Raya continued | Summer 2016

Believe it or not, I am writing right now on a train. I’m quite impressed that the ERL to KLIA has decent wifi! I have taken half a day off from work because this evening, I will be on a flight to Penang ūüôā I’m quite excited because I think I haven’t been there since late 2012. Gurney Drive awaits me eagerly, I know.

The rest of raya week was fine. We had dinner at Pak Ngah’s house on Friday night and took so many pictures. Mak Ngah made mi goreng which made me very happy because it’s not the typical raya food. The next morning, we went to town to buy kek lapis Sarawak. Then, we left Kuching that Saturday evening.

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Almost the whole family on my mom’s side.

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Aren’t “freestyle” pictures the most awkward things sometimes?!

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The one most decent picture of all the cousins I could find.

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All the girls!

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Julia, Aida, me, Amanina, Amirah, Afifah and Aina

You know, it’s nice to go back to Kuching every now and then. I mentioned this in one of my previous (shorter) posts, but I’m not 100% comfortable there, if I may be so honest. I also don’t speak the language. The other day, my aunty said her house “kenak serbu 5 igik motor” and I felt very alarmed because I directly translated it to “my house got attacked by 5 motorbikes” but what she really meant was that people came to visit her house in 5 cars all at once. We don’t have our own house, and you know what it’s like when you try to use the shower at someone else’s house‚ÄĒyou just don’t get¬†it.¬†I don’t know anyone there that well… I’m always whispering to my cousins or my mom asking them whose house we are at. But they are¬†family and as, um,¬†disconnected¬†as I may be, half of my ancestry has many roots there. There’s this house we refer to as Rumah Kampung…. It’s not a general term for any house in any kampung. It’s a specific house which has been in my family for like over a hundred years. My parents even got married there.

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Well, in that house, there’s a picture of lots of people standing in front of the house at what seems to be a wedding. It looks ripped out of a history text book. But those people are my family. It’s so strange to think about. Apparently it was the wedding of my great grandmother’s uncle? Or so I was told. I think it’s really cool that a picture of that moment in time exists for me see.

Anyway, when we got back that Saturday, we freshened up and went right back out to Setia City to get SUSHI (!!!!) and watch Finding Dory with my cousins. I know most people have probably seen it and we’re quite late to the party, but we were waiting until raya to watch it. It was such a cute movie! I had so much fun watching it with my sisters and cousins ūüėÄ

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May God protect me from evil and also people who dislike sushi and/or salmon

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God, trust me, it was so difficult going back to work on Monday! I completely forgot I had a job somewhere for that entire week. But I’ve finished a whole week at work since then and now I’m off again! I actually only have so few¬†weeks before I fly¬†back to the states and as always, it’s a scramble to make sure I meet everyone I want¬†to. It’s kinda annoying too because sometimes it can feel more like ticking off boxes on a list of obligations than it does a real friendship and I don’t really know how to deal with that. When I was at Penn, I bemoaned this happening and now I’m surprised it’s happening at home too. And if I should be so honest, it’s also a little tiring like physically and emotionally… because I don’t drive and I usually have to depend on people to get me home or to go out so I’m always troubling someone. And because there are so many people I want to see, so many weeks of work, I feel like I’m not giving everyone the attention I should. I’m doing my best, I guess.


(Uh, disclaimer: this post was published 4 days after I wrote it because I didn’t have access to the pictures I wanted until today)

Selamat Hari Raya | Summer 2016

Hello from Kuching, Sarawak! I am in East Malaysia, spending time with my mom’s side of the family for raya (that’s what we call Eid here in Malaysia) writing on my laptop which is connected to the internet via my mom’s hotspot haha.

We spent raya morning in Klang, where my dad’s side of the family is. I had a whole plate full of nasi impit with kuah kacang and nothing else. I must stress that nasi impit or ketupat or lemang with kuah kacang¬†is my absolute favourite raya food. I care so deeply about kuah kacang and its authenticity that whenever I am served “peanut sauce” in the US it just breaks my heart. Anyway, I don’t have any pictures of the meal because I ate it all too quickly.

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Anyam/mengisi ketupat the day before raya

Now on to my favourite part of hari raya which is honestly the family pictures! I consider it a tradition cemented into the celebration of hari raya.

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My family ūüôā Aida and I have awfully crumpled bajus haha.

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My ‘rents!

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With Paps! Look at his toe, though. Haha.

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Us 3 with mother!

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Hashtag: Princess.

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My cousins and I ‚̧

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Ayden and Shameer

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My Chik slash second mum and Ayahchik slash resident joker

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The relatively-new-ly weds and their newborn. First raya together!

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Aida, Shasha, Julia, me and Azlina. Childhood sleepover crew.

We didn’t take many pictures here in Kuching because we arrived at¬†night on the first day, and everyone was already tired and selekeh. Raya here is quite a different feel from raya in KL. We only started regularly going back to Kuching for raya in, maybe, 2013? So I’m still not totally used to it. I grew up beraya in KL, going to only 3 houses for raya in baju kurung and then on the second day switching back to ~jeans~ or whatever and chilling. Here in Kuching, it’s a lot more happening, as they say.¬†People go to house after house and eat cakes and drink fizzy drinks. And we kind of wear baju kurungs until the 3rd/4th day!¬†Also, my mom’s family is¬†huge¬†so there are so many people to see and houses to visit. Yesterday, we went to 4 houses in about 4 hours. We used to go to more but my grandparents are getting older and they just tak larat to go berjalan so much anymore.

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My grandparents eating lunch at my Mak Long’s house.

At one house, my sister was taking a picture outside the house when I saw a¬†chicken¬†behind her. I know it’s not a big deal to many people, but neither Klang nor Kuching is really a kampung so this was a shock to me, a budak bandar through and through. Case in point:

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Me, when I saw the chicken behind my sister. This is embarrassing, but hilarious.

It just occurred to me that this is the very last time I will visit Kuching before I graduate, insya Allah. Oh my god. That means raya next year will be different, in one way or another. I might have to apply for leave? Or if I somehow work abroad, I may not even be here for raya (not that this is the plan, by any means).

Also, now that I am older and my cousins have gotten married, I am forced to consider how things will change if I or any one of my siblings were to get married. I hate thinking about how things would be different… would one of us not balik Kuching? Someone would have to raya somewhere else?! Where would we stay if we do balik sini? How would we all fit into Nenek’s house? Ugh, I hate thinking about it. But most likely, there are fewer rayas like the one I’m used to ahead of me than there are behind me. (Before anyone asks, no, I am not about to get married, I am not seeing anyone, not even¬†close. My cousins growing up and having adult lives just freak me out.)

I guess¬†my point is that seeing my cousins and even some of my friends work, get married and have kids is making me appreciate things the way they are now. They take turns going to each other’s side of the family, have babies to think about when they travel, have to go back to work so soon after raya… I’m still in school and raya is during the summer which means I can come home for it. I can spend time in both Klang and Kuching very easily, and I spend the entirety of Syawal with my parents, my sisters and my extended family and I LOVE IT THIS WAY.

Anyway, I hope your raya has been great,¬†filled with time spent with loved ones and lots of good food. Thanks for stopping by to read this during the festivities. Until next week! ūüôā

An emotional ride | Summer 2016

Okay, I know I said I’ll write¬†once a week, but I wrote another one because I couldn’t figure out how to transition from the tone¬†of¬†my previous post¬†to suit what¬†I have to tell you now:

This week, the new LRT stations on the Kelana Jaya line¬†officially begin service and starting yesterday, my new default stop is¬†Glenmarie.¬†This is good news for thousands of people, me included. With 13 new stations extending all the way to Putra Heights, so many¬†people now have easier access to public transport. I mean, there still isn’t a stop right next to my house, but I should be happy about not having to go all the way to KJ because I am now spared from braving the LDP. Plus, it’s about time; the Kelana Jaya line has not¬†been extended since it began operation 18¬†years ago. When it first opened, my parents picked me up early from¬†Rainbow School (my¬†kindergarten) to go on a ride. So like I said, this is really good news! Yay, improvement!

And yet…

(I am half laughing as I tell you this but) I was so sulky about this change! I would add more exclamation points at the end of that last sentence but I don’t like how that would look¬†just aesthetically so I am¬†adding¬†verbal emphasis with this extra sentence.¬†Seriously, ask my family, I talked about it almost everyday since I found out. I just didn’t see it coming so soon, you know? I wasn’t ready!

Why? Kelana Jaya, the LRT stop I’ve used the most, is the terminating station for its line (hence, the name). This means, no matter what time of day I get on the train, it will always be empty because everyone on it would have gotten down by then. This means I always get a seat on the train. And the seats will always fill up at this first station during rush hours. So if you are boarding the train at any station other than¬†KJ, you have very slim chances of getting a seat.

People who board the train regularly at Kelana Jaya are well¬†aware of¬†this special perk and make the most of¬†it. I know this for a fact because we¬†obediently queue up to enter the train coaches, and sometimes,¬†if¬†we¬†are at the back of the line and see that the seats are all taken up by the time¬†we¬†are about to enter, many of us may opt to not get on and just wait for the next train¬†instead because we¬†have that privilege. However,¬†now that there are 13 (THIRTEEN!!!) new stations before Kelana Jaya………. all that I have…… will be……. lost……… forever.

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An actual snap I sent to my sisters last Monday, commemorating the original route with Kelana Jaya at the end of the line. Very dramatic, I know.

Why is this important? It’s not. If I’m going somewhere between Bangsar-KLCC, it’s only about a 30 minute ride. I can stand for that long just fine. I¬†am a very young person with very healthy knees, thank you very much!

So why am I upset? Good question. I don’t really know. Perhaps it is because I liken the feeling to when a kid¬†who has been the only child for years suddenly learns they have been¬†dethroned¬†by the arrival of a new sibling. And because that was my experience when my sister was born 21 years ago, perhaps this just… you know… opens old wounds. Except instead of getting one¬†new sibling like I did in ’95 and ’97 each, this is like getting 13 new “siblings” all at once!¬†*Cue purposely exaggerated gasp and sigh* Alternatively, perhaps I feel this way¬†just because we are all naturally resistant to change. You know, inertia and what not. But more likely, it is really¬†because I am¬†super¬†mengada.

All of last week, I would get on the train at Kelana Jaya and look around at the platform, (comically) exclaiming in my head: “GUYS, DON’T YOU KNOW??? THIS IS ALL GOING TO BE OVER!¬†We’re not going to be special anymore!!! Everyone, please freak out accordingly!!!”

Another thing I just realised is that I’ve gotten used to seeing the same faces at the Kelana Jaya station everyday. A more-or-less usual set of people in the morning and another in the evening rush hours. And like, I didn’t get to say goodbye to them?! Will I ever see them again?!! Because I mean, I feel like we had a bond??? And it’s so weird that we didn’t have a farewell¬†makan-makan kinda thing??? How will they know I will miss them??!

And oh my god, what about the kakak jual kuih¬†across the station??? *Cue the wailing* Thank god I bought a last round of karipap and popiah goreng on Wednesday¬†evening. Thanks for everything, kak. ūüėĘ

Yesterday, when I took the train to Glenmarie for the first time, I was really in for an emotional ride. Pun intended. The Glenmarie station is 3 stops past Kelana Jaya. As my train was approaching KJ, I could feel my heart start to beat faster. Was I ready for this? Ultimately, no. There was no way I could have been ready. But you know how it is. Sometimes people push you into the deep end before you learn how to swim. Life, am I right?

As we pulled up at Kelana Jaya, it felt so odd not to be getting up and fumbling for my Touch n Go card. So instead, I just stared on longingly and took pictures.

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Jasamu sentiasa dikenang!!!!!!

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Me, taking sulky selfies (sulfies, as they shall now be known) with the new list of stops.

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Me, expressing to my family how emotional this experience was.

To the untrained eye, this may all sound ridiculous. I totally understand. I see it too, and so do¬†my loved ones. They give me facepalms or just say “lol” while shaking their heads. In fact, I often get dismissed because everything I say sounds really funny and unbelievable. “Dramatic la you ni” they say. Ha! Well, tell me, who would be your source of humour if I were any less dramatic?

At the end of the day though, everyone has to accept¬†that I just am a dramatically sentimental human being to the point of sheer comedy. But¬†even though it’s funny, it doesn’t mean my feelings aren’t real. I genuinely¬†feel these things, you know. I just have so many feelings. I feel all the things.

Anyway, I guess I just need time to get used to the “new norm” as my dad calls it. So don’t worry, I will be okay (eventually lol). In any case, on a very level-headed note, I am pleased about¬†this change and I hope the government consistently continues improving the public transportation system by gradually adding new stops…

…so that I don’t have to deal with this rampant emotional upheaval again in 20 years.

An infinite set of Russian nesting dolls | Summer 2016

If you follow this space closely (and I don’t know how many actually do, but¬†if¬†lah kan) you would know that I’ve been writing short posts everyday for the past month, about something that makes me happy on each day. It has been an interesting experiment/challenge¬†so far because first and foremost, it is a level up for my discipline muscles‚ÄĒsometimes I’ll be half asleep and remember I haven’t written anything and then I scramble for my phone in the dark to (admittedly, hastily) publish 100 words or so.

Second, it makes me realise that I need public exposure to remain accountable… which I don’t really like about myself. I want to be able to do things I say I will do just because I say I will do them. I know if I told myself to write in my journal once a day, I wouldn’t be as¬†good at keeping it up as I have been on this site because I know no one will see it other than me. Then again, maybe I should be easier on myself and think of this as training wheels, and perhaps I should phrase my earlier statement differently: I have learnt that making things public¬†helps¬†me maintain accountability, as opposed to it being something I depend on. Wah, look at that positive spin. Proud of myself. Tepuk tangan. Hair flip. Ok, enough.

Third is something I’ve realised over the past year since I started this blog: I have been writing in my personal journal less and less because I write so much here and that’s a¬†little¬†annoying because I write so much more personally and honestly in private. But on the flip side, I linger over each word and sentence much less (if at all) when I write in private, which means I don’t confront my writing as much as I do when I write on my blog. Each post on here takes me up to 2 hours to write because I fuss over things and re-read and abuse the “edit” button and re-write until I’m happy. I guess those¬†are just the expected pros and cons, but attempting to balance writing in public and in private has been an interesting thing to work on and I enjoy¬†feeling as though I’m developing myself in a very¬†personal capacity as opposed to only at school/work.

Fourth, doing the 100 Happy Days challenge really has pushed me to see more of the upsides in things which isn’t always easy because our brains tend to bend towards whining and sighing. A girl who reads my blog, Lu (hey, am I saying your name correctly? let me know hehe) told me she heard that completing the 100 Happy Days challenge makes you a happier person and I guess I can see how it helps. It consistently¬†and patiently lays a new brick for building good¬†habits bit by bit everyday.¬†I make a conscious effort to take more pictures of little happy things throughout the day to help me document and remember.

Fifth, it has forced me to confront the fact that I¬†love¬†writing for pleasure and could do it everyday. I previously didn’t really like saying that because I personally feel like writing comes with a responsibility to write well and… well, that’s pressure and who likes¬†pressure? But writing everyday means that these days, I’m always “writing” on some level‚ÄĒmost times in my head. I’m always scribbling one liners and stand-alone paragraphs which read out like they were plucked out from a longer piece¬†in my head waiting to be birthed.

Which brings me to what I think I want to say, which¬†is… lately (and when I say lately, I mean for the past 8 months or so) I have this constant¬†craving¬†for creating content. I feel like there is a book in my head, a¬†talk show in my mouth, I feel like I see photographs waiting to be taken whenever I look around. I don’t want to sound like Kanye West on a Twitter spree claiming he’s a genius who Mark Zuckerberg should start investing in; God knows I do not share his¬†hubris. I just can’t help but to marvel at everything: every story, every conversation, every view, every person and then feel compelled to reach for a pen, a camera and turn it into something….

…And right there’s my problem. I want to turn the things I see into something else except, what is that something? And how do I do it? How do you live in the suffocating space between feeling¬†so inspired and so unskilled? And more importantly… why do I feel like I should/could do something, anything? Like, who do I think I am anyway, right? But then again, why not me? Isn’t that the beauty of it all; that anyone can do it? Questions reveal themselves like an infinite set of Russian nesting dolls.

For now, all I can say is that I crave creating things¬†pretty much the same way I crave buttercream¬†frosting on cake when I’m on a diet and the same way I pine for a cold bowl of cendol¬†on a hot sunny Philadelphia day. I think about it when I wake up and sometimes it keeps me up at night because it feels like a sum of all the times I’m thinking of a word that’s at the tip of my tongue but can’t quite put my finger on it.¬†To somewhat satisfy my cravings, I’ve been scouring the internet for blogs, photo essays, vlogs. It helps keep me inspired, I think. It makes me so happy to see other people creating things, materialising ideas and making (what I consider) art*. Accessible, relevant, meaningful art.

I’m sorry this post was so boring. I’m just thinking out loud and didn’t even know this post would end up here… I didn’t really think it through. Actually, I’m not sorry. Why should I be sorry? This is my site, I can do whatever I want. Wait no, actually, I am sorry, I took on the responsibility to make this site something I and other people will find meaningful¬†and I don’t think I’m living up to that.. and now I’m doubly sorry for over-thinking out loud and for being annoying. Or maybe I’m not sorry, because everyone goes back and forth like this¬†too and maybe you relate? I DON’T KNOW. BYE.

(I’m okay, I promise. Haha.)


*A side note: I think it’s possible that everyone creates “art” in one form¬†or another and you may disagree, but I urge you to realise the complexity that lies in everything we externalise: from professional portraits to Instagram selfies, from poetry to Facebook statuses. I mean, let’s not get too philosophical here, but whether you realise it or not, each of those things and everything in between comprises of like a gazillion choices made either consciously or subconsciously. I am always so amazed by how a bunch of ideas and¬†choices (lighting, composition, word choice, tone, length, size etc) make up a whole greater than a sum of its parts.

Meh. | Summer 2016

Every morning, I take the LRT to work. It’s been a few weeks now and I’m starting to recognise some faces. The train platform is too warm, the LRT is too cold. I get to KL Sentral. I see the same shops and the same things everyday. This includes Vivy Yusof’s reality TV show advert… “Hi, saya Kim Kardashian” she jokes.  I walk to the office. It’s more or less a 5-minute walk and I pretty much take the same route every day. I fumble for my access card. I tap myself in and get to the office. Then I do random things, wait patiently for 5 p.m. and repeat all the steps in reverse order.

And let me tell you… IT IS SO EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING.

Sorry, I don’t mean to be whiny. I know last Spring I went on and on about how much I wanted/needed an internship. But it’s just like… why are the things I work for so boring? Is this what I am busting my ass at Penn for? A routine morning commute and a mundane desk job?

Yes, I know it’s such a ~Gen Y~ thing to feel this way… feeling like you’re meant for something “more” than the conventional, boring old route. People tell us this all the time in the same dismissive tone. As if to say, yeah, yeah, yeah, too bad, welcome to reality. But I, and I’m sure many of my fellow Generation Snapchat peers, just honestly find this a littttle difficult to accept. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I don’t really know.

Sometimes I look around the office thinking about all the other people who work here. I look around the train and think about all the other people commuting to work everyday. I am only interning for a few months. They all do this everyday indefinitely. They go to work, they come home and maybe spend some time with their family, go to sleep and repeat. And we all know most people aren’t like, in love with what they do. It’s just something they’ve found to pay the bills.

So while I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate, I know for a fact that I cannot spend years sitting on swivel chairs in heavily air-conditioned, white-lit rooms with the sound of clinking heels from 9-5 everyday. Um, yeah. No. Just, no. Ok? No.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound all entitled. I don’t believe that I intrinsically deserve to be spared of this mundane 9-5 life because I am just more special or some nonsense like that. I just know that if I really don’t want to do this, I have to figure out a brilliant plan to get myself out of it… or suck it up. Meh.

Writing on a balcony | Summer 2016

You should see this view.

I’m sitting on the balcony at work while¬†I write this because the office is freezing and I have a bit of a cold. Ok, a lot of a cold. But it’s so nice and warm out here. There’s natural light and I can play music out loud on my laptop.

It’s Friday and I’m done with my third week of this year’s internship! Although, honestly, because they were a little…¬†disorganised,¬†this felt more like my first week. I haven’t been doing that much but at least I finally feel like I’m learning. Most importantly, I’m learning about being more assertive. If I don’t know how to do something, I know I can approach someone and ask them. If I disagree with something, I’m practicing raising my hand and kindly pushing back. I like feeling like I’m growing a backbone.

I haven’t done too much other than go to work and come back, but as you might have seen from my 100 Happy Days post, yesterday was Ayden’s birthday! Ayden is my cousin’s son, and currently the only member of the next generation in our family so he gets a lot of attention. We were all at my cousin’s house yesterday to celebrate his turning 2 ūüôā he’s obsessed with Toy Story right now I think, so there were Toy Story-themed decorations. And he got his own little car as a surprise present! I wish you would have seen his reaction when his parents revealed the present. He was so clearly moved. I would’ve thought most children would just run towards the car screaming, but Ayden had to kinda like take a¬†moment¬†to process it and he walked towards the toy car slowly, but beaming, with his hands on his mouth. It was the cutest thing!

There are so many people I want to meet now that I’m home but since I’m working for the bulk of the time I’m back, it’s actually quite difficult because I find myself just wanting to spend time with my parents and sisters at night. Going out for¬†buka puasa is kinda¬†leceh¬†(troublesome) and to be honest, I’m quite¬†malas (lazy)¬†to do that. And I always like to sleep early on week nights so going out after Isya’ is also a¬†meh¬†for me. So I’m a little overwhelmed because I do want to see my friends but plans to meet up tend to come all at once and I don’t know how to spread them out. I feel bad but obvs my family is priority plus I also want to maintain a certain rhythm and normalcy to being home. That is, feeling like I’m just home¬†as opposed to¬†home for a while. I don’t know if that makes sense.

This past week has been turbulent, hasn’t it? I don’t want to talk about it too much because I know we’re all saturated with bad news, but I just want to remind people to have faith in each other. Reach out to people you think may be affected by the news. This means muslims, people of colour, the LGBTQ community. Someone recently said to me that it’s scary to be a muslim in America, but the truth is it’s scary to be a lot of things in America and all over the world. Even here in Malaysia, it can be scary to be so many things. So if you see something, say something. If you see someone speaking with hatred against someone else because of their identity, you could say something. And it’s not just speech. Sometimes people don’t realise they discriminate against others. We can all find ways to be gentle and informed while pushing back against things like that because it really is a form of oppression.

Anyway… thanks for reading, as usual! If there are other blogs you read and really like OR if you write a blog yourself, please send me links to them! I’m really enjoying reading other people’s stuff because it inspires me to keep on writing so I’d love it if you shared some of your favourites with me ūüôā¬†¬†see you next week!

(By the way, since I started writing, it has gotten gloomy, started raining and I’ve had to move inside. Typical Malaysian weather.)

Oscillating | Summer 2016

I don’t really know what to write about this week, honestly! I’ve been doing the 100 Happy Days challenge, writing about one thing a day, and I feel like it’s now a little more challenging to find things to write about but I guess that makes things a little more interesting.

I’m at the office as I’m writing this because I think I have like a free hour or so… (although chances are, I probably have more than that). I just experienced something insanely odd. Okay, maybe not¬†that¬†odd but it felt really weird still. All of last week, I was working on a slide deck for someone here and I thought it was crap. I would literally hover over my laptop so that no one would see just what crap I was up to. Like, no joke, my back hurts. But today, I went over my work with her and she told me it was “excellent” and that I had “flare” and trusttttt me, I was so confused. I am half expecting her to come back to me changing her mind, and half hoping she doesn’t.

This is such a classic impostor syndrome situation, which I wrote about in length last week… feeling like you’re doing an awful job but you have to conceal it because if anyone finds out, you’ll be outed as a fraud.¬†It’s also annoying, I guess. I really don’t like feeling like I’m not assessing myself accurately and being unsure about whether or not that is true.

But I’m working on it, right. Learning to just take it all in stride. I’m learning that nothing SO BAD¬†can happen to me here at work or in school by doing a “crappy job.” And like all of us, I’m definitely also learning about myself,¬†about playing by my¬†strengths and managing my¬†weaknesses. Yeah, cheesy stuff, I know. Whatever. This might be common knowledge but for example, I’ve learned that I can really only work with people once I’ve established a connection with them on some level… whether it’s by asking them about their weekend, or cracking a joke, I kinda need to feel like they’re my friend before I can really feel comfortable working with them. Some people are easier to get on with than others, but I think, or I want to believe, there’s always a way to like make things work with anyone.

It’s kinda funny to think about how stark the difference in my tone is between this week and the last but I wouldn’t be doing myself justice if I didn’t showcase how my emotional state oscillates all the time. In part, I’m feeling a little bit more on the up side of the curve because¬†I’ve spent a lot of ¬†time on my recent¬†commutes reading #Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso. It’s been in like all the MPHs I’ve been to this summer. Then, I came across a quote by her on Forbes. I also stumbled upon her podcast because she interviewed Grace Helbig (who I also love and have been a fan of for a few years!). She was everywhere and¬†I felt like the ~universe~ was bugging me to read it, so I bought it despite being severely unamused by the hashtag in the title. Not only has it been a super easy read, it’s a¬†really fun one too. She talks a lot about how she built up NastyGal.com by playing to her strengths and (cue some very¬†Disney background music) believing in herself. It’s trite. Sure, I’ll give you that. But it was¬†still really helpful and more importantly, assuring. And I know it’s a good book when I furiously reach for my journal to scribble down some of my favourite excerpts.

“I often wondered, Was this a choice? Because it sure as hell doesn’t always feel like it. But I did choose it‚ÄĒeven if growing a huge business was never my singular goal, every small choice that I made along the way was something that contributed to where I am now. Every time I got up in the morning instead of saying “screw it” and sleeping in, every time I spent a few extra minutes on a product description to make it perfect, I was choosing my fate and sowing the seeds of my future.”

Sophia Amoruso, #Girlboss

And it’s the little (trite) things like this that chips away at my “impostor syndrome.” That is progress, however small. It’s worth mentioning that this progress can always be undone, and so many times it has been. Sometimes I take one step forward and then take three steps back, but sometimes I’d take a couple of steps back and then ten strides ahead. That’s just all part of the process, and remembering that makes the lows not feel so bad and the highs not get to my head.