Current Events: HONY and Mott Hall Bridges Academy

First off, if you’re curious what HONY is, HONY stands for Humans of New York. It’s a blog started by a photographer called Brandon, and he searches for people to photograph and stories to tell online. Most recently, the Mott Hall Bridges Academy series which is still being covered, has been both a revolution and a revelation, and a wake-up call to the world in general.

So often, we underappreciate our teachers. Not only the teachers at school, but our teachers at home and around us – those who guide us, supporting us in all that we do. Those who encourage us, and those who we learn from. Our parents could be considered our teachers, even.

Being a student myself, I realized this about three years ago and have made it a personal mission to appreciate them more, to put aside a little more time, to put in a little more effort into my work for them.

HONY, together with this series, remind and inspire me each day to be the change, to act. The general perception of “You’re too young to change the world”, is a complete and utter pack of lies.

If one child can inspire, and aspire to inspire and be the change, why can’t we?

So maybe all of us struggle, but so do these people, these residents of Mott Hall. But they don’t use struggles as an excuse, an excuse to give up, to give in.

Struggles make us stronger, Turn the weaknesses into strengths, into motivation to see that no one experiences what you have, because the pain was so great and you know how it is like to be there. Into motivation to help.

The staff of Mott Hall Academy and Brandon, the owner of HONY, I agree that they should be honoured, that they should be appreciated. But I think what they would love more, is if more people started acting on their impulses to help those like they are helping.

That’s right – a legacy.

A legacy of helping, of aiding. A legacy of being a positive change and impact.

So what has HONY and Mott Hall inspired me to do?

I like teaching; my friends told me that I have a gift in it seeing as I helped them with their work when they needed it, and was a teacher’s assistant for almost half a year. I still do help people with their work though, if they ask, but HONY and Mott Hall have reminded me that “You can do more than this.”

So I’ve been looking into teaching part-time despite studying and being heavily involved in extracurricular activities. I’ve also been looking into doing a (hopefully) large community project for the year, because why not? There’s people out there who need help, and I will do my best to try to.

I’m well aware that it will be a struggle, that there will be many frustrations and tears to come, that I will have a lot of work to do. But if I can be a positive impact on even one person, it will be worth it.

A few friends asked me this before, if not along these lines,

“Why do you what you do?”

“Because I’d rather live a life of helping, hopefully leaving a positive legacy and impact rather than one of negativity.”

P.S: Thank you, Vidal, Brandon, Mott Hall. You serve as inspirations, and reminders for many things. Thank you all for being such blessings. Continue to do what you do, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you wish to aid them, here’s the link to their Kickstarter (now for Scholarship fund): http://bit.ly/1JmIB8u

The HONY page: https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork?fref=ts

Mott Hall Bridges Academy: http://www.mhbabrooklyn.com/

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So often, we tell ourselves that it’s impossible, that it’s useless to pursue it that we eventually believe it. But I think that we have a choice, to decide if the thing or person is worth chasing after. Is it good for us? Will it make a positive difference, an impact? Pursue the things worth pursuing, not the ones that are toxic.

Announcement: Diversifying My Blog & Poetry: Try

So here’s the thing: I love books/writing. I love food, and I love music. Occasionally, I take pictures. And design stuff.

I was thinking that I’d blog about other things that life perspectives to keep things interesting. And I’d keep it as organized as possible through the usage of categories and tags.

The first post in dedication to the diversification of this blog will be up by the end of the week.

Till then, here’s a poem!

Title: Try

And so she asked the young man,

Whose eyes were so weary, his posture speaking

of a depression, revealing a soul so worn,

“What is troubling you?” – on his shoulder she lay a hand,

“Why do you want to know? You wouldn’t understand…”

Her heart ached for this soul, for he was not the only one

In the grasp of the encroaching darkness of the thorns

Of sadness and pain, betrayal and lies,

From all the broken ties,

“It doesn’t mean that I cannot listen, cannot try,” was her reply,

He stared at her, gazing into her eyes,

Searching, endlessly searching for the slightest of a lie,

But there was none, and he broke down and cried,

For he had finally found someone willing to listen, to try.

~Finite~

Because sometimes, we just need to.

2015: New Year’s Musings and Tributes

“I wasn’t living. I was existing.”

::Song of the Post::

First off, before I get into the depth of this post, sorry for the sudden disappearance and Happy New Year’s to all of you! 2014 has been an eventful year – both happy and sad. For me, it was a year that I was lost at cross-roads, and a very difficult one as I try to find “myself”, so to speak. And yet there was a lot of good, as well – in terms of friends, family and all. My condolences to everyone and all families affected by tragedies, whether it be personal or just difficulties in general last year – MH17and MH370 for example. As a fellow Malaysian, I share in suffering the pain of those affected.

2014 was a huge personal struggle for me. Because I’d lost something that I had, that spark that made me want to do things, to go the extra mile. And at the same time, while I seemed strong on the outside, I wasn’t really. I was empty, a wandering husk so to speak. I was almost completely apathetic, and I knew it. The fact that I knew it made me feel guilty and kept me doubting myself, causing me to regress and go back to someone that I thought I wasn’t anymore – someone who had the mindset of living, but not living. Merely existing. Simply put, for most of the year, I was going through it without that spark of motivation, of passion to live.

There were brief sparks of it, but they were snuffed out either immediately or lasted merely awhile. In a way, I was burnt out and tired – just…tired of everything.

I wasn’t living. I was existing.

It was during my end-of-year holidays visiting my sibling in Australia and after that (having a lot of much-needed conversations) that these struck me.

  1. What am I doing, being this empty person that I know I’m not?
  2. Why am I not living?
  3. I know I’m stronger. So why have I given up on myself?
  4. Have I really lost myself?
  5. Do I know who I am?

We struggle so much to find the meaning of life, to find out who the “true” us is, but I realized, that we were the results of the choices and decisions that we’ve made, that we were defined by our obstacles that we overcame and how we chose to behave afterwards and act.

To put it simply: Life moulds us, but we’re the one with the choice to either go on as before, or change how we act after.

I had chosen to exist, and not live. I knew that I should have changed, but did I?

I didn’t. I didn’t even try.

I didn’t give it my all. And what made it worse was that I knew it.

I regret it, and I still feel guilty about it.

So here is my personal resolution starting this year:

To live my best, while being the best person I can be.

Thanks for reading. Best wishes.

Parents

Just reflecting a bit.

I think that one of the things we often take for granted is our parents.

We see so much, hear so much…

There’s so much happening in the world – joy and suffering, laughter and sadness, lies and pain… Yet sometimes we think so much, maybe too much, or focus so much on other things that we forget what we have and who we have around us.

So that’s why, each day, I give a little thanks, pray a little thanks – feeling grateful for not only the fact that I’m alive, but also because my parents are alive.

So that’s why I hug them when I can, maybe spend a quiet moment or two with them, because –

Sometimes it’s just those little moments that matter. It doesn’t matter how old we are, or how much time has passed – but we shouldn’t, shouldn’t ever take them for granted.

My little challenge to you who’s reading this: go hug your parents, and spend a moment or two with them. It doesn’t matter if there’s talking involved or not. Just. Be with them.

Lying to Ourself

In a sense, all of us are liars.

I’m not talking about lying to people, but the more literal meaning of lying to ourselves.

We make up excuses, and go, “Nothing’s wrong with me. I’m perfectly fine.”, “There’s no need to worry about me, really.” – when in fact we are not.

Yeah. Those are the moments/times I’m talking about.

The ones where we like to, have to pretend. Because if we don’t pretend, we would fall apart. And we don’t want to fall apart, because we don’t want to lose control, because if we lose control, we might never be able to pick ourselves up. For that one more time; that again, because it’s just exhausting picking ourselves up after we fall.

It’s never easy, never less difficult each time. Sometimes, it might be more difficult than previous ones, but –

Breaking down and letting go of our emotions completely and utterly, we need it once in awhile. Because in breaking down we find it in ourselves many things – acceptance of the past, maybe, or even the easing of that coil of emotions in us. Or it could just be a cathartic experience, in which you’re just able to let go and not having anything bottled up inside you for once.

Just as there’s no such thing as a perfect person, there’s no such thing as perfect emotional control, only seemingly perfect emotional control.

At one point in life or another, we have to let out the bottled emotions – pain of old memories, haunting moments, fleeting bittersweet periods of life – so that we may just be able to shuffle past that old scar, move on with our lives and actually accept the past.

Instead of just saying, “I know” and making excuses, of continuing that spiral of endlessness.

“You’ve got to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you’ve got, and remember what you had. Always forgive, but never forget. Learn from mistakes, but never regret.”

– Unknown

“I’m Tired of Pretending.” – A Look into Self-Identity and Self-Worth

You stand in front of a mirror, looking at your reflection.

It’s been a long and tiring day, and you just want to go to bed and sleep it all away. So that your nightmares and troubles and problems don’t bother you. So that you don’t have to think about what’s going on downstairs between your family who’s arguing again, that you don’t have to think about those lackluster grades of yours, that you don’t have to think about Are they really my friends?”

“Or…am I just fooling myself?”

Maybe, you think, they’ve been just pretending all this time.

But then again, maybe you’ve been pretending.

Not being your genuine self all the time.

Not being secure in your identity.

Wanting to hide your imperfections, your flaws.

Because, well – you just want to fit in with everyone, right?

But here’s the kicker – everyone wants to fit in (well, most people anyway).

But you’re just so tired of pretending.

And here’s the cross-road: Should I be myself, or continue doing this?

Well, you know what? BE YOURSELF. Don’t sacrifice who you are for the sake of others, for that “five-seconds-of-fame”, that self-gratification. You are worth so much more than that, than whatever Hollywood or whatsoever has declared “trendy” and “of worth”. You are you – there’s only one of you in this world. No one can ever replace you, not ever. So why let others define you when they don’t know you? Why let them shove you into this box that says, “Oh, look. She/He’s not worth it.”? They don’t even know you. They don’t know how you struggle with your flaws, how you have to fight against constant bullying. They don’t know how hard you had to work to get to where you are, that your family members are at odds with each other.

They don’t know your story, your past. But don’t let your past overwhelm your present.

So maybe you’re flawed, but isn’t that everyone? I’m flawed, too. No one is perfect. Accept the flaws, know that you have them and continue to be who you are. If you aren’t happy with your flaws, work on them, minimize them. Will it be easy? No. It’ll definitely be a struggle since you would have to go up against the part of you who’s so used to pretending, used to hiding everything away.

But will it be worth it? Yes. Because by doing so, you’d be accepting who you are fully, flaws and all. You’d be more comfortable and secure in your own skin. If you want to continuously improve, to always be a better person, work on it.

Often enough, the most difficult fights in our lives would be against ourselves.

Because they would be us against our thoughts, our mind, our logic…

To fight to not give in to fear.

To fight to not give up on yourself.

But it’s not impossible to win those fights. It IS possible.

“No one believes in me… I don’t, either.” – Well, you know what? I believe in you.

It’s okay to be not perfect. No one is perfect. What matters is staying true to yourself. And remember this – we will bleed, we will cry,we will break down and be torn apart at the seams. We will have dreams broken,goals unachieved and pain received. But we will overcome them – the brokenness,the emptiness and the problems, because – with every scar, with every battle,remember these four words, “They make me, me.”

P.S: This is a note originally posted on Facebook that I decided to share here.

P.P.S: Feel free to share this 🙂