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?

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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?

Feeling Better

It’s Monday again.

Well, the way you interpret that thing in your head would depend on how your last weekend went so far. Either it was beyond superb that you puked rainbows or you had to jerk the idea out of your mind; I wouldn’t have ample time to guess which one is your synonym. It could be both if you think you’re a realist. As I drafted this one earlier, it wasn’t my intention to put that very short abandoned paragraph of the month there again. I wanted to mention about the EpiRA program I joined a couple months ago but it seems like it’s not as interesting as welcoming the Monday.

But whatever, it’s already my mid-semester break anyway. The most painful way to be a loner or be alone or whatsoever phrase you may include my whole existence in, every time I’m getting all bored with no one to talk to. This is a torture. For the last 20 hours, I only got the chance talking to myself after I had a chit-chat with Shamil regarding his leave for other something. He’s a busy bee so I’m not going to put any higher demand for his focus set only on me – for which this often leads me to spend more (or maybe some) time to read books. Of course, it’s still there as part of my plan. There are some books I really need to read – and the ones I promised to review them here – although it may take more time to get them all finished than what I’ve reckoned before. I need to feed my imaginations more with new things but I’m procrastinating again, I know. If it’s not something I should worry about other than pray I shouldn’t, I don’t know what else is. The space is getting narrow so I’m telling myself it’s okay to have this loop right here in this imagination. Maybe someone else has it bigger, right?

But you know what sucks after I (might) have succeeded feeding my boredom with books? The temptation to chew on something is a parasitic habit I can hardly resist, I tell you. I’m starting to feed my stomach for every 4 hours now that I don’t wanna know how much calories I have gained overnight for this whole mid-semester – except for the periods I had spent on sleeping for god’s sake. There’s no need for any maths here; forget about the Joules I’m going to revise for the exam too. And the codings? Such a total nightmare. You can imagine how disturbing my mind is while saying those right on your face for like every hour straight. But if you can’t, that’s what excites my amygdala more.

So here’s the thing: I can’t really say “hey I’m bored” if there’s no one I could talk to or if books are the only choices or if I have to put many efforts thinking what I should do to fill the vacancies in. Maybe I’m just not interested in something I haven’t committed before or invested my time for? Well, for that case, I’m just going to try wearing something different (or something new as you may refer to it) now to feel better – not for the fact that I am not used to facing it, but for the outcomes or the aftermath I may yet train myself to experience them.

p/s: Such a cool way to end my Monday with a post like this -_-

Bedroom Door

Sometimes it’s just a call for desperation – not attention or even empathy – for every question people throw right in front of my bedroom door. They often ask me to describe the things I keep here in my bag – whenever I tell them apart from everything else, I always like the chewing gums – only because I fail to execute the curiosity they have bottled up in every question I get every day. I hate that idea: I don’t like to explain how mysterious or creative or weird or funny myself can be when I’m around people I’m not comfortable with. It’s distracting to have few people asking me how my damn perspective works because it shows how desperate myself is to get validated or approved by others for the things I only want to do for myself. I see my life in such different ways, I know. But I’m afraid I can only drag this to the point – as if it’s a boost to lose the stupidity and practicable to say: everyone comes with different perspectives and definitions.

When midnight starts to crawl in with flashlight from the back of my phone, the moon sings me the lullabies to haul all the words clogging in my throat, as it crumples up my dreams into tiny ashes. I would still wait for the shadows along the corridors to walk away – leaving no footsteps – with the energy and fears I have put under my sleeves. I can hear my own breathing as I get up from where I hide, wondering what Time is it now? And the fear I have inside my chest almost topples me to the floor because the room is too dark that my eyes only depend on the light peeking from under the door. I would then go out of the room with no one’s watching me, solely to pick up the papers they throw as they pass my entrance.

I always think it can be such a relief to stay outside of the room when everyone’s sleeping, that I hardly notice how ignorant the person I can be as I let the demons in at this late hour. I don’t want them but I let them in. I can’t hate my dreams but I don’t want to remember any of them either.

Finally, a mid-term break away from this mess.

A Man Like Him Forever

Last night was cool – had that kind of relaxing conversation with him as we meditated on stuff happening in our life. Nothing more than mentioning about how thankful we both are for all the little things we keep forgetting about, the time-lapse that seems too superfluous and his preposterous jokes on me being shy. It was far from my expectation, the moment I let him in for the things I am not supposed to relinquish. Yet thinking how something inadequate can take me to an obscure level out of the darkness rooted in my heart. Even my words are getting complex now, no?

Every time I told him how disappointed I was to have insecurities guarding up these walls, he would always try to bring them down. So I woke up today realizing how mediocre my excuses were when he asked me when’s the last time you talk to your parents? 

Because today, my favorite hero turns 49.

—-

For many years, I admit that I don’t have something joyful about childhood pasted in my mind. Truth is, I wanted to erase them off in any possible ways but it appeared to be much worse. Perhaps it is easier to leave anything behind for something new or something I want to set my eyes on or something I find more interesting. You know, in any palpable form you can imagine about. Anything.

But when it comes to feelings or memories – I wish I were a better lover, daughter, and friend. I wish I would know my late Mom more than feel regret. Because more often than not, I dispute this major feeling when it reminds me of Dad (or my late Mom) – a feeling that can likely wake me up from being sinful – for I am just a loser, a failure to them in essence.

Dad defines my source of strength, always. He’s supportive, protective and any other adjectives I can’t even use to describe his whole existence in this writing, yet I’m feeling beyond content to have him as part of this story-telling. His presence or the idea of whom he is to me reminds me of everything we as a family had gone through over many years.

It wasn’t easy switching from a single father of five to a teacher for hundreds of students at one time. I didn’t know that – never imagined how it feels like to think and act as an adult – until Dad remarried another amazing woman (Mom) and it somehow changed my perspectives, beliefs, and reliance ever since. My sister and I were sent to a boarding school and it became a major turning point in my life. Dad was glad for that, of course, expecting us to be as bold as him while we only made things harder to deal with. Yeah, I survived the hell for five years, at last. If I could turn back Time, I would like to tell my younger self to take back all the words that’d hurt them. I really wish I could.

—-

You are a great teacher, thank you for everything.

Just so you know

All my prayers and thoughts are with you, Abah.

Happy Birthday xx.

Love,

Your troublesome daughter.