Thursday, August 20, 2015

Of disappointments and bucking up


After sharing about the two interviews i attended in the previous post, i was asked to share about my disappointments and failures. Oh wow. That's a new request. But before that i'd like to say that everything i share is merely to brag, i'm only starting to embark a new chapter in my life. But i don't see the point of keeping your experience to yourself. Who knows, your story could be an inspiration for someone to do something for themselves?

Anyway, to mention failures and disappointments.. There's really so so much to even begin with. But i'm going to share a few that's close to us all. I always get remarks like, "your life is so perfect, cikgu. You have everything" and "Cikgu, i wonder what don't you have in this life?" and even "Cikgu, you're too good to be true"

Wow all of those are really flattering, but kids, i only show what i want you to see. Being an instructor, i must be professional. So you could say that when i'm with you, its just me in my professional mode. Really, i believe that i have more flaws than all those great things you say.

But its the matter of what i learnt from my past, that makes me who i am today; the professional me that you see today. I've made a number of mistakes, whether pertaining to teaching or not. But all of them taught me something, that shaped me and made me the Cikgu Aina you see today.

1. Academics - disappointing my parents

You see, my parents raised me up into taking my education very seriously and every exam matters. Be it an ujian bulanan or peperiksaan pertengahan tahun. Pendek kata, exam oriented. But that was what i saw when i was a kid. All i aimed for was a perfect 100 in my exams, nothing else. As i grow older, not to say that it didn't matter to me anymore, but entering a school that doesn't really have much competitions has made me less interested in my studies.

So i vented out my interest elsewhere; co-curricular activities. You name it, i entered almost everything back in SMK Sungai Ara. Debate, public speaking, bahas, pidato, forum, kawad kaki KRS, kadet polis, silat, hockey and even handball. I was unstoppable. And i even won most of them. But i had to slow down towards PMR Trials because it was actually an important exam.

Oh did i mention i flunked most of my exams? I barely studied for the exams, but still manage to get 1st in the batch with just 3A's. You get the idea of how not challenging the environment was for me?? By the time trials ended, i came to realize that i needed to find something or somewhere to go, or else i'll flunk my SPM as well. Plus, i was really tired of listening to my parents nagging to me about my studies everyday. All day, the same bloody thing. As much as i was tired of it, i figured that i must do something, or i'll forever live with being compared to my sisters.

Ah yes, being compared to. My two elder sisters scored 5A's in their UPSR while i only got 4A's and 1B. The comparing started there on, with me refusing to enter the same school they went to. Plus, they got 9A's in their PMR, so i'm so not getting compared to this time. I had to do something.

So i got more interested in boarding schools. At that time, i was really close with SM Sains Kepala Batas students because i had a pet sister there. I did my research, and found out that my uncles went to SM Sains Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin (SOKSEK) and my aunt went to Tunku Kurshiah. Pendek cerita, my mum challenged me, if i get an offer to TKC, then she'll let me go to SBP.

But at the end of the day, it wasn't about my co-curricular activities or me getting distracted, or being afraid of getting compared to, it was about not disappointing my parents again. It was three years since UPSR and i haven't done one damn thing to make them proud. I flunk my exams, i played around, i took things very lightly -- irresponsible. I knew i had to change, i MUST make them proud this time. And that was what kept me going, until today. Alhamdulillah for what i've achieved so far. Everything i do today, is for them. To make them proud, here and hereafter.

To have the realization that enough is enough, and you really have to take responsibility for what you did before is a huge thing. But sometimes just realizing isn't enough. You gotta do something about it. Take charge of your life and make a change. Start with the smallest mistake, and move up to the big ones. Consistently improve yourself, because there's no such thing as a perfect person. Keep on improving yourself, to make yourself proud, but above all, to make them proud.

2. Attitude - disappointing myself

I'm not going to share exactly what i did, but it was really stupid and i believe that if the 8 year old me is here today, she'll slap me in the face and say, "how could you do this to yourself?!". Sigh.

But really, self realization is really crucial in fixing yourself. Once you've disappointed yourself, its like you've fallen into this really deep hole that is so small you can barely breathe. But then again there's no problem you can't fix. First thing's first, sit back and breathe. Relax and think it through.

Ask yourself, how much longer do i really want to disappoint myself? Where do i see myself in 20 years? Do i want to be in the exact same position, blaming people and pitying myself for something i did, or do i want to be this amazing person that is full of positive vibes and brings this aura that makes people want to be with you?

But remember that no matter how bad you disappointed yourself, no matter how in deep shit you're in, no matter how much damage you've done, no matter how bad you think the situation is, there's no problem that cant be solved. God promised us in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 286, "Allah does not charge a soul except thats within its capacity" so just believe in His promise.

There's always a way out. First thing's first, return back to Him. I swear i got alot calmer when i first cried my eyes out in my prayers, asking for forgiveness, and asking for guidance.

Just remember that nothing is impossible, just have faith, always have the urge to improve ourselves, insyaAllah you'll be fine. Not to say that i'm now a perfect human being, but i'm saying that i'm not the person i was before. Not the same person i was once disappointed with, not the same self centered asshole anymore.

However i'm still the narcissist i was before, that can't be changed no matter what tho. Tak Aina la kalau tak syok sendiri. I stand by the motto, "siapa nak puji diri kita kalau bukan diri sendiri, siapa nak sayang kita kalau bukan diri sendiri?" so love ourselves before loving others. Cey.


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I know this post isn't much, but i hope its something to think about. Afterall, i've only lived for 19 years. I still have alot more to face, and more experience to share in the days to come, insyaAllah. I will keep being an instructor, and a part-time physics teacher. I will keep trying to inspire, i will keep on trying to improve myself, insyaAllah.

May Allah bless :)