Sunday, August 13, 2017

Feeling Cinderella

(suddenly felt like writing here I am)

I've been pretty active and busy with Toastmasters lately. The past month and all through September will be busy with installation ceremonies for new club excos, as the new term in Toastmasters just started. Tonight, I attended the installation of KK Advanced Toastmasters club, many of their members of which are always supportive of our club.

So anyway, all these meetings, gatherings and dinners have made me feel somewhat like Cinderella. (Ngeh, perasan nih. Kasi chan la bah..) Being that I work from home, my daily dress up routine usually consists of some jersey shirt or blouse, black slacks or a pair of jeans and the instant-est tudung I can grab a hold of. Being out and about, I get to actually dress up a bit, spray on some perfume and put on some make up and high heels (the highest I can tahan..then come home all sore..).

Like tonight, I had on the full ensemble of foundation, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, the reddest lipstick I could find, satin shawl by Yuna and gold blouse by Poplook.

Coming home, changing into my jammies (jammies ala kampung: t-shirt and kain sarong je), pouring out the make up remover, taking off the war paint (as my friend Rachel would say), then proceeding to put away the laundry and do some dishes... really felt Cinderella-ish. Bukan kah? :)

Well, playing make believe is always fun. Came back with both shoes unfortunately, no other Prince Charming to come a searching.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Moments & Dreams

My daughter found an old photo of me and my friends. I looked at the photo and instantly remembered the moment it was taken.

She asked me, ‘But mommy, why is it blurry?’

So I explained to her, ‘This was when we didn’t have mobile phones and front facing cameras. So we couldn’t do selfies or wefies. We had to use the old automatic camera and the self timer, and hope for the best. And even then, we had to wait until we finished the entire roll of film, and send it to the shop to be ‘washed’ before could see the real photo.’

She looked at me, puzzled, and proceeded to call her brother, ‘Hey look Ashraf! It’s a photo of mommy from the OLDEN DAYS!’

Ladies and gentlemen.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I will be turning 40 this year. I know, I don’t look it, right? Some days I feel like I’m still that 17 year old girl, just finishing high school.

Speaking of school, last year, I attended my school reunion. You see, I went to a boarding school. So these were guys and girls that I spent 5 years with, day and night, weekends and holidays, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, til SPM do us part.

So I spent that reunion night reconnecting with many friends I hadn’t seen for nearly 20 years. Remembering, reliving our glory days, catching up and discussing what the future holds. It was a momentous night and we went back with promises to meet again for another reunion in 3 years time.

I went back, with my head in the clouds, feeling like I was 17 again. Remembering how I was back then.  At 17, I was hopeful, dreamy, ambitious, naive, insecure and clueless about a lot of things.

Today, at almost 40, I’m older, wider and wiser (I hope). But deep down, I’m still that hopeful and dreamy girl I was back then.

At nearly 40 as well, I’m very much aware of the fact that my days are numbered. I know it’s morbid, but it’s a fact of life. Sadly enough, I have lost a number of friends over the years due to illness and unfortunate circumstances.

Last year, I lost one friend in particular. I hadn’t seen him in some time and I wasn’t particularly close with him but we did spent one summer holiday doing our industrial training together. This guy.. He was one of the smartest, most talented person I knew. Full of life, kind and generous.  He was struck by a brain infection and passed away about a month after.

I attended his funeral service and thought I would be able to remain calm and collected. But as soon as I passed his casket to pay my final respects, I completely lost it and began to bawl like no tomorrow.


I went back and told my other friends that we can’t, we shouldn’t, wait another 3 years for the next reunion. Because... life is short. So short. We never know what can happen.

The reunion.. made me dream and feel young again. 
But losing my friend... was a definite wake up call.

I got to thinking of all the dreams and ideals I had back in my younger years – I wanted to write and publish a book, I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to go to Space Camp in the USA, to get married and have kids.

SO here's what I've decided.. this year, I want to start chasing dreams again. I’ve written a book that fingers crossed will be published soon. I have some travel plans in store. I want to read more, write more. I may be too old for Space Camp but who knows??

Ladies and gentlemen.

What’s your dream? What was your dream back in your younger years? I believe, it’s never too late! Take a moment to remember and dream again. Meet up with old friends. Organize a reunion. Make plans.

Because at the end of this all, I for one, want to be able to look back at all the photos from the olden days, even the blurry ones, and remember.. all those happy moments. Wouldn't you?

One more thing before I go, I want to remember this moment too. Smile everyone! *Grabs phone. Takes picture*

Over to you, contest chair!

About Moments & Dreams

This was my speech for my club level International Speech contest held in March 2016. I won the club level and went on to represent my club in the Area level contest, at which I got first runner up.

The speech was initially titled The Olden Days and was really inspired by that moment when Yasmin saw my old photo, which was indeed blurry, and called it as a photo from the oooolden days (ala Peppa Pig). I thought it would make for a good humorous speech and was saving it (if ever I needed to do a humorous speech). But when I was asked to take part in the International Speech contest (which is meant to be an inspiring speech), I got to thinking of how I could make it into what was hopefully, a good inspiring speech. The reunion, losing my really happened. And it was indeed two defining moments I had last year.

I think it is one of the best speeches I've written (*cough* perasan sebentar). It means a lot to me. I love it. I thought I did have a good chance of winning. But alas.. that doesn't matter really.  

I hope you enjoyed reading it, and hopefully it stirred something in your soul, to remember your own moments and dreams.

Much love,

17 again

Rest in peace, Jeff.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wherefore Art Thou..

In doing writing work, I love to look up definitions. Remember the Captain on the Axiom in the movie Wall-E? Haha..that's me.

When looking for the correct words to use in a specific line, I usually check on definitions and synonyms. Today I was looking for a certain phrase to use and thought of "Wherefore art thou", as in Juliet's famous phrase in Romeo and Juliet.

So did you know, "Wherefore art thou" actually means "Why are you". I always thought it meant 'Where are you'. So Juliet was actually saying "Why are you Romeo" and not "Where are you Romeo". You knew? Oh, I didn't.. Well, that's my English lesson for today :) :)

I bid good night til it be morrow..

Friday, July 10, 2015

Of Wimbledon 2015

So it's down to Murray, Djokovic, Gasquet and Federer.

Oh please let Federer win..just one more time and then he can retire (if he wants)!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Of work and mangoes

Household water treatment, headphones, Hajj and Umrah, company descriptions, LightInTheBox. What do all these have in common? Well, they are jobs that I am currently working on. Translation and writing jobs. The first two are rather big jobs and they were both referred to me by the same friend. (Thank you, Jessie!) I didn't think both would take me on, and at the same time, down to wanting the job done in the same time frame. And so, I will most likely be burning the midnight oil this weekend working on these. That is, if my eyes and mind would concur. They have to!

The Hajj and Umrah articles translation job is one that I went and brought onto myself, submitting a proposal when I clearly knew I had more than enough on my plate. Tamak? Well, just trying my luck. And as luck would have it... it went my way. So that, I have about one week from now to complete. The companies description and LightInTheBox are ongoing jobs. Every day little work that I have to work on. 

To say I am quite exhausted is an understatement. Between waking up early to prepare sahur and all this work, I found myself almost falling asleep in front of the computer this afternoon. Hah! But but... I have to say..I am thankful for all the work I get. Thinking I am quite lucky. I have so much more I want to do. Really, if I could not sleep all day..I would. #syukur

On a different note, a few days ago, I gave my downstairs neighbour a bag of mangoes. Mangoes from the tree at my dad's house. Really, my dad comes over with these big bag full of mangoes that I know we won't be able to finish off in time. So tonight, neighbour caught us on our way back from dinner and passed us this.... 

Yummy fresh cream mango cake made with the mangoes I gave her! Talk about coming full circle..#syukuragain

So, what are you thankful for today?