The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mr. Brightside

My Dad told me in the morning that everything has its beginnings and its ends. And I know that. We all know that. To be reminded of it, though, is a different matter entirely. People, places, successes, failures; come and go. And at the end of the day, the only thing you really have is yourself.

Which is why, no, I don't see what the big deal is about not caring about other people. No, I don't care care about anyone other than myself. And I've said it all and I've said it a thousand times. Another once won't do much of a difference. 

Maths was quite good and KH kind of sucked, which is the way of life and all of that. Can't mark the KH paper or anything because it's a closed paper: we had to return the question booklets. Whatever's done now literally can't be undone and it's weird to think that I've written with this exact same keyboard, sitting in this exact same position, but talking about how I'm dreading the thirty, twenty, ten, five, four, three, two, one days left until PMR. 

And now it's just over. It's all over.

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There has been ups and downs and I'm writing this on Sunday because I know I'll be way too busy tomorrow to actually write anything so here is my closing... my closing... here's what I'm thinking about, right now, with the firm knowledge that PMR is soon to be far behind me (will be far behind me in slightly less than twenty-four hours) and I now have an open sea of nothingness and hope and a hell of a lot to worry about stretching in front of me, waiting for me to put a toe in. And also waiting for me to make more terrible metaphors.

The biggest challenge for me this year was "finding myself", which is like the only challenge I've ever faced since entering high school. It's amazing and jaw-dropping and it never ceases to surprise me, watching all my old friends and how far and how low they've come since primary school. There are those who stay the same, like Raihan, but I can't really say much on that front since we go to separate schools and I only get the pleasure of being in her presence somewhere around ten times a year. There are those who do a complete one eighty like Afreena. Or maybe it wasn't a one eighty. Maybe she's always been this way. Whether or not I regret the way I treated her in Form 1 is a tough question, because I don't regret many things and I especially don't regret telling someone off for something that they've done wrong. But maybe that was the catalyst to her complete personality makeover. Regardless, I miss her, and like I said, you know, it wasn't the friendship love story of the ages, but it was something, and it was something nice, while it lasted.

There are those who I haven't had much time to spend with, but from all that limited time, I've learned a lot from them and about them, like Hel, who taught me a lot, I guess. About friends. And family. And a little of a lot of things in between that. It's always been different with Hel because sometimes I think (and often I'm right) that she's not like any of my other friends, not just another friend, and I'll never say that again about myself, just like I'll never say what I used to say about that guy I used to like back in Year 5, because with time comes a renewed sense of self-respect and I respect myself enough now to know that Hel, to me, is something special but just that. There are those who I had the absolute honor of watching grow up right in front of my very eyes, like Nisa, because things got off on the worst of footings in Year 5 and I realized I haven't honestly apologized to her for all of the things that I had done, the totally juvenile and ridiculously childish stunts I used to pull as a prepubescent adolescent. But I guess that's just because I don't really think of that person as me anymore? I mean, who that was, was me, but right now, I don't know her and she doesn't know me and as long as we never Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde it up, I'm good. We both are.

I wouldn't say Nisa's reached the pinnacle of maturity (nobody would say that) but I also wouldn't say she hasn't grown up and learned stuff about other people and herself. Do I still think she uses words as a defense mechanism, unlike me who just thinks it's fun to make fun of other people? Sure. Do I still think she's a hypocrite and not a very good friend sometimes? Yes. Do I think she'll grow out of it? Who knows. She's changed a lot. She's becoming more and more like just another teenage girl off of Facebook or Twitter by the day and I can't say I'm surprised. I can't say I mind. It's never a bother to get more of a reassurance as to how snowflakey I am.

Whatever I've said or written, whatever I've witnessed, their growth and their personality transplants or lack thereof can't possibly compare to me, because I know me. I've lived with me. I've recorded everything Me has had to say since late 2008 until now and it's like a perfectly plotted line graph, my progress, how far I've come from zero to where I am now, but not at a hundred yet. I'm past the phase in which I think the world revolves around me, but I'm quick to say that everyone's just living in my world if the subject comes up. I'm past the phase in which I think it's cool to be as indie as possible, to be as different as possible; I just like whatever I want to like now. I'm past the phase in which I judge people by their taste in music and movies but... actually, I still kind of judge a bit. But just a bit. I don't let it cloud my actions but when I'm home and safe and tucked into bed, ready for my daily dose of retrospection, I'll cringe with worry for the human race. Or just that particular person, in any case. I'll grow out of my misanthropy. I know I will. I'll grow out of this phase of thinking that I'm better than everyone, because I'm already working towards that and I'm already semi-achieving it. Everything's just a phase and the good thing here is, the very best thing here is that somewhere along the way I've somehow, maybe somewhat found myself.

So next year, it'll be another uphill battle. It'll be more writing down my worries in red ink and chewing on pencils and legs and feet that won't stay still in anxiety. It'll be more shouting matches with my parents and unnecessary drama with the friends and maybe a semi-breakup along the way. It'll be more friends made and more friends unmade, more things to learn about myself and other people and the relationship between myself and other people. It'll be more people to thank because if there's one thing I am at this particular moment, it's thankful.

To God, for giving me the strength to carry on. For reminding me that there's always time to turn around and start all over again. For always leaving His doors open for anyone who so chooses to do the right thing by Him, do the right thing by themselves, at any point in their lives. And also for choosing me, me out of everyone else, to be who I am today because there are days when I regret the things that I've done and cry and worry and feel the pressure of everything I'm expected to be weighing in on me and poisoning me inside out, but then there are other days, outweighing the former, in which I am this serene, this grateful, and this eager to get on with everything and to do the best that I can by me.

To my parents because, duh, it's been a good year and I wouldn't have the knowledge in my brains, the clothes on my back or any of the other totally random (and unnecessary) knick knacks I have lying around my room and the house and also, my cat, if it weren't for them. And the Internet connection. And Astro. Also both my parents have been so supportive of me, it surprised me a lot. Not that I didn't expect them to be supportive, of course, but I just sort of figured there would be more catches? Regardless, I've come to learn and accept the fact that a parent's job is not to understand their kids, it's to support them and sometimes I storm off in a fit of rage because No One Understands Me but I tell myself this, I tell myself that they're so, so, so supportive when they could have been the opposite, when they could have been one of Those Parents who won't let their children do anything (and here's my really mean sentence of the post: Those Parents who won't let their children go out to malls after the end of the PMR exams), and I end up being really thankful, really grateful and overall, really happy.

To my friends because even though you guys suck, my year wouldn't even be a year without every single one of you. I don't exactly know what my definition of a 'friend' is, not after what happened last year, but all I know is that I loosely consider most of you guys my friends and if I don't like you, rest assured, I would let my dislike be known, not to be a mean person or anything, but just for future reference, so that our miscommunications or whatever don't cause an inconvenience on my part.

There are those people who made this year more trouble than trouble's worth, my top three friends at school, especially: Hanna, Nisa and Nadiah. Well, actually, to be honest, I (once again) have nothing much against Hanna. I've talked about how I feel about her and the type of person she is and I still stand firm at I don't care. I don't care what type of person she is, to me, she's pretty much all right and she doesn't bother me and sometimes, she can even be quite sweet and she's definitely a lot more considerate than the other two so hurrah for you, Hanna, I dislike you the least. And then there's Nisa and I already talked about her somewhere up there so yes, she can be a nuisance, yes, she can be the catalyst to a bad day, but whatever, she's been my friend for so long, it's pretty much impossible to live without her now. Codependency at its best, people! Then there's Nadiah and I've told her this before but I really don't think she's a good person but that's mostly because she still hasn't "found herself" yet so whatever she has to say in defense of herself always falls flat and doesn't make much sense and is contradictory so... good luck with trying out for the debate team next year. I'm not kidding but that was very mean of me to say so I'll end it with: I hope Nadiah "finds herself" so that whenever I get mad at her and she gets defensive, her arguments will make more sense.

There are those people who I spent an entire year pining over. I hate talking about Last Year now because it really makes me seem like some desperate loser who can't let go of things because I simply haven't settled the score but I've got to learn, just like I had to learn in Year 6, that scores aren't easily settled in the real world. Most of the time, stories don't have conclusions, they just hang out there in the open and nothing feels ever quite as concrete, ever quite as happily ever after, as those fiction pieces I've read. Now it's the end of the year, and hopefully, it's the end of my pining period. I've grieved the lost of not one but two close friends and it wasn't easy but I wouldn't say it was useless either because I learned a lot throughout the year, and I credit most of what I've learned to those two.

The one who got away and I spent my entire year thinking what if this and what if that and I spent half of that time telling myself that I'm tolerant, I'm accepting and I'll be more than happy to lend my ears to anyone who is in need of it. But I've realized that, well, you're not a very good person, are you? You don't care about other people and heartbroken or heartopen, the only person you'll ever feel comfortable talking about is yourself. And that whole self-respect thing is really just ridiculous. I defended you, I helped you, I listened to you and I cared for you, all the while expecting absolutely nothing in return but it was a lot for me to take in, the fact that you would give absolutely nothing in return in addition to being one of the most self-destructive person I know in the history of ever. I have self-respect, I have control, and I'm sorry but I don't think I can look at you and see someone I used to love ever again without feeling nauseous. I'm not waiting anymore. I'm not yours for the taking anymore.

The one who I pushed away and I spent my entire year thinking what if that and what if this and I spent half of that time thinking of the things I could say to make it better, the things I could do to make everything go back to the way it used to be. And it all ended with a throwaway comment made by someone else. It all ended that day, when I asked for that gay high-five and I realized that not only am I not your friend anymore, I'm not even anything. So it was a nice story, an interesting one; a story that lasted as long as any bedtime story and was probably just as dull, with the added bonus of an unhappy ending. It feels almost like a betrayal, but not quite, because if I hadn't done or said any of the things that I had done and said, none of this would be happening. So I've got to wonder sometimes what would have happened if things went differently but I can't dwell on it too much, I'm not allowed to, because I've got to face up to the fact that I am nothing to you anymore and that's... probably how it's going to work for the rest of my high school life and beyond.

There are those people I'm glad to have, though. The ones that make me think that my life's infinitely better with them in it than without and for that, too, I am thankful, because nobody could dispute the fact that I worked. I worked hard for this and I spent nights crying and trying to solve all of these problems and I am better for having gone through that, I am better for having these types of people in my life. And I hate it, you know, when someone like Helena of all people comes and tells me that I've got it easy, that I've got it good for no effort whatsoever, because it was because of her that I had to reroute and restart and do a complete one eighty last year. It was because of her that I had to change what I was somewhat already comfortable with in my life, or at least getting very, very accustomed to quickly. But once again and broken record I may be, I've got to say how much better I think I am for having gone through that. So I'm thankful, to them, to all of them, because how can I not be? Without them, I would feel as worthless and as nothing as Pri makes me feel.

To my teachers this year because like it or not, I've learned. Even if it's not something actually factual or concretely educational, maybe it's something like classroom etiquette that I've learned. For being somewhat supportive behind those statements of "if you don't get an A, the school's name would be pulled down and under". Special thanks to the discipline teachers because I hate discipline and all but they made me put a lot of things into perspective and best of all, they've made me think, so I can't ask for more. I don't want to thank teachers for spoon-feeding me something I could just as easily learn by myself, I want to thank them for inspiring me to want to learn more and be more and think more, and I think the discipline teachers, in that regard, made me do just that. And also, this is creepy but maybe not, but I'd like to thank Encik Alias because after last year's Puan Laila, I had completely given BM up as a lost cause but his method of teaching, aside from being really effective, also made me think I'm not all that useless in BM after all. Hope for the hopeless, that sort of thing.

To my classmates and fellow prefects, for teaching me how to tolerate and deal with people, because God knows I was kind of bad at that last year, so having these people around, a mixture of the great, the mediocre, and the downright imbecilic (nothing personal), was good for me. Maybe I'm better for it or maybe I haven't changed one bit. What I view as sarcastic and "just a joke", people could take seriously and call me a bitch and pray that I meet my sticky end one day falling headfirst into a ditch. Who knows? At the very least, no one can say that I didn't try. Or they shouldn't anyways. Because I did, I think. I tried to hold my tongue but most of the time that didn't work so I tried to blanket my blunt and harsh truths with a smile. Okay, so I was just kidding about that last bit.

To (oh, my God, here we go again) Chris Colfer, for teaching me how to respect people, how to respect myself, how to be gracious, and how that with enough hope, conviction and hard work, things get better, as they always do in the cycle of life.

To myself. Because I worked hard, I played hard, and when it counts the most, I prayed hard. I think my regrets, for the most part, lies somewhere in the past, like last year, and because I worry and dwell on the past too much, I've somehow brought up all the shit and the drama of last year into this year and it made this year into a big fat mess of insecurities and tears. But I pulled through, you know. I pulled through and learned lessons and what I lost at the beginning of the year, well, it's still lost. Never gonna get it back. But what I've gained since then, I'll try my best to treasure, because this only happens once.

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