My 18th Birthday

Dang it.

I have been procrastinating again. My birthday was like a week ago and I just could not bring myself to type about it even though I have always reminded myself somewhere in the back of my mind to update this blog. I swear, if this goes on this blog will end up deserted just like my previous blogs.

However, I will try to resuscitate this dying blog with my musings on everyday life as frequently as possible to fulfill my dreams of documenting my life events, however impossible that might sound. So here we go.

My 18th birthday was amazing. Well, compared to my previous birthdays. To be honest, I never thought of birthdays as anything important or worth remembering. Sure, it was the anniversary of our first day on planet Earth but what else? I have always wondered why would people go out of their way to throw a grand party and receive tons of presents on their birthday. What did we actually do to deserve it? I know for one thing all I did for the past 18 years was lived. Survived. Moved forward from anything that has happened in the past and embraced the unknown future with a stone face and mixed emotions.

Maybe that was why I had trouble remembering other people’s birthdays. Well actually I had trouble remembering a few other important dates as well, but that’s another story.

Sure I was excited as a little kid to get warm wishes and presents but as I grew up I just felt, meh. My birthdays were never special anyways. In fact, my birthdays were some of the days that I would feel really lonely and hopeless as I tend to compare how others celebrate their birthdays and how my “special” day pales in comparison to theirs.

I used to get jealous when other people would get surprises, parties thrown and receive awesome gifts from both parents and friends. I got annoyed to the point that I told myself, that I wouldn’t want it anyways, and somehow I managed to convince myself not to expect anything extra special on that day.

This year, after a bit of thinking I concluded that birthdays are not supposed to be about us. All we did was live, and living is not exactly a difficult task to do you know? I traced back the years that has flown by and realized that I have so many things to be thankful of.

First of, my mother. 18 years ago, on this exact same date, my mother has battled with life and death to bring me to this world. She carried me with her everywhere she went for 9 months and kept on doing so for God knows how long until I found my own feet. Truly, that is something worth remembering and should be appreciated for as long as she lives. Not to mention the tantrums she had to go through when I was a whiny little toddler, the headaches she had to endure to answer my bizarre questions when I was in kindergarten, the years she spent going back and forth to school to pick me up, and the patience she had in facing a hormonal teenager who would not even move a limb to help around at home with excuses of being “too tired” of her activities at boarding school. Yep, my mother definitely deserves an award for actually putting up with me for 18 whole years, longer that anyone in my life.Honestly, I am quite relieved as I will be less dependent on her now that I am starting to turn into an adult, I hope she gets the rest she well deserves.

My family. I would not describe myself as a family person, but I truly cherish all the times that we spent together. When I first entered boarding school, my  family was the one thing that I always thought I had lost due to not seeing them for a long while. This year however, I realized that no matter how far, or how long we are apart from each other, when we get together we are still a family and nothing can ever change that. My father, my brothers, nephews, and niece are all that I could not bear to lose. Even though I rarely get to see their faces, knowing they are healthy and happy is more than enough for me. Moreover, my brother is flying abroad to japan this year, thus, there will be less people to go home to. 😦

My friends. They truly know how to make one feel special on their birthday. I received warm wishes from many, prayers for a sweet life, and thoughtful gifts and birthday cards from them. I even got a surprise visit on my birthday (which failed miserably because I was not home! :p) Honestly, I felt really guilty as I almost never buy presents for my friends as there are too many of them and if I were to buy them all gifts, I am too broke and if I was to buy one of them a gift the others would be jealous, and so I ended up buying none in the end. I have always been a paranoid person. I always worry that my friends do not actually like to be friends with me, and they are just nice to me cause I look pathetic or something? This is when birthdays become a real eye opener. When I see friends who genuinely care and bought me presents and whatnot, I feel really warm and for once, I actually believed that I am not alone to face this challenging world. It is truly a great feeling.

Lastly, my favourite thing about this year’s birthday was that,  I experienced a lot of new things. On my birthday, I went ice skating for the second time in my life. I got so many bruises and cuts all over my knee and legs for falling down numerous times, but I felt very accomplished and proud of myself for not giving up until I am finally able to skate properly. The next day, I went to play at the amusement park with my batchmates which was an amazing memory as well, not to mention having to take the bus, and the train for almost 2 hours to reach home. Chalengging, but I definitely learnt something useful. The consequent day, me and my friends went to volunteer at the national Zoo., which was an eye-opening and valuable experience as well. All in all, this year’s 3 -day-birthday-celebration definitely gave me a lifetime worth of memories.

To sum it all up, I was really happy this week, not because it waas my birthday. I was just content to be able to spend my special day with people I love and cherish.Now I truly believe that birthdays are the time to be grateful, thankful and appreiate every single person that has been, still in, and will be in my life until forever as each and every one of them shaped me to be who I am today.

Attached below are some short videos of our outings 🙂

 

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Who cares?

It’s funny.

I shape myself up to be this happy, optimistic, positive bundle of joy.

When I’m not.

I’m a hypocrite.

Maybe that’s why no one would care.

Maybe that’s why no one would bother talking to me every day.

Maybe that’s why I don’t truly have friends who cherish both my good and bad sides.

Maybe that’s why-

even I can’t bear to like myself.

I’m so fake, I laugh at my own desperation for attention. The long desperation that was never truly fulfilled.

To have someone understand me without having to say a thing.

To have someone’s arms hold me while I let my tears flow and my body shake out the sadness.

To have a sincere person, on whom I can trust, I can rely on, and I can bother at 3am when I couldn’t sleep but still be rest assured that the person would not mind.

To have someone pay attention to what I’m saying, no matter how petty and pathetic I sound.

Because when my insomnia kicks in and I am alone in this dark room, these thoughts just never seem to tire out and there is no one to hear it, except for myself.

My happy, positive self who always shows her good side to people until her real crippled self becomes an insecurity- and was shunt away at the farthest box at the back of her head, along with other insecurities.

Of never being good enough.

Of never going to be past average.

Of never having an attractive body.

Of never being able to love, and be loved.

Of never going to be “normal” enough.

These dark ghosts that I can easily walk past through during the day, but can never escape in the confinement of my room, at 3 am.

Every time this happens, the same old question pops into my head, although I already knew the answer-

If I died tonight, who cares?

A Massage for My Mother

 

I remember back then when I was still a child, my mum and dad used to pay me to give them a massage. Two pairs of legs, for RM 1 and an extra RM 1 for me to climb on my dad’s back and give him a back massage using my little feet. I used to anticipate the weekend nights as I would receive my income, which I will put straight in my piggy bank.

Time has passed and a lot has changed. When I entered a boarding school, I barely spend the weekend nights with my family, not to mention being a teenager, hanging out with my parents on a weekend night was not exactly on the top of my to-do list. The last time I gave my parents a massage was probably 6 to 7 years ago, during my pre-teens and I just lost the purpose to do it anymore since I got my monthly income anyway.

My mother is turning 55 this year, and she has been experiencing pains all over her body. It struck me tonight how tired she must be, driving around running errands, managing the household and cooking meals for us ungrateful children. Hence, I offered to give her a massage. There was a lot of things that I reflected on while I was massaging my mother. Her nightgown had holes around the collars and I realised that she has been wearing the same old nightgown for as long as I could remember!

She is not a stingy person, she would buy me clothes once in a while when I said that I needed new clothes but she barely buys things for herself. Every year during Hari Raya, everyone would buy new clothes to wear but she has absolutely no problems wearing the same ones that she did last year. She only buys handbags when she is absolutely sure that her old handbag cannot be used anymore and as far as I know, she only has 2 handbags currently, which is way less than most women I know of own nowadays!

Then, I reflected on what I have been doing lately. On a long break while waiting for my SPM results, I barely did anything to help. I feel very sorry as I tried to put myself in her shoes and imagine how tired she must be. Even myself, a healthy 18-year-old can get worn out easily doing the simplest of tasks, then how must my 55-year-old mother must have felt all this while? Needless to say, I am very guilty.

I will take a mental note to try and help around more in the house, for even the simplest things can make her day a whole lot better.

I should give her more massages too! 🙂

#NoLikesNeeded–In Which We Talk Screen Time

After I read this, I changed my Instagram bio to “Pictures do not do life justice” because that is exactly what more people should know.

dearlilyjune

Dear Lily June,

Your dad and I have old phones. Like, really old phones. How old are they?

  • Dinosaurs used them for selfies, but couldn’t find the as-yet-uninvented anti-asteroid filter, so they died. Cave men painted our cell phones on walls.
  • The stones of Easter Island aren’t as hardy–or as old–as the bricks your dad and I carry around, barely capable of taking photos and about as capable as a blind Amish octogenarian with no thumbs of surfing the internet.
  • They were old enough, in fact, that your dad, when he had to replace his, was able to do so for a dollar, Lily. One hundred pennies. Think about that.

Mobile_phone_evolution Suffice it to say, we’re closer to the top of the lineup than the bottom.

We don’t plan on getting new phones anytime soon, either, in part because we’re just not modern phone people. We know how to settle in…

View original post 1,318 more words

U.A.B

Unattractive Attractive Boys

Ah, the day has arrived. I am finally going to write a post about a boy in this blog, and soon the dash will be flooded with cheesy love poems and heart-wrenching emotions, NOT. No, the day has not arrived, and will not arrive for quite a while. I was just inspired to write this post, however, because of an incident that happened to me yesterday.

Yesterday was nothing special. I was just attending a driving class for my driving license, which is absolutely boring and I have no particular interest in whatsoever. I arrived quite late, compared to other people and the class was already full by the time I arrived. So I went to the nearest seat, which was the front seat. In front of my seat were two more empty seats, which I presumed would be empty for the rest of the class.

A while later, though, two boys arrived and took the seats in front of me. As an 18-year-old girl who lived in a single-gender school for five whole years, I like to consider myself quite resistant towards the opposite gender, not in a hardcore-female-rights-advocate way but more to an I-am-more-comfortable-with-girls kind of thing. So honestly, I’m not usually interested in boys, especially strangers in public places.

But this particular boy, made me nervous for absolutely no reason at all. I seriously did not know what happened to me, perhaps I was overtaken by hormones or something or maybe it’s just because I wasn’t used to being around a boy that pretty.

Honestly, nothing really happened. I mean, what could have? This is the reality, not some sappy love drama where I suddenly drop my pen and our hands accidentally (not to mention romantically) touch while he was trying to hand me the pen or some other awkward stuff. But I felt totally weirded out. That boy was totally not my type; he smokes and he seems to absolutely know just how pretty he is and shows off, he even leaned back a few times and rested his elbow on my desk, which was totally uncalled for and totally annoying.

Don’t you think it’s absolutely unattractive how a person knows how attractive he is? What I hated most, though was the effect he had on me. My body betrayed my senses, there was even one point that I checked myself in the mirror only to find out that I was blushing!! How ridiculous can that get? What weirded me out more, when the class ended and I was waiting for my mom to come pick me up, I felt really lonely. Really. I felt like I was going to be alone for the rest of my life, and I was really miserable for about 10 minutes.

This was such an embarrassing post to write, but it shows just how vulnerable a girl’s heart can be. And I really wanted to show how human I can be sometimes too, even if I keep a straight face most of the time. Sometimes, you can’t control how you feel but you can control how you react towards that feeling. I don’t know what to call this feeling, so I’ll just name it the UAB Syndrome, something that you just can’t avoid when faced with an unattractive attractive boy.

How do you overcome it? You can’t. You just have to wait until he’s out of your line of sight and heave a breath of relief.

That is, if you are introverted and socially inept like me. If you’re not, you can always go ahead and say hi like most normal people do.

Maryam’s Kitchen: Soft Home-made Pretzels

Assalamualaikum my lovely readers 😊😊😊

So today I will be sharing a recipe I used to make soft homemade pretzels. As you all know, I am still an absolute beginner, so rest assured that all the recipes I shared are the ones that I found most simple to make. If you have never baked anything in your life, I suggest you to start off with plain bread, then slowly try more advanced recipes.
Ingredients

Dough

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

7/8 to 1 cup warm water

Topping

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons baking soda

Coarse salt, optional

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Parmesan cheese, optinal
Steps

1. Mix the sugar and salt with the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top of the mixture. Wait for five minutes for the yeast to activate.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients for the dough in one bowl.

3. When the yeast mixture has started to foam, combine the yeast mixture with the dry ingredients and knead well by hand, or by machine for about 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Oil a bowl with some vegetable oil and place the dough into the bowl. Pat some vegetable oil on the surface of the dough as well to avoid drying and cracking. Cover with plastic foil and let dough rise for about 30 minutes.

5. When the dough has doubled in size, divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope and twost each rope into a pretzel.

6. Boil the water and add the baking soda, stirring until the soda is dissolved. Cool the mixture to luke warm.

7. Place the pretzel pieces into the baking soda solution, and spoon the water over their tops for about 2 minutes. This baking soda bath will give the pretzels a nice golden brown texture.

8. Preheat the oven to about 230 degrees Celcius or 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or butter.

9. Spread some butter and salt on top of the pretzel, or with some parmesan cheese, bake in the oven for 8 to 9 minutes, or unjtil they turn golden brown.

10. Eat!!
This recipe is really easy and fun to make, even with children. I have simplified it a little bit but the original recipe is from kingarthurflour.com and I recommend you to watch Laura Vitale’s pretzel video on youtube to gain a better insight on how to make pretzels.

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