We Can't Always See Where The Road Leads

Final year project? - Done
Final year final sem exam? - Done
Thesis hardbound? - Done!

Could you believe it? I think up till now I'm still not really sure if I can believe this. What left is for me to undergo my internship for 3 months before graduation in mid-November.  "If" I didn't fail in any of my subjects *fingercross*. After all the struggle and dramas *wink* happened during my two semesters of my final year in my degree journey. It feels surreal. And when I'm being me, as always, I don't know what to do next, or should I say I don't really have a particular goal for what I want in life. 

I plan everything that I need to do every day according to priority and impact factors, thanks to my planner and my to-do list apps in my smartphone. And I do have a goal in life, but my goals are a bit too abstract and subjective. One of my goals is to make my family happy. See? That's the problem. I'd been thinking so much about this for the last few months, thinking about my priority and life goals. I figured out that I'm a family-oriented person to the core. I can't deny that I do have my own selfish intention in life but I just couldn't let go of my responsibilities. Am I too young to think about this? Sometimes it drops me dead on the couch thinking. Watching my friends being happy-go-lucky every day, although I'm aware most people have financial and personal problems of their own. But how about responsibility?

When I asked some of my friends about their future career and whether or not they are willing to work somewhere else, not in their hometown. Some of them actually didn't even care. This made me wonder about the responsibility and financial issues. How can fresh graduates survive current economy condition? Let me give you a scenario. I was born in Limbang, which is the northern part of Sarawak. Not really an industrial city, but a nice town where my home is. Currently, I'm studying bachelor degree in resource biotechnology which is all about research and development, emerging crucial branch or life science. But let me get to the point. Job opportunities? Very few available in Sarawak, which mostly in Bintulu and Kuching. With new fresh graduates coming in every year, while there is so little job opening. Imagine if I'm lucky enough to secure myself a job right after graduating with basic salary for fresh grad, I still have my family to take care of, my old mom and family properties which mean, I need to go back to my hometown regularly. I will need a total of 4 flights to and fro for each traveling. Can I save any for that? How about other expenses? Food, groceries, rent? I won't be able to keep any saving for any emergency. But if I don't work somewhere else, where would I work with my current qualification that I work and studied so hard for? And yet my friends still thinking about "couple life goals" and getting married.

Annus horribilis?

Well, if there is only one wish left given to me, it won't be a hard decision after all. I really need to go back home. Not being home for the whole six months, I don't even know if it really worth it. 

My family has been supportive of me since forever. In everything I do. As far that I know of. Well, sometimes it is a good thing, but for most of the time, it isn't. At least for me. I know that they actually care about me but they don't really know how to show it. And for the kind of person that I am, I need to see the we-love-you-we-care-about-you act a bit even if they need to fake it. Sounds crazy right? But thankfully, all those days are over now. I kind of feel that I had changed a bit in a way that I actually think. Honestly, I'm still sensitive to what everyone is saying and get affected to it in some ways. But I'm getting more positive about life, my life. Well, improvement still counts right.

Since February this year, I'd been undergoing this upskilling programme funded by TalentCorps Malaysia (Thanks a lot!). It was fun and miserably exhausting. I think that I used half of my life force on it. Since we had lectures during weekends for two months. I don't even have any time to recuperate or recharge my energy, seriously. But I did learn a lot during this training. And the most crucial part about it is that it open my eyes wide enough to realise what current industry actually expect from fresh graduates. Believe it or not, after some lectures on training, I actually lost some of my interest on  stuff we studied in our real lectures in college. It's like, "why am I learning about this, is this even important?" questions. Well after thinking about it, the reason would be that the university is teaching the students hoping some will be researchers. While the industry need graduates to know something else, and we don't actually know how to do it. Weird right? But it makes me realise how not competent I am at the moment that if by chance I actually finding jobs I will most probably get none.

Well, that is that. Apart from all the skills and technical stuff learned during the training, there is one thing that I am really happy about. I actually started to really understand my own personality during this period. Not because of the training, but because of the other people joining the training. They made me do a personality test, which turned out to be accurate. If you are interested to do one, you can just google >> 16 personalities test <<. I turned out to be ENFJ-T or also known as the Protagonist (The Giver). Sounds so fake isn't it? But hey, you'll never know if you don't try!

After reading all the descriptions and details, I googled and find out who else in this whole world are having the same personality as I am, just to know what and how they think, their opinions are. My findings are amazing. I never know someone else would be thinking the same way that I did. I always think that I'm weird or unique in a way. But, no. It is just that currently I'm in a circle of community that have different personalities from me. There are reasons why I can be so close to certain groups of people, while very awkward and sometimes hurtful with other groups of people. We think differently! and the way we see the world is totally different. That's why.

Knowing about my own personality teaches me to be grateful and to be more understanding of my everyday relationships with my friends or classmates etc. We might be offensive to them too, in a way that we couldn't understand. I always think only about my own feeling, that someone are responsible for making me feel that way. Never was my fault. This makes me feel sick with myself, feel bad. The perks of being me? I easily indulge myself with anxiety. Sometimes, it is uncontrollable and I can't sleep at all.

But, amidst all these stressful environments that I am in at the moment, I'm not sure exactly where did I get the strength to endure and just go on with it. I get stressful a lot but I noticed that my reaction to it is kind of weird in a way. I laugh and talk with a high pitch when I'm sharing my problems when I'm sad and stress. But I get to solve this during the most unpredictable moment of all in my life. It was during the last day of our Upskilling training as we had our industry engagement day where we had our interviews with the real companies like Biocon, CCM Biopharma, and Cancer Research Malaysia.

During one of the interview, I met this one interviewer which I would rather not say her name here. She completely changed my perspective of life in just a split of a second. She made me realise that whatever we do in our life is not for others, but for ourselves. If we are able to make a good life, it would mean that we are able to be responsible to our family too. I told her that most of the time I couldn't prioritise between work and family. Which is absolutely hard for me to decide which one to prioritise. I know that I have a good result in studies. But I always thought that I'm still not good enough and I'm not satisfied with it. I compared to others and feel inferior among my friends who did actually get first class. But then she asked me why do you benchmark your life and your satisfaction with other's achievement? We should be comparing our own achievement with our previous self to really see our potential and be happy if there are some improvements. We are we, and other have their own life. I went out of the interview room with a big smile that I had never did for more than 2 years.

It is not a annus horribilis after all. And since we still have more than half of the year to go. Now, everytime I wake up from bed, I always tell myself,

Never, never, never, never give up.

Well, I hope that I could change the way you see your life too. :)

Welcome to 2016!

Hey, It's 2016 already! Could you believe it?

I'm excited tbh. I'm planning a lot of stuff to do this year before I graduate. I foresee that this will be my toughest year ever. I'll be graduating soon. Working life will be coming next and I need to prepare myself for that. 

1. I want to learn how to swim.
I always know that I need to learn swimming, but because I have this low self-esteem before, I didn't have much courage to even go to the swimming pool. But I went to once last November and I realized that it wasn't much. I should really go frequently until I really am good at it. Thanks to my friends Marvis and Chris for helping me and giving me the confidence that I needed.

2. Be more perseverance.
I'd started doing plant tissue culture this semester. It was tedious and actually I'm still doing it at the moment. I couldn't even go back home during this coming semester break because I need to go to the lab to check on my babies culture. Lots of problems rose up during this semester, I couldn't deny more to this. Lab mates being selfish, family problems, friends' dramas, study,etc..
So, for this new year I really hope that I could be more perseverance and keep it cool all the way until I graduate. I know that it ain't easy but it worth the try.

3. Get better in using Ai and Ps.
I attended this campus crash course last month for about 3 days. It wasn't much but still they did teach me a bit of the basic features in both Ai and Ps. At least, I'm not very stress out feeling stupid now, compared to previously LOL. After learning all these features, I realised that I'd been doing all these stuff before. I did design some poster for various kind of campus events but I never used Ai or Photoshop before. I used various features on free software available and I used to combine them on one main canvas. I create something like I how I vision them to be. But I never knew the term for the effects what so ever. But now after learning a gist of it, now I know what are the stuff that I had been doing all along. Easier by just using Ai.

4. Jog and get fit.
I stopped jogging since the start of this semester. I regret it so much. I should just continue my effort from last year. Now, I even lost my breath after walking for a while. Shame on me.

Am I a Hipster?

I couldn't believe that I'm actually on my long break holiday right now and I just reach Miri, staying at my sister's house for the night. I would be lying if I say I'm not tired. I'm exhausted to the extent that I feel my back pain is resurfacing. This kind of aftermath always makes me feel traumatised of packing stuff. Packing is one among the worst thing that I can do, totally a nightmare for me. I took more than 5 hours to pack all my stuff into the car, with additional migraine due to the pressure that I gave to myself. I should had started packing my things earlier, but I decided to go around meeting friends and all, final year project preparation training at the lab. 

It was exciting really, to know that later you'll have your own area in the lab. Having your own table, although only for 2 whole semesters. Being in UNIMAS means that you don't have your own classroom or lab. everywhere is a public area, shared and opened for all. Except for the lecturers' room, laboratories and offices. 

But I am not going to talk about that. Yesterday as I wait for the boarding time, for my flight bound for Miri, I saw lots of young people and old alike. They are walking around the airport areas, some with a good sense of fashion, and some just didn't give a damn about it, like me. But some reminded me of the word, "hipster". According to Parasuco in the Urban Dictionary (Nov 22, 2007), "hipster" means "Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter." and "Hipsters reject the culturally ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer."

Or in other word, they think, differently. They do not want to be looking the same, mundane style with others. But for me, being a hipster is not just about fashion but it is more of the way of thinking. They are supposed to be thinking more and differently of the others. Like to do something different, fans or weird bands, movies and books. Suppose to be. But now, as I see it, it is becoming a trend of fashion and it is not about the different in personalities. They like the "hipster" fashion and now everyone is a self-acknowledge hipster. Usually in the past, the people who are actually hipster don't even realise that they are one until others said it to them. Now, it is the other way around. "Hey, I pun nak gi tempat hipster tu la. Nak ambik gambar acah2 hipster sikit" and post them on instagram. 

I realise that I'm a bit hipster when I was in my secondary school, not in the sense of fashion. But I didn't realise it until lots of my friend said it. I never like something that others like. It has to be different all the time, but I don't realise it. I thought everyone like them, just like me. Movies, songs and novels. I never know. But now, seeing everyone had decided to be a self- acknowledge hipster, I think it is better for me to be normal. Till then, ciao.

Parasuco, T. (November 22, 2007). Hipster. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hipster

Rest in Peace Yadu

I woke up so early that Sunday morning to realise that the sun haven't shown its beautiful rays. And so I decided to snuggle more in my bed to continue sleeping. I was tired, feeling satisfied after the resource biotechnology dinner the night before. I was woken up to the sound of my phone ringing and I was taken aback to see lots of messages and miscalls on the screen. I feel so sick with myself to even oversleep until 9 am in the morning while my yadu just passed away earlier that morning at 6.30 am. My lovely yadu.

I’d been prepared to watch her leaving us. Who wouldn’t? She was already 87 years old and about to turn 88 this coming October. But I’m not prepared to watch her leave so soon. I thought that she will leave us like 10 years to come. I already plan to bring her to attend my graduation day since my dad will not be there. I am so sad about this I don’t know why. 

“I miss her.”

That is the only thing that keep on coming into my mind, not after the funeral but long before that. They said that it is normal for the elder people to go senile. And so she did. My grandma, my ‘yadu’. It was normal for her to not really remember people, although they are her own children or grandchildren (as long as I could remember). This, I believe is because they rarely come to visit her and so she didn’t really remember. Young people turn into adult and their appearance changes. I was grateful that she always remember me, welcoming me every time I went back home for holiday. She will always hug me and kiss me on both cheeks, making everyone feels at home. When I was younger, she will prepare me something to eat, her own homemade soup. I miss all of these. But when she gets older, about less than a year ago, she started to forget people, even me.

Her body started to fail her after my dad passed away last year. As elder one, I believe she is affected by the sudden death of my dearly departed father. To die at such a young age. She lost her appetite, gastric in her stomach getting worst to the extent that she couldn’t eat. Almost everything that she swallowed will be expel from the body. Due to this, she started to lose even more weight although she was already so skinny. I feel bad for not being at home at these crucial times. Both my mother and yadu needs me, but I’m not there for them. I feel horrible. Now I know that my mom is lonely. And yet, I couldn’t do much. I’m only able to make a phone call and talk with her.

“Family, if it is filled with love, will give us happiness and warmth.”

“Blood is no longer thicker than water.”

Based on real life situation. I feel sad to see our own member of the big family quarrelling and fighting each other. There is no sense of forgiveness and ‘closing an eye’. Is a tie of marriage considered as something so fragile? I don’t favour it to crumble down. I want to see them as a family again. Coming together, smiling and happy. But these are just a fantasy in my head. They are not together now and poor cousins, they have to deal with this at such a young age. I don’t care if they took side is this battle (which they did). But to choose not to talk with us and think that we are nothing to them are very wrong in every aspect. What have we done to them? Are we that bad? No matter what happened, we are still family and we are still cousin. They are still our auntie and uncle. How could we change that? After all these years? But some are able to do it. They cut all these relationship that keep us together as a family. I don’t know what has yadu did to them, but they didn’t even come to pay their last respect to their own grandmother. While posting their happy faces on social media during the funeral, to show that this has nothing to do with them. I never really care before, but when they act like this to yadu, I feel sick. But I know that human are not perfect. There are still room for improvement and I believe that even if there is little, there are good in everyone.

can you spot me?

I just hope the best for everyone. Yadu lived a great life and she did a great job in raising me. We will always love you yadu. Rest in peace.

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