Be Brave, My Friend.

The Malay has a saying…disangkakan hujan hingga ke petang, rupanya hujan di tengah hari…(you thought it will be sunny till the evening, but it rains at noon).

After close to 20 years of marriage, a friend of mine is ending her marriage. She’s moving out from her marital home this week.

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Be brave, my friend. Be very brave…

It is a big world out there. But you can survive as you have always been a survivor all these years.

Life is too short to be unhappy and living a life of misery. Pick up the pieces again as you go along.

Be brave, my friend…

There is always a silver lining at the end of the dark clouds. You just need to keep on moving and don’t stop.

The world may feel like it is opening up, swallowing every bits of your broken heart  and heavens falling down on you. But, that is okay. The sun will rise again just like any other day. The birds will sing, the flowers will bloom. You just need to see the beauty that God creates for His creatures. And you move on.

Be brave, my friend. Be brave…

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The Strange Dreams, Post Umrah

I told G the strange dreams I had since we came back from umrah. Usually it will involve either one of these:

  • me walking towards kaabah from the mosque,
  • George and I doing our circumambulation around Kaabah
  • looking at kaabah from one side of the mosque
  • praying in the mosque facing kaabah
Kaaba
Kaaba

Measurement of Happiness

As I skimmed through my FB memory postings, I saw one article that I posted about a year ago. It was an article written by Richard Branson. His first line was, “How happy are you?”.

Such a simple question, and yet so profound. Reflects on my current state of spirit, mind, body and soul of mine….

I saw that my last post was about 3 months ago. G often told me that I usually blog when my mind is unease and troubled. In actual truth, he is right. I write my best pieces years ago. The yearning to write again is there for months on end. Just that I have been digressing.

Read the full article here.

Kuala Lumpur, My City

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur sometime in 1991 after living in Pahang all of my life. My then-husband applied for a transfer back to the city after he decided a transfer to the backwaters of Rompin, Pahang was out of question.

At that time, I was working for a well known travel agency and had no problem to land another equally exciting job in the city. The office, I remember was located in this building right smack in the middle of the city.

The first day of work was exciting. I was all dressed in my new attire and got to work at 8 am. Come lunch hour, I came down to explore lunch places. As I stepped out from that grey building, I literally stopped dead in my track. I was suddenly consumed with anxiety and shock.

The whole surroundings were full of people rushing left and right! The streets were choked with vehicle and I was in an instant culture shock. Never in my life had ever seen so many people walking so fast. The buildings were standing tall.

I felt like an ant.

The city has changed so much by then. The streets are now busier than ever. There are more tall buildings, apartments, LRTs, MRTs and monorails. New developments are all over the city for at least a couple more years.

The city is divided into 11 districts and covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq miles). The city now can boasts of so many parks, several iconic green buildings, top 10 biggest shopping malls and has about 1.6 million population, and climbing at a rate of 1.1%.

The KL Sentral, Malaysia’s largest transit hub connects many of the inter-city trains connecting points in the Peninsular, Singapore and Thailand. A massive city within a city, this RM1.7billion development is still in its building phases and will only complete sometime in 2015.

Kuala Lumpur city at duskThis pix was taken when I was driving along the Elevated Highway or known as AKLEH, a 7.7km elevated highway from Ampang to Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur cityscapeI always feel awe of the sheer vastness of the city. It is so beautiful when seen at dusk like this. The buildings gleam in the fading sun light as the night creeps in.

Flag pole Dataran Merdeka IloveKL Sultan Abdul Samad building Sungai GombakI love this city for its uniqueness.

But, I think it is time to make a move elsewhere to a quieter place where we dont have to fight with constant traffic jam, gadzillion people and high cost of living……

Lanjut beach, RompinThis…my friends…is looking better and better…..

The Sunset

sunset

This beautiful sunset was snapped as I drove passed the suburb area of Taman Tun Dr Ismail today. The traffic light turned to red and I stopped. Looked out from the window and saw this.

Peppered with the occasional tree top and the high rise apartments, I pondered about the time of year. November is in full swing and the end of year is just around the corner. Shops have begun to display Christmas decorations. Even Starbucks are now serving coffee in Christmas coloured mugs.

What have I achieved this year? Where am I now against the plans I made earlier this year?

It has been a challenging year, this 2013….

A To Zen Of Life

butterfly

Picture credit

Avoid negative sources, people, places and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don’t give up and don’t give in.
Everything you’re looking for lies behind the mask you wear.
Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to.
Hang onto your dreams.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Keep trying no matter how hard it seems.
Love yourself.
Make it happen.
Never lie, steal or cheat.
Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
Practice makes perfect.
Quality not quantity in anything you do.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Stop procrastinating.
Take control of your own destiny.
Understand yourself in order to better understand others.
Visualize it.
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Xcellence in all your efforts.
You are unique, nothing can replace you.
Zero in on your target, and go for it.

~~ Dalai Lama, 1935

 

This Is My City – At Dusk

Photo0286

 

Taken around 6.30pm yesterday as we were driving along the elevated Jalan Tun Razak heading home. My favourite time of the day when the light of day is about to meet the darkness of the night.

From this angle, you can see the iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers.

Photo0287The sun was about to set beneath the zenith and soon it will be dark. The world will go to sleep and heal itself from the day’s work. At least, to my mind, that’s how it works.

 

Leave The Drama At The Door, Kids!

I wonder whether kids know how much parents really sacrificed in terms of money, from the day of conception to the day they turn 21. Let me count the ways:

  • Days after the conception, after one missed period: RM25.00 (pregnancy kit).
  • Visit to the doctor to reconfirm pregnancy: RM100.00
  • Expensive dinner for comfort food after finding out that you are pregnant: RM200.00 (maybe more if you love steak or seafood)
  • Maternity clothes: RM2,000.00 (average of 2 a month till you popped)
  • Medical check ups: RM2,700.00 for the next 9 months. Average of RM300.00 per visit. Not included emergencies.
  • Labour room, medical etc RM6,000.00

All these not including other expenses i.e. bottles, booties, etc etc etc. Do not forget the college fees too.

And then, there’s life’s little lessons along the way which are totally priceless, just like the Mastercard advertisement. My mind just raced back to maybe 22 years when real life was just a beginning for me. I thought people could survive on love but the daily reality check was difficult to accept. How naive and accepting I was then.

Bring forward to 2001. Building a business from scratch was not easy. Some got it right from birth. Unfortunately I was not born with a silver spoon, but years of hard work paid off with some relatively comfortable life.

Then, more dramas.

Some children think it is their birth right to run away from home to “think about their so-called crappy lives”. All these just to create unnecessary worry to their parents. And what about that crappy attitude when they talk to their parents. Amazingly, that crappy attitude just change like the swift move of Psy’s Gangnam dance when they talk to their friends. Funnily enough, they are even nicer to their friends’ parents! To add salt to the injury, they even hoped that their friends’ parents are their parents too. And they will tell this right to your face as you serve them dinner after braving the city’s traffic jam and slaving the entire day at work.

Nice.

Now, back to all these dramas. Trust me, it does not end there. It just gets worse. They also think that it is their birth right to air the laundry (of course all these are one sided story) in public so that their self pity, selfish behaviour will be comforted by some unknowing, sympathetic friends.

But God had other plans to test His subjects. He has a dry sense of humour sometimes – for instance, He will throw in the misery and painful break up of a marriage to only reward you with the most fulfilling partnership with your future soulmate whom you only ever had read somewhere in a fairy tale before.

One day He decided to open up the Gate Of Wealth and bestow you opportunities to make heaps upon heaps of money that you can literally waltz into a store and buy everything except the toilet sink. And yet, He tested you with the loneliness, sadness, anger emptiness when your partner left you for someone else younger.

The problem is, you can never buy happiness. And that, is a big problem.

One morning many years ago, I woke up with a bad case of migraine realizing that I had nothing else in my life – no spouse, no wealth, run-out savings, no relatives, lost many friends, no home and no business. Divorce is a messy thing. It saps out the life out of you like the Kalahari during summer time. Not that I have ever been there but I read that the dessert’s temperature could go as high as  50C (122F). The only thing left was a Teenager, the cats and my self determination to rise up again.

So, technically, you need to find that elusive oasis pronto to survive or you are a dead meat. Sometimes, you will see only the mirage…..

Yet, worked I did. Worked so hard so that I can put food on the table, buy clothes, pay the house, save for college, little trips and presents; and all the things as how a single parent should be doing for her little family. 

Children of divorced parents have no effing idea what kind of sacrifices their parents have made. Many, unselfishly sacrificed their own happiness and comfort for the children’s sake. Do you know how many times they forgo their own meals so that you can eat? What about festive seasons when they insist to buy your clothes and not theirs? Or when they have to ask for pay advances so that they can pay for your tuition classes because the ex doesnt believe in paying anything? Does anyone else care that the rice in the can has reached to the bottom that all I could see was the measuring cup?

And yet all these children see is food on their plate, new clothes in the wardrobe, Astro paid, the car moves, the fridge laden with food, phone credits topped up and their pocket money paid. Off they skip happily with friends.

So, what are they after really, for parents like me for instance? Well, I am not asking much. Buy me a simple Ramly burger with your first salary would be nice although a dinner at Lafite would be more fitting. Or, a simple respect by asking how am I.

I am tired of dramas from children of post divorce. Many are ungrateful bunch and selfish. They think that the world will revolve around them forever and a day without an inkling how hurtful or painful their actions and behaviour can be. Some are such suckers for pain that they will stick like a a Super Glue to other people who abuse them verbally. And yet, I really do not understand why the respect and care are not given to those who have sacrificed and protected them.

Conclusion? Perhaps, you have to be cruel to be kind. 

Remember, parents are human too and they will want to feel happiness in their lives minus all the diva-ish dramas. Cause life is too short for dramas.

And I want to live my live for me too. Some decisions such as new location for home, new cat, new sofa, fittings, flower pots, a step dad or step mom are to be made sometime in this life. Some, such as the badly scratched furniture need to be replaced. But not step dad or step mom.

Not happy with that decision?

Too bad.