Life is funny, isn’t it?

One day you decide to give up and move on, bring all of your baggage with you, giddy and excited to explore a new world with nobody but your own. The next thing you know, someone else appears by your side, offering his hand, ushering you into a new world so totally different from the one you started out for.

And you think to yourself, that maybe, just maybe, you should venture into this new place. Maybe you should stop running away and start reaching out. Maybe you should be brave and have faith in others as well as and especially in yourself.

Maybe Rilke was right; ‘Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.’

Life is indeed funny, you made out your mind and set out to do something and it almost always turns you unexpectedly in a different direction. May everything I’m going through right now all be well.

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!

In-Game Friendship

I dont have a lot of friends. Being an introverted and socially awkward person, it’s understandable that I dont  and wont have a wide social connection. Although, I tend to remember people’s names and faces for a long time after they had introduced themselves, or when I’ve heard about them from other people. Which actually explains how I can always  recognise a good number of people from school who probably had no idea whatsoever of my existence. Which also further justify my refusal to say Hi unless they started saying Hi first,  whenever I bumped into any of them now and then.

Anyways, it’s not a big deal really. For it’s unfair to expect others to remember as much as I do. And it’s not exactly the point I’m trying to make.

For those who’ve known me from high school, I started playing computer games when I was 13. Back then, I used to be into MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) and the first ever game that I’ve played was Runescape. Still have an account today, although my old account from more than a decade ago was sadly erased.

Although having my account erased meant that all the item & money I’ve made in-game (which was not much) disappeared as well, I got to keep one of the best things, both in-game and real life.

Friendship.

Since we’re talking about an online game, I’ve never really met, face-to-face, with the people I befriended with. But guess what, we’re still friends and keeping in touch today, after more than 10 years has passed.

One of them was apparently my senior in UiTM. One called me ‘Kakak’ and informed me every single time he changed his phone number. One I talk with occasionally to update on our lives. One is a Filipino and we still talk on Facebook. Some got married, have kids and basically scattered all over Malaysia and also worlwide.

All of us may no longer be playing the games we’ve played, because, well, life. But we kept in touch and still trying to keep tabs on each other, through Facebook, Instagram and all the other social media that we’re using.

In-game friendship is one that I’m most thankful for in my life. Unlike real life friendship that tends to break apart with time and eventually dissolves into an awkward strangeness, in-game friendship stays for all the fun and happy memories of the past.

Come As You Are

If I were to write every word that could come true, I’d start with you.

You’d be 5 years or maybe 5 months older than me. Our first meeting would be in a bookstore somewhere in this World, where you’d buy me a book and a glass of milk tea while you sipped black coffee. We’d dedicate our Fridays watching a movie, and you’d listen to how I loved the ending or hate the lines that were annoyingly cheesy. You’d know a lot more about life than me yet you’d speak humbly. We’d have our own little adventures to strange places and we’d be happy.

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One of my favourite Indie films is Ruby Sparks. It tells the story of a writer called Calvin Weir-Fields who manifested a woman in his mind, a woman called Ruby Sparks. Each and every word he wrote about her turned into reality as one day out of nowhere, she appeared in his home claiming to be his girlfriend.

Whenever Ruby’s sad and depressed, Calvin would write, changing her mood into happiness. Whenever Ruby wanted freedom, Calvin would turn Ruby all clingy. Ruby ended up all confused and their relationship turned ugly.

Ruby Sparks showcases an ideal love in ones’ perspective. While Calvin enjoyed having the ‘power’ to change Ruby’s character according to his fancy, Ruby was his victim. She had no freedom to feel and to be. Thing is, we all want to change people to cater to our preferences which more often than not ended up ruining our relationship with them. People change when they want to, we certainly have no say in that.

The film also speaks about acceptance. That to love is to accept all flaws and imperfections. True love is loving despite each others’ differences. Ultimately, to love selflessly is to let others be happy being who they are, not who we dictate them to be.

If you’ve enjoyed watching 500 Days of Summer, I guess you’d find Ruby Sparks just as entertaining. Both of this film started off with a perfect love story between two souls but the ending will hit you straight in the face, proving that love is not necessarily a ‘happily ever after’ kind of affair. In reality, love can be one-sided, selfish, controlling and full of toxicity. It’s up to us how we want love to be.

So let’s re-phrase the first sentence and make it more realistic shall we?

If I could write every word that could come true, I’d start with you.

You’ll come as you are, wholly you. Everything else will work out like they’ll eventually do.

Kill Your Idols

Back then when I was young and know little of the world, I used to think that fame is everything. That it must be amazing to be recognised by the public. That it must felt like a great achievement to have a bunch of people idolizing you. That when you’re well-known, everything becomes easy and your life will be all gold and glitter.

Now that I’m older, I’ve realised how fleeting fame is in this cruel and judgemental world. I’ve also understood that everything comes with a price. One day you might be under the pouring roses and find yourself under great scrutiny right away on the next day. The public will always be on your heels, preparing for the right moment to attack when you slip and fall hard to the ground. Being an idol is like being trapped in a cell on a stage with blindingly bright spotlights, while your audience gawk at you from all sides, expecting nothing but perfection despite their own imperfection.

So as an infamous being, I may not know a lot but I know at least this much and I’m all up for it : Kill your idols.

Everyone of us must have someone we idolise, figures we look up to, respectful beings that we’ve placed on a special pedestal. However most of us fail to understand that under all that seemingly impeccable bravado, is an ordinary human being prone to err. Or in a simpler sense of word, they may be famous but really, they’re just like us, in all the fragility and imperfection that a mere human being possess.

Idols are not saints to be worshipped or robots to be controlled. They should be entitled to express themselves as they see fit, to feel whatever it is that they’re feeling and to be free to go around doing their own business without having others to watch and judge their every move. Like each and every one of us, they can be wrong just as much as they can be right.

To kill our idols is to lower down our expectations of them. Recognise that like all of us, they’re flawed in some way or another. Bring them down to our level so that they’re within arm’s reach. Evaluate their mistakes and applaud their success. Most importantly, to accept their frailty and fallibility as much as we adore their sublimity.

Verily, we’re all entitled to be as human as we ought to be.