The Little Things in Life

Nothing much to be said, nor remembered. My life has fucked up. I don’t remember having a single moment where I actually pretend to be deaf towards things he has sugar coat about. He speaks those words without hesitancy as if he’s used to licking his lips to lubricate all the lies. If there are lines we both should not have crossed, I swear this is the first time I realize: my life has fucked up and I want to change.

………

We were on the bus heading our way to attend a Charity Walk event that I seemed not to pay attention most. The queuing part, my grumpy stomach or people around me — I only cared about getting on the bus and going back safely. Nothing really happened. It was already Maghrib when I started listening dearly to Acha Septriasa, her song which had suddenly driven me back to Time. Flashbacks.

I thought about the little things that used to make me happy, regardless how small or unnoticeable they were. I often ponder that I won’t get to be happy anymore. I started looking forward to feeling something bigger which I would always call mine. How insane it was to fall for someone or get infatuated only at first sight. I blamed Love for making me rush into things — for I didn’t want to lose the grip, I felt like wanting this someone as mine no matter how long it would take. I blamed my housemates for being so noisy that I have to sleep with the blanket on my face. I’m such a dumb person, anyway.

But oh, the little things.

Thinking about made me feel less superior

to blame all shits that had happened in my life.

We all have that kind of little thing we treasure the most,

something that makes us happy or gets the butterflies in our stomach,

if it rains or not.

Like how stupid we actually feel about it

when someone compliments “your idea is brilliant”

that he wouldn’t know how long we took planning it in one night

after eating two packets of Megi Kari.

Or getting the right answer for the Maths questions we have solved,

that even the person we dislike asked us to teach her,

yeah, gimme that bitchy look again.

Or staring right into the beautiful eyes of beloved ones,

no matter small or big the eyes they have,

we then wonder how can tears be so much painful?

Or when our siblings talk shit about our new haircut,

then argue how much it cost to make so.

We all burst into laughter the whole month,

Realising that we should have told the barber

to make the haircut even funnier.

—-

I wish I can keep all these little things close, so that when life has seemed to fuck up, or when I lose someone that meant so much, or when I wake up late for classes, I’ll remember, this isn’t going to be a bad life. Yeah, it’s just a bad day.

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Janey Fabe: I don’t Want Magic

January is about to end and lots of things are coming, still attempting to tear up the fear I blanket around myself for about a two year period. Regardless what stains it got on itself, the red curtains are always down either in days or nights. It should be okay to be away from home sometimes, they say, so I put my dirty sneakers and headphones on when mom’s not around. I head off to the town to at least grab something nice from the bookstore people often talk about. It’s still this early for someone to walk around the neighborhood. Even the truck hasn’t started collecting the garbage yet, and I wonder what I’ve thrown out yesterday.

It sucks to have these days crawl into my bed when the morning comes. Days like this where I have doubts and hesitancy being myself again. Or at least be somebody who can better herself by letting go of the guilt from the past. The devil might have danced mercilessly on my weakness. Could it be the past that I’m afraid of being chased after? Could it be the things I couldn’t fix, which have come as a betrayal towards things I haven’t done? Could it be that kind of love I’m having a delusion on? Yet, it’s always myself whom I’m confronting the battle with.

Saddening how something somehow tells me that I’m in despair —like how the grass dances with the mighty wind— following each step and whispers from people’s ultimate view. How poignant it has seemed to be, that I become the rider of major changes that revolve around me. So loud but so nothing. Whenever I reluctantly accept anything from my vantage point, it feels like I’m crushing the hopes in my hands, slowly throwing it to the ground where I have my feet to smudge it with. I pick up the flower aside the bushes, pretty. The green grass is no longer blooming. Uh… I would never let the grass grow under these feet since I’m the one who would be buried underneath.

Heal Differently

We don’t always have to be with the people who can take the good vibes out from ourselves in order to be right sebab kita semua hakikatnya sedang mencuba untuk being better. I second that. Tapi ada orang stick with this group of people sebab dia rasa terpaksa? After all yang tu berbalik pada priority kita jugak. Kita tak buat something tu unless kita memang ada intention to achieve behind it, samada untuk melepaskan diri atau puaskan individu lain, doesn’t matter what.

Betul lah kut. Persekitaran dan masyarakat bagi tekanan yang berbeza terhadap apa yang kita buat. Kira macam tak semestinya dalam kelompok masyarakat tu, you’ll be influenced more due to the majority bila kau nak decide something to be followed or not. But majority is majority. Minority is minority. The right things to be done tak selalunya goes for majority or minority instead. It would be manipulated on how we perceive the matter as and how the consequences it brings along would then rephrase the whole idea. The point is bila individu ni terikut sangat with how the environtments behave like, emosi juga ada its role play dekat situ. KIta decide something for ourselves when we think it feels right to do so, regardless what situations we’re in. Orang tu berkeras tak nak ikut vacation trip yang dorang dah setahun lalu planned, tapi orang lain cemuh dia suka sangat buat hal dan ubah fikiran last minute. Behind that sebenarnya, dia tekad tak mahu pergi because she lost someone that day sampaikan dia rasa tak belong to the world anymore, rasa tak mahu kongsi duka tu. Maka emosi dah bercampur baur dalam setiap satu situasi ni. Satu individu boleh timbulkan rasa marah dalam diri kita walapun individu tu dalam emosi sedih.

To those who got exams lagi untuk beberapa papers, I ain’t going to ruin the atmosphere. Keep the struggles on, aye. Aku rasa soalan past year exams tu lagi sedap mata memandang sebenarnya berbanding dengan apa yang aku tengok atas meja tadi. Selalu kalau lepas jawab paper exam mesti kawan-kawan akan bagi feedbacks masing-masing sampai biji mata tersembul nak bagi yakin feedbacks sendiri tulah yang betul. Aku sengih kononnya bagi hilang rasa seram sejuk. I’ve always got the chills shivering down the bones even if the exams dah habis. Boleh pulak orang lain cakap aku cool padahal dalam hati aku dah menyahut kenapa semua orang ingatkan aku pasal small matters yang aku tak berupaya nak jawab tadi-tadi tu. Gelak. Self-remedy rasanya. We often tell our brain to fight against our own mechanisms and the feelings inside from bursting out as something negative. It’s not a fault though, whether we feel or think something this or that way negatively. It’s not a fault to be afraid against something that is beyond our efforts or to express freely what we feel inside. Small matters pun kekadang boleh caught us up being awkwardly tongue-tied. Contoh kau rasa takut nak tanya makcik harga pisang goreng tu berapa sebab dulu kau pernah ada insiden terpercik dengan minyak panas. Sampai sekarang bekas parut tu masih ada tak berperisa. Cliche, tapi tak, aku bukan nak sentuh about being traumatic.

People feel afraid because we always have the feelings to fight back for something we have the rights on. Logiknya, semua ada their own fighting mechanisms. People fight from being a lazy-ass, from the things which have scared us off, from being happy, etc. For it’s always one’s right to be lazy or not, it’s our right to be happy or not, it’s our right to decide what matters or not to us and it’s our right to love or be loved. Maka tak salah pun bila seseorang menangis if it’s the better way for them to heal or to overcome the fears they have, ataupun bila dia moral down gila-gila sampaikan apa kau cakap tu dia tak mahu dengar. Aku selalu marah diri sendiri bila dengar orang lain condemn orang lain: you can’t feel this or that way, kau tak boleh overtinking, kau tak boleh yada yada itu ini, jadilah matang sikit jangan hanya tahu menangis, kau jangan kawan dengan orang yang kutuk kau. Lepas tu akhir kata siap dengan pesanan: “you go girl.” Pesan orang hadapi semua tu dengan jadi diri sendiri tapi baru saja tadi kau berani list out semua pantang larang yang sebenarnya kau tak mungkin pun akan buat.

Oh, paranoid of being someone weaker? Nak nasihat orang because it feels like you’re talking to your old-self, secara mitosnya. Kau sekali lagi having the fears or tears bahawa ada orang lain akan copy your footprints to be someone broken from the inside. Kalau kau tak list out semua pantang larang tu, kau rasa macam dah gagal lalui experiences yang lalu. It feels so familiar to me. Sebab aku sebenarnya yang selalu sangat jadi orang yang hanya tahu condemn tu, but when life hits me everywhere, aku sendiri tak tahu nak decide things for myself.. Dan aku selalu rasa terpukul bila teringat the moment when I firstly realised people will always heal differently from each other.

Ya, saiz kasut kan lain-lain.

Logika

A false analogy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone applies facts from one situation to another situation but the situations are substantially different and the same conclusions cannot logically be drawn.

—–

That final semester I usually sat in the front row, near the teacher. Not that it was something I could be proud of, yet English classes were the best and most relieved ones after any major subjects. Although the topics were something redundant and regular—nothing as algebraic as other subjects or whatnot—that I could be sleepy listening impatiently to her speeches, I should agree that I like the way Miss Malathi made me impress upon her, or at least I like the idea who she is to me, a great teacher. Once she got into a topic, no one could escape from her pile of questions. Moreover, if the lucky person sat near her while she walked around the class.

Under the table, as always, I was with my phone. Nothing extraordinary. I just had to keep scrolling on the screen as I got easily distracted by the weather. We got English classes at 3 PM and I started to think about foods. Shhhhh, it wasn’t the real deal there. We were up to discuss an essay, about teenagers and the (rise of social) problems among them, stuff like that, until she took one card out of her pile of thoughts, asking “Why did it happen that way?” As if she were pinpointing utterly to the problems, not the doers or other circumstances.

Family ignore their children’s pursuits and emotions..

Parents show them no good characters and role play..

“Curiosity kills the cat”..

Of friends and requests..

And other stereotypical insinuation any students would gladly elaborate them out. She continued talking about beliefs, religions and surroundings as time passed by. “…as to how these all correlate in the atmosphere of being grown-ups yada yada and the lifestyles yada yada we may create.” I remember that word “correlate” and how someone else mistook it as “co-exist”. She then started making comparisons, so I jotted down what I heard. Perhaps later the words would eventually and slowly reappear in my mind.

“You know, back in my days..” she stared at the board, searching for words, then looked back into our eyes. “Parents would pressure and teach the children about religion so that their children would conscious of our actions and decisions. Different from as how it is perceptible as nowadays’ appearances, parents or families rarely put any concern on this matter. You know what I mean, right…”

I pondered over her speech, questioning every solitary piece she mentioned ever since. I wondered why she compared it that way, or why she came up to such conclusions. I wasn’t saying that it is a crime to have such thoughts, nope. If really it was about parents who solely had to watch over their children, then who were to be blamed—the ones who stop the teachings? Oh, wait. It got nothing to do with blaming each other or the teachings. It wasn’t about putting the blames on, I knew. Somehow it just sounded less reasonable to me. I was upset that she really left me hanging between “iman tidak dapat diwarisi” and “siapa berhak ke atas siapa”. Though I guessed kalau dia tanya aku apa definisi iman pun, baik aku tutup mulut kejap. I was sure she had better explanations—or theories at least—on the topic we first talked about if she intended to be quite assertive. Nonetheless, it was her individual opinion from her past experiences and I respected her even for that. Far from that, I knew she was going to say, make your religion as a way of a better life.

“Or.. when you commit bad or good deeds, do you even remember God? That God’s watching over you the entire time? That He knows it either in dark side or bright side?” I heard that too. “How about you, do you fear your God?” She spoke to the class, then repeated it as we got jinxed under her ‘spell’. I had a quite thoughtful moment there, I assumed.

“Because I do. I do fear of my God.”

—–

It wasn’t a mere discussion I got in English classes. It was a lesson for life. That sometimes teachers won’t ultimately give us the damn answers, but they show us how to figure it out for betterment, for concealed purposes. My friend once said, semua orang boleh buat kebaikan for the sake of humanity bila mana dia nak, tanpa perlu dia timbulkan isu keagamaan sekalipun. Sebab agama mana pun akan ajar kita untuk tingkatkan moral values dalam hidup, amalkan yang baik-baik itu ini. By comparing the atmosphere of teachings dahulu, kini mahupun bila-bila, banyak lagi faktor yang memberi impak sebenarnya dari masa ke masa. Environments, social pressure, etc. Cuma generalising it to something like “dahulu dan kini” tu kurang tepat bagi aku. Kiranya kalau ada orang nama Abu suka pakai selipar jepun pergi pasar, tak semestinya semua Abu acted that way. Paling leceh pun, kau tak mungkin tahu orang yang pakai selipar pergi pasar tu nama dia sebenarnya Abu.

Fallacy yang aku maksudkan tak semestinya satu keadaan ni saja. Probably assumed aku tiada hujah kukuh pun untuk nyatakan why is it such a fallacy to me, mungkin sebab aku rasa aku tak boleh terima similarities between two different situations. Takpun how easier it is for me to get pissed off the way bila ada orang cakap “wah muka kau sama macam kawan aku yada yada…” Tu baru mukadimah, lepas tu mesti orang akan tanya some similarities kononnya, before they try to compare something again.

Sometimes these differences are outright ignored by the person presenting the fallacy; other times, they may not be aware of the differences. The fallacy occurs, and is common because real-world parallels are always limited; the differences between things can often overpower their similarities. Analogies and metaphors can be very useful to explain things to people and often play an important part in learning. However, because of the prevalence of false analogies, they’re much less useful in making arguments. Oh, whatever it is we’re looking for in our life, is it enough untuk kita hanya berasa takut?

Wishful Thinking

There are times you talk about family
For how they made you feel,
or they didn’t.
There are times you talk about friends
For good things, they’d promised,
or they hadn’t.

There are times you’ll talk about
People or things you care,
or you won’t.
Maybe it’s time for you to go
Maybe it’s time for you to change,
or maybe it’s just you
A person of wishful thinking.

That you wake up each day
To look forward to feeling
Something new —
Yet, it still feels the same.
That you speak to the whole world —
How infatuated you have been,
No more, no more,
“It’s it, I would first fall in love with.”

That you long for the moments
More than the persons themselves.
Of dancing stars and night skies,
To which you weep your tears most.
But —
It isn’t just you.

Stay Outside Your Comfort Zone (ii)

I glanced over the person beside me, as I sat down on the couch that morning, finishing Already Gone for the second time. For some reasons, I was afraid to claim that I’d noticed something had changed about her. It wasn’t something subtly strange on her face or how deep her voice was. I just noticed that she didn’t talk much around me whenever I urged to start a conversation. And only silence was my loyal friend. I don’t know if time has made us apart, but to people, she is still the same her. She always did things—I wouldn’t bear to—with all her heart and soul. She even picked me up when I fell down. I remember her from the bruises I got. “The deeper you may fall, the more you may feel hurt. That’s why the ground is there to stop you from falling deeper so that you will feel less hurt.” Somehow, whenever someone else told me they gave up on life, the words helped me to recall that moment, that pain is not forever. I can’t remember if she ever said that to me, yet the words always bring me back to where she first picked me up.

She couldn’t stand lazing around in the house when she had more time to spend on. There were always some things she planned to do and she would remind us to worry not about her. Even after her husband died, she forced herself that she could do it all without help. Sometimes it could hurt even more when we keep holding on from falling down, couldn’t it? That I reckon it’s run of the mill if we might fall down harder and even deeper. It’s not as if we’re giving up on life. It’s just that life has given us too much to keep holding on something that would ultimately get replaced, that we have to find another something, which would make us more tenacious again. I always remember her from her stories. She has grown up being a farmer her entire life. She would spend a favourable time to help people and her family, which she even worked at the place of her own. At time we had to wake up for Subuh, she was already at the front house, preparing for her tools and then disappeared into the mist of early morning. It was really her routine. Until that day, she stopped. She fell as pain suddenly conquered her.

She began to see doctors more than I could ever visit her. The doctors advised her to slow down her daily activities since the pain has started attacking her muscles and limbs. Although she can no longer be outside the house, she can still treat people with her lovely smile and characters, can’t she? To live each day knowing that people may get older at number, yet they’re always young at heart. Isn’t that beautiful too?

I’ve known that wise woman long enough that I’ve felt terrible whenever we visited her place and she had to solely look after us. Despite our rebellious and illiterate acts, she would come up at us and advise each of us to be better each time we committed something awful. We used to cause her big troubles (which I rather keep it to myself) enough to make people get pissed off and utter lots of bad words. Instead of pushing us away, she lent us her small arms and embraced us under her care. That woman had been there for me since I was little. I was thankful enough to my parents that I could come back there again to look after her and share the stories we both had missed.

Time can’t measure happiness and if only you asked me what I want from Time, I really want to spend more time knowing the best of her and I really want to witness her confessing to our Shahadatain, dua kalimah Shahadah, suatu hari nanti. Dia, atau sesiapa pun.

After all, isn’t family part of society too?

——-

The entire post (i & ii) isn’t about a so-called eulogy. It’s not solely a matter of “two is better than one” or “one is better than none” instead. It’s about staying outside the comfort zone in our own way, (no matter who we are, where we are) there are always some ways for us to make amends and break the walls for those who need help. Give ourselves that space, so that we are conscious of the boundaries, yet never surrender ourselves to exceed them. Though our objectives may have a slight difference from each other—that we lead one project to another project thoroughly and have those priorities set—nevertheless, our top priority is to seek His pleasure.

Adanya biah solehah tentunya lebih selesa untuk kita bergerak bersama sebabnya “two is better than one, at least.” Juga, tidak kira ceruk dunia mana pun kita tercampak, kita masih mampu menghidupkan suasana tersebut atas sebab “one is better than none, at least”. Good things would eventually happen at the right place, at the right time and with the right people. But if it didn’t happen, it doesn’t mean we were at the wrong place or at the wrong time or with the wrong people. Ujian untuk kita tidak datang bermusim, tidak kira tempat atau siapa, dan pastinya semua tu dengan izin tuhan. Being a “coward” or feared is an option. When we stay outside the comfort zone, sure, it’s gonna be a tougher day ever, but hey, why don’t we take the courage out of our pocket and give it a shot? One piece at one time.

——-

I stayed there for three weeks—the daughter and her family were there too—which I thought it had been a perfect time to be away from the city, to enjoy the nature instead. As time goes by, I learn it the hard way to appreciate not only how people made us feel, but to appreciate people themselves too. I even keep the rest pictures for myself, so that when I miss the fresh scent of morning air, the fog I barely touch and the green trees which stand before the hills, I could always tell myself: the memories are always there. Even when everything else in the pictures dies or has gone, there will always be memories.

Stay Outside Your Comfort Zone (i)

School days were already over. At least I’ve got the chance to take a break for some months before I get back at it as a college student. I even planned to take part in any volunteering events (or outdoor activities or whatnot). I just wish that people would appreciate the situation I was in so that they wouldn’t abruptly accuse me of being a “coward”. But, it’ll be fine. At one point in my life, I just realised it’s not only about being physically ready. We don’t wake up anymore each day to watch our favourite cartoons, play our stuff or cry when our parents prepared us for school.

That’s how it made me realise; it’s time to grow up and to stay outside the comfort zone.

———

By early May or so, there was a small event organised by a group of students. While it was only 6 of them, they managed to distribute all collected funds (foods, money, etc.) to several families and lead one “Kem Anak Soleh” there too. It was always my wish to lend a hand. Yet, my family and I had to be at somewhere else in the weekend and I had to solely agree with them. Though it disappointed me a lot, I was relieved knowing there were people who were willing to work on something for society while I sat in the car for hours, writing things I felt sorry at.

I followed my family back to the place we once belong. It was miles away from our hometown, quite tranquil and calm. When the days were bright, people could see the blue sky with its fluffy clouds were layering between each other—up from beyond the sky—and reaching down to the hills. It was always like that, each time and each day to which we grew up becoming a nature-seeker. It’s like when you go back to your home, it would always look the same—the telly, the chairs, the pictures on the walls—and maybe it welcomes you the same way you’ve last left it, deserted and in a state of turmoil. Maybe, for now, there’s no of it anymore. When we didn’t have reasons to stay; it was just a place we were born in. And the only thing has left in our mind is about which part of Earth our body would be buried then.

It was already late in the evening when we drove two hours from home. I always rant about the weather, any weather. It wasn’t an enjoyable day until I needed a cup of tea and cookies from the kitchen. Generally, it puts me in a grouchy one: when the hot scorching noon comes and people rush to get their tasks done, I would rather be in a pool of ice than become all sticky and full of sweat. I hate how the air smells like so… And I hate to even describe it. But it doesn’t mean it really bothers me in all way. For it may not be reasonably accepted by someone else if I solely quoted: “nobody really liked that situation” because it’s a bitter truth that we live in a tropical country. After all, farmers get to grow their crops by depending on the source of light. Students too would walk on their feet to get to school in early mornings. When the evening comes, kids at the field are thrilled to spend their time—kicking and throwing balls—there and hope it won’t rain any sooner.

Heavy rain or light rain, it really matters to people who have planned on any outdoor activities (or for those who want to dry their laundries). As a little kid back then, I knew I wouldn’t get to play outside as I watched our bikes and the road got wet, and parents started telling us to watch cartoons instead. Sometimes we ended up looking out of the window, wondering how long would this rain last? 10 minutes? 20 minutes? The whole evening? It would rain heavier suddenly and kids eventually gave up on it. Nevertheless, it was still exciting to wait for raindrops race along the window glass. You chose your favourite drop and then screamed out loud which one would first reach the edge. You even pointed your finger on the glass, following that tiny drop as it formed a bigger shape when it kept hitting another drop. There were lots of fun stuff to figure out when I was little, which I grew up regretting of not experiencing it. My sister sometimes wished for winter to come, and the only snowy region I could show to her was the freezer in our fridge. It really was cold and icy, wasn’t it, sister? And then I would tell her we could have some tea in the kitchen as Mom was preparing the cookies. She refused to it, she never liked tea.

I smiled thinking about my childhood as we finally reached someone’s place, a home of where an old woman and her family live in almost for twenty years. It had been two years since I last visited them. My parents even decided that I should stay there for a while. Just for a while that they promised to come back during the school holiday, two weeks later. I waited for them to come although I knew it wouldn’t happen. I knew it because my mother had to attend her lectures, while my father got busier each day marking grades on the examination sheets. My siblings? Sure they had to follow “the plans”. It should be fine by me.

My school days were already over and helping out others was something I was looking forward to, too.