A career or a temporary gig

No one ever said that if you have a medical degree, you are destined to become a doctor forever. What if, like Jonny Kim, it was a temporary gig and that you are destined for greater things in life?

He was a Lieutenant –> Medical Doctor –> Astronaut

Growing up in a traditional society – I have been programmed into thinking if you did a law degree, you should become a lawyer. If you chose accountancy in high school as opposed to biology – you almost certainly are made to become an accountant by your parents. Perhaps it took me too long to notice that in my family, my sister is already breaking the norms and that it is never too late to do something that you like.

She has a degree that qualifies her to become a certified nutritionist. But life has its ways of making my sister walk down a path that led her to teach. She is now a teacher and when I asked her from some advice with regards to food and health – she would honestly say, she does not remember a single thing! LOL.

I am blogging this because I had an epiphany today. What if I am not meant to become a specialist and that this career, as an MD, is just a temporary path for me to sharpen my skills and allow me to blossom into an individual fit enough to undertake a more interesting path in the future. The more I thought about this today, the more euphoric I got with the job choices that came floating in my head.

(I am so excited with this possibility that I am imagining myself in my future chosen career already..)

… and that career spells out as premium, exclusive, dark yet meaningful.

9th year Wedding Anniversary

I have probably said it before. As a wife, the strongest weapon one could have at hand, apart from a supportive mother in law on your side, is DOA. For it is only He, The Almighty who holds someones heart and have the ability to make it go towards the intended direction. Believing in the Divine power helps me, in a way, set my mind that I am still in control of my life. My destiny. With Allah’s will.

There have been times when I am in despair thinking, “why is my husband so obstinate like a goat?” Especially on matters where the black is not as clear as the white and us being in the grey, trying to prove our points. Not all issues have practical solutions to it. Even if there are, it may not be ideal. Or sometimes a problem need not be solved. It just requires time and empathy for it to dissolve and go away. Being married, you need to choose which battles to fight and win. Or in my case, let him win (first) and for Allah to teach him a lesson at another time. Ha ha.

9 years to me is a milestone. It is one of the longest relationship I’ve ever had with another human being after my parents & siblings. Things get more challenging with time but we grow to be more mature and intuitive of each others feelings. I am grateful that my husband, despite being pissed at me at times, has never risen his voice or his hands towards me. His silent treatment says it all! If only I could return the gesture but then I keep finding myself, the one who is perceived as having the patience of a Buddha by people outside my home, as someone with a completely different persona at home. It’s like to the world I’m Dr Jekyll and with my husband, I could easily morph into a Mrs Hyde. I don’t scream but I tend to scowl, sulk and express some sort of fury emoji. LOL

Our conversations evolve more around the kids and work. We don’t really talk about just us. This is something I envy from the Western husband-wife relationships. There is still a lot of I love You going around or at least a ‘that baju kurung looks nice on you’. Well, I guess I’d have to start that with him first and cross fingers, he wouldn’t think I’m dying from an illness or something. Work related talks are also upgrading in terms of knowledge and medical terms. I have to keep up with these intelligent exchanges and if suddenly, I struck a dumb moment – I’d just throw up a random, interesting facts of the world that my husband would not know like ‘did you know the couple who starred in Quiet Place’ is a real husband-wife off screen? ‘

Yeh.

HA ha ha ha.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary with the kids of course. A trip to Langkawi and Penang which of course will be featured in this blog soon. Perhaps next year, if our marriage still holds, InsyaAllah, we could celebrate it with a kenduri doa selamat and perhaps, a meal for just the two of us?

Soul searching in Bali

Nope. This is not a travelogue blogpost.

I went to Bali during my housemanship with 2 other lady friends. I can’t remember when exactly but I was going through a rough patch in my life at the time. I knew this because I had my beautiful long hair cut short like a pixie and had it dyed to an auburn colour. It had to do with a boy and a failed relationship and I guess Bali was an escapade that I needed.

My trip to Bali had no pictures. Perhaps my friends have them but it is not something I’d like to keep for myself or post on Facebook as my trip there wasn’t really Syariah-compliant. I still abide to my prayers and my halal meals but I was not proud of how I chose to dress. I had thought Allah would have mercy on me during my darkest moments. It’s like one of those things I know is wrong but I still want to do it anyway. Sedangkan kalau Allah nak, He can just take my life there and then, kan? I did feel bad about my skin & hair exposure after the trip and reminded myself not to do it again. Thankfully, my friends were not that reckless and wild. We still have our sane thinking hat on. If not, I might end up in bed with a stranger the next morning. Sore.

Despite no photos, I am still able to remember the trip vividly. Our stay in our bedroom of 3, the late night swims in the hotel pool, relaxing massage at the spa, the trip to the mountains and other tourist-y area, buying art pieces from the local artiste and who could forget, the Italian dinner at Bella Italia. I think we got tired of Indonesian cuisine by the last day. But that last night in Bali was awesome and I felt so rested and happy. Bali has a joyful yet spiritual aura to it. Kinda difficult to explain why.

I think that is the joy of going abroad for a holiday/ soul searching. Other people don’t know who you are (unless you’re cha cha maembong) and everyone is there to just relax and have fun.

My sister is planning a trip to Bali next year with her husband and kids for an anniversary trip. She is asking me for an itinerary that I can’t really produce for Bali to me happened aeons ago. What I did tell her is that it is a really nice, serene place and you’d come back to Malaysia only to wish that you could return there soon.

Overnight stay at Swiss Inn, Johor Bahru

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I captured my recent trip to JB in the vlog above. Check out my other videos on Youtube.

I was in JB a few weekends back to visit my alma mater with the Back To School (BTS) committee. I was just recently absorbed into the team to lead mini projects as they run out of hands to help out. InsyaAllah I will be handling the batch Tshirt and the ‘launch ceremony’. I am happy with my current role. Honestly, I did not expect to contribute this far. I will let you know later.

I travelled to JB alone by bus. I downloaded an app called Redbus and booked my tickets there. Nowadays, bus services are like airlines. You get a boarding pass at the station and everything is so organized now. My journey was a 3 hour ride and I arrived at JB just before 8pm. I was contemplating to have dinner first before I go to the hotel but it’s a bit dark to wander alone in a foreign state.

my Redbus code : rednyyu9

So I hailed a taxi and charged without meter, a whooping RM15. Plus an additional RM2 for parking ticket fee since the cab was parked in the stations parking place. I felt so ripped off.

Thankfully, the reception at Swiss Inn JB was so warm and friendly that I soon forget about being tired and hungry. Check in was quick. They did not require any deposit.

I booked a Cozy Single Room which has Free Wifi and breakfast for two. Other commendable facilities include Free Shuttle Service, a parking space and yezza affordable room service. It was RM140.34 including tax and service fee. As usual, I booked my room through Agoda.com. There are other room options for family and individual travelers alike. One being a Tatami room where 6 people could stay together in a room with matresses laid on the floor – very Japanese like and cosy too.

My room has the basic complimentary beverages set and towels. Separate toilet and hot shower. A bath gel and shampoo with a small bar of soap. A mini hairdryer too. You need to bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste though.

I ordered room service and started unpacking my backpack. For dinner, I had a Deluxe burger. It came in an economic plastic packaging instead of a plate. Lol. That was new. I remembered ordering room service in Kuching’s Telang Usan, they still serve meals in proper plates. Ha ha. But it’s ok. Maybe it was easier to clean up and more hygienic? *thumbs up* After my meal, I freshened up and tucked myself in early.

I was already up at 530am the next day. Sunday is a working day in JB. I went down to the 1st floor for breakfast at the restaurant. The atmosphere was cute but I did not manage to snap a lot of pictures. The options were adequate and fulfilling for a 3 star hotel. It’s not a wonder that this hotel is the accommodation of choice for small group travellers. That morning we had guests from Indonesia staying there which was refreshing. Previously I’ve only managed to see groups from China during breakfast. The ibu-ibu looks so cute and fashionable with their colourful tudung.

After a brief visit to the loo, I checked out of Swiss Inn. I wished I could stay longer. The hotel is so pretty. I could have at least explored the gym.

This time I took a Grab Car to my alma mater situated near to the bus station the night before. The fare was only RM10.

My alma mater, Sekolah Tun Fatimah is an all girls boarding school. As someone who came from a non-priviledged background, it was a life changing moment for me. It was a great opportunity for me to receive structured education in a school said to be for the creme of the creme. On top of formal learning, I also had a taste of interacting with fellow students of different social hierarchy. I was middle class. So I get to mingle or observe those girls who were from upper and of lower class than mine. It was a mind opening and humbling experience.

Despite depending fully on meals at the dining hall, my parents still give me a bit of pocket money – enough to call home on the weekend with a phone card and the occasional splurge of air kotak rumah at the co-op. There were times of course I did not have enough money to buy an RM50 jersey shirt ( I was a player in the softball team) so I quit the team quoting ridiculous reasons like ‘mak suruh belajar’ . The seniors were a disappointed but they accepted my reasons. Since then, I didn’t take up sport because to me sports required money we did not have. So I just laid low and studied. I made a few friends. I don’t recall having any personal enemies. I think. ha ha. Even the teachers have a tough time trying to remember who is this Minci. HA ha ha ha.

Which is why when last year they announced to do this BTS programme, a collaboration activity with the school counsellors – I wasn’t exceptionally thrilled. I had no one in particular that I was excited to see because the ones I love, I am already seeing them or sending parcel kasih sayang from time to time. Notably, Kakjet and my Mimie. I appreciate my teachers and is forever grateful for their kind words and teaching but there is no outstanding personal moments to reminisce on, unlike my super achieving friends or the rebellious ones. I was one of those people who was not interested to join. At all.

until one day

I just felt like contributing. Part of it was driven by my personal agenda to meet Birsilah Bakar and force her to scribble an autograph in my copies of her book. hihi. And part of it is just wanting to exist as a Srikandi without feeling inferior by it. Often I had to conceal the fact that I’m a Srikandi because people expect big things from you – I’m just not keen to be likewise. It’s a personality thing. I am an introvert. Socializing or shining drains too much of my energy. lOl.

Anyway, what started as a volunteer in a mini group to sweat the little stuff led to me being upgraded as a team leader. It’s huge and gonna be one of the big things I’m organizing. So, BTS 2020 – here we go.