Thursday, July 5, 2012

when there is nothing left to say, i say goodbye.

After 3 years, 17 poems, 2340 posts and more than a billion words left unspoken, I have finally decided to say goodbye to L'esprit de Escalier and blog elsewhere. It was about time anyway. It's the perfect time anyway. Running L'esprit de Escalier has helped me learn that if you have something so say, you might as well say them while you can because when the people you want to say them to are gone, they're gone. 

I think I have finally said it all here- all that I needed to say. I have nothing left unsaid and so, it's time to go. Goodbyes are never easy but if I'm brave enough to say goodbye, maybe life will be kind and reward me with a new hello. So, here's to new hello's :)

Oh, if you liked reading/listening to me rant here, you can always visit me at my new blog if you want. Just drop your email address in the comment box and I'll link you and don't worry, I won't publish them. 

Well, I guess this is goodbye then. Tata guys, and see you when I see you!

I finally found the good in goodbye :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

superherhero friends ♥

Hello People,

Things have been going okay so far. Abah is in the hospital and he just started his chemo sessions a couple of days ago. I go see him in the mornings and stay till around lunch. Then Mum picks me up and takes me home. Then we go again at night to bring him dinner (he really hates the hospital food). I'm not sleeping over there yet because Abah says when it starts to get bad I can stay but it won't be long before the chemo starts kicking in though. 

I just want to take the opportunity to thank those who are helping pray for him. I also want to thank my friends, who have been my support system through and through. Even if some of you have never really understood the ordeal but you understand enough to be there for me so, thank you for being my superheroes guys :)

After the chemo is over, which will be in a months time, I plan to work. But I still want to stick to my plan of doing something simple for a while before I dive into the working world of real live working adults. I already had a friend recommending me to a child care center around here. But there's also the Junior Cambridge pre-school my neighbour owns. I'm hoping I qualify for any one of those to take me in. Whichever it is, I don't mind. I have always always wanted to work with kids because I believe it's good for the soul. So, as long as there's kids involved, I'm happy :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

i want to be fearless.

I've been doing okay so far. Sometimes I do you know.. miss.. but it's nothing I can't handle so far. When he agreed that we shouldn't be talking to each other anymore I was a little hurt that all he could say was, "ok, sorry." But putting myself in his shoes, there's nothing else to say really. I wasn't important enough to say much and I get it and it's okay. I'm learning to let it go and keep moving because maybe one day it will be possible to be talking as friends again, and maybe one day when I hear something like a wedding announcement, I want to be okay, and I want to be happy too- and happy for him. I want to be able to say, "good for you" with a genuine smile plastered upon my face even if he won't be there to hear me to say it. At least I'll be able to hear me say it and that's more important, I think.

Anyway, I think whats been ironically helping me up right now is that I have more important matters to worry about than my petty little broken heart. After dinner, because I had felt that I was ready, I had just started to discuss the next steps I planned to take with my life like work and/or study when Mum says, wait,  you can't work yet and before I had time to even look baffled, Abah lays down some sad news. You know, I'm starting to believe that good news comes with bad news, and bad news comes with bad news but good news rarely comes with good news. That's just not the way the world goes round. It's just not how the cookie crumbles. And what Abah was about to say, was going to crumble our world.

You know, the only time Abah, or Mum has ever really sat us down to discuss his disease was when he was first diagnosed with it. I think around 6 or 7 years ago. Everything else was a blur. Every time it came back, we'd never really know about it. We'll, we did know about it but no one ever really talked about it. No one ever told anyone what was happening, when it come back, or what was going to happen next. Every thought we had were mostly guesses, pieced things together to come to a conclusion. I guess that was because talking about it made it seem more real but today, after dinner, Abah sat us down, and laid the whole situation down. He said that starting Monday next week, he was going for Chemo. He was going to be in the hospital for 3-4 weeks. This only means one thing, that it's back, again. And Abah says it's worse than it's ever been before. He said that it's going to get ugly, that there's going to be nausea/vomiting, he was going to lose his hair, he was going to grow unbearably thin. "I know", I whispered to myself. I know, because I've seen it all before.

I, of course was going to be the one responsible for taking care of Abah while he is in the hospital. That's why Mum told me I couldn't start work yet. I didn't mind it. But then Mum and Abah were talking about how I was going to have to learn to drive from here to Monash (to pick up/drop off Mum) and then to HKL ALL BY MYSELF. That was super scary. I mean, me, do all that? me? It sent shivers down my spine. I was a loser with remembering roads and routes and I still think I'm a terribly bad driver but I guess I'm gonna have to look at this as a way of practicing. How was I ever going to improve if I didn't practice, right? besides, I'll be doing Mum a big favour. I hated to see how tired she got driving around last time when Abah was in the hospital. Now, with her bad knee, she gets tired just from driving to work every single day. By driving to the hospital myself, I think I'd be doing my part in trying to keep everything intact, running smooth and considerably stable while everything else inside us just starts to fall apart.
This news has left me trembling inside. I am trying not to be so scared but even if I've been through it a hundred thousand times before, the fear, it never gets old. The feeling that I might lose Abah will never leave. Like the cancer growing inside him, it just hides in a corner of my body waiting to silently destroy what ever I have left of me. All that's left to do is pray, and hope for the best.

i am learning to appreciate what i have, before time makes me appreciate what i had.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

an uncertain beginning and a heartbreaking end.

I don't know how to fathom my feelings into words and I don't know how to make you understand. But I'll try, because this is something I have to do. I have to tell you, and you need to know. You need to know. So maybe one day, if you ever come round here again, I hope and you'll stumble upon this. And when you do, maybe you'll click x, maybe you'll scroll through, maybe you'll read, and understand that I wrote this for you, and only you.

Okay.. deep breaths, here goes...

Have you ever read something that killed you inside? Like a text message or someone's status. Everything was going fine until you accidentally came across something you were better off not knowing. It hurts. To be exact, it feels like your heart has been blown to a million pieces but you keep reading it over and over again. It sucks how one little thing can ruin your whole day doesn't it?

Well, there have always been occasions like these, where someone tells me something I wasn't supposed to know and lately, it's been happening a lot more than usual. Remember when you called that night? Remember when I said, "Oh"? Remember when you asked why I said, "Oh"? I was disappointed, that's why. I was hoping that maybe you called to tell me the truth yourself. The real truth. But I understand that its a difficult balance- telling the truth: how much to share, how much to keep, which truth will wound but not ruin, which will cut too deep to heal. Maybe, the reason you decided to keep certain things from certain people was because you didn't want anybody to get hurt. Well, love, now everybody is hurt. The secrets I've found out over the period of the past few days have been too much to bear. There were just too many of them; so un-organised, unsynchronised. It was like ache upon ache piling itself upon me, crushing my soul. Such an ugly mess. I couldn't take it anymore. I snapped under the weight of it all and it's left me crying on the floor. You have to understand how such small pieces of information could mean so much to me. When pieced together, they meant so so much to me.

I cried the hardest that night you know. But not because it means you're leaving, but because it means I have to.

I've spent so much time hoping that you'd love me back some day. The potential to be something more than what we were had always kept me going, but I don't think I can do this anymore. I can see all the beautiful things we could be, but you don't see any of that when you look at me. And I thought I could wait forever for you to come around, but I guess that I'm not that strong after all. Do I still love you? Of course. More than you know. More than I thought was possible, but this will be the last time. After this, I do not love you anymore because it's time to leave those feelings behind. I can't keep hoping that one fine morning, you'll wake up and finally realize how much I cared. So I'm leaving, in an attempt to find the love I once truly believed in, the one I think I deserve so that someday, my sadness will be replaced by something beautiful.

* * *

This next part is for you, the girlfriend. If you really have been following my blog since November last year, then there is no doubt you would be reading this, so I want you to know that what I told you, were half truths, and a whole lie. Yes, we were classmates, and no, we were not just classmates. I also do not have a boyfriend. I only said so because I didn't know what to say. I only wanted to say what I thought you wanted to hear. I am sorry. I am sorry that I only became aware of who you really are a few days ago. I was still trying to process everything and I didn't know what to say to you. I want you to know that I feel horrible for the damage I have caused. But I also want you to know that I am not a horrible person.

What I can tell you is that the last day I saw him, I asked him if his feelings for me have decreased or were still the same. He replied, "they're still the same, but it doesn't make a difference if it's nothing." So, there. You have so many questions that deserve answers, but I just can't give them to you. I know it hurts and I know this is not the answer you've been looking for, but I hope it makes up for the damage, though truth be told, broken hearts can never really be fixed. I can't fix you. But five years is an awfully long time. Do whatever you can to make it work.
* * *.

So, this is all I have left to say to you. I have nothing left. There is nothing left. I have given you up, and I am letting you go. We've had our fun. I loved every second I spent with you but now it's time to set you free. I hope you know I am sorry I ever hurt your relationship with her. I didn't know. I didn't know. I wish you well, take good care. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. So now I am leaving.

It's an awful shame that this is how our story ends. Such a tragedy, but this is how its meant to be. This is it, the heartbreaking end. Goodbye.

Someone's got to go, so I'm already gone.

Monday, June 18, 2012

how long can i keep this up?


the scariest thing about distance is that you don't know whether they'll miss you or they'll forget you.

Monday, June 4, 2012


In French, you don’t really say “I miss you.” You say “tu me manques,” which is closer to “you are missing from me.” I love that. “You are missing from me.”

You are a part of me, and now you are missing from me.

When I hugged him, I blurted out, I miss you. He was right there in front of me and I told him I miss him. When I realized how stupid it sounded out loud, I corrected myself. "I'm gonna miss you," I said. When you're gone I'm gonna miss you.

Today, I had a thousand words whizzing in my head. They were the 'proper' ones this time. Not something stupid like i miss you. Like humming birds, the words hummed around in my head. Just hummed but I could only say to you, "don't disappear."

It's funny, how the words we never say can turn into the only thoughts we know. When I held you  for what felt like the last time. I didn't want to let go. I said nothing. I closed my mouth and I spoke to you in a hundred silent ways. What was I to do? There were no words I could say to make you stay.

and then, I watched as I let you drive away.

tu me mangues.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

almost there, almost.

13 more days to go

I think everyday as we're driving back home from an exhausting day from school, we quietly asks ourselves in our heads, can we make it through this again tomorrow? and in our quiet little defeated minds we whisper to ourselves, no. But you know what the amazing thing is? We still wake up every morning, and we get up and find out and we do... we get it through the day. The same way we've been getting through the day for the past three months. I think it's a one-step-at-a-time thing. You slash the numbered boxes off the calender one by one.

Some days do feel like shit. Most days I tell him I can't wait to get the hell out of here. I tell him I hate everything about this place, except my kids. I don't hate them. But I'll tell him I hate just about everything else. Him, he's more of the quiet type. He does the counting down. He's the passing days and ticking clock. On his really bad days, you can tell, but there's nothing you can do because you feel the same way too. You know the only cure is home.

Mum has planned a holiday to Langkawi the day right after it ends. She has booked the tickets and I have never been more ready to go but funny as it sounds, I don't think I'm in any way, shape, or form, ready to say goodbye. But things like goodbyes happen weather you're ready or not and sooner or later I will have to go.

Last Friday, I had to relief my Form 2 class for PJ. As usual, they started interviewing me, STILL asking what my relationship with him was. Even if I wanted to tell them, I couldn't, because I don't know. They were begging me for my Facebook, and they were begging me not to go. A few of them even did a little sketch which I really didn't understand much of but touched me all the same. You know, even though they groan when I give them work and I have to constantly tell them to shut up in class and shout till my voice sounds all scratchy like a pondan, I am truly blessed to have them as my students. Somehow, they remind me of my class when I was back in campus. They remind me of how we used to bicker and stuff in class and we all had our own cliches and our own issues but we also had togetherness- something I dare say other classes never had.

When I think back on the days in campus, it really makes me want to cry. And one day, when this is all over (in two weeks), I will look back on these days and want to cry.

I constantly tell myself, "I'm done" but then I find myself trying again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

we could have had it all.

24 more days to go.

Spending the first labor day as a laborer. An unpaid one that is. Funny.

Anyway, it's also my sisters birthday, so, Happy Birthday Ina! Can't wait for you to get married so Balqees can give your child a korean name like Kim Chi Kong or something. I badly wish I was home with the family. Mum called and asked if I was coming home or not cz she said they were having a barbeque back at home with Ami Dollah and Aunty Shimahs' family. That made me feel oh so sad. Nothing could really cheer me up today:(

Today the house was super packed. Ika's cousins from Johor came over and Nenek is back too. Even her family was here. Ika's mum started setting up the perfumes and stuff she was selling so people started coming over. Relatives mostly. I did feel kinda menyemak there but her cousin Amal is really nice and there were loads of little kids to play with. Sofea, the little cookie monster thatstole my cookies and sat on my lap eating them was also there. Chubbier than ever. Hehe..

Anyways, after we helped out a little, we went back into the room to start doing our lesson plans. Only, it was midday by then and the sun was scorching hot. The room felt like an oven. My skin was starting to itch again and I resulted to napping the whole afternoon cz it was just too hot to do anything. I woke up at about 4.00pm and decided I had to do something about my lesson plan or I was going to be pasting empty manilla cards onto the board for Thursdays observation.

I got to work and finished 3/4 of my AVA. I'm making a board game for teaching a, an, the. Its somewhat a Spongebob Sqaurepants themed Snakes and Ladders game. It's pretty lame. But since I'll only be having 18 students in my class this Thursday, it fits the theme pretty well I'd say.

My back is now aching like hell. That's what happens when you don't have a proper table and chair to work on but heck. I have PBSM tomorrow but I don't think I'm going since I'm gonna have to have 3 more lesson plans ready by Friday. 2 for Monday and another one for Fridays' lesson. I'm doomed.

Today as I was sitting at the table with Ede and Ika sniffing perfumes, Ika suddenly asked me, "ko tak nak jual kat Mayon ke?", and I was like, huh? Ok, I did think about it once but then I haven't seen him in over a year. Since Theater- recalled Ede. Well that was the last time they saw him anyway, and boy were they mesmerized. Hahaha.. but I don't think I really wanna see him anymore, yet. She then asked me if he still called me. He does. Around twice a month. Sometimes I call him. He's a really good talker. Haha. That means he can talk about anything under the sun and he can make it sound interesting and funny. He's a funny man and 30 minutes on the phone with him is like a mood booster for the day.

Then, came the inevitable "ko tak nak balik kat dia ke?" question. For some reason, my friends love this question. But the answer is always a firm, no. I've had my time with him. I harbour no grudges towards him and if anybody asks, I have only nice things to say about him but I've come a long way since that crying girl that night in his car. When he left, he made me believe that I was unworthy of him. I don't think there is anything in the world that could change that. Not even time.

I know my friends think it's a shame that this was how it ended. Sometimes I think it's a shame too. But I was in love with him, and he fell out of love with me. Over time, I fell out of love with him too. It was one of  the most painful experiences I ever had to endure but it was worth it. I wasn't gonna let loneliness drive me to be with someone I don't belong with.

I learned a lot from all this. Including how to love again. And that felt more amazing because it proved me wrong. I loved again. I fell in love and it felt even better this time. Never have I ever loved anybody this long, this hard. But even if this time, this one doesn't work out, then never mind. I accept it. I'll keep falling and I'll keep hurting until someday, I find someone who will make all the pain go away. Live and learn.

Sounds so much like a fairy tale but hey, I'm a believer :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

28 more days to go.

We had the story telling competition today. We were the judges. Which was actually quite a funny sight I think, I mean I don't think neither of us knew what we were doing but I guess you could say it was a fun experience. Hehe..

We started at 2.30pm. Only 7 participants showed up which wasn't too much of a disappointment cz I actually though no one would turn up. Out of the 7, 3 actually had talent which made me smile cz it showed that they were serious when they signed up for this competition.

 the shortest of them all -____-"

What saddened me was that after the competition, after we had announced the winners, around four more came up to us and either asked if they could join, or asked when the competition was. This frustrated me cz it meant that they weren't aware of or didn't pay attention to the announcements we made about the competition and I though the kids that came up to us actually had talent which would have made the competition a little spicier compared to the mundane one that took place earlier.

Well, no use crying over spilled milk. Whats done is done. I'm still happy with all the winners, and proud to say that one of them was my 1Y student. She did me proud though of course I'm gonna have to strangle her next Monday for not speaking like that in class!

After recess I had class with my 1J students. We did PBS (Band 1) today. I've heard a teacher say that you give these guys a piece of coloured paper and they zip it. Well, for PBS today, we made identification cards. I drew them a template on the board and they just filled in the particulars and coloured and decorated their cards. I am pleased to say, they enjoyed that very much! Now, guess who was the first person to pass up their work? Yes, it was the little dude I punished and made cry the other day. Surprising no?

Anyway, having them make these Identification Cards has allowed me to learn a lot about these kids. Especially after reading the particulars about their families. Sociolinguistics has taught me a lot about a childs SES and his achievement/performance in school. I learned that the number of parent per family and the and also the parents' occupation can tell you a lot about a kid.

Most of my kids live in a single parent home. Some had super large families. Some, have parents who are merely bus/taxi drivers and housewives. I could see it was a hard knock life for these kids. It explains a lot about them, and their behaviour. I dare say some may even have been or currently are victims of abuse. One time, I asked this kid where he got the massive scar on his arm. He said he 'kena besi panas.' I asked him who did it, he just shrugged.

There's also this one kid who always looks so messy. So comot. One class I entered, she had ink all over her tudung. Another time, she had chilli sauce all over her baju kurung. When I told her to go to the toilet to get cleaned up, she came back looking even messier! Shes always the talk of the teachers. She can't read, and she can barely write. We think she has dyslexia too because even when shes told to copy word for word from a book or the whiteboard, she gets her letters jumbled up. I didn't notice it at first. I just though she was a really really really bad speller and then during a PBS meeting when one teacher brought the topic up, then it kinda became clear to me. Though the only problem is she hasn't any doctors letter confirming the condition so we're not really allowed to say anything, or give her the extra help she needs. Maybe the parents aren't paying attention, or they just haven't enough money to 'pay attention.'

Today, she took my heart. As I sat down in the staff room and marked their work, I came across hers. There, at the bottom of her card, in her neatest handwriting, she had written:

That little message had caught me off guard. She never talked much in class and preferred to stay to herself. She does what I say and that was it. It was totally uncalled for. Never would I expect for a student to reach out to randomly thank me in her piece of work. I was a surprise, and wondered for a long time what she was thanking me for. Maybe I had actually without realizing it, given her the colour of paper she wanted, or maybe it was because I provided her with the colour pens. I don't know. Maybe, she was just thanking me, just because. And that got me beaming throughout the rest of the day.

Everyday I go to school and I drag myself through the day. Then, I go home and drag myself through the night. It has never seem to get easier. I have a lot of uncertainties about what I'm doing, about what I have done. There are words I regret saying, and words I regret not saying, and there are always doubts. I screw up some days, and it makes me feel like my life is a failure. But sometimes, the times like when I get an unexpected note from a student thanking me, lets me know that whatever I'm doing, I'm doing just fine.

Last night I had been crying. I had been asking God a few questions. Telling Him a few things. Sometimes you feel as of you've had things yanked from out of your clutches. You feel its unfair. But sometimes, you don't realize that something more precious, more amazing gets placed into you hands instead because you're too busy yearning for what you've lost. It gets placed so gently that you don't even realize it sometimes. You don't even see it but everything happens for a reason. Everything. I'm teaching myself to look close enough to find those reasons.

I came to this school to teach some kids. I ended up learning a lot more from them instead.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

29 days to go.

Congratulations to our Choral Speaking team! After years and years waiting and participating but never coming back with place, today they came back with 2nd place! Woohoo! and the best part is, that we actually beat the super snobbish school that wouldn't even clap for anyone else!

 Good Luck celebration :)

 This dude won best conductor. He was the only conductor that got the crowd clapping when he bowed. He was awesome.

They wowed the audience. They were amazing. 

I have never been more proud of a bunch of kids in my life as I was today. STAR rocks!