Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Strong again

Wednesday, 25 February 2009 @ 6.56pm

Anna R**** needs to be strong again. That's the status on my Facebook and that's been my motto since last Saturday.

Lily has been acting up for a few months now. Her brakes have been giving me problems and it takes me a while to start the engine. There was actually a time when I was stranded at the ends of Shah Alam that she decided not to start at all. Oh, and she was over 3,000km over her service. I brought her in on Saturday morning before rushing off to work.

I only got a call at 3pm. It went something like this:

Service Dude (I forgot his name): "Hi Ms Anna, I have some bad news for you."

Anna (in the midst of children's shrieks of laughter and protest against having to dry their artwork and their teachers either laughing at or with them): "Yes?"

SD: "We did a check up on your car and found that we need to change your brake pads. The air filter needs to be replaced and your spark plug is out."

My heart starts beating faster. I go outside and sit on the bench.

A: "Is it necessary to change everything?" Duh! Brake pads? Spark plug?

He goes on explaining to me the importance of having brakes and spark plug. I felt so blonde at that moment.

SD: "So...the total will be around RM800 or RM900. Plus service."

My heart drops and I cannot breathe.

A: "What? How am I going to pay for that? Anymore good news you have for me?"

The dude laughs nervously. But I brush it off as a joke and hung up. I continued sitting on the bench and felt like I was having a panic attack. I sms Papa. I couldn't pay for it. No way I could afford that. Then I sms Eddie. He called immediately.

E: "Yang, kenapa you selalu suka membazir duit? Kat tempat I tak sampai RM900."

I want to argue with him. Tell him that he should have sent the car like he said he was going to instead of always saying, "nantilah." But I chose to hang up. I felt the panic. I was pacing from the washroom to the front. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't breathe. So I went into the store room, huddled in the corner and cried.

Sunday evening, I was sneezing a lot and generally started feeling like crap. I predicted that I'd have a fever on Tuesday. Monday morning, I woke up with a fever.

In the afternoon, I waited an hour and a half in the clinic waiting room. I had to bear with the sunlight hurting my eyes and my head. The noise from the sick children and their parents. And the endless idiots who kept pushing the door when it clearly says pull. I got fed up and left.

Later in the evening, Eddie calls and says he's finishing work at 7.30pm. I say great! You can accompany me to the doctor. He says...eerr... yeah... and a whole bunch of excuses come out. I say forget it and hung up.

At 8pm, I drove myself to the doctor, feeling worse than ever. I sat like a zombie and waited. When I saw the doctor, he gave me two days off. I went home, ate, took my medicine and slept.

I remember picking Eddie up to take him to the doctor. Packing him food and sending him straight back. All this was taken in stride with his grumpy attitude. But hey...who wouldn't do that for the person they cared about?

Yesterday, I decided that I've allowed myself to become weak. I used to be strong. Inside and out. Now I'm becoming too dependent. Fuck that. It's time to go back to what I used to be. Heart made of stone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Took Me Long Enough...

Friday, 20 February 2009 @ 6.12pm

It took me three months and three weeks to finally realise that I am a good AE. And that I’m good at my job. And you know what? I’m actually beginning to enjoy it.

I remember two days before my last day at Trix, Mr L called me to his room to have a ‘goodbye chat’. He started by asking which company I’ll be going to and whether I’ll be a copywriter. I told him the company name and said, “Actually, I’m going to be an AE.” He seemed almost happier that I said I’ll be an AE. Then he told me that I’ll be a good one. At that moment, I didn’t really think so…

Yesterday, I started the day by going to the very outskirts of Shah Alam to meet a client. (Oh yeah…I reached a little earlier so I managed to have a roti telur and Nescafe tarik. When I was about to leave, I tried to turn on the engine, but it died. So I panicked. But…that’s a whole other story…just thought I’d sneakily slip it in here. Don’t worry… there’s gonna be another entry for that story).

That meeting lasted till lunch time. Then I had lunch with my bosses and the copywriter. Then rushed all the way back to the heart of KL to get a briefing on an Annual Report by another client. Yesterday, my first step into the office was at 5.43pm. Even then, I still had two job briefs to issue, a production timeline to amend and another brochure (and the Art Director handling it) that needed my dire attention.

Yesterday, I remember I was emailing a prospective client when it hit me. I do enjoy being an AE. I do like what I’m doing. I am good at my job. I think I despised it so much at the beginning because of the rage and shame of being fired as a copywriter (thank God they commented on how ‘proper’ I was during the interview). But now…I’ve learnt and grown to like (not love…yet) what I’m doing. It’s not that bad after all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Series of Dialogues

Wednesday, 18 February 2009 @ 3.14pm

On the phone – Zaidi and Anna

Zaidi: Yang, Ayah dah set date merisik.

Anna (trying to hide delight, answers nonchalantly): When?

Z: Your birthday.

A clinic – patient and a nurse

Anna: Kat sini boleh buat rubella injection tak?

Kak Yati (not looking at me as she’s filling out my prescription bottle): Boleh… (gets suspicious and looks at me) kenapa? Anna nak kahwin ke?

A: Insyallah… tahun depan.

KY (whooping with delight now): yer ke? Dengan orang mana? Anak Datuk jugak ke?

A: Tak der lah. Orang kampung. Dari Teluk Intan.

KY: Oh…bagus la macam tu. Anna kan orang ‘berada’. Bagus jugak la Anna tak memilih.

A: Bagi saya, dia mesti bekerja keras dan beragama. Tak kira kalau anak Datuk ke tak…

KY: Bagus la tu…nanti jangan lupa jemput tau…dia mesti baik kan?

A: Dia memang baik.

KY: Dengar-dengar, banyak orang Teluk Intan handsome.

A (smiling and giggling): Memanglah…

On the phone – Zaidi and Anna

My handphone rings. I’m trying to balance my dinner on my lap while pausing the episode of Desperate Housewives that I was watching. On the caller ID, it said, ‘Dome Pavilion’.

Zaidi: Hi yang!

Anna: Hi…

Z: Where are you?

A: At home.

Z: Did you get the good news from Imah or Ijah?

A: No. Why?

Z: I just spoke to Imah…and she’s pregnant (sounds all excited)… dah dalam tujuh minggu. Tapi belum stabil. Morning sickness dia teruk. Selalu muntah…

A: Really? Wow!...Are you happy?

Z: Yes! Yes! Nanti call her and talk to her k?

A: Ok.

Z: Ok la yang. I nak kena sambung kerja ni. Take care. Muah. Love you.

A: Love you too. Bye. (Hung up and continued watching Desperate Housewives).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Future: I Want...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009 @ 3.53pm

I want to be a writer again
I aspire to work and be known again as an editor or a writer.

I want to live in Setiawangsa
I spend so many nights driving Afa or Suri home. I love the area. I love the community.

I want to find a way to get an apartment or a house in Setiawangsa before I turn 26
And believe me, I ALWAYS get what I want.

I want my long hair to grow back
I miss my hair going down my back, and being able to have a different hairstyle whenever I felt like it.

I want Eddie to start believing that he is good enough for me.
You are Sayang.

I want to be able to find a job that I look forward to again.
I admit it. I miss Trix.

I want to have children.
Two boys and a girl. Or anything that I will hopefully one day be blessed with :)

I want to learn how to bake bread.
Without it falling flat, or burning, or being hard as rock…you get the picture.

I want to learn how to be more patient.
Friends say I’m patient. So do my boss and colleagues (especially those at Get Crafty). But I snap too easily at those who are closest to me, especially my family.

I want to always have that intense eye contact I have with Eddie.
It’s a bond that is shared between just us.

I want to be a good Muslim.
And I want my children to learn, love and respect their religion too.

I want to be a good mother.
And I think that I will be.

I want to be the one that people go to when they need help.
I hope that those few (and you know who you are) will depend on me just as I depend on them too.

I want to always smile and laugh, be loud and outspoken, confident and independent.
And I think I will be.

My Present: I Am...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009 @ 3.30pm

I am loud and outspoken
I think it’s better to be truthful then to cover with lies, which just complicates everything.

I am strong and confident
It took me a few years but I think I gained a lot of strength going through all the hardships of living in Melbourne alone, having to travel alone, working for the first time, etc.

I am never short of friends
It started with working at Get Crafty. When I first moved back to KL, I was awfully shy. But working with children, you tend to lower your inhibitions and get louder as the days go by. I ended up making friends wherever I went instead :)

I am happy and content
Yes, I’m getting soppy. I met someone. I think I’m finally ok. And no, I’m not rushing things. If anything, I think I’m being too responsible.

I am too hard-working
Eddie and Falliq call me a workaholic. But I don’t feel that way. I just keep saying, ‘why spend money when you can make money?’

I am a dainty lady
I just realised that I am a lady. Not to the extent where I’m a ‘girly’ lady and want everything pink (I prefer lilac) but I now know that I am extremely feminine. People tend to ‘behave’ themselves whenever they’re around me or think I’m watching.

I am in love with shoes
Mary janes are my favourites. And one-inch heels are NOT heels.

I am diligent and may have a slight case of OCD
Enough said.

I am in love with Zaidi
My baby. Big belly. Huge smile. Loud laugh. Kindest heart. Thoughtful and caring. Responsible and hard-working (and he calls me a workaholic!). Funny. Smart. Tall :) And he picks me up when he hugs me.

My Past: I Used to...

Tuesday, 3 February 2009 @ 7.47pm

I used to be a quiet introvert who would not dare to utter a single word
Once during my first few months in Melbourne, I remember standing outside the classroom with a couple of my classmates waiting for the other class to finish - one of my classmates said to me, "don't just stand there like a fly on the wall. Say something."

I used to be lonely...
When I was in Melbourne, I didn't have many friends. I had a small group of three and I loved and cherised all our moments together

I used to suffer panic attacks
It started at the end of high school and during the first few years of uni. I was confused and didn't have proper guidance. I felt like I was just dumped in Melbourne (which actually turned out to be a good thing)

I used to take public transport everywhere
Only in Melbourne of course. I can't even go from my car to the front entrance in KL without being howled at. Idiots.

I used to be a victim of racism
There are plenty of examples that I can give you that has happened to me. Spat on, verbally attacked, things thrown at me... but I don't (and I didn't) want to upset people who care about me. So I choose to keep these awful memories to myself.

I used to be so extremely unhappy in my first year alone at Melbourne that I ate ice cream and cried every night
When I entered MIBT, things changed and I discovered that crying gets you nowhere.

I used to study day and night to get my Diploma
And I did and it was sweet.

I used to study and write and brainstorm and discuss and argue with fellow classmates and even my lecturers to get my Degree
And when it was graduation, I finally understood why people feel so overwhelmed and relieved.

I used to think I was a dark, ugly, horrible-looking child.
Then I decided to make the best with what I had and I think I turned out quite alright ;P

I used to take the bus to Sydney to see someone.
And there were so many experiences during each and every single ride that I don't regret one bit.

I used to be terrified of driving.
Now I think I'm one of those drivers that other L and P students are terrified of.

I used to like Backstreet Boys.
Yes, I admit. I was a HUGE fan. I'm not ashamed to own up to it anymore.

I used to think that I'd grow up to be a teacher.
And I sort of did. Part time anyway :)

I used to think I was wasting my time when I learned how to converse with my father's friends, associates and staff.
But now, because of that practice, I'm making a living out of handling different types of people.