Saturday, September 30, 2017

Year 2017 and more

Konnichi Wa Minna-sama. 

It has been awhile since my last post on this url. In all honesty, I feel that of late, the drive to update my life and pure ramblings in the form of bits and bytes have somewhat diminishes. 

I reckon it got something to do with my age. Or perhaps simply free time- that I don't quite have these days.

2017 and more. As the title has it, probably a misnomer to what I'm about to unravel. It's now month of October. We have little less than 6 months to go before 2018.

So what life has been prior to this? Many. 

The biggest most sordid of all is my worst fear as far as my career is concern- which is to be relocated to the south, away from the bustling city of KL, away from modernity, and most dreadful of all, AWAY from HOME. 

2017. I turned 35 years of age. 3 years in my employment. 2 daughters. Many more dreams to live. 

For as long as I have lived, my universe revolves around my family- parents, 6 siblings and their families, and my own nucleus family. And this universe of mine has always been in Kelana Jaya or KJ only or at least within radius of 30KM. 

During my primary and secondary school days, I've never been away from home. I'm such a homey-type bore that even friends would after a few declined-invites, never extend their invitations ever again. I don't go out after school, even when I had the opportunity to do so during tuition hours - I mean, I had a clear 2-3 hours of escapism that I could use to do some sneaky stuffs BUT never did. I'd never tried to loiter around like most cool kids of the 90s do. 

Then, came uni days. Accepted in IIUM for Bachelor in English minor in Human Sciences. As freshyear student, I cannot escape dormitory life. It was enforced upon us as first year student. But, mind you, the uni and my home was just approx. 15 minutes drive and still in very much the beloved KJ/PJ life I've known of-- that universe.

Even then, I'd go back home at every opportunity I can get and on every weekends. I remember, I made my mama proud to be part of an international-full fledge University student. Furthermore, it was an Islamic uni and I was forced to donned the hijab for the first time in my life. 

This was back in 2000, for a pseudo-rebel-yet homey type of young adult such as I, life in an all Islamic uni was so unbearable to get accustomed to. Hijab? Hand-stockings? PJ girl? Live in a dorm of 16 students? Bunk-beds? Islamic? It was hard for me. 

I soon took fate in my own hands-I applied other uni without my parents knowing and got accepted too. I went to class as usual only to this new uni which my parents knew nothing of, to them I was going to the uni that they sent me off in the first place.. But soon, the results was sent to my home and parents found out that I was about to be dismissed from that uni due to failure in all exams. Of course I failed, I never took the exams anyway. 

My secret was out. Parents disappointed? You bet. BUT they were still supportive of my new uni choice. This new place too, was still considered close to home. Just 20 mins drive. I was happy, for awhile. Again, as new students we were forced to stay in the hostel. And again, I never did. Every chance I got, I would find my way back home and sleep in the comfort of my home. My bed in the hostel was always the most tidiest one. No crease on the bedsheet as I rarely use them. 

That life went on for  almost 3 1/2 years before my first break in life. I was selected to be part of that uni's historic program. I left the nest, my universe and lived in Tokyo, Japan for almost 8 months. Away from family, away from every single thing that I was used to and comfortable with. 

It was hard. Yet I survived obviously. And turns out that 8 months experience was one of the sweetest experiences in my life thus far. Came back to my universe, finished another 2 years of study in the same uni and graduated. 

Life as a working adult commenced. Found job even closer to home. Approx in 10 mins drive! Life was a bliss. I didn't even had to wait for a job, I got one even before I finished my study. I was lucky. And it was a job that relates to my study and boy, I was good at it. 

Then married life started. Husband and I was working at the same company albeit different departments. Naturally, we carpool together. However now, my life has taken another milestone. That universe for the fist time was changed to a suburb (then) Saujana Utama, Sungai Buloh. This was a place I moved into soon after I married, as my husband had bought the house when we got engaged. This time, I had to endure 40mins drive to work. BUT it was still manageable, we both escaped the horrendous traffics unlike most major residents in Saujana Utama, as our working hours was flexi. 

This life, felt back then, a total is bliss. It continued until right about I had my first child. It occurred to me that I've made a vow to self after my Japan experiences- that I'd pursue academic excellence as best as I could to the most highest degree possible. 

PhD was in my mind. BUT I knew I was not such straight As student, thus getting a scholarship would be close to impossible. I knew if this vow is to be fulfilled, I needed to have my own resources. 

BUT my life then working in a hectic newsroom was unforgiving to have a free time for any possible academic venture. I knew I had to quit and find a job that would allow or encourage academia OR I knew I had to find a scholarship. 

The pursuit of academia begun. I got my first offer, it was in a relatively new uni, but it was far up in the east coast. I have my baby then, such idea of shifting again my "universe" to more than 300KM from HOME was unacceptable. Husband was against it although the lure of the offer which was a chance to pursue PhD overseas was enticing. 

In between this search, I got another offer- academia too in theme but not a scholarship instead was a change in career. Husband again was pensive for this move. I declined both offers. 

The search continues, until one day I got a call from, ironically the uni that I literally "grow up" with, blossomed into the adult that I was. I ponder and dreaded to take up the offer in all honesty as I don't quite like the idea of going back to a place I knew of. BUT husband approved this, and I soon find myself accepting the offer. 

The best yet in a sordid way about this offer was I had a PhD offer but never knew of.  I thought it was only for MA. I was offered the study in Politics which I was euphoric about and was close to appeal for an overseas placement instead. However, husband disapproves the idea being away from our young family and asked to do it locally. 

I however was determined not to pursue at the same uni that I was expected work at. A change of fresh air, I insist. And a change it was. Went on to have MSDS in University Malaya, again still quite manageable drive from Saujana and close to mom's place too. That postgrad life was a bliss until...turmoil begins. LOL. 

Enough said, I had to finished my MA longer than most people do, BUT it was common in UM. In fact, I was the first in my class to submit my thesis and graduate. Some I know today have not graduated at all. 

Anyway, at this point of my life, 31+, God have me a second child. Unplanned but Allah is the best planner indeed. I almost give it all up. That envisioned career in academia was shattered due to my failure to complete my studies on time. I was ready to go back to my old job. I was aching to back to my old job. I wanted my old job. And at that time, they wanted me back too. Husband was without a solid advise to me for the first time. He, said it was all up to me to make a decision in life. 

Of course due to the scholarship contract, my head was worth 100K if I chose to break the contract and took on another job. I was afraid to continue the academia life as rumours were rife that all new employees would be transferred to another state. 

This shivers me. If I stay, I'll be putting up my life, my universe in jeopardy. My fear of being away from HOME was driving me crazy. With a newborn in my life, I felt this was too much to bear. I was ready to give up. 100K or what they can just bloody go to eff. BUT I soon realised, in all this charade, my dad an RTM vet, was the proudest of me. My dad, rarely shares his qualms and worries to his kids-told me for the first time that he was proud of his kids. Well, proud of me and my older sister in particular. While he said he is sad that it seems there were others that may have been quite a disappointment but he said, this was only due to him a disappointing parents to us as well. Of course, he was blaming himself for all the bad things that we turned out to be, but me, was one of the good apples in the end, well at least it seems in terms of secured career. Particularly pursuing a career as an academic and in a way following his footsteps he said, that made him overwhelmed in pride. 

This was the exact moment I felt a pang in life, that no matter how much sour things in the end has been to me in terms of my new career, I knew I have to make him proud. And so it begins. I, from day one in my employment worked my arse out. Trying my best to give my all, impressing everyone in the end and as it turned out annoyed some as I may have appeared to them as that new "threat". Just as I was the shining star once in  that newsroom, I was also the shiniest new star in this academia life. I was shining so brightly that it "blinded" some with envy. 

And I let my guards down-I let rogue characters in and worse I trusted them. I was manipulated. I was used and abused. In the end, I retreated knowingly well enough that that could mean the fall of me, into the abyss of labyrinth filled with uncertainty, challenges and MOST OF ALL- RELOCATED! 

My universe crumbles. My worst nightmare slowing turning into a reality. I tried to find my way out, but those against me was stronger than my will. I succumb to the rogues. I was defeated. In between defeat, I was fast finding my way out once and for all. I searched and found again not one, but TWO doors opening wide for me. With 100K bounty on my head, I was convinced that so long I could keep my universe intact, I'd be happy enough to payback that bounty. Money to me could be sourced out anytime, BUT family? never. 

I was so close to make that rash decision, to leave, to quit. I can't tolerate this nonsense and ridicule I felt, betrayed by the institution. I was forced to a program that did not match my Master's degree. I hated everyone there that I knew played that evil part, inflicting this pain to me and my young family. Ive forgiven them now but I will never forget! NEVER. The wound was so deep that the scar they caused me would be there for eternity. 

Alas, Feb 2017 just 6 days after my 35th birthday, another milestone was carved in my life. For the sake of making my dad and mom proud, for the vow that I made myself to pursue academia, I'll give this career a last chance. My universe now expands approx 120KM away from my young girls, husband, aging parents and every memory that I love. My life practically now is divided into two: one in the arms of my beloveds-the reasons to live and other is the life that I forced myself to be. 5 days in a week, I took on a different personality, on every drive I'm making I prayed to Allah that the Almight bless and make it easy for me. 

This 2017 is the sacrifice I made, the Hijrah that I never wanted and didn't know I had the strength to endure. 

2017 and beyond, I don't know what and where it'll take me. BUT I know for sure, even if I stopped here, I will not stop to pursue that PhD dream I vow myself to have. Not because of my career, not because I want to put Dr. in front if my name (which I don't have any intention to), not to feel supreme than others BUT that was a promise I made myself when Allah granted me a chance in my life to be in the land of the rising sun, to still have a chance to finish my studies with good grades even though I almost fall out and risk being uni drop-out all because of my stupidity and immaturity of what I thought was love. I was out of it, well dumped actually by a prick that used me and I thought that was it, when he ended it, my universe ends. However, Japan came in my life, I was resurrected, akin to a Phoenix, rise from the ashes and found myself again. I learnt that he was nothing but a prick, a life lesson, that I could and should have done better without. 

This, 2017 is again my vow. I'm gonna reiterate it from 2004. That academia dreams is still on. Insya-Allah, before I reached 40, this needs to be done and who knows where it will take me. Only the Almighty have the power to bestow on me the best deal in life. When that day comes, it will be awesome. Aamiin. 

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