This is going to be a pretty long post. But since Im alone, with no distractions at the moment, and no deadlines to meet, I think this is the best time to write. Im not sure when Ill get such a time again in the near future.
Its currently 1.15a.m. and Im sitting in front of the TV downstairs with my laptop on, listening to my current playlist and thinking of blogging. So here I am, alone and suddenly feeling like writing. Its very quiet when everyone has gone to bed. And for me, I find it very relaxing and peaceful. No wonder Allah said that the best time to have quality one-and-one time with Him is when everyone else is peacefully in their beds.
Its my birthday today. Yeah. 25 mate. Like Aliya said, quarter of a century.
Even though birthdays are what people call "a time for celebration", in a small corner of my mind, I see that way of thought as very cliche. Its too common, its somehow become something people are expected to do.
What people forget is how we should reflect on the whole year that we've been thru.
With the addition of another year, we should ask ourselves, what have we done? What significance or change did we do? What action and decision did we do for the greater good? How did we help the development of Islam? How did we help influence others to become better Muslims? How many people did we help out of sincerity? What wrong did we do this year that we have not yet asked for forgiveness? These are the questions we should ask ourselves, rather than insignificant questions like "How do you think I should celebrate this year?".
Although birthdays are supposed to be a time of happy thoughts and laughter, I tot of writing about something Ive been putting off for quite a while. I know some of you oredi know my story. Some might even say "la, pasal ni lagi ke?", or "come on, move on oredi". Others might say "stop living in the past". But my dear readers, Im sure none of you know the real story. Most of you just know bits here and there. But no one knows the whole truth and nothing but the truth, except me. So today, on this special day, I just want to tell all and leave nothing.
Im finally breaking my silence.
Before I start, I think I better warn you that this is gonna be very revealing. Im exposing the real me -- the me who not many people know. Most of you only know the outside me, but very very few have seen the vulnerable me. So you might get a little shocked with what you read later on. Just a warning. Maybe after you read this, you'll see me more as a human being. Maybe you might even get to know the real me, rather than the me you thought I was.
Im not sure where I should start, but to help you understand, maybe highschool is the best beginning. I was sort of a loser in highschool. My grades were pretty much a lower average, I didnt like to study, I practically heard only half of what the teachers talked about at the front of the class. The only subjects I really enjoyed were maths and english. Full stop. I wasnt enthusiastic to learn because I wasnt able to catch most of the subjects. I just couldnt wait to get away and finish highschool. Bad memories. Especially in the academic department. I was one of the lowest scoring girl in the science class. Why? Bcoz I didnt like science. Eh wait, I like science, I just dont like to take exams where you have to memorise things you dont even understand in the first place.
So, having had an awful time during highschool, you can pretty much guess what I got for my SPM. Only 4As. Yes, youre right to say that the number of A's dont convey ur future success. But my SPM results were strike 1. One failure in my eyes. Then came matriks -- I didnt get in. Strike 2. Then UPU -- strike 3. The year after SPM was one of the worst of my life. Seriously. Filled with tears and disapointment.
I was the one that choose to study at Akademi Infotech MARA. It was my choice. I saw it as my 2nd chance. I promised myself that I was going to do a 360 degree change. I was going to work harder and put realistic goals, to make my parents proud, and to actually prove to everyone that I have potential.
I wasnt going to let anyone put me down and ridicule me. I was going to become somebody. I was born to stand out.
But this is life. Being put down is one of the lessons of life you will certainly face. Its Allah's way of teaching you to become a strong individual. I was put down a lot, people questioned my future, they insulted me for the choices I made. But I stood my ground. I held on and I reached my goal.
I got excellent grades semester after semester, people started to see me, people started to look up to me, they started to respect and trust my judgement. I was elected to represent the students, I was one of the top students.
I finally became somebody. After all my hard work and the amount effort I put in, I was finally seen by people. I finally succeeded in stripping away the loser title I had at school. I finally made a name for myself.
It was hard. Whoever thought that Uni was easy for me, ur dead wrong. I struggled. People just didnt see. No one knew. They just saw the end results. They just saw "how easy" I got excellent grades. Having good English did have its advantages, but hard work is never far away. There's always work to be put in. That's the only thing people saw. They thought I was 'lucky' and that I was 'special' and that I had lots of advantages. "Mira senang la cakap, mira terrer English. Boleh goreng je". Hello.. Im still human.
I dont think anyone knew. How I cried myself to sleep most days. I was exhausted, I was stressed, I was somewhat struggling. People expected me to always excel that they never really saw my grades. They just assumed Id always get the highests. How do I know this? Because I bet no one noticed when I didnt get DL a couple of semesters. Im sure no one noticed. Betul tak?
People only saw me as this confident, smart and intelligent, english talking girl who was good at public speaking and organising events. People liked me to a certain degree, lecturers adored me, juniours looked up to me, and people always expected me to be the "brain" behind an organisation. The sad thing about this was they didnt see me as a human being with feelings. I dont think they've ever saw me break down out of stress. Which is why, whenever someone is asked to describe me in one word, majority of them would say "Smart", "Intelligent" or "Genious". They didnt see anything else. They just saw that.
I do wonder about that sometimes. Why didnt people say I was kind hearted or thoughtful or dependable? Being smart or intelligent doesnt explain the individual within. Which is why I said that not many people know the real me. Its as if people never took the time to actually know me. They just thought of ways I can help them in their studies. Nothing more.
I am not the confident person people think I am. Knowning and having the ability to talk in front of a huge hall of people does not prove that you are strong and confident. You do need confidence to do public speaking, but it doesnt mean you are confident 24/7.
I am not the strong girl people think I am. I get scared and cry all the time. Its just that no one knows. I have self-esteem problems, I have personal issues, I get panic attacks, I sometimes feel stupid and useless. Im H.U.M.A.N.
Which is why the success I achieved at Uni was such a big deal for me. I cant really explain how huge it was. After the struggles Ive been thru, after the skeptics, the hard work, the stress, the long hours of staying up late, the tears and exhaustion, I finally made it and reached every single goal I promised myself at the very beginning. It was pure self satisfaction. It was awesome.
People might label me as a drama queen, or that Im making such a big deal out of this. But after the 6 years Ive been thru, I feel like I have the right to slap anyone who critises me. Everyone's journey is different, mine was a long, winding path, with lots and lots of speed bumps. So dont critisize other peoples journey. Just accept that Allah made us go thru all the things that will make us better people and better muslims.
Uni days were my glory days. I loved the attention, I loved being important and being someone. I loved how people came for me for help, how peoples looked up to me and valued my opinions. I loved how people loved talking to me and find me when they have problems. I loved being someone people relied on. No matter how I struggled, no matter how no one really wanted to know or cared about my problems, I still loved those studying days. I felt I exsisted, that I made change and that I helped make people become better people. I had a role, a responsibility, and I succeeded in accomplishing them.
I came out of Uni all enthusiastic, with my 5 year plan all mapped out. I was going to do this, this and this. I set my goals and wanted to accomplish this, this and this. Nothing was going to get in my way. I was so confident with myself (4 years of people saying to ur face that you are a confident person does that to you). After 5 years of failure after failure during highschool, and gaining it all back in Uni, I never tot of failing.
Now comes the story about how I ended up being depressed for nearly 3 months. I told you it was doing to be long.
After graduation, I oredi had a plan to further my studies and follow in Ayah's footsteps. I loved to help people, I loved to teach so I tot, why not.. becoming a lecturer would be awesome. Having had did great while studying something I loved, why not work doing something I love too.
I got this offer from my Uni to come and teach there. After an interview, out of the 70 applicants, they only choose 10, and I was among one of them. They offered to sponsor me straight to do MPhil. No advanced degree or masters. They wanted me to leap straight to MPhil and Phd bcause I qualified. That was a shock, and I was exstatic!
I was all geared up and applied at universities in UK. Got accepted and was ready to go on my way. Even the date was set. All I needed was the official green light from MARA and I would be off. But they told me that the process will take a long time, so for the time being, Ayah told me to go work at UTM.
I was called for an interview, passed and was told to fill in a form just to make it official. After 2 weeks, I received a call from UTM saying that there was a problem with my diploma and degree, and that UTM was only able to offer me pay based on my SPM results. But I will still be doing the job that I was interviewed for.
Oh my God. I felt like I was slapped in the face. Whaaaat? That was strike 1.
After all the 6 years of hard work, this is what I got? I cant explain the feeling. But I consoled myself by thinking "takpe-takpe, it doesnt effect ur plans"
By then, I hadnt heard from MARA or my Uni for almost 3 months. They told me I had to wait about 2 months. So I terus emailed my consultant asking the status of my file. A week after that, she replied. The email carried bad news.
My application to UK was denied.
Strike 2 and 3 but 100 times over.
YaAllah. I terus broke down and fell into this deep black whole. It was bad. Real bad. I cried everyday, when I woke up and before going to sleep. Always when people didnt see. I was in bed most of the time. I didnt want to get up, I was so tired and constantly had this headache from too much crying. I had no apetite. It was exhausting but I couldnt stop.
Maybe now you'll understand the dark and miserable posts I did in the middle of the year. I didnt tell anyone but Aliya. I kept it to myself. I didnt go out of the house for nearly 2 weeks. I didnt want to see anyone. I only told a handful of people what was going on. Even Mak and Ayah didnt know yet. I only told them after nearly a month. I couldnt face them. I couldnt tell them. I didnt want to disappoint them again. It felt like post-SPM all over again.
After the incident of my diploma and degree not being approved by UTM, it was as if the whole 6 years in between never exsisted. I was back to being a loser. You might think I was being ridiculus, but this was exactly how I felt.
I couldnt take it anymore. Where ever I went, people kept asking me about my studies. "Bile nak fly?" It was torture. So what did I do? I kept myself busy with other things. ABJZ, majlis ilmu, usrah, picnics, rehlah. I went to every thing that could distract me. But that can only last for so long. The questions kept coming my way and I felt like I was about to burst. I was starting to crack.
The reason why it affected me so much was bcoz I never had a plan B. I only had plan A. I never tot about what to do if my plan A didnt fall thru. I was sticked on going this way. So I felt so lost. I didnt know how to proceed. I didnt know what to do.
I had to think it thru, but it still hurt. I wasnt ready. And the distractions prevented me from sitting down and actually thinking. I was getting worst, so Aliya told me to come to Australia.
It was a good thing Mak and Ayah bagi. If not, I dont know what would have happened. So guys, the real real reason I went to Australia was to get better. Many of you tot I went there untuk jalan2, some even tot I went there to sambung my studies. But this was the real reason. I couldnt take it anymore. I needed to get away.
And Alhamdulillah it brought me good. Which is why I can finally write this here. I have been concealing most of it for so long, so I tot it was finally time to lay it all out on the table.
So guys, now you know the real me. Im not that strong. Orang je yang tak tahu.
Before you guys get the wrong idea, I didnt bcome like this bcoz I couldnt accept Allah's takdir. I accepted it, its the next step after that, that freaked me out and had me scared silly.
But everything has its hikmah. Alhamdulillah I didnt go to UK. Why? Ill tell you in another post. This one has gotten too long oredi.
This is my present to you guys. I hope by the end of this entry, everyone has gotten to know a little about the real girl behind this steal armor. And I hope you'll be able to understand me a little better.
Happy Birthday Amirah.