New Beginning

My apologies for not posting any updates since November 2020. I’m doing well, fret not, albeit I’ve been a wee bit occupied in preparation of something huge; which is what this particular post is mainly about (am sure the featured image signifies it somehow).

Firstly, allow me to recap briefly on the happenings of 2020.

A lot had happened.

All the good, bad and ugly moments life has got to offer, I’ve willingly extended my hand.

I’ve gotten in touch with my spiritual energy on a deeper level in 2020. All the surprises the year brought to me has made me realize that no matter how organized my schedule looks like or no matter how orderly I’ve set my goals and plans for life, things will spiral out of control when it does. And there is nothing I can do except, well, to get a little down and panicked, and then reassure myself that it’s normal for things to not go my way, for God Knows Best and may point me in another direction, a better one, and that is most definitely okay. All I should do is to work towards what I want and ultimately put my faith in the All-Knowing God, that the sky may seem bleak and the sudden downpour may soak me yet the Sun sets unfailingly every other day.

Besides all the unseen circumstances – of cancelled trips and heartbreaking issues – that I eventually got used to, 2020 was definitely one of the best years of my life. A few memorable moments to note, it was the year I was thankfully given the chance to do my pilgrimage to Mecca and Madinah in Saudi Arabia (before the pandemic barred cross-country travels) and I also got into a relationship and got engaged to a very dear friend of mine after more than a decade of friendship.

So it is sufficed to say that 2021 is all about committing to a new beginning.

For on 8th of January, I was married to my fiancé.

Our relationship has spanned for years, since 2008, from being mere high school classmates, to being gamemates, to being coursemates (in different Universities) to sharing the same professional working field (in different companies) to finally opening our hearts to each other in 2020. We have talked and shared about a whole lot of things (games, studies, relationships, work, life in general) and here’s to sharing a whole lot more of our future together.

Here’s to wishing for a better 2021 as a whole.

Here’s for all the goodness despite the bad, for all the lights in spite of the surrounding darkness and ultimately, for all the love to feel, share, give and receive abundantly, between one another.

Stay safe and sound.

How Are You?

We get this question every other day.

It’s almost a courtesy to ask people how they’re doing, when we’ve not seen or meet them for a long time. More so now that the whole world is going through this pandemic.

Our perception of this question is usually as simple as it sounded regardless of how complicated our life is at that moment. So we answered simply with, ‘I’m doing just fine.’

Maybe we’ve bumped into a familiar face once in a while at the mall and assured each other that we’re doing okay. Maybe we had a hard and stressful time at work and refused to talk about it with anybody. Maybe our relationship with our loved ones were on the brink of collapsing but we felt that nobody needs to know that. Maybe we thought that our depressed episodes should not be of another’s concern.

Hence, we summarise our days or weeks or months – all the good, bad and ugly – into one effortless answer ; I AM FINE.

When sadly, deep down we know that we’re surely not, not exactly, maybe not even close.

Imagine if ‘how are you?’ is actually ‘how is your heart/soul doing?‘.

Imagine that people were really sincerely checking out on us, and not just asking out of common courtesy. Surely, ‘I AM FINE‘ wont suffice and wont do justice as an answer.

Because our hearts may be weary and our souls exhausted. Because we may be on the verge of breaking down. Because life may just be a repetitive cycle of mundanes. Because we may no longer find the strength to chase after our life-long dreams. Because after all that we’ve been through, we may felt like there are no other options except for giving up.

If that’s the case then truly, we’re not fine at all.

Hectic schedules in our daily lives may cause us to abandon our true feelings and deep thoughts. In order to maintain healthier emotional levels, it is super important for us to regularly recognise and acknowledge the contents of our own hearts and soul. Once acknowledged, we can further determine the cure to our brokenness, to fill the gaps of all cracks and hollows.

I’d like to think that the current pandemic – in all it’s seemingly never-ending quarantine time and tedious queuing at the store – to be a surprisingly humbling and introspective experience.

For we now have ample time to contemplate deeply within ourselves. In the confinements of our own abode, in the wee hours of silence when the world goes to sleep, we may find ourselves alone and at peace with our feelings and thoughts through meditation and ultimately, through prayer.

It’s definitely not an easy task. But whats worthy are never easy.

It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.

W.B. Yeats

May we be given strength and courage to delve deep within our beings and confront the demons that has been wreaking havoc on our faith in all things that are good and positive in our lives. And when the time comes, may we finally be able to say that we are absolutely fine with unquestionable confidence and clarity.

Lessons of 2019

1. On Calmness & Tranquility

Serenity can never be found elsewhere, but within ourselves. It is the wisdom of discerning a mere harmless threat with a life-changing concern. The trick is to recognise which is which and act accordingly. To leave and let go of situations we have no power to change and do everything in our utmost strength to change all that we can.

In order to nurture a healthy soul, mind and body, we have to carefully distinguish between situations and people that are worthy of our concern. By doing so, we will be able to face every single day without unnecessary distress, with an exceptional presence of mind.

2. On Expectations

I’ve learnt that it is often much better and sweeter to be getting something you dont expect. Life is generally unpredictable and people can be disappointing. It sucks when you put your hopes up just to be disappointed and let down in the end.

The best way is to not place your expectations too high. Work hard however you will and most importantly, have the highest of faith on the All-Knowing and All-Mighty God. Place your trust in all His infinite wisdom, and whatever the result may be, you’ll be thankful and happy.

3. On Giving

Giving does not necessarily have to be money. It can be time, effort, advice, compliments and many many more.

To those who look closely, the World is a beautiful gift. Hence, each and every one of us has something to offer to another, always.

4. On Friendship

Growing up and old, it is understandable that we each have our own commitments and priorities to attend to. Meaning that meet-ups may be as infrequent as it may be. Regardless, those who sincerely treasure friendship will make time for each other no matter what. Because one of the most precious things in life is time; once passed there will be no turning back. Time might just be the best gift in any friendship ever, be it time spent on keeping in touch, on having lunch, on talking and texting on the phone or on wishing and praying each other well.

We do not necessarily have to share similar interests to be friends. Just like magnets, the opposite attracts. And our differences complete each other in one way or another.

5. On Love

Love is not blind as defined. Love sees, and sadly Love almost always sees the blind.

The lover of oneself knows ones’ worth to finally walk away. The lover of others may latch on the unworthy and try to make Love stay.

I bid farewell to the Love of the past. For there will be Love in future; hopeful and in every way better than the last.

May our 2020 be blessed with fulfilled dreams, beautiful moments and life lessons. Let bygones be bygones and keep on moving forward!

To the Boy Who Ran

It’s been a while,

Since I’ve heard of you,

And if time equals to mile,

I’d travel back for thousands,

To the exact day along the corridor where we stood; just us two.

In complete silence we were,

Sharpening our pencil,

Yet you had no idea,

How fast my heartbeat was,

When you smiled, ever so gentle.

It’s on my mind in replay,

And each time I ain’t saying a thing still,

For it was a perfect display,

Of silence so completely tranquil,

No words should ever fill.

 

 

Today, my school crush got married.

I wrote this piece when the news broke out from our schoolmates. I’ve mentioned about him in one of my previous post.

Looking back, I’m glad that things turned out the way they did. Guys who were interested in me are all married men now, some even had kids of their own. The same goes for the guys I were into, most of them found their significant other and settled for good.

Now and then, when their life moments came up my social media feed, either photos of them getting married or holding their first new-born child, I cant help but smile, gladly. I’m happy for them, that they’re in a happy place with their loved ones.

But I’d also wondered ‘What If’.

What if I said yes, let’s get to know each other.

What if I said yes, I’m into you too.

What if I took the other road and instead of the other girls by their sides, it’s me.

What if.

My life could be the other way around if I took the road not taken. I could be a mother with a little kid to care for on weekends instead of chasing deadlines in the office. I could be cooking breakfast for my husband before he goes to work instead of buying bread from the nearest 7-Eleven. I could be a working mother who’d have to ‘punch out’ on time instead of working overtime without anybody waiting on me at home.

I could be all of that, but I’m not.

Because I’m not ready. And I’m extremely glad being who I am now, with my current life. For I do not want to go through an enormously essential phase of life that I know I cant commit to yet. I’ll probably learn how to commit to the responsibility of sharing a life with another (or others) besides my family, as my life unfolds.

Everything that has happened was a given, for He knows best and He knows me.

For now, I’m okay with me. Whatever the future holds, I pray that He‘ll make it okay for me too. And for all of you.

Depressing Discussion

So the other day I was just typing away on my computer at work, when I overhead two of my Chinese colleagues chatting. It’s not like I wanted to eavesdrop or anything, it’s just that I understood what they said that my brain automatically processed each and every word. And this happened a lot, like I could understand most conversations in Mandarin so basically I know more secrets than others, which is somewhat uncomfortable on my part.

I’d usually just pretend I hear nothing.

Anyways, the conversation I overheard was pretty depressing. To cut it short, they were talking about the Industrial Revolution whereby in the near future, Artificial Intelligence will rule us all. And people like us, whom jobs are closely related and easily replaced by technology, will definitely be at lost. Even now, softwares are our best friends and help tremendously in our work.

That got me thinking, if I have any other skills that can help me survive the future, once technology takes over. Does origami count? Or maybe I should start on that book manuscript I’ve been putting off for long, just in case. Will people still read paperbacks though by then?

Then, the conversation took a turn to the topic of success. Colleague 1 was saying that he has a friend who works as a remisier (imagine The Wolf of Wall Street), who seems like he’s living the dream; expensive car, good commissions, connections to the wealthy etc. Colleague 2, in a somewhat dejected way, said that he felt small whenever he met up with his friends because they seem to be more successful when he’s the one who work the hardest.

Thing is, we all live our lives differently, our idea of success differs from each other. And how we perceive the word ‘success’ itself will determine how we feel about it. We all live in our own timeline and it does not have to align to others’. Some of our friends might be earning much more in life but they must have had their struggles, hardships that they dont show to the world. Others may not be wealthy financially but they may have ample time to spend with their loved ones. It’s an imperfect world; we dont get everything we want. But we learn to live in content with everything that we have.

‘Bahagia itu bukan memiliki apa yang kita mahu. Bahagia itu adalah sikap kita pada apa yang kita ada.’

Happiness is not about having what we want to have. It’s about our attitude to what we already have. I guess learning to be thankful and appreciating what’s already in our grasp helps a lot in building a more positive outlook in life.

#NoteToSelf