Thursday, March 27, 2008

My forgivable aspects

Time: 00:11

Now that we're on the verge of leaving home...will it ever be the same when we return?

Mull over that. I cried the first time I watch it.

Gianne wrote a while back about the concept of forgivable aspects. To paraphrase her, it is a concept where....people still stick to certain sort of people, no matter how fucked up they are.
A little like "he ain't heavy, he's my brother" a person may be a fucktard but he's got friends because he's generous, loyal and a good entertainer...or she may be the biggest bitch in the world but you won't find a more honest person, either...and those are the qualities that still draw people to people. That there are 'forgivable' qualities about you that no matter how exasperating you've been, people still forgive you because of them.

Here's what Gianne left for me:

your forgivable aspects?

1) i love how much you are able to feel, and your capacity to love.

2) i love the way your mind works. sometimes i'm a little afraid of your depth because i might get get lost or drown in it. (can i dissect your brainnnn????)

(in short, you're a person of great substance ;P)

3) you bring yourself so well when articulating your ideas and opinions; it's like i can feel the clouds parting and light shining through wtf

4) you... challenge me to be a better person =).

5) you're funny and quick and interesting and a supremely wonderful friend (pretty much everything, short of a worship altar XD)

6) you're like fried tofu wtf. from outside you're a strong person, and at the same time, you're vulnerable ... it's something that i find endearing.

7) okay, this is so superficial but you're Miss Vavavoom!!! lesbian lovers insist!!

(please take this list out and slap yourself with it in the case of low self-esteem okay wtf)

Thank you, Gianne. I'm not sure if I live up to all you say, but indeed if that's what you think of me...I could live in peace with knowing I've done alright and will strive to do so continuously. So if I ever screw up, please screw me over.

What do the rest of you think?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A bit o'progress

Time: 02:00

I'm happily reporting that I've done the content analysis, for most part. I sat myself down yesterday evening and since 3pm today, and started what I should've done weeks ago. I think all in all I spent over 10 hours staring at articles and trying to determine their slants and angles and counting paragraphs, and my eyes literally glazed over. Nonetheless...only pie charts and graphs, and honest writing to do now. Will submit the first draft soon, and then spend the next couple weeks writing and amending my final draft. My bum is numb, and my days here are numbered.

I'm counting down, winding up, tightening loose ends.
Yesh, I can smell freedom. It's so near, beckoning to me.

It is at times like this I must remember why I picked content analysis, this particular topic, my purpose of studying, my commitment and my goals. And I must dream a little of the victory that could be mine if I fight hard enough for it. I know I always play down things, because there's this innate fear that I will not live up to the mark, and perhaps I fear disappointing myself beyond anything. Afterall, it seems like I can never get what I want the way I want it. But I gotta start to believe and hope.

Joy comes to my life in quiet, unexpected ways. Sometimes they are such small things, they seem insignificant. But even a smile can make someone's day, so, why not. Being open to realms of possibilities...even to places I've never thought of going or people I've never thought of meeting...that's exciting and fun to think of. Then again, reality hits and I wonder if I'm reading too much into things. Best to keep a distance and not plunge in blindly. Right?

But I'm still a little behind in my work, and some leaps and obstacles more from being finished (Read: A LOT MORE WORK TO DO!). The FYP, my law assignment, and my pain-in-the-ass-what-a-drag-no-one-wants-to-do-it IMC assignment. Not to mention 4 more papers to sit for. But small steps to the big finalé. Just a few things on the to-do before I can hit the road for the Next Step.

Consider this a pep talk for myself. And back to the grind! (Tomorrow, that is)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Procrastinator's Note

Time: 23:54

Again, I'm here purely because I'm procrastinating. I'm due to start on my FYP Chapter 4...more than a week ago, and it's still in its glorious existence only in my head. I need a huge proverbial kick in my ass so that I start doing something very soon.

The journey is about to end. Who'd know? I still remember so clearly that very first day in university. I guess you could say if I could change things, I'd go back to that morning in Chinese class, and whisper to the naive and arrogant girl, to warn her of 3 rocky years ahead full of tears, joy, loss, adventure, lessons, loneliness... and that it will end unexpectedly. That maybe she'd wanna do a 180 and run the hell out of that place. That all the mistakes are not just her own, but that her hands will be dirtied.

I guess there's no shame in confessing I want a do-over. Some other place, some other time. Did university break my spirit? I don't know. I don't. What I know is this. It changed me, polluted the way I see the world. Those changes are big and small. Abstaining from meat, losing weight, finding and losing love, learning how to keep my mouth shut, learning about trust and betrayal, growing up...yeah. Maybe the changes are for the better, that a dose of reality and cynicism was what I needed. I haven't found what I wanted out of it, and I'm still searching. Perhaps life wants me to digress here to learn a lesson. I'm trying to make the best of it. My writing suffered, my passion waned. My next big journey in life will be to reunite with my hopes, ambition and passion once again. That much I promise myself.

And I guess this is where I'll break down and confess to all who've asked me if I'm lonely. I've always told them I'm alone, but rarely lonely, because I'm insulated by the love and support from those who cared. But these past days, the loneliness I've banished is creeping in again, enveloping me with its cold, dark embrace. And I succumbed. I want nothing more than to break down and crumble, but I can't let myself. I need to be strong in my convictions, in my principles and in my own self, because that's all that's left. As much as I'd like to, I feel it's no longer fair to burden others with it. I despair they will be bored and frustrated with me and my constant neediness. I fear I'm getting caught up in myself, my feelings, my emotions and my stubbornness that I neglect others.

I know in the bigger scheme of things whatever it is I'm going through isn't all that big a deal, but again, it is because I'm going through this right now that makes it especially hard to keep my chin up. All the advice and empathy I received comfort me, and I will always be grateful to those who did so for me. But I know I stand alone in this.

I do not know who stalks me (and maybe no one does, and it's all in my head), but as I try not to use another's words as a weapon against them personally, I expect, because of the law of karma, that mine will not be used against me. We all are vulnerable, and I'd like to know I can let myself be once again, without fear. If its true I've been a lousy person and friend, and that I really don't deserve anymore attention, then leave me be. I've made my amends and compromises, and had what I deserved returned to me multi folds and enough is enough. I've reached my breaking point and forgiveness is no longer one-sided now.

I'm sticking to my guns.

I'm also stealing a quote from Amelia (and Chris)'s blog:

"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace." - Kent Nerburn

As I eat my humble pie, I try to mend my prideful ways and learn to treat others better, and to be less harsh on myself and others. But it will take all my faith and strength, but I'm trying, right?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winds of changes

Time: 02:39

The 12th elections' over, and the dust is settling. It set a precedence for me in more ways than one: I voted, and I was out of the country when the results were announced. I was scrambling to look for a computer with Internet, cursing and regretting my decision to go to Singapore anyway, despite being alone and having to risk long waits at the customs thanks to a particular Mas Salamat who escaped Singapore prison by going to the bathroom, just like a movie ploy. My mom with good intentions did not allow me to return to KL Sunday evening, but looking at the lack of "excitement", I returned anyway rather than being stranded in Singapore. We, the rakyat, are mature enough to accept changes and that gave me a huge measure of relief.

I was greeted with shock more than anything in finding out four states in Malaysia now belongs to the Opposition, or the Barisan Rakyat. Joining them, of course, is Kelantan, and also FT Kuala Lumpur. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. I certainly didn’t even have faith that we can even deny them the 2/3 majority.

But it happened.

We, the rakyat, went beyond that, and then some.

That proves it all.

It proves how dissatisfied we were with the government, it proves we are now enlightened, we are empowered to not fear changes anymore, and we are equipped with knowledge and the Internet to know better than to trust traditional media bullied into submission by our (Mis)Information Ministry. That we are allowed to exploit cyberspace was a blessing I credit to the BN government. I also have no doubt whatsoever that without the rigging going on with certain leaders of the Barisan Nasional, the BR sweep will be higher. It proved that the youth of the nation, despite being banned from politics as students or indoctrinated with BN ideas and manifesto, are going through an awakening and awareness slowly, but surely. And we’re starting to give a damn about it too.

Analysts feared this elections will be the dirtiest yet, and that fact didn't daunt the BR voters: Generally, people are cynical that change will come at all, but the best part of all, they voted anyway. Even with the riggings and all sorts of stories from the ballot countings, the BR came through.

At moments like this, as I explained Malaysian politics, democracy and voting to some Singaporeans, I felt pride about where I came from. I felt proud to be part of the changes, to play a part in it, and to witness history in the making.

Going to Anwar's Lembah Pantai ceramah allowed me to meet thousands of Malays, and if the NEP really benefited them, and if they are really as comfortable and protected as the government claimed them to be, why are they there? And why, despite the racial cards played by BN, were they so friendly to us? They talked to us, they allowed me to stand in their spots to see better, they yelled for Makkal Sakthi, and they shared their views and smiles. They reminded me we are all Malaysians first, and race a distant second.

Now the BR has their work cut out for them. They made promises, and they'd better deliver, because as much as I have misgivings for some of their front runners, they may be better than their BN counterparts. They have to be. They're our hopes now, considering some goons in the BN are arrogant enough to point fingers instead of looking inside themselves to study what went wrong. Even as voices from all sides of the country tried whispering, then yelling, about their mistakes and abuse. Even at this time, some are still not sorry, and I’m afraid will never be.

At least this time we see bloggers, human rights lawyers, educated fresh blood and younger politicians voted in. The change today is long-coming, long-awaited and long-needed for. This is more than winds of changes, this is typhoon Rakyat.

Quoting about what I learnt in Social Contract, I will not sell my freedom for more promises and lies. We give up certain rights to earn the right to live in an orderly, equal society; and when I deliver my part of the bargain, I expect it to be reciprocated, or else.

So, if the BR deliver, they will then see to it that the wheels are turned and BN turned opposition in the next elections. Otherwise, we're back at square one, and then, and only then, will I know there will be little left for me to want or hope as a Malaysian.