Monday, August 17, 2015

We'll cross the bridge when we come to it.

And we have arrived at the bridge.

Audrey is going to be 2 years old in November. I quit my job so I could take care of her. Being a micropreemie, she needed special attention. So far, things are going well, she has grown up to be a very spunky lil girl with minor health issues.

So yeah, that bridge.

Should I return to the world of academia and start teaching again? I am still teaching part time anyway, which I find quite suitable time wise but I'm slightly weary with the attitude of the students. Maybe I should look for a new institution? Just to give me a kick in the hind and re'ignite'. It is a 'safe' path in terms of familiarity and that I'm actually good at it. Just a bit uninspired at the thought of going back to the beginning and starting everything all over again. Because at the end of my last teaching gig, I was becoming very unhappy. I kept thinking I want to quit, this is not what I want to do.

Then there's the other path. Dangerous. Treacherous. But it goes where my heart wants to really. I feel like I have to go there. The outcome is not really in my odds according to EVERYONE ELSE.

But I don't know. I think, I feel like I would be happy there. Because it is how I imagined my life would be and someone somewhere told me to never give up on that.

I want to be home and do the things I love. That's just it really.

I want us, my husband and I to be able to work on objects and projects that we both love and enjoy. And work from a studio at home or nearby where we can have our kids with us. We want to work with little things of joy. We want to work with toys.

Yes, that is our dream. To research, plan, design, build, make, modify, refurbish, manufacture, package, sell, whatever it is to do with... TOYS.

Maybe my interest was lead by my husband, you might say, I'm just following his fancy. But as far as I can remember, I have always loved designing and making things. I love looking for and coming up with ideas and concepts and see them come to life. Advertising was my medium for a while then graphic design became an outlet.

Aesthetic creativity and knowledge is my passion, it is what drives me and keeps me alive. It just manifests itself in different forms. Writing is what comes natural as an expression, a tool.

I constantly need new ways to express this 'thing' inside of me. And I find that designing and making spaces is very fullfilling. So for me, dioramas and roomboxes are what keeps my brain moving and my heart uplift with joy.

Should something that is considered a hobby or craft be a worthwhile pursuit? Will it pay the bills? Will it feed us?

I have no idea. But I only know that 'rezeki' is from God and He is The One that Provides.

This life is short and merely a journey. To spend it not doing what you love and what makes you happy, is quite a waste and definitely not a good way to live.

Provided that I am Guided in what I do, I only have hope and faith that everything will be alright. If and when He wills it.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The smallest thing that keeps everything together.

You know you have it. That small little thing.

I have it. My husband has it. Heck, even Audrey (my 1 year 9 month kid) does.

For my husband it is this big plastic tumbler. Nothing special about it. It wasn’t even his to begin with. It was actually his brother’s protein shaker. Honestly it looks quite gross. He makes his drinks in it and he drinks from that tumbler all the time. He justifies it by saying that if other people ask for his drink, then there’s still a lot more for him. Most of the time, that would be me.

How attached is he to this object? Well let’s just say that if someone else were to use it, no matter who you are, it can result in an unpleasant situation. People may wonder, “Dude, it’s just a gelas la, there are lots of other gelas what”.

No, it is not. It is THE small thing that keeps EVERYTHING together.

Everyday, all of us deal with a lot of things. We face many challenges, trials and tribulations from the moment we wake up until the end of the day. Sometimes it stays on repeat. Through all of this, it takes up our energy, mental capacity and especially our heart to WILL ourselves through it. We use everything we have to not give in to our baser inclinations. In order for us to not lose it, so to speak.

Turning over that table. Punching that person’s face. Screaming at the top of your lungs. Hitting real hard. Saying the meanest and most hurtful thing you can imagine. Just giving that one all sarcastic retort. Jumping. Leaving. Killing.

When the world feels like it is falling on top of you like a mountain, when your emotions come crashing down like a tidal wave… sometimes there are these little things that we count on to be exactly how it is. Unmoved. Unchanged. Untouched. Yours.

Like a tall glass of cold water after a long day. In its own way, it is saying “Don’t worry, you made it through all that crap today, you are alright, it is all going to be okay.”

And if you mess with that one little thing of ours, the feeling goes something like this, “I can put up with all of the stupid things that happen and all I ask for is that ONE little thing. Just one thing. Don’t touch my _______ “ (insert object).

My sister once asked me, what is my deal with rooms? My room, whichever one it may be at the time. She says ever since she can remember, I always seem to have some sort of issue with my room. I can sulk, merajuk, make a scene and even be bitter when it comes to my room.

That is my thing I guess. Pet peeves maybe you can call it. My room is my personal space, my sanctuary, the place that I am me. I can just be myself and damn whatever anyone else thinks. I can be territorial with my belongings. Maybe because I wasn’t able to really OWN things. We were brought up to share and give away our stuffs and that nothing really belongs to you.

It is different for each of us. We all have our own ‘gelas’ that helps keep us sane, grounded, human. It may seem small to others, trivial even. But it matters to you, that is all. It isn’t necessarily love. It can be a feeling of comfort that stems from familiarity. Safety from the feeling of stability. Or at least the illusion of it. Even for just a little while.

It’s the small thing, that keeps everything together.

The true feeling that we are looking for however, whether it be security, comfort, stability, love, peace… cannot be found in created objects. It can sooth our vulnerability, moment of weakness, temporarily. But for a deeper sense of it, we can only find it with The Creator of all the creations.

It is the ONLY one, that is keeping everything together.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dark Heart

We all have our dark sides.

I am guilty of many. Constantly at war within me.

Jealousy. Rage. Hatred. Greed. Vengeful.

Sometimes I just want to give in to them.

Set them free.

Let them loose.

But I know only regret and despair awaits should I let them take over.

And there is no turning back from the repercussion.

So I stare blankly into space.

Emotionless while a turmoil brews inside.

I lie still.

Wandering through mental images of random objects and happy fantasies.

To distract. To escape. To control.

The darkest side of me.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Boxed In.

It has always been about boxes.

It has been a year and almost a half that I have been jobless. After my 2 months maternity leave ended, I took a year of unpaid leave to take care of my daughter, Audrey who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. Took a leap of faith and tendered my resignation last October.

Other than bringing up Audrey, I was intending to use that time to figure out my next step. I was unhappy at work then and my whole soul kept fighting. I felt so strongly that I wasn't supposed to be there. I was full of conviction that I should be doing something else with my life.

I've seen and read it over and over again. Chase your dreams. Do what you love, what makes you happy. Follow your passion. Blablabla.... I want to, I really want to. But my dreams are many, I don't know where to start or how.

Life with a newborn took everything I had to give. I had no time to think about myself. I have a tiny human to keep alive!

Now she's a year and four months. I find myself entertaining that notion again. That and the fact that we are financially strapped.

I should go back to work. But the time with Audrey made me realize, I don't want to. I want to earn an income but I want to do it having her with me.

I've had time to think and soul search while Audrey naps and I may have come to a decision.

Boxes. It has always been about boxes.

Let's start there first.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Pretty Things.

Sometimes when we get tired and weary with the world, we try to escape it by looking at 'pretty things'. By that I mean, objects that give us temporary relief, a glimmer of hope of how we imagine our life to be.

'Pretty things' somehow display an idea of perfection in contrast to what we are feeling at the moment. We live vicariously through images that give us a feeling of elation. It could be a beautiful person, a car, a dress, a room, a scenery... we all have our own preference of visuals that stimulate our happy feelings albeit for just a while.

It explains our obsession over celebrities and entertainment. And our addiction to clicking just that one more link when we are on the internet. It gives us a moment to escape our own reality and immerse in someone else's.

These objects of beauty that we behold have an ability to turn into a drug. We abuse these little pleasures by indulging in the extreme.

I find that my phone has turned into an object that powers my evil inside. I just meant to look something up but ended up looking at the screen for hours. Looking at pictures of 'pretty things'.

I hope and pray that this Ramadhan I will be able to curb this habit and turn to HIM who could give me real happiness that I do not need to escape from.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Sometimes my awkwardness in crowds can be misinterpreted as aloofness. People might even think I'm cold. Indifferent even.

When I see a crowd, I withdraw. Sometimes I just wander off into my own world.

I find that I am becoming more introvert and quiet. I just have nothing much to say anymore. Or I question whether it is worth saying.

It is contradictory. I do want to matter and sometimes I need the attention. Stupidly, I even get jealous.

But I just feel weird and out of place. Jutting out. Then I freeze. Then I get nervous. And I just want to leave and look for the comfort and warmth of familiarity.

A crab. Retreating back into its hard shell. Protecting its soft insides.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Embracing Change.

I don’t want to do this. Any of this.

But I have to see it as an opportunity. To better my self. To be a better person. Isn’t that what we all should strive for? I know I tell myself that over and over.

I need to believe it. I need to do this. It is one of many ways I can learn things that I don’t know, things I’m not comfortable with (which is a lot), things that challenge me.

I have a habit that I am trying so hard to delete my whole entire life. When something new happens or comes my way, my instant reaction would be to reject it. I recoil in horror in doing new and unfamiliar things. I shudder at the thought of having to react immediately to a situation. I panic. I wish to just remain, complacent, contented in my own little comfort zone. Inside me, there is turmoil in my emotions just trying to deny and push away changes. Big and small.

Changes that I should welcome as challenges and opportunities to move forward in life.

Fear maybe. Lack of self confidence. Always had that problem, never found out a way to overcome it completely. I just force myself to face things most of the time and comfort myself in the thought that it will pass in time. To the point that I convince myself the many many ways of which the change is bad for me. I come up with so many excuses and reasons to just simply not go ahead. My whole body and mind just goes into this reverse overdrive and try to distract my self as much as possible rather than face it and get it over with.

But I need to try kan? At least try. And I should give it my best, my all. Because that is what great people do. And I want to be great. Don’t I?

Aaargh. I want to be that person who welcomes challenges with a can do attitude. I want to naturally be able to view challenges as opportunities and make the best of situations. I want to embrace change and improve. I want to unleash my utmost potential.

I do not want to be that person who lived to regret their past choices. Choices of not doing something and thinking I would have been great at it had I tried. I don’t want to have that lingering thought of what I could’ve done, what I could have been.

I’m going to become a mother soon. An idea that freaked me out at one point. But I’m 6 months in and I have never felt greater, happier, powerful, beautiful. And now I’m using my baby as an excuse. Or am I?

New things are happening, change is imminent. At work and outside. I am given bigger responsibilities that are outside of my normal work scope which just involves teaching classes. I am full on rejecting these ‘changes’ at work and outside with the excuse of “I just want to be a mother”. I want to stay home and take care of my family. I’m too tired. This is too much extra unnecessary stress. Family is priority. I’m happy the way things are.

On one hand I want to live a full life embracing extraordinary experiences. Constantly learning and improving. But this requires facing new challenges and trying new things which most are scary and making difficult choices I don’t think I can or want to.

On the other, I am happy the way things are now. I’m comfortable. I’m not unnecessarily stressed and life is easy. I just want to take things easy, one slow step at a time. Enjoying the process, the journey.

Time is moving Irina. And you are not the only one.