Friday, January 27, 2017

2016: A Year of Milestones

Yet another year has passed, which means it's time for the annual Year in a Review blogpost! Of course, a little overdue thanks to finals but you know what they (I) say, better late than dead! :P

I used to think of this annual routine as quite a chore, but in retrospect I'm glad I started it because who in the world is going to remember how their year went 5 years down the road, right? I can barely remember how 2016 went already. And it's good that as the numbers keep adding up, the more good things we add onto the list. They say life is supposed to get better, and I think when you start a tradition like this, it's easier for you to really want to go out there and get things done so that you can add them onto the list. A bit like a reverse bucket list, maybe.

The 16 things in 2016, let's go.

1. Visited Bangkok for the first time. Twice.
2. Went to Hong Kong and Macau for the first time!
3. Won my very first volleyball gold in the 10 years I've been playing volleyball. Represented USM in the 18th IMT-GT in Songkhla, Thailand and met some of my favourite Thai chicks.
4. Attended my very first Aquatic Night!
5. Headed Project Ocean Awareness USM, huge headache, learned a lot, still have a lot to learn. Released baby turtles into the ocean for the first time.
6. Got my Bronze Cross certification. I can save two people now!
7. Got my Advanced Open Water certified in Perhentian! Saw two huge turtles on my first night dive, and bioluminescent plankton.
8. One to two weeks later, went back to Perhentian for POA's very first Beach & Underwater Cleanup.
9. Caved in and got an iPhone 6.
10. Travelled PEN-KUL-PEN. A lot.
11. Started majoring in Microbiology. Signed up for 20 units my first semester. I was drunk.
12. Witnessed friends my age getting married; Yu Ling and babi love Zoe.
13. Dyed and shaved my hair for the first time.
14. NATASHARK. 'Nuff said.
15. Played with Vendetta Eagles in TAR Cup and managed to bag silver. Bagged silver in MC2016 and PFL2016 too. IDK what is it with being second best always. :P
16. Got to meet The Sam Willows!!!!!

Last but not least, I also managed to secure a scholarship this year. The reason I never applied for scholarships was because I didn't want to be bonded but after thinking about the amount of debt I'll be in upon graduation and also... why the f*ck am I studying so hard but not putting that hard work into good use. So I caved. Obviously I'm bonded now (aye ;)), but for only a year and I am free to choose whichever job I want as long as I'm working in Penang, so that's a pretty good deal.

I knew 2016 was a pretty good year for me. I had so much going on for me and I can only hope it gets better as the years pass. :)

Takeaway from 2016: Learned a lot about self-love, self-respect, and I think I finally understood what they meant when they said, "You miss the memories, not the person." It's funny how all those years of being hung up over you came from your absence, and how I craved for your presence then. Now that we've seen each other and spoken to each other more, the more I realise, that I'm talking to a stranger. Of course, it is never easy when that happens but I guess all those years apart and looking at how much things have changed helped me realise my self worth. I've learned to cherish my friends and family so much more. They were there to pick me up when I was crazy and emotional, lost and confused, thinking why would nobody love me, thinking why wouldn't YOU love me, and basically just getting caught up in my own world to the extent where I stopped appreciating everyone else around me. Someone told me to start loving myself more, and I did. And I'll never forget that. Because it really does make you feel so much calmer, knowing that you don't need someone to love you, when all you really need to start with is yourself.

Here's to starting 2017 expecting for the worst and hoping for the best. As always.

ps: Too lazy for pictures this time, maybe I'll edit them in later on. Keyword: Maybe.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

But of course

Of course we've quite a lot in common. Of course we get along. Who else best to replace me than someone who is kinda like me, right? Maybe you're not physically cheating but if you're invested emotionally in someone else, it counts as cheating too. You were always so proud of your capability to love deeply, and then you met me. Who knew I'd beat you at that, right? With you, I never had a proper closure because:

1. You always refuse to talk about it.
2. You refuse to admit to your deeds.
3. There's always hope/doubt around you.

And maybe I never will have that closure because I know you'd never give me one, but I always remind myself that I deserve better, not someone who could conveniently replace me just like that. Maybe it was your way of coping with the pain, but if that's the case then it brings me to point 2: You've issues that you need to settle on your own and I no longer want to deal with them because it's exhausting af. I've always tried to help you with them but I've learned that it's just something you've to come to terms with on your own.

Just like you and my lack of closure.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

You're probably lost.

Every time I come here I'm reminded of how fast time flies, yet the irony of how little has changed doesn't escape me. Please forgive me if my words are a little incoherent, I'm out of touch and have only been limiting myself to 140 characters or so.

I really enjoy spending time in my room with a good book and a nice little playlist, especially after a long day. But in all honesty it gets lonely and that makes me kinda sad and frustrated.

Why am I stuck on this island where no one here gets me. Or either the people who get me have left. I find myself constantly longing to be somewhere else. I now understand what people mean when they say they just want to pack their bags and leave to another place where no one there knows them.

And it's especially difficult because I find most of my peers immature/superficial. Meh.

This calls for a song.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2015: The Big Things

I've wanted to blog about 2015 for quite a while now, but was occupied with finals until the 8th. Then I procrastinated until today. :D Well, better late than dead right?

I used to summarize how my year went into a lengthy blog post, but I didn't do one last year simply because last year was a crappy year and I had absolutely nothing to blog about. If I summarized it, it would have been a really lousy post to read and look back at anyway. But that being said, enough about how fucked up 2014 was.

Then came 2015 and it was a year full of many new experiences and me opening up to the world again. I entered 2015 thinking I wouldn't survive it. I thought it was just another year to get by but it's amazing how many things can happen in over a year. I went from sad and angry to :|

Because I'm poker faced that way. :D Okay actually no, it's something more philosophical:

1. No one is ever :) all the time.

2. Being :| means I am neutral and I accept everything that comes my way, whether it makes me :) or :(

I know now that it is all part and parcel of life and if we accept things as they are without any feelings or attachments, you'd be surprised at how much better life gets.

That being said, here are the 15 things that happened in 2015.

1. Participated in Ocean Awareness Outreach 2015 and met a whole bunch of fun and crazy people. There wasn't a single meeting that was dull because everyone was equally crazy! It's always good to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and I realise that I often feel this emptiness at times and I believe that doing work like that helps give me a slight sense of purpose. In 2016, I will be heading Project Ocean Awareness USM as Project Director and I'm honestly pretty nervous about it. Fingers crossed that it turns out successful!

Ocean Awareness Outreach 2015 family :)

2. Went to Pulau Tioman for the first time and got my PADI Open Water Diver certification! That's one off the bucketlist, I've always wanted to get my diving license! :D

Post surface pic with the sun setting behind me!
Surface buddies :P

3. Participated in the iM4U Dive for a Cause Beach and Underwater Cleanup.

This one was so fun because it was ibarat sambil menyelam minum air (except this time I didn't minum any air hah!). You get to dive AND clean up the ocean, how fun right?! We also had Malaysian actress Sazzy Falak on board with us and we were in the same group! :D

Chillin' on Perhentian waters
Swimmin' with the fishes!
4. Went to Redang the week right after I went to Perhentian. Hahah. That's three new islands in a year for me! I suppose it has to do with my dad always warning us not to go to the beaches because it's dangerous and also growing up on an island (but Penang is FAAAAAAAAR from all these islands I went to). Despite not going to the beach often, there is something about the ocean that really intrigued me right after I had my first proper dive. It's so wonderful to think and feel like you're in a whole new world completely but it's actually right on Earth, only underwater! And I think this really motivates me to want to play my role in conserving and preserving our planet. :)

Just lying on the hammock with a good book is tha life!

5. Got accepted into Minerva and it was like a freaking dream come true then BUT... I didn't go in the end due to financial constraints. Still, I believe that everything happens for a reason and that something bigger and greater is out there waiting for me.

6. Bought my first GoPro Hero 4 Silver! It took me soooooo long to think if I really wanted to get it or not and when I finally did... no regrets. :) Don't belittle this camera for its size though, it takes really good pictures and videos. I'm not much of a photographer, but I love it because it's so convenient to carry around, be it diving or travelling and the amount of accessories available means that you can use it for just about anything!

7. Played under team Contact and managed to bag gold for Penang Floorball League Women's Division. Which was really unexpected lol. Got an All Star award too! It has been a while since I last won an all star award and floorball has been rough the past two years or so, so it felt good to have something to spur me on once more.

8. Finally won the gold medal for Merdeka Cup in Sabah this year. However, I still think the best and most fun Merdeka Cups were during its first two years. Floorball these days just gives me a lot of mixed feelings. Just part and parcel of life again I suppose.

9. Got my Bronze Medallion under Life Saving Society Malaysia.

Bronze Medallion is the first certification level for a competent lifeguard in Malaysia. Here's the list of events for Bronze Med:

1) 300m swim (to be completed within 9 mins)

2) 50m swim, 50m aided tow (with rope) (3 mins for men, 3 mins 15 secs for women)

3) 20m swim, 20m cross chest tow (while wearing formal attire)

4) 50m combine rescue - unconscious victim

- swim 20m, dive head first, push brick for 5m, bring the brick up and together with the victim go underwater and drop the brick, then tow the victim while performing mouth to nose resuscitation

5) 50m swim, 50m chin tow with restraint (the victim will struggle and the lifesaver will have to perform restraints)

6) Rope throw then tow the victim back to the bank (1 min)

7) Releases and Defenses:

i) Arm pull releases
  a) single arm pull release
  b) double arm pull release
ii) Push up break
iii) Elbow break
i) Stand off position
  a) single leg block
  b) counter leg block
ii) Reverse

iii) Duck Away

8) 25m underwater (the part I was most worried about because we had to hold our breath and swim underwater for 25 metres and I haz small lungs :P)

9) Compact Jump (my favourite bit because we always do this during scuba pool sessions and it's the easiest bit! Don't have to do anything, just walk off the platform. Also, because compact jump is the last event, it means we've completed everything else on the list!)

Newly graduated lifesavers!
Compact jump!
#macamyestapibukan I failed this event because my rope couldn't reach my victim LOL so I had to redo it on another day

10. Participated in my first volleyball tournament under USM! And surprisingly managed to bag the silver medal. Hurhur.

11. Participated in the first varsity floorball tournament. And surprisingly managed to bag the silver medal. Again. Hurhur.

12. Lost Happy to kidney failure. Happy was our family dog and we always think he behaves like a boy. Pretty much our whole family's little boy. Happy was given to us by my sister's lecturer and our lives have never been the same since. I hope he's enjoying himself in heaven or at least, gained a good rebirth. Either way, I know he will be somewhere nice because he has brought so much joy into our lives and has been nothing but an adorable sweetheart. We still speak about him fondly every now and then and know that no matter where he is and how long it has been, he will always live in our memories and be a part of our lives. We miss you and love you always.

Manjapot. Miss cuddling you.

13. Sent the Indian off to Edinburgh. Well technically... I didn't even get to send her off because I was in Perhentian! LOL. But thank goodness for Whatsapp and Skype, right? It's a far cry from physical presence but it does make things easier. (though I also realise that I'll probably suck in LDR)

Skyping the Indian. :P

14. Made new friends and found people who really sincerely love me and care for me (even though I always bully them :P). Like this girl. :)

Final year students sleep everywhere, be it on the floor or while standing. :P

15. Celebrated Christmas and New Year's Eve studying for finals. Yay!

(actually this picture was taken in 2016 after my last paper hehehe)
ps: I apologise if this post has been difficult to read (even more so if you're OCD) but blogspot is being a bitch and I don't know how to rectify it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bitter to better.

Had a friendly match with SWAT today, probably my last time on court with Rachel until a while. Waiting for my hair to dry, and just winding down from the long day. Thought about this blog - abandoned and filled to the brim with so many emotions. Much has happened since, but it always feels like nothing much has changed - probably because my feelings for you never did.

Even without reading my old blogposts, I know for a fact that I am better now. I'm no longer sad and depressed, and it is a good thing. When I do skim through my old blogposts, I understand and remember why was I so upset back then. And I never want anyone to have to go through such pain. It is one thing when other people give up on you but it is another when you give up on yourself completely. I remember going to the bar alone to drink, and driving back home (recklessly) and crying along to my emo playlist. Though drinks and night drives with a good playlist are still cool. And my emo playlist was pretty darn good. ;)

Perhaps it is important for everyone to go through such a period at least once in their lives. Maybe it's part and parcel of life. Maybe because they say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Who knows. But the one thing I somehow find myself unwilling to admit, is that I feel better. Which is probably why I left this blog abandoned for so long. Because 'better' might give you the impression that life is better without you. But it isn't. Life was better with you. I know, because it took me a long while to find better without you.

I don't think I've found it yet.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's been a long while since I last blogged about something substantial, let strongly feel about.

When I first stepped into uni late last year, I felt a strong sense of belonging... elsewhere. And I remembered feeling like my heart was going to burst from that want.

I remember questioning myself and the people around me what was I doing with my life and how is reading a dead textbook going to grow me and make me a better person.

I remember my wifey, Phaik Chern talking to me about Minerva Schools. And I thought, "Why not?" I've always been an avid believer of trying, because I was brought up that way. I can so clearly visualize mom's voice saying, "If you never try, then you'll never know."

I remember having read about Minerva Schools in the newspaper once, and my sister telling me that if I'm good enough, then I can be like them one day.

Fast forward ahead of the arduous applications process, cognitive tests and interviews and just about more than a month ago, I received an e-mail from Minerva Schools - "Today, you will know." But of course, I didn't know then because blame it on timezones. I was so caught up with uni then that I hadn't found time to properly sit my ass down and mentally prepare for what I was about to know.
Then during another one of my food poisoning stints (this time, it was the tuna in the fridge), I picked up a call from Kenn Ross, MD for Asia, asking me to check my e-mail and so I did.

Now, just what exactly is this 'school' that I'm talking about?

Minerva Schools offers a reinvented university experience for the brightest and most motivated students from around the world. Minerva places emphasis on global cultural immersion and encourages students to explore the city as their campus. At Minerva, students travel and live together at different residential locations on almost every continent, in cities such as San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Bangalore, Istanbul and London.

This year, they received 11,000 over applications and accepted only ~200 - a mere average rate of 2%.

Of course, it comes with a price. And the very fact that I am attending a public university in Malaysia itself is proof that my family is unable to offer me an overseas education experience but financial aid from Minerva has been extremely helpful and generous. Out of the estimated 28,000 USD per year, I only now have to pay 5,000 USD per year but that is exclusive of flight tickets and other miscellaneous fees which might inevitably crop up - one of my family's largest concerns.

When I applied for Minerva, I took it seriously. I was nervous, excited and I was expecting the worst, yet hoping for the best.

Ever since that fateful day when I received that e-mail, I felt like I've been living two lives at once - the one I have to keep up with and the one I want (I think).

Going to Minerva would mean that I'll finally get my opportunity to travel and learn from the world and its people, like what I've always preached about. It would mean meeting many of the most talented young people from all over and making lifelong friendships. It would mean a chance of a lifetime.

Going to Minerva, also meant leaving what is safe, comfortable and familiar. It meant leaving the Scuba Diving Club I was about to take up, my pending floorball dream which still has yet to come true (though looking at its state right now I doubt I'd want to be a part of it yet, and much of that utmost dedication and importance I once placed on floorball has somewhat dwindled as I learned that there were other aspects in life I've yet to explore). It also meant leaving and putting a burden on my old and aging parents (and dog).

There are some days where I feel, "If the money doesn't come, then perhaps it isn't meant to be." and there are days where I just downright say, "I want to go to Minerva."

5000USD is not a huge amount yet at the same time, it is.

This is a whole load of confusion, and I've no idea where this is going so I'm going to bed.

I'm just hoping God shows me the way.

Saturday, January 17, 2015