Category Archives: Life

A Letter to My Younger Self (s)

Dear 4 Year Old Self,

Remember that night, when we were in the car heading to grandparents’ in Bahau. You were fast asleep in the car, when the Acca suddenly pressed the brake. You fell down, and hit your face on the car seat, and you cried in pain. Acca said,  a cow drove recklessly. You just nodded, and sat through the rest of the journey imagining a 4 legged animal driving a red car. A driving cow made your lips bleed.

No, Thara. Cows don’t drive cars. And the Moon doesn’t play hide and seek with you.

Dear 8 Year Old Self,

Remember that girl in school everyone made fun of, because she wasn’t quite right in the head? You too, did the same. You used to walk away if she sat somewhere near you inthe canteen or assembly. You thought she smelled funny. You even laughed about it with your friends. But she was always smiling, greeting everyone. Until, one day, she just wasn’t coming to school anymore. Teachers said she shifted to a different school, with a special class.

A few years later, you’ll see her, clad in secondary school uniform, walking with her mother by the road.  She smiles as she walked by. You sat in the car, with heaved heart and teary eyes. She was just trying to make friends. You should’ve been nice.

Dear 12 Year Old Self,

You thought you had it all. In fact, you felt superior to your peers. You were the school topper, Head Prefect, and you knew that the 2005 Tokoh Pelajar Award had your name written all over it. You enjoyed being in the limelight. And you just knew, you were destined for bigger things.

You didn’t know then that all the medals and certificates you took pride in would mean nothing to your purpose in life. And do not lend your books, especially Harry Potter to others! It’s funny how you were so clueless, yet confident and snobby.

Dear 16 Year Old Self,

By now, you learned that the world revolves around everything, but only you. When you get your exam results, you convince yourself, if you could do this good even without even trying hard, imagine what could happen if you worked as hard. That’s your recent area of expertise. To convince yourself, to come up with reasons and excuses. You aren’t doing as good you ought to, but you aren’t doing bad either? You had great friends, you were in the Top 10. You’ve still got some limelight, although you’re not in centre stage.

You just know that if only you put in some work, you’ll ace many things in life. Well, lemme just tell you, you never got around doing much. Neither did you become a freelance writer, nor did you become a Toastmaster. Nope, not even a scholarship. Maybe, I was meant to be just an average kinda person? Good bye, 12 Year Old Thara.

Dear 20 Year Old Self, 

One day, the only friend from school that you have on campus told you, ‘You’ve changed ahhh’. You used to put yourself first, before anything else’. Her words would be a knock in your head, how you used to love yourself. You would never do anything to harm/hurt your precious self. But you chose to ignore, just brushing off her comments. You just chose to not see things as they were. You got name called behind your back. People were talking. You were just not bothered. After all, they don’t know what was the real situation.

You were just covering up with other good things. You had just won a national competition. You were reading more than before. Your grades were falling, but you could do better if only you tried right? Just so you know, you were wrong. You should’ve listened to your sane self. Oh, and that boy who bought you soup noodles when you were sick? He will mean more to you, than just a friend with car.

Dear Me-Now,

Every bit of experiences you’ve had, has made you the person that you are now. That said, none of those define who you will be as a person. Maybe it’s time you dig up all your To-Do’s and little projects you had in mind, and get started.

No, you don’t need 12 hours of sleep on the only weekend you’ll have off until the semester’s over in January. You got this, girl!

First Job : Expectations vs Reality

This week marked my seventh month on my first very ‘real’ job after graduating (if you don’t count my Dobby moments in the Nair household). I finally got my permanent name tag instead of the laminated ‘Probationary Pass’. I had my salary adjusted for confirmation. I undoubtedly learned more things in the past seven months than I would have in two academic semesters. So, what brings me to write this is the monkey which lives in my mind, constantly creating problems and stirring thoughts. So, here it goes, expectations versus reality of my first job.

1.Trust me, I am an engineer.

Graduating from one of the top engineering schools in the country, surviving through lots of projects and papers, 8 months of internship (mine was 9 months, mind you, because my supervisor loved me plenty and asked me to extend, and later enslaved me with documentation for that extra month), I thought I finally was ready for work. *Too long of a sentence, that I missed my point there.* So, the point is that after graduating, I kinda thought that I am finally this engineer who’s ready to take on the world. That little bubble I was in got crushed soon after. When a 56 year old operator uncle with less than high school qualification explains about wastewater treatment processes to you, and you’re trying not to look too confused, that was the end of ‘Trust me, I am an engineer’.

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My first job has taught me that to trust myself as an engineer takes years and years of experience. Trust me not yet, I am learning to be an engineer.

2. I will be rich. 

When I was younger *clears throat*, I used to think that engineers earned a lot. During  final year, in that annual career fair, they distributed a book, ‘Salary Guide in Malaysia 2016‘. I merely rolled my eyes as I saw the figures, thinking graduating from a school with wild boars, pontianaks and drugs would land me higher income anyways *insert haha*. Well, news! That salary guide happen to be true. PTPTN started sending blackmail emails. I had to pay for that red car that brings me around. I decided to continue with school. I have to pay RM 5 for company’s Sports Club. On my first payday, I was happy.  I splurged on myself and others. These days I just watch my bank balance shrinking within 4 days of payday.  I’m  caught between saving and spending. I’m not poor, no. But I kinda thought I’ll be richer?

My first job has taught me the truth behind, “You’ll only know the value of money when you start earning it yourself”. Yes, guys, Amma is almost always right.

3. Pursuing Passion

I wrote a complete list of what I wanted to do after graduating.  From dance classes, to picking up my bow and violin again, to learning new languages, freelance writing, teaching tuition classes, and list goes on and on. What really happened was, I got home from work, showered and slept before 9 pm. The last time I completed a book I picked up was in January. I slept at any chance I got. I can sniff your mockery, Rice! Well, it’s a bit unfair for me to say that my first job made me lose my passion. I also have an equal share for procrastination and being lazy, I must say. It’s just that 9-5 drains me both mentally and physically. All I want to do is to hit the bed at the end of the day. In the past week, I’ve been improving slightly, solely because I have no other choice.

My first job taught me why most adults become boring people. They are just tired. If I wanted more out of life, I must stop whining and work for it. 

4. I’ll be lovin’ it.

What do engineers do? Wear coveralls (I have a thing for coveralls, idk why!), work on site, do calculations and stuff, right? Some days I spend hours to decide on where to strategically locate all the tong sampahs in Operations area. I spend hours preparing slides for presentation and writing summary reports. On my lucky days, I get to learn about processes and think hard about improving environmental performance. Some days, I lie in bed dreading as I watch the alarm ringing. On Sunday nights, as I iron my uniform, I mourn for myself. Am I going to be doing this for the next 30 years? The idea that this is the person I am going to have to be taunts me. Is it the same in other organisations or am I the unlucky one? I don’t know what seems to be the problem, me or my job, or both. And then, out of the blue, some days I just wake up excitedly for work. It’s like my mind zaps from one channel to another. It’s probably symptoms of quarter life crisis. One day, I blurted out to my uncle, ‘You told us to study hard to land a good job. But look at me now’. He answered, ‘You have a good job. I don’t see a problem’. I just kept quiet, rethinking my life choices.

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My first job has taught me how much I should have appreciated campus life. You see, no one could thumb in on your behalf on your bad days. You just have to suck it up and turn up for work. 

This piece is vastly inspired by my current phase of life, obviously. I don’t mean to state that your first job would be a grief (I’m not even sure if mine is, actually). Some people seemed to be genuinely happy. Whether you love it or don’t, just remember it’s just a phase. Try to learn as much as possible, wherever you are.  We will all see better days. We will, right?

4 Resolutions I Always Broke

I’m amongst millions of people on planet Earth who thinks it’s imperative to write down my resolutions as the new year dawns. Some years, I even plan weeks ahead, strategizing my resolutions, planning how in the upcoming 365-ish days I will become this person worth being a TEDex presenter. I soon came to realize how some of my resolutions were repetitive year after year, reflecting how ‘progressive‘ I was. New year’s resolutions can be likened to making babies; it’s easier to make them but keeping up with them could be the exact reverse *awkward pause*.

This year, I resorted to analyse why I keep breaking these few resolutions of mine, and attempt them in a different approach. Here’s the final results of my analysis :

Resolution #1 : To lose weight.

On the first week of the year, I will browse through every weight loss article online, trying to plot my way to be Deepika Padukone look alike within 3 weeks. Then, I tell myself that next week I’d start running 5 km daily, eat healthy, reduce carbs and etc. I once ate mashed cauliflower for a week, eventually when life got busy, I ended up munching on potato chips for lunch. I never did ever get on the treadmill.

Lesson Learned : It’s a PROCESS. Start slowly, but be consistent. Eat healthy and work out to your capacity. Do some research to help you through the journey. Like the one below, not very community friendly though.

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Okay, well. Not all sources are as trustworthy. 😛

Resolution #2: To be part of the 5 a.m. Club

This one has been on my resolution list since I was 14 when I sat watching The Opera Show on TV. On the show, they discussed about successful people who woke up early in the morning and how it led to their success. I have my alarms set to ring from 4 a.m. just so that I could snooze every one of them and go to bed. Some days when I’m on my disciplined mode, I used to wake up at 5 a.m., revising, reading or writing. This too usually does not last. On the days I had to go to bed late, I console myself to tarnish my 5 a.m Club attendance.

Lesson Learned : I think this was on my resolution list solely because I thought it’d be cool if I was in the 5 a.m. Club. I wasn’t really convinced about this theory. Yes, it’s always a good thing to follow the leads of successful people. But, if you do not truly believe in something, it’s not worth pursuing. In 2017, I’m not carrying on with the 5 a.m club resolution.

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Important question before resolution.

Resolution #3: To be happy.

Well, I am a happy person. I have not faced great tragedies in life. But, I always wrote this on my resolution lists because I thought I needed black and white announcement to myself. I never scratched this one from the list every single year I wrote it. I kept believing better things will unfold as the new year comes.

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Some days of the month makes it all more complicated.

Lesson Learned : Resolutions needs to be clear, better if measurable or quantifiable. Happiness is an ongoing process that has no deadline. This year I resorted to listing down all the important things in my life, making a mind map to what I wanted to accomplish for every one of them.

Resolution #4: To make the scar on my forehead fade.  

I think my parents are most concerned when this resolution never get crossed year after year. The scar on my forehead is self-inflicted. If I were to say that it’s skin picking disorder, certain person would roll their eyes saying that I am developing the scar just so that I could tell this cool story. *rolls eyes* But when you’ve been doing something for almost all your life, it’s hard to stop.  I pick on my forehead when I read, write, study, sleep or when I’m just bored or zoning out.

Lesson Learned : Bad habits are hard to break. Very hard, may I add? But it’s not impossible. Quoting my skin doctor, “You just need little bit of cream and lots of discipline.” I am currently making the best progress ever that is even surprising to my parents.

So, learning from these four recurring resolutions, I think I made better resolutions this year. Hope this helps you to reflect on some of your always-broken resolutions (opppss! if I am the only one with broken resolutions). Do comment below on some of your resolutions, or how you broke or achieved your 2016 list.

*raises imaginary glass for all your resolutions (and mine) to work this year!*

Why 2016 Became My Favourite Year?

It’s that time of the year when there’s plenty of reminiscing and memories-videos popping up on your social media feeds. As a self proclaimed word bum, it’s my utmost pleasure to help you spend your last day of the year reading this post, although you’re actually not bothered at all how my year went (heeee. Thank you for reading this though. Yes, you!).

So, 2016 tops my list of favourite years ever since I came into the world, kicking and crying (1994 is a close runner-up because I probably was a happier person when I slept 15-16 hours a day). Here a list (duhhh..) of why this year is my all-time favourite, some of the lil things, some of the major ones :

1. It’s been a good year for me academically. I scored my highest GPAs during my final year.

2. I graduated with my favourite set of people.

3. I read complete set of John Green’s (and while I could’ve bought the books in local bookstores, I had the books imported for me all the way from Goa and Sydney).

4. I also crossed another item from my bucket list (big shoutout to Keshy a.k.a Thenmoli, Seko and Lotus) – this should be left unelaborated.

5. I drove a car with no supervison beyond the boundaries of my taman. I then became the proud owner of red Cliff (everyone should name their car, no?)

6. Crossed another item on the bucket list, which is to purchase a blog domain.

7. I started with my first ever real job.

8. I had the best last days in campus, unexpectedly (thank you for relentlessly dragging me out of my room and driving me around, Keshy, Vimmy, Shaavesh, Vinod and everyone!)

9. It’s been two awesome years of Woofness.

10.  It’s been a year of plush toys gifts. I don’t remember having many plush toys as a kid. Now at the ripe age of 23, I find myself sleeping with a team of plushies. 

I am thankful for the beautiful memories this year gave me. Thank you to all souls who have been part of my happy journey in 2016. To all my kawans, who always have the kindest, most motivating words to tell me (you know who you are), lots of love to you.

Let us all look forward to a better 2017. Wishing all my readers the best of everything and strength to face every challenge that life has in store for you. 😀

HAPPY NEW YEAR, y’all!