessons' (lol), who I was (or rather, who I wasn't) etc. Going back to my homeland, after those 4 years, seemed like the right thing to do at the right time. Then, the most exciting part... University!!! What's a better fresh start than entering uni in a place where no one knows you, am I right? 

Uni in a nutshell, has been... hell. But there's no other place I'd imagine myself to be in. 

Uni's type of hell is an unorthodox type of hell. Sufferings still do happen, but the suffering in uni's hell is the kind that couples up with... 'joy and relief'. 

Here, I met so many incredible people, whom have in turn, made me a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better student and overall a better person. I am probably not doing these people enough justice with my explanation but all I can say is, my everyday was filled with laughter and positivity. Uni, Monash especially, makes it difficult for you to feel positive. I'm serious. I'm not speaking for myself. Without my friends in uni, I don't even think I could have made it this far... and still sane! And still loving life and wanting more. 

Fast forward to a time we all find most relevant; now. 2016. 

This year has been a real roller coaster ride. Like the ones with the high peaks and low dips; I achieved things I was always so afraid to do because I thought I wasn't good enough, discovered strengths that used to be my weakness, overcame challenges I would usually have given up on, curled up into a ball at nights trying to cope with the pain in my chest, looked in the mirror some days and hated what I saw, looked in the mirror some days and fell in love with what I saw and the list of peaks and dips go on and on and on... 

I'm grateful that I am able to feel sad to leave 2016 behind but at the same feel excited for the upcoming year. 

I'm grateful. That I made it through it all.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wear and tear

This complex world that we live in,
our essence are assigned to a spectrum,
there's the extroverted, there's the introverted
they become different people along the way,
but they are always reverted

Never leave the house without momma,
or else the bad guys will getcha,
never trust a man except your poppa,
because all men are bad, he told ya.

Their body lived under one same roof,
their minds lived in a big digital spoof,
these precious minds we fooled into believing,
what's behind the screen is reality livin',
but the screen's reality is multifaceted boo,
so which reality are you gonna do?

now you're in your 20s, soul searchin',
you were so many things,
and now you are reduced but refined
empty but plenty
lost but found

the personalities that you have worn all this while,
is like a cheap pair of shoes
you buy em because you think they look good on you,
you buy em cheap because you're not equipped or ready for a big investment,
but they don't last long, do they?
after a while, it loses its shine and you stop wearing them to dine,
then it's left to rust in the corners of your vast cheap shoe cupboard

but you can't buy who you are, but you can give it value

don't try to be everybody,
start with being a body,
a full, capable body,
love it, invest in it, commit to it,
that's what makes a good long lasting shoe,
not a wear and tear



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Define your passion.

They say wisdom begins when you start defining terms. I realize that I have a million things on my mind and I mildly address each issue, like spreading butter on bread, that I don’t get anything resolved. At the core of my emotional distress and mental let down, I believe that there is a knot to be untangled. And for that to happen, I have to work meticulously, thread by thread, with patience and commitment to get that simple, straight, usable thread. By thread I mean state of mind. So, let’s start with what life, at least my life, revolves around  - passion and career. I watched movies of people trying to find themselves and find their passion and as a kid, never have I once asked myself, “What is MY passion and who am I, really?” As I grew up, I realized that to get through life, you have to find your strength and know them like the back of your hand. Your strength is the only super power you have, and we all need superpowers, it’s an essential necessity. Hence, I begin to embark and disembark on a journey of self-discovery, persistently yet not consistently trying to discover my passion and ultimately myself. My passion changes often, due to who I surround myself with, the type of circumstances I’m under, the predicament I’m facing – it has never been one solid thing that I put my heart and soul into pursuing it. But I think I am slowly coming to terms with it. I have glimpses of it here and there and I need to pen it out, so I can focus my thoughts and my action into defining my passion, loud and clear for me.
So, whenever I day dream about my ideal life, I would always picture myself dominating the cigarette industry, but with a beneficial twist. I envisioned myself carrying out intensive research and experiment to design and innovate cigarettes that are medicinal and good for you. I know medicinal cigarettes already exist but alongside that, I also wanted to create cigarettes that can be used by commonfolk as a serious competitor and substitute for the mainstream cigarettes that we have at present day. With my lack of knowledge in the science of these “healthy” cigarettes, I daydreamed about what the benefits could be and how it would look like. It would have a variety of designs, from the classic black and gold, to white and silver, to funky pink and white. They would have flavors and they would have herbs that are good for the body. This dream of mine isn’t baseless dreaming, it emerged from a personal reason, that reason being my grandfather suffering from lung cancer because of it and my brother having burdensome health issues that affected his life, because of it. Besides cigarettes, I have always dreamt of either working for a big cosmetic franchise like body shop or owning my own, that provides all types of beauty cares that not only addresses the environmental and health concerns that present day cosmetics brings, but also target the muslim women market segment. What I had in mind were, obviously, the already existing halal nailpolish, wudhu –friendly eye make up and so on and so forth. Obviously for now, this is all talk and talk only. I am still open for alterations to my dream but for years now, I have always daydreamed about achieving those goals. They are specific, and maybe too dreamy for a 19 year old who hasn’t even started her degree, but every passion starts with a dream, no matter how unrealistic it is. I’ll get there, insyaAllah.
On the other hand, something more realistic is my sheer joy in helping people. Especially the needy. I guess I owe my deep craving to help the less fortunate to the Islamic teachings that I have received from my parents. Having lived in Thailand for 4 years, I have seen my fair share of poverty, hunger and misfortunes and it’s enough to plant this perpetual desire to end what I am seeing. Hunger is such a horrible feeling, I get reminded of how dire it can get especially during Ramadan. But, Ramadan is essentially done out of choice – it saddens me that some people literally have no choice but to suffer every second of hunger. I’ve always wanted to create a home for these homeless people, where they can contribute to the society and harvest returns from their productive efforts, and those returns can help them create a living for them and their family. I am probably oversimplifying this but I have always had a soft spot for the homeless. Another soft spot I have is for the orphans. I would love to be able provide them with complete education and a chance for them to reach their maximum potential. I cannot imagine living a life without my parents, especially after they have raised me for so long. It’s honestly a life that I don’t even have the heart to imagine. Counseling and using psychology to help people is similar to what I said above and is a job I can imagine myself loving and enjoying. And excelling, to be honest.
Last but not least, this is probably the biggest and most baseless dream I have, that is to be a part of some kind of genetic engineering. Haven’t figured out what I’d like to alter and experiment with tho but it is honestly one of the coolest thing science can do, in my opinion.
So yes, those are the generic things I’d like to achieve and what I like now, such as reading, psychology, charity and what I am pursuing in university, chemical engineering, will hopefully somehow allow things to fall in their respective and right place.






Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm writing about what's written

You know, there are so many things that have happened in the past few months that went off the track that I planned. Last year was a tough year for me but I took it as a learning experience that will prepare and strengthen me for what 2015 had in store for me. I was excited and hopeful with 2015. I was excited to move on from the two year long, torturous IB Diploma course that I was enduring for so long, I was excited to go on adventures to rediscover the beauty in the world that I once saw at one glance, I was hopeful to meet people who would just walk into my life and fill in the gaps that has been missing for god knows how long, I was hopeful to meet someone that could make me feel a deep connection so sacred, intimate and private - something I haven't felt in a long time. But my life took a turn. It took a turn into a path that I didn't expect, a path that I deep down feel I deserve better, a path that just once again, hints at me that, I have done something awfully wrong in my past life to be punished like this.

"Punishment? It's not that bad"

You're right. It's not horrible at all. My problems take the form of quantity, not quality. They may not be massive and disastrous but they sure stick around for as long as I can remember. No matter how hard I try to get out of this cruel cycle that I feel I am fated to be in, some odd circumstances will knock me back into this entrapping cycle. Man, pain takes a myriad of forms. It could be a broken arm, a broken heart, a broken mind. A broken dream. Something's broken in this life of mine. I'm stupid enough to try to patch it up together. But when all you have is glue and tape, things are bound to break.

The fact that things are temporary used to scare me. Now I take comfort in that - in the fact that all my worries, sorrows, setbacks, tears - they will all just fade away into the quantum realm where you, I, we are irrelevant.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Regret and redemption.

When people deem themselves as fair and impartial, I become a bit cynical to the claim because I've learnt that as humans, it's impossible for us to be fair and impartial. We all have our needs and desires, we all have ego and no matter how pious we are, we are all born with ignorance and with ignorance, arrogance surfaces. 
Whenever we get into an argument or a misunderstanding with someone, the spotlight in our head immediately dims anything that will prove us wrong and shine bright on the things that prove us right, no matter how small it is. It's so easy to feel like we're in the right because no one wants to be at fault, no one wants to realize that they've made a mistake - everyone wants to believe what they want to believe. Isn't delusion such a comfortable yet dangerous thing?
And the saddest part is that we are not evil people. We're just dumb and delusional and a little bit vulnerable and scared. So that when our conscience finally catches up, we are left with regret. However, I must say, regrets are good most of the time. The bitterness allows them to serve as a lesson and a reminder that people tend to use it as a stopper from repeating the same mistakes. At the same time, regret only follows guilt so when guilt surfaces a bit too late, regret just becomes dead weight - It's a burden and it's suffocating but you can't do anything but live with it. 
Obviously I wrote this coming from a place of regret but thankfully I was lucky enough to get that redemption and all I can hope now is that my stupidity and ego won't win again and allow history to repeat.

So my unqualified advice to ya'all is that, if you care enough about something or someone, no matter how right you feel, just apologize. Say your peace but by the end of it, express your apology. Not for what you did but for putting the relationship, something you really care about, in jeopardy.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Reflect.

It's easy to forget about the great things in life, when there are things shadowing like a dark mist over those great memories. Life's stupid and unfair that way, I think. We're more likely to pay more attention to negatives and overlook the overwhelming positives that's right under our nose. It's unnatural for people to laugh over the same joke but it's completely human to cry over the same thing over and over again.

I baffle myself sometimes, how in one second, I can be the happiest person alive and all it takes is one grain of negativity and my mood just plummets. I wish I had a more grateful and thankful nature, I know for a fact there are so many things in my life and around me that a lot of people would like to have and I know that I am luckier than most but I still refuse to train myself to love these things because loving is hard. Hating is the easiest thing one can do, it's love that takes work.

But the end of my teen hood is approaching and the fact that I am rushing through it and being weak about handling my obstacles, that just doesn't sound like the best way to bid goodbye to my teen years.

I have spent years being apathetic, as an attempt to combat my issues in life. I thought emotions are a burden and if I can master the art of numbing it, that would resolve half my life's issues. But if there's one thing I learned over the years, it's that, apathy is hella stupid. There is nothing cool about suppressing the natural flow of emotions in hopes that it will stop coming back. We're only human, emotions are not meant to be ignored and faked, if they're there, embrace them, express them, share them, manage them or get them sorted out.

I am not a natural at writing, I am not a poetic person but writing is a way to either make me let go and forget or hold on and remember. This is me trying to do both. I am trying to let go of these voices in my head and pour it out into actual words, as straightening the knots of words in head helps me move on to other thoughts. At the same time, this is me holding on to my attempt at progress - I've been attempting to progress for quite a while now, but I guess when it comes to progress, we are just really hard on ourselves. I will remember this struggle, the struggle to love and appreciate. One day, I may look back on these words that I've written and hopefully read this with a heart that is soft to love and appreciate.