Godsend

Today, August 6, 2016, marks the end of my undergraduate years as a psychology major. It has been six years of seemingly endless struggle and bittersweet happiness which did not just change when I decided to take my life in my own hands.

Way back in 1998, when I had first moved into the city, there were no tall buildings, the only shopping mall and hotel had just opened in the neighborhood, and there were no highways and express trains. Even the institute where I graduated from was really an abandoned block of concrete nobody bothered to work on until a decade later.

A good 18 years later, new constructions started sprouting up one by one.  The scene in this photograph is taken at the back of the campus after my very last day. It is an example of how as time progresses, things change – for better or for worse. In reality we pick things up along the years and discard those parts that are not as useful in our purpose. Humility is a lifelong process of learning and practice. Of course we must be grateful for the opportunity that we have been given. This is what shapes us into becoming successful individuals.

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It was really tough having to plan and manage my team for my company business Brainiac Laboratories while studying, working part-time, and writing together at the same time. I was really hard-pressed for results. I had to meet all kinds of people every single day. You know how god puts you to test something you abhor again and again – until one day you raise your hands in submission and begin to love it as much as you can. Is that good or bad? More than once my life seemed to be just hanging on a thin string of thread, waiting for a sharp pair of scissors to snap it cut. I have no clue why, but it just kept happening. The amount of tears I cried throughout all these years could have over-filled a pool. Things went down the drain several times; and I was so helpless all I could do was try to stop myself from crying. But I cried anyhow.

I had hated my life. I hated how everytime I had to register myself for subjects the following month, the management would pull out my accounts statement  to tell me that I had an outstanding of nearly RM20,000 to be paid before I could register for any classes. I hated how I had to write to them letters after letters attached with a new instalment plan of empty promises, and I hated how I had to face rejection with a solid face and unnerving gaze but a mind full of doubts. Last of all, I hated how my uncertainties seemed to be growing bigger very quickly.

I whirlpooled into depression for the second time as I sought for solutions. I watched as my friends – some of whom were even my batchmates – walked out happily out of unhiversity after their final semester. I saw how my friends started getting married one by one and having families of their own. This made me question myself a lot.

What set me apart from my peers was the fact that I had the ego of knowing that I was way better than them, so there was no point of getting along with them. That I had to spend a huge part of my day working at the bookstore, shopping mall, or what not, and then take a bus back to home to clean the house of mess (it was like that everyday, trust me) before I could actually sit and study. Right there and then I could run back to my house and give my mother a bear hug  and go lovey-dovey like any child would, but I did not. It has never been the way my family worked. My mother refused to pay for the education I was entitled to, and she was taking the money I earned from working part-time to buy other things for herself. The more I tried talking to her, the sharper the answers I received from her. I tried my best to listen and care for her but I never got anything out of it.  Every ounce of my energy was sapped away as I worked in and out and studied at the same time. If I ever failed to do as I was required, or I could not because I was really, really tired. I got hit by anything. My depression just worsened.

Like I had done many times, I asked myself a question: What am I doing all these for? It was quite a question because I pressed myself for the answers all day. I pushed myself forward to do what I could. I definitely did not want to go through the same things anymore. Yes, I was tired of being depressed; I was tired of destitution. I was sick of all the lies I was made to tell to cover my life from my “friends”. I was sick of the inner demons eating away at my soul, devouring up the life I was supposed to have.

The answer to my own question: I did what I did to save myself.

Red Scarlet

2015 in a Bottle

Gazing blankly into the ghostly sky with its morning star hidden right behind the thick, heavy clouds, I downed my cup of espresso.  I tried to shut my thoughts and listen to the sounds around me.  I sat still in my wooden chair trying to capture some form of hope for my trusty pen to thrust its wildest dreams on.

If I could, I would.  Definitely.  I would part this sheet of paper from the book, roll it up, and then put it in a bottle – and set it free.  Well, what if I actually did?

My thoughts would have the freedom to linger off through the water surface, forever encased in its protective covering.  Hopefully it would seek refuge from raging storms, and finally meet with amicable weather in the Atlantic, before sailing smoothly into the Indian Ocean.  Perhaps, thousands of years later someone would be lucky enough to stumble upon it when it gets itself stuck in the soggy sand.

Parts of the lines are quite cheesy, and I do have to apologize, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, for borrowing the words in your lyrics to vent my dissatisfaction.

Thank you for calling me a bitch.  Thank you for assumming that I am a slut.  Thank you for piercing through my heart all your sharp arrows, of setting my soul to flames.  Thank you for calling me stupid, and whatever other names you felt befitting.  I have never once been that, and I shall show you that I mean it.

The players are going to play, play, play.  The haters, on the other hand, they are just going to hate, hate, hate.  What can I possibly do about that anyway.  I sort of knew you were trouble when you walked in to my life, so maybe shame on me now?  Hmmm.  All too often I was just left in blank space, baby; because all boys only want love if it’s torture, if it’s pain, if it’s hurt, and if blood oozes out from their hearts.  What do you really, really mean?  You were, in the end, the reason for the teardrops on my guitar (well, ok; it was really your guitar, but I held it with my dainty fingers sometimes).  Finally, your friends talked to my friends talked to your friends talked to me, and so we are never ever getting back together.  Not like I actually cared even.  I only have to shake it all off my head.  Yeah.  Loving you was so red, in fact forgetting you was like trying to know someone I never met.

Nevertheless, from the ashes rose a phoenix with wings so large they carried it away from the consuming fire.  I started showing gratitude and showering my appreciation on people, sometimes even people I do not even know who helped me in doing something.  I allowed myself to be as genuine as possible in dealing with the different kinds of people I have to meet everyday.  These things cannot go wrong.  As a result, I am proud of myself for having grown emotionally stronger and bolder than before.  It could be that my feelings have been numbed from the constant hurt, but my chains have been broken, and my soul has been set free.  I hope.

A few more months – just one more semester – I will be graduating!!!!  (I do wish I could insert a love icon here.)  I shall be done with my degree after a long, long time.  I should be so excited right?  Yes I am, but no, I am also not.  Oh gosh, my mind is wandering to so many places!  Life is an exciting venture, a beautiful journey bestowed upon Man.  There is no other gift more amazing than the gift of life.

This year also I am chasing time to kick off my positive psychology start-up as well.  While I am working on one SBU (strategic business unit, that is) now, I will directly after I graduate, start-up the other SBU.  Currently I am looking for sponsors and venues for investors.  It has been a crazy six months running about to widen social networks and contact suppliers, and so on, whilst studying final year.  I still have not mentioned that I am also doing sales.  Haha.  Crazy times.

I have of course had my fair share of repeating heartbreaks, but yet I did all I could to keep pushing on and on.  Whether it has got to be love, wealth, fame, or self-fulfillment, I wanted it to work out this year.  I probably went a wee bit overboard, pushing myself dangerously over the edge.  But I had already decided from early this year that I am not going to let things happen to me just like that.  I am going to make things happen to me instead.

So I just want you to know: I am fiercely fighting for whatever that is meant to be mine – my degree, my start-up, and HIM!!!!!

Never say never.  All I need to do is be patient. Perseverant.  Positive!!!!  The 3Ps!!!  Oooh – how sweet.

Red Scarlet

Turn Down For What?!

You there!  Yes, you!

Please excuse me…. Umm-YOLO!

This is how I express myself.  (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Breaking free!  This is how I express myself. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Okay, okay.  Really sorry for the abbreviation, because I rarely use them in my writing (it is just not my  etiquette), but guess what: You only live once.  Romance.  Risks.  Life and death situations.  Fight-or-flight.  Or the other way round.  Shame.  Attitude.  Opportunities.  Courage.  Determination.  It is worth the risk.  So take it, god damn it.

This is just a simple little life project of mine, some scheduled before I get married, some scheduled before I think I want to die. I am an expressionist when it comes to art and things like these; I believe in self-expression. I am always wanting to go beyond what I think I can do and do as much as I can, with the time I have in hand.  I am always on the lookout for opportunities, spreading out my dendrites bare naked to really savor the sweet fruits of work.

Life happens, of course, and there is going to be a teeny-weeny little switch in the way things are every now and then.  You just got to adapt.

Just like me and my best friend, partner in crime for life, and love.  He said time will tell, and as time ticked by the minutes, he awakened my soul.  His existence brought a whole new level of experience to me, incorporating more actions and deep thoughts about sharing beautiful times.  Making me think seriously, how do I want to do what I want to do tomorrow?  With whom?

Below is my list:

I want to express myself through music, writing, the eclectic arts, and the sciences.

I want to dance in the rain.

I want to fly with or without wings.

I want to bungee-jump off the mountains in New Zealand.

I want to travel around the world.

I want to explore the earth like a wanderlust.

I want to sky-dive.

I want to climb the highest mountain in the Himalayas.

I want to dive around beautiful Grecian islands in the Mediterranean.

If there is an expedition to Pluto, I want to go too.

What he calls the Rock-Star Personality, because I am always, always wanting to do anything and everything right away.  But he wants me to sit and wait for the moment to happen, because he really, really wants to come along with me.  And I want him to come along with me, too.  I feel kind of sad when we do not do something together.  It is just the way I feel.  Some parts of life can be so hard, but the thing is we will survive.  These are beautiful times.

The only drawback is the fact that right now I am kind of confined to my studies, but only for a little while.  I hope everyone will be a little patient and hold on, because my journey has not ended yet.  From a positive perspective, I sense a lot of excitement in the air.  The vibes are vibrating vigorously between the particles; a whole aura of happiness is beaming between the neutrons and protons, the charges canceling each other out because of the equilibrium, thus making the charge positive.  Sometimes it is too positive I cannot hide… but wait!  I got stuff to do which will be done soon enough, so please, please, please be patient with me, and be good.

At times when it rains so bad the roofs start shaking, I want to go out and dance in the rain.  I want to get wet, so wet that I am drained.  I want to jump off the cliff even, and fall so freely there is nothing to do except living in the moment.  I want to shake, and shake, and shake it all.  I want to break free, and experience life right now, right as it is.  The Blitzkreig, with its natural warring attitude-that I want to fight along also.  And I do not care,  because these make me feel so fulfilled.

You should join me too.  Come on.  Fasten your seat belts.  Ready.  Jump! Beeil Dich. Yallah.

Love,

Red Scarlet

Creative Commons License
Turn Down For What?! by Alicia Ai Leng is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://theladyintheredscarfmindtalks.wordpress.com/.

Heartbeat

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Do I look like I have won a battle in my dreams or something? (Photo credits to Ekamil Razali)

At times I find myself blungeoning deep down into the abyss of deeply-crested emotions.  My self is lost, fully submerging into an array of resounding heartbeats that pierce through the ear canal with as much pitch as the sound of gunshot.  As I descend, countless questions bombard my existence, some so easy I could simply hurl them back wherever they came from, some so difficult they nearly crush me with all their weight.

In all the mania of drama, yes, I am in reality, hurt.  Tired of the predispositions I have been placed in.  For no one knows not what I long for.  There exists this consistent battle between the silent heart and the beautiful mind.  Sometimes, the heart wins; sometimes, the mind.  Sometimes the heart and mind find a way to work together amicably, amidst all battle – and that, I tell you, that is a very funny thing.

Which is so because they have to please the Soul, a wondrous piece of art, mere atoms framed synchronously in position.  For the body is to live.

And when this occurs, gallant music orchestrates out from within the Chambers of Life, through the arteries, all the way up to the Pineal Gland, where the Soul sits.  His Eyes gaze forbiddingly, as if he had been forced to wait for the answers for too long.  His Ears catch the first notes of violin softly humming from far below.  Slowly, gradually, the harmony echoes through the empty space of flesh and blood, filling the entire abode of humanity.  As if the battle has been won.  It has, in its own way.

As for the Body – She triumphs.

Red Scarlet

Fly With Me

I may not be exactly so much – no, not in adequate proportions – but yet I consider myself an extremely artistic person.  I like to imagine my little notebook as my guitar where I play my notes on.

Call me crazy… maybe.

There is nothing wrong in that.

What goes on in my mind you do not know.  And say what you wish, I do not mind even.  I do not even know what matters are playing in your head.  Really.  Our perceptions are not all similar.

Uh-huh.

I assume I must have gotten so drunk over my music, for it depicts the buried treasures of feelings beneath the sweetly adorned grave, however deep down they may be from the surface, washed off in the rain and thunderstorm and covered by the dampened, soiled earth.  Events that go by do not oftentimes (I do not know why, but I dread this word – oh, yeah, that is out of topic so I shall bring it up later) make sense.

Nonetheless, there exists a factor in the human nature… a component known as resilience, that makes us stand so far apart from one another.  The factor that puts us up on our two feet constantly, always chasing our dreams, big and little.  That sets us running forward, never to be pulled back, climbing ountains so high and diving into seas so deep.  That seemingly brings us so close to our pinnacle  by only an inch, only to have it snatched away by another Dream-Chaser.  Which we drown ourselves into, only to watch it melt slowly away in all the heated commotion.

But we just go on our journey in a more lighted path.  We can’t stop.  Because we won’t stop.

I am like… yes!

Come.  Fly with me.

Confidence is one big part that keeps us going.

Confidence is one big part of us that keeps us going.  (The Author when her hair was still untreated.  Photo credits to photographer Ekamil Razali.)

Red Scarlet