Sunday, December 21, 2014

Being home after 441 days

I'm back in Malaysia after 441 days of being in England (not entirely, I spent some time in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Ireland). But altogether, I've been out of Malaysia for approximately 441 days, maybe more, when it comes to the travelling. Those times, I was at limbo, not being at a particular place at a particular time. 

So, how is it like to be back?

Well, I don't know. It's a bit weird to be back. One thing that has changed is the cost of living. It is wayyyyyyyy more expensive than England and that is shocking. Tax rate has increased so much more. Not to mention car prices which has 100% taxation already. And now they're about to introduce GST. The thing is that, basic salary for most people start at RM3,000. So, I really don't know how most people would survive.

Home is nice. My siblings complain about how much I sleep. But then again, I've been so stressed with work and studies and everything that it's just nice to get away for a bit. Relax and unwind. 

I was supposed to go to Bangkok but because of the political unrest in Thailand, we've decided not to go. I guess it's just Malaysia this time around. Not even Singapore because it's such a long, annoying journey and I get so sick these days. 

One good thing is that there's so much food but I just wish I could eat more. I can't eat much or sleep much, because of that I sleep so much when I do actually go to sleep and eating wise, I don't seem to be able to eat.

ANNOYANCE

I honestly just feel annoyed about everything. You know how sometimes you just get irritated by everything and you feel like you can't deal? Well, that's exactly how I feel. I feel like slapping this one person especially for being so annoying. I mean how can someone tell you things and make you think one way and tell you that that's not what they meant. I just find that really annoying. I feel like I was lied to and that I was cheated on. It's just so unfair. I hate that person so much now.




STUDY
You know how when you have ample of time? That's when you feel like studying? That's exactly what I feel like doing. It's so weird. I'm just so excited all the time. I wanna study, I wanna do everything. I wanna memorise the whole world's encyclopedia. 



LAZY

Now, I can't be bothered to continue this post because I wanna book my tickets to Italy.

Adios Chickas!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Self perseverance- building dreams, knocking down barriers, resisting temptations

As a person, we grow with time. Often we merely grow, we don't mature. It was once told to me by someone, that, you cannot merely grow, like cheese, we have to mature in order to increase our value and at the same time, to achieve the actual essence in having grown. 

I won't say I was a skeptic. On the contrary, I was quite the believer. I guess the one point I pride myself in is my ability to listen to others, although I am quite the chatterbox, yet, I am able to be silent at moments that demands for it.

It's a bit difficult to remain yourself in a world where you're surrounded by people who demand that you change for them. It reminds me of that one song by Skylar Grey- Words. It sometimes literally feels like it's so loud inside your head that the little voice in your head is screaming-screaming to be heard. Conforming. Something that people want you to do.

It reminds me of something I've only read today. 

"I don’t think people love me. They love versions of me I have spun for them, versions of me they have construed in their minds. The easy versions of me, the easy parts of me to love. Who’s going to love the girl that can’t stop crying? The girl that hurts herself? The girl that is losing control? The girl that is so sad she can’t get out of bed? The girl that keeps pushing everyone away? Who’s going to love the monster in me, who’s going to love me now?"- Anonymous 

Okay, here, it's not literally love. It's too petty. Although it does sometimes make the world go round, but that's more to humanity and respect. But let's leave that one out for another post.

You see, here, we have a number of personalities. Ever felt like you've been living in a masquerade ball where everyone just seems to have spun out to be someone that you thought was unlikely to be of someway? Well, to me, I don't think it's impossible to be one way with one person and another with someone else. Fake. Two-faced. Often you hear that when someone says they dislike someone, but they are really nice towards the very person that they've said that they dislike. 

But ever thought that the person trusts you enough to actually reveal to you that they dislike someone? I always thought that I would forsake anyone that I disliked. Who gives two hoots about what happens to them? But as you grow, you actually understand that it takes a lot more courage to actually even speak to someone that you dislike. But when you live in a community where almost everyone knows everyone, or, let's even put that aside, if you lived in a place where you're interacting with someone on a some sort frequent basis. You have to act mature, put your differences aside and be nice to them. Even if you're going to heave a sigh or gag after that person has left. 

But really, it takes being the bigger person in handling situations. If this were to be me a few years ago, believe me, I would have slapped my current self for even suggesting such an idea. But honestly, you cannot begrudge someone and work with them. It often takes forgiving someone and understanding that even though you wouldn't do it, but what guarantee do you have that you understand the whole story? There are three versions of the story- their story, your story and the truth.

But honestly, it takes a lot to forget, and you really don't have to forget. Because, you take that as a lesson, but never let things get to you- I must admit that I always let things affect me, when really, I know that I'm better than that and I shouldn't let it get to me. 

You see, the problem here is not yourself. Often, we care so much about what other people "think" about us. But really, someone told me, "If it's not your family or close friends, then it doesn't matter" - it actually struck a chord, although this person doesn't think that anything that they say actually makes a difference, but I honestly appreciate this person a lot. 

You see, often, the people who know nothing about us, are the ones to jump to conclusions and who are first to be the one to give a detailed description of "what they think of us".

These kind of people often belittle us. But great people make you feel like you can achieve great things too, only small people belittle others. A quote from Mark Twain- “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” 

Ever felt like moving to a whole new place, like, say, Antarctica? And just being alone, maybe packing in your suitcase a few of your close friends as well and just being happy? Because sometimes, I feel that way. I know how much something someone tells me, even if it's only in passing affects me and I've been trying to change it for awhile and seriously, I feel like this one person really helps me sometimes- two actually. I've been blessed to have such amazing family and friends. 

One of my friends said this, "Maybe you've only been looking at all the troubles, which is why you think you're faced with a lot of problems, but look at the little things, they're the things that matter the most- as insignificant as it is".

I'm actually doing that, and truth be told, I actually feel happier when I'm blogging. Being absent from it, really tells me how much of a mess I am. I've also decided that I would actually love to be actively involved in writing for the University's paper.

You know how, you feel like you want to just run away from everything? To be honest, it's because you just want to press the fast forward button and just get past everything. But, just like in the movie, Click- you skip the best parts of your life as well.

Sometimes, we have to all face the fact that running away is not always the way to solve all our problems. We all run away from things sometimes, and it's hard to resist it. But really, I'd say if you've decided to jump off a bridge (not in a literal sense)- then jump, let the cold, brick hard water hit your face, and feel the smashing pain of whatever you've decided upon, then move on, sink to the very depths of it. 

At least you then know that it was wrong, it hurts, it bloody hurts, it freaking makes every sinew in you yell out in pain. But if you never do it, you never know, it's just flipping wrong. So, why resist? I know I'm young enough to do whatever the heck I want to do and to resist every single thing, to hold back from doing the wildest things in your dreams is just wrong. Why? Why do you have to think when you've already moved a million miles away from everyone who knows you? It just seems wrong. It just doesn't feel right. If I could, I'd just pack my bags and just leave like I always do. Everyone knows how unpredictable I am- especially when the million text messages and phone calls aren't answered and when I get back to them after awhile.. It's really hard to not do it when you've decided that you want to become a responsible adult, especially when you love the adrenaline rush- the whole spontaneity of the situation.

Being the type of person who books a ticket to London, then rushes to Heathrow for the next flight to Paris, really doesn't make you predictable, especially when you've even booked a place to stay in London but you just follow your whims and desires and go wherever you please. It's hard. Especially when you jump at every travel invitation you have-even if you've been there before.

The way I see it- you either live for it or you die for it. Life doesn't have it's guidebook, it doesn't tell you what's right or wrong other than the ones outlined by society. That's the closest you can get to a guide. But really it's up to you, to follow society, which includes you and I, mind you. Or to break all the rules, doing what you want and feeling happy.

Really, listening to what other people have to say about you, really isn't worth it. Choose your friends wisely. You can have a million friends and still feel empty- take it from me. But, really, it's who you choose to share your every whims and desires that really matter. And really whoever the person is that you choose has to be someone that would value you for who you are. They should appreciate the very soul that you are despite your mood swings, your nonsensical rants, your happiness, your highs, your lows and you-theirs.

Living is hard enough. Sometimes, you just want it all to end. When it's time to move on, it's essential. It's truly just a phase in life. But we often hold on to things. I've learnt so much in the past few weeks about moving on and letting a whole new chapter in your life begin instead of just holding on to something that you don't want to see end. It's hard. But really, life is a continuous process, just like a caterpillar that metamorphosises into a butterfly. You become better, so, why remain a caterpillar when you can become a butterfly?

Sometimes, you've got to stay at one place and resist the temptation to runaway, to create reasons to leave, but just like the person says, they are memories, you're creating memories. You're making a lasting impression on everyone's life. Everyone that you meet, even in passing, makes a difference in your life. It's just the magnitude that is different.

Stop for a moment- ask yourself, what really matters to you? What doesn't? Really, just create a clearer picture for yourself. Note it down, create a whole map even if you have to, just don't give up too soon. Stick to it. Your plans, your whims, your desires- be a rebel, but remain yourself, don't let opinions of useless, thick people get to you and be spontaneous, but remain grounded, have someone who would give you a reality check when you've floated too high up in the clouds.

Till my next post. xx



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hijab and I.

So, today, I'm going to explain what is it with me and a headscarf. Is it just a piece of cloth that I have on my head all the time? Is it a covering for religious reasons? Is it just a fashion statement? Is it just something that I do out of culture and acceptance? Is it really a sign of oppression? Is it the wrong way of wearing a scarf?

If I was to be back in Malaysia, Brunei or Singapore, a scarf, would probably be so normal, that no one would even bat an eyelid if they saw you with one. However, being in a Christian country, sometimes, there are some people who look at you. I don't blame people because it is not a norm for people to walk around with a headscarf in this country. 

So, let's lay out the foundation for this. What's the purpose of a headscarf? More importantly, why did I start wearing a headscarf? This was a difficult question for me, because, even though everyone were accepting of my choice, but it still raised a question as to why I actually started wearing one.

Which in some ways, is a good thing, as it is good to think back to the times when you weren't wearing one and when you actually do, you think to yourself, "Huh, well, I guess all my worries weren't so great after all."

The whole journey begun a really long time ago, whilst tirelessly searching for the true religion. Doubting the very fact that I shouldn't just follow something just because I was born into it. My mum is a convert, which drove me into questioning more about religion. The very fact that there were billions of people in this world which were and are religious, or at least do believe in a God, baffled me. 

So, what I did was, I went on a soul searching journey. Constantly reading about different religions, practicing Islam on and off. I've studied Islam since I was born, literally. The very moment the adhan (call of prayer for muslims) was sung in my ear by my uncle. I've researched so much about religion, their differences, their similarities, debated with God knows how many people about the existence of God. I think I was even in a place where I questioned the existence of God.

Through and through, still, I knew I had iman (faith), because I would never let anyone speak ill of Islam. 

So, when I was 18, I entered an army camp for 3 months and I was forced to wear the headscarf. At that time, I was very upset that I was forced to do something I didn't want to do. But being there, I felt more religious, never missing any of my 5 day prayer, always keeping track of my prayers and making sure I never missed them. The tidiness of my headscarf slowly turned from barbaric to decent. I was sure before, I didn't know how to wear a headscarf properly, especially the ones you had to pin it. 

But after a while, I actually started liking it, I came back from camp, started working part time, but I still never missed my prayer. I told my mom that I would like to wear a scarf and she disagreed and advised me to wear one once I'm working or when I'm married. So, I let the matter pass.

I got into complicated situations, and every time, it led me to turn back to God. No matter how many times I would fall, God seemed to always be merciful towards me, helping me no matter how many times I fell. I was exactly like those rebellious kids who did naughty things, but when they got hurt, they ran to their mums. But God was my saviour. Every single time, some people find it ridiculous when I say that.

Then, my believe in God waned again at the age of 19 when I was stricken with a calamity. Every now and then, I made wudu' (ablution) and prayed again. I dressed horribly. I wanted to be like those models who were plastered on the covers of magazines. My sister, however, always told me not to wear this and that and disagreed with a lot of my clothing choices. 

Finally, at the age of 20, when I entered University, I felt the most lost. I really had amazing people around me but I had nothing inside me. I felt empty. I was happy. Always having fun, going places, hanging out with people, having people tell me that I'm amazing and everything. But every time I was alone, I felt worthless.

On the 6th of January 2014, I confided in a friend about wanting to wear the hijab (headscarf) and for the first time, I cried. I cried because I feared the one true God that I believe in, Allah. I cried because I was afraid, "What if I never had another chance to see tomorrow, yet He always lets me live another day in my wicked ways. (The ways which weren't God's)"

On the 12th of January 2014, I wore a scarf with the intention of making it permanent. My friend who saw me the day before without one, walked past me and almost didn't recognise me, but because another friend was with me, he noticed me and asked me if it was somehow too cold, so I've decided to put my scarf on like that.

Before I wore my scarf as well, I confided in another one of my friend, who gave me her full support and was there for me all the time. However, every time I went to the gym, I would take it off, till, I reached a point I could wear it without ever taking it off in front of unlawful people (people who aren't allowed to see me without one). This is because in Islam, the headscarf or hijab is something that is worn to conceal ones beauty so that they do not come across harm or attract other people's attention. The hijab however, is not only a way to hide your hair, it's also a means of granting yourself self respect, dignity, identity and also haya' (bashfulness in concealing your beauty, be it your voice, your beauty, or anything that may attract someone else's want to approach you to engage in unlawful things such as fornication, sinning and etc.)

Sounds harsh you may say, but I say, it has worked for me. If before I wore a headscarf, although I don't consider myself beautiful (beauty is in the eyes of the beholder), but I do get unwanted attention from people who think it "polite" to yell about how they feel that I'm pretty in public. 

To me, I think the hijab has helped me in guarding my modesty and the reason as to why I have chosen to wear it is because I have chosen to be a more practicing Muslim. By saying this, I don't mean that those who don't wear a headscarf are bad muslimS, they're just on a different stage of iman (faith) than I am. There are many who don't wear a headscarf who are even better Muslims than I am. Just because God has concealed some of my sins, doesn't mean that I am better than others.

I still think that I am a horrible person inside, I still do. But I choose to focus on the positive and focus on bettering myself rather than to ponder on my negative traits. I've chosen to follow a path that will make me a better person. I have chosen a path to help others regardless of their religion. It says in the Quran (the Islamic book of faith) that everyone is allowed to practice their own religion, and us as Muslims are respectful of that. I do believe that my choice to wear a hijab was because I identified the beauty of Islam.

Some people may say that praying 5 times a day is hard, a waste of time, etc. But I think it's an escape from worldly affairs, it helps me meditate and refocus my energy into what I want to do after. It makes me a more organized person, better at time management and most importantly, it teaches me about being a better person, never being judgemental, accepting of everyone, and forgiving.

I've learned that my faith has changed me, and the first step that I took in seeking the pleasure of my Lord, is in wearing the hijab. This has changed me. Tremendously. It has allowed me to be tolerant and patient. It has enabled me to overcome so many of my troubles and even evade a lot more. I'm thankful of everything and I think to myself, if God gives me so much, then why can't I do the few things that He asks me to do when He gives me so much without me even asking for it.

Hence, my summary of my beliefs, how it started and how it shall progress.