Fear no more.

I’ve had several activities/things that I’m quite scared to do.

  1. Riding a bicycle.

Back when I was a kid, I used to love riding my bicycle around my housing area. But I got into a minor accident that scarred me for life. Ever since that incident, I no longer ride. I guess a part of it was because I was growing up and got interested in some other fun stuff while another part of it was maybe I got pretty scared that I’ll get into another accident and possibly, scar myself again. Flash forward to my visit to Bali, when I tried to rent a bicycle to ride along the beach, I realized that I can no longer ride, at least not properly. I remembered bracing myself up, holding the handle bar and tried to pedal a few cycles, but could not actually find my balance. My mind kept on rewinding that fateful moment around 12 years ago, when I fell from my bicycle and I could picture the scar still there, quietly hidden under my sleeves. So, I stopped and ended up just strolling along the beach that day.

The funny thing is that, I passed and got my motorcycle license when I was 17. Which makes all of it ridiculous as I cant even make myself properly and confidently ride a bicycle today.

2. Snorkeling.

Another activity that I’m pretty scared to do is snorkeling. I guess I just have a mild Thalassophobia, which is a type of phobia of the sea. I always have this scary thrilling imagination that what if I’m stranded in the middle of the sea and there’re sharks/any weird deep sea creature ready to devour me whole, not to mention sea storm and sea chasms. I blame all the films that help visualize those nerve-ending scenes in my head. All my life I’ve only been snorkeling once. And it was last year when I joined a ‘team building’ trip to Perhentian Island. So, yeah I basically tried to overcome that so-called phobia and threw myself into the sea, with a life jacket that actually helped to calm me down for a little bit. I remembered when we reached the Turtle Stop there were like a hundred of us just floating in the sea and I almost refuse to climb down the boat but eventually did while telling one of the people there to go with me as I was scared. It was kind of a waste though as I could not see anything except for the deep greenish water. Apparently, the sea turtles got scared seeing a huge bunch of people and decided to not show themselves up. We almost got carried away by waves at the Shark Stop, which was another stop that I was skeptical of going to but since the guide told us that the sharks are all ‘baby sharks’ (doo doo dood doo doo doo), I ended up going anyways. And it was another waste as there were no sharks there, most probably hiding somewhere among the stones or whatever. The scary thing was that the waves at that area was bigger than the other areas. And we’ve been using our muscles quite a lot in other areas so we almost got carried away that the guide had to threw a rope from the boat while a number of us had to cling on that rope while he pulled us back to safety. That was one strong and well built guide there.

Anyhow, I’m pretty proud of myself for taking up the ‘challenge’ and succeeding. The thought of another future trip scares me a little, but I won’t mind trying again.

3. Falling in love.

I find it funny that ordinarily, most people are scared of being alone while I’m scared of  the opposite. I do not mind being alone as I’ve been alone most of my life. In fact, I prefer being alone with myself and my thoughts. I do have friends that I speak to once in a while or when I really need minor consultations etc but they’re just a small number, like less than 5 people. And they’re the people I’m really comfortable being around with. They’re pretty damn special.

Honestly, I do not see myself ready to commit to any serious relationships and they say ‘Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely’ which I strongly agree with. And I most definitely don’t need a guy that’s going to waltz in my life with flowers and chocolates and unicorns whatever and tell me he does not love me anymore after 5 years, or two months or worse, a week.

And I’ve personally known people who after years of marriage, got divorced as the husband turned out to be an abusive cheating selfish asshole which in return left their kids in a horrible state. Whatever happened to forever after, in sickness and in health, through the good, bad and ugly?

I want forever yet all around love screams temporary.

So I promise myself to not fall in love before I find the love of forever. And I’m keeping my word. When the time comes, I hope I’ll love truly and incandescently.

I hope you do too.

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Hidden Treasure.

One thing that I’ve always loved and looked forward to do whenever I went back to my hometown in Johor, was and will always be rummaging through all the old and nostalgic stuff that I’ve kept ever since primary school. The beautiful thing about keeping old stuff or what I would call ‘treasure’ is that, they’re nostalgic and they reminded me of those times when I was a kid, of happy and broken times, of all the shit I go through just to get here, just to be who I am today. And the somewhat ugly side behind these treasures is that each and every collection comes with extra dust, or those stickers you collected that wont stick anymore as it’s been years since you’ve bought them. Pretty much a waste, huh.

Anyways, around three weeks ago, we did some sort of a ‘spring cleaning’, whereby a huge pile of books from my parents bedroom was transferred to a new cupboard. The books, ranging from The Holy Quran, Muqaddam and a number of other religiously motivational and spiritual guidances  were unpacked from an old antique cupboard that my Mom had delicately polished and repaired when she first brought it back from our kampung.

So, being the curious cat that I am, as I was rummaging through the pile of books, one of them caught my attention. And it was a book fully written in the Arabic alphabets (or what we Malays called Jawi) namely ‘Mustika Hadith Rasulullah S.A.W.’ which comprises of 2 volumes, and was apparently under the publication of The Division of Islamic Affairs by The Prime Minister Office (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Islam, Jabatan Perdana Menteri). Leafing through the cover, I was amazingly greeted by a bunch of what I would call a ‘legendary’ hand writing.

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On the very first page

For those of you who can read the Jawi, I’ll leave it to you to comprehend (it may be a little bit challenging though considering the hand writing). For those of you who cannot read that, it states the name and address of the owner as well as the date the book was bought. However, the very last phrases, which I believed to be some sort of a Dua’ or Zikr, I could not be sure myself.

Basically, it was the hand writing of my late Grandfather, who I have never met in real life as he passed away a year after my eldest sister was born into this world. I was born four years after.

This moved me to a certain level, posing as a huge realization, proving my ever-standing belief that you are who your family is. Their habit and gestures cultivate who you are today, your attitude, your character and your mannerisms.

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My own hand writing on my current read

I’ve personally always thought that I get this involuntary habit of writing my name in each and every one of my novels, from my dad. This is due to the fact that my dad writes his name including the year he bought/read his books on the very first page. He must get that from his own dad. Finding this hidden treasure, belonging to my late Grandfather whom I never had the chance to look upon with my own two eyes, to initiate a conversation with, to salam him whenever Hari Raya comes or whenever we balik kampung and to listen to his stories, is very special to me. It’s like having a mutual connection that I’ve never fully knew how it starts in the first place. It’s a memory of a loved one whom I’ve never met, somehow never lost, quietly hidden and just there existing to be discovered.

This is one of the reasons to why I decided to keep my own treasures, all the journals, key chains and even the ridiculous demerit receipt/ticket I got from high school, regardless of their functions and back stories. I consider them my treasures because they are my memories. They are my life.

And someday, someone might just find them and reconnect the dots.

Practice Makes Perfect.

The human being is generally imperfect. It’s a fact that all of us have to accept.

People say that I’m talented literally. I can also draw and sketch, though obviously not the ‘Van-Gogh’y way. A little bit more practice and free time might do the job.

Despite that, I’m pretty bad at a lot of things. But one thing I’ve always been worst at, is sports. Hence, I wish that I can be athletically talented. It would be spectacular to be representing the country for the Olympics or something. It would be one of the greatest achievements in the world.

I used to suffer from asthma whereby I couldn’t do sports. I couldn’t run and heave heavy things, despite the fact that my school bag weighed tonnes back in school. Back then, I was a pretty smart student who’ve always excelled at studies and was always on top of the class. Unfortunately, I’m too weak to be at least good at sports.

Surprisingly and funnily, my crush back then was a school athlete. He was the school sprinter. He could smile and all of us girls would swoon. His eyes would sparkle like the lights from a thousand fireflies. He could just stand there, doing nothing in utter perfection while our hearts melt like how the ice-cream would under the hot, scorching sun. Oh, those boyish charm and our naive hearts.

I remembered sharpening my pencil together with him at the corridor, in silence. That was one of the happiest times all throughout my primary school years. We actually never had a conversation with each other, despite our class being just beside each others’.

In order to catch his attention, I thought that all I had to do was to be good at sports. We had this school annual marathon thingy or what we called ‘merentas desa‘ which spanned  around 10++ km, starting from the school all the way back. The first 20 students who reached the school compound would get a medal. And my mind went ‘I gotta be among the 20 people and he might just see me, not as the nerdy girl but as someone on his level’.

In case you’re reading this now, and you’re as young as myself back then, here’s something you should remember. Kids, the Universe is never that kind. Yeah, they might fight for two beautiful souls to be together or you can insert whatever poetic phrases here about soulmates etc but true story, they almost always never happen. *glass shatters* *atomic bomb explodes*

So yeah, I never got to be among the 20. The worst part of the whole story was that I almost did. To be honest, it was one of the most life-shattering ‘almosts’ in my entire life. I ran like crazy, or you could say, with the power of love, surpassing most of the girls. However, my asthma decided to kick in and threw it all down the drain in the form of vomit, with a span of just a teeny-tiny couple of metres from the school compound. All I could do was watch as kids ran pass me and I’ve never felt as defeated as I was back then. Heck, those feelings were even worse than when I got myself kicked out of school at 15.

Yeah, I’ve been through some shit.

Anyways, I finished the marathon. And I had the biggest and brightest realization that, I wont ever be good at athletics. And it’s okay.

Because I’m not supposed to be perfect at everything. We all have our strength and weaknesses. Sports are just not my forte. And he’s just a boy.

P/s: Dear crush, thank you for being one of my many motivations. I have no idea where you are but I pray that you’re doing amazing now and always.

11 Things To do In A Tech-Free World.

I’m sharing mine after reading The Pawsome Lion blogpost.

As someone who works with the help of technology, I’m pretty sure that things are gonna get disarray at the office without the computer and keyboard etc. Heck, we cant even get our job done without the Internet for a day let alone the computer.

Anyways, in this scenario, let’s assume that the world is indeed tech-free.

  1. Books, most definitely. I can now be absolutely free of all the social media stuff and actually sit myself down to read for long hours without end.
  2. Learn to cook, with book recipes and not Youtube. Learn with real life people who cook amazingly, like my Mom.
  3. Write. Jot things down instead of capturing moments through camera lenses.
  4. Draw. Everytime I met someone new, I’ll offer to draw their portraits in my sketchbook and keep it as a memory.
  5.  Communicate with strangers. Now that I dont have my phone nearby, I can just chat away with anybody and get indulged in meaningful conversations.
  6. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.
  7. Pat those stray cats I find while walking.
  8. Have conversations with cats.
  9. Meow to cats.
  10. Do some volunteer work.
  11. Offer to read books to children at the playground.

Do share yours too!

Hey old friend.

This is for a friend that I met and befriend with for a short period of time in primary school.

I can still remember competing with you academically. You were so damn smart back then, all the way till now.

Today, I read in the news that you went missing. I guess it’s a big deal, since your parents faces, holding a photo of you on your graduation day, were there too.

We’ve all had some bizarre childhood. We’ve all grown up to be whoever we had to be, although some of us were pretty fortunate to be what we wanna be. In all these years, in the process of ‘being’, we might have hurt the people we love most. And they might have hurt us.  In the choices we made, in the choices we are bound to make, we’re hurting people as well as getting ourselves hurt. I wish that we dont have to go through all this hurting.

But life just does not work that way.

We are somehow, bound to hurt and be hurt. We’re all fragile. And I guess that’s how life is. Fragile.

I know we’re strong enough to fight for life, a life we’ve always wanted despite it’s fragility. How do I know that? Well, we’re still alive and breathing, we’re still running towards all those dreams, we’re still looking forward to those days that we’ll actually be incandescently happy.

That’s exactly how we go through all these bullshit and drudgery in life, with hope. And we work our asses off for our days to be rainbows and unicorns and all those happy stuff.

I have no idea where you are or what you’re doing. I highly doubt you’ll read this. But no matter, I wish you’re doing well with all the choices that you’ve made. I also wish that you find it in your heart and your being, to speak to your devastated parents and tell them that you’re alright.

I wish that you’re alright.

Sincerely, your ex-competitor/rival.

I am a rock.

I basically just rely on myself, like 80% of the time.

Another 20%, I’d seek help from my family and closest friends.

That being said, if I seek help from you, you must be pretty damn special.

Growing up whilst having only a teeny-tiny number of closest friends (whom I met with only once in a blue moon), I’m used to being alone. Always by myself, with the comfort of my own company, I’d have my daily meals and walk to class while having an argument about a thought in my head. Or I’d just plug in my earphones and blast the music away. I only join in for meals with, let’s say, classmates, every once in a while or whenever we had a short break in between classes. As for shopping, I’d enjoy my time alone at the bookstore, or with my family when I’m in need of new clothes or a fresh pair of shoes. I almost always went to the movies, alone.

Hence, I’m used to depend on myself in terms of completing assignments or studying for examinations. Whenever it’s a group assignment, I’d give my 100% and when opportunity revealed itself, I’d try to as close as perfect my teammates’ works so that the end product can at least be almost exemplary. I hardly joined in the study group at the library back then, not that I didnt like to share knowledge, but more to saving up the time I might have loss for gossiping and actually spending it to study. Yeah, what a nerd.

I dont like to be judged. Nobody does. Hence, I shop only with my family because I can accept the judgement of the people who have actually known me for years as opposed to the people who judged me as if they’ve known me for forever. As for book-shopping, no one can stand the hours I spend at the bookstore. No one. I’d rather watch movies alone, just to take it all in easily, without anyone interfering to guess whats gonna happen next or how hot the actors are. However if it’s a movie I’m watching for the 2nd time, I’d have no problem watching it with others.

Back when I was still studying, whenever I felt like I did badly in exams, the first person I’d call was my parents. This is due to my belief that a parent’s prayers are unbeatable and well, ‘makbul‘. I’ve had this habit that whenever I find myself in trouble or in dire need of something, I’d ask for my parents’ blessings and prayers. Try it, inshaaAllah, everything will be eased.

To say that I’m independent would be exaggerating and a little bit of an overstatement. That’s because, everything that I’ve achieved so far, I owe them to my parents and family. I’m literally zero without their support and guidance. It’s their upbringing that made me who I am today. It’s the habits and gestures that I bring with me everywhere I go.

So, I might rely on myself for an incomplete 80%.

But truthfully, without the 20%, there wont be any 80%, let alone 100%.

Malaysia.

My humble abode.

Yesterday marked our 60th Independence Day. With the SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017 making its way to the end on the 30th, I’m most definitely sure that it gave us, Malaysians, a strong feeling of patriotism and national proud in our hearts, watching and cheering for all the athletes hard work and sweat till we successfully won a total of 145 gold medals. We surpassed our initial goal of gaining 111 gold medals, which was super duper awesome!

Watching both the opening and closing ceremony of the SEA Games from the TV at home, I’d say they were extremely mesmerizing and beautiful, with vibrant colors shining from the LED lights, the sound of Malaysians cheering and our people just being there, dancing and singing along proudly to our national anthem, Negaraku. Gosh, how I wished I could join in at the stadium for both occasions.

This is my congratulatory post to all of us Malaysians, be it the athletes and the people supporting and standing strong behind them. This is to everyone who make Malaysia proud. This is to us.

Happy Independence Day, Malaysia. Semoga kita semua kekal bebas dan merdeka dari segala limitasi, kesusahan, keburukan dan kemudaratan yang kita lakukan ke atas diri sendiri mahupun terhadap yang lain.