Saturday, 28 February 2015

Life-changing decisions

We are bound to make decisions every single day.

Questions we ask ourselves everyday may include, "which route shall I take to avoid the heavy traffic?" or even as simple as, "what shall I eat today?" No matter how big or small an issue is, we still have to make the decision so that our life moves smoothly.

Some things can easily be decided on our own without any help from people around. 

However, there are also things which require more time before a particular decision is made. Usually those are the life-changing decisions which need more attention and discussions with other people to make us feel confident enough with the option we might take.

These life-changing decisions are usually related to job offers and marriage proposals (mainly for ladies). Things get even harder when geographical changes are involved. If a person gets a particular job offer that the person has been working very hard for, plus the pay is very high, the only thing that might stop him/her from taking the offer, is usually the geographical factor. The one thing that might be at the back of one's mind is usually about the people he/she is leaving behind.

If the office of the new job is just a few blocks away, then it is not such a big problem. It becomes a problem when the new job offered is in a different state, or much worse, in a different country which has a totally different culture.

Similarly, this also applies to choosing a life partner. Geographical factor seems to be a very big issue to some. I have seen some very controlling  parents who do not allow their children to get married to people from some states. As I have mentioned above, this is more of a problem for ladies as ladies are expected to follow the future husbands wherever they might be. It will be easier though if the guy does not mind to settle down at where the girl comes from.

But to me, 2 people from different states getting married is never an issue. A girl usually starts to get confused when she gets a marriage proposal from a guy from a different country. Now that's something to ponder upon. To the girl, not only the people that she might leave behind is bothering her mind, but does the sacrifice she's taking is worth it? Will there be any regret, or indeed by saying 'yes' is the path to her happiness?

There is only one conclusion I can think of. It is our LOVE towards the matter is the one that counts.

If the person being offered the new job (in another or even the same country) is sure enough that the particular job is what he/she loves to do, no matter how different the culture of the people around, he/she will still be happy with the decision made and the difficulties are only seen as challenges in life. 

Similarly, if the person being proposed to is sure enough that the person who proposed her is definitely THE one for her, she should be ever ready and willing to move to another place and lead a new life. Things might be a bit different at the beginning but with some effort, things shall be easier in the long run. InsyaAllah...




But of course, before making any decision, never forget HIM in our calculation. Pray to Allah as Allah is the all knowing... InsyaAllah what ever decision we make, it will be made easier for us.




Masjid Nabawi, Madinah 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

No one else

No matter how much you trust someone or how much you think someone really cares about you, you can never put 100% responsibility on that person. One can only give suggestions and pray that you do the right thing. But asking a person what the right thing to do is like asking that person to take over your life, when he or she has a life of his or her own.

We can always think that our life is that important and if we have a problem, our trusted people should drop other things and lend their ears to our stories. However, we shouldn't forget how others have their lives to run too. They too have problems that they themselves can't solve easily.

Always be prepared to realise that somehow we live as one person. One person that leads a life. A life that is important to only ourselves. Putting high hopes on others to solve anything we have is not a good move.

Yes, we can share our problems to others. Yes, we can pour our feelings to people. But never, expect much in return. After all, it's us who make the decision. It's us who run that particular life. Not anyone else.



Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Reality Check

The effect that one has on another person is truly amazing. From happiness to hope to disappointment, a person can totally play a big role on another person's emotion. However, not everyone realises how they might  affect other people's feelings or state of mind. It requires more than just common sense on how one should act or how words should be properly chosen.
                         
Although we too are capable of controlling  our own emotions, sometimes we tend to get carried away and simply let scars enter the heart.  
                      
Probably it's because we have high hopes on others. Probably we are always optimistic and never really think others have such low common sense. Probably we are just too dense. 

Probably what we really need, is a reality check.   

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sayounara 2014.

Well well well.. This is my first time ever trying to write a blog using this phone. Actually I wanted to write properly using my laptop, but there's a problem with our unifi at home. Since it's the last day of 2014, I would like to take this opportunity to make a year end note and a new year wish as a reminder of my amazing 2014.

2014 is one wonderful year as I have gone through a lot of new things that I have never imagined experiencing. I have been to the beautiful New Zealand for a roadtrip with my family, I was given the opportunity by the Japanese government to join a 3 week  IP course in Tokyo where I got to meet great amazing people whom I treasure their presence so much, my family has made a remarkable decision on something that can make us grow further in the industry, InsyaAllah, I have started to supervise people in the office which is rather challenging I would say, I had the chance to give a talk in front of people in an auditorium about IP and it turned out well, alhamdulillah, and soooo many other events which might take the whole canvas if I start listing everything one by one.

All I can say is alhamdulillah. I am very very veryyy grateful to have had the best time of my life this year. A colourful year it has been. Though it is generally a rough year for my beloved country, I personally believe that there is a blessing in disguise for every happening in this life.

I am looking forward to 2015 and I hope it will be a more interesting year with more room for maturity and improvement on my side. Plus, I wish 2015 will be a successful year for Malaysia with less heart breaking events.

With this, I wanna bid farewell to 2014. May Allah ease our 2015 journey. Let's make 2015 equally as colourful, or if possible, brighter and shinier than 2014.

To 2014, you will forever be remembered. Thanks everyone who has made this year an eventful one. Muahsss! ♡

Love,
Afiqah :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The ugly side of Malaysians

Sitting at one corner while waiting for my parents in Subang airport, I saw literally a mountain of goods in boxes ready to be distributed to the flood victims in the East Coast of Malaysia. It made me think, somehow disasters like this do bring the best out of the people. Hand in hand we help those who are in need. Malaysians are generally generous and kind-hearted people. 

Many a times we are tested with heavy tests and tragedies especially during this year 2014. One after another test, we are all standing still and pray for one another. 

From the missing aircraft MH370 to the shot down MH17, from the water crisis in a few states to the non-stop heavy rain and flood in the east coast, and just recently, the breaking news of a missing aircraft of AirAsia QZ8501, we, Malaysians, are still praying for the best for our country.

It is heart wrenching however, as it is supposed to be one of our best years because it is the Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Somehow, we are now known globally for all the wrong reasons. *sad*

At one moment I am touched by our selfless citizens that go all out in building our country again. Yet at another moment, I am disgusted by people who only know how to bark in the net, criticising everyone else but him/herself for the disasters. 

Politics and Malaysians somehow cannot be separated it seems. From the smallest to the biggest issue, everything is politicised. I hate to see how people can turn 180 degrees and show their ugly side just to defend their 'super heroes' and condemning the other parties without even thinking of the consequences or the facts. People usually call these people as the 'keyboard warriors' as they are only very brave in the social media. 

What kind of things do they expect to see after spreading the old folk tales to people and spreading stupid rumors? 

Peace? Love? Unity? A better PM maybe?

Non of the above I can say. If these people just keep their mouths shut and donate more in the quiet besides helping those truly in need sincerely, Malaysia will definitely be a better place for all.

Not just for the tourists, but for the rakyat too. 

Yeah, if only, IF ONLY we have more MATURED and SENSIBLE rakyats it is.

For heaven sake, stop blaming the government or any other political parties on the things that happen to our country. Especially on things which are beyond our control.

Learn to be more POSITIVE and HELPFUL without JUST HOPING for HELP from others. I believe we have brains and energy to contribute to our country too.

I pray that our generous and kind-hearted citizens outweigh the number of these 'keyboard warriors'. 

Am I asking too much? Hope not though.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Let Time Decide

Why we like someone is usually a mystery. Usually, to make things simple, we tend to just say, "Well, there's chemistry between us."

Sometimes, time plays a big role for someone to like, to accept and fall for another person. A year, 5 years, or probably even more.

On the other hand, sometimes it doesn't even take that long for some. A few weeks or maybe a few days are enough for them to know that they have those sorts of feeling.

Why? Because when we talk about feelings, nothing is certain. The connection between two people is a matter of chemistry. Whether or not people want to make a move is another story.

However, what about a rejection or a disappointment? How does a heart take it? How long does one take to get over something? How long does it take to heal a broken heart?

If we got backstabbed or turned down by someone whom we really trust or put high hopes on, how do our hearts take that? How long will the past haunt us till we can get back on track again?

Just a thought though. Nothing personal. 





Wednesday, 15 October 2014

MAPHILINDO

**a very long post alert**


Us, MAPHILINDO in Meiji Jingu 


Beep beep. 

My phone has been vibrating and whatsapp messages have been coming in for quite awhile. I reach for my phone and smile instantly when looking at the messages. 

As expected, those are whatsapp messages from my Maphilindo clan. They even uploaded a few photos of our time together in Tokyo. 

Oh memories... :)

*********************************************************************************

Although I only know them for a short period of time, I can say for sure that spending time with them was one of the best moments of my life. 

I can still remember on one fine Friday morning in August, I nearly fell off my office chair upon receiving an unexpected email.

The email was regarding my application to attend a training course in Japan which I had applied way back in May 2014. Upon reading the title of the email, I was holding my breath. A smile was spread across my face once I read the words "pleased to inform you", and the next thing I remember, I was jumping with joy from my seat after finished reading the email. 

The email.

To cut the story short, my application was accepted and I was bound to go to Tokyo for a Patent Expert training course.

I was overjoyed. 

How could I not? I almost thought that I would never have the opportunity to visit Japan again after my graduation in 2011. 

But indeed, Allah knows more than anyone else does. I was given this beautiful opportunity to be in Tokyo once again for a good 3 weeks. There, I had the chance to meet great people whom I can't imagine not having throughout my stay there. 

27 people from 10 different countries were chosen to be apart of the training starting from the 16th September 2014 to the 3rd October 2014.

Except the other 2 Malaysian participants (Farid and Puan Mariyam) whom I have met earlier at KLIA on that eventful Sunday of September 14, I met the other 24 participants in Tokyo Kenshu Centre (TKC) near Kita Senju Station, which we called home for 3 weeks.

To be exact, we officially met each other at our first lecture which was on the 16th September 2014. On that particular day itself, we exchanged name cards and introduced ourselves to one another during breaks.

Since we were seated according to our countries and names, I was seated next to Farid at the most rear seat of the classroom behind Neneng and Lubis who are from Indonesia. We easily connected to each other as Malay and Indonesian languages are similar. They also introduced Yogi to us Malaysians, who is another participant from Indonesia, and the 6 of us (3 Malaysians and 3 Indonesians) sat together in a long table at the cafeteria during lunch.

During lunch time (which we were shocked by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake), we introduced further about ourselves. The next thing we knew, we were already planning to go out together after our evening lecture. At that moment, it never even crossed my mind that it was our first step to a beautiful friendship.

Later that evening, as we have promised, 15-20 minutes after our lecture ended, we met each other at TKC lobby to start our first sightseeing together. Puan Mariyam told us that 2 participants from Philippines were joining us. I was actually quite doubtful at that particular moment that it would be a successful outing as 8 strangers walking together in a city that we were not familiar with didn't sound convincing.

How wrong could I be.

We had a blast on that first outing itself. From our walk from TKC to our train ride to the Tokyo Skytree and thereon to Ueno for dinner, we totally hit it off. I was so surprised myself how we could be so relaxed with each other though we knew almost next to nothing about each other a few hours before that.


Our first day out at Tokyo Skytree

In short,

I am glad to have Puan Mariyam who was seated next to me the whole time at APIC during lectures as she was practically my teacher who was very willing to teach me about the patent system in Malaysia. I love seeing how she is always very interested in knowing things deeply that during our time together she would always be the one left behind as she would be taking so many photographs of things and when uploading the photos in facebook, she is the one with all the information. :)

I am equally as glad to know Farid or Raja whom I always call as my mentor. Good to have him around who is willing to share some of his life experience with us all during dinner or any other free time. I am so thankful to have someone who comes from a similar background of company which is comparatively new and small but at the same time is developing very well along other big and established companies as it made me feel more confident being around the other patent experts. Thanks bro for the advice you have given me throughout those 3 weeks! :)

Next, Yogi, our group leader who shops a lot. The one with all the ideas and the one who was responsible for our daily activities. We are soo lucky to know this guy as he was also in Tokyo for a different course on IP just last year that he could still remember the attractions in Tokyo that we shouldn't miss. It was fun to have him around telling us about his hometown and how he's gonna bring us around if we have our reunion in Bandung. He already has all the plans ready in his head, just waiting for us to buy our tickets to visit him. One more thing, thanks Yogi for the confidence that you have in me that I can become one of the actresses in GGS. Hahahaha!

Lubis, the caring big brother to all. He was always aware of people's situation and tried to go all out in helping us. Without a doubt, he is generous in a lot of aspects. He always refused taking money from us if he had advanced some money. Also, he was always ready with his iphones to capture some crazy or candid moments of ours. Oh, he is indeed very creative in editing pictures too. Thanks so much Lubis, without you, we might not even know how we all look like without looking directly at the camera. You are definitely one good cameraman. :P

Neneng kaan! You are one very amazing sister one could ever have. Always cheerful and high in spirit when doing something. Even when you fell down the stairs the other day you could still keep your cool with a smile on your face. Seriously you should give me some tips on how to do that. Oh, I miss your excuses on why you deserve buying more stuff for yourself. Well, if I ever see another ABC Mart anywhere, I shall always remember you Neneng. :)

Cha our bro/judo master. You know how thankful we were towards you, right? Without her portable wifi, we could never make it through the lectures awake. I remember how difficult our days were, struggling to find free wifi in the developed country when she was not with us. :D Also, with her selfie stick, it was made easier for us to bond and show our crazy side with the hundreds of photos we took together. I also miss having our 'looking for similar tagalog-bahasa words' sessions. Thanks to that Cha, at least if I visit you and Kuya Cel in Manila one day, I will know how to find an umbrella if it is raining. :P

Last but never the least, our Kuya Cel who took endless videos while we were in Tokyo. He is the one with the most experience in IP industry in our group. The one who never stops thinking of useful and rare inventions. Kuya, you always amaze me on how your mind works because everything you see, you observe and think critically on how they might work. Again, I would like to thank you for the never ending moral support you have given me on opening my own business someday. Yeah Kuya, I really do hope so too that it will become a reality. :)

By looking at the date today, it has been exactly 1 month ago that I met all of you. How I miss our daily discussion on where to go after our lectures.

Those 3 precious weeks do not only limit me with new knowledge on patent, but I believe I have gained great network and built a great friendship which I shall treasure so much. Thanks guys for everything. If I were given a chance to redo it, I will not do it any differently. :)


 Odaiba


 On our last day i.e. the graduation day with all participants








Imperial Palace 


 @Shibuya Crossing with our classmates








 

Till we meet again!! MuahXXx! This goes without saying.. I miss you guys A LOT! :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

If I ever stop smiling

Lately I have been so stressed out with work. 

Files keep on haunting me one after another. Deadlines are chasing after me without any sympathy. The drilling sound coming from next door also just makes a dracula out of me.

At times like this I just need some support from people around to remind me of the real reason to live. I have come to realise that since the day I started working, I have become more and more serious. I tend to forget how I used to be anymore. :(

I used to be the optimistic one in my circle of friends. Now, I can't even find the right things to say to make myself appear less boring. I never had any problem finding an interesting topic to talk to people. Yet now, silence passes through me like it's the normal thing to have.

I am scared of what I am becoming. I really am. Being a boring and stern person is the last thing I ever want to be.

*sigh*

Anyway, if one day I ever need a reason to smile, maybe you should remind me that:

The river never stops flowing,
The earth never stops spinning, 
The sun never stops shining,
And the Almighty never stops loving..

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Are we choosy creatures?

How far are we willing to change for another person?

Some people say people should accept how a person is, no matter what his or her flaws are. Accepting is easier than trying to change someone (really?). Well, as long as those flaws do not kill us, I suppose it is worth tolerating. 

However, I sometimes wonder how people actually see something as a flaw and to what extend do people have to tolerate that so-called flaw? If something is against the natural behaviour of mankind it is understandable, but if it is only against one's personal belief and opinion, is it even considered as a flaw? 

Or is it what we call as... being judgemental (or choosy)?

It is easier to accept our family because we can't choose them. No matter how far we may run, we are still related to our family through blood and nothing can change that fact. However, since we are able to choose the kind of people who we want to spend our lives with (daily or for eternity), we tend to become picky. 

Being picky is healthy at times because we are the ones that design our own lives. Without the right people in our lives, we might get a bad ending. Of which, we do not want to have.  

On the other hand, if we are too picky and too judgemental on others, that somehow, may become the end for us. Not only people will leave us for our picky behaviour, but also because they themselves do not want to be judged.

Of course, unless the people around us are willing to change for us. Then that's another story.

Confused with this post? I think I am.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Of taking up a challenge and adapting to a surrounding

I realise one thing.

Once I get pretty comfortable with a place or some people, it is difficult for me to accept changes. Though I love to think that I can adapt to new surroundings quite easily, my body somehow doesn't agree with it.

I remember when I started my secondary school, which is a boarding school in KL, my family and I were living in Kelantan at that time and it was actually my 1st time to be apart from my parents. When I went to KL, I really wanted to show my parents on how well I could cope in a new place. I remember how talkative and cheerful I was during the orientation week. It was the 1st week of schooling, and I tried to blend in with my batchmates and seniors at that time. Most of my batchmates were living around Selangor and KL and I was among the 'unlucky' ones who weren't from Lembah Klang.

Although people saw me talking happily and laughing so much during the orientation week, my inner side was actually on a strike. I felt light headed almost all the time and my stomach could not accept just any food. Truth be told, I felt terrible at that time. No one knew how much I wanted my aircon and my comfortable bed in Kota Bharu. My heart twinged each time I thought of my parents, on how I couldn't shake their hands before going to bed or kissing them good night. It was a torture to wake up at 5.30 am and washed my clothes by myself. I don't even want to be reminded of how #$@*^# cold the shower was. For the whole 1 week, I threw up most of my food and I couldn't participate actively in class as I was busy holding up my eye lids. No offense to the dining hall food, but it was just how my body reacted to the new surrounding.

Only in the third week or so, that I could adjust my mind and body according to the surrounding and schedule. My brave front at that time totally paid off and I successfully made a lot of good friends that I had no problem to be far away from my family. Slowly, I wasn't only accepting the place, but I was actually enjoying myself in the place I called home for 5 years.

Similar thing happened when I went to Kobe, Japan. I wasn't a 'budak muntah' anymore, but the dizzy feeling was naturally there when I was registering things that I can confidently say that I can't remember much of what happened through out my first week. The moment I regained my 'consciousness' again, everything was settled. From class registrations to bank accounts openings, from foreigner card application to student hall registrations, so on and so forth, I was just following my seniors on how to get them done. Seriously speaking, I have to thank my Malaysian seniors who studied in Kobe University for guiding me through everything. *phew*

Minna, iroiro tetsudatte kurete, mokoto ni arigatou! Love u all so much! :-*

To cut the story short, I barely survived my 1st few months in Kobe, if it was not because of my Kobe family. I remember no matter how strong I thought I was back then, I once broke down when I called my parents. I was so down that I really thought of quitting. The reason being, it was damn hard to make friends with the Japanese people without a proper command of Japanese language. I was so depressed because to me, not having someone to talk to in the class was like the end of the world. (Imagine, me being quiet? It's just unthinkable.)

Well, it was just that one time though. I somehow survived and never turned back ever since I made up my mind that I would challenge myself of graduating in 4 years. Alhamdulillah, Allah eased the journey for me, and I am glad I didn't pack my stuff or give up at that particular moment.


Generally, I am now trying to be a tougher person and try not to crack under pressure that easily compared to those days. Since the idea of changing surroundings such as changing jobs still doesn't occur to me, I am just trying to adapt myself with the people around me. As I am aware that being choosy of people who join the company is not even an option (although joining and leaving a company seems like a normal thing to do nowadays), the least I could do is to be more accepting with new surroundings such as to the new people (and also to the existing people).

Because sometimes, we might think that what we have might not be ideal for us,  but somehow, we will never know how things can beautifully work out until we have tried hard enough.

Remember Surah Al Imran, verse 54 :

Wamakaru Wamakarallah Wallahu Khairul Makirin

- And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.


It is best to put our negative feelings aside and take up any challenge we are facing. Until we are sure enough that the places we are spending our time at, or the people we are mingling with, do not do us any good, never even think of quitting. In Shaa Allah with the right determination, Allah will make it easy for us. :)