Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happy Fortieth Birthday to Me!

When I was young whenever I was crying longer than Mummy could stand, she would say I better stop or I would be blind like Kassim Selamat. I would always retort that was just a movie, not a true story. And then she would bring up the story of Ayah Man who is actually blind, and said he cried for two weeks when he was young, and basically I would stop crying because I would need to argue with her on the logic of it all. But if Mummy is still around I would finally have the best argument ever to present to her, “Mummy, this year alone I have cried almost daily, and in this almost nine months of crying I am still not blind!”

I am forty today! And, yes it has been a miserable year for me, actually has been for a while. It has been miserable basically because I haven’t yet been given what I want most in my life. But because of my fascination with dichotomy I have to admit there are parts which were really wonderful. As I have proven with my birthday countdown, that life has actually been really kind to me.

With everything bad that comes along, it is always balanced by something good. For example, yesterday I was so miserable because Phil can’t be here for my fortieth and I didn’t get to go for my planned pre-birthday treat, but come the night I was showered with so much love by the family.

Abang gave me the asked for portrait. He spent six hours just trying to make it right and special. With his carpal tunnel I knew that was six hours of pain. Thank you abang, I love the drawing, though you could have drawn me a little thinner lol.

Adik gave me a sketch book filled with snippets of highlight for each year of my life. It was well thought of and according to my friends and awesome gift from an awesome sister.

Daddy gave me two basketful of all sort of fruits, according to adik he took every fruits on sale in Hero. Thank you Da, I love it.

Phil teased me with a wish and a question, “So what WAS it like to hunt velociraptors? :P ” We haven’t got to talk yet, I hope we would today, but a few days before, he said something so sweet and reminded me how I am loved:
[Friday, 2 September, 2016 7:10 PM] Phil McQuinn: then take this with you my lady I love you I am your man and I will not forsake you. I am yours now until death do us part

So however I am always sad now, I know that I am very fortunate and lucky to have had so many people that love me. I am grateful for everything the Lord have given me, and though I cried and begged all the time to give me what I want, I know and accept that He has his own timetable and His plans are usually for the best.

Happy Fortieth Birthday to me!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

One Day to Forty

When I went to visit Mummy at the ICU a day after we sent her to the Emergency Department, she groggily asked me if I was married. Mum had been after me to get married since I was 30 maybe, I can’t remember, she wasn’t pushy about it, just a statement now and again for me to find someone and get married. I will be forty tomorrow and I am still not married. I came close though this year but fate seem to say not yet. I found somebody to love and love me more than I deserve, but we have hit so many obstacles to being together that I wonder at times if God would ever let us have what we want most, that is to be together in one place and able to walk hand in hand to the end of our journey on earth.

At 30 I decided I will have to continue on my journey alone, because I couldn’t seem to find anyone I wanted to give my hand to. At 32 I started feeling lonely, and wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t seem to open myself up to anyone. At 33 I begged the lord for a companion for my journey because I was so lonely and he answered it by showing me what I was looking for might be farther than I can think of. He let me know my soul mate as slowly and gently as I needed to be able to let down the walls I had built.

It has been wonderful having Phil in my life. His love completes me and made me a stronger person, but to be his wife and be able to live our life together is a dream that I so wish could come true. As I turn 40 tomorrow it makes me really sad that this dream has not come true.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Two Days to Forty

I love babies. I really love looking after them. When I was 16 I prayed every day that God would leave a baby at my doorstep. When Abang came into our life and dad asked if I would be able to take care of him because Mummy was not really well, I said yes. 

From the start he was my baby, I fed him, changed his diapers, he slept next to me, and with the rest of the family’s help I raised him. One of the big reasons I couldn’t take my teaching posting in Sarawak was because the thought of leaving Abang broke my heart big time. He was kind of put off with me for going as well, Dad loves telling the story how on the way of picking me up from the airport after I decided not to go for my posting after all, how boy was looking at the plane and saying “padan muka, pergi lagi tinggal Abang, sekarang nangis nak balik”  (I told you so, shouldn’t have left me, now crying to be home).

Dad calls me as Boy’s mother, my friends call me that as well, Boy insists I am his sister and Mummy is his mother, but he still sheepishly borrow my arm to sleep on when he is ill. So I can say I do have that experience of raising a child no matter what I am called. But it still does not stop that longing of wanting a little girl or boy of my own. Nowadays whenever I see babies I actually cry and feel that longing and need for one.

In two days I turn 40 signalling the last leg of my biological clock. I use to tell my sister if by 40 I am still unmarried and have no children, I am going to adopt, but being where I am at this moment I am not sure if it is still an option.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Three Days to Forty

 I love to sing. Singing makes me happy, it annoys everyone else, but nothing could beat that satisfaction I get when I nail a song and it sounds so good as I sing it.

I am old enough now to know realistically though I can sing well I am not good enough to sing professionally. Dreaming of being a singer with albums, I think died when I turn 25 or thereabouts, but somewhere in my heart there is still that dream of singing a duet with Cliff Richard. LOL

For this part I think I am quite satisfied with what I have been able to do with my singing. When I really need to have the thrill of singing to an audience, I have that opportunity of singing dad’s poem in ZK baca sajak sampai subuh. Smule also made it easy for me to have a feel of singing with music and having a recording of it. The pinnacle so far was singing dad’s poem in a tv show.

So as I approach forty, I think I am well happy with where I have taken my singing hobby. It makes me happy and I hope I just take it further, maybe learn an instrument to play along with my singing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Four days to Forty

Writing has always been my salvation, poetry to be more specific. The journey to publishing is still quite undone, but it has never really been my end goal. I write because I have to not because I have dream to be a published writer. I am happy about the evolutions of my poetry, I think I have learnt how to use words to express what I feel, to draw that picture of my emotions.

I am still trying to write that story I have been thinking about for almost 20 years, but story writing has never been my forte, so I don’t know if I will ever get it done.

I have a few idea that I would like to see through, I just need to make sure I will find the time, most of it has been written, just need to compile it all and see if it will work like I imagine.

This is one those thing that I do that has not disappoint me and does not gives me a deadline of when I need to achieve anything. Me being forty does not have a bearing on my writing. One thing I am grateful for actually. It will always be there for me and just up to me to how far I want to take it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five Days to Forty

Teaching is my profession. I am one of those lucky ones who love their job. When I first started teaching, I wasn’t very good at it, well I was too stiff and I was not flexible, I kept trying to follow my lesson plan to the exact minute. But from the very beginning I seem to make connection with my students, I love teaching them and they are willing to learn from me.

I don’t really know if I have managed to improve from that really novice teacher I was. I think I have, but there are days that make me think I still have so much to learn. But what these 16 years of teaching has taught me is that as long as I am willing to learn and evolve I will improve and be able to teach my students better.

So this is also one of those things I could be proud of in my life, I hope I have made an impact however small in the lives of all my students. 

With some of my students at a TESL night.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Six Days to Forty

Not completing my PhD is the one thing that still bugs me. I have accepted that it is something that I have to let go for now, that this failure is not my defining moment, but when I see friends and even students succeeding at it, it hurts.

Academic writing has never been easy for me. My style of writing has never really suited with academic writing. I can’t be rigid and discipline enough for it. I swore when I struggled to finish my Master’s thesis that that will be my last attempt at academic paper. But I forgot that vow when the PhD opportunity dropped into my lap.

I want to say it was my biggest regret starting it, but whenever I want to say it, I am reminded because I was taking the time off to pursue my PhD, I met Phil. So I guess what happen is because it needs to happen.

I guess me being forty is not really a factor here, but at this point of my life, this failure smarts a lot, but who knows what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Seven Days to Forty

Books have been the greatest blessing in my life. If anyone was asked what I like to do most, their answer would be reading. A student once posted on Facebook classic painting that reminds him of people he knows, on this one painting depicting a girl reading a book, he said this is Ms Yas. It made me smile.

The one regret I have is that lately I haven’t done as much reading as I would like, I can’t seem to be able to concentrate.  There are still books I haven’t been able to finish; it is frustrating, because I used to be able to finish a book a day, and now I just can’t make myself to finish most books. The book has to be really special to be able to keep my interest. I guess thirty-four years of constant reading has made my tolerant level of bad books really low.

But this does not mean if anyone wants to gift me books on my fortieth I would refuse. It will be more than welcome, I would love you forever.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Eight Days to Forty

I really hate traveling, I mean the packing, the planning, the long tiring journey, but I love seeing new places, meeting new people, eating new food. I guess I love the experience but not the nitty gritty of getting that experience.

I have been lucky so far, I have gotten the chance to see quite a few beautiful places in this world. When I was young my parents brought us around Malaysia, and we had marvellous memory of all the trips we took. When I was 19, sis won a contest and that took us to LA and it was an eye-opening experience.  Then when I started seeing Phil, I get to go visit him in the beautiful Lake District, and of course he brought me to see Wales and Scotland. He also brought me to Malta for holiday; that was a beautiful experience. Then Kak Limah hosted me for 11 days in Istanbul, I love that city.

So I guess, looking back, traveling wise I can’t complain, but there are still a few places I really want to go and I hope I will get to see with people I love.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Nine Days to Forty

I am going to be forty and apart from renting a house with my friends during university I have never lived on my own. I don’t really know how I feel about it. There are times when I really need my space, I wish I have a place of my own, but that doesn’t happen very often. I actually hate being alone, so I guess not living on my own is no big deal.

But whenever I watched all those HGTV series, I have this need of wanting a house to renovate and decorate. I have always liked to design houses. When I played Sims, my favorite part is setting up the house and as I level up expanding and upgrading the house. I don’t really enjoy the playing god part of Sims but I love what it was originally for – an architectural tool.

Forty and still living with my dad, not too weird in Malaysia actually, but yeah would love to have a place I can call my own where I can design and decorate to my hearts contend.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ten Days to Forty

In ten days I will be forty. As always I don’t enjoy the coming of my birthday. But I have seen one of my Facebook friend posting every day for a month of things she is grateful for in he r life, and that have given me the idea of doing this countdown to my birthday. I am going to talk about ten things in my life that is important to me and whether I have achieved what I want to achieve with it up to this point in my life.

I am hoping that this exercise would help lessen that feeling of failure that I have each time I reach a birthday. I don’t think I can take additional stress on my depression, I am sad enough as it is now and the looming of this big birthday, my fortieth, is threatening to make it more than I could handle.
So ten days before my birthday, I think I will talk about my hobby of playing with my hair. When I was young dad made sure I wear my hair short, so it would be neat for school. At times it was cut so short, that teachers used my hair as example for the boys. The last time I let dad cut it short was when I was off to do my matriculation, after that I started keeping it long.

I have always liked to braid hair, but it wasn’t after I got to know Phil that I really learned how to braid all the different kinds of braids. I don’t really know how we got on the topic, but the next thing I know Phil was linking me all these YouTube channels that have hair tutorials. Turns out he has a few favourite channels he subscribe to. That is why I love my man; he has varied interest that fascinates me.

I am happy with all the skills I have developed concerning my hair, but because I am getting older my hair is not really in a good condition, so I guess I have to start researching on ways to baby my aging hair. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy 70th Birthday Daddy

today you turn 70, yeah you made it. A few weeks back, while feeling really weak and sick you asked me if you'd reach 70. I said yes of course you would, you still have so many things to do, ladies to tackle, boundless 'children' to take care of etc.

I have already written you a tribute sort of earlier this month, so I don't really know what to add. Some more Adik has already written a long moving tribute to you and now I ran out of new things to say.

Just know that you are still my superman, best friend, counselor, doctor Daddy. I love you, happy birthday.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Writing Poems

I have been writing poems since I was a child. Reading them just as long. Recently I have compiled some of my poems that I have not lost and put it in one file. I debated whether to self-publish it on Kindle and let it go or trying to find someone to publish it. The first hurdle is to whom do I send it too. Trying to find addresses for publishers in Malaysia is quite hard. I tried one that I know the address to. After quite a while a letter of rejection came with an analysis that my poem are too raw, personal and not poetic enough therefore not viable to be marketed. So yeah, was prepared for that, art has always been a matter of perception, so I was ok with it, didn't really want to send it there because I don't think they would know how to appreciate or even want to court poets writing in English.

Then I tried sending to a couple that replied my email asking about who I can send my manuscript to. One wrote an unequivocal no we don't publish poetry and the other have not replied, not even an acknowledgement of receipt.

I am tempted to just leave it like I have been doing all this while. I don't need it published. The reason I write is because I have to, it is a compulsion and it helps me in stabilising myself. But it is a shame to have done all the work of nicely collecting it not to try to share with a wider set of audience. Someone once told me that reading my poems evoked strong emotion in her. That I have just the right expression that says what she wanted to say about a particular situation. Well to me personally that is what a poem should do, connect to you in such a way that what is personal to the poet become also something personal in you. So I guess I wanted to see if more people feel that way about what I write as well.

No matter I guess Of Thunders and Rainbows will just be in my personal narrative, for me to read when I need to remember.

Friday, May 6, 2016


This morning as I was driving to work and listening to Mix FM as usual, they were talking about in honour of Mother's Day their hashtag Friday would be #mymothersaid. This made me cry cause I miss Mummy so much and wish she is still around to say stuff to me. It is sad trying to recall things that she had said to me and realize I can't remember much. Mummy was the kind of mother that listen more and always there to give you a hug if you need it, she doesn't say much, well at least to me, I know she and adik talked a lot more than I did with her.

The only thing that really comes to me is what she said when I was crying for some reason or other. She always with irritation in her voice told me "Along, stop crying like you mother just died." It never manage to make me stop but I can still hear her saying it every time I cry now, which is often, and every time I recall it, I just said Mum now I can cry all I want cause you died and how I wish I don't know the agony of losing you.

It is funny that is the only thing that really stuck in my mind. I know Mum told me many things, wise things, things I should remember, but my brain is keeping it somewhere out of reach for now.

Well what is important is that I think I have absorbed what she had wanted me to know and how I live my life makes her proud. I miss you so much Mummy, Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2016


I have called him Daddy since I could speak. And now when I am grown I shortened it to Da or D. When I was growing up he was daddy and abang Yassin to many, and before that cikgu Yassin to his students, and now he is Ayah to many more people.

According to Phil, dad is a great charismatic man, someone he would like to be like, and no surprise so many look up to dad. And it is not just respect he engenders, but love, to all these people he is really a father to all of them.

To me he is just my dad, my Superman when I was young, my best friend when I grew up. He annoys me from time to time, we had a volatile relationship when I was a teenager. Most probably because we're too much alike, both having really explosive temper, and both a particular perfectionist. Now we have a sort of understanding not to touch each other's sore spot, and exist on an agreed unspoken truce. So I look on to all these adorers with awe and amusement really, wondering why, my dad of all people.

Why I love him is not surprising, he is after all a great dad. But he is just my dad, very wise and kind, yet still in my eyes he is a normal human being with flaws. But all my life, I have encountered people who when they knew who my dad is have this kind of dazed look of wonder. Still amuse me to no end.

A group of his adoring 'children' is collecting poems to dedicate their admiration to dad, and dad asked us if we want to join in. I just said, Da I write in English, I don't think my poem can fit in. So yeah, I am writing this instead on my blog. Though I rarely write poems on command or a theme, I am an inspiration kind of poet, I will try here and see if we have anything to go by.


When I was born Mummy apologized for me being a girl and not a boy she wanted to give you

But you said it is alright and proceeded to measure all the other babies' foreheads because according to you mine was huge.

From the beginning you brought me everywhere
Even when you were fishing
there I was all red face
being in the sun too long.

Our favourite thing to do is walk around the kampung
with you holding me by my feet
and me dangling upside down
squealing with delight.

When adik came along
She wanted you all to herself
Even Mummy was pinched for holding your hand,
But you were still there for me
Whenever I need of you.

We have had times when
we didn't see eye to eye
voices were raised
tables were flipped
glasses were flung
but not once did I doubt your love
and that I will have it still
no matter what I do.

In my life, what you say is sacred
it would come true
and I would suffer consequences
if I don't heed it
not by you but by the hands of fate itself.

So I appreciate how now
in my situation, how careful
you are with what you say
even though I know you are wanting to tell me what you think
But because you love me
you let me navigate my own way
and trust me enough to know
what I want in my life.

I don't have Mummy any more to wish happy mother's day,
So in this month of May,
A mother's month, your birthday month too,
I write this Daddy to say I love you.

6.38 pm

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Two Chains

The story of my two necklaces. I haven't worn a necklace for quite a long time. My last necklace was given to me with a key locket by dad when I turn 21. Not long after we had to pawn it for what I can't recall. Since then I never wear a gold chain again. Maybe once in a while I will put on a costume jewellery necklace but never another gold chain. When I started seeing Phil, I asked him about the gold chain that he wears. He told me when he was fourteen, it was very popular for guys to wear chains. He worked and saved up to get him a chain. Of course the one he wore is his third or fourth chain, but it has become a symbol of his ability to earn for himself anything that he wants, his independence. When we started to go to and fro each other's country and I started missing him badly I kept hinting that I would love to wear his chain so I could have him near me. For years, it became a sort of a joke between us, and he kept saying the chain is a part of him and the only way it will leave him is when he dies and he promised he will leave it to me in his will.

The last time I was visiting him, feeling very vulnerable about leaving him yet again, I timidly told him that I kept asking for his chain and I didn't even know if it would fit me. He was like kind of exasperated and went on to take it off and put it around my neck and proceed to say, take this as a loan, and as a token of my promise that I will come for it and for you. He never gave me an engagement ring as such, and I don't need it but that gesture meant a lot to me. Having it  helped me through the worst period of my life. I kept holding on to the promise of when it was given and that faith kept my sanity intact.

When I got home, dad saw my chain and asked about it. I told him the story, and little did I know, he was thinking of my old chain. A few weeks later at a poetry event in Kuala Kubu Bharu dad handed me a chain. He didn't say anything just tell me to wear it. I asked him, wear two chains? He said what's wrong? So after years of not wearing any chain, I now wear two chains given by two men that I love and love me.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Story of Us

I miss him so much. He told me I over think stuff. I told him my paranoid voices get really loud when he doesn't distract me enough. Now he is keeping silent most probably trying to heal in private like he always does and I need a distraction before I get out of control when all my voices get too loud. I will try to recall our journey so far.

Near seven years ago, while I was struggling to start my thesis, getting hit by one of my worst depression, I found a game with a very strong sense of community. Knighthood, it was a fascinating game of war, but the people playing it was far more fascinating. I was finding my way through it, doing what I do best writing about my experience in the forum. Little did I know, that one interaction with an interesting viscount would lead me to my best friend, soul mate and the love of my life.

I was a veteran of cyber communication from IRC to Yahoo messenger. I am not new to guys on there. So when Phil ask to talk on either Skype ( which I don't have at the time) or Yahoo messenger I was wary. But throughout he was a perfect gentleman, and soon we were talking daily and became very good friends. I soon had Skype because it was way easier to talk there and Phil became a constant in my life. He kept me sane when my world was falling apart. I was failing in my PhD thesis, and losing my grips on my depression.

We had a lot of fun playing together, but sadly the game ended, and I was losing Phil to WoW, he would not talk with me for days while playing it. This was when I found out that we have quite a strong bond. On days we don't talk I got very distraught, one day I cried in front of the pc, calling out to him. The next day, the first thing he asked, was if I was alright. It seems he dreamt of a long hair brunette girl crying out to him. He made sure his sisters were ok and now he is making sure I am alright as well. I didn't tell him then, that maybe in my despair I somehow connected but that was a clue how much he meant to me. At about the same time, Phil was making arrangements to come see me during his holiday. I was so looking forward to it and really scared too.

When he came, from the moment he landed, we clicked. There was no awkwardness, we were best friends, like we have known each other for years. But there was this instant where our eyes meet, that gave me an inkling that there was more, it was the moment I understood what they meant when they say the universe aligned. I actually heard bells ringing and see fireworks going off in my mind's eye at that fleeting moment our eyes met.

We had a blast that three days in Kuala Lumpur. We learnt we could speak just with our eyes and that we get along really well. So when he went back and disappeared from Skype for a day I was devastated. But the moment he came back on and said he felt strongly for me and ask if I felt the same. That was on 15 February 2010 and I can say with confidence that I still feel as strongly maybe more as I told him I felt that day.

Then years start to pass, he met my family, I met his. We planned to get married but problems kept creeping out. I patiently waited because I didn't want to push him too hard, he said I didn't push hard enough. There even came a day when he wanted for us to part for my benefit he says. I fought back hard, and I made him realize I am in this for life.

Last February was the closest we came to actually getting married but yet again something was in the way. He missed his flight and got hit by exhaustion and depression and couldn't come. It was the worst heartbreaking moment of my life. I am still recovering, but I still have faith in us. I love him still, forever and always.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Sixth Anniversary

Six years ago after disappearing for a few days after you got back from visiting me in Kuala Lumpur, you came on Skype and asked if I felt as strongly as you. I said I did and today it is actually stronger than it was then. I love you, with all of my heart and my world revolves around you.

Today we were supposed to finally make what we feel official. Become one in the eyes of the people. But it was not meant to be. I supposed fate has a better thing in store for us. I prayed for it and the answer is still not yet.

I won't lie, I am very disappointed, hurt and angry. Not at you but at fate. It never seems to let me have it easy. All my life, it has been one big fight. But every time the reward is really worth the fight.

In my heart you are already my other half, happy sixth anniversary hun. Please remember I love you and I will stand by you no matter what.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Another Bump in the Road

This year for your thirty nine birthday I did not prepare anything, I was expecting to have you here and I was going to give you a photobook of our memories in Malta. It has been a stressful few months since I left your side. Not knowing whether you will come and make me your wife finally was really hard. And I know you have had a rough time as well what with work being really hard on you. The constant silence because you had to sleep all the time because of exhaustion was really hard on me, not hearing from you for a day you know is torture for me, total silence for a week was painful. But the day you broke the silence and forward me your flight details and told me you love me so much and you could not let me down, made me the happiest girl in the world. It is finally going to happen. The one thing I have been praying for almost six years is going to come true. I am going to be your wife.

You don't know how happy I was anticipating your arrival, I have all of it planned, what I was going to wear, how my hair would be, what I am going to say. I was smilingly sleeping knowing you are coming. And then the text that brought back tears back tenfold, 'Hun I fell asleep and missed the flight'.

I know how hard you have been working and I know you have pushed yourself beyond your body's endurance. But I counted on your will to come to me so I believe so hard that it will happened. I bothered God every day asking for it. When that text came, my heart shattered, my world ended!

I know it is just another bump in the road. But right now my heart hurts so bad I can't see pass the pain.

Happy birthday hun, how I wish I could say it to you personally instead of another blog post. But hey who says life is fair hmm.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

On Dichotomy

Dichotomy as defined is a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. When I first learned of this concept in one of Dr. Quayyum’s literature class it striked a chord in me. I have always felt that two extreme contrasting emotion battling inside me. I can be extremely happy and extremely sad at the same time. Even Dr. Quayyum once noted to me, that I confused him sometimes because my assignments could be extremely brilliant in one and extremely dull and idiotic in another (this wasn’t his words; this was my interpretation on his very diplomatic comments).

A week ago after resolving a long confusing issue with a happy outcome, not yet a conclusion but a resolution and clear plan that a satisfactory outcome would be the end goal, I was really happy, on cloud nine really, but the next day as I drive to work I was feeling really sad and in the car park I broke down and cried. I was confuse, because deep down I know I was really happy and these weren’t happy tears, It was what Mom would have called “crying like your mom died” tears, and then it dawn on me as I cried out that one phrase that I couldn’t stop, “I want my Mummy!” At my happiest moment I am still really sad because I don’t have my mom to share it with. I miss you Mummy.

Well I guess that is the beauty of how human emotion works, allowing two extremes to exist in balance if not in harmony.