All posts by abbylatif

is under construction and not so relevant on social media anymore.

Ada Sesuatu Yang Menyelubungi Mindaku

I am on my lunch time and I have 10% on my iPad battery so I thought of writing something in Malay for a change.

Hari ini ialah 11haribulan Februari. 41 hari sejak tulisan aku yang terakhir. Bukan mudah untuk mencari ilham menulis ini. Kadang-kadang kau duduk tenung meja, tenung papan kunci, tenung segala alatan eletronik yang kau miliki yang membolehkan kau menulis tetapi kau tetap buntu. Namun dimindamu, masih ada sesuatu. Sesuatu yang menyelubungi, yang enggan pergi.

Aku masih teringat saat bersama bekas kekasihku.

Aku masih teringat kehidupan dahulu.

Aku rindu menjadi seorang pencinta, penyayang, di mana aku mampu mencurahkan rasa cinta dan kasih sayang ku mutlak pada seorang yang ku ingini sahaja.

Selepas beberapa bulan tersingkir dari kehidupan itu, aku berbicara dengan seorang rakan mengenai cinta.

Cinta yang murni, cinta yang agung, cinta yang suci tulus dari hati.

Aku ucap kata cinta dan aku sampaikan perasaan itu kepada seseorang. Dan bagiku, itu janji abadi. Kami sering kata, “Always, and forever”. Bahawa kita berjanji untuk mencintai satu sama lain buat selama-lamanya.

Bila kau jatuh cinta, tidak begitu mudah untuk kau ucapkan selama-lamanya. Dan bila kau cukup berani untuk mengucapkannya, kau langsung berjanji, bersumpah kepada dirimu sendiri, inilah dia, inilah insan yang kau akan simpan di dalam hatimu untuk selama-lamanya.

Tetapi, insan itu bukan seperti kau. Insan itu tidak berjanji kepada diri mereka meskipun dia mengatakan kata janjinya padamu.

Janji dengan diri sendiri ialah sesuatu yang paling penting.

Aku tidak suka mempermainkan dan memperlekehkan ucap janji mengenai cinta. Aku bodoh, bukan macam orang lain, boleh suka hati melepaskan nafsu ranjang dengan orang lain ketika menghancurkan hati orang yang mencintai mereka.

Tetapi aku juga bukan orang lain. Aku tidak tahu niat dan cara mereka. Aku tidak boleh mengharapkan mereka berjanji kepada diri mereka sendiri jika mereka tidak berani atau belum bersedia. Aku tidak boleh memaksa mereka berpegang kepada kata-kata mereka. Bukan semua orang tahu bagaimana untuk berpegang kepada kata mereka. Bukan semua orang mahu berpegang kepada kata mereka. Aku bukan mereka. Mereka bukan aku.

Aku fikir, jika aku sudah berjanji kepada diriku bahawa inilah cinta yang aku pegang buat selama-lamanya dan apabila gagal, adakah aku akan melanggar janjiku sendiri jika aku jatuh cinta sekali lagi untuk orang lain pula?

Atau mungkin selepas manifestasiku disampaikan ke seluruh alam maya, dunia juga akan melindungi kata janjiku dan tidak akan menemukanku dengan cinta lain seumur hidupku?

Kuasa bateri sudah kurang kepada 7%. Selama 3% yang lalu, aku sudah menceritakan perihal kata janji cinta.

Kini, tiba untuk kukongsikan apa yang aku rindu.

Aku rindu menyayangi. Aku rindu disayangi.

Aku rindu berkongsi setiap saat hidupku dengan orang yang kucintai.

Aku rindu mendengar setiap keluhan dan rintihan insan yang kusayangi sepenuh hati.

Aku rindu membuat keputusan bersama-sama.

Aku rindu berkongsi impian untuk berjaya.

Aku rindu kehidupan bersama si dia.

Dan aku paling rindu diriku sebagai pencinta.

Bukan mudah untuk bermadah kata dari hati yang lara.

Setiap rangkap perenggan beratnya terasa di dalam dada.

Pada penghujung nukilan kata yang sedikit demi sedikit berbentuk irama,

aku memohon pada Yang Esa,

Berikan aku cinta yang luar biasa.

Kerana kalau biasa, selalunya hati ini dipijak hancur berderai oleh semua.

Hello 2021

Today is 1st January 2021.

It’s a new year in the universal roman calendar year. Things these days need to be referenced to a certain label, or brand, or origin. Everything and everyone wants to be identified and belonged to something.

This is not a new year rant. 2020 has passed us by and we barely get to achieve any of our dreams but instead, the reality pushed us into realising things we’ve never dreamed of.

I’m on a New Year gateaway with my friends. The same group of people whom I spent my last few hours ushering in 2020 a year ago. Four of us headed to Langkawi instead. It’s very tough, planning an escape during a time where you need to be wary and safe always. We try our best, making things happen as much as we can, while being wary and safe.

I’m seated at the table by the pool (I almost wanted to write pool table but that’s a different kind of table), with my notebook and postcards, wanting to jot down things and write a few Happy New Year postcards but I didn’t really write the postcards. Maybe not yet. Maybe later. I don’t know. The sun is slowly heating up the weather, which we plan to take a bicycle ride around the valley where we stay in. Earlier today, I woke up with a slight hangover headache, jumped into the pool, then we went to Air Terjun Temurun and then to Pantai Tengkorak. I think if I end this with a hammam would be an incredible complete to my showering round today; but God is Great, we don’t need to be incredible in just one day. We must allow space for opportunities to fall in with time as well.

I don’t have wise words to share. In this trip, I have shared too many stupid nonsensical wisdoms. This 38 year old person is entering another year in a childlike manner. And I’m fine with that. We all learn and must continuously learn.

I said and written this hundreds of time this year – I lost my brother in April 2020. On the 11th April 2020. My older brother, the sibling closest to me growing up. He passed away at the age of 41 years old. It has been close to 9 months. We found him in his bed in the morning and I held him on my lap trying to call him back to life. Although in pain, he is now resting in eternal peace. We have been visiting his resting place every 2-3 weeks ever since, putting on fresh flowers and reciting prayers. I went to see him before I left for Langkawi on the 29th December 2020. I cried at his side. There have been a lot of tears running down, missing him, remembering him. As like any other siblings, we went through phases of resenting each other, blaming each other, fighting with each other, and of course, many phases of loving and depending on each other. I love him, always and forever.

I learn that always and forever doesn’t mean the same for everyone. For me, I am true to my words. At least I try my best to be true to my words, the best way that I can.

What I’ve shared here has been repeated elsewhere many times – whether it is in my thoughts, my Instagram captions and stories, my Twitter musings and ramblings, my ranting messages to dear friends. I wonder, if we see every single day as a new day, would our daily energy approaching every new day becomes an old routine?

I’m okay. I just want to try to write more.

Happy New Year. Again.

House #7

So there’s this thing that is going around Twitter on choosing your dead author quarantine house. I haven’t done any MCO postings here but I wanted to imagine this House #7 that I suggested:

House #7
Khalil Gibran
Jalaluddin Rumi
Pablo Neruda
Rabindranath Tagore
Cairil Anwar

For days of quarantine, after we have our own spaces of thoughts and rituals, we convene in the verandah.

Cairil, lighting his kretek and handing me over a stick.

I can see Gibran with his pipe, Rumi holding a glass of wine that he saluted with Neruda, and Tagore slowly sipping his chai.

We would start talking about love. The madmen in Gibran and Cairil gets a bit extreme in their intepretation but what I enjoy most is when everyone calms down as Tagore broke all arguments singing his praises of love. Fair enough. We needed entertainment and a fight over the word love is not one of it.

Neruda gets distracted easily when there’s a brush of wind or a leaf flying onto the verandah. It’s the little things that he relates to the most.

I am amazed at Rumi as he stood up during Tagore’s singing and starts twirling around, dervishly. Cairil smirked in his judgemental boyish ala James Dean face. Of course he wouldn’t be alone if Kerouac is around, but this House can only fit the six of us.

I was the only girl but with these guys, gender don’t matter. Age don’t matter. Our thoughts run fluidly out of our brains through our vocal chords – being it in melody or just pure stiff sound of verbal expression.

For days and days, we ask questions to each other and share our sides of the answers. We agreed to disagree. Whenever things get heated up, the space between us were filled with a creative energy that makes us dance, love and sing.

We drink a lot of wine, and smoke a lot of cigarettes.

We share our loaves of bread, and the food we make during our isolation from each other.

It felt like an artist residency that we didn’t have to produce a work of collaboration, but what is most important is that we shared our space, our thoughts, our food, our drinks, our time, to make our own work a tiny bit better than it already has been.

Have a better April ahead

So apparently MCO has turned me into a vain selfie-bitch. But it’s okay, you guys will not be seeing me in person for another 14 days so I know you be needing some of this Abby lovin’.

Anyway, I do wake up every morning and dress to go to work, even sprayed perfume before I clock in my work desk at 8:45am how I would do on a normal pre-lockdown working days. Nope; I don’t have a partner to please. Do it for yourself, do it for your own motivation. Ada yang suka busuk-busuk masuk kerja. Wherever work is, I want to represent the best of myself when it comes to mencari rezeki and do what I like to do.

You do you. No need to jump the gun at others. I don’t need no posters telling me how to be, and if there are any posters, I rather read and make my own. You don’t have to conform. You lead by example. Walk the Talk.

Be good and kind.

You Can’t Heal What You Don’t Let Yourself Feel

Please allow yourself to feel emotions in its entirety to be able to understand and control it. A lot of people avoid and disregard feelings, especially grief.

A lot of our anxiety attacks comes from surpressed feelings and disregarded issues that we keep avoiding. Fears, financials, grief, sadness, loneliness – we either pretend these are not material issues and we surpress it with substances and denials. And we laugh at those who feels too much, or paid too much attention to these feelings. Ego is mistaken for strength.

While you have more time to yourself during this MCO, revisit those part of yourselves, those feelings you often abandon, those mistakes you never acknowledge, those pain you never get to feel. Understand it, learn from it, allow yourself to go through it. So you can heal, and grow.

Master your own emotions. Before you tell people how to master theirs.

Beaming Sunshine

Morning!

Do whatever you can to keep positively sound. Even if it involves acts of vanity with multiple selfies. I’m just doing it because the world need not be deprived of my cute smiles.

MCO brings out the confidence in you. Except I haven’t started my Tik Tok exploration yet. Kasi chance to the youngsters. Nanti I buat terbaik, kesian plak diaorang kena sidelined. Hahaha.

Syukur Hari Jumaat

Morning!

Staying at home, working from home, dealing with attachment issues, dealing with over-communication, the secret desire to sell our children, having to face family 24/7, being confined alone away from loved ones, missing everyone, not having an income or business due to closure and retrenchment, paycuts, feeling lonely, starting to feel sick, missing past loves, and many many more.

These are the feelings most of us have at this point of time. It’s easy to see what we don’t have than what we do have. And what do we actually have at this point? Negative Covid-19.

I’ll try to reach out when I can. And thanks to those who have kept me company (especially on my random IG Live sessions) and checking in on me. While everyone is dealing with this at their own pace and with their own ways, let’s spare the judgement and have empathy.

Gratitude and Appreciation – for yourself. Thank yourself. Smile at your heart. Take care of it. Don’t give up now, you’ve come too far and have been so strong through worse times. Be good to yourself. And wash your hands. And make sure you poo poo. And wash your hands after that.

Happy International Women’s Day! #IWD2020

“Truth be told, I am neither a woman leader of the Malayan Communist Party, nor a reowned woman leader. I am merely a woman warrior who fought the British for the independence of her homeland and emancipation of women.” – Shamsiah Fakeh

While I applaud the strength and determination many have marching on the streets and joining voices in solidarity for better and equal treatmnt for women and girls out there today, I am confined to celebrating it with just being with my family. Took my dad (and the rest of the family) to Gerak Budaya and while I was flipping through the pages of this memoir, Abah came close to me and picked up the same book for him to buy.

I always believe in understanding how the women before me fight for all the conveniences I have today, it’s very important to know and to care. And for myself, I rather be in the position of making change happen instead of just demanding it from people I know who wouldn’t care. I want to find out how to win through the system, or at least support those along that path.

While we shout for rights, remember to always walk the talk. Fundamental remains – be kind, don’t discriminate and never allow dishonesty in however you live your life – with that, good energy will support your wish for the universe.

Selamat Hari Wanita Sedunia. Let me finish this book today and share with you what I learn from Shamsiah Fakeh’s life in my stories later on.

A day at the Pier

I remember this particular day sometime in March 2015 in Seattle.

It was our day off during the 4 days we were there. I bravely walked around the Seattle pier alone – I use the word brave because I seriously walked about 2-3 kms from my hotel, discovering new paths and alleys, not fearing the risks that my brain might left out, just embracing the solitary traveler that I am. I went to Seattle Aquarium, bought a disposable film camera, and explored the pier, took a ride on the ferris wheel (even a ride at the merry-go-round like a kid) and also bought myself a cruise ticket.

I was 33 years old, it was my second time in the States, my third city after San Francisco and Washington D.C. I was there, selected by the U.S. embassy for a fully funded 21-day exchange leadership programme.

I can’t afford to travel when I was younger, my parents don’t have that kind of luxury for us. All of my travels in my 30s have been for work, thankfully funded under work. I enjoy every single trip because it’s a blessing – every single moment is precious because it’s a gifted luxury that the universe awarded me with after countless sleepless nights of trying to prove my worth (I was never an intelligent student for scholarships anyway). I never complained about how much I had to work – I enjoy exploring my potentials and pushing my limits. And I get these traveling experiences as my presents.

Counting days until I purchase my next solo adventure. To be honest – I am a very good traveling companion to myself.

You’ve got it half licked

“If at eighty you’re not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for his savin’ and keepin’ power. If you are young in years but already weary in spirit, already on the way to becoming an automaton, it may do you good to say to your boss – under your breath, of course – “Fuck you, Jack! You don’t own me!” … If you can fall in love again and again, if you can forgive your parents for the crime of bringing you into the world, if you are content to get nowhere, just take each day as it comes, if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you’ve got it half licked.” – Henry Miller

I have seen a lot of young people feeling lazy and giving up on life and then I see and read these words written by 80-year-old Henry Miller and I found a new way of looking at things.

The past year have been tough on me. I had to witness the person I have loved more than myself erased every single memory and feelings for me and that broke me more than the surgery or any other physical pain. I learned to accept everything and the universe have been having my back every single time.

I am grateful for every day that I get to wake up and be a better person. I am grateful that I have grown to appreciate and love my feelings and emotions in its entirety. I am still learning to overcome grduges and ill-feelings while thinking on understanding people and their actions.

And I know that I love you, always and forever.