Saturday, May 23, 2009

Everything is just a concept

Have you ever wondered what makes something good and another, bad?

It's all a matter of concept.

It's fascinating to me how a person's concept of the world can differ so radically from another.
In fact, what makes our reality, is how we view the world.

If you think the whole world is out to get you, then yes, sad to say, the people you meet would be waiting and pouncing to take advantage of you whenever they can.

If you think the whole world is better than you and looks down on you, then the people you meet would be those who stomp on you and put you down at every chance you get.

If you think the whole world is unfair, then all you can see would be the unfairness and inequality in the world.

Problem is, once our reality of reality is set in stone, very little can be done to change it.
Unless a life-altering, earth shattering event occurs.
Like Kris Allen winning AI8. =)
I have not been the most diligent fan of AI8, and I'm definitely not the best person to give an opinion regarding anything AI8 related.
But from what I have seen, Kris started off as a humble guy, so humble to the extent that if you asked him at the start if he thought he would win AI8, he would probably stare at you incredulously and go "huh?"
But look at him now.
A shining star is born right before our eyes.
That's the beauty of AI. You get to witness the growth of the contestants through the contest, and it never fails to amaze me bila bintang dilahirkan.

Anyways, I digress. This post is not for me to gush over Kris or Adam or anyone else, actually.

It's supposed to be about a certain camp me and my friends took part some days ago.
Which I know I'm not supposed to write about, due to the 'secrecy oath' all of us took before the camp.
But that's not gonna stop me from telling you about other stuff that happened in those 5 days!

1. I am still swooning over *cough* our Mister Penghulu. Ha!
I am starting to think I have this radar for big successful guys. Or guys that are somewhere along the way there. The first day when we were sitting in the auditorium waiting for the rest of the peserta to reach, he was the first person who caught my eye. I don't know how, but I just...knew. Maybe it was his good looks (but remember, I didn't find him good-looking at first), or the fact that he looked like one of my former crushes, hehe. *shy*And it was a pity I wasn't in the same group as him, but still...haizzz... But he's younger la. So cannot.

2. I think I am getting older.
Because I am starting to think of people as 'kids'. And those people are like, what, 18 years old?! I don't know why. But at one point when my group leader (we were assigned to small groups of 12 or 13 for easier discussions) failed to turn up on time for our practice session for our patriotic song performance, I found myself thinking...ah well. He's just a kid, let him be.

And after a while, I started. and thought, what the...?!
It's not that I'm a lot older than him. 5 years is not really a lot. Perhaps it is a sign of ageing...

3. I finally tried abseiling!!

4. I am so in love with this song 'Mulanya di sini'.
For people who went to the camp, it's the 'sama sama' song that all of us sang together on thursday. And. I. Like. It. So. Much!! It makes me want to hug my fellow Malaysians and sing with them at the top of our voices in the middle of Federal highway.
(and no, I am not suicidal.)

5. I realised I can go without 'real' food for days.
Because the food at the camp was really...yuck. By my standards, anyway. Too oily for my stomach and too spicy for my tastebuds. How to eat? So I didn't eat. And surprise! I didn't feel too hungry, and I found that now my appetite is smaller and I am eating lesser. The perks of the camp, hahaha....

6. My malay has improved.
Not much, actually. But better than nothing. The first day of our group discussions, for most of the time I was actually trying to figure out what the others were saying (in BM, of course!). And it didn't help that our group facilitator speaks with an alarmingly fast rate. I mean, just because our camp is in Formula 1 Sepang doesn't mean that you have to compete with the cars to see who goes faster right?.. it was really really tough. I actually wanted to ask him (and my group members) to speak slower, but...aih. Paiseh la. I'm malaysian after all, right.

7. Silence is golden.

8. Telling lies, is not.

9. Somehow the camp reminds me of NS. A very short one, albeit.
But of course, NS was much, much more enjoyable. And I read a piece of news that the government plans to get the former NS-ians together to garner whether they still have the 'patriotic spirit'. How are they gonna prove that? I don't know. But if I am chosen to go then I shall just sing all the lagu patriotik that I have learnt in the last camp. Guaranteed patriotic!

10. Seeing from others' perspectives is vital for success.

And the end!

Okay. So the reason why I am late with this post is that, ahah! I am back to scrubbing the floors and clothes. And everything else in between.

Because my darling maid has just decided to stay longer in her hometown.
Her story was, her bus broke down on her way to the airport. Then she missed the flight. Then she booked another flight on the 28th. 10 days later than promised.

I don't really believe her.
But what can I do?!

Of course, I have come up with my own plans for making my burden lighter.
Like, putting more clothes in the washing machine instead of hand-washing them.
Cooking porridge for lunch instead of a whole 3-course meal.
Whipping out my bedroom slippers for my parents instead of sweeping and mopping the floors daily.
And manja-ing my parents to tapau dinner instead of having me to cook. Ha!

Smart leh....

Till I fly!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger

So recently I've been getting more irritated, angry, and stressed out than I've ever been in a fairly long time.

Reason? I'm back home, sans my indonesian maid.
And being the only one with 'lots of free time', I was the obvious choice to take over her chores.

Lest you start thinking I'm a good-for-nothing lazy bum, let me explain that the household chores are not the reasons why I'm so upset.

1. My efforts are not appreciated. I feel like what I'm doing is EXPECTED. Sometimes I start feeling like a maid obeying orders from her boss.

2. I feel as if I'm not trusted. Well, this applies mostly to my grandma. She's always reminding me about chores and tasks that I have not done, or didn't do properly. But the thing is, the way she reminds me is so berputar belit that I have to scratch my head to figure out what she wants. I mean, hello! I'm 23 years old for god's sake. I have stayed on my own for almost 5 years (2 years college plus 2.5 years university). I know how to run a house. Really. But the feeling of not being trusted to do what I do, does not feel good.

3. My grandma (again!) and her complaints. She can't do any housework (because of her slipped disc which never recovered) and somehow she feels guilty that she can't help out. So she goes around saying things like "Oh, I'm old already, useless already, cannot help you all to do things. What to do, what to do...." And sometimes she'll throw in a "Aih, I'm going to die soon.." for good measure. (!) I mean, when she says that for the first time, I still can layan her nicely and tell her, oh don't say that, it's our duty anyway, you're considered very healthy for your age, bla bla know, the standard things we say to pacify old people. But when she says that for the freakin' 20th time, I really have to refrain myself from yelling at her. Of course I succeed (in refraining, not yelling!) but it's really stressing me out this way. Doing my chores is already quite tiring, and plus pacifying her, I'm drained physically and mentally. Sometimes I feel like I have got nothing more to give, and yet she's still taking, and taking, and taking......

Actually there are more issues, just that I don't feel like relating more of them. Reminding myself of unhappy stuff makes me unhappy.
Perhaps you would think I'm this ungrateful and unfilial brat that snaps at her grandma.
But really, not all grandmothers are made equal.
Like when Cyik was telling me about how her grandmother would make bak zhangs specially catered to her tastes for her, I was so...envious. And sad. Because I knew my grandmother would never do that for me.
Actually I guess I can't blame her for that. She belongs to the generation of people that puts their sons and grandsons above everything else. Daughters and granddaughters are just people that 'belong to other people once they're married.'
And she doesn't make a secret of her biased love for her male heirs.
In other words, I know she doesn't love me.
And I can never make her love me, no matter how much I love her or how much I do for her.

Then today I woke up and it struck me.

Fact no.1: I have to do my chores and deal with my grandma.
Fact no.2: I can be happy or unhappy about it.

Either way I still have to do what I'm supposed to do.
So why don't I choose to be happy when I'm doing it?

I don't need people to appreciate the things I do.
Whatever I do, I do for myself.
I cook nice meals so the people I love can have a healthy and wholesome meal.
I clean the house so the people I love (and myself) can live in a clean place.
I wash the clothes so the people I love (and myself) can have clean clothes to wear everyday.

So even if they don't appreciate my efforts, I myself am still benefiting from what I have done.
In other words,
I am not doing this for them.
I'm doing this for myself.

And as for my grandmother, I don't NEED her to love me for me to survive.
I still have my parents. And my friends.
I don't have to let her affect my moods.

In other words,
I realised that, nothing is personal.

My grandma's not loving me is not because I'm not good enough.
It's because of her olden ways of thinking.

My uncle's not liking the food I cooked is not because my cooking is horrible.
It's just because he's not used to eating western food.
(FYI, he found the pasta I cooked for him to be one word: Yuck!)

Other people who say unkind things to me are not because I am a bad person.
It's because THEY are bad people. Or perhaps they've had a bad day.

You see,
When others scold you,
it's because THEY are angry.

When others irritate you,
it's because THEY are inconsiderate.

When others say something unkind,
it's because THEY choose to say unkind stuff to you.

Either way,
It's not you.
It's them!

So why should we be affected?

Accepting this fact has made me a happier person.
Nothing should, and would be taken personally.

Till I get my visa,