Sunday, January 28, 2018

New Year 2018

I'm back again after a long break for about 3 months. I was away in my homeland Sabah. Guess, with all the festive programs of Christmas and family gatherings there was very little chance for me to get online. More so with internet wifi having network problem. Most of the time it happened due to rainy seasons which often accompanied by thunder & lightning. Apart from that, I had been very busy rearranging our family house. There was huge work to do. I got rid a lot of things from the house, sent some to recycle center & donated others. I managed to minimize my items to 12 smaller container boxes. I felt so relieved & lighter. Finally I was able to get rid a lot of things which I didn't really need. Still I'm hoping that one day I could reduce them to just 5 boxes. 

This year my resolution will be simpler & I'll go more casual. I used to write like I was writing for a newsletter or newspaper because I was concern about my students. They wanted to learn English for their exams. Now that I'm no longer with them, I prefer to be more direct & precise. I will deal with my own imperfection & limitation easily. I guess, part of this is for me to face the aging process. As we age day by day, we should learn how to let go of things especially those that are making us short-tempered & impatient. Honestly, I don't want to grow old being cranky or taking tranquilizer pills. I always believe in spending some quite time or silence to get peace of mind & heart. Decluttering helps me to relax my mind & body. Knowing this positive effect also helps me to be aware of any false desire which leads to being trapped in limited time & space. I'm sure everybody wants the freedom to move and the best way is to let go. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dividing My Time

It took me about three weeks to do the 7 minutes video recapture of our cultural gathering. 
I had been juggling between some projects and personal duties. I’ve never been so occupied like this before. I’m in total control of my own time. I have no one to ask me what to do. While making music and videos is very much time consuming, you just don’t want to be interrupted. But, there are times interruptions do help to make us less selfish. So, I won’t say that I’m working too hard on one particular project but I’m trying to make time for every other important thing in life. I need to divide my time for others and myself. A good sleep and rest definitely has to be in the daily schedule. I do admit that I sometimes disobey this little rule like forcing myself through the night checking on the computer or cellphone. How important it is to listen to our body and senses. I shouldn’t go beyond the red light!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Music EP

I would say that the painful process of doing my songs’ EP album is like delivery labor and raising a child. Not to mention the times when I get sick, am having a cold, sore throat and cough. For the moment, it’s more proper for me to choose and carry out what should be handled first. My four composed original songs which have been recorded at home will remain where they are. I prefer to go for the pro recordings and that will touch some matters on financial. I’ll have to wait for the right time to put these songs into good hands. Meanwhile, I’m trying to come up with a mix of half acapella and digital music which will foreshadow these songs. This too will take time, hoping that it will aid the fund for the pro recordings.

Whenever we cross a road, we'll have to stop and make sure that it's safe to do so. Everything will have to go through a process. So, it takes great faith and patience to wait.

"Everything comes to those who wait — if they work while they wait."

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Visit To Oregon

It has been a while since my last post. Having to do most of the things on my own at the moment, I admit that my time is very limited to put some updates right away. I do feel guilty seeing notifications of views on my page. Somehow, I just couldn’t drop by to write and post something. I should consider posting shorter updates more regularly than occasionally lengthy ones. 

Wonderful things had happened within the gaps though and one of them was a two-week visit to Oregon. I had a free tour and owe a big ‘thank you’ to a couple friends who made it possible for me to visit those extraordinarily beautiful places. It was part of the dream come true since the last few months — those times when I needed to take a break and breathe on fresh air of nature. Oregon is the best place. The wild beauty of the green forest is exactly like the ones I picture in fairy-tale stories. Obviously, some of these areas have become favorite locations for filmmakers — among others the recent famous ‘Twilight’.  Standing there seemed to overflow my mind with ideas to write a fairy-inspired fiction. 

The enchanting Japanese garden is just a perfect garden for me to take as examples — how I would like a backyard to be, in our family home in Sabah. The bamboos planted in such a way that is so creative and very well-organised remind me of our own Sabah bamboos. Somehow they just bring to me the sense of tranquillity and peace. I would like to have bamboo plants in my home. I picture how I want a corner of my apartment to be — simpler and tropical inspired. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Crossroads Encounter

The best thing to do when you’re encountering crossroads, is to remain where you are. Then wait until you’re fully informed and ready for the next move.

This crossroads encounter has been going on in the middle of finalizing my composed songs. I was all set when some interesting ideas crept into my mind. I wasn’t really sure if my need to be in a new environment was actually to embark in another adventure.

Is moving to another state good for our future? It appears quite fascinating to be informed about the possibility of some good opportunities. Still it can be scary to live in a place where you have to start all over again — getting to know new people, making new friends, adapting with the weather and kind of lifestyle. I haven’t even completely learned how to adjust myself here. I find myself still depending so much on others. Perhaps this is why my inner self tends to claim that sense of independence — as I used to be. 

Probably staying means I’ll be stagnant and stuck with my daily routines. I wonder if there’s space to grow.  Going means freedom to explore but not without challenges to face — perhaps rougher ones. Fortunately I have ample of time to think and ponder. There’s no rush for the moment.

My desire to study more than a decade ago had acquired me two bachelor degrees each in language and art. I had years invested in studies and I thought that was it. I wanted to focus on something else more rewarding — something for me to give back to society. So, I now use a lot of my time for studying on my own. However that desire to learn in a tangible way crept into my heart. I picture all the years ahead that I will go through — God willing. I envision all the days, weeks, months and years spent in studies, working and contributing to society. For sure there will be no regret at all. The only thing that I worry about being too studious is the growing of more white hairs — more than I worry about the fees. Studying on my own is fun and free. Going to college will put myself under strict self-discipline but later will acquire me official transcripts to prove that I’m ‘somebody’. Either way, I still have time to think and ponder. There’s no rush for the moment.

As I was pondering to further my studies, I became overwhelmed with the types of courses being offered. I have always been fascinated with fashion and fairies. For a moment, I was thinking of pursuing my studies in fashion. Though I’ve already acquired a Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design, I wasn’t impressed with the result. But when I think about it, at least I had the experience and I just have to polish my performance in that field of art. Having this idea in mind, I intend to consider going back to fashion in my own creative way — within my own space and time.  I’m giving a serious thought about this and quite excited about it.

It’s always good to ask someone for an opinion though we’re not obliged to follow it. I asked Ivan if I should go back to college and what type of course should I take. I used to ask him if I should go for baking course. He didn’t have any objection. I pictured those cute cupcakes in a bakery shop. It looked so fun. Then, I started to go through the process of opening the shop. When everything was on paper, I found myself being overwhelmed by all the procedures and responsibilities including some risks to face. What started from a simple idea became a huge and complicated matter. After all the research and studies that I’ve done, I finally came to the conclusion that, it wasn’t what I wanted. I was just interested in seeing those colorful cakes because I love colors and they look tasty. Somehow, it didn’t end just like that. I sort of enjoy being able to indulge in baking cakes for our family members every birthday occasion. I enjoyed decorating the cakes and seeing the smiles on their faces.

I asked Ivan again of what type of course I should take. As usual he would always say, “Whatever you want.” But this time I was quite persistent, asking for the truth of his opinion. Then, he said with his eyes glittering — as I saw them, “Take music.” That’s it. I like the truth of such opinion. That was exactly what I wanted I’ve been making my songs, singing and practicing my music all these while. Why should I ignore the opportunity to learn the skill from a prestigious college just a few minutes away from home?

Now that I can see where I should be heading to, it helps me to prepare myself in many areas — where and how to get the financial, material and moral support I need. There’s always a warming up in everything before getting started. This is another adventure, hopefully to be in a new environment where things can be more exciting and interesting. However, it isn’t enough to be just becoming very enthusiastic about something new and being unable to calm down.  I believe that I have to bring any matter in life — a decision making in particular —  into contemplation. Again, I don’t have to rush — instead I need to be able to sit still and let myself be guided in my discernment  then be ready for the next move.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Being Confined To My Bed

Sometimes when you work too hard, you don’t realize that your body is actually telling you to stop for a while. It’s when you ignore that little voice in you that your body starts to make its own move letting you to be confined to bed for days and nights as if it’s going to be forever.

Lately I had been taking green tea for almost a week. I took a different brand on the last day and about an hour later my head felt wavy  all of a sudden.  I was about to go out that day. I couldn’t help myself but fell half on the bed. I was lucky that Ivan was there as it was his day off from work. He pulled me up onto the bed to correct my position. I was motionless. My mind was almost fading but gained consciousness as I continued to breathe. Since then, I had been confined to bed for about four days and nights — I was unable to stand too long. Whenever I made a slight move, my head would feel wavy. I blamed the green teas for that incident.

Throughout being confined to my bed, I battled with some nightmares which left me restless, tired, afraid, insecure and feeling negative. I had to cancel all my activities. Then came the moment when I felt that I needed to make a drastic change in my life. I just needed a new environment — for myself, my music and writing. An environment which is not complicated — not being hooked so much to high tech and social media lifestyle — a serene, nature filled and quieter surrounding.  I pictured myself sitting on a balcony by the seashore.  

I wasn’t only feeling wavy but also experiencing the pressure and discomfort from the centre of my head down to my shoulders. I thought that couldn’t be from the green teas. I tried to remember and I figured it out. For the last eight to ten months, I had been doing my music, recording, videotaping and doing most of my works on computers and devices for hours, days, weeks and months — all by myself. There were many times with sleepless nights and missing quality sleeps — though having been reminded by Ivan to go to bed early. Just before the incident happened, I had been spending hours finishing my fourth song on the computer while playing my guitar. Then, the last two nights, I had been texting on my cell from around 2a.m to 5a.m. — in the dark without wearing my glasses. How could I be so ignorant of myself!

In just less than a week, I’ve received a strong message from my inner voice that I should really take good care of myself. There’s no other more important thing than my `being’— all of my physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects. Hence, good communication established between me and myself — between me and my God.

Since then, I realize that my physical health condition cannot merely depend on the health insurance I have. I consider it as a system of this world — just a must have. I have to take great care of myself by recognizing the needs of my physical body. I need to be conscious of the right food to consume, having sufficient sleep and rest — praying for safety and good health. I also need to be careful as not to get into trouble because of ignorance — though I already did.

When my emotion is being hit by frustration and discouragement, I wonder if it could be from my high expectation towards myself and those around me. Being confined to my bed for few days and nights has taught me that I should have the attitude of accepting things and let them go especially when I have no control over it — since I’m not the master of this world and this life.  I’m just a part of it and should be content with what I’m capable of — not towards becoming 100% perfect which is impossible and killing.

On the spiritual aspect of my life, I’ve always considered my religious views and devotion as very important. They keep me going and breathing. My life has been shaped much by them and I have no doubt of the spiritual existence. I couldn’t do much when I was stuck in bed. I could only utter certain spiritual phrases begging for life. I saw in front of me huge tasks and responsibilities to fulfill. At the same time I realized that I wasn’t the ultimate decision maker for my life. But, I would always be grateful for every minute added into my lifetime and for being able to see the next day.

There are times when I tend to fill a little hole with the ocean — trying to put a lot of information into my little head. It’s the craving for more knowledge in order to become more knowledgeable.  When I was confined to my bed, I knew my limitations. Even in that condition my mind was still working — playing every data of ideas and information which came in and out of my painful head. That experience taught me to let go of things, empty my mind and relax.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in everything, I just need to keep things simple and manageable.  Forget about thinking or dreaming too big. Accept things as what they are each day. There is more to this life than just working. There are 86,400 seconds in a day to be fruitfully spent by being kind to myself and others.

I’m erasing the idea of wanting to be above everything or everyone. We’ve always been taught to compete and show our best to beat others. This mentality will only make a person become arrogant and overburdened, causing deep stress and depression. We all have a unique way and part to play in this world. So, when we arrive to our limit, we should be happier and content with it. We have played our part the best we can. It’s better to achieve something which isn’t that bad and live healthier than to achieve something too big and later be confined to a bed — motionless.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Keeping Up

So much has been going on these past few weeks. It has already been a month  keeping up with my music home recording as well as writing apart from daily chores. I admit that at times I feel like giving up because of fatigue after working hard the whole day. But there's also a feeling of satisfaction seeing the outcome at the end of the day. It's of course something to console and encourage me to proceed what I have started. 

This week I found a perfect spot to do my writing. On that particular morning I had the patio at a nearby library all for myself  two hours of complete silence and undisturbed moments. The weather was extraordinarily fine for this winter season that I didn't shiver at all. This is exactly the moment I need to get immersed into my own fairy tale epic. I can't wait to see the ending. It's still a long way to go. 

As for now, most of my times are spent on creating and writing while learning at the same time. I admit that I'm still lacking in many ways and quite slow at time. I just have to be patient with myself especially with this thing about being perfectionist  learning to be more flexible instead.