KTAs from the pandemic

It is out of this world, and in fact, it still feels surreal that we’re living through a pandemic called Covid-19, and we’ve done so for the past (almost) two years at the point of writing. We’ve all probably read about a few pandemics that happened in history – the Black Death, the Great Plague of London and the American Polio Epidemic – but the fact that we’re living through the worst pandemic in modern world is crazy.

But some KTAs!

#1 – As humans, we’re quick to adapt to changes IF we want to.

Can you guys imagine a life full of roadblocks with curfews and total travel limitations? We can do it if we want. We all stayed at home and spend the most time with our families or alone (if you’re unfortunate) in our lives ever. We all stopped going to offices and work from home – for ONCE and for REAL. About April 2020, the whole world was facing shortage of YOGA MATS because people were so bored that they succumbed to exercising voluntarily. TikTok had its overnight fame and people were raving about DALGONA.

Point: We can change and do anything so quickly if we want to.

#2 – In the interest of the ‘E’ in ESG, we reduced global carbon footprint just by working from home

Especially in Asia, WFH seemed farfetched even in February 2020, but everything flipped within a month. In the past almost two years, WFH has worked and people haven’t just worked MORE, but most have worked more efficiently. We didn’t need to drive out to face 2 hours of traffic back and forth every weekday and that 2 hours were optimised better be it on work or on our own well-being.

But will employers continue this adoption or will they care more about making sense of their office space rents that they’re enforcing employees to return to office?

Government has a say – if they want to step in.

#3 – Many marriages didn’t survive the pandemic

And that is sad. When couples say their vows, they always say they’d live together, forever, in sickness and in health. But truth is, many couldn’t survive being (stuck) at home 24/7 with their spouses to the point that they filed for divorce.

I enjoyed all the time I had spent with Ashraf at home, but I don’t think he enjoyed it as much as I did. Ha ha ha. But thankfully, we had a house big enough for each of us to have our own space to work from – which I admit, isn’t something many of us have so that must have helped a lot.

#4 – This Red Book meant nothing

Malaysian passport - Wikipedia

In fact, many lodged police reports to say they’ve misplaced their passports or just totally forgot where they put it! Almost no one had the liberty to fly around the world. Even if you had all the money in the world, or all the access to private transports, most places/countries wouldn’t happily accept just anybody unless truly necessary. Heck, the Australian government closed their borders to THEIR OWN PEOPLE so many Australians were just stuck overseas for months.

#5 – We live in such a globalised and borderless world, that other country’s problems tend to become ours too.

In late 2019, I remember booking our winter trip to Seoul and there were talks on this new virus in China. Honestly no one really cared mainly because we thought (1) it was just China’s problem; and (2) how bad can it be? But this virus has been shiz contagious and has taken millions of lives, not to mention having destroyed the livelihoods of billions others. In fact, when I was in Bangkok in January 2020, it was still “China’s problem”, though, there were worries that Thailand had already recorded 15 cases. In today’s statistics, if a country records just 15 new daily cases, Covid-19 is as good as dead in that country!

Are we still stuck?

I’m dead sure that all of us have felt ‘stuck’ at some point in our lives. At least, I know the people who potentially landed themselves on this post would be “adult enough” to have felt that at least a few times. You could feel stuck in a relationship, or in a job, in a situation, at a place… anything, really.

And it could well be the worst feeling because feeling stuck means there are very little actions that you can do that would help you move… that would give you a breather.

Imagine feeling stuck in a marriage. This person was someone you married to, and unlike dating, it’s not that easy to leave a marriage and even worse (or not, however you’d like to translate it), if you’ve children together.

Or being stuck on a job that you hate just because it pays you good money and you simply need it.

Or being trapped in between your two parents.

I don’t know the point that I’m trying to make here. But perhaps, it’s because I know each of us has felt stuck before and we thought there’s no way out because we refuse to make that difficult decision and acknowledge the elephant in the room. And to this point, we have a lot to learn from children despite the lack of maturity. Their decision-making process is fairly straight-forward: it’s always to attain happiness.

And I hate this life.

Are tangible things important to you, too?

I’ve been losing my mind in the past two days trying to find a single photo. It was a photo that Ashraf and I took together when we visited the London National History Museum on 27 March 2013. I could find other photos but just not the particular photo that both of us took together. It honestly has been bugging my mind till 1am – that was only because Ashraf forced me to let go, sleep and just continue to find it the next day.

I’ve searched through my Gmail, my Yahoomail but failed to find anything on my older Ymail because Yahoo apparently wipes out your mailbox if you don’t log in within a year. Do you guys know that? My old iPhone is dead and I’ve no idea why photos on my iCloud only go back to 2016. My blog… well… we know the story.

I love taking photos and videos. I tend to want to have tangible memories to hold on to and just can’t seem to relate with people who believe all it matters is the fact that one remembers the memories in their hearts and minds.

And this is why penning down my thoughts and uploading photos are important to me. Sure I still remember the photo, but will I still in 30 years’ time? 😭

You never really know your partner, until you marry him/her

How many times have we heard the above all our lives? In fact, I’ve heard it in all sorts of varying versions! But the underlying message remains:

“People change”

I dated for 7 years before I got married to my husband; and in that period of time, we had broken up more than the number of fingers and toes we have put together. Now that I think back, I wonder where both of us got the energy from because having been married for almost 2 years now, I just roll my eyes and walk to the kitchen whenever I get annoyed unless it’s a really big argument. Otherwise, I console myself with food or just watch K-dramas. I have insufficient level of energy to stand up and argue all night long the way the feisty me did in my teens.

Hence, true as the elders say. People change, and you never really know your partner until you marry him. Speaking from my infancy course of marriage, my husband changed after marrying me, and he has been the more patient one – and I will reiterate this; patience is *almost* everything in sustaining a marriage. He apologises first most of the times, cooks for me, helps out with chores when he comes back from work and most importantly, he feeds me. Ha ha ha.

I honestly thank my lucky stars every day, even in my heart. And from this point onwards, I hope my husband would only change for the better, and we are thankful everyday for having granted a rather peaceful relationship only filled with silly arguments like him mocking me on how unbelievably absurd my knowledge on animals is and how bad he is at Maths. And thankfulness is a key value, because only when you are thankful… you will be rewarded with more.

I love you.

Start again

How sad is it to find out that your entire 11 years of blog posts were wiped out?
I loved writing, despite losing my mojo every now and then… I always turn back to writing. I think I was particularly sad about losing my posts because I had written all about the transition of my life from Form 5… to leaving for London for college, through changing my undergraduate degree from Pharmacy to doing Finance and then wrapping my 7-year life in London with my Political Economy master’s degree… to working… to being engaged… to getting married. More importantly, all of my travel posts over the years.

And so here we go.

I’m starting again.