Text

Hurm, you know I’m extremely emotional when I write back to back.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

A few months ago, I had a misunderstanding with my friend. It’s all because of a text message. Bear in mind, I have nothing against social media and technology advancements. I find them very helpful to a certain extent. What happened on that day was I read the text in a skewed emotion. I felt as if she was being rude to me. It’s a norm in our culture (me and her) to ask permission before proceeding with something. Needless to say, I was taken aback when she acted differently. I took it to the heart. Things got tad complicated afterwards. Long story short, we confronted each other and the misunderstanding was resolved. Albeit not entirely.

We grow apart. We don’t talk as much, we don’t laugh to each other’s jokes anymore and it takes a lot of effort just to say hi. Funny how things could go wrong with just a text.

What can I say; once it’s done, it’s done. Damage has been done to our friendship. We’re not enemies but we aren’t exactly friends either. We’re more than just acquaintances. So, where do we stand?

To her, I am sorry.

Lesson learned.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

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Leaving

I may not have the purest heart. In fact, I am struggling and I have been reflecting quite a lot these days.

Have you ever been in a situation where you know what you’re doing is wrong but you can’t help it? That is the sort of feelings I have.

I appreciate that everyone is different. We all require different things. The simplest thing; cleanliness. On one extreme, we have people with OCD and on the other end are people whom couldn’t care less. In between those two groups, are the rest of the world.

I, myself, am not an OCD. I took the test and I’m negative. It’s just that I like to have everything clean, ordered, placed properly and essentially, ready for whoever is using next. That’s just common sense, for me.

Our variety in characters are meant to be complemented. People complement each other like a jigsaw puzzle. I might be lacking in one area, so my friends will help me out and I’ll learn from them. Vice versa. Same thing if we’re talking about marriage. Things will only work out if both sides take responsibilities – takes two to tango.

However

The smallest matter would be disastrous if it’s not tackled. Theoretically, an empty cup is light when we first hold it. What if, we were to hold it for an hour without placing it down. Our arms will grow weaker. It’s not because the cup becomes heavier but because we are starting to lose our strength.

Because I believe in different personalities; I tried not to impose my belief on someone else. There were times when I just had to talk to someone for me to see from another angle.

It’s not easy and I fail to do it over and over again. At least, I tried. It’s hard to have a peace of heart when you consistently question other’s actions. “Why did he do that?”, “Why can’t she do this?”, “Why is it so hard to do this?” – I end up feeling exhausted trying to make sense of the world. In the end, I tell myself to just let it be. It is a heartache, still. Then again, problems aren’t solved that way. So, I braved myself and say it. Only to be answered with nonsense. This is when I know, I have to leave. So, I’m leaving.

Sorry

Everyone makes mistake.

For that, we’re always sorry.

But some people just don’t.

They either don’t acknowledge their mistake or they do, but don’t intend to improve.

For example, you’re always late to an appointment. You stood the other person up. Or, you say something but end up not doing it or delaying it.

The right thing to do is apologise. What isn’t right is, to keep doing the same mistake.

As I grow up, I learned that, saying you’re sorry is empty words until you prove you’re sorry. You may ask; how? Act like you are.

This is my take. If you’re sorry, that’s saying, you won’t do it again. For all the promises you made, you’re going to keep it. For all the words you say, you’re telling the truth. For all the errors you’ve made, you gonna amend it – at your best.

One of my pet peeves is breaking promises. I’ve experienced it my whole life. These people aren’t worth of my time. You did that twice (I give second chances), I’m done with you. For instance, two people whom had agreed to meet at 2 but one kept on delaying the meeting and in the end, didn’t meet at all – reason being, I didn’t see the time or I’m lazy or I was talking to someone. Nothing important.

Question.

Why do these kind of people exist?

I strongly advocate us to respect others; their time, money, effort, feelings, thoughts, etc.

Till then, be respectful.

May peace be upon you.

The Odds

We all have our distinct way of feeling and perceiving something. Education, family background and interests are just some of the factors make up for the difference.

*For the sake of gender neutrality, I am going with masculinity. Oxymoron, but, oh well.

My friend once asked me if he was insensitive to others. At that moment, I remember disagreeing to the statement.

As time went by, I realised that he was neither completely sensitive nor insensitive. There were things he could relate and there were incidents when he couldn’t relate. It took time for me to realise that. Simple, but could change the relationship for a better or worse.

For some, hanging out for hours is energising but not to others. There are times when people love to be with others and there are times they need to be alone. The threshold of how long we can bear socialising differs. This contrast, I believe, dictates our daily life too.

As for me, I like having my friends over. Talk over matters that range from pointless to thought provoking. However, depending on what I have in hand, I’d need time for myself afterwards especially if I’m racing against deadlines or worse, exams.

On the other hand, there’s a friend of mine who just love to be with people and doesn’t find it hard to study in the noise. He could just be in conversation and still get all the information into his head. Naturally, having some me-time isn’t necessary for him.

Hence, if that friend of mine treated me the way he treated himself, I may not be able to comply. Maybe, I’d go against him and we will end up fighting. Vice versa.

So, how do we find the balance? How are we supposed to know what that person likes and dislikes?

I couldn’t give an exact answer but what I usually do is, I read the cues. If that person talks a lot, that means he is engaging in the conversation and is happy to continue. If that person’s attention is deviated to something else, that just indicates he is a gonner – no point holding him back. Cues could be so subtle like in those cases or sometimes, it’s crystal clear. For instance, a person saying “I really enjoy this” or “I don’t think I’m fit for it” or “I need my time” or “This tastes really good”.

Our actions after all the cues reflect ourselves – either an altruistic or straight-up oblivious.

Till then, peace be upon you.

 

Opening up

By far, it’s the second hardest thing after saying goodbye. My novice philosophical mind tells me it’s because we’re actually giving a piece of ourselves to someone else. Naturally, we feel comfortable talking with someone whom we trust.

Today, I mustered up my courage to tell some of my closest friends something that I’d been hiding for quite sometime. Well, it wasn’t so bad. Unsurprisingly, I still owe them a Skype conversation and a meet-up.

Sometimes, when people are having hard times, all they need is time. I know that for a fact. The glorious “time heals” is in fact true. It’s not because time has magic or antidote to it, but it’s because we grow over time. With every second that we reflect upon ourselves and becoming more accepting of what has happened, we become stronger – mentally and thus, physically.

Baby steps.

It’s okay to do it slowly.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

White lies

People lie to conceal.

I know I did.

Sometimes, lying is the only way to protect ourselves and/or the people around us. A mom has to lie saying that the new doll is ugly when in fact she can’t afford it. A sister has to pretend she’s OK because she has to put a smile on her younger siblings. Doctors have to act brilliant because the patients are relying on them.

Yesterday, I had a pep talk with my colleague. She said,

Life is fair.

I didn’t buy her. I know that life isn’t.  It’s just how nature works – or is it how we manipulate the world. In short, how we see things.

I have a feeling that I’m going to ramble in this post. I really do.

Okay, breathe in, breathe out.

White lies. I have been lied too many times than I could remember. AND. I have told numerous lies too. With every stage of life, the reason for me lying changes.

When I was a kid, I lied because I didn’t want to feel left out. When I was a teenager, I lied because I wanted to be free. When I was a young adult, I lied because I wasn’t ready to spill the bean. None of these reasons justify my action. I did it anyway for myself and hopefully for the people that I loved. – I lied. Again. I did it because I don’t want to be judged.

I knew all along that lying isn’t good. No one should live in lies. And I had been telling myself everytime I intend to fabricate things, lie doesn’t stop at one, it starts at one.

Things aren’t make easier if people were to be honest all the time. Truth hurts more at times. People go crazy over some newly-found facts, they regretted their curiosity. Would you be ready to be told that your long-time lover is attracted to your sexual attractiveness rather than your soul? Would you be fine to find out that the parents you knew are actually serial killers? Would you not get flustered to discover that your crush is actually your family?

Life is complicated. We’re entangled. We’re so diverse that it’s almost impossible to find a common ground.

Alas, that doesn’t serve as a reason for us to be ruthless and ignorant. No matter how hard life hits us, we have to get back on our foot. Regardless of how unjust things are, we have to move on. Make our lives better for our own, not for others.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Sisters

I used to think that I’m closest to my brother and I dedicated a post for him in my previous blog.

Although I’m still close to my brother, I found a new sibling-friend; my sister. I’m 5 years older. So, we didn’t really have much things to talk about when we’re younger. I was always too old and she was always too young. So, there was nothing to talk about.

Time flies by. She started to copy my style and secretly adored me. Then she found her own style and defined herself without having my influence. After that, she started to pretend not to listen but silently agreed to my advises. Now, we’re sharing more things than we could ever imagine.

Out of the blue, she’d text me and recommend songs to listen to and I’d return the deed on some other day. I can now actually ask for her opinions on things that I want to buy. Recently, my mom called and told me to get rtw baju raya (basically new cloth for Eid celebration) with my sister cause she doubted that we’ve enough time for tailored ones. I asked her to go ahead and find theirs first. Then, my mom said that my sister wanted to go with me.

On another occasion, my sister was exhilarated when I told her that I’m coming home and asked her for a sisters-hangout. She obvs reached the mall earlier than I do. When I reached the mall, she was standing at the higher end of the escalator. She was wearing a really big smile and waved at me in the middle of the crowds. I doubt she was happy to see me but it was more like, “Yeay, I’m gonna have some fun time and eat everything I want and my sister is gonna pay for it all.” I personally think it was also because she got to experience what a young adult life is – to go shop without parents nor using their money. I – am honoured to be part of her grown up experience. I still remember wishing that I’d have a sister whom I can have girl talks. Now, I have one.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

p/s: Sure, we have disagreements but that makes us sisters. Sisters of our own identity – we have enough people mistaking us for one another.

Ripped

It was in my hand. I was happy to have it.

Until…

We sat for our last paper today. We were joyful, to a certain extent, because the questions were manageable. Then, we received an email saying that our essays (which was returned to us a month ago) had been remarked. I reached to the line when the lecturer actually apologise for releasing the marks earlier. At that moment I knew something wasn’t right.

The second marker came into picture and he decided to pull down my marks by more than 50%.

I felt robbed.

I thought I had it all in place. Things were going fine and I had the motivation to proceed. I was wrong. Feeling unjustly marked, I went to speak with the head of department/module leader. Well, most of the time I was quiet and the rest did the talking. I wanted to know so badly what had gone wrong and everyone was absolutely outrageous by the horrific incidence.

Truth is, I still can’t get over it and I don’t really know why do I feel so unsettled. I knew that partly it’s my fault but really, how ridiculous to have such different opinions from two markers from the same institute?

“That’s just how things work. We don’t take the average of those two marks. We take the one that we agreed on.” Yeah, only that the one you agreed on is the lower one, much lower.

It really takes its toll on me. I am extremely demotivated and today is supposedly a happy day because it’s the beginning of summer break.

Nonetheless, I try to see the silver lining. One thing for sure, God is teaching me for the third time, neither success nor failure is permanent. One second you’re on the top, the next time you’re at the bottom. Really, it takes consistent effort and everlasting faith to keep things up.

p/s: I could really use a venti Java chips of Starbucks with a caramel whipped cream now.

Cold-hearted

I am not quick to forgive.

There has always been a trend in news articles. One time, it was about rape, the other was about homicide, then there was child abandonment. Now, it’s time for bullying reports.

Not saying that the news aren’t good but the fact that people; precisely newspapers and local news authors, would only shed light at the subject once there’s something big happened is absurd – just like how the Paralympic athletes were glorified only after three of them managed to bring home our first Paralympic (and thus Olympic level) gold medals. Pity.

Since a few weeks ago, the new have been flooded by in-school torment. It all started when a child had to be amputated and died not long after the surgery due to being unjustly tortured by the school warden. If you read the paper today, there’s a list of bully cases.

It is a long overdue duty of the public communicators to drive authorities’ attention because that’s how things work here. The authorities are very economical at giving attention to the mid&low-class citizens. Things should have been handled long ago. Rules and regulations should have been put into practice when things were only budding. Children’s voice should have been heard and attended to. But being in a society where the elderly is always right has put us in jeopardy.

When I was in boarding school, I experienced somewhat senior-junior nasty treatment too. The juniors had to stay awake up until 4 am to decorate the dormitory while the seniors were sound asleep. We had to do it in the dark and weren’t allowed to do it in the study room (with lights) because someone else is studying. Some of us tried fixing the norms only to be verbally assault by the seniors. We tried telling the teachers, parents and whoever there was. It was to no avail.

Try to talk it through with them.

Try doing it at other times.

It’s okay. You’re gonna be doing the same thing once you’re a senior.

These are some of the useless advises we received. The last one caught me the most. If an adult could be saying those words, there shall be no end to the vicious cycle. I had it enough that if I were to be given a chance to relive the experience, I won’t do it.

This is not a small matter that could be silenced. I surely hope it’s not. Drastic yet pragmatic measures should be taken. The youths are our future. If schools and home don’t curb the violence of any form now, I can only imagine a barbaric 2030.

The world is already filled with problems. Having another problem would only break the society harder. In a world full of injustice and filthy things, let’s make a room for hope. A hope for the better.

Till then, peace be upon you.

Cursing

I curse a lot. More often I curse alone. There’s a temporary satisfaction to it. The satisfaction then turns into guilt and embarrassment. A respectable man once said,

Filthy language is used by people who don’t have maturity or intelligence to express themselves with better words.

– Nouman Ali Khan

At times, it’s very hard to control our anger and disappointment. Many resort to using foul words to express it. The angrier they get, the harsher the words. Thing as simple as dropping a cup could trigger a person to say ‘sh**’. Do your maths what would be uttered if someone hit one’s car.

I had (still having) a very challenging days where one of my group mate was not cooperating. It could be my overthinking skill to question his reasons but I still gave him chances to prove me wrong. One day, I had enough. I had to get him out of my way and put this to an end. So, I emailed the lecturer in charge to inform and hoping for a solution i.e. to exclude him from the group. I was disappointed with the response. The lecturer asked me to proceed and do nothing about the guy. Lecturer was saying “let’s not drop anyone for now. It’s a good chance for you to learn how to handle the group. Let the person decides based on his consciousness”.

#$^%^&*@%$^??????

…and here I am, talking all by myself, “Ahha, excuse me. I’ve done everything I could to get him involved. If he’s not replying or picking up calls or showing up, what more can I do? Go to his freaking house?!”

Then my brother told me to just let it go. You do you, I do me. It was hard. Still is. But, the willingness to let go, gave me so much peace. I knew that the guy could be worse and was already thinking all of the possible scenes during our presentation day. I was a mad pessimistic lady. It wasn’t helpful. I couldn’t concentrate on my works. I felt uneasy and there was a constant resentment to that guy.

Then, my brother came in and stroke me straight up, “Halting your work because of one problematic person, isn’t a good trait of leadership and team work. There’s always someone who has to do shit but why would you let that stop you.” I laughed at myself. Ooohh, that hurts. Okay abang. Silenced by the strong wisdom.

Didn’t know that my brother could sense my overwhelming stress (I didn’t think it’s stress. More of an anger and fighting for justice). Even I tried to deny it – but I’m a horrible actor, so eventually everyone knows.

Anyway, after the unsatisfactory reply from the lecturer, I prompted the lecturer with a more close-end and straightforward question, “Kindly advise me and the others regarding this matter” and CC-ed to the dean (cause the lecturer said he had discussed it with the dean). Then only I receive a clear-cut answer. Basically, we’re going to have a feedback sheet and we could mark our group members. So, that’s reassuring enough.

Do keep in mind that the decision was agreed by the other member and was a result after discussing with the deputy dean (deputy dean was acting as our adviser) who also advised us to report to the assigned lecturer.

During this period, I’ve said countless cursing words. I was so angry because I couldn’t tolerate such behaviour. However, I managed to be professional when talking to him as not to spark any nonsense arguments because,

The moment you start arguing with an ignorant fool, you have already lost.

-Saidina Ali

In the end, I learned a thing or two. You have to try your best but when it doesn’t work, you have to understand that it’s no longer your fight. Just like the classic rabbit and turtle, you have to carry on with what’s best for you and don’t let the arrogant rabbit stops you from reaching the finishing line.

Until then, may peace be upon us.