But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

9.12.16

Some days,  - most days, in fact - I'm happy. I can't imagine myself on any other path in life and I have made peace with any and all mistakes I've ever committed in the past. I'm twenty and I'm learning so many things. I'm absolutely content with mediocrity, because if you average amongst the best of the best, can you really complain?

Some days, I'm aware of how much I know and how good I am at what I do. I realise how much potential I must've shown for my university to offer me a place and for my sponsoring body to offer me a scholarship. I must've made some form of impact. I can't ask for better lecturers and facilitators. In fact, I dread leaving this campus because it's just so perfect. But I'm also excited to be in Highfield, because can you imagine what kind of nerd labs await me there?

Some days, I'm excited for third and fourth year projects. What kind of fiction can I possibly bring to life? I can be a Big Hero 6 in my own right. I'm just so excited to learn what this course has to offer me. I want these four years to stretch two folds, maybe three. I want to do my masters and my phd in this university. Why? Because why not? The company is great, the environment is great, the reputation is great, the people are great, the opportunities that await are even greater.

Some days, I want to intern at Intel. I want to be a part of something big - and I'm going to do it. I'm confident that if I study a little bit harder, I can be on parr with the rest of my classmates. I can code my own labs, I can ace interviews with internship bodies, I can analyse circuits in a heartbeat. I'm confident that with a bit more effort, ELEC1206 could easily be my best subject. And maybe one day, I'll be able to speak some Mandarin, Korean, French, and maybe read cyrillic.

Some days, I aspire to be my friends. To be as cool and collected, smart and meticulous, adorable and charismatic, athletic and driven, intelligent and laid-back. One day, I'll come to love myself and I'll be on the pedestal with them instead of being on the ground. I crack jokes and believe that I am significant, I belong here, amongst the socially awkward, in this badly lit laboratory, trying to figure out phasor analysis and dielectric materials. I mean, where else would I be?

Some days, I'm present and ambitious and proud and confident and happy.

Today is not one of those days.

4.12.16

December just started a couple of days ago, and right now, in this moment, everything in your life is right. But why do you feel so empty sometimes?

There are days when you miss college, having Jigs as your roommate, watching Friends on your hard-drive during every dinner, nasi goreng made available for dinner everyday, feeling like you're actually good at something, feeling somewhat significant. Then, there are days when you miss high school, being so loved and accepted, calling people up and being in a movie theatre with them within the next 2 hours, Starbucks being the norm after classes, rolling with your crew, being an absolute nutter and that's okay.

But those days are gone. You're a different person now. You're still you, but in a different way. You think differently of the same things, your opinions and priorities in life have changed. Look at your life now. You're studying the exact course you ruled out first, you're listening to old songs simply because they bring you back and not because you'd give them a second listen today, you shamelessly sit in the front row whenever possible, you don't beg to be friends with people who don't obviously need you anymore. You're a changed person. You've grown, you've learnt.

Maybe having Jigs to come home to and complain about class about nice, maybe being able to ring Von up from across the highway was convenient, maybe sipping a Starbucks twice a week was a necessity to feel cool. Maybe all of these things were necessary to you at the time, something you needed, but not anymore. Have you ever thought about that? Maybe having another year of rooming with Jigs would've ended badly, or you wouldn't realise how much you truly appreciated each other's company. Maybe you wouldn't realise how much you took Von for granted, and deep talks in your car in the middle of the night wouldn't sound as appealing as it does now. Maybe you would decline a Starbucks in a heartbeat now because who the fuck has the money for that. See how you wouldn't do the same things in the same way if you were to do it again? It's necessary, my dear. It was necessary. But not anymore.

It's okay to miss your friends sometimes, and frankly, I'm sure they appreciate being missed from time to time too. It's okay to dwell on the past, because you had one hell of a time with your friends. You had such great memories that no camera can ever capture and no mugger can ever rob you of. It's okay to compare your situation now to how you were before, because it's only natural. But you must never let yourself be absorbed by it.

I know how you feel. You're swamped with an overwhelming amount of studies and assignments, you drown amongst your classmates, your closest friend in university makes you feel really small, you don't really get talked to, your cooking skills is too bad for your own tongue, and you think nobody really likes you, because why would they? I know exactly how you feel. It's a tough life. You feel outcasted for no apparent reason but for all the obvious reasons. You have absolutely no confidence in your abilities, especially when people on the next bench are wiring things up fifty times faster than you are and your lab partner have carried you for coding ever since paired work started. You're absolutely terrified of switching partners for design week, because what the fuck can you contribute to anyone else in this class? You're the lowest of them all, you know the least, you're the least committed and passionate and when everyone says they have no idea what they're doing, you internally wince because they still can't compare to how much you have no idea what you're doing. And as if that's not enough, how can you even maintain a scholarship if you can barely pass a test?

Darling, these can be toxic thoughts. I know you've heard this before, and I know you've experienced it for yourself to know, but these kind of thoughts are the exact kind that keep you up at night and rob you of your CGPA. As hard as it may seem, you need to believe in yourself. You've seen it yourself. You're capable of so much more than you think you are. You've proven that. Remember how proud you were that you managed to pull up your AS Chemistry by 2 grades? Sure, other people could carry it to the end, but did any of them pull up their chemistry by 2 grades? I don't think so. You think you're so mediocre, but you can't be any more wrong. You're so special. The only thing is that it's in a hidden way. Why else would your friends love you so much and stick by you for so long? And maybe if you are mediocre in your academics, you're in the number one school in the entirety of the United Kingdom for your course. So you may be average, but you're an average of the best. Isn't that enough for you? You made mistakes in your life, and maybe you come across as disinterested and awkward to people, but those who are patient enough to stay until the adorable comes out, those are the people who deserve to see you adorable. The rest of them? Well, that's too bad. They're missing out. As for your scholarship, you know you only need a bit more effort, just a tad more, and you'll be able to breezily pull through. You know it. I know you do.

You're so happy now. In so many ways, you couldn't have made better decisions. You made leap of faiths, made decisions that rests solely on your shoulders, but look how well they turned out. Your'e doing the very course that you ruled out the first thing you knew what university degrees are, 4 years ago. But you can't imagine yourself doing anything else because this course and this university and this campus is just so perfect, it fits your soul the way a velvet glove fits a royal's hand. You're so incredible, but you're the only one standing in your way. Maybe you can't always code optional work, but you can code.

Aishah, please. You're always going to be greater than you think. Please believe me. Please.

Now, get some sleep and get some work done tomorrow. Not because deadlines dictate your life right now, but because you love this course with all your heart.

You're doing fine. You really, really are.

12.9.16

University is starting in less than 3 weeks, and college ended a little over 3 months ago. But a hell of a lot of events has happened within the last few months that is worthy of reflecting over.

When I got rejected by a scholarship awarding body at the very last stage, I was upset for weeks. When you stopped replying my texts, I was sad and angry that I lost you. When my gut feelings came true and I didn't get the straight As I needed - wanted -, my heart sank. When a scholarship did arrive at my doorstep provided I changed courses, I shed tears for the first time in months.

Despite all this distress, each time the feeling passes, I find that I'll myself "Well, I got over that waaaay quicker than I thought I would".  The next time something upsetting happens, I'll try to remind myself how fast the last one went by. I may not believe it at the time, but I'l believe it when I get over it way quicker than I thought I would.

This isn't just applicable to things, but people too. I've lost contact with so many people from college. A couple of them I was heartbroken about at first, but not anymore. I reason myself by saying that I've done my part, but they haven't done theirs, and if they're not interested, then why should you? I mean, you can't say I didn't try. I did. I've texted them to ask what's up, to ask out for a lunch, to start a conversation, but either they don't reply or I'm not important enough for them to get back to me. Why should I bother with someone who blueticks me but had a

In a way, it's been bothering me a little bit though.

9.7.16

We start with stars in our eyes
We start believing that we belong
But every sun doesn't rise
And nobody tells you where you went wrong

-

When you've fallen in a forest, and there's nobody around
Do you ever really crash or even make a sound?
1: A song you like with a colour in the title 
Little White Lies - One Direction

2: A song you like with a number in the title
7 Years - Lukas Graham

3: A song that reminds you of summertime
Kids In Love - Mayday Parade

4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about
-

5: A song that needs to be played LOUD 
Knee Socks - Arctic Monkeys

6: A song that makes you want to dance 
Shut Up And Dance - Walk The Moon

7: A song to drive to 
Changing Of The Seasons - Two Door Cinema Club

8: A song about drugs or alcohol 
Electric Feel (Cover) - Preston Pohl

9: A song that makes you happy 
Dead Man Walking - Jon Bellion

10: A song that makes you sad
 Fast Car - Tracy Chapman

11: A song that you never get tired of 
I Must Be Dreaming - The Maine

12: A song from your preteen years 
Fall For You - Secondhand Serenade
13: One of your favorite 80’s songs 
Jessie's Girl - Bruce Springfield

14: A song that you would love played at your wedding
Cambridge, 1963 - Theory Of Everything OST

15: A song that is a cover by another artist 
Somebody That I Used To Know (Cover ft. Vic Fuentes) - Mayday Parade

16: One of your favorite classical songs
Habanera - Carmen

17: A song that would sing a duet with on karaoke
679 - Fetty Wap

18: A song from the year that you were born
 Name - The Goo Goo Dolls

19: A song that makes you think about life 
All Star - Smash Mouth

20: A song that has many meanings to you 
-

21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title
Samson - Regina Spektor

22: A song that moves you forward
Move Alone - The All-American Rejects, It Ends Tonight - The All-American Rejects

23: A song that you think everybody should listen to
Here - Alessia Cara (to understand how I feel)

24: A song by a band you wish were still together
-

25: A song by an artist no longer living 
I Want To Break Free - Queen

26: A song that makes you want to fall in love
The Longest Time - Billy Joel, Not Walking Away - Emily Hearn

27: A song that breaks your heart 
Georgia - Vance Joy, Danny, Dakota & The Wishing Well - A Silent Film

28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love
You Make It Real - James Morrison

29: A song that you remember from your childhood
Swear It Again - Westlife
30: A song that reminds you of yourself
What A Catch, Donnie - Fall Out Boy, I'm Yours - Alessia Cara

31: A song others won't expect you to like
A Little Piece Of Heaven - Avenged Sevenfold

32: A song you play when you're angry
Phoenix - Fall Out Boy

33: A song that reminds you of the person you love
Idfc - Blackbear, Gravity - Eden

34: A song you put as your ringtone
Gospel - MarchFourth Marching Band (Monsters University Theme)

35: A song that puts you to sleep
The Parting Glass - Ed Sheeran, Cherry Wine - Hozier

19.7.15


17.7.15

This is the year you realise that only change is permanent.

That's both a wonderful and terrifying thing to grasp.
But you have it in you.
You know you do.

20.6.15

Reminders.

"Not everything is supposed to become something beautiful and long-lasting. Sometimes people come into your life to show you what is right and what is wrong, to show you who you can be, to teach you to love yourself, to make you feel better for a little while, or to just be someone to walk with at night and spill your life to. Not everyone is going to stay forever, and we still have to keep on going and thank them for what they’ve given us."

28.2.15

the stars lean down to kiss you
and I lie awake and miss you;
pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere.

I'll forget the world that I knew -
but I swear I won't forget you.

--

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that just because happy times have gone so far back into my past doesn't mean they aren't coming my way.

This was a song that kept me through a significantly but not particularly dark time in my life.
I need to listen to it more often than I do.

Be the person you needed when you were younger.

31.12.13

I've only got 3 and a half hours left. So much to say, so little time.

Dear 2013,

You've been a doll. I have bad memory and even worse nostalgia, but you really are one of my better years. There were times when you were difficult. To name some, my 8 week depression in which I didn't talk to my friends at all during that period. You added the death of one of my uncles, which didn't really give me the wake up call I wanted, but it was enough. And only a few hours before my seventeenth birthday. It wasn't ideal, but I can't say I was expecting a bad one. I forgive you though, for a period of nothing but solitude in a dark room. One could only tolerate me for so long. I understand the need for some dark days. Things can't always be jolly and bright.

Having said that, you've given some unforgettable moments. I can finally say I had a group of friends, although it only lasted a year. I donated blood for the first time. I jumped two grades up in my Add Math test. I noticed my improvement in my drawings, which is nothing but satisfying. I cried while reading a book. I ate my first sashimi (and hated it). I got involved in my first proper theatre production, albeit backstage; even so, it was incredibly fun. I went to prom, the first party I can't say I regret going. I've learned to love myself - I can't say that I do, but I'm learning. I learned that people aren't as bad as they may seem.

This turn of the year is very important to me, solely because a lot of changes are going to happen. You're leaving, 2013, and you're taking a lot of things with you. You've never coming back. I suppose I wrote this as a kind of closure.

You're taking away my time of being a high school student, my beloved position as captain of the drama team, the time we honestly though we'd win but didn't, my grown relationships with my teachers, my first experience reading The Book Thief, the sinful things I did out of spite and anger, the first time I fell in love, the good things I'm glad I did this year, my uncle. It's hard to say goodbye to those things, especially when I know I'll forget it in 5 years time, possibly even before. I don't want to. It scares me that something so emotional and life-affecting and important as these could so easily be forgotten. To be honest, I can't even remember exactly what happened during half these times. They've become vague memories now. And I guess that's why I feel the need to document this.

When I started high school, I thought I would leave it crying, images of pure unadulterated happiness flooding my mind and hugging my friends with a heavy heart. I knew that was not going to happen within 5 months time. Despite knowing full well that Hollywood, at least, had in no way captured the bitterness that was SMK Damansara Utama, I kind of proved myself wrong. Yes, I didn't leave school crying, instead I left it with rather a sense of freedom. There were only three things on my mind, 1) I might never see my friends ever again, 2) I'm surprised I'm kind of okay with that, and 3) will I be home in time to watch NCIS? Don't get me wrong, I love my friends. And not talking to them ever would be heartbreaking, but enough has happened this year that I've come to terms that not everything is eternal. If it's time for it to go, then there is nothing I can do to make it stay. A goodbye should always be at hand, always be ready. As of today, I've only spoken to Yvonne 4 times, Amanda Irdina thrice, Arman twice, and not to the rest at all. I'm not proud of this. I need to remind myself that having a goodbye at hand doesn't mean saying goodbye first. I can't be proud. At least, I left school with one last photo with Amanda Loi, Shash and Dhaarsh and a vow not to order Pizza Hut for the next two years. I doubt I'll be able to keep that vow.

This year, I became captain and director of the school's drama team - my drama team. I met some great juniors and we had our time together. I personally thought we were good, great in fact. We were incredible. And I'm only taking less than half of the credit, most of it belongs to the props team and Ming for an amazing script and of course, the actors themselves. They endured my shrieking and piercing whistle, but at the end of the day, they made it work. During that time, I became close to Puan Shaja as well. She became my mum in school. I know that if I come back to school as an alumni and the world has forgotten me, she'll welcome me with a hug. I'm confident of that. It was during this time I met Puan Amirah as well. She became our sort of judge in school. She was cool and followed us into competition. We didn't win, though. I was heartbroken, I wanted to demand a reevaluation, but as Adam said, "Rezeki di tempat lain". You're right. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

Pokcik passed away on the 16th. I was told at 6:30pm, right when I was running between bedrooms to gather my things for tuition. It was unexpected. I didn't expect anybody to go away that quickly. I cried a lot. I'm willing to bet I cried nearly as much as Aliya did. That was the only night I felt any form of affection for Aliya. I didn't go to school the next day, even though I wanted to. Partly because it was my birthday and I wanted to prove to myself that hardly anybody would remember it (I'm proven right each year) but mostly because I wanted to pretend his death didn't happen. Instead, I accompanied Aliya to his funeral and cried some more. I came home and took a nap. The best (and only happy) thing that happened to me that day was Arman and Lutfi surprising me with a lollipop after tuition. Lutfi just happened to be there, but I'm grateful to him too. The house has never been the same since, and if anything, Aliya and Chu's constant presence in the house makes me a more secluded and bitter person. I avoid human contact. I don't talk or hang around my grandparents much anymore, which is wrong because their deaths are drawing near. I don't think I can take it. I can't even wrap my head around Pokcik's. It feels like he took another holiday. Only, he's never coming back.

I never knew what falling in love felt like, but I somewhat experienced it this year. He was charming and heartwarming. Let's just say, I was smitten and it took me a while to find myself again. Now I think I was a fool. But what fun is it in being so serious all the time?

My cousin was acting in Seussical and I didn't understand my family's overreaction. To make it worse, my grandparents demanded I stop ballet when that was the one place I didn't feel so out of place. I've never invited them to any of my performances since. But the moment my cousin got involved, it became okay. I got angry. I didn't talk to them for a week at a time. It killed me, but I didn't want to give in. It wasn't fair. I'm crawling back to them though. I have pride, but I'm trying to tone it down a bit. I love them. I want them to love me. I'm coming back to them. The night before last, I spent two hours trying to work Atok's iPad. It gave me warmth.

I joined backstage because I couldn't attend the rehearsals due to SPM. I wasn't happy at first. Incredibly jealous, in fact. But once we got to the theatre and I progressively got more comfortable with the crew, I didn't want it to end. I still wished I was performing, but I suppose it's just as fun as losing my voice to keeping the kids upstairs and telling the boys to shut up, working 14 hours when I only got 3 hours of sleep and slept on the shaky stairs, getting annoyed by Badrish when both of us were bored and getting to watch the mechanics of the show. I didn't fit in with the cast - I still don't - but the after party was pulsing and my heart was beating to it. It was the first party I ever thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a blessing, truly. If I speak any more of it, I'll ruin its meaning.

Prom came. I didn't want to go. The only thing that changed my mind was 150 bucks would go to waste. Instead, I brought extra money and decided to ciao after a while, take the night train to KLIA and people watch. If my bag was big enough, I wanted to bring my sketchbook along. Alas, I had my hair up and my heels on. I looked pretty - I felt pretty. I spent half the time on the balcony and poolside, but I made Puteri wait because I wanted to play Let's Dance. The only regret of the night was that I didn't discover the Xbox sooner. It wouldn't improved my night 10 times. But that's okay, it was still a great night. I had to be careful though; one move, and I could've completely fallen for somebody. Fortunately, I held my ground. I'm learning to walk in heels now.

But most of all, I learned that I need to remind myself often. So here's a note to me in the future:

If you want something, you'll have to work at it. You have to be grounded at all times, because once you let yourself go, you'll fall behind. You can't depend on anyone, absolutely nobody, except yourself. I'm not saying that you shouldn't trust anyone - hell, you'll need trust to succeed. But don't expect things of people, and the only way to get it done correctly is by doing it yourself. The moment to leave it to someone else, they won't do it the way you would and you're going to have to do it again yourself anyway. If you don't, you'll never learn. You'll never improve. Other people will, but you'll stay the same. Don't be like that. Strive, darling. Be the best you can be and reach higher. Besides, the satisfaction of completing something is immeasurable.

You also need to finish what you start, own up to your mistakes, be more humble, lose some of that pride. I know it runs in your veins and you can't help it, but that is exactly why you tell yourself not to turn out like some of your family members. Try to change. Be the person you want to be. It's hard - nobody said it's easy - but it's rewarding. At least try.

This new year is meaningful to you. You're leaving for college, your fixed school years are over. You'll have to be brave. You'll have to find courage. You'll need to make important decisions and take responsibility for it. It's okay to be afraid. If you weren't, then you're doing it wrong. By the time you read this again, I hope you're surviving college and its pressure and stress level. Listen to good music. Pray, have faith. Believe in yourself. For God's sake, believe in yourself. Trust yourself. I know I'm still there, somewhere buried underneath the darkness. Even if it seems endless, I'm in the darkness. Parts of me. I shine like stars in the night. Look for me. You'll get through it. I know you will.

By the time you read this, you'll know more than I ever will. But don't forget me. You'll need me someday. You'll still be as messy and clumsy as I am, possibly even messier and clumsier, but your heart will be colder and your eyes will be harder. Don't be so harsh. Don't let the world turn you into stone. Have some warmth. Be a mumbling seventeen year old who cries for attractive beardy men in fantasy worlds. Don't forget me. Don't lose me. Don't lose yourself. You'll never be this young again.

Thank you, 2013. You've been wonderful.

Much love,
Aishah.
2 hours and 18 minutes to a new beginning.