Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Their life is better than mine.

28 REJAB 1438H

Love Locks
Namsan Tower, South Korea

Being a girl, jealousy is something we can't really get rid of. Not sure if I can represent all the other girls out there, but I'm pretty sure that feeling of jealousy or envy is there. It could be with your siblings, relatives, friends, boyfriend's/husband's ex girlfriend, or some complete stranger who seems to have a better life than yours based on their Instagram posts so on and so forth. In this post I'll be talking about online jealousy. Social media jealousy. Because, almost everyone uses social media these days. 

Jealousy can really ruin you. It consumes your mind, and soul. So. How to stop being jealous? I think it's not easy to not to not be jealous, but there are ways to handle it so it doesn't drag you while you're trying to walk through life. 

I would say stop looking at their posts online, but hey that's tough to do right? There's always that itch and curiosity to see what that person is up to. Even if you don't stalk them (yes stalk), they'd probably pop out in your feed somehow. And there goes your itchy fingers wanting to check it out. And then you'll start looking at one post after another, perhaps checking out how many likes and comments they have and whatnot. Then you'll either consciously or unconsciously start comparing their lives with your own. 

And you start to make up for it. You end up starting to show what you have as well. Happy life, happy marriage, happy kids, happy family, delicious food you are about to eat, traveling, new phone husband bought for you on your anniversary, the list goes on. Though, for some it's just about sharing that piece of life of theirs. But at some point, without realizing it, it's really showing off - more so to those who tend to get easily jealous. 

I remember reading somewhere, that those who are truly happy don't show it off online. I don't entirely agree nor disagree with this. But it is somewhat true. Then there are those who are truly sad that don't show it online too. I mean if you are really sad, how could you find the time to post online? I guess it's a way to let it out, to share in hopes there will be someone who will listen, and perhaps lend a helping keyboard and give comfort and say it's gonna be okay. 

I was one who used social media to let it all out. Did it help? In the short run, yes. But in the long run, uhmm nope, not at all. It's more destructive than constructive. You get so consumed by depending on others, without really trying to deal what's going on deep down inside. The conflict you go through is only solved temporarily. Your problems are shoved deeper down the hole, and it gets harder to get back out. 

Back to being jealous with other people on social media. Whatever you see online, are mostly the sugar coated part of people's lives. You don't know their own struggles, their own conflicts in life. Everyone has them. Some people are just better at covering them. They could be genuinely happy in life, but that's not really living the life if you don't go through the bad phases while trying to get up there. 

So, if you're:
  • Not yet married, and jealous seeing your friends getting happily hitched, posting photos of their happy life and family. Don't be. They just don't show the conflict they go through.
  • Married but, still no baby? Yet your friends are having kids of their own, one, two, three, four or even more. Don't be jealous, make the most out of the free time for yourself that you have. Do something productive. Go all out. This is your opportunity, once you have kids, your time is for your kids, only a little left for yourself. 
  • I only have SPM < Diploma < Degree < Masters < PhD. Jealous, challenged by someone who has a higher education than you? Being inspired and motivated is fine, but don't let your level of education make you feel inferior. Don't let a piece of paper represent who you are in the society no matter what the society says. But if it's for a job requirement, than that's something else. 
  • Doing business but someone else business is doing better than yours? So what? Let them be, you focus and do your own thing. Like mentioned above, being inspired and motivated is fine. Just don't let it make you feel down, or jealous. It's unhealthy (to the point that some would even use dirty tactics to ruin others). 
  • Jealous of how rich, good looking someone else is? Oh gosh, the good looking part is an issue that I have been struggling since forever. Way to resolve? Be thankful of all the little things in life, your heart still being able to beat, your eyes, still being able to see, your friends and family who are still there to love you. Seriously there is so much to be thankful for, yet you waste your time on such superficial things. 

Stop focusing on your weakness, the things that you don't have, and focus on the things you do have. There are people who have lost their homes, their families, their limbs, their lives, yet you are here today, right now, reading this. And remember, this life in this Dunya, is only temporary. Why stress yourself over trivial things when you could focus on packing the necessities for the best life ever that will last forever in Akhirah

{Sue Anna Joe}

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

From being a nobody, to somebody, to a nobody again.


"Hanging by a Thread"
formerly titled "The Secret Garden"
(Taken years ago, re-edited)

I have experienced being bullied. Not physically, but more mentally and emotionally. I used to be made fun of. I remember when I was in primary school, we were having an event. Me and a couple of friends, decided to wear colour coordinated clothes. I can't remember exactly what colour, I think it was green. So, on that day, I happily wore my green baju kurung only to be greeted by my friends who all wore the colour red instead of green. They giggled amongst themselves when they saw me and I questioned "Weren't we supposed to wear green?". Was it just a joke to them? I don't know, but all I remember it made me really sad and mad at the same time. I felt really left out. 

I try to be friends with everyone, including the popular kids at school. When I was 13, during Form 2, we were having a concert, my class decided to do a 60s dance performance. I think it was for Teacher's Day. If I remember correctly we danced to songs by The Beatles. I brought my camera to snap photos of that day. In the dressing room we were all laughing taking photos together, I even sat on one of the girls lap. At that time, everyone was having fun. When I had the photos developed, I brought it to school to show it to them. 

And it was at that time, I noticed, the girl that I was sitting on the lap with, was embarrassed that there was a photo of me and her. I think she even told me not to show the others? But they noticed, and I could see from their expressions that they were making fun of that photo. It was confusing really. These girls would invite me to their houses, yet I noticed at the same time, I was made fun of. I was foolish trying to fit in. 

In another incident, my classmate, used her brother to act as though he liked me. Which at that fragile and naive years of just hitting puberty, I believed that he liked me for real. It felt nice to have some boy like you, it's flattering. Especially because I had low self-esteem. Felt that I was not pretty enough. In the end I found out it was all an act. And I saw their cynical laughter directed towards me. And I knew it was all a set up. The laughing stalk yet again.

Another similar incident; a friend made up a secret admirer, sending me letters and making phone calls by using perhaps their guy friend or brother to act as he was the secret admirer. To them it was all fun and games, but it really did leave deep scars when I found out that there really was no secret admirer. Felt like such a loser.

I don't blame them entirely. Probably I was somewhat annoying that they wanted to teach me a lesson. I was kind of a spoilt brat as a kid, and sometimes liked to show off and seek attention. I am the youngest in the family and the only girl at home. I could get almost anything I wanted. Perhaps I deserved it? Heh. I do believe though, that in a lot of bully cases, the victims allow themselves to be bullied. Nonetheless, whatever the cause, bullying is plain wrong. It can affect a person for a long time. 

I then left that school to go to a boarding school. There, I had the time of my life, and had the best group of the friends till this very day. The boys there were extra mean though. I used to be made fun of all the time. Was I really that weird to be made fun of? I was lucky enough to have amazing friends that had my back. So it wasn't so bad. 

All of these bitter experiences, I bottled up inside. I let it out through the poetry I wrote, the drawings I did and the photographs I took. Perhaps that was why some of my photography works were very moody, deep, dark and emotional. And these works had tremendously good feedback. It felt wonderful to be appreciated. I then saw that hey, I can be somebody, someone who is liked and not made fun of anymore. I wanted to be that popular girl in school. I needed to prove to people that.. "You know what, I'm no longer that girl you can make fun of. I can be somebody, I can even be better than you." Uh-oh.. BIG MISTAKE.

This led to my downfall. It just made things worse. At first it was great and all. It eventually got me more depressed. I relied too much on what people would think about me. I relied on the approval of others. It consumed me. Say if one of my works did not get as much positive feedback as my previous work, I'd be questioning myself "What did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough?" I'd overly stress myself thinking too much about it. I spent too much time thinking what was wrong, rather than trying to improve for the better. 

I did not go out much, especially to socialize and hang out with friends. Mainly because I was not allowed to. Pretty much why I was so happy to go to a boarding school. I came to that school a bit later, and the other students were telling me "Habislah malam ni menangis". I was like, why would I cry? I was super happy to finally have my 'freedom'. Haha. Not to say I had a terrible childhood experience at home. It was fun, I had friends over and I did go play and my neighbours house. But as I grew into my teen years, I wanted to go out to malls, hang out with friends, that which I did not have the opportunity to. Parents were quite strict about that. So hanging out at the town mall, Wetex in Muar was really exciting for me. Going into The Store to buy Mee Segera PAMA was always something I was looking forward to.

Getting back to episode downfall.. At that time, I forgot. I forgot Him, The Almighty. I was too busy in my world. I did things for all the wrong reasons. It was so bad, that a long the way, I ended up hurting others, ended up breaking promises, ended up being selfish, and worst of all ended up hurting myself. I did achieve quite a number of things during my active phase in photography and social media. Which I should be proud of. But inside, I felt empty. All those achievements were nothing but trash. I had the wrong motivation and intention. I was too busy trying to please and prove myself to others. What for? Fame? Ego booster? Self satisfaction? In the end, I ended up being a nobody again. 

Now that is all in the past. Still haunts me at times. But I have learned from my mistakes. Whatever we do, should be based on the right intention. Never ever do things to please others. Never ever do things to prove to others. Don't do things just to please and prove yourself. Humans are weak, imperfect, and can easily disappoint. And the worse thing you can do is to disappoint yourself. 

The solution? Is "Lillahi Ta'ala..." in whatever you do. Insha'Allah you will be safe and protected from your own self-destruction. 

{Sue Anna Joe}

Monday, 9 January 2017

Seoul, South Korea: A wonderful travel destination with kids (Part 3)


Finally have the time to update my South Korea trip.  Was planning to complete the posts a while ago in time for the school holidays but didn't have the chance to. Was a bit caught up. So here is Part 3. This post will have a lot of images, so it might take a while to load.

Namsangol Hanok Village

We actually wanted to visit Bukchan Hanok Village instead.  So we didn't really know what to expect there, as it wasn't originally on our visit list. Since Namsangol was nearby our guesthouse, we decided to go again during the day to get a better view. Also it was a long our journey towards our next destination. It was beautiful. They had a few interesting structures other than the Hanok Village itself.

Seoul Millenium Time Capsule

Here, we came across the Seoul Millennium Time Capsule. It was strategically placed where Namsan Tower was visible in the background. This time capsule was built in 1994 to mark Seoul's 600th anniversary and will not be opened until the year 2394! Normal everyday items are buried within the time capsule. I wonder if we'll even have the chance to reach 2394. Haha. Still it's really intriguing.

The landscape was gorgeous too. It had a nice park. It was Autumn when we went, so it was a pretty sight to see with all the leaves on the ground. We had some fun throwing leaves in the air.

We then continued on to our next destination.

Seoul Children's Grand Park (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Dear parents, Seoul Children's Grand Park should be placed on the top of your must visit list when you travel to South Korea. We spent a whole day there. The place was huge! We couldn't cover the whole area. There was just soooo much to see. Admission is free. There is even a zoo. Marine animals, wild animals, animals that you could feed and pet, monkeys that could clap their hands asking for food. An amusement park, the rides weren't free but the tickets were cheap. 

They also have various shows, animal shows, cultural e.t.c... And it's really beautiful. We just couldn't get enough of it. Really did not want to leave, but our legs were dead tired from all that walking and exploring the place. We will definitely be going here again if we have the chance for another trip to Seoul (*ehem Tony Fernandez, can you sponsor us please?) <- Who knows he just might Google his own name and come across this blog eh? Hahaha. 

So let the pictures do the talking here.

Kambing Korea. Mata sepet, kulit putih mulus.

Eh Dodi, apa kau buat sini? Terlajak laris sampai ke Korea nampak!

Kambing Gerun.

There were a lot of places in the park we didn't get to cover. I suggest studying the place beforehand so you don't miss out on the interesting locations available at Seoul's Children Grand Park. I'm sure you and your kids would love it here. Even the review ratings of this place is high. Definitely a must visit!

How to get there by subway:

Just get off the Children's Grand Park Station (EXIT 1)


End of Part 3.

{Sue Anna Joe}
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