One little advice

TLDR; I’m talking about love and relationship.

My friends often come to me for some advice on relationships. Sometimes I can only offer myself to listen, hug and tell them that things happened. I understand how it feels like when a person is no longer whom we can call “mine”. It just happened, really? Feelings change and changing is good if we have something to learn from it. I learn that we don’t always end up with the same person every day so I don’t really talk about how happy I am with my current relationship on social media. He’s fine with that. He’s not always on the Internet for stuff like this so we always tell each other that we’re doing this for us, not for others.

So here’s how I met him online a year ago. It sounds very classic but I enjoyed having to listen to him talking about the little things in life. I was in a fight when we first knew so he still remembers everything I told him about the guy I was dating with. It still feels like a joke when we talked about it last night. At first, I was only hoping for someone to be there for me to listen to my problems and he happened to be that someone. I liked him and he liked me. So I waited every night to share with him my problems. I always got excited over that. But when the night never came for us, I kept my problems under the bed again until I got to talk to him the next day. We didn’t exchange our phone number although we were already dating, until few months later he confessed to me something that was eye-opening. And that part should only for myself to know and for you to figure it out. Nevertheless, I accepted him back because he was just doing the right thing for us.

I take a long time to know people because I have trust issues. Although I’m not going to blame people for constantly making me feel insecure of my thoughts, sometimes it’s exhausting. He’s like one of my favourite persons on Earth. He taught me so many things that I never thought how tiring it is to become grown-ups. I guess that is how dating someone older than you feels like. That is what a boyfriend is for you – a great listener. He never pushed me to do the things I don’t want. He did clearly understand me better than anyone else and supported me in my studies. I don’t know how he accepted me after every shit I made only to realize he was always right – “Hey you’re still young, I was young so I know you’ll make mistakes so that you can learn from it. I’m here only to tell you it will get over soon. You’ll pass your teenage years.” So we decided to meet outside the Internet a few months later. I never realize to this day that I’m still in love with the same person for the little things happening in life. I’m glad that I can always refer to him when I have doubts and I’m feeling relieved to finally talk about him only in one post.

So here’s to hoping that I can always be one of the little things happening in his life too.

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Three strangers and hot porridge

It’s me again. So my flight to Penang landed safely at the airport last Monday. A late night flight? It was never a priority to me which in a nutshell Mom bought the tix for me upon a last-minute promotion a month before, or for whatever probable reason behind that. Ah, don’t ask me, of course I was a bit terrified even though I couldn’t express how it felt like. It wasn’t about the new semester I had under my sleeves, well, I was pretty sure it was going to be a slow start of the week, anyway. But if you ever happen to encounter this situation, getting stuck at the airport overnight with no one to accompany you, I wouldn’t have to explain myself over again. But there I was – I decided to head straight to the prayer room like I would usually do, take a rest and stay there until I get to grab a cab in the morning for my next destination. More often than not, I would have someone to accompany me since we go the same university. It was easy that way. For some reasons, my friend already confirmed it to me that she couldn’t make it. She got early flight to catch on two days before me. As much as I wanted it to get over soon, I didn’t want my parents to take care of everything or blame themselves for any uncertainties. Simple, there was no other choice but to convince my parents that it’s going to be okay, that I could handle it well. It did sound like a joke to me. Of course my parents would get worried about it although I’m a big girl already.

So I walked into the prayer room with my luggage. The place was empty – only me – until few minutes later someone entered in a rush. I tried to maintain and cover my anxious. Later then she finished her prayer and we had a little chit-chat. Nothing serious, just to kill time. She thought I was there waiting for the last flight of the night – where do you come from, where are you heading, are you alone, she asked surprisingly – so I simply explained to her about my situation. No empathy intended, really. I wasn’t sure if I was being nice to someone I just met but it wasn’t like I’d meet her anyway after that, right?

After some time she came back into the prayer room. Apart from thinking she might have left her stuff, I saw a concerned remark on her face. “Would you like to come over to my house? Not too far, I can send you tomorrow. I have daughters too and I wouldn’t leave them alone this way. Too cold here.” She asked again if I’m okay with that and her husband too was waiting outside. We both knew well to never talk to strangers but I myself couldn’t resist the offer. She sounded just like Mom. I guessed I’d just follow my heart, so I struggled to pack all my stuff with her leading me to the bench outside where her husband was. “Uncle Azizul too is a Mechanical Engineer,” she introduced him to me. I nodded and introduced myself back. “Just call me Auntie Zarina.”

Then I texted my parents to inform them regarding the invitation only after we got into the car. Mom too had her flight to KL an hour after mine had departured. She didn’t reply to my text – though she was supposed to arrive earlier than me – because her flight got delayed for some time. It was midnight as the road was already empty. They asked if I wanted to eat something so we went to McD drive-thru and ordered porridge for me. It was such a nice ride because they really wanted the conversation to go real between us so I didn’t feel left out at the passenger seat. She reminded me these for many times, “If it wasn’t because we decided to delay to perform the prayer before our flight back to here, god wouldn’t let us meet each other.” She was sad and really wanted to send off her daughter to NZ but their flight came off first so they couldn’t make it. “And then I found you.”

I think that would be the first time since forever that I thanked god for sending kind people to me – not because I deserve such kindness or I truly beg for it or I rush into making decisions. Probably because I was tested to be more grateful towards anything people have offered to me. Also the prayers I got from my parents, well, without them I won’t become the person I am today.

So here’s to many more years and the lessons I’m willing to learn from any strangers I’d call family.

Against the Clock

Time goes so fast. It orbits my energy pace and may yet accuse me for putting the blame on lucky stars and asking people to have all the time in the world for me. There isn’t so much to tell. I assure you in the name of those who forget to have their priorities set above the water. Don’t ask me what it was, or what it is – it won’t make sense anyway. The way the clock keeps tick-tock-ing echoes all over this empty house, the light that peeks through the curtains makes it obvious for me to slowly pull the sheets over my head and the name my parents would yell off at the top of their lungs – oh, I just figure it out, this house is never empty. It just sounds empty. It seems empty. Somehow I wake up and find myself conquering my mind barely taking off the seat belt that is supposed to secure my sanity.

Another Hope in Hell

Dear goodness, I didn’t come back here only to realize how I intended to leave this piece of shit as something people would come (again and again) to read, justifying the fact that silent readers do exist in this parallel universe of mine. But how do I put that nicely, seriously. Apart from thinking I might have inserted something absurd that I don’t need to pull out wisely, some people really can’t take it with a grain of salt. They don’t need to understand though, even if they are wiling to take the risks I have already given up to long time ago.

Nevertheless, part of me still wants to do this.

So here I am obviously struggling to write down some thoughts until I’m running out of ideas. That, or when it’s time to go hiding myself under the bed again. I cannot assure you the absolute reason why keeping this blog updated is still legit while people are having their life to the fullest without even trying. There are some days I attempted to get back at writing (or just doing anything great) and give myself one more chance: hey this is not a bad life, honey. But there are still some days I couldn’t stop asking God to get rid all of this mess from my life. Funny, I’m the mess. How can my life be a mess, people asked. Ah, they are just too stupid only to embrace the good things happening to me. It does make me feel wrong every time I have to post something only to let it go. Sometimes I wonder if someone out there wants to listen to me. Am I that desperate? Maybe. Does it matter if they can only listen? Does it make me feel better? No.

Why would I want this to get better, anyway…

Acceptance

Good god, I’m back.

It’s actually hard to believe as I look up to myself and reminisce all the things I have done to become the person I am today, or perhaps those things are the ones which made me, me. Compare to the doubts and insecurities I keep playing in my mind for many years – the games I did obey only to push aside my nature of running back to those who’d hurt me, not knowing when to say no to something rubbish because I’m that easy target people can look down on and they will always know when to leave.

I do believe that some people do care while others just get curious. People who raise their voice as a sign of excitement – every time they hear my name – aren’t the ones who would encourage me to pinch my own bubble and get outside that comfort zone. Why does that often bother me? I can say they don’t matter but the truth is, I really like to welcome the idea of who they are to me and what they think of me – because these people often have a different opinion and they don’t say the same thing. Or maybe we do have the same reference line, only that we see it from different angles and perspectives.

I tweeted this a day ago: I get it why you often talk about happiness only after your beloved ones sugarcoat this and that – or else, you will talk about how scary and miserable your life is. You only want to hear what you want to hear, right? You refuse to hear the things you don’t believe in and you don’t want to stay outside your comfort zone. There’s always a limit, true. But if you value your happiness only from what you get from what you want to hear, how far will you go actually?

And I got a feedback from a friend regarding this on the same day, but indirectly.

Let’s see… As far as I’m concerned, I’m not denying that our feelings and emotions do matter. We can do whatever we want to what we feel about ourselves. Of course, we got our own ways to either move on or pull ourselves together when something happens in a way we do not expect. It’s okay to have a break sometimes, or if that comforts you, just take a break whenever you want. Maybe you can drag the people who care about you into this so that you can always have someone to talk to. You don’t even remember that you start to cry in front of them or on the phone while doing the confession but after a while, you attempt to laugh at their jokes. I can say it’s a good therapy.

But what poison this nature is we often rely our expectations on people – they can heal us through honeyed words – and let them know what they need to say to make us feel okay. It’s nice to know who worths our time, realizing that there will always be someone waiting for us when things get really hard. In this situation, we might as well need some friends to prove our acceptance of being okay. Otherwise, it is just a waste of time, energy and neurons because we fail to achieve that expectation. It’s tiring for not being able to bring ourselves to that “let today be as good as ever” point after all the things we “teach” others how to say “hey come to me and tell me it is okay to feel sad and I won’t feel sad anymore if you tell me that way.”

Some people do care, others just get curious. If we keep babying ourselves that this will always work, ask ourselves: how far can we go?

Untuk Pertama Kalinya

Untuk pertama kalinya, aku berkelakuan bodoh dengan mengatakan “I’m done with this relationship, this friendship, or whatever it is to you,” kepada dia. Without any apparent reasons. Kemudian barulah aku terdetik ingin tahu apa reaksi dia walaupun aku sendiri belum bersedia untuk terima hakikat: bodohnya aku sebab cakap macam tu. Ada jeda di situ. Dia diam lama juga sampaikan aku rasa it is better kalau aku terus-terang je dekat dia yang that was so spontaneous gila. Mungkin kalau dia dengar intonasi aku, dia akan tahu aku cuma bergurau. Tapi sengaja aku cakap aku busy, can’t even receive any calls at the moment. “Are you there?” Iya, dia menjawab, aku masih mendengar (membaca). Boleh tahu kenapa? I’m confused. One moment, we were just fine tapi lepas tu tiba-tiba cakap pasal ni, kenapa? 

Betapa coolnya dia masa tu sampaikan aku tak sampai hati nak berburuk sangka ataupun mengutuk dia (dalam fikiran aku masa tu boleh je aku made up some situations and he was the one to put the blame on. Lagipun dia memang annoying – haha nampak sangatlah aku jahat sebab suka cari point untuk jatuhkan kawan sendiri kan?), sampailah aku jujur: I was just joking, sorry.

Dan untuk kali pertama aku berfikir that was quite a mean joke, honestly. Among any other countless jokes – the hambar ones and the bullshit ones – we’ve ever encountered, his or mine, itulah antara lawak yang dipersembahkan bukan untuk jadi bahan gelak sesiapa pun. It should be kept or locked inside my mind only – because it’s never that funny or meant to be funny. Because my mind or imaginations are all funny and stupid. I look stupid for that, I know. Dan memang gila la sebab kalau kau ada kawan baik yang dah kenal banyak tahun, ada ups and downs sama-sama, tiba-tiba dia datang dan cakap “rasanya kita tak serasi berkawan lah after all these years.”

Untuk pertama kalinya juga, aku sedar kekadang kawan yang dah tahu betapa hambarnya kita ni pun boleh terlupa untuk pura-pura ketawakan lawak hambar yang kita buat. Hari itu dia juga terlupa untuk turut gelak bersama aku yang masih tersengih-sengih setelah berkata “I was just joking.” Selepas-selepas itu, dia banyak membebel dan mengutuk that joke sangatlah tidak kelakar. Aku bersungguh-sungguh minta maaf, tidak mengapa katanya. Aku tahu tu cuma bergurau. Dan kita ini, manusia, tidak mungkin semuanya sempurna. 

Tidak mungkin semuanya sempurna. Itu aku anggap cliche, selalu sangat kita dengar dan sebut – atau bagi certain people, they often use that untuk membenarkan kesalahan yang mereka buat. Benda cliche memang membosankan walaupun sebenarnya setiap satu cliche tu ada kebenaran dia sendiri yang kita tak nak say yes to. Kita buat silap hari ini, masih ada orang yang boleh menerima diri kita apa adanya. Sebab orang-orang sebegitu berfikir: peluang sentiasa ada untuk orang yang masih mahu mencuba jadi yang terbaik kepada orang lain. Dan tuhan sediakan peluang-peluang tersebut pada setiap hari di mana kita masih hidup di dalamnya. Mungkin sebelum (masih lagi) ini, aku selalu take things for granted. Semua benda-benda baik yang orang buat dekat aku, aku malas ataupun sengaja tidak mahu ingat. Benda-benda buruk yang orang buatlah yang aku kenang sampai bertahun lamanya, kelakar bukan?

And the joke is still on me.

Happiness is Fickle

“I listened to your playlists yesterday. Can I keep them?”

He kicked the ball towards my direction with the earphones dangling from his front pocket. It was quite far than what he did for the record yesterday. So I jogged past some kids as they giggled “Look! Baby crabs!” and jumped spontaneously from one spot to another. I approached him for another kicking session. Then I brushed the sand out of his hair – we both knew I wanted to discard them but my fingers seemed to allow the tiny bits even more there – focused and heard him whisper, “You’re not even listening.” I swore that slapped me hard in the face and he probably could hit me again with another farce. But I wasn’t ignoring; I wanted to distract him from the truth I had before my sealed lips.

I heard you, I heard you. “Sure, you can keep them. Are you uhm okay?”

At first glance, it seems artless. Something that is so straightforward when someone – who can’t even spend some time sitting in the same room with me – is piqued by something we both often argue about for as long as I can remember. Don’t get me wrong. It did sweat me with anxiety when we played that “guess these songs” game from his playlists. He shuffled the songs. So I listened intently, dengan kepala dah angguk along with the rhythms. For the first time he confessed, “I wanted you to learn something from this Radiohead guys but nevermind, lain kali jelah. Or maybe, Foals. The Smiths.” Dia membebel banyak lagi tapi dah lupa apa. Sejak tu aku dah mula curi-curi dengar album Madness dan My Head is an Animal. Above all that, aku sebenarnya lost passion in music dan bukan jenis yang “oh gila lah deep cut dia ni”. Tak pernah pun terfikir macam tu. Banyak dengar dari feedback dia je. And I was pretty sure he didn’t want to discuss about “kalau you dengar yang ni maybe I can fall for you even more” or “tahu tak mana satu lagu ni diorang punya masterpiece?” when he pointed that out on a whim. He wanted to be heard. He wasn’t happy. Dan dia bagitahu semua tu melalui lagu-lagu yang dia dengar.

“I listened to your playlists yesterday. Can I keep them?”

There was a pause.

“You’re not even listening.”

I heard you, I heard you. “Sure, you can keep them. Are you uhm okay?”

“Haha quite busy but I’m okay. I’m happy now.”

For many years, he wanted to be happy and he finally found his way. Mungkin orang lain akan fikir jadahnya dia ni pasal taste music pun boleh emo bertahun macam takde life – so did he distract you from minding your own business? Kalau dia dah selesa berkawan dengan kau mestilah dia share masalah dengan kau. Kau ni a-holes kot sebab tu dia – I’m all his ears, his walls. Tapi aku respect his privacy and I’m not entertained to hear any bullshits, unless kau suka macam tu? Sebenarnya kalau diikutkan – he even claimed this – aku berkawan dengan orang yang unhappy and he said I shouldn’t. What’s wrong if we are not happy? Orang yang dok cakap orang lain tak happy pun mungkin bingung dengan diri sendiri. Kelakarnya. Pernah sekali aku marah dia sampai berbulan tidak bertegur sapa hanya sebab aku tak boleh fikir jawapan kepada “find your own ways to be happy”. Dengan pujukan kawan kemudian aku belikan this one album yang dia minat sangat, only to say my sorry. Of course, that won’t make him happy but at least he felt satisfied. Maybe now, he found the reasons why.

Kenapa orang perlu anggap it’s their obligation to make someone happy whenever they found out that person isn’t happy? If they’re not happy, they’re not unhappy. Some people want (or choose) to get hurt so that they can heal. Dalam dunia yang gila ni, kau sebenarnya hanya perlu berlakon – no matter what it takes – menjadi orang yang sibuk so that tidak terikut sama dengan standards yang orang raihkan. Samada kau menjadi sibuk because you’re interested in it and you like challenges, or try so hard fitting into others definitions “how to be happy.” Kau sibukkan diri bukan sebab nak jadi anti-social atau tak peduli dengan surroundings. Get busy in something you find interesting. Be busy because you’re interested in it. Maybe the issue here isn’t really about “dengarlah cakap orang ni kalau nak bahagia”, but you know, just in case kau betul-betul dah boleh bahagia, I hope you remember all the storms and rains you ever had before. That is what keeps you alive. A base line you have already established as a reference – so that when something turns out wrong, you will remember that line and how you cannot cross it.

.

“Sure, you can keep them. Are you uhm okay?”

“Haha quite busy but I’m okay. I’m happy now.”

.

But you do know you can cross it, don’t you?