September 23, 2013

Hope and Mental Illness

Mental illness is just one of those topics that remains a bit taboo though it's 2013 and it affects more people than we could possibly realize. From depression to hypochondria, there's so much we don't understand. Of course not. It's not as simple as a diagnosing a broken arm, nor is it as commonly curable as sore throat. We aren't even sure if mental health is curable.

That's the thing, there's just so much we don't know. But just because we don't know doesn't mean we can't try to understand and even sympathize. And for those of us who can, empathize. So when I see insightful articles being shared and passed around among the masses it makes me feel as though there's hope. Hope that the more it's talked about, the more awareness that's brought to the issues, the sooner we'll be able to more openly discuss these hardships, the sooner more therapies and cures will be found. 

So here's just something I'd love to share with you. 

On depression:
Adventures in Depression by Hyperbole and a Half
At first, I'd try to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything - even the things you love, even fun things - and you're horribly bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is. 

On Insomnia:
In Which We're Up All Night by Elizabeth Gumpert
A cure that leaves you groggy or hungover is no cure at all. The point of sleep, after all, is that it's supposed to restore energy, and hope. It makes you alert enough to do things, and optimistic enough to believe they're worth doing. If you wake up feeling otherwise, what's the use?

On Depression after weaning:
The 2 Hardest Months Of My Life by Joanna Goddard
One afternoon, while taking a walk along the Hudson River, I told my mom, who was visiting us, that I wished that Toby had a different mother. He deserved more, I thought. I felt like such a failure: I had always wanted to be a mother. I always had baby fever. I always looked forward to having children. But now that I had a sweet, curious, beautiful baby, I suddenly couldn't handle motherhood. I felt exhausted and inept. 

On Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
OCD: Clearly My Doctors Were Off Their Rockers by Anna Allen
At first I was relieved, and then I was mad. Mad that Barbara Walters had never even addressed the fact that this kind of OCD was real. And then I was even more pissed that I didn't have the hand washing compulsions, because then, at least, people could see what was going on in my mind, instead of seeing me act normal, while my mind was full of intrusive, terrifying thoughts.

And, please, if you feel hopeless, remember these things:

How To Take Care Of Yourself When You Feel Suicidal
Just because your life feels unbearable now doesn't mean that it'll feel this way forever. Try to remind yourself of all the times in the past when you felt miserable and hopeless and lost and how each time, the pain eventually passed and life worked itself out - maybe not in the way you imagined, but things got better nonetheless. Now is no exception. This pain you feel can and will pass. If you give up now though, you'll never discover that better place, so keep holding on. 

Hope is real, hope is near. You are so loved.

When tough times come, it is particularly important to offset them with much gentle softness. Be a pillow. - Vera Nazarian

September 20, 2013

When it Comes to Love

Life's really interesting the way it turns out. Especially in the transition from being a child to being an adult. You may escape reality for a while, but it catches you up and scares you from behind. What seems like a brilliant love story always has its pain. Nothing turns out as it looks like. Even when anything else seems to be stupid to claim. 

Life's not what you make it because you have so little power over your own life. Ironically enough, others form what you become. Others form where you are and how you feel. And sadly enough, so many young people have such an amazing view of life. Truth is, you'll have very little to say. I don't know if I'll laugh at this when I get older, but I've discovered that when you see the best in people, you got blinded. You have to be ready to see the best and worst in people. You can't ignore the bad sides, the luggage or even the slightest signals. 

Truth is, most of the time, it's too late. We're so positive as people. We always want to hope for the best, give the best, try our hardest. Especially when it comes to love. Love just seems so lovely. Even after all the awful stories you've heard from others, even after countless warnings, after countless advise. You still give yourself to someone because you think this significant other is somehow different. And so it goes. It seems like you have all you ever wanted. It seems like this is it, this is the life, this is the love, your dream has come true, everything's the way it's supposed to be. 

But little by little, reality catches up with you and before you know it, you're staring into the eyes of a wholly different person. It's almost frightening, how little you know, and what's even more frightening is that you thought you actually knew. Because after all, this was nothing close to blind love. You know each other's good and bad sides, you know the pretty and the ugly, you know the habits and you know the stories.
Yet reality, in it's purest form, still hides behind that imperfect but, yet so cherished person. 

We think that our stories are different. That finally, it'll make sense. Finally someone understands and receives in the way that you have longed for. You give everything you have, even what you don't have. But nothing about us is different. Just as real as everything else. Disappointment, tears, misunderstanding, grudge, regret, sadness.

Every person that comes into our lives shapes us, creates us. That is, we are a creation of other people. Now meeting another creation, of other people, can form a clash, which happens in every single story. What do you do with it then when there's no way back? When the tables are set and the dress is bought and life is ahead? There's no regret, but reality certainly does frighten.

September 16, 2013

2 in 1: Happy 50th and New Piece by Ifo

That's for my country. Happy 50th Malaysia Day! Well, despite that I'm not entirely independent (part of me still colonized, frankly speaking), I'm really proud of being Malaysian. 

Growing up, I feel so proud living in Malaysia. "Malaysia Truly Asiaaaaa....." the radio played. Gorgeous views, beautiful people, SALE, harmonious land where its people of different races, cultures and religion live side by side with each other; the TV showed me. It made me realize how amazing Malaysia is. The text books said so too and well, I see that in school too where kids regardless of race or their skin color, played with each other.

And then I grew up. I saw many awful things. So many racism happening, so many conflicts with the politics, how the government brainwashed us to think that we're perfect, we are ONE, and so on. We have one of the worst human rights issue, we don't recognize refugees and treated them badly, MORE RACISM, we have 1st class infrastructure but 3rd class mentality..the list goes on. 

But don't let me kill whatever love or hope you have towards Malaysia just yet, because despite all these flaws that we face, no countries, even its people, are perfect. Malaysia is not that bad after all. We can praise other countries for their development and crazy technology and kick ass government service, but at the end of the day, home's where the heart is. You can't reject something that you're born into just because it's not 100% perfect. I hate Malaysians who go around talking about Malaysia and praising other countries. Seriously. If you're not happy with Malaysia, migrate, change your nationality, live there, rot there and die there, and then you realize how it's not all perfect there too. It's the whole "grass is greener on the other side" mentality. What you see's not always true.

I love Malaysia. It's not perfect, yes, I have to agree, but it's home and that's the only place where you're treated warmly and with open hands. If you're in other country, who knows what kind of treatment you'd get because well, you're not one of their own. Having said that, it doesn't mean that we can just shut up and go about life as if nothing is wrong with our home. There's a lot of wrongs here and we need to fix it. We must do something to change the future of our nation. So come on, lighten up! Live life to the fullest and stop being such a killjoy! 

And by the way, I'd like to share some pieces by our local talents with you, lovelies. My man, Ifo, has composed 2 new songs entitled Luka and Aramaiti. The songs were sang by our dear friend Rizal and the music's amazingly arranged by Icco, and the whole thing is immensely supported by The Baks. They totally made it! You'll love it, I promise. Enjoy the songs!


[Verse 1]

Semalaman ku berfikirkan tentang kita berdua
Ku anggap kau dan aku selalu saling merindu
Purnama takkan berkekalan selamanya
Kita juga begitu
Ku ingin kau tahu

Kau cuba melupa, ku cuba fahami semuanya
Adakah kita kan bahagia seperti dulu?
Segala memori indah kita bersama
Semua menjadi palsu
Ku ingin kau tahu

Ku terluka, ku terluka
Melihat kau disana bersama dia
Ku taruhkan, ku taruhkan
Segala harapan kita yang telah kau hapuskan

[Verse 2]  
Ku menangis seorangan, kau gembira bersamanya
Tidak terlintas walau sesaat kau ingatkan ku
Dipukul ombak pilu ku kenang senyummu
Tapi bukan untukku
Apakah kau tahu


Apa yang ku lakukan
hanya untukmu sayang
Inikah yang ku trima?
Kau pergi tanpa kata

 Mungkin ini suratan
Ku redha ketentuan
Ku hanya ingin kau tahu sayang


Ooooooh (3X)

Kau hapuskan



Ku bangun ku terima mesej
Dari mu kata kau minta putus
Ku terus mandi buat tak peduli
Padahal hati sunggulah sedih

Kawanku datang kerumahku
Singgah pinjam baju
Bilangnya padaku

Jangan kau resah
Semua pasti okay
Lupakan semua duka
Kita bersama bergembira, Aramaiti!
Mari kita merasa
Muda selamanya

[Verse 2] 
Ku ke tempat kerja
Bos terus marah marah
Semua pun tak kena
aku pun boleh gila

Kawanku datang kepejabatku
Singgah hantar baju
bilangnya padaku


September 15, 2013

Who's Dictating your Life?

We can't jump off bridges anymore because our smart phones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean, because there's no service on the beach and adventures aren't real unless they're on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we're helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.

I hope you are all understanding yet skeptical of that. There's both good and bad that comes of social media, but you must decide what extent of sharing feels right for you and what brings you true happiness. I must confess that I hope your phone doesn't dictate your life. I hope that when you're out exploring and when you're out with friends, it stays in your pocket. Just remember that the best moments can't be captured by a status update, and that no one knowing about your most amazing experiences doesn't invalidate such moments. I'm actually writing this just to remind myself. Have a good life. :)

September 11, 2013

Smart vs Wise

Let’s look at some differences between being smart and wise:

1. Logic versus emotion.

Smart people tend to process information in a logical way whereas wise people process the emotional, the spiritual and the subtle side of the logic as well.

2. Does wisdom only come with age?

Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you're too damned old to do anything about it. - Jimmy Connors. There's no doubt that a big part of wisdom does come with experience, but one of the most important formulas for gaining wisdom is to surround yourselves with people much wiser than yourself whom you trust to help you on your journey of gaining wisdom.

3. When to open your mouth and when not to.

Here's a humorous way of explaining the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Being smart is knowing your girlfriend/wife's hair style isn't as good as her last one. Being wise is knowing enough to keep your mouth shut. Gentlemen, this can help you tremendously.
Another explanation could be that a smart person is aware that a tomato is a fruit but a wise person knows not to put one in a fruit salad.

4. Know-it-all versus willing to learn and grow.

A wise person knows that they're not the smartest person out there, which makes them seek new information in order for them to learn and grow. We've all heard the saying "he is too smart for his own good," but I'm not sure how often you've heard "he is too wise for his own good."

5. Knowing versus doing.

There's a big difference between knowing things and knowing how to use what you know. Reading a book about how to start a business is a waste if you don't actually start a business. Reading a book about how to improve your health is a waste if you end up having a whole cheesecake by yourself that evening after finishing the book.

6. Employing knowledge versus employing judgment under pressure.

It's easier for a wise person to gain knowledge than for a smart person to gain judgment. The obvious difference is that being smart is a process of learning while being wise is a product of experience. Age has very little to do with this. A 17-year-old kid who grew up in a war-stricken environment has much better judgment when it comes down to how to react during war than someone who is 50 years old with no experience in war, even if that person has read every single book on war.

September 8, 2013

Always Be Sexy

Apart from Paramore's amazing performance on Teen Choice Awards, this was the part that I thought meant anything real, as far as useful stuff for young people to take away from the show as a whole. It's awesome to see someone like Ashton Kutcher speaking to teenagers in a way that seemed genuine and loving and without coming off condescending. So this is what he said:

"I  believe that opportunity looks a lot like work. When I was 13 I had my first job with Dad carrying shingles to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust of the ground. And I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.

The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you. It's just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don't buy it. Be smart. Be thoughtful and be generous.

Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that world is the way that it is. Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things and you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life, don't live one, find your opportunities and always be sexy."

September 6, 2013

To be One with Nature

Me and The Baks were supposed to have a trip to Kundasang on last Tuesday. But something came up so we had to cancel it. Yet it didn't stop right there because we had another plan, like always. Well that's how we roll, we won't let the day goes by without any interesting stuff to do as we got our hopes up to have fun. So on that Tuesday, we were going on an awesome picnic at Kibambangan Water Park, just a small place in Penampang. As small as it is,  it's beautiful and such a joy to be one with nature, to listen to the sounds of flowing river, insects and birds chirping in the nearby woods and feel the cold, refreshing water to dip in. It's such a bliss and ideal way to escape concrete jungle. It's quite an adventure to get there actually as the place is located in deep rural area of Penampang, the road is hilly, and when we got there, we had to cross a swinging bridge. Much fun!

So we brought along some food and stuff; tuna sandwiches, marinated chicken wings, snacks, sausages, rice, drinks, BBQ set, mats, etc. Luckily it's a weekday and the place's empty, we easily found a perfect spot for our picnic, just right at the riverbank. While the guys were dipping in the river, other friends and I barbecued the marinated chicken wings and sausages. We really loved the chicken wings. Honestly it's the best BBQ chicken I ever ate. I don't know why, but maybe the marinating time was long enough for the chickens to absorb all ingredients. We never thought that a cheap BBQ sauce that I picked could do wonders. I can take credits, right? Lol. 

I didn't miss the chance to get down in the river, sit on rocks and soak my feet. It's cold but I liked it. I also helped out my friend, Jasper, to design a pool by rearranging the rocks and building dam. Then it started drizzling. When the sky's getting darker and the rain kept pouring, we moved our things into huts, except the grill as we can't move the burning charcoals. So they took a wooden table from the hut and made it as shelter for the grill. Despite the crazy weather, we still had so much fun munching away happily on our food, listening to music, singing and chatting while waiting for the rain to stop. But it didn't stop. As it rained heavily, the river flowed faster and water level got higher. It's frightening. You could die if you fell into it. 

It was still raining when we packed up things and went back. Crossing the wet swinging bridge while the stream ran fast beneath really scared the hell out of me. Well, it's a wonderful day and we're surely gonna do it again next time. ^^

Ifo and Naszreen were starting the charcoal fire

Bon appetit!

From left: Naszreen, Jasper and me

Rock pool.

Behind the scene

Me and Russel took the initial shift to burn the chickens

We had fun ^^

September 1, 2013

You are Enough

Stop comparing where you're at with where everyone else is. It doesn't move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that's right for someone else won't necessarily be a path that's right for you. And that's okay. Your journey isn't right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different. Your life isn't meant to look like anyone else’s because you aren't like anyone else. You're a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing, and start living. You may not have ended up where you intended to go. But trust, for once, that you have ended up where you needed to be. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time. Trust that your life is enough. Trust that you are enough.


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