I’m Really Bad With Titles So Screw This

Thanks to the beautiful celebration that is Thaipusam, we had a public holiday on Thursday. And with Fridays already off for me, it made for a nice and long weekend.

The holiday came just in time, thankfully. My grandmother had quite a nasty fall early this week and bruised almost her entire left side and so she came to stay with us for a few days. She forced me to finish up this one assignment I have been procrastinating for weeks, which is a good thing since I haven’t had anyone force me to do my school work .. Ever. Feels good.

Funny thing, I discovered she enjoys TV series about superheroes. I convinced her to start watching The Flash with me and it’s safe to say she’s addicted. She’s dying to know who the Yellow Flash is. Lol. It always fascinates me when old people talk about these kind of things. I’m also really glad I got to spend time pampering her. Sometimes I don’t realize just how much I love her.

My grandmother is a fascinating woman. Although you probably won’t see that unless you’re family. She is the eldest of 11 siblings. She left school early because she needed to work to support her family. Her mother, a superwoman herself, took on a heavy load when her husband passed away. Can you believe how difficult that must’ve been? To support 11 children (all one year apart) by yourself at that time? And my grandmother told me how sad she was to have left school, but did it because she had to. I get upset just thinking about it and all the other things they had to sacrifice. But then she met my grandfather who made her happy during all the years they were married to one another until the day he passed away. Words cannot describe how much I treasure the two of them.

Anyway, back to more serious talk. My brother has a new girlfriend. She’s alright. Okay fine, she’s nice. Those of you who know me well ( which is literally NONE of you reading this cause the blog is hidden from my friends), know that I have been very picky about the girls my brother chooses to spend his time with – especially since they could very well be the women he spends the rest of his life with. Also because he’s gullible, innocent and my LITTLE brother.

He’s 21.

Her name is Brenda and she is my favorite so far. I actually really like her. It’s just, I don’t know.. He will always be my little brother and it’s really hard to see your little brother hug other girls like ‘that’, or go to the corner with them to hang out and get all touchy-feely, or see him watch movies with her instead of you anymore. I’m not clingy, it’s just… He’s my LITTLE brother. I fought boys who bullied him in school – physically, by the way. I gave one of his teachers, who also happened to be my teacher FYI, a mouthful when she spoke about him in class. I’m very overprotective and I don’t know how to tell my mother this without her thinking I’m crude and possessive. You see, I just want what is best for him. He’s growing up now and he has his own beard too.

Still a little boy to me.

Some of you are probably coming to the realization that I might need professional help letting him go from the clutches of my very skinny arms. I agree. So if you know anyone, send them this way.

And now I must leave to write that darn report I was supposed to do on Friday but chose to watch re-runs of the Flash with my grandmother instead. I will pay the heavy price for that this coming Thursday, the day before the report is due.

Ugh, this is so unlike me. I’m usually the one who finishes first, about a few days in advance AT LEAST. But not this semester. This time, I’m somehow the laziest I have ever been in all my four years in college. Motivation is lost in me. I might make missing fliers so it may find it’s way home to me again.

I hate, hate, hate how I need to beg my friends to Skype with me to keep me in check so I don’t end up disappearing five minutes in to go listen to songs for two hours, all the while imagining myself doing something I would never be doing in real life – like speaking in front of class voluntarily. Sometimes I’d imagine a reality where I didn’t have a resting bitch face too.

So, that’s it for now. I am not looking forward to another 10 am class tomorrow.

 

Kelly

4 am Thoughts

Up at 4 am doing some research for my assignment when I decided to take a break and scroll through Facebook ( like I did four minutes ago.Shh). I quickly go through my timeline, trying to resist the urge to NOT take another Buzzfeed test and then I come across a certain post.

Let me just say that recently, I was writing another article to post up on the blog about how we ought to understand one another better and not hate the other person for having a different opinion – whether or not that opinion is them supporting Trump or thinking women need to stay at home. I said in the post that if we all learned to respect what someone else had to say no matter how much we hated it or how offensive it was, that maybe we could change their minds for the better someday.

But that is so so difficult to do when you come across people on your very own friendlist who blatantly post things they know will hurt you. And trust me, I only keep family and close friends on my Facebook, so this person belonged somewhere in between. He isn’t just some stranger, we are technically family.

I’m not saying you need to refrain yourself from having an opinion with the fear of offending someone (in which case we would have to stop saying anything altogether), but I think you can do it with a little more tact and respect. I like being blunt, but I stop short when I know it will hurt or discriminate someone else.

I’m not one who gets offended easily. In fact, I make fun of people who do and most of the time, I’m at the receiving end of my own jokes. But heck, every once in a while like right now, it gets a little too much. I’m tired of seeing stereotypical posts about Muslims and Muslim women on Facebook. I’m tired of seeing people confuse an entire culture as a representation of an entire religion – they are two very different things. Tired of all the political hate and everything else. I want a week where the worst thing we will see on the news is a puppy being rescued from a tree, or a cat. Whatever.

I don’t understand. You criticize Muslims and Muslim women and you view them from this little peeping hole. I would get it if you don’t know any Muslims at all, but you do. You know me and you know I don’t fit into that stupid stereotype you group us all in. But you refuse to believe in that because it’s not what you want to see.

Why are we so hateful ?

 

Positive Mind – New Year, Better Me

Merry Christmas and happy new year.

I’m still adjusting to the new reality that is 2017. 2016 was an awful year, but not because of all the celebrity deaths. People die everyday and in worse conditions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not downplaying their deaths – it is equally saddening. But, being as active on social media as I am, I cannot help but feel numb towards deaths by heart attacks, suicide or accidents anymore.

It’s sad isn’t it? To be exposed to so many horrible things that certain atrocities no longer bother you. It shouldn’t be that way but I would be lying if I said otherwise.

Besides that, last year started of with three deaths of those close to me, one of whom was a childhood friend. The rest of the year slowly fell into place in many ways, with one obstacle after another. P.S: Does anyone ever feel like every time you’re about to score, something holds you back? Yeah, that was 2016 in a gist for me. After a while, you can’t help but lose hope and feel a wee bit negative.

I always hear about people saying that we can take charge of our own happiness. I scoffed at that more than once because I always believed that things/people/events were what made happy moments.  It took me awhile to realize that that idea only resonated with me because I din’t want to be responsible for myself. For those of you who don’t know me ( and for those of you who do), I’m careful to avoid being put in a position in which I can be blamed. So I usually end my sentences with “I think”, just so you can’t put the blame on me completely. It’s a habit I’m trying to work on changing.

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

I don’t know anyone who would describe me as an optimistic individual – heck, I wouldn’t call this optimism to begin with. However, choosing to let go of some of the anger, grief and overall unhappiness little by little that have accumulated in me in the past four years have been liberating. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m not saying that I’m an overall negative person ( truly, I’m not), but there were instances in which I couldn’t help but feel less than happy about how certain things worked out. And because I’m not the kind of person who let’s go or even talks about how I feel, it just piles up over time.

The most difficult one of all to let go of was the grief. After four years, I still deeply feel the loss of my grandfather. On some days, it feels so raw that I am suddenly back at the hospital room he passed away in. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I think that a part of me felt that getting over his death meant forgetting about him, like he was just another person. At certain points throughout the past four years, I felt guilty for being happy or enjoying Christmases even. There is a part of me that still feels those things, even now as I’m writing this.

Then again, I don’t think we completely get over the people who were a part of us, but we can choose to channel it in a different way. For what has felt like forever, I’m finally starting to feel the way I used to.

A lecturer once told me I have to want to feel happy again and not wait for it to waltz its way into my life – that was probably the wisest thing she ever said to me. So now, I’m choosing to stop dwelling on that fateful week in December 2012, but to use all my time and energy to appreciate every living second with those I still have with me. Because when my grandfather passed away, all I could think about was how I wished he could’ve seen me do all that he wished for.. Never stopping to think for a second that I still have important people here who can see it for themselves. I don’t want to ever be in a position where I have to wonder “what if”.. I never had that problem with my grandpa because we had a beautiful relationship and yet, I was still very distraught when he passed away.

With that being said, I have turned over a new leaf and I’ve been working on feeling better ever since. I have decided to forgive and look past certain things too. Feels great so far.

But let me tell you this. Being positive and choosing to feel better or be a better person is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. It is so, so hard. It will be worth it though. Even though this resolution started out late last year, I’m determined to make 2017 a year I can be proud of. A year for self growth.

Now excuse me while I struggle to get back into a normal sleep pattern. By that I mean, not sleeping at 7.30 in the morning watching re-runs of The Flash again.

 

xx

Kelly

Irresponsibly responsible

I started this blog as a means to keep writing and to make sure I do not lose my touch again. I beautifully failed at doing both those things. I allowed my assignments and my need for quiet time get in the way of doing what I truly love and in the process, got a little rusty with this. I used to blog more frequently up till two years ago. I realized that the old blog had too many posts about people I would rather just forget about.

Even so, I could not bring myself to delete it completely, so I just made it private. With all the written memories of friendships I no longer wanted to hold on to locked away for me to read about someday, I thought I would start anew. But obviously, it is not the same.

I’ve had trouble keeping up this time around. I used to be a lot more funnier back then too. Oh well.

Unlike my old blog, I chose to keep this private. My first post on moderate Islam was posted on my Facebook page and some are pinned on my twitter account, but I stopped at that. I realized that there were many things I wanted to write about in my old one that I couldn’t because I knew exactly who was reading it. While that made it super easy to direct a post to someone I chose, I could never be completely honest with my content.

Whenever I got emotional, such as when I wrote about my grandfather, I felt like I wasn’t being sincere in the words I said. A part of me wondered if whether I wrote and said the things I did because I felt it, or because I knew everyone else was going to read it. And I hated that.

I like this way better. Although I’m sure I have some weird friend who comes back here to see what I’m saying when I’m not writing longg political posts on Facebook, I would rather keep it going this way. Also, I like my site address and I don’t intend on changing it anytime soon.

It is 3.30 in the morning here in Malaysia. Honestly, I would just like to eat something right now and think about what else to binge watch. But, somehow I felt like writing here again. And that is a good thing, because I do not know when I will write next.

Which is what brings me to my new year’s resolution. I pledge to write on here as often as I can – for real, this time. I usually keep to my resolutions each year, but 2016 has been a real bummer.

2017 will be better, I know it.

 

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I saw a video today of a father looking down at the body of his child. There was a fire in a Johor hospital and the child was unfortunately one of the casualties.

I do not want to take away from his grief, but watching that clip brought back some sour memories for me. I remember doing the same thing to my grandfather on December 4th, 2012. I remember looking down at him in the coffin, making sure my tears don’t fall on his face.

I remember the ice packs at the sides and how cold his hand were to the touch. I recall trying to savor my last moments with him, even though he wasn’t truly there.

I struggled inside when I did this, not being sure of whether I wanted to remember him that way or as the witty character he was when he had life in him. I wasn’t sure if I would regret choosing not to look one last time. So I just stared while my thoughts battled one another.

It was during moments like those where I wished for clarity. I don’t always know what to do, or what to think.. But at that moment I wish I did.

I miss him very much. I remember in the weeks before he left us, he told me he was proud of me – even though I never gave anyone anything to be proud of at that time as a lazy 17-year old. He also said that he wanted to see many things and one of them included me going to college and graduating.

If he felt proud of the easy-going moderate student I was back then, I think he would be so happy to see me as the hard-working and serious college student I am today and how well I’m doing. He worked in the same field I am currently studying in.

He was like a second father to me.

Four years on and I have come to a point where I try to avoid thinking about him at all in the morning so that it won’t make me upset for the remainder of the day. Maybe someday I will accept that he is gone, but sadly it won’t happen just yet.

I dread Christmas these days because of how I always come across things that remind me of gifts I would’ve gotten him. I no longer enjoy the holiday like I used to at all. If anything, it gives me a knotted feeling in my stomach right up into the new year.

Pops, wherever you are, I hope you’re at peace and at ease. You’ve spent so much of your life worrying about others and taking care of them.

I Love you.

It feels so ridiculous to have to say these things here because I know he is never going to read it.

Goodnight

xx

Ramadan, Bazaars and Racial Unity

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The past month in Malaysia has been full of opinions and discussion from Muslims about what is proper and what is not.

This coming Wednesday marks the end of Ramadan – the Muslim holy month. In case you’re not familiar with this, Muslims spend the month fasting from food and water (among other things) from sunrise to sunset. In a nutshell, this is to put ourselves in the shoes of those who are less fortunate – to know what it’s like to want what you can’t have, basically.

On one end you have extremos telling your non-Muslim friends to not eat in front of them and on the other you have normal Muslims like me who try to tell you why that defeats the sole purpose of Ramadan. The again, this worrying mentality is slowly becoming another norm in Malaysia lately.  When we’re not arguing about racial politics, some religious folks will try to justify why their way is better than yours. It makes me sad that a country I was always proud to be a part of for its beauty and diversity is slowly birthing self entitled assholes from every corner. Our new generation is disgusting.

Then again, it’s not always like this.

With Malaysia being a Muslim majority country, Ramadan is kind of a big deal here, whether that person is Muslim or not. There are non-Muslims who fast with their Muslim friends too as a sign of solidarity or just for fun.

But the best part about all of this would have to be the Ramadan bazaars found in almost every housing area. The delicious food spread and colorful drinks are worth drooling over.

These bazaars consists of families and businesses serving their food on tables, with royal blue tents, shielding them from the sun. It’s usually very noisy due to everyone talking about their day at work /school and the sound of  ladles hitting against the frying pans – the sign of food being freshly prepared for customers.

Oh yes, the food! Don’t get me started on the food.

They have everything from kuih lapis, ondeh-ondeh, seri muka to nasi lemak, deep fried squid, ayam golek percik, asam laksa,  ikan bakar and a spread of traditional malay curries and sambals. The drinks range from coconut water to blue lemon drinks – they tend to go a little overboard with the coloring on this one. But well, after 14 hours of hunger and thirst, you’d be surprised at what you walk out of the bazaar with.

Seeing multiracial shoppers (yep, you could call them that because everyone comes back from it with morbid amounts of food that make them look like they just walked out from a sale) walking together, laughing and interacting. Everything seems so simple and calm. Nobody seems to be divided by the politics or bothered with the outside world.

I’m sorry if I made you think Malaysians are racist during the remaining 11 months. We truly are not. But like I said, a lot of things have been happening lately. Ideologies are being spread, religious teachings are being corrupted and people of faith are being stereotyped. Even when someone doesn’t openly state what they truly feel towards a certain group of people, it’s not something you can hide. Sometimes, even I get tired of the constant bullshit.

It’s so easy to hate, isn’t it?

Which is why I look forward to the evenings just to see this calmness amidst the crowd. Yesterday I saw a lady donate money to a man in the bazaar and then I watched as a couple of women walked down the street in their old fashioned kebayas. One stall started blasting old Hari Raya music. Everything about that day felt so good.

This morning in the wet market, an elderly woman randomly made conversation with my mum and I while we were busy picking out chilies. She asked us what we were cooking and I told her it was for the beef rendang. And to think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning due to having only two hours of sleep last night. I just felt better instantly. She lady’s friendliness really did brighten up both my mum’s and my day.

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Picking fresh fish from the market this morning.

Too bad this month is coming to an end in a matter of days. I see racial and religious unity around me in the way my friends and I respect each other all the time, so I’m no stranger to the beauty of it. But there is truly nothing better than seeing different people bonding together over food.

xx

Kelly

P.S: Hari Raya literally translates to ‘day of celebration’ , which is the Malaysian way of saying ‘Eid-il-fitri’, which marks the end of Ramadan.

The Accidental Fan Girl-ing

I have about six (possibly more) assignments due in a few weeks, but I chose to be irresponsible and typed out ‘WordPress’ on my search bar instead of “How do I make my animated character walk in Flash CS6”.

I’m not sure what I’m even going to write about today.

All I know, is that I had a busy week with very little sleep and all I want to do now is procrastinate – so that I have enough regret to motivate me into staying up till 3am for work later.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you procrastination is a bad thing.

^ My critical thinking skills are on a whole other level.

Sixth week of college is almost over and done with and I’m finally starting to get used to my new classmates, apart from the five I knew from diploma. I thought I was doing okay because after six weeks, people don’t remember how you tripped on *air* and almost fell on your first day of class. The embarrassing phase of avoiding eye contact with your juniors is gone. I thought that was the last of it.

AND THEN..

This happened.

So, there is this lecturer in college who I’ve been wanting to teach me since I attended this journalism workshop he gave about two years ago. I even got a copy of his book. My seniors tell me he’s good at what he does and that his classes are great. So obviously, being the person and student I am, I hope I end up in one of his classes. Cause, who doesn’t want to learn from the best, am I right?

I was caught up with something the other day, so my friends leave to go get some stuff done at the office. When I finally decide I can’t stand my own company, I go hunt for them and they tell me that they ran into this lecturer earlier.

One of my friends told him, “My friend, Kelly, really wants to meet you.”

“Oh, do I know her?”

“Nope, but I just know that she wants to meet you.”

It’s important to note that my friend is one of those who makes everything sound exciting, even when she’s not trying.

So yeah. I’m sure my lecturer, who had no idea I existed before this, now has to add the name ‘Kelly’ to the list of creeps he needs to avoid on campus.

There it goes, my first impression is ruined once again – before I even got the chance to speak.

I know, I’m overreacting, and he probably wouldn’t remember how my friend stopped him mid-way (he doesn’t know her either, btw – which makes it THAT much worse) and unintentionally made me the weird fan girl.

She means well, though.

So I went from hoping I end up in his class to praying I don’t. At least, not for another three semesters, so that he has the time to forget all of this ever happened.

But not me, I won’t forget. Because my anxiety has a photographic memory of all the embarrassing events that has ever happened in my life. I still remember how I sang a song about poor people and poverty for my aunt’s wedding, and nobody told me that was weird because they thought it was cute.

I was 10.

Funny. All of these won’t matter next week when I’m losing hair over my impending Web Animation due date.

 

x

Kelly .