Life Changed

A few years ago, I attended a two weeks Journalism class. Typical in every first session, we needed to do ice-breaker.

Everybody introduced themselves and it was normal; we revealed our names and where we were from. Then it came to my turn, I stood up, and did what everybody was doing. I was ready to sit down and when the instructor suddenly said “Wait… wait… wait… could you tell us something about your hair?”

I had a crazy curly hair at that time. Nevertheless, the question took me by surprise but this was my answer:

“This is not original. My hair is straight and boring. I’d never curl my hair in my life. I just wanted to see how I look like with curly hair.”

“Does it boost your confidence?” He asked further.

“Oh, yes! Definitely!” I replied.

“So you see, new hairstyle, life changed.” He said.

It was true, because after the hair, few years later, people came up to me and asked “What’s with the shirt?”

Advertisements

Friday Morning

I woke up from the barks of my dogs. They were always very annoying little creatures, but I still love them very much. It was already morning, and they loved the morning, running around, playing, what a nice time to start the day. The time was not 7am yet. Gosh, I wished to sleep a little longer but I was awoke by their barks. Annoying little creatures.

I slept late last night, and this morning, I didn’t intend to wake up late to. I couldn’t do it because I needed to go to work this morning. I wished I could I go back to bed. I guess Jimmy Carr was right, the first thing we all need to do do every time we wake up in the morning is to take a nap. Maybe a short nap for me, yeah, I mean I slept the past 1am the night before. I didn’t usually sleep that late, but last night was exceptional. My friend was competing in the Semi Final at the Toastmasters Convention in Chicago. Here, thousands of miles away at home, the founder of our club subscribe to it, so members could watch it at home. And some of us did. Really proud of my friend. He had been a very good mentor to me.

So, yes, I woke up this Friday morning feeling inspired by him. Watching him at the international stage, confident and just being there inspired me. I am not sure how would I react. A morning of great inspiration. Dogs bark, they always do. It is their best self, nothing to complain though.

The Thing About Life

The thing about life is this… it is so mysterious and so beautiful that you need to be alive to experience it and see it.  It is not like living in a dream, but more than that.  It is with the sense of transcendence.  Funny, because my life right now is all about frustration.  Sometimes I do feel stupid, like this morning for example.  I realised, I am so stupid that I feel so stupid (Does that make sense?).  Sometimes, I wonder, why wasn’t I born with such intelligence and wisdom.  Okay, I know that not everybody has wisdom; some have knowledge but no widsom.  I hope that is not me.  Well, mine is worse, I don’t have a lot of knowledge and lacking in wisdom.

Like right now, I am should go to sleep now.  It’s late and tomorrow I need to go to work but I am still writing this blog, because inspiration just came through.  Or rather, I just need to express myself, after a long of absence.  Where have I been, no where, I am just here, trying to make a difference for myself and hopefully for others as well.  But, I am just a nobody, so, some people doesn’t take me seriously.

Yet, with all these troubles and frustrations, I strive to feel alive in my everyday living.  Living a life that is fully alive is indeed a glory to God.  It is indeed allowing God to bless our lives.  I don’t have to always know or understand what life is about.  I won’t understand all of it.  But, that does not stop me from striving to understand more about life.  I mean without it, will life has meaning.  Of course it will!  But, it can make a huge difference because I am finding who I am.  Then, I would dare to step into the unknown and who knows, discover something about myself that I didn’t know it existed.  How wonderful it would be.

Oh life… the reality is bitter, but the fruits are sweet.  How magnificent.

 

(PS: Just speaking on top of my head…)

READ!

I love poems and one of my favourites is Roald Dahl’s Television.  Telling us the importance of reading.  Now, I love to read and I keep telling people to always read.  Not to gain knowledge, although yes, that is one of the benefits, but reading can have an amazing impact on our soul and of course reading fires our imagination.  No doubt about it.  So, here is one my favourites poem by Roald Dahl.

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Surviving 40 Days

This is the lent season, and for us catholic, it is a season of fasting and penance. Every lent season always remind me of one thing (apart from Jesus’ passion and death). It reminds me of my first fasting experience. Now, I never fast except for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. That was the first time I decided to fast because I was inspired by my roommate. Every lent season she will turn into vegetarian for 40 days and she never fail.

So, I thought, since I had a roommate who is a catholic, I could fast with her. I took it up and told the people in the kitchen that I will be vegetarian for 40 days. I had my dining card stamped as vegetarian. No escape this time.

First day was fine, I was pretty excited, my first day went without any difficulties. I thought this was easy, 40 days might be a piece a cake for me.

Second day, fine. Third day, okay, I could feel a little pinch; fourth day, the pinch was getting painful; the fifth day, my body was craving for meat; sixth day, I felt angry; seventh day, I went to the KFC.

That was heaven!!! I enjoyed the chicken so much that when I finished it, I immediately felt regret. I went back to the hostel, I told my roommate what happened…

“You did what??!!” She asked, I could feel the bitter and disappointment in her voice. Maybe a little shock too.

“I went to the KFC and ate the chicken” I said, with greatest regret.

“Why?”

“Because it is chicken! I could not stand it!”

“Why did you do that? You should resist it!”

“I know”

“You’ve done it for a week. Why did you give up? You have 33 days left!”

“Thirty three days!!! I don’t know if I can survive 33 days!” I said it, still could not imagine that I had to fast that long. But I knew I had to do it

“So, what do I do now?” I asked.

“What to do now? Start over. Failing one day, doesn’t mean you stop it all together. You have 33 days left, start fasting again. This time ask God for strength, you own strength will fail you, but God won’t” She pointed out.

I listened to her advice and started fasting again. And truly, this time I did it with great determination. Since that day, I struggled, but not as much as I first started. I started to pray more as I fast daily.

I survived that 40 days.

Gone Chances

I meant to write this three years ago.  My grandmother passed away that year, how I regretted many things.

I thought there were plenty of times for everything. Plenty of times to make out the time we had lost due to differences, misunderstanding, pain, anger, and lies. Plenty of time to get to know and to understand her – maybe her pain as well. I thought I had plenty of time to make new memories with her too – forgetting all brokenness due to anger and lies. I did not know that it could happen so soon. In fact, too soon.

Three years ago in August, grandma came home to stay with us for good.  She had been sick; pale, weak and very thin.  I didn’t expect her to see her at this state.  I wasn’t too happy about her coming back, but I knew it was about time to make out for the lost time.  Just seven months ago, I made that decision to forgive her. It wasn’t the hardest decision I made, but it was the most painful one. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life hating her, I wanted to love her, because she deserved to be loved, just as I deserved to be loved.

My grandmother and I shared the same name.  Elizabeth.  That was her baptism name, and my confirmation name.  Other than that, we shared nothing in common.  From what I know little about grandmother, she lived a hard life, and most of the time a painful one. I didn’t know when was the time she was really happy, probably she never did.  Her past was the reason of her brokenness, her brokenness was the reason of my anger.  She was never the grandmother I wish to have.  I wanted a loving grandmother, not a broken one.  I thought she had never loved us.

But, grandmother, she wanted everyone to be happy but I did not know whether she wanted happiness herself.  Dad made effort to give the happiness she deserved.  I tried, but failed.  Barely two months since she moved in with us, she passed away and we were left in disbelief. I thought maybe we could have another few years. After all, she was a strong person.  Dad had a great dream for her.  To move in our new house that Dad built himself; from his own money.  That did not came true.  And grandmother knew it all along, and it was the first time, I believed she was proud of us.

In her passing, I realised she did love us.  I was too blind to see and to understand it.