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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Assimilate.

The trick is to not and compare every thing with home hence making yourself hyper aware of how much this is not home. Rather, it's about finding a little bit of home in everything.

(Picture intentionally placed this way because my noticeboard decoration is still a work in progress.)
--my heart belongs to all the people at home, too big to pack in my luggage with me

Being overseas is like having your safety blanket ripped off you. Yes there are people you know around but the point of the experience is to REdiscover your passions, test if they are really your passion no matter what environment you are placed in..If you did not know anyone and you're there not for the people but for the essence of the society--be it singing/dancing/pottery/psychology/language.

 zumba;

live music society social ; 

I think it's important to remember that you cannot force your passions on people who are familiar to you for the sake of having a company to the club you want to be in.

Going somewhere and starting anew is so terrifying. Making friends with a preexisting bias that they are going to hate you is poison. You gotta focus on your good qualities and let it shine on the new faces. To get others to like you , ..well, maybe , you need to like yourself first?

Bottom Line: Don't be too complacent and absorbed with old ways/ things which are comfortable to you . Open yourself up to change , that's how you grow. That's how you find things you were even better at than you thought.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall down, get back up .

Hello ~!

There are times when things are fine. It's not frequent, but it's a momentary pause from the chaos in my brain.

[ ONE DAY, I might reach the point when I say there are days, weeks then eventually months-- when things are fine. But for now I'll start with hours to be precise. ]























Between classes, meeting new friends, events, screwing up   trying tennis, trying to cook my own meals (albeit not liking them) , dressing up,  remembering God, healing from my scars and learning new subjects, I feel like a baby sunflower peeking through the sidewalk again.

BUT... (there is a but) every time I think to myself ; 'girl, you're getting your life on track' --it feels like I speak too soon.


I got an anxiety attack in class today. Shivering is getting more and more beyond my control  (I cannot tell if it's from the attacks or the weather because I heard it was 2 degrees this morning) ; My vision becomes impaired, Focusing on words to read gives me a headache. I can hear words being said but I am not making sense of it, it's just voices. A minute feels like an hour, it feels like there is a vacuum space around me where air is around me but not getting in my lungs. It feels like I am going to faint. I do not even have a reason behind why this happens. There is no evident threat. It's just a class, that's what I am telling myself. I just want to get to a toilet cubicle, cry, and be hugged by someone who loves me.

Heck,  based on the amount of reading I do about the condition, deep down I know, that at most it lasts 15-20 mins. After that the body normalizes. I've read about the amygdala; about excessive adrenaline production, how the body is detecting a false alarm. I have people around me who care about me. People from miles away. New faces who for some reason had not run away at the sight of me. Things to be laughing at. Things to be grateful for.

Yet, at that point of time when it's happening, the mind  COMPLETELY blanked out of optimism. Whatever energy I have left is focused on getting out of the classroom without causing a scene. Ironically, it imagines the worst case scenarios . The stares which get just a little bit longer. The lecturer who might be annoyed at me standing up. The people (whether they exist or not) judging my sense of style, thinking I'm a snob or a weirdo--maybe both. The laughs I might get at how I cannot even sit through a one hour class without needing to be babysat. How everyone is looking in front, typing things on their laptop or taking notes down but I cannot even write legible sentences because my hands are shaking and my writing looks horrendous on my book. It thinks about the people from my past. About the exam in January and how the exam hall will be packed with so many people. I dread thinking about that already.  About stupid decisions I've made in which I was wrong. The sorrys I did not say, the sorrys I did not get. How the gum I am chewing on like it's the last thing I'll ever eat is losing its flavour; congruent with how much longer I have to stay upright. My legs start moving faster while I'm in my seat. 'Oh no, am I going to be annoying the person who is sitting behind me? He probably thinks I am an air-headed lunatic who should not even be doing law.'

I tried this time, to get my thoughts and words as close to the actual sensation. But the reality is that these thoughts move through my head faster than you'd be able to read that comfortably. Couple that with a stuffy surrounding, I guess, it's... in a word, ...difficult.

But who am I to complain. I do not want to be a victim. I want to grab it by the neck and vapourize it with the strength in my fists. But I'm not a strong girl .

This has been an informative and explanatory post.

Friday, October 7, 2016

My thoughts on style.

It's no secret, I'm a girl who likes to dress up.

Here are some presumptions which may be attached to it ;
1. That I am superficial.
2. That I am snobby and think less of people who do not make any attempt to dress up.
3. That I am doing it to impress someone.
(It's more about to express than to impress. Although, the latter might just be an inevitable consequence.)
4. That I'm showing off.

I don't think I can live a life where I constantly have to prove myself to everyone about the motivations behind why I do what I do, but I'm sure the thought has niggled some of my closest friends' minds.

"WHY?"

Style is important to me because it's a way of making a statement without making a statement. It's a daily reminder of where I stand now from what I was. It's my way of being remembered by the people who want to remember me because there aren't a lot of great things to remember me by. If you're born beautiful, you cannot take credit for it because that's genes. But fashion, now that-- is a conscious choice you make to piece colours and patterns together. That, you can take credit for. Style is a reflection of how I feel on the inside. Sometimes I could feel like shit inside but when I put on something nice and like what I see, my day begins to improve. (Placebo effect! ) It is one of the few things I commit to, which in turn formed a non-easily displaced routine .

It makes me smile when people come to me for fashion advice, like finally I'm good for SOMETHING. Not everyone would agree with my style because sometimes it can get loud. I'd try almost any pair of reasonable clothing and make it work if I have to. This post is not about showing off, it's merely to compile the shots under one post. Thank you to Kiran, Haiswarya and Wei Li for taking these pictures.

 








It's only been my first week of class-- I'm sure I'd have 9 months to dress up. I'm so happy that the weather here makes my hair behave well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The first day of class...

...fell short of expectations.

Which is clear proof that one should not be harboring much expectations to begin with.



My eating patterns have undergone a drastic shift. I'm very hungry at every hour but am terrified of gaining till I return to my old overweight, poor self esteemed self. I mean,  I worked so hard to stay in shape, why would I throw it all away?

 But Calvin sat down with me and convinced me that Asians gaining weight overseas is common, and as I found out yesterday morning, necessary for the optimal functioning of my body (--because in my first 11am pindrop silence EU law lecture, my stomach decided it was time to make excited whale sounds.) Fingers crossed, the food gets burned fast to keep me warm in this weather so nothing has to accumulate.

What I like about lectures:
- The way ordinary sentences are phrased with such eloquence, phrases such as 'interlocking series of events' which you'd only ever read in writing are brought to life . (I'll always be a sucker for good diction and am working on improving mine as well)

- The freedom to make choices about subjects which 'tickle my fancy' instead of having something shoved down my throat . See, the language is rubbing off on me already. It's imperative to absorb these things.

What I do not :
- Sometimes continuous talking with minimal interaction (nobody to blame because it is a policy to record lectures for student's later use) tends to get a little dry so it's easy to zone out for a few seconds then when your attention comes back you realize you've missed out on something important now have to get home and do double work.

- It's so far to walk to campus or a library. I wish I could access it a little easier . But these days, there's nothing I cannot find online. I guess I could always google what I need to; it's just that I like the feel of a book before me. Old school. What to do.

More importantly, I found out that I have to be dropping a subject due to a timetable clash and finding a substitute module is a lot more difficult than I imagined. It's all about finding a balance between what could help my career and subjects which actually interest me which would make me perform better. What works for one person might not work for me and vice versa. There is a case 'for' and 'against' everything.

Kiran and Wei Li took some nice pictures of me. I think the first-day-of-class shot is important because it is not something one can easily bring back. First day of last year .







In the night, INDIAN FOOD WAS CONSUMED AFTER AGES, HELLZ YEAHHH! :O after eating bland food, suddenly the norm became too spicy. But my friends can damn well cook. Sindu's chicken curry is on point. Thumbs up for the rasam, sardin curry, rice and cabbage too. You guys make me so proud and inspired . *wipes tear off side of eye*







There have been some people back home whom have tried to reach out for me and find out what's up BUT the time difference as well as being very preoccupied with everything in my first few weeks of being here is the biggest obstacle. I''d like to think that you're only as busy as you make yourself, but some days I just don't have energy to do regular tasks anymore. (Such as, take a shower--but yay I don't sweat because it's 10 degrees!) In other news, my 'lone time' has been increasingly important to me because every day is filled with lots of people and socializing that some days I don't join in plans just to bask in the comfort of my room.

Special thank you to  Becky and Calvin who make things slightly less miserable when they understand if I get busy/don't reply immediately/ postpone skype calls. I do not feel as homesick anymore, except when I look at whatsapp pictures sent from home of my baby boy! ♥ Home is where the cat is.

My boy was a fatty before I left, but now he looks so slender. This is Onus after a bath. Apparently he became more loving as well. I hope he is alive and well by the time I return too. I hope anyone reading this is alive and well ! Much love,

Amelia.

Side note: Bebe Rexha is ♥ . Heard this insightful interview of hers in BBC Radio 1 and I am SOLD. Awkward teen phase, humor , style, vocals, lyrics. I repeat, I am sold.


currently on repeat ; In the name of love.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

September in Aber .

For someone who would not even walk to the shophouses in front of my house for fear of an anxiety attack happening , I'm thousands of miles away in the bloody  cold and green  lands of Aberystwyth; blogging from a kitchen which I can now feel like is home.



*I actually spent 3 hours creating this post , but close to completion , everything went missing without a trace, so here's round 2. *

Day 1: 21/9/16

The whole day was a horrible one. My anxiety was on full swing. Just earlier in the day, my travel agent gave me a heart attack from spelling my name wrong and KLM told me to get it fixed otherwise risk being denied boarding entry. I needed a camera but the one at home was not working so I went out and bought one on the spot with Oli. I was hungry but when food was put near me I felt like throwing up.


In the airport: people were talking to me/around me at the same time, forcing me to eat, I was in a crowded airport, going through my internal struggles , someone forgot to bring something extremely important to the airport, I arrived just in time to actually get on the train taking me to the boarding gate; Everyone was more worried about money than whether I was okay-- lets just say the memory of that night is one I am trying to repress.


[Special thanks to those who showed up at the airport , it meant a lot. I think I might have broken down in the arms of everyone who hugged me. ] My dad's advice to me before I got on the plane was; ' Be a brave girl'. For the past week, when things got really difficult, these were the words resonating in my head, in his voice. I wont lie, this whole independence thing is really difficult.

My sister told Kiran to take care of me but I think it was Kiran who needed some TLC because the poor girl broke her wrist and was in a bandage . *Hands down, she's much better at surviving than me.



 Day 2: 22/9/16

 It was not long before I would discover how dope KLM flights are, because they come with this interactive map of where the plane is, you could use your fingers to navigate any part of the globe--even the small towns , see how long to touchdown , see the flight pathway from different angles, and turn the globe 360 degrees like it was a toy.


This was my first meal since the roti canai I ate long before the flight. MAN was I glad to see that water bottle there.


 I imagined the journey to be unbearably long or for myself to be doing a ot more writing, but 2 movies, a few sitcoms, some song selections, small talk with my left and right passengers later, I was almost halfway there.




 Then the plane arrived in Amsterdam. This was breakfast, about half an hour before touchdown.


Then came the obligatory 'I landed in Amsterdam safely' selfie . I did not get any good sleep , but I was near where I needed to be.


This is Jeeva; whom I earlier met in KLIA -- Watching her skype her brother and sister made me homesick but I heard my daddy tell me 'Be a brave girl'. So I spammed my family whatsapp group instead.


Another transit flight later, I arrived in Birmingham.


As you can see, many people want to be passing the UK border.


 It was a glorious airport, when I walked outside was when I felt my first touch of British weather. It was sunny like Malaysia but the breeze was like you're in a beach. Some kind of air conditioned beach.



 We had troubles pulling a trolley out so we fit four people's worth of baggage in two trolleys , Michelle (whom sat next to me in the Birmingham flight) was such an angel for helping guard the bags.




An hour later, the Aberystwyth 'Meet and Greet' shuttle service took us on a 3 hour bus ride to what would soon be called  my home. 


Upon entry, I was taken aback by how plain and tiny it was, but I knew I had big plans for the place. Unpacking was completed by the night I arrived. (Special thanks to Simmi and Beatrice for helping me and Wei Li get our essential bedding pack for cheap)

toldja I had plans for the place. I wanted a red theme because my life felt devoid of colour. (Special shoutout to my housemate Jedi for swapping the initial shelf for these desk of drawers , and helping re-position the bed)

The view outside my room looked like something pulled out from 'The Sims'.

Nearby my place there is this peaceful haven known as the Penglais lounge, actually meant for residents of another accomodation ; but it's nearer to my place than my own lounge is , so.
As you can see, it smells of luxury.




After unpacking the night I arrived itself, and the emotional exhaustion,  I just collapsed on my bed at 9 something, only to start the next day at 5 something am.



 when I tried to cook breakfast but managed to burn EGG. Fun fact; it takes three eggs to equate to the texture of one Malaysian egg.

 Walked into a shop which was going to close down and got some free hangers.












Day 3: 24/9/16
That morning before walking round town, I met a Malaysian here who was not from BAC. So yes,  I was a little excited . #onemalaysiasiut



 Walking around town, the first few pictures I took of the view was as follows.







 That architecture though.





 While walking around town I felt like I was meant to stand there, it was a mini booth about cats. Merchandise, and information on adoption. MEOW OR NEVERRR. 
Side note: Cats are so rare here, it's heartbreaking.

 While I was walking and discovering buildings I have yet explored, I found this on the table, almost as if it was mocking me. Because, yes, I will admit to being a wimpy kid. I am crossing my fingers that it would stop by graduation.

 This was the day I explored my own lounge, it's a peaceful place.

 On the way to join the free barbeque hosted by the Christian Union society of Aber Uni. I love the cultural diversity in this shot !

 The barbeque was by the seaside, and these rocks not only looked scenic enough, but reflected my emotions.





 The first few Malaysians I saw apart from those I flew with.


 Banned book in Malaysia, casually chilling in the Penglais Lounge.



Started to understand why people want to settle down overseas:PURCHASING POWER! All these amounted to 19.99 pounds only !







 First bus journey . Wei Li is clearly exhausted.





Day 4: 25/9/16

I was reminded of just how claustrophobic and socially anxious I am (yet again) but thank goodness for people around . I was shivering beyond my control , feeling dizzy and like I was going to faint.


 The worst part is that I was stuck right in the middle and standing up would have elicited so many unwanted stares.




 But one thing I like about the university is that amidst chaos/activity/masses of people there are peaceful avenues.


I attempted to cook my first curry , it was not half as good as home but it was still something which kept me alive.





Day 6: 26/9/2016

Double decker bus ride from campus to my accomodation

Fish and chips restaurant upon recommendation, with a view of the train station.






Day 7 : 27/9/2016

 The universe continues to communicate with me and remind me of things. Missing her already.








Day 8 :28/9/2016




 The view from the top half of the double decker bus.


 Italian dinner ; My first raviolli prepared by Sindu's flatmates.

 Persuasion.
 Drunk was an understatement.




Day 9: 29/9/2016

More exploring, getting documentation and shopping sorted, and trusted my guts to leave familiarity and join the Christian Union club in their grub call where I saw the main churches in Aberystwyth. Yay for meeting Will :)






 St Michaels church was gorgeous.






It was also the day my phone finally gave way after one year of service. :( Good memories with my Oppo , man. But life is sure as hell more complicated without a phone.

Day 10: 30/9/2016

Received these pictures but they were definitely from a different date. Busted phone prevented any picture taking. I remember hanging out with Will and Sindu , for the official CU meeting, then visiting Scholars. These are miscellaneous pictures I forgot the dates to.






Thank God for Will and Edore!


There was a lot more happening in between and I swear this post was supposed to be about the first weekend in Aber , but I got really busy and had to attend multiple talks, grocery shopping, peer mentor, exciting clubs to learn about, roads to town which all seem so new still, different campuses to be walking to, learning the bus routes, getting over my fears of being alone in a new setting, trying to not mess up meals, making important choices about subjects--( finding a balance between interest and what can make me more employable that is..), remembering that alone time is important (and hoping that people can understand I need my time to just zone out from people), feeling guilty about not getting back to my family, thinking about my cats, mixed feelings about weight gain because I worked so hard to stay in shape back in Malaysia.

My sentences are not properly punctuated, I'm a clutz who relies on the mercy of others to give me a sense of direction, my room is in a mess. I have to start somewhere to organise the material things, then the feelings, then the inner peace will flow.

Anyway, I'm glad this long overdue blog post is ticked off the to do list. A long , photographic post it has been. And still I don't feel like it's covered exactly what has happened. ;)