Friday, 5 September 2014

Tagged: Liebster Award


I was nominated for a Liebster award and tagged by Laila to answer 11 questions. Head on over to her blog! Before I continue, I want to nominate: Sya | Farah | Alia. My own list of questions are at the end of this post.



What were your expectations before getting into the blogging 
community

I started blogging maaany years back and then I deleted my old blog, made a new one - repeat that process 2 to 3 times. I can't remember what my expectations were but I just wanted to use it as an outlet to express myself plus I find composing a blog post quite therapeutic.

Has blogging changed you in any way?
It's taught me how to write for an audience. Although I only write about what interests me, at the back of my mind I'm always trying to find a way that'll make my style of writing EASY for people to read. After all, what's the point of me writing to the world if no one can understand me? 

What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about literature, art, music, spirituality, guiding, my family, animals... I don't really think there's many parts of my life that I'm not passionate about. The things I do on a day to day basis, I do with great interest.

What do you think about overcoming fears?
It's exhilarating, scary, but definitely rewarding. It's essential for character building; overcoming my fears was my goal for 2014 and Alhamdullilah I've been doing just that since January. 

What do you think about expressing yourself through fashion?
I think some people take expressing themselves through fashion much more seriously than others and that's great! But personally for me, I dress in whatever I'm comfortable with and don't give it much thought.

In less than five words, what defines you?
I am simply myself.

Summer or Winter?
Summer!

What is your dream travel destination?
As cheesy as this sounds, anywhere with my loved ones is my dream travel destination. If you want a more specific location: anywhere in Malaysia. I love my home country!

Name one thing you want to do before you die.
Touch lives. I'd like to have a positive impact on people's lives.

Could you live without internet connection for a week?
Only if I know I'm getting internet connection after that week is over.

Name an experience you had and would like to repeat once again.
None. This might sound cheesy but life is special because there's no single experience that you can actually repeat. You can walk down the same street again and again but it'll be different each time. You'll see different faces and hear different sounds. You can't replicate moments in your life.

Questions for my nominees:
  • What was your first impression of me?
  • Mention 1 positive trait of mine.
  • What makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • Describe your dream home.
  • Have you achieved any of your new year's resolutions so far?
  • Do you find it hard to be yourself around new people?
  • Shower or bath?
  • What's the oldest thing you currently own?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Looking back, what did you waste your time worrying about?
  • Off the top of your head, name a song that makes you feel like dancing.

I'm looking forward to all your answers! :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Impianku

Impian means dream in Malay. Not the kind of dream you get when you're asleep, but what you dream for in life. A few days ago, a group of pregnant teens from a care home came to the Wisma Pandu Puteri (Girl Guide headquarters) in KL. We organised a morning with them followed by lunch. 

All the girl guides present that day stayed over at the HQ during the weekend for a training programme for body confidence called 'Free Being Me' which I and a few others facilitated. Most of the participants were teachers and much older. Only 1 or 2 were in their 20s. 

Most if not all of the teens, were victims of circumstance and I'd rather not go into details about that, I'm sure you guys understand. They were aged between 13-18. When they arrived, most of them were shy, probably nervous and made little eye contact. But by lunch time most of them were laughing, smiling and wanted to talk to us about their interests. It was pretty remarkable!
All the guides and teens were split into 4 groups and each group came up with their own fun activity. Each group of teens rotated around the hall so they got to try all 4 activities. I joined the group that talked about our impian. 

The girls had to write their dreams on a piece of paper followed by a simple drawing that symbolised that dream of theirs. After that we advised the girls on how to achieve their goals. We also told them that there's no straight path to success in life and making mistakes is a natural part of the process. 
Quite a number of the girls wanted to become chefs because they enjoyed cooking. Some were very ambitious and had a LIST of things they wanted to achieve. I was very glad that all these girls wanted a better future for themselves and that they had ambitions, it's a very promising start.

When the 3rd group of teens came to our table, a very quiet 15-year-old sat opposite me. She barely made eye contact. I sensed a lot of pent up emotions so I made sure not to put any pressure on her to talk. Her other friends wrote things like 'I want to become a chef' or 'I want to get into college'... but what she wrote made my heart break into a million pieces...
She dreams for a happy family. I knew if I talked to her about it she might cry on the spot so instead I wrote a note on her piece of paper. I think she knew it was a heartfelt note, something that could evoke a lot of emotions, so she folded the paper and placed it in her handbag but she salam-ed me before she left.

I think every child deserves to be part of a happy family so it saddens me when anyone is deprived of this basic right. I pray that with the support of her friends and caretakers at her new home, she'll have a bright future and I hope I'll see her again.

Working with people from 'difficult' backgrounds requires a lot of emotional strength; you've to be strong FOR them. As I said before, most of the girl guides at the HQ last weekend were a lot older and therefore had families of their own. Some of them had to excuse themselves briefly because they couldn't hold back their tears.
I don't blame them. They're mothers and no mother would want to see their child get themselves into these kind of situations. I'm usually the first to cry for anything but I just couldn't, you know? You can't let someone in a difficult situation feel pitied; it makes them feel uneasy.  

But my experience with them wasn't all sad. I met these 2 girls who said they loved music; 1 loved playing the guitar but both were gifted with beautiful voices. Before they left our table they excitedly asked if we wanted to hear them sing. Err, of course we wanted to!

Both of their voices combined gave us goosebumps; they were incredibly talented. All of us were happy that they were confident with their talents. They exuded a lot of positive vibes which insyaAllah will get them through all of life's obstacles. 

I hope they'll keep coming to Wisma Pandu Puteri, us guides are always ready to help because that was what we promised when we took our oaths... and we keep our promises.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Downtime Is Necessary

Hufftington Post: '23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert.' ALL 23 signs apply to me. 

No.7 on the list: Downtime doesn't feel unproductive to you.

One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.
You've no idea how true that is for me. I love meeting new people but after heavy socialising, I always find myself desperately looking forward to a day or a few hours in solitude. At one point in my teens, I do feel that I was leaning towards the extroverted side but it was short-lived. 

I quickly grew out of that and till this day, I still don't get tired of my alone time. Don't get me wrong, I don't like feeling lonely. In fact, I hate being absolutely alone. I would be depressed if I had to live on my own. At 22, I don't even have my own room and I've never asked for one.

Good company is always nice but the best of company are those who you don't always have to communicate with. I know I'm comfortable with someone if I can be in the same room with them without talking to them. 

Sometimes you just don't want to talk. You just want to enjoy a book or a cup of tea in quietness. A bit of silence here and there is healthy, no? 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Cat Vogue

If you're a cat owner, you'd know that cats are just hilarious creatures. Their antics and characters no matter how annoying at times, will always amuse you and melt your heart. My 4-year-old cat Sprint isn't really allowed out the house because she always comes back home with scratches and wounds. 

She may be small but she loooves picking fights with bigger stray cats. She doesn't understand we keep her in for her own good and always finds ways to get out of the house—when we start scolding her she'll just look at us with her big, round eyes and start meowing. Believe me, it works every time! 

The other day, she saw a little opening in our window and pushed her podgy body through. Since she hasn't been naughty in a while we thought we'd let her soak her fur in the sun for a while. Yes, she loves sunbathing.
All pictures are taken on my Samsung S5
Did I mention she's extremely photogenic? Her father and brothers are just the same, the way they'll pose in front of the camera you'd think they were professional cat models. Such are the antics of the cats I've. Forever entertaining.

I don't know what it is about them, you can have them for years, but every time they walk in the room you'd still be as excited as you were the first time you ever played with them. When I start living in the big city again, I'm probably going to get myself a cat. All alone with no furbaby?? I don't think so. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

It's in the flaws

I got this bracelet during a trip to Maldives 2 years ago in a quaint little shop in Male'. I'm pretty much head over heels for anything vintage-looking so I was sold! I love how the different shades of turquoise and the patterns on the steel all come together to form this Eastern-inspired piece.

Although the steel has lost most of its shine (I'll polish it soon), I'm in love with the details on this bracelet—it all complements each other so well. Some people tend to purchase jewellery for the luxury the brand represents but to me, jewellery is more than that. 

Jewellery is a work of art—a masterpiece. And masterpieces aren't mass-produced; they're one of a kind. When you get your hands on one you know it's unique and even if someone tries to produce something like the original, it won't be entirely the same. This is the beauty of handmade goods.

Don't you think people are kinda like jewellery? We're all crafted so differently but there'll always be someone who appreciates us for everything that we are. I've worn gold and diamond accessories before but this little bracelet is still like no other to me. I feel like it's something a beautiful Malay maiden would wear back in the olden days when Malay women were wrapped in their batiks. 

I'm grateful to have been introduced to art at very young age due to having artistic parents. When you appreciate art or literature, you begin to see the world with a different set of eyes. You understand things from a much deeper and more complex level. 

What I love about art and literature is, you don't study it to criticise it but rather, it's studied to be appreciated and understood. Perhaps the same principles should be applied to our understanding of life. 

I don't think life is just about changing ourselves and circumstances for the better; there are some aspects of life that should simply be accepted for the way they are. Sometimes our need to constantly change things make us overlook what we are already blessed with. When what we take for granted everyday is taken away from us, only then will we realise that we had all that we needed up until that point.

Appreciate everything about your life, it's the only one you've got.