Moving On, Bon Voyage!

My time in Australia has come to an end. It’s pretty tough these days, especially the last couple of weeks. I knew for sure that I have to pack up my stuff, yet I still want to spend time with my friends and would still love to go on another adventure and also to visit the familiar places I’ve been too.

Been juggling things around, I still needed to come to work and after work, I will try to clean up my stuff a bit and pack some more then attend another gathering. Once the work has come to an end, I spent the time to unload my shelves and gather things. Create another section for donation, another to be put in the bin, and another box for me to keep my stuff and bring back.

I cherish things a lot as a result of being taken for granted in the past. Even a letter from years ago I still keep. Friends and family matter the most to me. It’s as if they are messing around with my loved ones, then they are messing with me too – meaning you are messing with a wrong person my friend.

In the past years, I changed a lot. I created my own wall, I become tougher and stronger. I learned how to be a professional in my work field. Despite building my own wall and train myself to become the person I am today, deep down I still care for people. There is a burning soft heart inside me. Finally, I really understand the meaning of don’t judge the book by its cover. I worked as a Teaching Associate in a reputable university who is included in the top 100 universities in the world while also working part-time at the local post office. Who says only those who don’t have work experience, who don’t have the knowledge, who are not professional are the ones working part-time? Maybe working at the post office is not as fancy as working in THE BIG FOUR, but hey I truly enjoyed it.

True that retail and customer service field made me put a lot of effort to keep the smile on my face when dealing with irate customers and to keep on giving the best service, to answer and serve the customer professionally. I tried and failed sometimes when the emotion overpowered myself.

I learned and am still learning to control my emotion, to have a better anger management every time. You know that’s not easy yeah? Sometimes a different approach would be better than fire up another argument.

Life goes on, the time is ticking, night turns into day, people are graduating, and I need to move on too. Australia is my very first adventure. I still remember the time when I started my college degree I asked my mom about what’s next after uni? She said well that’s up to you. You gotta do whatever makes you happy my dear.

From the time we were born, we know that there are some clear stages that we have to go through. Alrighty, I’m looking at it from the education perspective. We entered pre-school or kindergarten, and the primary school where we learned basic stuff. A bit older and still not wise enough, we struggled and had fun in junior high, and a bit wiser this time maybe while we’re finishing our high school. We fought to secure a good place in the university we chose with a major that we like (this applies to most of the people).

After we earned our bachelor degree, the next thing to happen is to get a real life or the industry exposure. We started to join the workforce and learn that things are not working the same way as what the textbook stated. Made mistakes and that what sculpted us to become better and better.

Some people after a few years of working would give up and started to study again. Maybe this time they know for sure what they want to study. They have the passion to grow and gain more knowledge, the scholar type.

Some other would love to stay forever and ever in the same particular company where they started if they landed in a very nice company there! Others would move from the first company they worked for because like what happened in the real world, it’s a stepping stone.

Another people would loveeee to explore another field. Keep on jumping around here and there to learn about different industries and how it works. This is interesting! I’d love to learn great stuff and the mechanism of the industry but would love to move on to another field only if I have mastered the previous industry where I landed my career on.

Mostly for women, after working for a little while they would get married and become a full-time mom. That’s not going to be the case for me. I’d love to stay in the workforce as long as I could, would love to use my brain more. And would love to learn how things work even more! Not that I don’t like kids but it’s my passion to learn new things is greater, at least at this current moment.

Talking about taking different pathways makes me nervous sometimes. I mean can’t we all just walk hand in hand and support one another while taking the same road? Sure we are not taking the exact same road, but we can still communicate and meet each other yeah?

Moving on is kinda scary but it is thrilling. I don’t know what kind of adventure that I would have soon. Being in a different country or even in different state scares me the most. What if I won’t be able to meet and hang out with my friends again? I’m so used to meeting them at least once a week. We have a meal together and just talk nonsense and enjoy each other’s company. We grow up together. The men have become my brothers, and the girls are all my sisters.

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In my family, we always walk together hand in hand and support each other because we are one. Even though I moved to Australia to study, I brought my family together with me though they are not physically moving to the land down under. I want to bring them to the same road I’m taking.

It’s the same thing like friendship. Especially after I grew close to my community friends, I feel like bringing them to the same road and pathway. That’s not possible I know. Everyone has their own interest and way to overcome things. To me taking another road means being separated and that also means that I might have left my friends behind.

Actually, that is a wrong thinking. Sure we are not on the same path, but if we keep our pace then we are moving together.

Like tunnels. I may have chosen tunnel B instead of A unlike my friends do, but if we keep our pace while driving and being in touch with a walkie-talkie or social media in real life, then we will arrive at the destination at around the same time (given that the length of tunnel A and B are the same)

And like the old man I know said, I may have to move out and explore different things before coming back to meet my fellow friends. There must be a legit reason behind why am I heading to a different tunnel. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. We will never know what will happen next.

While I’m taking a different path, to all the friends who read this post:

I will be back soon. Don’t lose hope on me. We have our own fight but we will win in the end. Keep your head held high and keep your thinking straight. Keep in touch while we are away from each other. Always support one another even though we are not living in the same environment.

To my family: I’m always waiting for the time when we can gather together and have some good fun!

Until the time we can gather together again, Goodbye and I will be back.

Move on and BON VOYAGE sailors!

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Happiness In Unity

You may skip to the TLDR section down there in RED (just after the line) 🙂

Even after I graduated from uni, I still able to spend time with my friends after work. The usual case would be those fresh grads usually busy finding a full-time work and after landing themselves on their very first (proper/full-time) job, they would have less time to socialise with their old friends. It’s because they would be occupied from 9-5, and some of them on the weekends would like to get some more rest, or the rest they are going to have fun on Friday and Saturday night and sleep the whole day on Sunday.

For immigrants like me and my friends, we were not born here. We did not grow up here, and most of us came to Australia to pursue our bachelor degree. Lucky I found this community. We started to gather together twice every week to have choir practice and to serve in every Sunday mass. Other than that, we sometimes meet up just to have lunch together at uni, or to have dinner after the mass. We used to meet every Monday to play sports.

The time when we are preparing for special occasions such as Easter week; Christmas Carols; singing at the aged care; and some other special events, we tend to spend more time together.

I grew close to one of the choir member, who came to finish up his study in Australia after being transferred from Malaysia. We have lots of similarities and he is someone who I already consider as my own little brother whom I can talk to without really have to filter everything. We know each other’s weaknesses and weirdness as well as the good points as well. He lives in Koonawarra street with another um maybe 16-19 people – that’s a normal size house FYI.

I visited the house maybe 5 times already and most of them are from Malaysia. From the internet over the years and when I looked back in the history between these 2 countries, we do not really have a smooth diplomatic relationship.

In the past, some individuals in Indonesia burnt the forest and that created a massive smoke and affecting the air in Singapore and Malaysia as well. If we are talking about soccer, then Indonesia and Malaysia are rivals, they are like nemesis of each other. Malaysia claimed batik. To be very honest if together we look back at the past from thousands of years ago, all of the lands were connected to one big land where the humans can live in.

It is also the same case for Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. We have at least one similarity where we have one ethnicity (if I’m not mistaken) known as Melayu people. They have 1 language which is called Bahasa Melayu, and sometimes it’s hard to tell where one person came from as the physical features are very similar. Then because of the separation of the land (I guess this is because Earth is moving, something must have happened, here and there – unfortunately I forgot everything about year 11 and 12 Geography), these separated lands created  their own country and their own languages, but still the ancestor came from the same place.

Okay, should be enough with the history/geography stuff which I am not good at. I mean, well it’s only natural for these people to gather together and have fun. To combine and mix the culture. True in modern days we were from different countries, but hey we still have lots in common! Why do we have to separate things?

Some things are different, yes that’s true. Chinese Malaysian tend to speak Chinese or Cantonese (and again, unfortunately, I cannot understand) but also some of them could understand Bahasa Melayu even though they don’t speak that frequently. Chinese Indonesian on the other hand don’t speak mandarin anymore and we use a lot of slang and Bahasa Indonesia.

We can still communicate with each other using English. The most interesting part is that Malaysian seems like they are more willing to blend in with Indonesian, which Singaporean is a bit different. These Malaysian people who live in Koonawarra house also are very friendly. They talk in Chinese and put some slangs as well and now I understand a few their terms and they also understand some Indonesian words as well.

When talking about a gathering we shall not forget talking about food! Our food is also similar. Mostly maybe because we are basically Chinese – yeap our great great great grandparents came from China but along the time passing I don’t know how many centuries already we have different facial appearance from those who came or are still living in the mainland China but unfortunately we are not recognised as Melayu people because our features are different. We lost our identity, but we still have a good standard of nationalism.

Yup, now this story has widened to the topics which I should not discuss. I was just thinking maybe it is necessary for you to understand this as the background story (?) hahahaha.


 

TLDR – So yeah long story short even though we came from different background, different island, different environment, we were united to become one community. The community of South East Asian people who love to eat and to hang out. What interests me the most is these Koonawarra people usually cook together (not the whole 20 people), but they spend a lot together, like A LOT. They play board games too!

As I am slowly closing my chapter, I can say for sure that I am very grateful to have met these people. Even though I don’t live under the same roof as them, whenever I visit them to have a meal and play games afterwards, I always feel content.

With Koonawarra
Koonawarra Club – 2017 + Shu Kai and other people who missed the photo sesh hahahahhaha

 

In this post, I am not only going to talk about these Koonawarra peeps. I met lots of people who came from different countries too! Just because Malaysians and Indonesians are dominating the community, people who came from another country now starting to adopt our culture, they eat what we eat. They understand our behaviour, and I am still amazed by the fact that we are united as one community. We are willing to learn other’s culture, language, and behaviour. That’s very interesting!

And like I mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I always feel content to be surrounded by these people who came from different culture, background, and society. We are willing to learn, willing to share, willing to understand each other.

I consider myself as an extroverted introvert. There are times where I just want to be by myself reading books entering the fantasy world or just to watch Korean drama or movies. Also, there are times where I really want to be surrounded by these people. Simply not to run away from problems (if I have one), but to share our happiness and knowledge. Sharing a good time together. For that, I am very grateful!

Also to conclude this more than 1000 words post, I will say the happiness in unity does exist!

A Pair of Hand

Humans are given two hands to operate and live the life. However, not everyone is perfect. Some of them are only given one hand by God, and some lost their hands because of an accident or disease or other reasons, not given any.

Given the pair of hand given, it does make everything easier to handle compared to having only one hand or no hand at all. BUT, it is not a solid answer to say “those who are not ‘completed’ cannot do anything and are weaker than those who are completed”. Hey! I have seen a lot of people do even a lot better than normal humans! They created amazing artworks using their mouth or other parts of the body. Some of them even entered a Paralympic and won! They are great athletes, great artists, great human being. They inspired others through their disabilities and it is AMAZING!

These people even have a higher living spirit and strive to do even better and better and better. They keep on improving and keep on overcoming their challenges. I know everyone has their own story, has their own problems they have to encounter and solve. Unfortunately, most of the people take things for granted. We have two hands and a complete set of the human body but we are still complaining about life and give up easily.

Speaking of a pair of hand, I recently talked to my good friend that has been living together with me since 3-4 years ago. She has completed her bachelor degree, so CONGRATULATIONS to you girl! In the past, we argue a lot because both of us have a strong character. We had different opinions and when we look back to the first semester when we met, we are completely different persons now. We have changed, we grow together, we improve together, and we overcame our own problems too. We collided a lot and naturally, it just fell to its place and we became good friends.

We are both international students that came to Australia to study. Now both of us are graduated (she definitely passed the study requirements!), it feels different. We are having a different path that we have to take. We have to part our ways. It does not mean that in the future we cannot meet up or be involved in each other’s life. It’s just a bit hard because we are originally not from the same country and with a different environment, it will be hard to relate to one another and tell the stories.

I learned a lot from her and she also made me who I am today. Just recently we had a good late night talk and discuss where life would take us. I told her I wish we all could stay living near each other (and she is just living in a neighbouring country – not like she is living on the other side of the world LOL) and share stories and do what we’re currently doing. I know it’s unrealistic and I know it’s time for us to take a different route.

So here we are …

I asked her what it would be like in the next 5-10 years? Would our friendship still be the same? Would our current close friends in 2017 still be around in 2027? What our life would be by then? And she said, well it takes two hands to clap. If the other one is not making an effort to clap the other hand, then you are not able to make a clap. It’s the same as having a high-five.

You are there offering your hand to your friend to make a high-five but if you’re ignored then your hand will not be welcomed and your effort will be wasted down the drain. It’s the same as friendship. Good friends will stay no matter what. I can prove that. Another college friend went to the same uni but in a different country and up till now, we’re still friends and still share things. True it’s not as intense as before but both of us make the effort to keep the friendship and so we are still here.

No matter where life takes us if you are still making the effort to stay in touch with your mates, family members, and (ex) colleagues and the other party is also making the effort then clap together. Get that high-five! Pat each other on the back and say “hey friend, well done”.

*This post is dedicated to a good friend of mine. Thank you for the friendship. Lessons learned. Keep on improving. Keep on striving. Keep on smiling and enjoying the life like the way we are currently doing now. Goodbye is always hard and so here you go: Goodbye. Stay in touch and take care! 🙂

 

Do You Remember Me?

I went back home to visit my family when on one of the evenings I went to the nearest cafe and on the way home I met this childhood friend of mine. Our house is actually just 5 houses apart. We went to the same primary school and we were good friends until we completed our sixth grades. Starting from the year seven onwards until we finished our high school, we went to different school.

We also have different beliefs but it is not a barrier for us to be friends because diversity is great! Our parents also know each other as we’re neighbours. Once a year, we take turns to send a gift to respect each other especially during Hari Raya (the events celebrated by religious people such as Christmas, Eid Mubarak, Vesak, etc).

We grew apart because we never meet each other and because we did not attend the same school anymore, so we stop exchanging gifts. When I saw him, I was surprised at how he looks like. He looks the same as he did 10-15 years ago – it’s just his hair is now longer. I was wondering if he remembered me. True we were good friends but that happened when we were so young.

While I’m currently considered as someone from Generation Y, the situation is completely different from people from Generation X. Take my parents as an example, they are still close with their childhood friends though they are not living in the same area as they did when they were kids. They still hang out together just to have some meals together and catch up. Even the cohesiveness of the group is still very tight! Hundreds or even thousands notification appear from the group chat every day, I repeat, EVERY FREAKING DAY is just normal to happen.

To me now even it’s hard to talk to my childhood friends. We still share the same bond because we grew up together, but things changes as always. We are not living in the same neighbourhood, not attending the same uni, not working in the same corporation, and some of us are not even living in the same country. It’s just funny how things work (maybe) better back then during my parents time.

 

Sometimes I’m wondering what will happen to our friendship?

Would we be able to talk to one another and share what is happening in our life like today?

Or are we going to grow apart and will not work on our friendship?

 

It takes two hands to clap. If the one hand is not welcoming the other hand, then you’ll be hanging until the other one is ready. Well, it’s not really worth your effort if even after so many times trying your hand is not welcomed by the other one.

We may not remember what happened in 2017, but sure we will remember some of the good times!

Closing One Chapter

Usually, around this time of the year, I am very busy with a lot of things going on in my life. It’s starting since 2015 when I first joined the choir in my church, and ever since then, I started to sing regularly every Sunday.

Those people in the choir have become my friends, my family, and my shelter. I spend a lot of time with them and I don’t really mind doing work for them if it’s really necessary. Most of the time I will be with this second family as my family is back home.

During Easter, as a Catholic, we usually have what we call it a Holy Week. It’s that time of the year where we are preparing our heart and to mourn and “reborn” as a new and better person. Every single year, the admins will be exhausted to prepare everything to run smoothly. This year is no different and we prepared a trip to go to Gippsland in Victoria after Easter to bond with other members of the church.

As one of the organizers, my friends and I spent a lot of time together. We tested the game, keep on updating our budget and to get the timing correct for every single activity we were going to do there and prepare the food and logistics. While spending a lot of time with them frequently, there is an attachment feeling whereby it felt weird when I went back home again and be by myself again. I’m so used to wake up and see them straight away, or to have our meals together, or to queue to shower and brush our teeth.

It feels like we have to go back to reality, to deal with our assignments and works again. Though we end up trying to even stay back to have meals together whenever we can, it still feels a bit weird. Continue reading “Closing One Chapter”

Why you never ask?

A friend of mine visited me and we catch up till super late. It started with her asking me why I did not ask for her help when I needed her?

Since I was young, my parents told me to not bother other people and try to not give burden to others and I gotta be independent. Of course when I’m really struggling then I can ask for help.

One day, I with some friends were planning to have a BBQ party and we wanted to buy all the ingredients. It was a massive BBQ party for approximately 20 people so we were about to buy quite a lot of meat. Unfortunately, neither I nor this other friend is driving therefore, we asked another friend to drive us to the nearest shopping centre. However, the driver was late and our schedule was messed up a bit.

Later on that day, I told what happened earlier to my friend. Let’s just call her Apple.

She then said like this to me…

Continue reading “Why you never ask?”

part 1: friendship guidelines

Meeting new friends is something that I really like. I would love to be friends with as many people as I can. My preference is to know them personally and make this friendship really special for each and every person. However, that cannot always be the case. There are some people whom you know you are friends with, but may not be able to approach them personally. You’d say he/she is your friend but don’t talk a lot. You met a few times, yet still don’t know what they’re up to.

Some people prefer to have lots of friends (quantity) over having a close relationship with their friends (quality). I fall on the quality side. Knowing each one of them personally, makes me able to cherish the friendship even more.

Even though I am a girl, I don’t mind having guy and girl friends! Having a mix of both will create a good combination. Hey, why do we have to limit our friendship to only a certain gender, again?

Telling other friends that he/she is nice and you are expressing your thoughts mostly is considered dangerous and ambiguous. I learnt that expressing yourself is a good way so the other party will have a good understanding of what you’re thinking of them also how you truly value the friendship. However, the idea of expressing it to the opposite gender seems wrong in the society. Some of them think of it as a confession, whereas others – like me – only take it as a compliment.

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To me, a compliment is something that will make me keep on striving for the best.

To keep the best version of myself.

To keep on improving,

and to show others how I actually value the relationship.

Expressing and showing that you like being friends with them is not wrong. Telling them how nice they are as a person is not hurtful or dangerous. It’s like telling your family or loved ones that you really love them and cherish them in your life. Sounds so cheesy but that’s the truth, man. If you never show them your feelings and thoughts, then how are they going to understand you? No one can read your mind!!

Continue reading “part 1: friendship guidelines”