2015 – A Reflection

2015 was a year of two chapters.
In the first Chapter, I had an internship in an architecture firm which was quite lax. It was a choice not to commit myself to a demanding firm, because I wanted to focus on myself. And so I did, I became a KL Tourism Ambassador on the weekends. I explored my city, I fell in love. I went to events, I met people. I learnt new stories. I did what I had wanted to do but had always found excuses not to do. I was reminded of the innocence of life with the arrival of my nephew. I then went into my final semester of architecture degree. I went through the motions, where ever it brought me. With its crests and its troughs and all of its in betweens. Savoring every last minute of every day. Breathing in the musky air of the studio in the early morning before asking everyone to go for breakfast: telur separuh masak, thosai, teh tarik. Laugh, cry, sweat. It was great. Empty, heavy – on repeat. We knew that was it. That those were the days we would miss. That we had to give it our all. We then had our final exhibition. Everyone came back together again only to say our farewells again. But it was great. A slow and subtle transition to the second Chapter.
I hesitantly decided to get involved with a research project at the National University of Malaysia. I was a research assistant for a project on structural design and community resilience for the floods in the east coast of Malaysia. It was new, unknown ground. It was scary. But it was exciting. I got to meet more people, more stories, more experiences. I got to learn about bamboo. I got to see its potential. I got to learn more on how life generally works. That everyone is selfish and that’s not a problem. To learn to work around it. To be cynical, but to be hopeful. To be realistic, but to dream big. To get to understand the difference between good intentions and good executions. To be more confused by how we humans interact with each other. It’s been great. We looked at flood evacuation centers, we looked at amphibious houses, we saw how architecture plays an unimaginably important role. I learnt why I had gone into architecture.
I learnt that money is evil. But that sometimes you have to sleep with the enemy. Money is fuel. Money moves. I learnt that I have so much to learn. I learnt to accept that.
I learnt that life has a way of leading you to places. Sometimes, you’ll like it. Other times, you won’t. But there’s always something to learn. I went to Kelantan, the birthplace of my father. A place which has always been quite foreign to me – but only due to lack of knowledge. Lack of experience. But then I was a tourist in my own land and I fell in love. The people, the humility, the hospitality. The compassion. It drives me now and motivates me to achieve a goal I never knew I had. Life is funny that way. And I met the people to help me achieve that goal. Grateful.
It’s been about half a year since I exhaled a long sigh of relief – having presented my final year project. I’ve been rocked left and right mercilessly by the currents of life. But the same rocky waves have brought me up for a few moments to see a clearer view of the horizon. I had been given a chance for a job interview at a firm in KL but the excitement that came with that, faded just as quickly. Since then, I’ve had the chance to present a paper in Langkawi on our flood research project. And I’m now helping to organize a conference on a regional level. I never imagined that this is what I would be doing having completed my architecture degree. But here I am.
2015 was a year of doubts. I didn’t know whether I could finish my degree. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know whether it was all worth it. But I’m eternally grateful. I really am. To be blessed with great people around me. To be blessed with a loving family. To be blessed with the opportunity to do what I love, to work towards my passion.
All the stories that I got to learn of will be carried with me forever.
To more unknowns, to more fears, to more worries.
To more opportunities.

Conformity is easy, but it isn’t for me. And I wish that didn’t sound so arrogant because it’s not my intention. Have to understand that everyone has something to offer. Nobody is better than you, and you are better than nobody. Sometimes, I wish there was no such thing as incompetency. But right now, I’m drowning in a sea of it. Fuck bureaucracy and formality. Dehumanizing. Fuck culture. We should define culture and not have our culture define us.

Be strong, girl. Like you always have been. Through all the shit that life has thrown at you. It may seem that you’re getting a lot more shit than others, but I know you, and you never one to compare so that probably doesn’t matter. Be strong, girl. You’ve always been stronger than I will ever be. I admire you for that. You’ll get through this. I wish I could say, because I did, or because I know other people did. But I don’t know anyone. That privilege is saved for you. You can be the example. You deserve more and I’ve tried to give you the best, as best as I can, and I’ll keep on trying. I apologise that my best is shit. I wish it wasn’t. But be strong, girl. And when you just can’t – I’m right here. Hello! But I must never stay too long. We understand that. But I’m right here, nevertheless. Believe. Trust. Though it’s hard – I try my best.

Be strong, girl.


You sit down to write but your mind won’t stop telling you that whatever it is you’re about to write will end up being stupid and useless and no one will appreciate it, not even you. You’ve lost all sense of purpose – why do you even write? Does it help anything. You’ve forgotten. You think too much. You care too much. So what if no one reads it. Stop giving a fuck – you idiot. Just fucking write, and fucking draw, and fucking create. Make beautiful things. Stop worrying so much. Stop numbing yourself. Let yourself love, and let yourself hate. Let yourself feel. Let yourself create. Just write it down – I miss you, I wish I could tell you that – and then move on. MOVE ON. Move, the fuck, on. You think you’re eternally stuck in this limbo (maybe you are) but it’s ridiculous. It really is. When I’m silent, you come closer. When I get closer, you run so far away. I don’t understand. Just cut me off. Paranoia. Frustration, sick. And yet you’re there to comfort. Why is it always so. You pursue poison but latch on to medicine. Unfair. You either die or heal – you can’t keep hurting and curing yourself. No. Stop this. Work on yourself. Please!

It gets hard. You’re constantly aware that everyone is living their lives – that what you see is only just the tip of the iceberg. That there’s so much hidden below the surface. That you shouldn’t compare. But, it gets hard.

Pretending gets hard. Numbing down what you feel gets hard. To be silent, is hard.

I should record myself saying sorry and have it infinitely loop around the world.

I need more strangers in my life – strangers who turn to friends. Listen to my story, please?

Pretense. Intense. Tense.

People forget.

Empathy, lack of.

Or rather, not bothered.

False impressions, painted sceneries.



Screw you.

Unsettled woes and foes.

I don’t want it anymore.



I don’t want to care anymore.





why do I manage to do this, always.

too many sorry’s, always.