Gender equality: A stalled revolution.

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Out of 195 countries in this entire world, women only led 19 of them. In parliaments globally, women hold just 21 percent seats. Only a mere twenty-three of all Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In the United States where they pride themselves on liberty and justice for all, the gender division of leadership roles is not any better. Since the suffragettes first marched in the street of Washington, D.C. back in 1913, revolution of gender equality started till this day where both men and women are given the same opportunity to pursue our education and career. This phenomenon had us believe that the revolution of gender equality has succeeded and the fight is over. However, the happy ending has not arrived just yet. The revolution of gender equality has stalled and the fight is far from over due to a few reasons.

It is true that women in many countries have been granted the rights to vote, for instance, Malaysia. And the accesses to health care facilities in many countries are readily available to women. However, the revolution of gender equality has yet to succeed because there are still places in this world where women are being denied their basic civil rights. This is unarguably true when about 4.4 million women and girls are still caught up and stuck in the sex trade. Countries such as Afghanistan, fifty percent of the women still suffer from all types of rights violations such as forced marriages, rape and sexual harassments. To make matters worse, teachers are threatened not to teach young girls and girls are constantly being abused. If the fight for gender equality were over, such disparity would not still exist.

According to an article published by Time.com, women are still earning significantly less money than men. The sweeping changes in the 1960s was indeed huge and revolutionary; women’s employment increased significantly; women caught up with and surpassed a lot of men in terms of college graduation rates and more women got doctorates as well as professional degrees. However, the existing wage gap between men and women tells us that the legendary revolution has in fact stalled. The U.N. Women report revealed that although there are more women in the workplace taking up leadership positions, the pay levels are anywhere but near the reaching of equality worldwide. This is particularly obvious in the South Asia where women are earning thirty three percent less than men. Thirty three percent is a significant gap in the generation that brags about gender equality. If gender revolution is still in rapid progress, such wage gap between male and female shall not exist in such significant statistics.

Far from being a victorious revolution, the fight for gender equality has stalled, as discrimination against women is still prominent. There may be laws made to protect women’s rights and to ensure that both gender receives equal respects in today’s society. However, the stereotypes and discrimination held against women are still strong. Just as the most current controversial reports of the Indonesia military that imposed “virginity tests” upon female recruits and even the fiancées of military officers. Not only is such test harmful and humiliating to women, it also sets back the civilization of mankind to the medieval age. Virginity testing is being recognized as a form of gender-based violence, which according to the guidelines issued by World Health Organization, has no scientific validity at all. In the globalization era that we live in, if it is true that gender revolution had succeeded, then why are the capabilities and the intention of a woman who wants to serve her own country be defined by the status of her virginity?

Reaping the fruits of what women so many generations before us had sowed with sweat and blood should have us feeling grateful. Not a single soul would stand out and disagree with the fact that in the current era that we are living in, the female gender is lucky to have equal, or almost equal, opportunities as our male counterpart when it comes to pursuing an education or applying for the highest of positions. However, this does not mean that the revolution has come to a victorious end. In this part of the world where women are being respected, on the other end of the exact same world, women are still being oppressed. Women might have been given a fair share of opportunity but a significant wage gap still exists and to top that off, discriminations and stereotypes against women are still a problem that needs to be solved. With all these being said, it is sufficient to win the argument that the revolution for gender equality has been stalled and the fight has yet to be over.

***

I know  I stopped updating my blog. I tend to just let thoughts dissipate into air. It’s either I feel too lazy or as I grow older, I became less expressive. Well, I do express a lot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Microblogging, if that counts. I will be off to my exchange in a few weeks and we shall see if there is any improvement.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this piece I did for my Expository Writing class.

FYP submitted, like finally. It came to a point where I don’t care how he grades me anymore, as long as I have submitted it! 🙂

One leg out of university. Ops, there is still finals of course! Study mood, come on, work your magic!

Till then!

Scribbled,

Mich

Ducking out: The #IceBucketChallenge

To begin this post, I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to Mr. Pravin Nair, the tall and slender President of AIESEC in University Technology Petronas for granting me the honour by nominating me for the ALS awareness ice bucket challenge. Although I know I sendiri cari pasal. Lol, sorry Nicole.

That macho look!

 

Well, to continue this post, I have to express my deepest apologies to Pravin AND Nicole because the duck has to decline this ice bucket challenge. Yikes, sorry for ducking out!

Truth be told, I’m sort of keen to accept the ice bucket challenge because an ALS patient confessed that every single challenge accepted and performed moved him and it meant a lot to them. Also because having a bucket of water poured over your head already feels good, what else with an ice bucket head-pour? I asked my sister if she would help me record it, but then she reminded me of my condition.

With my heart condition alone I wouldn’t mind with a few steps of precaution. But freshly recovered from a mild injury and currently on antibiotics due to dental infection, I am more than just wary to take the risk this time. Oops. Sorry, guys! Pay back next time alright?

So, due to such a bummer I became of this meaningful challenge, I do what I do best; I blog it out loud.

ALS; acronym of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the many kinds of neurodegenerative disease. As the name ‘neurodegenerative’ suggests; your brain, the main mechanism that controls you, slowly stops functioning. And slowly, step by step, it takes you away from your life.

You stop being able to dance, run, walk, sing, talk and finally, breathe.

The first time I got to know about this disease, or at least similar, was through One Litre of Tears. The girl was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease too, but I’m not quite sure if it is ALS too. And I got to know it better through my favourite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It is said that Mitch Albom, in his own way, has educated the world about ALS.

Here is an excerpt from his book.

Source: Mitch Albom Official Facebook page.

This ALS Ice bucket challenge awareness campaign, I must say is the most successful awareness raising campaign I have ever seen. Starting from United States, it went viral around the world. Of course, credits to the power of social media and influence of celebrities. It set off a trend for a good cause.

However, it also saddens me that there are countless of people doing the challenge for the sake of fun and for the sake of; “Because I was nominated and I want to nominate someone else.”

You know what I mean.

It got me feeling so helpless too when you hear ridiculous people saying; “Accept this challenge OR donate 100USD.”

It is not a matter of OR, but a matter of truly understanding what ALS is, why your action matters, how to do your part. But for most people, this is not it.

Regardless, this campaign along with this challenge has gain success! This disease has yet to find any cure, but knowing that we do care, I hope it paints the days of ALS patients a little brighter ! 🙂

If by now you’re wondering; “Eh, woman, you talk so much, don’t want to accept then donate la.”

Well, meanwhile I am declining this ice bucket challenge, I’m taking this nomination as a calling to act. Taking one of my friend as example, I choose to not donate to alsa.org because like she said, it has gain much attention and donations are flooding in. Thus, I would donate to two causes that I’m passionate about and hope that it bring some light to this two cause and awareness within you about this two cause.

The first one is Teach for Malaysia. One that I am passionate about and want to work towards joining it.

Another one is a cause for congenital heart diseases in Malaysia as I am one who is going through such defect. However, I still couldn’t find the channel of such support community in Malaysia and never heard of one, I shall ask my doctor on my next appointment. If you know one, do let me know! Another chunk of information, as common as heart diseases are,  most people are not aware of Congenital Heart Disease are the most common defect among newborn babies.

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Source: Jump Start Your Heart

There is effort of raising awareness of CHDs in the states but not yet in Malaysia. At least, my family didn’t have any support group or community to turn to 22 years back when they needed one.

Yep.

Last but not least, instead of nominating(which I obviously won’t since I declined the challenge) three people, I’d like to express a token of personal appreciation to some people who I find amazing.

If you still remember Sarah that I blogged about her going bald for a cancer cause. Yes! She is the friend I was referring to above. She accepted the challenge and also donated. But she made a wise decision to donate to a cause that she feels more passionate about and a cause that also needs attention. Good job, Sarah!

Next is my sister, Mrs Er. An unsung heroin where she quietly donated to ALS even before it began going viral in Malaysia on her own accord and passion. Not only just ALS but also World Vision. So proud of you.

As youth, it is not only our responsibility to be aware of certain condition and issues, it is also our responsibility to take action and make things better.

Scribbled,

Mich

5 AMAZING things CDM 25 taught us that being a road bully can achieve..

..preferably with a car plate that screams CDM 25(note: a White Peugeot 208, optional), with a steering lock. AND possibly with a rather bad temper.

Just in case you need some demonstration:

Yes. I am so sorry you have to come across this piece of news literally everywhere you go on the social media and now my blog too.

I, for one, have absolutely no idea that this is going to happen. But seeing all these negative things crawling all over my laptop, I can’t help but, you know, put in some positive things in the midst of all these negativity.

They said, there’s always a silver lining to every cloud, right? Whatever.

So, I came across with a blogpost earlier this morning on 6 Scary things that CDM25 has taught us. Still a piece leaning towards the negative side. Thus here is something more enlightening to the whole situation, whatsoever.

Here is a list of 5 amazing things the owner of CDM 25 had achieved, that you probably want to learn something from it.

1. You gain INSTANT fame with MINIMUM effort.

You know how hard some people try just to be famous? Not to the extent of entering the hall of fame but famous enough to be the topic of even just a day? Some people made videos, some people made sex tapes. Some people trained all their life, or even, you know, run around the city naked? Yea. That sort of things.

And if you google How to be famous or How to gain instant fame, there is bound to  be millions of lists or How-tos teaching you. But thousand thanks to technologies nowadays, you can gain instant fame, yes, INSTANT fame just by being outrageous enough. Fastest way is non other than bullying the shit out of an elderly that is so helplesss. (refer video for demonstration)

2. Gain public interest.

Fame alone is not your style? Fret not. Fret not. I understand that fame alone doesn’t last. Rising to the level of possessing public interest is the key to the throne of glamorous life. Do you think it’s easy to have reporters running after you or radio stations fighting over you? You need to possess a satisfying amount of public interest in order for that to happen.

No, you don’t need to be a famous stunt actor. You don’t have to work your ass off as an athlete either, nor a footballer, those are too mainstream. Just get your ass out there and bully some uncle who unintentionally scratched your car. Oh, remember to have the whole process recorded down.

With that, you’ll become a person of public interest. Every single thing you said or say or post or tweet or shit, the whole world will pawn it before you can finish saying banana. That’s a breathless life of a world class celebrity! Phew, not that hard to gain, though.

3. A boost of self-esteem.

You know that saying; haters gonna hate? People hates you, the internet hates you, the whole friggin world hates you because of one simple reason; they’re jealous of how awesome you are.

Man, who wouldn’t be flattered if you’ve got so much haters? It reflects how awesome you are, yes? Increase of traffics to your page. Increase of numbers of reach out effortlessly!

4. Interview with top local radio stations.

Erh. Ma. Gawd. Say WHAAAAT? Yes. A radio station interview. No, scratch that. A handful of radio station interviews. Who knows, possibly television interviews, too? Wait, I think that too.

But, hell yes! And you guess it right, just have to be a road bully and you’ll land yourself an interview in famous radio stations that some people had to make countless calls, connections and whatnots to maybe only gain a 10-20 minutes of exposure. No joke. #OnlyinMalaysia though, I think.

5. Free 24/7 car security system(huge bonus!*gasp*)

Never mind those expensive satellite car safety system or cheapskate steering lock to keep your car safe from car thieves and car snatchers.

Again, bully someone on the road, get it caught on camera, pray for it to go viral and kaboom! Everyone recognises your car and car plate. Who dare to steal your car or snatch your car some more, you tell me.

Even if you really lost your car, no problem tracking it down now that all across the nation, not one single soul doesn’t know your car.

Amazing things, aren’t these? A list of things that countless of people probably not able to achieve in their entire life time and just in one night; Bucket list, all checked!

Yes, I am exploiting this whole incident to gain traffic, omaigod, jumping up the bandwagon, omaigod, just like any other famous blogger wannabe, omaigod. Sue me.

Scribbled,

Mich

*Footnote: If you take this whole post seriously, I don’t know. Perhaps a moment of silence for the loss of a sense of lame humour. 
Here is my personal thought on the whole Kiki CDM 25 drama:
Like what Timothy Tiah said in his blogpost, this incident really taught us a lot. And just like him, initially, I really did not give a damn about all those videos spamming my Facebook newsfeed. But then, with enough of friends sharing and news site gradually mentioning #CDM25, too, I gave in and watched the video. 
My reaction was; Holy shit! 
I did not gave much comment, rather enjoying reading comments instead. But being a normal human being, I felt sad and scared for the uncle. At some point in the merely 2 minutes plus short clip, I held my breath, horror-struck, and thought; Oh god, is she going to hit the uncle? And her last words as the video ended abruptly was the greatest disappointment I felt towards her throughout the whole incident.
All assumptions aside, I asked myself; What does it take to provoke me into such state? What makes me screaming irrationally  and hysterically at an elderly in a public place? I have been driven into a state where I started screaming hysterically at my family members during quarrels or whatnots, when I was really, really, really young. 
Undeniably, when you are enraged, you have the urge to scream at people and also the desire to inflict pain towards the other person who hurt you, your love ones or well, in this case, things you love. And that is where anger management comes in. 
I looked at the whole thing without too much of a note of judgement apart from feeling really sorry for the uncle and a little bit speechless for the woman’s behaviour. But, like everyone else, I was moved by the uncle’s kindness of not pressing any charges against her and condone all the things she did to him. (Honestly speaking, if that were to happened to any of my family member, I highly doubt I will remain so calm and forgiving. Watching the video alone was humiliating enough.)
And then she apologised, towards the uncle that she humiliated, sincere or not, that is not for me to question. But personally, I think she owes the public a proper apology. Whatever she did that went viral had in fact, set a very bad example to the public. Not to mention damaging the image of Malaysians. It is Facebook and YouTube we are talking about. Available to the whole wide world. Also, personally, again, I think it is only appropriate to leave the video on the social media sites. It very well serves as a reminder to the her to mind her actions and also to the world to watch your steps. Because, literally, the whole world is watching you.
Just when I thought the drama ends here, the largest disappointment dropped as a bomb to me this morning when Hitz.fm announced that they are going to interview the woman involved in this incident. I honestly thought that there would have been a limit as to how disappointing our local medias could be. How wrong I was. Highly filtered news, manipulated news and dishonest news is merely not enough. Seems like our media has decided to take it to another level.
I could not fathom what are the messages that you intent to bring to the people by interviewing a road bully(I am sorry to label her as such, but fact is, it’s a fact.) I mean come on, even you titles highlighted that it is an interview with a road bully to hear her side of the story. Whatever she did was considered civil crime, no? She threatened another citizen with a harmful weapon. She damaged another citizen’s property. She has committed a crime and then at the end of the day, she landed an interview so that she could justify her behaviour and wrong-doings? 
And what could be the intentions behind these radio stations that interviewed her? A free publicity? Boost of ratings? Really? What happened to “Together with Hitz, say no to road bullies?”
Yes. She deserves a second chance, no one denies it. But is inviting her to your radio station for a nationwide broadcast a part of giving her a second chance? A second chance can come in many ways but definitely not helping her to rise to further fame. I mean; WHAT. IS. THE. POINT?! Is there a need to increase her rate of exposure when thousands of other people’s voice who needs help needed to be heard? 
At the end of this long footnote, you might label me as a hypocrite saying I am doing the same thing; taking the advantage of this incident to gain readership. 
Your freedom of speech or accusation will not be denied. 
So, don’t you deny me my freedom of expressing my thoughts, in my own ways.
 
 

21 Perceptions: #7 – Grow. The right one.

It was a simple question. A question of why. Why the occurrence of something a few years back that now seems like so long ago.

It used to be an easy question, with a schematic answer that I have convinced myself after having to answer it so many times. But no. This time, coming from a close friend, it felt like it needed a proper answer. The question, at the very least, deserves a proper answer.

I need a proper answer.

A recollection of what happened wasn’t really hard. Not a precise and accurate one, probably filled with my own memories in between missing gaps, but it’s more or less what happened. How long, exactly, has it been since? I’m never good at keeping track. Long enough. It’s this recollection that gave me a slap in the face.

How you’d always tell a story and it sided you, projecting a faulty image of another person. That person is always at fault. You’re the victim. But then, I realised-guess I have always knew-a huge chunk of how things turn out was my fault. I’ve let my ego gotten the best out of me. I’ve let my ego worked magic with my defensive mechanism.

The first time in forever, I actually wondered; If I were who I am now, would things be different? Would things turn out differently? Or would it have took the same turn in later days, ended in a way that is far worse than how it ended.

It reflected how immature and how incapable I was in handling my own emotions, handling a situation or even simply being more understanding. All this sums up into a reprimanding thought directed at myself;

You, of all people, should have known better.

Nandini said; It’s not about whether one person is meant for the other. It’s simply about meeting each other at the right time. You can’t have it all and timing is the key.

Timing is the key. And timing is always a bitch.

No regrets. I would have want things to turn out the same way if I were given a choice. Everything happens for a reason, no?

And I thank you for keeping the question until just now to ask. Any sooner, or later, I wouldn’t have revisited all those emotions and feelings that is flowing through me now.

If anything, it felt like a proper closure.

If there’s any possibility in the future, it would be one of the greatest things in my life to be able to sit and just talk about everything that could or could not have happened. To clear every single thing up and laugh at each other’s stupidity and feel awed at how life brings us to where we are.

Looking back and felt a surge of warmth running through my body. I deserve nothing less than being happier.

So, I was debating between another song and 3 Doors Down’s Here Without You. I think we liked this song better. I hope yes.

Till then,

Kah Leng.

(Duckie)

 

21 Perceptions: #6 Best friends – When it’s more than just best friends.

To start off with the easiest start-phrase: “It felt like it was just yesterday” for once, doesn’t feel as right. Nor does it feel as intuitive as it used to be. Because right now, right at this very moment as I am typing this out, it felt as if it was lives away. Maybe a little exaggerating, but it felt long enough.

Long enough that I couldn’t remember if it was a morning or afternoon that we first met. Long enough that there are details that I couldn’t recall. Long enough that I don’t remember exactly how we started being real close. Long enough that more often than not, this feeling is being taken for granted.

Perhaps, even long enough that it begins to cause disinterest among our friends to read about us. Long enough for you to feel bored reading stuff like this. Long enough to bored even myself to be so repetitive about this. Given the fact that I am not unfamiliar with being expressive enough to come up with this. Shameless, long-winded grandmother stories. Stories about both you and I. Sometimes, maybe just sometimes, or might as well be all the times? That it’s too much? Bear with me, I do what I do best to have things taken down, by writing. Or literally; typing.

So tell me, was it a morning or afternoon that we met? As I was there with my group of friends and you came into sight, not forgetting that backpack a little over too big for your size.

“Why is she carrying a turtleback?.” I quietly wondered, and yes, that’s just how mean I was, surprisingly still am.

And the new girl in school joined the class by sitting at the corner of the class closest to the back door, across from where I sat. A little reluctant to be where she was. Paying no attention, the usual chatter continued.

Tell me again, how long it took for us to finally talk to each other? Days? Or just a couple of hours? I don’t remember but I am quite sure I must have been stuck up enough to not bothered introducing myself when you first entered the class. But amazingly, I remember it was Harry Potter, The Order of the Phoenix that started it all. Oh, she reads.

Was it; “Oh, you read?” That I first asked you? That, I don’t remember. Because I don’t remember myself being diplomatic enough to actually introduce myself. And the usual comments on books or whatnot. Then that magic phrase appeared.

“I studied in Sri Garden.”

“Oh, you were in Sri Garden?! Me too!”

Maybe you could enlighten me who brought up Sri Garden first though.

I really couldn’t recall much the days in Form 3. Except from bits and pieces of how the next day you told me your mom might have seen me back in Sri Garden. And how our love-hate relationship with Cecelia. Those ghost stories behind the class. How you got burnt by Chia Loong’s remark when you told that teacher, Mr Chong, that you knew a bit of Chinese.

Did we took our PMR results together? No, even that I don’t remember. But I guess not. Guess we didn’t.

Form 4 came, and we were in two different class. And Form 4 was when my surgery happened. Coming back to school after the surgery, I had to avoid crowds, thus exempted from assemblies. And you were the one sitting with me in class every single morning while everyone else was away lining up waiting to enter the class like they were primary students. I don’t even remember what we did to kill off those times early morning in class. Especially Mondays, when there would be absurdly long speeches, or whatnot. And then the Bluffs and Chor Dai Dees after finals. It was crazy, but we all had our share of fun.

But I know we never had any fights ever since the day we started talking, not until Form 5, though. The first fight we had, I wonder if you still remember, that it was because of a teacher. A teacher that I don’t even remember what her name was.

And those times you spent practicing debate with Azim.

2009, Form 5.

2009, Going out.

Form 5 was rather dramatic. With Earth Week, our newsletter and, well dramas that only we know and would probably remember till our very last breath. And of course, how the three of us would always, never once failed, to annoy our Moral teacher. Don’t you just miss her irritated face whenever we burst out laughing at the back of the class. And how not just us but in fact, the whole class pays no attention to her? Those jokes Sam would tell and the things he would say that you swore we would recall if we were really having sex with our boyfriends one day. And that very secret of yours that I let slipped in front of John.

And the fact that John really thought we were lessbians. Oh yea, that faithful afternoon after school that I’ve squeezed water from your bottle while you were drinking from it. That nose cleansing treatment I gave you. Refreshing, yes?

Drumstik, Banjir, Pumpkin, Duck. And I had a crush on Banjir, with his Vampiric smile. Oh, and Abang! Of course, you and your basketball stories. Well, if you know what I mean.

There must have been more to it in Form 5 than this, but for now, it’s all that I could recall.

2010, From left to right; The day before we took our result. 2010 Popular Book fest. Christmas at Sam’s house.

The day we got our SPM results. Those stay overs that made our family wonder if we were a thing? Even then we knew getting our SPM results only meant one thing. That the both of us that has been sticking to each other relentlessly walking on the same path is about to go on our own ways.

You are going to do A-Level in Taylors, Subang Campus. Far enough.

Initially not knowing where I’d be going, though was pretty sure I’d become a beautician and finally ended up in Kajang High School, doing Form 6.

I thought, I was even quite sure that our friendship would possibly fade off. What with the distance and academic demands. What with new friends made and entirely different educational environment that leads to probably development of different mentality. I was quite sure, you know. It’s not like it has never happened before.

Those were the days where we would go completely missing in action in each others lives for days, weeks and months. And then somehow manage to slap back together and still feel like we’ve been there all the time.

I think you must have started driving by then. Vividly remember you almost knock off your side mirror when you tried parking your car with JJ and I laughing madly.

2011, 2010 New year’s eve. Outing, having sushi.

And you confronted Andy. (No, history does not have to repeat itself.) Which freaked me out but saved a lot of miserable uncertainties. Did it ever occur to you that I might hate you for doing it? But the sake of my benefit overweight that possibility that I might hate you?

Though you started driving, we still did not hang out often no? Upper six became busier with a new found love interest on my part. And new group of friends that we both had.

2012

2012, The Apartment. BSC.

Yes, of course, Mikhachu. That one conversation in MSN that had me literally laughing out so loud my mom came in and asked what happened. Mikha is a guy, Nan. Do remember that. That was in 2011.

2013, General Food Store, Bangsar. Oh. Hi, Mikha.

Yet, another divergent.

You, going to McGills in Montreal, Canada.

I, accepted to University Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Malaysia.

Literally oceans apart. With 12 hours in between. We had come long enough to know that it would be okay. Then again, it must have been our major fight in the history of our friendship. Precisely about what, I no longer remember. Vaguely recalled that you wanted me to send you off, but it was orientation week. And.. I didn’t want to say goodbye. But it felt like we were pulling a rubber band at the time, and it just snapped.

I actually thought that was it. With all the miles apart and with this huge awkward unsettling feel we  put in just when you were about to leave.

And yet again, issue resolved. Regardless of time difference and the distance. Life went on.

With both of us starting afresh in this brand new chapter of our lives, we fall quickly back to the habit that we don’t even bother keep a constant in touch. That contributes to hours of skypes every once in a while.

But you know what I love the most? It was when you first came back and we both had to agree that it didn’t feel like it. Like you were back. Because it didn’t feel like you were away in the first place. We have been trained before hand with you in Subang and me in Kajang.

2013, Someone just got back. With her dog-chain necklace.

2013, Son of a policeman. Mikha’s gig in The Curve.

2013, Hello, Sam and Ayumi.

I have always love to say that our friendship is matured. Like it’s an independent thing living on its own. It takes good care of itself. Doesn’t require much attention. But you know somehow, it has never ceased to grow.

And I want to tell you that it feels different now. Our friendship is our very own companion that we come to have. Within ourselves. Throughout the time we spent without the presence of the other, half a world apart, we don’t have to update each other immediately what happened. Or what’s happening.

But for me, some things simply do not feel final or a problem do not feel okay, not until I’ve told you.

I am the askhole. You know that very well. You’ve watched me fall. It’s not that you never warn me. It’s not that you never tried stopping me. But I never listen enough for my own benefit to walk away from things or people that I should. With all the flaws that made me for who I am, you never leave me behind.

Not as if it’s impossible. Not as if it’s hard. Even until this point, I still couldn’t fathom why or where went wrong that she would choose to completely cut off our friendship. In the way that she did. Sudden. Merciless, even. When I miss her, I’d still wonder; Why me? Was I really that busy to that certain extend that I neglected keeping in touch with her? But everyone was busy. She only chose to block me off.

She left.

Which made it known to me that a break up does not only happen between a couple. Your friends could break up with you too. And it hurts in a way so much worse than a relationship that involves romance. It’s possible.

Perhaps this year has been oddly hard. Your absence became prominent. I don’t know if I could say the same for you, but there were times I fervently wish that I could be there beside you physically not just virtually. Emotionally, it’s a prolonged roller coaster ride. A ride I have no idea how to get off. Mentally, it was a journey of self-doubt and discovery. When you put the two together, it’s an energy drainer.

 

2014

2014, Hours of virtual hangout.

2014_june

2014, And you’re back again.

And thus, this is another elaborated note of gratitude towards how glad to have you back. It feels different to have someone who always got your back to be back physically with you.

The kind of laughter we share. And the lameness we have in common. Funny how the photos of us only begin in 2009.  What happened to 2007 and 2008? That was when social media wasn’t the hype and taking photo isn’t necessary.

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2010, Christmas, Sam’s house.

I was wondering if we were a couple, 7 years of being together, does that mean we would get married soon? But then again, I came to a conclusion that we would certainly break up! Haha!

I am absurdly glad that some details of the memories we both share are slowly fading. Memories only fade when you continue building new ones together. You don’t hold on to memories when a relationship has yet to be history.

You’re not my best friend. Not when the concept of best friends could be so fragile or .. tainted. You’re more than just best friend.

Like what your mom said; we’ve been through thick and thin.

When your mom knows me well. When my sister knows your boyfriend too. When the smell of your house makes me feel equally at home. When I would easily send you up to my room to fetch some stuff.

You’re a family.

Scribbled,

Kah Leng.

P/S: While we’re still in our early twenties, let’s get crazier.

21 Perceptions: #5 Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher

Taken with iPhone 5

I have always loved dreamcatchers. Simply because of that simple myth that is has brought together with it throughout all these years. Deeply fascinated, I’d say, with this simple legend of the Native Americans.

I also like how when people heard of dreamcatcher, they’d think that it helps you catches your dreams, as in life goals and what not.

It’s the season of decisions. And a question of what’s next? Probably probes you to think and review your goals. Or maybe how do you envision your future to be. Come to think of it, I am almost repellent to such questions. Perhaps due to a very erratic nature that is within me, or maybe like Iylia always points out; You live your life full of uncertainties and you’re okay with that. Funny thing is, I actually hate uncertainties. It makes me restlessly anxious. Like the registration of my subjects. I simply need to ensure I’ve got all the right subjects and right credit hours registered. Or maybe that’s the ‘kiasu’ side of me. Because now that I think of it, I pretty much prefer going with the flow most of the time. Or it depends on the situation. Hah! Saw what I mean? Erratic.

Also, I worry too much.

When I was in Form 3, not knowing how it happened, I just suddenly became obsessed with the idea of becoming a beauty therapist. When I said obsessed, I was really obsess with that idea. I will literally scan through newspaper every single day once I got back from school for advertisement on courses related to beauty therapy like vocational institutes, etc. To one extent that I told my mom I’d be done with school once after PMR, simply because these vocational schools, they accept PMR results. And I just felt, whatever I was studying in school was just irrelevant. But by the end of my Form 3, she somehow managed to talk me out of this crazy idea and convinced me to finish my SPM because it is the minimum qualification one should at the very very least have.

And so, throughout my entire Form 5 life in high school, I basically did not give a damn about furthering my studies. No intention of applying for matriculation, no intention for scholarships or whatsoever. Well, before I continue, let me clarify. In my entire life as a human being, I never was an outstanding student. Never even once. I had like probably the worst result in Sri Garden during primary school, over-average result for UPSR and throughout my high school life, I was just .. me. Not active in extra-curricular activities. Not really the kiasu type students who flip at Bs. I just couldn’t give a damn. So, that also pretty much explains why I have zero interest in applying for these and thats.

Partly also because my parents are pretty liberal when it comes to academic performances. Both biological and non-biological side, nevertheless. Or in other words, they probably given up hope on me or they just don’t expect their daughter to have an astoundingly successful life, it’s as long as she’s healthy, happy and fine. Not very much of the typical Asian parents I’d say. (I guess it must have been given up hope on me because my mom was very strict on my sister, she was a straight A student by the way. Both Maggie and Fene.) But the expectation, I’d have another side that I’ll talk about later.

So yeah, I was just a less than average student at school. And during my Form 5, I’ve finally figured, or so I thought, I’d join this trainee programme at Herbalife to become a beauty therapist. It’s something like an apprentice thingy. So right after I finished SPM, I literally made my mom and my sister to go get more information at one of their branches. Also, it was the time when relatives would usually ask, so after Form 5, what’s next for you? Mostly would not comment much, but there were a handful that went straight on lecture mode on why am I not thinking about tertiary education.

Along the way, throughout that period of three months before result announcement, a bit of this and that, something just changed my mind. I was actually all set to start on the apprentice programme but yeah, I bailed on them in the end. I think the exact turning point must have been my mom’s nagging, it just hit a chord and changed the whole tune.

“You have to think thoroughly la. It’s not like you’re not smart. Your English so good what. If you become a beauty therapist ah, no matter how high the position you get people will always perceive you as one of those lala girls who flunked their high school,” my god, did that not hit me with horror.  (It’s stereotypical, but to me, it’s just a question of reflection on whether do I really envision the rest of my life in a beauty parlour working as a beauty therapist.)

Not to mention, my father was always, al-the fruity-ways, nagging me to go for Form 6. Funny now that I think of it, Form 6 was never ever something I wanted. I was strongly against it. But yea, whenever the question of what’s next after SPM pops out, he’d always say Form 6! I think back then, what my father expected was getting one level of qualification higher than SPM guarantees better salary for his daughter.

And again, I was convinced to do Form 6. Just another one and a half year. See what happens after that. So Form 6 it was, and truth be told, when I first started Form 6, I actually did not know what it meant. I just wanted to make sure I get my ass out of that tedious Science stream and join the very interesting class with History, Bahasa Malaysia and Malay literature being offered. Yes, boring subjects but hey, I had fun in the class, well, except for History. But in the course of the half-year lower six, I realised going to Form 6 means a place in the local university. And slowly, somewhere between having fun in Form 6 and being contented to be able to runaway with the what’s next question, I made up my mind that I’d want to get into university. And study something that in the end, would lead me to the writing field.

Surprisingly, I got quite good result and the rest became history.

Yes, not very ambitious of a person I was or even am.

But ever since then, I’ve always thought that I know what I want to do in life. Or so I thought. I naively assumed that as long as I know what I want to do, time would do the justice for the rest. And because I felt like I wasted my high school life, I vowed to have a different university life. To commit to something. Which, I guess pretty much change a lot the way I see things.

Like, just knowing what you want to do in life is not enough, you’ve got to know how and what you need to do to get there.

And then, I began wanting something different.

Which leads me to probing myself, what do I really want to do in life?

Maybe it’s the hype youth has. Maybe because I’m the youngest and I don’t really have much burden on my shoulders. Maybe it’s just trying to live up to the YOLO spirit. Or maybe simply because I want to explore as much as I could, before finally curling back into reality and responsibilites.

I might not know for sure what will be of me 5 years from now, it could be me chasing after my passion. It could be me with a stable life. Or it could even be me, well, dead.

Remember when I said my parents, they do not expect me to lead a successful life? As long as I am happy, healthy and just fine?

I guess I was wrong. They do have their expectations towards me. A stable and sustainable life, build a family of your own. Consciously or unconsciously, they have these expectations. And I was brought up with this belief and to want exactly that.

But just like some parents expecting their kids to get a college degree and eventually their kids would go “But sorry pops you just got to wait.”

Photo taken: Jeweanne Chew

A day before EGM, my mom told me: “You better not run what President positions or whatnots. Please put things to a rest after you end your term.”

As much as the decision was made myself to not run for LCP, somehow, silently, tears started trickling down after hearing what my mom said to me.

Not because it’s sort of final that I will not be running for LCP, but because it became more of a solid fact that I, as a daughter, I did not communicate well with my mom, my family on what I’ve been doing. And why I’ve been doing so, what I’m looking for. What I want. As much as I appear to be able to fluently communicate with people, I am very much of a person who fails to actually precisely convey my thoughts and feelings to non other than my family or even anyone else. Because I don’t talk. I don’t know how to.

Hearing Chin Lin telling me one night on the way back to hostel about how her mom had told her to just go for it if it’s really what she wants and hearing it again during EGM, and also seeing another friend of mine where his family was there to witness his success in gaining the confidence from his local committee, it spun me around to see it for myself what is it that have always felt missing.

My family’s support that comes with approval.

I have been let to do anything I’d like so far. But support could only go so far when I’ve always fail to let them understand the why of what I’m doing.

Because as far as I could recall, I don’t know if there was any moment that I’ve ever made any of my family proud of me. Or even see me as who I am. Or see me as how other people sees me.

No matter how much I achieve or I could have, it remains a failure when it could not be shared with the ones closest to me.

Now, the million dollar question; Why you did not run for LCP?

I think I owe anyone that have expected me to run for the position a thank you. Thank you for the confidence you have in me. Thank you for seeing that I have such potential. Thank you for believing  in me even when I highly doubted myself.

Thank you to those people who were kind enough to restlessly talk to me be it physically or virtually when I was still in the indecisive phase. Probing me with questions, trying to help me figure things out. Especially Cui Ying who I always run crying to.

But just so we are clear, no, not because my mom did not let me. Yes, support from family of course have contributed to it, but that is not the main reason. You could say that I’m a coward. Oh yes, I’ve been told that. Or you could just say that I know better of myself.

I wouldn’t say I’m sorry that I’ve disappointed people who believed in me, as much as this might sound extremely selfish and maybe a little arrogant, I am not, never was and never will be obligated  to live up to expectations. Because at the end of the day, it’s my decision. I would be sorry should I have succumbed to mere encouragements and pressures to run for the position. But I had not.

It was like back when in Form 4, prior to school start, I swore that I would not want to be in Science stream. But seeing my friends were all in Science stream and seeing how the whole system was, I simply couldn’t bring myself to switch class. But when in Form 6, I simply knew it wasn’t about friends or ego anymore, and I had to get my ass out of Science stream.

My guts told me so, my heart told me so.

As much as I think running for the position could shape me in a way that I could not imagine, but my instincts told me, no, it really isn’t something you want.

And I just have to trust myself.

I don’t know what would be next. But before I begin leaping off my comfort zone, I guess I have to make sure my family is comfortable with me out of my comfort zone. And I need to learn how to communicate with them.

I just hope I do not appear unrealistic to them. I guess, it’s a learning process that everyone goes through.

A process of creating yourself.

Scribbled,

Mich.