Monday, January 8, 2018

The Beauty in Being Broken


This quote explains why I have been in a creative rut lately. I guess my medication for depression and anxiety are very effective. Even my designs in Design Home game is suffering! This should be good news, right? Yes..... Then, why am I writing an entry today?

I glance out my office window that overlooks a scenic view Damansara Heights. A field of roofs glistening under the scorching hot sun. I draw a deep breath and think of my need to say something today. I know what it is about. I just need to compose it as eloquently as possible. You see, its not just important that people understand what I am trying to say. What's most important is that everyone understands me exactly as how I want them to understand. Therefore, the burden of explanation weighs heavily on my shoulders.

I stand up and walk out my office room. I need to think. I need something to do while I think. I head straight for a money plant that is swimming in a clear glass vase filled with mossy green water. I pick it up and head for the Ladies. My head entertaining words and phrases. Yes. I see words in my head but visuals in my eyes. That does not need to make sense to anyone else.

I am back at my desk and well aware that depression has been following me for quite a while now. I have successfully ignored it until last night. But today, it follows me to work. Logic tells me I cannot afford to have a depressive crash right now. I have too much work to get done. I have two subjects to teach this semester. I cannot afford to have depression right now. Somehow, it always comes at an ill opportune time. Which beckons the question, "Is there ever a good time for depression?"

Last night I watched Split 2016. James McAvoy was superb in his portrayal of Kevin and his 23 other personalities. I was intrigued by Dr. Fletcher and how she handled a client with DID. Marvelous! I learned while watching that movie. Something stayed with me. This:



"The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice!" Wow! I have never seen being broken as a reason for rejoicing before. And then I searched for other quotes about being broken. Here are some that illustrate what I am trying to articulate.










Yeah. What they said. That's what I want to write. But it has already been written by so many others. Others who got broken way before me. Others who shine and twinkle like stars in the dead darkness of night. The moon may have its beauty; but its the stars that twinkle and make minds wonder.

Oprah Winfrey showed me, and keeps on showing me, how to shine despite my brokenness. Her acceptance speech on Golden Globe 2017 moved me to tears and I sobbed my brokenness away, shedding it like dead skin.




I am still unable to string my own words for this entry. I lean on words of others who have suffered long before I did, for much longer than I have. I salute their resolution. May theirs be mine soon.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Farewell 2017


I have been on annual leave since 18th December and my brain is totally relaxed! So much so that I am forcing myself to write a post tonight simply because the next following days will fly in a flurry, filled with events and things to get done before I resume work in the new year. Somehow, I find it challenging to remember what had happened in this year. 

I reviewed the handful of posts I made this year and my memory is jolted to several painful memories. Yes. Grief and loss. Sigh... Now I know why my brain had blocked them out. The pain lingers now as I look at the keyboard, waiting for my brain to string some words together to form sentences. Something that makes sense to me. Something worthwhile writing.

Fast forward from my last entry to the last three months.

Since October this year, I have started a new hobby: playing a game called Design Home. It has become something that I think about first thing in the morning and the last thing on my mind before I fall asleep every night since this adventure began. The thing I find addictive about this game is that it allows me to decorate rooms virtually and be proud of my designs. Its the creative outlet to replace everything else that I can no longer do: singing.

The game isn't without flaws. The voting system sucks. Voters consist of players with various degrees of interior decorating knowledge. Truth be told, I really don't care much about the scores. I just want to keep on designing. It fills this long time hunger to decorate my home to my heart's content. I thought of posting some of my design work here but I know myself too well that I won't be able to pick just a few. Hence the two photo albums on Facebook that I had dedicated to just that.

Working as a lecturer has become a continuous learning process for me. I learn from my students on how to improve my methods of teaching. I believe I am getting better with each passing semester of this year. Having two career subjects to teach as well as Crisis Intervention Strategies this year has been splendidly delightful. And I am happy to report that I am now the main lecturer to conduct Sensitivity Camps for pre-practicum students. Also, this time around, I get to teach a handful of students on how to conduct such camps.





Has 2017 changed me? Yes, in that I am stronger now to say "No"to things that are no longer right or true. Some may view this as harsh or cruel. But I need to do whatever it takes to take care of myself. My family needs me. My students need me. My clients need me. I need me. I have no room in my life for people who are still deciding whether I am worth their loyalty or not.

Who am I now? These practicum students of mine used these words to describe me:







Some of my other students gave me a thank you card, ladened with deeply touching words, at the end of camp.



This is who I am... for now.

... to be continued.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017: First Quarter of Grief


Something I had not mentioned in my first post for this year is the losses I had suffered since the year began. On January 3rd, my much loved cousin whom everyone called Kak Long (Suhairah Wahiduddin) passed away much too young for her age; leaving her family, relatives and friends from far and wide, grieving. The impact of her unexpected death hit many of us so deeply.

On 20th January, my husband's uncle, Rahim, passed away in Port Dickson, during his morning nap. From the first time I was introduced to him, we had a connection. We would comfortably talk about faith, spirituality and sufism for countless hours. We shared the same interest and love for Allah. He had always mentioned how he looked forward to the day he would return to Allah. Therefore, when the news of his death reached me, I had a mixed feeling of happiness and grief. The day he had been looking forward to almost the whole of his life had finally arrived. But I had lost a father figure. He died during Friday prayers. Masya Allah!

Not long after, on February 1st 2017, someone I befriended exactly 10 years to that date, Syed Omar, passed away after years of fighting cancer. He was buried on a Thursday afternoon. His funeral was attended not only by his family but also royalties and dignitaries. Despite his designation and relations with the royal family, he remained humble and simple.

On the morning of February 24th, I woke up to a message from my friend Helen Yap, that our fellow musician/composer Johan Nawawi had passed away. His death was unexpected and sudden because he had not been unwell. In fact, last my husband and I met him was less than 2 months before and we had a chance to catch up on what's been happening in each others' lives. He died and was buried on a Friday. There were three congregations of prayers done for him on that day! Masya Allah! How he was so loved by everyone.

Despite having lost all these people whom I have known and had touched my life in some way or rather, I managed to keep to my work commitments. Although there were times when I wept in the privacy of my office, I kept ploughing through, managing my grief as best I could. But the last straw that broke this camel's back happened on Sunday, April 2nd at 8:50pm. My much loved kitten that was rescued from the rooftop of University Hospital in August last year and I adopted him and named him Bleu, was hit by a speeding car in front of our home! This was witnessed by my younger daughter and it traumatized her. She was inconsolable for a long time. We all grieved over Bleu's death. There was a pool of blood underneath his cute little head. His blood-filled eyes were open and black. His mouth was open. As I picked his body up from the ground, I felt the last of his breath leaving his little body. I cradled him in my arms and wailed. My chest felt as though something was brutally wrenched out of it. I grieved. I am still grieving. I think I will always grieve over Bleu.

I believe Bleu was an angel. He came into our lives and filled it with love. He was always gentle and considerate. There's not a soul that had met and known him that was not touched by his love. I pondered on why losing a pet hurt so much more than losing a human being. I have come to realize that the reason is because animals don't have the capacity for malice or spite. Nothing more genuine and sincere than the soul of an animal.

I have suffered losses before. Losing Mad had me grieving for more than two years. Maybe because Mad was also someone who had no capacity for malice or spite; at least not towards me. Do I wish I had grieved for Mad for much lesser duration? No. I believe the duration of grieving befits the quality of the soul that we have lost.

What I have taken away from all that has happened is this: I need to prepare myself for my first night in the grave; where there will be no one who can help me. I will be buried alone with only my deeds to speak for me. Henceforth, I have revised and renewed my commitments. I hope, together with my good deeds, Bleu will be there to keep me company in barzakh.

Whatever I have composed today is based on how I am feeling today. May Allah erase from my memory anything that does not benefit me remembering. May He bless me with serenity for my soul and peace for my mind, commitment and loyalty towards Him in my heart so I would remain steadfast in my ibadah for Him, insya Allah.

Wait for mama, Bleu. Meanwhile, do put in a good word for me, ok my son? We will always love and miss you.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

De-cluttering



As I browse through the many posts I had written over time since opening my Blogger account, I noticed some that evoked memories I would rather forget. Nothing worth keeping. I believe it is high time for me to delete them. It would be counterproductive to strive for peace of mind and serenity of the heart by holding on to posts that were written while I was in the throes of stupidity. We learn from mistakes but no one in their right mind would treasure them!

Therefore, right after publishing this entry, I will be sweeping through all my past entries and deleting the miserable ones for good. See you all on the other side! 😊


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Gift of Time

My husband has a hobby of gifting me watches any chance he gets. No Rolex or anything of that sort, of course. But time pieces that carry individual sentimental values. The first one he bought was a pair of His & Hers YSL dress watches for our first wedding anniversary.


Needless to say, I wear this to formal events.


The second watch he bought me was upon my request: ICE watch in Black and Gold.


This one was my everyday watch for a long while, for obvious reasons.


The third watch he bought for me was for my 50th birthday, another ICE watch but with BMW design. It just happens to be in the same colour as the 10 year old BMW car he bought me in 2007.


This is my watch of choice whenever I am roughing it up doing outdoor activities. Usually worn with blue Levi's jeans.

And the latest and most expensive purchase he made for me was for my 52nd birthday: an Apple Watch!


I am absolutely in love with this gem! I mean, it makes it a lot easier driving to work and everywhere else now. 

I pondered on the reasons behind my husband's tendencies to buy me a watch any chance he gets. I came to the conclusion its about giving time. Time is the most precious gift anyone can ever gift to you. Its the one thing they can never recover or get back. 

Looking back, hubby has always been there for me. He has always given me the time and space to grow. He was patient during my difficult and most trying moments. In the past, during my depressive years, I had pushed him to make quick decision to let me go. But instead, he stalled for time; giving me the space to regain my equilibrium. He knows and understands me better than I do myself, I must admit. And I am eternally grateful for his gifts. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Last of 2016



Hello! This is the latest photo of me. Just to record how I'm aging at the end of this year. Hahahaa! Well, to be honest, I'm thinking this may just be my last blog entry for this year. My memory fails me of late, therefore writing a recap of the year would not be such a bright idea. How about I just type out whatever crosses my mind right now?

I wish to walk in a field of lavender, probably in France. I imagine staying a week in a chateau nearby where I can smell the soothing lavender in the breeze as I sit outside drinking cafe au lait while allowing sunset to do magic with the colors of nature surrounding me. Sigh... Even the thought of that relaxes me.





And just look at the sunlight interweaving between the lavender shafts! Gorgeous!

Its a week into my new one year contract with the university and I am looking forward to starting 2017 with an exciting new elective module: Crisis Intervention. I have so much planned and it feels wonderful to have the full support of head of department with regards to my plans. 

There are many who choose to have gloomy perspectives on the so-called bleak economy. But I truly believe that every crisis or conflict is, in actuality, an opportunity for growth. People who hate change or challenges are just purely lazy. And then they whine about how boring their lives are. 

I pondered upon my life so far and realized that I have never been unemployed. That is simply because I have always been (and probably always will be) self-employed. A year into this 'full time' gig has given me a clear picture as to why many people are sold into the illusion of job security and they do whatever they can to keep within their comfort zones due to their complacency.

A few months ago, my husband and I were called upon as consultants to mediate a work crisis happening in two factories that were closing down and laying off more than 200 employees in total. We prepared them with what to expect as well as help them plan out their future based on the severance packages they were receiving and the job opportunities available out there.

Most perceive employment as being hired for a full time position complete with a fixed monthly income, office, etc. Typical conventional setting. Those who are in between jobs tend to pick up driving Uber or Grabcar but they see this as something to do while they are "unemployed." When I brought to their attention the mindset of a person who drives a taxi for a living and how their commitment towards that job determines them being able to earn an honest living that is enough to support their families because THAT IS ALL THE OPTION THEY HAVE. It all boils down to attitude, perspective and commitment to the job at hand. Be careful how you look at something. It may be small, but it could be a diamond or a golden nugget. As opposed to a mountain high of trash; if you know what point I'm driving at. 

Being employable is an art many has yet to master. The moment they get employed, they tend to lose their employable-ness. They get complacent. They get lazy. They get bored. They become followers to stupid leaders because they are too afraid of losing their comforting toys and luxuries. They become slaves who complain they are treated as one when their attitude is the very thing that attracted that kind of treatment upon them. Well, enough words on things that are beyond MY control.

What plans do I have for next year? Gosh! New Year resolutions never work because they aren't important enough. So, the better question is: What are the important things I want to get done as soon as possible? Here are some:

1. NEVER LOOK BACK AT UGLY PAST.
2. FORGET THE INSIGNIFICANT PEOPLE AND FOCUS ONLY ON FAMILY AND GOOD FRIENDS.
3. PREPARE FOR MY FIRST NIGHT IN THE GRAVE BY NEVER MISSING PRAYERS AND DOING AS MUCH GOOD DEEDS TO PLEASE ALLAH.
4. INVESTING IN MYSELF TO INCREASE MY VALUE.
5. GO FOR ANOTHER UMRAH TRIP WITH HUBBY.
6. READ THE QURAN DAILY, EVEN IF ITS JUST A FEW LINES OR PAGES.
7. HAVE MORE CONVERSATIONS WITH ALLAH.
8. ALLOCATE SPECIFIC QUALITY TIME FOR MYSELF AS A SELF-CARE EXERCISE.
9. LOSE WEIGHT. 
10. STAY HEALTHY BY TAKING VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS AND RUNNING/JOGGING/JAZZERCIZING.

I think I'll sign off now. See you in 2017, everyone. 

By the way, I would appreciate if those who actually read my blog entries can just leave a short note in the comment section at the bottom of this entry, just so I can now how many actually do follow my writing. Thank you in advance and may God bless us all. Ameen. 





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Between Your Wants and My Needs


I have discovered several new pet peeves, of late. Most annoying one is when people try to impose their life aspirations on me. I can totally respect everyone's ambitions and life goals and I'm sure they have logical reasons for having them. But please understand this: JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS DAMN IMPORTANT TO YOU, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT MUST BE IMPORTANT TO ME TOO!!

I have no desire whatsoever for recognition nor fame. I was born famous! I have no desire to prove anything to anyone, which includes how intelligent I am or am not. Not everyone who is wise has a doctorate degree! And yes, I aspire to be humble rather than a cocky asshole!

Another thing that people simply do not get about me is that I AM NOT CALCULATIVE!!! I refuse to ask for something in which I have to justify me deserving it! If you wanna give, GIVE! If you don't want to give, DON'T!! But I refuse to let you manipulate me by using money. That won't work anyways because I am not a slave of money. My God is ALLAH!!!

Also, I don't care for titles nor designations. My family is full of the who's whos and they are all human beings at the end of the day; who work hard, fart, sneeze, sleep, and crap! And yet NONE of them are as hung up as some stuck up assholes who ignore those who do not have Ph.Ds. Fuckshit you, lah!

My work is NOT the center of my universe! I have Allah, my husband and children, my parent, my brothers, my huge family and relatives! I have my private practice and continuous clients. YES!!! I am proud to be a private practitioner. And I would appreciate it if people would just STOP BUGGING ME ABOUT DOING Ph.D!! The more they tell me to do it, the more I will rebel. They should really read up on how to handle an Aquarian Dragon coz this Fiery Humanitarian just refuses to conform to what fuckshits think is acceptable in their small pea-sized brains of theirs!

Rant over! I'm done.