FAILURE

I used to think effort was everything. If I give my best, I would get the results that I want or perhaps, more than I expect. It has been my life principle and Alhamdulillah, it worked.

Until I realized, maybe that’s not enough. Maybe being smart actually is the extra advantage. Because no matter how many nights you burn midnight oil for but if the results dont reflect it, it’s useless too. And no one ever witnessed your effort. That plus bad result = feeling of failure.

Worse, not only I’m a disapppontment to myself. I disappoint people who expect more of me, especially from those I look up to. Double failures are just.. great :”)

Never have I ever feel more disappoint of myself than today. I felt stupid. It just proves that I’m not intelligent in nature after all. I’ve been depending on effort and when even my effort disappoints me, I have nothing left.

I just dont want them to see me as a lazy person. Because I did work hard. I really did. And I thought my answers were not that bad but I was wrong. They were rubbish. It’s like showing that I didnt study for it when I did.

Haih

I just feel out of place this sem. I dont have work that I can transfer my passion for, FM feels draggy, self-esteem declining, no achievements im proud of and now, academic failure. Really though, is there anything about me I can be proud of and be confident about.

And you know what made today thousand times painful? I was super proud and happy of the slides I made for the presentation today and presentation went well too (to me at least). But after all that moment of satisfaction, came this gigantic rock thrown over me. And that wiped out the little contentment I had.

Can’t I savour that moment a little longer? 😔

Advertisements

the lost

This is to us, the lost.

Who keep being abandoned, no matter how hard we try to be kind, till we’re assured there’s something wrong with us. To us who try their best to be there for everyone but whose presence is not being appreciated enough. To us who walk back to the room biting their lips with their eyes straining to cup their tears from falling because that is SO weak. To us who feel worthless every time their small achievements are being overshadowed by people’s major ones. This is to us, whose habit is crying in the midnight darkness because the demons of our thoughts are stronger. To us who wish people can help but really, we know no one can do so but ourselves. Who God knows are working their asses off to improve their imperfections in covert only to be seen as mediocre. To us who know we have skills to offer that some people are incapable of doing but how unfortunate, those skills are not what the naked eyes desire. Who feel nothing but hatred to themselves with every step they take because loving themselves are the worse battle. To us who nobody thinks we have breakdowns because we deceive them with smiles and it works. Who can’t seem to find a way to get rid of their insecurities which are piling up day by day. To us whose ears are tired from listening to “You don’t have to fit in. Different is good. Just be you” shit.  Who once had a taste of self-love but later fell into the trap of peer pressure. To us who refuse to talk about ‘it’ because we believe oppression and abuse are more serious to be addressed. To us who stop in the middle of empty road because they feel their sense of identity is almost being detached from their body. To us who have looked into a person’s eyes, dying to let them know but your mouth can’t seem to follow. Who wish absorbing positivity and living with confidence are like eating whatever you like. And this is to us, who are eventually convinced that “oh I am INDEED a mediocre”.

I know you. I’m one of you too. I’m not writing this to give advice because I don’t have one. More like, I don’t deserve to give advice when my own state is as worse.

But I just hope and pray, that we will make it. That there’ll be one day where we will unchain ourselves from this and be free. When we will feel everything good but hatred to our own self.  When we can truly be happy with who we are and not be measured by other people’s pleasure. And I hope when that day arrives, we’ll never have to hold onto the compass again.

the final phase

p/s This was written few months back. WARNING : THIS IS ONE LONG POST.

………………………………………………

2 deaths. In less than a month.

My uncle (mom’s younger sister’s husband) had passed away few weeks ago when I was lying on my bed here at my hostel. I was just having an almost-one-hour phone call with mom when I received another one from her at around 11 p.m. I literally had no words coming out from my mouth except for ‘Allah’. My face wasn’t even able to make any expressions other than being shocked. It was just like any ordinary nights and I certainly didn’t expect to have a death mail while I was relaxing on my bed. Everything was too fast. All those memories, the sights of him, the time spent. They flashed before my eyes like a lightning and just like the lightning, they were gone in an instant. Leaving only the grave sound of pain from my heart to the whole body.

My uncle was a teacher. He had been a teacher for many years even before he got married to my aunt. He once taught for some time at my school where he got particularly close with one of my coolest English teacher in primary school. Safe to say, they both were the rebel kinds. The kinds that I personally feel would sitting down in a mamak stall, having a constructive conversation over education and life in general. Like any other imperfect human being, my uncle had his black hole in the past which I prefer not to lay out here mostly because he found his right path afterwards even though it took him a while but it’s the good change that matters. God has His remarkable way of arranging things that none of us can ever predict. Alhamdulillah, He had given him guidance and with that holy guidance, my uncle had been able to shed his skin of the past and lead a much meaningful life, with his family specifically.

It’s pretty obvious, family is number one to him. You see, my uncle likes to travel and going places. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with a critical level of diabetes which required him to go for a dialysis treatment thrice a week and left him with no choice but to stop teaching. Despite having to use wheelchair as part of his daily routine, he never failed to find a way to make his children happy. He would ask my aunt to drive them to Bandung, the two Highlands (Genting and Cameron) and nearly the whole Malaysia even if it’s only for one night. He never once considered his condition as a hindrance in spending time with his family and I truly respect that the most about him.

I remembered his constant concern about me getting scholarship and his questions about my future endeavors. I figured as a teacher himself, it’s within his nature to have these education-related worries which was a benefit for me really. And I also remember how I felt hilarious that he urged me to take up History (don’t ask me I’ve no idea why). Probably another thing that I admire the most of him is his generosity. My uncle is one selfless man. In fact,one time he took both his family and mine to a seafood stall and everything was on him. Even during dinner, he would pass around the dishes, asking us to finish it while he ate a very small amount of those food. That was the final moment I had with him. Glad it was a beautiful one. :”)

.

Tonight, again I received a text from mom after a phone call saying my old grandma neighbour had just left this world. Though this time, her death was sort of expected after the doctor told her children to be prepared.

I called her ‘atok’ and yes, I treated her as special as my own grandmother. My neighbour is an old couple who lives behind my home with their three out of ten children. Since I was a toddler, my brother and I kept going to their house to play with their grandchildren. Basically, I grew up with the whole big family. His husband (who I called ‘atok’ as well) even built a simple mini bridge from the back gate of my little garden to their area because there is a deep drain in between. Back in school days, either my brother and I or their grandchildren would come visit (sometimes slept) at each other’s house whenever school holidays arrived. She would always send us food she cooked. And the few final days of every Ramadhan, my nose would follow the heavenly smell from her kitchen where I could find her sitting at the dining table, moulding the dough for kuih tart (pineapple tart) and oh hers were always the best!

Atok (the grandma) was a really stubborn lady. She refused to go for medical checkups at hospitals even after her children had repeatedly advised to do so. She would keep all to herself and let herself suffered alone. She would withstand everything while she still had the strength. One day, Atok began to eat ridiculously less to the extend refusing to eat until she became bony. Apparently, she had some kind of stomach ulcer/cancer but Alhamdulillah she went through a successful surgery. Sadly, she couldn’t seem to gain weight and wasn’t as cheerful as before. Since then, she experienced few unpleasant sickness until a minor stroke hit her, causing her to be detained in the ICU. She was dismissed after few days and I visited her at her house. She cried.

Not long after that (couple months after), the second blow of minor stroke happen. During this time, I managed to visit her again with mom and my grandma at the hospital. By then, she had became silent most of the time due to her incapability to swallow non-fluid food. She had to use tube for digestion through her nose down to her stomach, which results in difficulty to speak. And she could hardly recognize me. The saddest thing was her eyes. Her eyes looked like they can utter invisible words. That was the only communication we had and it was also my last time seeing her.

…………………………………………

Me writing this is never for sympathy or mere story-telling. I write this because it’s the only way I can remember the moments and final days I had with these two beloved souls. If someday I reach that point where I can only see vague mental pictures of them, I’ll always come back to this post. 

Now that I’m entering adulthood, I realize death keeps happening to the people around me and it has become a common word which I need to bitterly swallow. I no longer have someone telling me ‘”he/she’s going to someplace better” like how people did when I was an innocent kid, believing in any make up stories. It’s something you understand and feel yourself, no matter how hard you want to drag your feet away from it.

All those deaths plant a thought in my psyche, of mom leaving for good. Just thinking about it, I know very well I can never be prepared for that. If I lose her, I lose everything. My best friend, shoulders to cry on, happiness to share with and more importantly, a mother to confide in. Even though deep down I try convincing myself Allah loves her more, it’s going to take years to adapt with her physical and maternal love absence. It’s a child’s worst nightmare. Although this permanent worry haunts me from time to time, I’m aware for a fact that all I can do within my limit of power is to pray for her lifelong well-being and to appreciate her every minute I can. It may still be insufficient but I’m not letting the opportunities I’m given go to waste.

A kindly reminder to all forgetful humans : Spend time with your parents and family as much as you can. We can never predict our expiry dates or theirs. Give them a call, send them texts, lend your ears, do things together whatever! While we’re still breathing, let’s make them feel proud, loved and appreciated. 

May Allah bless us with good health and long life.

I love you, Ibu, Abang, Atok. :’)

under your nose

I woke up and went to the kitchen to find my mother, sitting on the bar stool while scrolling her Instagram. Leaning my head on her left shoulder affectionately like a toddler, I murmured

“I’m happy”

Puzzled and slightly chuckled, mom must’ve thought that her daughter woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 

“Hmm?? Why? Something you wanna share?”

“Nah, I’m just… happy”

Lately, I’ve came to realize that happiness isn’t as expensive as people think it is. From what I’ve learned, part of it is all about appreciating the right people.

It’s true when they say we only realize one’s significance only after it’s gone. We fail to grasp that people come and go, even the ones you thought never would. You’re fortunate if that person creeps back into your life even after you just realize their value. But what if they don’t? What if you realize it way too late?

Sometimes, I think we look too hard, we don’t actually realize. While we search for beautiful uncertainties, we lose grip of worn out ropes. Truth is, you don’t have to strain your eyes and walk miles to look. Just OBSERVE what and who is in your life right now. Is it a lot? Is it just a few? Honestly, who cares? The point is, you still have them and they still have you.

The thing about us humans is that we’re constantly in a so-called life mission to search for new things. For MORE. Because well, our excuse is that we’re so used to the things that are currently in our life, it feels boring. We want ADVENTURE, we want THRILL, we want ADRENALINE RUSH. And what’s an adventure if we don’t go a little bit risky, we say. By risky, it means gambling your entire trust to a stranger. 

Don’t get me wrong, new things and new people are great! I love learning them. Unfortunately, it is our nature as a human being to be forgetful. Once we found new things, we abandon the old ones (most of the time). And we come back to them only after we get slapped by truth.

We take things for granted, really. Purposely or not. We chase after the wrong things. We appreciate the wrong souls. And worst of all, we CHOOSE to do both. Unconsciously or not. 

Perhaps it’s time to redeem those wrong choices while you still can. After all, mistakes are what make life more meaningful. Start observing the people and things within your radius. Learn to appreciate their existence. Love them even if there’s possibility of leaving. Stop looking for perfection for no such thing exists. Accept them for who they were, for who they are and for who they will be. Stop waiting for people to make the effort. Remember, people are only as important as you want them to be. 

The right ones will meant to stay. Who knows, maybe it’s the ones that have already stayed with you since the beginning. You just need to focus your view on them. You’ll see, they’ve always been there all along. 

Stop chasing. Start appreciating. 🙂

“….the best thing that’s ever happened to you is sitting there, right under your nose”

– Rosie Dunne. Love, Rosie. –

the sacrifice

It was fine back then
I thought it was natural,
Friends will have to be apart someday
No matter how platonicly close they were,
Physically distant is inevitable
We ARE holding our maps
Following the trails of our dreams.

But never had I thought
Nor expect,
That we would be eventually
Speak in different languages,

As I once believe like a child,
Of us being telepathies,
We could read each other’s minds
With the help of two cunning glances
And not a single word at all,

But now it seems I lost that ability.

WE lost the ability.

I could be undoubtedly wrong
Though somehow I can feel

A tiny shred of insincerity,
In our chats when all I read was
“You know, this and that”

And I realized
“So this is it”
“The day we ran out of topics for real”
I couldn’t recall imagining to have such moment
At least not with you.

And there are still so many things
In our bucket list we fail to scratch out,
Not even deep talks and stargazing till 3am,
Neither slumber parties
Nor spending a night for holidays,
Oh well,
Perhaps the list had gone rusty in your memory chestbox.

I now see you celebrating blast
Though not with me,
But if what makes a true friend is
allowing you to have more of it,
Then,
I’ll be taking a step back or perhaps few,
And I will surely do it so discreet
So subtle you’ll can hardly notice,

For being a sacrifice
Is what I am unconciously always be.

N.N.

“i’m not here”

“Why don’t you hang out with us here?”

“I want to, really. But I could never fit in with you guys. You guys always have something to talk about which I couldn’t get myself involved in. And I’ve nothing much interesting things to say either. So I’ll end up being awkward and quiet and isolated. Most of the time no one cares, no one bothers to ask for me and sometimes it hurts when you don’t even look at me while saying goodbye. And that’s why I guess it has always been a problem for me. Fitting in is emotionally drained.”

Sure, people keep saying “why fitting in when you’re born to stand out”. That’s the thing, not everyone likes to stand out, to be the center of attention. People fail to realize that fitting in is as difficult as standing out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being alone. It gives me space to breathe and appreciate other things. But one time or another, I would want someone to include me in their conversation. I would want them to interact with me just to help me reduce my awkwardness. I would want all of them to say hi or ask me to stay and hang out with them. I would want them saying bye bye as if they’re looking forward to see me tomorrow. Most importantly, I would want them to mean it. Not because I’m posting this and everyone get all sympathizing me. I just want a genuine act, that’s all.

It’s hard having to go everwhere alone. When everytime your friend asks “Are you going there alone?” and you’re used to saying “Yeah, it’s okay”. Or “Why  don’t you go together with them?” because they’re a group and I know I’ll be killing their fun if I join. Because I’m awkward and some of the things they talk about, they prefer me to not hear.  Come to think of it, I often put their feelings and comfort above mine. Maybe because I wouldn’t mind letting me hurting myself because I’m used to it. At least it’s not by anyone else.

But I’m oblivious too. About how people don’t care. How people can be deceived by a smile. How people think “She’s always alone so she’ll be okay”. How inviting someone to chat can made her day. How people laugh at the thought of fitting in being a struggle. How people are ignorant about its seriousness. How people have no idea that there are people succumbing to this disease.

It’s all complicated if I try so hard to fit in. And it’s a whole lot easier to just be invisible. For no one ever notices something they cannot see.

So here I am, finding a puzzle to fit.

Sometimes, it’s about reading your environment real quick, and then finding the bits that fit you.

– Melissa Keil, Life in Outer Space –

See I wanted you here
All along but my fear
Just keeps haunting me won’t let me go
So it’s hard to say I love you

– Alessia Cara –

small is enough

Come to think of it, actually the more people you know, the lonelier you get. Because quantity doesn’t necessarily reflect quantity. Sometimes, small circle is perfect enough. And I’m grateful among those faces I’ve known, I have one similar to that. I thought by involving in societies, you get more friends but I was deeply wrong. Most of them turn out to be a disappointment to me. You get to see varieties of personalities and attitudes within them which don’t seem to fit your puzzles and you end up learning that not everyone is like you. Not all can embrace criticism and certainly, not all can satisfy your expectations. It’s kinda sad to know that they choose to behave certain ways when they can be so much better.

Grateful that I have my own small family which is perfect to me and that’s enough for me to make my days brighter. They’re the ones I will always return to at the end of the day, no matter how long we don’t meet each other. We always make time for each other. Even if it’s 30 mins, that’s more than enough for me to look at their faces with my own eyes.

Qayyum, Nadh, Amir, Min, Mun.

I love you guys.

reminisce

It gives me wonders. Do people really remember the moment when they first met each other? The exact date, the exact time, the exact season and the exact emotions?

I’ve always stumbled across scenes in movies where the man reminisces back the first time he met his partner or lover in a very precise way. As in, “Remember the first time I met you? 11th April 1965, it was slightly rainy. I was sitting in an old cafe, sipping my cup of coffee by the glass window. That’s when a beautiful woman came into my sight. You were in a dark red dress, extremely drenched in the heavy rain and you were running towards me. Maybe it’s the rain or maybe it’s the dress but I swore I’ve never seen such a gorgeous lady in my life.”

Okay that’s enough of the cheesiness but yeah, that’s one of the examples. Perhaps it’s just me because I sometimes couldn’t even recall what happened last week. In Malay culture or what they claim as our ancestors’ sayings, if we always forget things, that means we accidentally ate too many ants. Well, everyone knows it’s just a myth to scare the toddlers. Duh.

But then, a brilliant inspiration flew into my head.

People remember things that they love to see, hear or feel.

Right?

I mean, it does make sense. Who wants to remember the things that they don’t like. Haunted house, enemies, heartbreaks, pain, sadness. It’s annoying to let them stay in your mind.

That answers the question how people can remember exactly their happiest moments. Because they love it, they cherish it and they don’t want it to ever be blurred. Everytime they see the faces they shared the moments with again and again, those same emotions and everything else come together with it. Which makes it more permanent. REPETITIONS.

However, it’s also true that pain and all those memories you refuse to recall can make a huge impact, you can’t seem to erase. Those moments which made you feel incapable of feeling happiness and going on another day with that emotion was probably the worst thing ever. All of us must have experienced it at least once. Regardless of the kinds of situations.

So, I came up with a little so-called self-experiment. I tried to calm myself and gather all memories I could remember. Then, I compared the good ones with the bad ones. And turns out, I could still recollect the same excitement and joy I had with my good memories. Like, I still can feel the similar happiness when I see my mom again after a long time. Or the similar fun when I go to the beach. Nonetheless, I couldn’t feel the same emotions with my bad memories. For instance, someone broke my trust and I was quite furious. But, I could somehow feel the rage is subsiding over time. Perhaps I choose not to think about it anymore. And my beloved cat, Tom passed away two years ago which made me bawled. I still get pretty sad when I think about him but I don’t bawl anymore.

Therefore, you don’t have to be in the depth of despair when bad things happen. It will fade away after a while. And someday, you’ll look back and you will not feel the same way again. In fact, you’ll feel a whole lot better. As for the good things, well, TREASURE THEM.

“Sometimes, you’ll never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

– Dr. Seuss –

it’s okay

When I was about 11 years old, a bomb dropped onto a solid ground with gardens of flowers and butterflies. That ground was my life.

I call it a bomb because a bomb comes out of nowhere and then it explodes and it destroys everything within its radius. Something happened which I would say my dark past and it ruined me. I was 11, still a minor. Not even a teenager. And every minor in the world wants everything he or she could have except for this. When this crashed into my life, I was lost. Literally. It’s because I never saw it coming, I never expected it at all (like I said, a bomb). When things happen unexpectedly, it either brings you joy or pain. Unfortunately, mine was the latter. Like any other 11-year-old kid, I obviously didn’t know what to do. Even if I did, it was beyond my control to fix what I thought I could fix. I was powerless and I couldn’t process what was happening because it was too fast, like how the light travels. My mind just went completely blank as if I just awoke from a coma or in a state of amnesia. My emotions were terribly mixed up causing me to be emotionally dead. From anger, disappointment and depression to nothing. I was clouded with multiple kinds of questions. “Why is this happening to me?” “Did I do something wrong for me to deserve this?” “Why me? Why not anyone else?”. I felt like at that point of my life, the world was pointing their fingers towards me. 

At school, I was naturally a quiet kid and rather keeping everything to myself so no one noticed. And I wouldn’t want anyone to know as well because they’ll start bombard me with questions, weird gazes and the most pathetic thing I despise, sympathy. Why? Because I know it isn’t genuine. They felt sorry only because a bad thing happened to us. Not because they put themselves in our shoes and felt what we had been through, even if they told you so. It was to make us  ‘feel better’ but deep inside, they sighed a sense of relief it didn’t happen to them. A big fat lie. That’s why I can relate to Korean dramas for example School 2015. What I love about this genre of movie is that the themes aren’t just about hopeless romance but also, about dreams, losing hope, secrets, trust, friendships and other themes that circulate around a problematic student’s life. And it can be seen clearly in those kind of dramas that the happiest student is the most depressed and not everyone cares about it. Something that our society here doesn’t give enough attention on. The youngsters need to open their eyes widely that school isn’t just about immature relationship problems. Real life crisis actually exists among students. Try looking at your class photos. Some of those smiles, they’re not real. I highly recommend you to watch School 2013 and School 2015, NOT to enjoy the good looks of the actors or whatsoever but to emphatize yourself in their situations. What will you do if you’re in their shoes?

Though I had hard times getting a grip of myself, I was sure that my mom had it worst. Truthfully, most parts of me struggled because I witnessed what mom had became. I never saw her condition like that and I never thought that she could be affected that severely because she looked like she wouldn’t be influenced by anything. She did things she had never done before and I began to feel anxious if I had to lose her too. Not death lose but self lose. I was worried that I will never see my ‘old’ mom whom I knew for 11 years, that I couldn’t do nothing to make her face bright again, that she’ll lose hope. Seeing an adult, who I thought were capable of doing anything, crumbled slowly in front of my eyes somehow gave me the negativity that I, a child wouldn’t make it too.

But, Allah is the Best Planner.

As my age grew, my maturity did too. I couldn’t see my life in the same way again instead I could look it in many different views of mine and of other people’s. And these spectacular views brought me to a greater understanding of the meaning of life. When I was 11, I thought I was the only one that suffered because everyone else seemed happy but I failed to realize that among those who wore the mask of happiness, they faced something similar to mine or perhaps even bigger. Because that’s how they saw me as. A bright student with a perfect life.

You see, all of us are amazing actors of our own lives. Things we say or do may not reflect our real self. And I believe that we do that because we don’t want to make others feel burdened. We’ve no idea what they’re going or been through. Even if they tell us, as much as we say ‘I feel you’, we just simply couldn’t. It’s not something that can be easily shared or felt by someone else. Millions of people are walking on this world and the person who is sitting beside you alone might be like me. If you look around you, they all look like everything goes well in their life but you’ll never know because yo’re not walking their path. 

So, the next time you see a sad face, don’t ask if they’re having a hard time. If you see a hole in their shoes, don’t ask if they can afford to buy a new one. If you see a trouble kid, don’t say their parents didn’t teach them. If you meet someone who is constantly pushing you away, don’t assume they hate you. Sometimes, it’s because they love you they don’t want you to get hurt. And when you see them or maybe your own friends are in pain, whisper to them this,

“It’s okay to get hurt till you feel nothing but numb. It’s okay to cry till there’s no more tears. Because you’re a human.”

Don’t be afraid to get hurt. Don’t be afraid to feel pain. Those scars will eventually be your band aids and armor that makes you even more STRONGER. What I can assure you is that I’m already full of wounds but Alhamdulillah I’m still standing on my feet and I could watch my mom soaring through rainbows.

So, I’m going to say this again.

It’s okay, you’re just a human. 

And don’t worry, whoever you are, I’m with you. 

“Allah does not charge a soul except (with that within) its capacity.”

– The Holy Qur’an, (2 : 286) –