Nothing good gets away.

Just in case you read this in the future.

I thank God every single day, for letting you enter my life. I have built strong concrete walls around me, which are almost-impossible to break through. I applaud your persistence and grit for being able to do that.

You are the one who I am looking for. After all that lonely solitude and journey of getting to know myself, I found you. You are my new home, my safe place, my comfort. At one point, I don’t think I deserve you and most of the times, I question God on why He is so kind to me. I am thankful.

Things unfolded so nicely and neatly that I found it’s so smooth. Our foundation is our friendship. We are friends, good friends. I like to see myself as an unsolved mystery but yet you know me so well that I know I can’t hide anything from your soul. I love learning things about you. You are like the world map with 7 continents that I would want to memorize by heart.

I never had a man who pampers me so much, in most sincere way I can compute and rationalize. You made me feel so lovable. You proved me wrong when it comes to the question of unlovable. There’s no such thing in your dictionary. You resemble my dad and I know you heard of it repeatedly from me. I can’t deny it. I told dad that “Abak, don’t worry. I will find someone who can get along with you one day. That’s my most important criteria”. Guess what, Pa, I think I found him.

I don’t know what the future holds. I decided not to think of any possibilities of losing you. I just want to enjoy the now-moment. The present moments of you and I – the times when we laughed and argued are my treasures that I safely keep. Most importantly, I adore you for being an adult, the pillar that I can lean on when things get tough and I just want someone who is matured enough to lead me. Someone who is worthy enough that I can respect without doubt.

I comfort myself that nothing good gets away.

To my soulmate.

To the man who decided to make a commitment on me,

I promise to be the pillar of your strength, to be there for you in joy and grief. I promise to be the world for you that you will always look forward to come home to me, despite the argument that we might have before we left home. I also promise to make you my world every day and be grateful that finally, after such a dread and bittersweet journey, we met halfway.

But if you feel that my support for emotional and spiritual banks inadequate, do communicate with me. Please do understand that I am in the process of growing up and that might be my weakness. Do not shout at me even you are in rage, be the adultier adult than me. You will have my respect at all times because I love you. Do understand that in the past, I have men who gave up on me and with that, I accept your past and flaws with no complaints.

Together, we will be the power couple that put fire in every thing that we do. Be it grocery shopping, window shopping, charity events, cooking, doing house chores or even travelling. We do amazing things that will benefit the humankind together. We look back on milestones that we have achieve as we grow old together and we wipe each other’s tears and say, ‘Look at how far we went, together.’

We will be great parents together. We will be great uncle/aunt, siblings and children to our family members. We will be our future children’s inspiration to do greater good. We will be an inspiration to each other. May we always have the vibe that it is an honour to be with each other that Universe is so kind to pair us up in this century.

Thank you for not giving up in finding me. Thank you for not giving up on us. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for every thing. I am looking forward to meet you halfway sooner or later.

If you ever have that muse that I am your soulmate, do not hesitate. Never hesitate. See you soon.

 

 

 

A boy named Rasyhdan.

This post is about a boy named Rasyhdan who is currently 15 years old, and turning 16 years old next year. I taught his class English when he was in Form 2 (Grade 8).

I was known as the firm and fun teacher, that’s what I like to be thought of. I treasure the relationships that I built with my students; for each one of them has their own life story. My favourite activity in my English class is diary/journal writing. I collected around 20 plus diary per week and per class, 5 writings per students, and I marked(read) every thing. I will spend my Friday, after school, to read each one of them.

It was difficult to get students to finish their diary for each week at first. The key to it is to make it a routine. I always handed back uncompleted diaries during class as I was checking their homework and informed them clearly that I expected it to be completed; for it will help them in their writing indirectly. Setting high expectation on each student despite whatever level they are in is important and it seriously worked like magic. However, again I would like to stress it out here that setting high expectation works best when the relationship has been established. Human connection is important after all.

Among all the diaries that I have read, my favourite diary was written by Rasyhdan. Rasyhdan is considered as one of the students in his class who struggled in English language. Sometimes, his handwriting is hard to be read. But I’m glad that I never give up on Rasyhdan and the rest.

Reading Rasyhdan’s writing has been a great reminder to me that life is fun and meaningful if you live in the present moment, not dwell too much in the past nor feel anticipated for the future. You need to live in the moment. IN THE MOMENT.

Rasyhdan comes from low socio-economic background. Even at the age of 14 years old, Rasyhdan has been working to make end meets. But I’m glad despite all that, he still comes to school and looking forward to it. And how do I know all this? It is all written in his diary. He helps his father to collect crude palm oil which might earn him RM10 per tonnes, and imagining very skinny and small Rasyhdan carrying up all those crudes is heart-breaking.

But despite all the struggles, he has his fun time. His favourite activity is fishing and I always get to read the types of fish that he caught every weekend. There’s even one time he skipped school event just to go fishing with his father. And I’m as a teacher was not angry with that, despite the high expectation that I demanded. I chuckled when I read that. At least, for a boy named Rasyhdan, who works hard to help his family to earn a living at a very young age, has a carefree life. I somehow envied Rasyhdan for living a carefree childhood. But he truly deserves it.

After series of failed English exam papers, Rasyhdan managed to pass the final English exam and even completed all the essay questions. It was a proud moment for both of us. I remember how happy he was when he saw his marks. I know that his English passing marks is not the only benchmark, but the spirit that he has in living his life despite all the shortcomings, always amaze me and make me humble.

The story of a story.

This was written during early of this year when we, colleagues were discussing on why we are in education field.

Who inspired me?

My parents inspired me a lot. My parents went through a hard time to gain education when they were young. Ages ago, in Sarawak, people do not see formal education to be necessary. As long as you know how to plant and harvest paddy, go to the jungle to get some food, cook and clean, you’ll be fine. My dad had to obey to what his parents wanted and he put the family needs above his education as priority. However, my mother has fought a great battle against the traditional perception that women should not be educated. She was the first woman from her long house to get a scholarship to enter university. It was a great news for her because she wanted to become a lawyer. However, because her family is too poor, she has to let go of her dream in order to let the rest of her siblings to go to school and finish their education. Because of what my parents have been through in life, regarding on education, they went all out to give the best education to their children. Their actions in giving the best that they can for the benefits of their children’s futures really inspired me to become a better person in life.  

What inspired me?

It started with my involvement with an education project in SMK Bario few years ago. It sparks my interest to contribute something to our education system. I was humbled by the data that I collected from students of SMK Bario and made me realize that education inequity really exists. This made me decided to join Teach for Malaysia fellowship. So, last year I went to Bario for a spiritual journey and I read a book, titled ‘The Jungle Schools’ about a Canadian teacher, Mr. Manson Toynbee on his efforts to provide a proper education for natives in Sarawak. His writings on his experience traveling to rural schools in Baram and how he insisted for the girls to go to school to be educated really inspired me.

High hopes.

This song is currently #onrepeat song for the day. As for this moment, it has been repeated for about 36 times. I love the song and also the video clip. Both have its own beautiful meaning and yes, it hit right in the feels. SO MUCH FEELS OMAIGAD.

Basically for me, both song and video clip portray the same meaning (unless you listen to the song alone, then you might interpret it differently. You know how humans are wired differently. So yeah). I love the visual of this video clip. So seamless, not too fancy, but every single time-frame really touches your emotion. It’s like watching movie in less than 4:15 seconds. And still it made you cried at the end of it. I did. And the song reminds me of someone.

As I dream.

As I went through my notes, I stumbled upon this and again, I feel so empowered:

I want to be an education expert that people would want to refer to and initiate projects that transform communities with needs. I also would like to publish writings that related to community transformation through education.

I wrote that quite a while back. The idea of social change through education has stuck with me for quite sometimes. Moreover, when it comes to education, it does not necessarily mean formal education like the one we have in common schools, but also related to living skills – more on how they can sustain themselves independently.

We can’t deny that the world around us is changing, drastically and fast. We can’t settle for complacency. I understand that some people might not be aware of it yet, but we have to acknowledge that our job scopes are changing now. It becomes more global and one point of time, the current jobs that we have now might be invalid in 5 or 10 years to come.

We need to learn to be more innovative. We need to prepare our children for jobs that have not exist yet for the time being. We can’t expect our school system from the Industrial Revolution Era to be continued in this century. More and more factory workers are replaced by machines, unlike before. We all know that.

Poverty should not be an indicator of a child’s life trajectory. Socio-economic background should not limit the child’s potential. Our children, despite whatever socio-economic backgrounds they are from, can challenge the status quo, if we allow them to.

At the end of the day, the question comes back to us: How much do you care about it? How far do you want to go?

The Checklist Guy.

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman” – Anais Nin

A friend of mine gave me an advice at the end of last year as a genuine concern as we were about to go to different path of life. Of course, I was a bit skeptical, but I did what she said, but just at the back of my head. I’m not making my solitude as a pride, but I’m thankful for the journey as it made me who I am today. I learnt how to appreciate my own company. It was totally difficult at first, but as time goes by, it becomes easy and somehow addictive.

She told me to list down characteristics of a life partner that I’m looking for. Sounds very demanding, right? But I realise that it’s important because my personal development coach said that in order to be decisive, I need to know what my goal/direction is. I have set my goal for my life goal and relationship goal. The life goal will follow after.

If God is so kind, I desire a man who:

  • believes in the Creator. I’m not looking for a religious one, rather a spiritual one – who believes in good and bad, like karma or some sort. To practice a life whereby compassion is the key to a better life.
  • who takes care of his health and encourages me to live healthily. A non-smoker, please – for various medical reasons.
  • intellectual and driven – he knows what he wants and strives to achieve it. I would be his greatest supporter – unless he wants to do something bad, so it’s out of the question.
  • a gentleman (yes). I always believe a respectful gentleman is the most romantic man ever. ALLELUIA.
  • not so traditional. Nonetheless, I don’t mind be a submissive partner if he got a solid reason for me to be one. Men and women should complement each other, and none should be superior than the other. Like yin and yang.
  • thinks beyond the regular. I’m a strange, unpredictable person. At one point of time, I don’t even understand myself – I feel frustrated by that too. Again, an understanding and a thoughtful guy is truly a gift from heaven. I’m an old soul, you see. I seek for an adultier adult.
  • has different kind of passion and interest – I will never stop learning about him.
  • likes children. YES PLEASE. I’m a teacher at heart, and I love love children. I love working with children and youth. I love cats too (sometimes, fishes).
  • can get along with my dad. My dad is an introvert. To get someone who can get along with my dad or at least tolerate him, would be great.
  • I can imagine grow old with. Yes.:)

My check-list is finally in written form. Okay, done. One more dot to discover.

Superficial.

You have fear like bubble soaps

that pop when your attention span shorten

like a match that you light, every time you put a cigarette into your mouth

and the smoke of your fear clouds your face as you puff it out

that every one around you cough like tutting train.

You are indecisive.

Your rational thought process that you think it’s logic fails you

every time you want to put a dot at the end of your sentence

and it goes on and on like a zig zag snake.

You are frustrated and it affects others like a storm in the evening.

You give hope like a candy man giving colorful balloons to little kids

but then you prick those balloons with a sharp needle when you hear kids’ laughter.

You are mean, and tears don’t justify your empathy

because you don’t think that way; you please things that please you back.

Of conversation with a painter.

I had an interesting conversation with a painter who is also a teacher. I almost felt that she was sent by God to deliver a message, a powerful one. I even held her hands and looked at her with the warmest heart that if I hug her, my love will overflow out of gratefulness.

The conversation about finding soulmate happened quite number of times, with different people, at different period of time. I don’t really see soulmate as “the one”. I see it as “the one who got away”. It almost happened, but because of fate and destiny, the paths cross once and it goes parallel with no second intersection.

Paulo Coelho mentioned in his book, ‘Aleph’:

“I mean that two people can spend their whole life living and working together or they can meet only once and say goodbye for ever simply because they did not pass through the physical point that triggers an outpouring of the thing that brought them together in this world. So, they part without ever quite understanding why it was they met. However, if God so wishes, those who once knew love will find each other again”.

The parting feel, I knew it so well. At that moment or situation that you ever experience of this kind, you might meet your soulmate. The one whom seems to know you so well, despite the short encounter that two of you had.

“Do not give your heart too easily, God will decide who is the right one when the time is right”, she said. I believe in that. This is not the first time I heard about it. I honestly feel guilty for doing the opposite sometimes.

“It’s hard for a writer to find a soul-mate because writer is a compassionate, soft-hearted and very sensitive person. It is easy for a writer to get hurt with words or action. It takes an incredible man to be with her. A writer should find someone who understands her, appreciates her and has a way of thinking beyond the regular.  She feels things too deeply, she cannot separate her heart with her mind. Someone who is too absorbed with his IQ will not fit well with a writer”, she continued. I would like to refer soulmate in that sentence as my other-half or the missing puzzle.

Because of that, a writer is always in solitude. Not because they don’t give chance to themselves to find love, but no one understands them enough to fit the other half. Whenever a writer feels thing too deeply or securing their scar with thick band-aids, a writer always find comfort in written words. They engrave it in every single writing, prose, poem or short stories to remind them that life demands to be felt at every stroke and vein.

Cerita Pendek: Orked, Sepatu Kaca dan Putera.

(untuk bacaan ringan sahaja)

“Orked, apa kau tak cinta lagi sama si Putera?” tanya Bonda Peri. “Bukan tak cinta, Ibu Peri. Cuma jauh hati saja. Kalau benar dia cinta sama ku, dia tidak akan mencari cinta seluruh negeri sebelum terjumpa aku dengan sepatu kaca itu” jawab Orked. Bonda Peri melihat Orked dengan penuh kasihan. Bukan dia tak kenal sikap Orked. Memang saja dia boleh bernyanyi riang ketika membuat kerja di rumah, tapi hatinya masih berduka. Nasib baiklah Orked jujur tiap kali Bonda Peri menanya tentang soal hatinya.

“Tapi Putera kan memang suka Orked dari mula lagi ketika bertemu di pesta” sambung Bonda Peri, cuba mempertahankan Putera. Bonda Peri cuba meleraikan sangsi Orked. Perempuan kan mudah cemburu. “Aku tahu, Ibu Peri. Aku lihat pada matanya ketika kami bertemu di pesta itu. Dan juga pada setiap ketika dia datang melawat ku, dia tidak pernah menjauhkan dirinya dari ku biarpun dia tahu siapa aku, Ibu Peri. Aku kan cuma rakyat marhaen”, kata Orked. Bonda Peri terdiam seketika. Atas sebab itu lah Bonda Peri beria ingin Orked pergi ke majlis tari-menari itu. Bonda Peri mahu Orked mendapat segala benda terbaik kerana dia kenal hati budi Orked. “Kenapa kau kata begitu, Orked? Bonda Peri pasti dia tidak pernah melihat darjat dalam cinta” kata-kata Bonda Peri memecah kesunyian.

“Oh Ibu Peri, apa bila aku datang ke majlis itu dengan baju mewah dan sepatu kaca seperti orang kelas atasan, bukan kah dia begitu tertarik dengan ku? Kami menari sepanjang malam tanpa menghiraukan orang lain di sekeliling kami. Dan pada ketika itu aku tahu dia tidak ingat pada Orked yang dia kata dia cinta, tapi matanya sudah tertarik pada yang lain. Sebab itu aku lari, Ibu” ujar Orked. “Bukan kerana jam sudah pukul dua belas malam?” seloroh Bonda Peri. “Ya, itu juga. Itu kan peraturan yang Ibu Peri kasi. Pada ketika aku lari meninggalkan dia, hati ku makin kuat mengatakan bahawa cinta Putera kepada ku bukan lah yang benar” kata Orked sayu. “Kalau betul lah dia cinta padaku, Ibu Peri, hati dia akan terdetik bahawa yang menari dengan dia itu adalah aku. Tidak perlulah dia mencari gadis bersepatu kaca seluruh negeri” kata Orked dengan perlahan lalu menuju ke tepi balkoni dan memandang bulan. Perlahan dia mengesat air matanya yang jatuh itu. Bonda Peri segera memeluk Orked.