Welcome 2018!

Goodbye 2017, and thank you! 2017 in two words, was challenging.

Let’s go down the road and zoom in on the significant events that happened in 2017:

1. I’d fallen on hard times since the company I worked for got into an economy crisis. The situation called for an adjustment to some personal life choices. Not only it affected my spendings,  I had to shift my focus and put some plans on hold too. That includes my social activities. I chose to stay in during those times because staying home would mean a clean expenditure list, except for my subscription to Netflix. I avoided friends for a long time that some of them probably thought I was kidnapped by the aliens.

Of course I wouldn’t have been able to go through all of that alone. I’m thankful for parents who are ready to have my back during difficult times. You’d realise, family is all you have when you lost everything else. Looking back, I’m amazed at how calm I’ve been. Tough times dont last, tough people do, remember?

2. Rehome-d Tommy. This was the toughest decision ever. I hate to let him go but I was forced to and I’m still not over that truth though I know he is in good hands now.

Though it might seem like I have not moved on by posting pictures and videos of him on his Instagram account, I am happy to know that he has adapted well in his new forever home. I keep his Instagram running because that’s all I have left of him that keeps my day sane, sometimes. I’ll always love you Tommy, you’ll always be my special charm.

3. Falling in and out of love and, in love again. Life is really full of surprises huh AK? It’s weird to look at the uncanny resemblance we bear, I swear.

4. Deactivating social media accounts. While this may seem as irrelevant to most of you, this shall be my self-proclaimed proud moment. Took a break from social media and only activated it three months later when I had to help a friend rehome her pretty Jelly. There is finally a utile reason to go on Facebook. On a sidenote, we’re still looking for potential adopters. I’m waiting for Jelly to be safely rehomed before I shut Facebook down again. Like I did my Instagram. I logged in to post photos from my Bangkok trip and it started to bore me. Oh wait, what is wrong with me?

Above all, I’ve learnt to build a more meaningful relationship with human and engaged in a more productive conversation with no distraction from checking social media feeds. If you demand respect, then earn it.

5. Change. I don’t know what is good change or bad change. But I do know that change is the only constant. Old ways won’t open new doors. But I’m certain this new change is what brings in the good things now and if God wills, later.

6. I found myself. Maybe there is good in the new change after all. Things I learned about myself:

– Forgiving – I started by forgiving myself before I can forgive others. It was easier to let go when I learned to forgive.
– I hate crowded places these days.
– I enjoy dining at the coffee shop more than some lepak/western/mediterranian wannabe cafes and restaurants.
– Stopped trying to blend in, can’t fake it anymore.
– My love for animals, except reptiles!
– Anything minimalist and simplicity; can’t believe I sold my Louis Vuitton for a trip to Bangkok. Desperate moments call for desperate measures.
– My inclination for perfection just got crazy. Not the OCD kind of perfection though.
– I value my privacy more than anything that I wished I had dumped social medias earlier!

6. Social circle – Keep it small and real. People come and go but true friends stay. And it was easier to recognize who my friends were in times of my downfall. I stopped going to some people with my baggage because many times I did, it didn’t help to improve things. Things turned sour, problems remained unsolved and I ended up hurting for taking the wrong advise.

So sometimes, no matter how close you’ve been, it is always safe to draw a line.

Last year may be full of bumpy rides and unxpected revelations, but things definitely got better than previous years. I’m proud to say I’m much calmer in tackling unwarranted criticism. My younger self would have been less patient.

Over time, I came out stronger and wiser. After all, Allah has promised, ‘For indeed, with hardship, (will be) ease.’ – Qur’an 94:6

No new year resolutions. If you noticed, I’d never practised having new year resolutions.  I was never one for resolutions. Simply because I lack the consistency to follow through. Or, it just seems that I can never set realistic goals for myself.

As cliché as it may sound, 2018 started off on a very good note. I got an advance birthday cake that comes with a letter stating my salary adjustment. Alhamdulillah ‘ala kuli haal. Allah heard me and my effort has been paid off. What could be better than welcoming the new year with my people whom despite having witnessed my downfall, still stayed. And the same people rejoice with me when I shared the good news.

With that, I bid a final goodbye to 2017. Thank you for the memories and struggles. I hope for all of you reading this humble piece of mine, to have a great year ahead. Time will heal whatever you’re struggling with. Doesn’t matter if you didn’t have a good start, what matters is you never give up and strive for what you desire. Do not beat yourself up if you fail halfway, tell yourself, it’s okay and that you are a work in progress. We all are, remember to have fun while you’re at it. You’ll discover new things and the end product will be beautiful.

Let’s spread love and more love and be kind. Bring it on 2018!

Laters,
S

Bangkok Vibe

Unlike my past trips, I wasn’t so excited to pack for Bangkok. Reason being – I just had to rehome my cat and I miss him terribly. (No wagging tail, no more excessive meows and sleepy purrs to greet me now when I come home from work or wherever) There’s another reason which I won’t talk about here. Some things, though they suck the blood out of me and get on my nerves, still deserve their rights to privacy.

So packing for Bangkok was easy. The essentials – shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste (if you’re fussy and won’t use the hotels’). I packed light because I had planned to shop in Bangkok and also, Jo had planned to look for a laundry service.

We arrived late in the evening and dropped by Big C to grab some drinks and bites to store in our room.

We saw some things we’d like to bring home and planned to come again another day. We put that for the last day when we won’t have much going on and have checked our (Jo’s)  list of itinerary.

So, how was Bangkok? More, soon.

Laters,
S

Mood: Void

It’s only been the first night without Tommy and my room already feels so dead. All of a sudden, I feel so small in my own room. Last night, I slept like a log. Its like my conscience knew that Tommy wasn’t around for me to check on him. Waking up in the middle of the night became a habit for me. I’ll constantly check on Tommy to make sure he is not stuck somewhere. Most of the time, I dont have to because I can feel his warmth next to me. This time, the bed feels too big for a girl sleeping alone. The air was much colder last night. Oh the rain probably.

Time will heal. Definitely. I hope my upcoming trip will take my mind off Tommy. Even if not for long, at least for a while.

Be good there in your new forever home, Tommy. I trust your new family will take care of you well! Because she is my friend – my friend since I was 5!

t0mmy

Laters,
S

Separation Anxiety

This post is dedicated to my pet cat, Tommy.

IMG_6874.jpg

I took Tommy in when he was only two months old. Shared my space with him and provided for him as much as I can. He was a tiny furball and now has grown to be a handsome ginger. Tommy is my everything – he has been my companion, sleeps and plays with me. His purrs calm me whenever I came home stressed from work. Even my Etsy store was named after him.

He was sent to be sterilised at 9 months old and at 4 months old, he’d received two vaccinations. Toys, catnips, scratching board – all for Tommy! I deactivated my own instagram account and created one for Tommy. My life revolves around Tommy. Even when I’m out on dates, I’d shop for Tommy and think of Tommy who’d be waiting for me back at home.

To the majority of those who are going to criticise and judge me for giving away Tommy, keep those nasty remarks to yourself please. It was not an easy decision to make and a selfish one you’d say. I’m stuck in between saving myself – trying to get out of the pithole and saving Tommy. Of course I’d have to save my ass first before I can get up to save anything/anyone else. It has been two months of work with no pay. Given the industry I’m in, only time will tell how long more we can survive. While I try to get back up on my two feet and get a job with a stable income, I’d decided to give Tommy up for adoption. To a family who is more than willing to share their space with him and provide a forever home for him.

They’re coming for him tonight. And as I packed his favourite toys, his shampoo and his treats, I’m feeling emotional. Like a mum sending off her child on his first day of school. I know he’ll be happy once he’s settled in his new home. He’ll have a friend to play with. She’s called Chanel and she’s 9 years old.

I know I’ve done my best in the recent years with Tommy and he’ll always be my baby.

Snapseed.jpg

Laters,
S

Life

edbd0b4c695cccd939eeaec18410fad8

Last weekend, my mum got a message that a young man had jumped to his death from his unit. It was hard to stomach the videos. According to my mum, those videos were circulated on Whatsapp/Facebook and family of the deceased had plead for the public to stop sharing the articles. My mum is the best source of info these days. Hehe. Have I not tell you so, that disconnecting will help me to connect with people better? I think it’s best I shan’t go into greater details of his impulsive act. The least we could do is to respect the dead and his family.

Though, I can’t help but to wonder what went through his mind before he took the plunge. Couldn’t he talk about his problems? Did he even try? Isn’t there anyone who could coax him to step back? Was he bullied? What sort of problems he could have had that can’t be solved?

It is not my place to talk about this but it’s scary how people took to suicide as an easy way out. Students taking on their own lives after exit examinations. Gamblers found hanged in their rooms. Teenagers found dead with their wrists slit. God forbids any of that happens to us or our family and friends.

Life is not all about good grades and a high-post profession in the workforce. Life is not all about being rich. Life is supposed to be fun and memorable. Life is a cycle. You can’t forever be on top. We learn to get up after every fall.

Life to me, is too precious to waste it away. No matter how hard life gets, always remember the people around who cares and matters. If you think you have no one to talk to, please seek help from the counselors. They are around for these reason.

Most people would have said, it’s fated. But truth is, fate lies in our hands. Sure, we can’t choose our own life lessons and tests, but we are given the power to ask/pray to God.  Sometimes I too, almost lost it. We are no saint. But I’m grateful for He always guides me back to the path of faith.

Then again, if only life is so much simpler and less complicated.

Laters,
S

Social Media Detox

social-media-complex-comic

Hello! I’m here to write (technically type but write sounds more personal and romantic) on my hasty decision to take a break from social media. (Disclaimer: At present, the ONLY instagram account I keep is for Tommy the cat)

Now, what is Social Media Detox?

Basically it means to stay away from social media. All forms of social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc.

Who needs social media detox?

If you, find yourself posting angsty posts every now and then, not replying to every why(s) being asked in your comment space, then you really need to check yourself. You probably need to learn channelling your anger elsewhere.

Your post was obviously intended for someone in particular no matter how hard you tried to hide it with cryptic languages. Even if the public don’t know, you know and God knows. Cut the crap man. Man up and confront whoever it is you’re not happy with. If you don’t like your friends commenting why, then make your post private OR just don’t post. If you have to, please be ready to face questions.

(No, I don’t do that. Five years ago, yes. Now, the only thing I’ve been sharing are photos and videos from my travel and cats. And more cats!)

Next, if you have to post every activity (READ: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER) you do on Facebook/Instagram story and tag your friends along with it, it’s another sign you need a break. Right, we get it. You’ve got a life!

I’m a private person if you must know. Personally, I feel that people don’t ask because they care. They ask because they’re just curious. Nosey Parker. Haha.

I have friends who shared their emotional baggage on Facebook. It is human’s nature to ask, isnt it? But these friends turned defensive when being asked, claimed that what they went through were too personal. Well, personal stuffs dont go on Facebook, my friends.

Another sign could be, you find yourself spending a good half an hour before/after bed going through your ‘Following(s)’ stories and newsfeed. Killing time by going on Instagram in the subway and buses. Another wasted 15 mins skimming through newsfeed while on a date. Well, I’m guilty of this. Haha! Sometimes the posts that people shared are too hilarious. Yup, the posts on emotional baggage and personal vendetta. Not that I’m not being sensitive but it turned hilarious when commentators argue among themselves. Go get a life people. Oh wait, just keep doing what you’ve been doing, please keep me entertained. Hehe.

Lastly, how to do a social media detox?

If you are strong willed, you can keep your accounts and just delete the apps. That should refrain you from going on Facebook or Instagram. There are some people who will cheat and log in from the computers though.

So what I did was to deactivate both my Facebook and Instagram account. The good thing about deactivating is that you can always come back anytime after the whole detox exercise is over. Or if you decide not to, then you’d probably have achieved the motive of this exercise. It has been 3 days and no one has noticed. Or perhaps they do, but they couldnt care less to ask. Haha. Not that I mind if they do ask.

What I hope to achieve from social media detox?

Let’s be honest. Eversince I’ve been on social media, I’ve let these platforms run my life, literally. My day won’t be complete without checking whats on the media.

Once, I let myself fall into the trap of the dreamy #relationshipgoals, the ideal #homedecor and the perfect #ootd must have posts. Makes me wonder, how do they have it so easy? I gotta admit that there was a point in my life where I used to post selfies and #ootd on Instagram. The likes turned to be a confident booster for me. That didnt last long though. The day I took a leap of faith to don the hijab, was when I realised that there is more to being confident then getting likes and compliments from people.

Anyway, I used to post a lot on Instagram story but I stopped when I realised that I’ve been revealing too much about myself. What ever happened to the quote that I’ve always hold on to ‘The less you reveal, The more people can wonder.’?

Well, I hope to spend more quality time by connecting with people who truly matters than checking social media unnecessarily. You tell your partner and family that you love them, not to the world or the social media; because they deserve it!

At the end of the day, to each his own. How you use the social media, is really up to you. Do you think I’ll cave in? I’m praying hard I won’t! Hehe.

Laters,
S

13 Reasons Why

13-reasons-why-2017-season-1-banner

Gossip girl has always been my favourite go to on Netflix. Nothing that Gossip Girl or rather Netflix cant fix when you have your monthly cramp – the craving for french fries and hot caramel macchiato or anything spicy (Samyang would be the ideal kind of spicy for me). I am not a sweet tooth person and I doubt I’ll ever be. I don’t fancy cakes though I love chocolates. Ironic? YES! But it is not what I crave for most of the time.

You know how comforting it can be to pull up the thick woolen socks and rub some Yu Yee (famous chinese ointment in Asia, I think?) on, stay in bed and watch Netflix with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee?

Gossip Girl will continue to accompany me during my bring-from-home lunch. But I decided to switch to 13 Reasons Why ever since I saw so many heartfelt reviews on how the series became an eye-opener for them. Even my little brother has watched them. So I came in late to this party but better late than never, right?

You know, I’ve always thought that those people who went on to rant and write lengthy posts on how the series affected them, were exaggerating. I mean why wait for a TV show like this to start to be kind? I never knew why until I watched it for myself. I’m on Tape 2 Side B. And it’s enough to make me question who’s next?

13 Reasons Why was first written by Jay Asher and it’d be best if you could read it before watching the 13 episodes of a heartbreaking TV series on a girl who resorted to taking her own lives after countless bullying. I only read from what’s provided by Wiki. Good enough, eh?

Only the third episode and I’ve learnt quite a lot. How everything affects everything – that’s the quote Hannah used to describe how one incident happened leads to the next.

My take-away on this, is one – be kind. Depression is real. Hannah looks like any girl on the street, pretty and all smiles. Yet, she bottled her depression and even when she went to that one person whom she taught she could depend on, that person didn’t even try to help her. No one is saying you should be a hero and save them. All you have to be is kind. Make someone’s day and let them know there are still  people who cares.

Till then, I’m on to my next tape.

Laters,
S