Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PSSNC ( My love affair with a pile of rocks! )

I love the outdoors. I feel more at home when I am close to nature. It wakes up my senses and keeps me on my toes. It demands that I be more aware of my surroundings and it teaches me the true meaning of love, respect and humility. It invigorates me, it drains every ounce off me and it keeps me coming back for more. The pleasure, the pain, the beauty and the ugliness..All in one huge package we call Mother Nature :)

My first experience climbing a mountain was in 2010, ( I have enjoyed climbing mountains since ) eight months post divorce. It wasn't a planned trip. After getting back on my feet and keeping depression at bay, I had a sudden urge to do something that I have never done before. Why not climb Mount Kinabalu? I thought. So, I gathered a few friends, told them what I wanted to do and before I knew it, we were ready to go. It took only a month or less for the 4 of us to get up and going. We didn't have much time to meet, exercise or discuss anything together before the trip, as we were all busy flying to different locations, but the excitement however, managed to override the fear of the unknown. One of the hardest things to do for an airline crew, is to hangout with each other frequently. Therefore we knew that it was next to impossible to meet up to train unless there had been plenty of planning and reorganizing earlier.. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, except that I was going to be with great company! We end up doing stuff on our own till the big day. It was indeed a miracle that I sumitted & came back in one piece. Most importantly, that one hike was all it took to make me appreciate and love myself more. It showed me that if I were to put my heart and soul into something, with the help of others and if I am determined enough, I am bound to achieve what I intentionally set out to do. The only question is, at what cost?

Needless to say, I came back a different woman. One that no longer fits into the small mould that I have quietly accepted and comfortably settled in. I read somewhere about mountaineering once that, " It is not the mountains that we overcome, but ourselves. " I couldn't agree more as that is exactly how I feel every single time I peak. Even if I don't, the journey itself  and the company I meet along the way is its own reward. I am an easy person to please. I was never one who believed in winning at all costs. Call me a fool but I am more the type that relates to the old saying that, "To win, sometimes you have to lose." I can live with myself better that way knowing that the only one that is hurting is me, for it is easier to heal from within. When I was younger, I didn't know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings but now I realize that I have always been more spiritual than religious. I do believe in GOD but really..who needs religion when you have a conscience. Think about it, hehe! Honestly, I have nothing against any religion. I find all of it beautiful, interesting and interconnected but I'd rather communicate directly with my creator in a way that I am comfortable in and not get confused by his creations. I no longer feel trapped by religion. I have made peace with it a long time ago. Everyday is a learning process for me.

Incidentally, we pay so much for healthcare, trying to find the medicine or cure for this and that when the best and most effective way to avoid all this in the first place is to take good care of oneself. Mentally, emotionally and physically. Most often than not, we are the ones that create our own problems at the start and then we go on and blame others for our pain and sufferings. It is amazing to see how others who have less in more ways than one, surviving well, achieving better and being more grateful for what most of us take for granted. We came into this world alone, we are going to leave it someday alone and yet, why are we so afraid to live a lonely existence? Are we really alone? How can we be when we are all connected? Didn't all of us come from the same source? I have been struggling with that question for ages and have been trying to psyche myself up every now and again, telling myself that it is ok to be comfortable in one's own company. After all, it is in solitude that we are able to listen to our own inner callings, reconnect with our deeper feelings and work out what we truly need or want.

I am an idealist and mostly needs to be dragged down to Earth with a resounding thud before I can wake up. Some thinks I dream too much for my own good but there has never been a greater time for more dreamers and lovers like me than now. People are way selfishly edgy and suspicious of everyone, everything and anything. They build up too many walls to an extend that even loved ones are not able to reach, live like caged animals waiting to pounce or lash out at anyone that crosses their path and then they wonder why are they surrounded by so many haters? I do however understand that it is a survival instinct to want to protect ourselves from hurt. Imagine all of us started off as babies, all innocent and pure, full of curiousity, like a moth to a flame, who accidentally touches fire and gets burned. At that age, we already know not to repeat the same mistake but if we were told by our parents after that..that it is safe, we will still trust them and do it blindly, for we know that they love us unconditionally and would not have wished us harm. The difference is, when some of us become adults, lose our bearings and experience more setbacks, we grow wary, weary and sometimes resentful without having the will to want and be so open and trusting again. You can't just expect another to willingly put themselves in harm's way repeatedly knowing terribly well that what awaits him or her is uncertainty. They must be brave enough to not mind getting hurt all over again in their own search for reasons and answers to life's mystery. One thing is for sure - the only way we are able to make this world a better place to live in is through forgiveness and compassion.

In life, you don't always get what you want. Even if you do, it might not last forever. You must also not limit yourself to only what you think you deserve, for doing that will only lessen the abundance of what the Universe has in store for you. No use blaming others for your choices either. For example, in my case ( between my ex husband and I ) ~ He didn't force me to fall in love with him. I gave him my heart willingly. He can't make a baby on his own. I was the vessel that our lil miracle came out from. He wanted a divorce after all that we have been through and done for each other in the name of love but it was I who agreed to " I Do" years before. He might have chosen to be a jerk and withdraw child support later on but it was I who didn't mind to finally let go, move on and wish him well, with or without him wanting to take responsibility for our son. So why blame others for your decisions when you are fully aware that nothing could have happened the way it did, had you chosen otherwise? Also, there is no point bashing ourselves up for the mistakes that we think we have made. We are only human and to continue growing as inviduals, we sometimes have to stand small, correct the wrongs and believe in all the goodness that lays hidden, somewhere within us and that can naturally spring forth when there is a reason for us to have to dig a little deeper.....

 Left-Right  Kinabalu 2010 ( Grace the ultra cool yogi/stewardess, Narish the generous pilot/friend, me in my pasar malam shoes/clothes plus a borrowed back pack thanks to Adrian Lim our mutual crew friend & Anuar our duty officer at work & fellow lover of adventures )

                         Our first summit attempt. Low's Peak. Fun loving Aries & I ( April 2010 )

Mount Kinabalu April 2011 @ Laban Rata. From L-R standing ( Whatshisname-sorry I forgot, Selvi, Sukee, Belle, Didi, Daphne, Shawal, Irene, Arvit & Ardit. Sitting L-R ( Shaheem, Manjit, Narish, Aileen & I ) * All 15 of us succesfully reached the peak :)

                      Belle in all her glory with Sukee right next to her getting ready to keep her warm

Yeay! I did it again!! Couldn't have done it without everyone chipping in to lend me their stuff from disposable panties, right up to my head lamp, gloves, pants and jacket etc... None of it were mine except my pair of shoes as the porters had accidentally left my bag at base camp :P

                                           This time I got to drag my brother up with me :)

and childhood friend too! Stubborn girl - descended all the way down on her own eventhough she injured her knee right after reaching the peak. One of the bravest woman I know :)

April 2012 ~ Headhunters Trail, Mulu Caves & The Pinnacles. From L-R ( Lady camp cook, abang Oma Marsal Aideed our tour guide, Don, Sukee, Me &Vishal - the Bombaywala boy, plus David & George -the Aussie boys )

                                               The view from the top of the Pinnacles :)

                                            An apple a day keeps Jasmin healthy & gay!!!!!

                                           Broga Hill. Muslim Azman's favourite haunt :)

                                          My fellow Aqua girl & Dive buddy ~ Carol Aman :)

* I'll find time to come up with more writings soon. Till then, here's me sending positives vibes your way. Stay healthy & stay balanced aight! :)

Remember :- The WORLD will give you what exactly you ask of it!  Tony Robbins.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Staying Positively Lovely :)

A kindred spirit texted me a few days ago and ended it with, " Cheers back to you and stay positively lovely. " It made my day and yet only I will know how much those few words really meant. Faced with a storm that threatens to engulf me, the past few days I have been wanting to turn on my heels and run as far away from familiar surroundings to a place where nobody knows me or will be able to hassle me. Simply put, I now have an irrepressible desire for freedom away from it all. As it is, I am tired of being tired.

10th of July was an extremely weird day for me. I woke up feeling happy knowing that it was lil Sophie's birthday ( her mom is a good friend of mine ) and that I'll be seeing all of them soon. Then I had a surprising call from an old flame ( he seems to always be there right before I fall ) which I had no time to speak to, before getting some shocking news through a * third party * from someone I care deeply for ( that made me cancel our weekend plans altogether after saying what I had to say later that night and doing what is right for both of us. It was easier for me to let go once I think of him as a human and not as my hero ) minutes before receiving a depressing message from another man that I once loved, who had lost his dad the day before ( by then, I was numb ). I had nothing left to feel. It is sad when good friends turn to strangers. Especially when you know that you'll always love them but you have forgotten how to do it right. Just when I was about to go to bed, I received another phone call that brought me much joy and peace of mind. Life is indeed full of surprises! Not surprisingly I went off to sleep that night not knowing whether I should feel sad or happy. At present, I feel nothing. I guess this is how being neutral feels like. I can get use to this.

As I see it, I am a failed experiment to some and an inspiration for others..but mostly, a story teller who entertains. What's unique about me is, I don't talk incessantly about other people's flaws, especially their failures and only find comfort in sharing what I have been through personally and all the goodness that I have experienced in my lifetime.

I am only human and just like you, I have feelings, dreams and wants..and just like you, well..most of you that is...I am still searching, still learning, still hurting and still living an unfulfilled existence. Not many knows how amazingly hard it is for me to be positive no matter what. I grew up getting crap thrown at me now and again, and yet..over the years, I have learned to make manure out of it and used it to fertilize the garden that grows inside of me instead. Sometimes, when I am in the mood for love, I let the people that I trust with my life to have a peek into it, stay if they  choose to, take all they want if that is what they need, leave when they have had enough and sometimes when I am feeling extra generous, I'll even let strangers sit under the shade of my trees, enjoy the sunshine from afar, bask in the warmth, watch the flowers bloom and listen to each raindrop that falls, hoping that they'll know that there is eventually a rainbow that awaits them at the end of it.

I can't help but sometimes feel like I am public property. As much as I try to be an individual and break away from being chained up by society or be labelled as this or that, I still feel the need to connect and be a part of that same group of people that have, might or will reject me in my past or future and also the same one that I am trying to run away from. A deep sense of having to face my fears alone suffocates me to no end. It creeps the hell out of me. Every time when I think that I have been sucked dry, reached my limit and have nothing else to offer, something or someone will make me want to squeeze as much or as little as I have left, hoping that by me doing so, they themselves might be interested to create their own beautiful Heaven on earth. It reminds me of what it was like trying to pump my breast milk out for my baby, the first couple of days of his life when he was hungry but didn't know how to latch on. I literally had to pump my nipples sore till there was blood oozing out from it. It sounds gory but that is the ugly truth. It was frustrating, it was painful but I continued doing it out of love. Eventually, we both got it right and till today, trust me when I say that
only mothers who have breast fed their babies will remember the joy and fulfillment that such a
satisfying bond brings.

Taking things in stride, understanding why things have to happen the way it does and accepting what the universe have to offer.. gracefully, whether it is good or bad is a work in progress for me. I wake up everyday getting ready for battle ( there is just too much negativity around me, it starts from in my head right up to everything that surrounds me ) and I go to bed every night feeling thankful that I have survived yet another day without becoming bitter. It is something that no one else notices but it means everything to me. I might look pretty and fragile on the outside but if inner scars were meant to be seen, you'll be shocked to see the battle worn warrior in me.

You see, I am the girl that nearly made it. The one that should have made it happen and the only one that could! I did something good for me recently. A dream come true. It was meant for the world.
Now, I have decided to keep it where it belongs. In my heart. It was a labor of love inspired by trust.
Only God knows what and why I had to change my mind at the very last minute. I know that it is
something that I won't live to regret because from the start I knew it wasn't fame or fortune that
motivates me. I already know what I am made of now and I don't need others to remind me of what I 
am capable of anymore either. There are those who will never know how close I have come to what 
society deems a success story and never will. It was a fairy tale meant to stay where it truly belongs. 
In my head! I no longer have the desire to prove to anyone else how far I have come. Everything 
good that I do, I have done all out of love, therefore there is no need for anything else. The pain and 
emptiness that follows were temporary. The person that I have evolved into is worth every 
disappointment, every failure and every heartbreak. That is something money can't buy nor 
something that I can just pass on.

For what it's worth, I might not have always gotten the love I wanted in return for all that I have
dished out but always..always...something better. It is their trust and faith in me that keeps my heart
smiling. It is the strength in our genuine bonds that keeps me believing in myself. It is what we do good with our lives, separately or not that keeps me looking forward to the future. I might be a nobody to many but I am somebody to some. I might be the girl who never made it but deep down, we all know I did :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mama Mia! Here I go again :)

I told myself time and time again after each climb up Kinabalu that it was going to be my last. Well, I have only done it twice so I shouldn't be complaining. My girlfriend called me mental when I said to her " It's good to be home " on my second climb. I can totally understand how she feels. Mount Kinabalu has given me plenty of satisfaction and also a huge amount of pain. I did it in 2010 & 2011. Skipped it on 2012 and intead, went off to conquer the Pinnacles with a few good friends and experience my first Volcanic climb up Rinjani with a bunch of strangers, something I have never done before. One of the best experience ever. I made many new friends! In 2013, I have yet to climb any mountain. I was supposed to earlier, but it never happened.

I fly into Kota Kinabalu often and each time, the first thing that greets me when I look out the aeroplane is the view of the peak. Same goes when I step foot out from the airport. Since then, I have missed it so. I knew that I'll visit it again someday but just didn't know when. I have plenty of choice on what I want to do or where I want to go this year but why am I doing it again, so soon and all of a sudden? It is in my nature to follow my gut instincts. I knew about Coalition Duchenne last year but not until recently did I want to find out more about what it stands for. I found out plenty. It is all over the net. You can watch one of the links on YouTube. Click " Dusty's Trail Summit Of Borneo ". The documentary won 5 awards but it is not the acclaimations that impressed me the most but the strength and dedication of a women and a mother towards her child. I have a son who is 6 right now. I can identify with her love, her fear and her hope for her child as a mother. That is the age when Dusty, Catherine's firstborn was diagnose with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is 20 years old at the moment and his mother has been going tirelessly around with the help of many to do research and create awareness of this debilitating disease. 

I have yet to meet her but I already like her. The fact that her grandmother is a Malaysian Kadazandusun and her choice in using Sabah as one of her platforms to bridge this gap and to bring humanity together for a cause that is dear to her heart, makes me want to be a part of this wonderful intention. A truly inspiring lady that I am looking forward to learn from. A good friend told me recently that he was happy to have been able to spare time, effort and money on me when I thanked him for his generosity. According to him, that is the greatest pleasure one can do for another. I was touched beyond words because I know it is the truth. Kindness is its own reward. Meeting wonderful individuals like these, always makes me want to continue paying it forward.

What's going to happen on my 3rd climb next month? I don't know. Will I be third time lucky and be at the peak with the rest? I hope so. I really want to. Nothing beats that amazing feeling..but then again, I thought to myself last night. Whatever the outcome, I have achieved what I intended to do.That was when my fear, my anticipation and my expectations started dissipating slowly. A good night sleep I had and the best part is, I knew that today is as good as any day to start doing what I do best! Time to start training and stay positive :)