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}

Friday, 6 January 2017

Pemenang Jiwa


Setelah sekian lama menanti, Anna nak umumkan pemenang bagi Pertandingan Puisi Belantara di Antara Jiwa. Terlebih dahulu, Anna ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Siti Aishah Mohammad Razi, Mohd Fariz Abdul Rahman, Sura Zakaria, Mohd Faizal Zakaria, Suria Zakaria dan Nur Azalea Rusni yang sudi menyertai pertandingan ini. Terima kasih juga pada yang turut menyebarkan perihal pertandingan ini di Facebook.

Dan pemenangnya adalah... 


Hening malam bintang merata
Menata sinar tersuluh jiwa
Namun kelam gelap gelita
Tertanya tanya bilakan bercahaya?

Kau susuri belantara jiwa
Berselirat, sesak terasa
Mentari terik menjengah jua
Tetaplah teguh menjadi perkasa

Jalan bercabang buat kau terpana
Terus melangkah tuntuni jiwa
Pekikan ia pada yang Esa
Hanya Dia yang Maha Sempurna

Karya oleh,
 Suria Zakaria ©️ 2016-2017

Tahniah buat Suria Zakaria. Puisi ini terpilih kerana dapat menyampaikan apa yang Anna sendiri rasa ketika membuat lukisan ni. Pada yang pernah mengikuti dan membaca penulisan Anna di blog lama, Budu dan Belacan, banyak luahan hati terutamanya mengenai konflik diri. Anna masih lagi, mencari diri. Jatuh seringkali, bangkit jarang sekali. Banyak yang perlu dilawan, banyak yang perlu ditawan. 

Setelah lama menyepi dan menghilangkan diri dari dunia alam maya, sekarang Anna dah kembali. Tapi jujur dikatakan, bukan mudah hendak bangkit. Rasa kecewa, kesal, seringkali hendak mengibarkan bendera putih, pasrah pada kegagalan. Selama Anna hidup di mukabumi ini, rasa seolah banyak masa yang telah dihabiskan dengan sia-sia. Tapi Alhamdulillah, masih diberi nyawa untuk meneruskan hidup di dunia yang sementara. Ditemukan dengan seorang yang mengejutkan dari tidur dan mimpi indah yang kosong. Realiti itu pahit, tapi pahit itulah ubat. 

Waktu tengah gah, rasa macam merendah diri, tanpa disedari, ego itu melangit, sombong dan meninggi diri. Itulah mainan dunia, godaan nafsu dan tewas dengan bisikan pawana. Terlalu mudah dikaburi dengan perkara yang memakan diri kerana lemas dalam nikmatnya. Lama-kelamaan, hati yang asalanya bercahaya, menjadi kelam. "Hening malam bintang merata, Menata sinar tersuluh jiwa, Namun kelam gelap gelita, Tertanya tanya bilakan bercahaya?" Suria Zakaria (2016). 

Apa jua sekali pun. Hidup mestilah diteruskan. "Kau susuri belantara jiwa, Berselirat, sesak terasa, Mentari terik menjengah jua, Tetaplah teguh menjadi perkasa" Suria Zakaria (2016). Sakit macam mana pun bila jatuh, kena bangun dan jalan. Tak larat nak jalan, merangkak. Tak larat merangkak, mengesot seperti suster ngesot. Hahaha. Harap ada yang pernah tengok Suster Ngesot, kalau takda.. aku gelak sorang-sorang je la. Hmm. 

Nami Island
25 November, 2015

Jadi macam mana ni nak teruskan perjalanan hidup yang sementara menuju yang kekal? "Jalan bercabang buat kau terpana, Terus melangkah tuntuni jiwa, Pekikan ia pada yang Esa, Hanya Dia yang Maha Sempurna" Suria Zakaria (2016). Berbalik padaNya. Segala sesuatu yang kita lakukan kerana Allah. Bukan untuk yang lain, bukan untuk memuaskan diri sendiri. Manusia tidak akan pernah puas. Tak terkejar kepuasan dunia.  

Jadikan kebiasaan untuk menyoal diri "Aku buat ni untuk apa?" Kalau tujuannya kerana Allah, kita tidak akan rasa terlalu sedih dan kecewa bila tidak dapat apa yang diingin. Contohnya, pergi temuduga untuk mencari kerja, dengan harapan yang tinggi, sekali tak dapat. Nak mendapatkan zuriat, bertahun-bertahun mencuba tetapi masih tidak mendapat anak. Jika kita niatkan dan landaskan pada Allah, kita yakin ada hikmahnya, kita yakin ada yang lebih baik untuk kita. Mungkin tidak di dunia, tapi di akhirat kelak. 

Dengan itu, kita harus tetap bersemangat untuk berusaha walaupun gagal. Gagal tidak bermakna kalah. Jadikan kegagalan itu satu semangat baru untuk teruskan usaha dan berikhtiar disulami dengan niat keranaNya, bukan kerana manusia mahupun dunia. 

{Sue Anna Joe}
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