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Archive for June, 2009

Sorrows and Joys

happy sad theatre maskNo sooner had I written about feeling a sense of ease that the very next day grief would strike our household.  Unfortunately my dad’s sister passed away.

She died from a surgery that she was unable to recover from.  My dad knew that her death was imminent as the doctors had said she doesn’t have much time to live.  So he had prepared himself mentally for her death.  Oddly enough, he had seen a dream a few days earlier where her coffin was being taken to her grave to be buried.

The day she died, I was standing outside my house and I overheard the neighbors mention something about a birthday.  It may have been the birthday of one of the neighbors or they might have just mentioned it in passing.  But it really got me thinking.  It’s amazing how in one house, the people are suffering through a calamity, mourning for a lost loved one and just a few houses down they are celebrating a time of joy.  For some reason, I was oddly amazed at the juxtaposition that I was witnessing before my eyes.

One of my dad’s sisters lives just ten minutes away from our house.  She is of much older age, in her 80s.  Given her age and her fragility, my family had decided to let my dad give her the message that their sister had passed away.  So my aunt arrived at our house at about noon and right when my dad saw her enter the door, he broke down in tears and said, “Our sister has died.”  The two embraced each other and immediately began to cry hysterically.  My aunt collapsed on the ground in the middle of our dining room and sobbed.  I watched helplessly as both brother and sister cried on the floor in each others arms.

The death didn’t occur in Canada.  The death occurred in Pakistan where she lived.  My parents, as well as I found out about this over the phone.  Perhaps it’s me but I have noticed that the healing process occurs much faster here than it would have had my father been in Pakistan at the time.  Finding out the death of a relative over the phone is nothing new.  In fact, it pretty much happens at least once every year.  And the reality is, we can’t do much here.  All we can do is cry on the phone for a bit, cry in private, think about them and that’s pretty much it.  The nature of life in Canada is as such that life goes on.  Whereas over there, the entire family gathers to mourn, perhaps the entire village even.  Not so here.  Sadness and grief as well as happiness and joy are confined to each individual home.  Because my parents aren’t exposed to that environment of grief, it seems as though they are able to get over it more faster than if they were back home with their immediate and extended family.  I am not saying that it’s a good thing or bad, its mearly an observation that struck me at the time.

I mentioned birthdays above; my birthday was today as well.  In light of the situation, I chose to keep it somber and not really make a big deal out of it.  Not that I make a big deal out of my birthday in normal circumstances.  But this time around I chose not to really “do” anything for my birthday.  I just went out with two of my good friends who I hadn’t seen in quite a while.

We shall see what joys and sorrows destiny will bestow on us this year.

One Step Closer to Achieving Balance and a Goal

work-life-balance2I have officially crossed one major hurdle that was standing in the way of my goal of backpacking through Southeast Asia and (what I realised earlier this year) an imbalance in my life.  Allhamdulillah I found a job.

This job could quite possibly be the key that I needed at this point in life.  The job itself is nothing big.  I’m going to be working part time at this new hockey store that’s opening in this massive mega mall near my house.  I was praying hoping that if I were to find a job this year, it would be something that is going to be fun.  I’ve had way too many crappy jobs to just take anything that was available and do it.  I can’t work in a poisonous work environment anymore.  This new job is exactly what I was looking for.  It’s fun, it’s exciting, there is no pressure being put on me and the environment is relaxing.

Like I said before, I have fulfilled all the requirements of my degree now (Allhamdulillah) but I am going to go back and take some extra classes so that I can raise my GPA.  So this coming fall semester, my aim is going to be focused.  I am not going to be very social at all.   Rather, I am going to focus on my classes, raising my GPA and working as much as time can afford me to.  I am confident that with a dedicated attitude, I will be in Malaysia by this time next year.  It might not be the best regime in the world but once I find myself on an island looking at the Pacific ocean, standing on a white sandy beach, I know that the sacrifices that I will have made this year will all be worth it.

Perhaps more importantly however, I think this job, as small as it may be, will play a vital role in creating structure in my life, something that I desperately need.  All my studying, all my socialising and everything in between will revolve around my work schedule.  This may seem kind of unappealing to many people but I ever since my family bought a business, I haven’t had a real structured regime.  After we bought the business, I quit my part time job to help out with the shop.  As it turned out, I could go to the shop whenever I wanted to and ultimately didn’t become much of a priority on my list.   With this new part time job, working is no longer an option.  But best of all, it’s actually going to be fun.

All in all, it seems like its all working out.  I just hope and pray it does.  I have this feeling that I might be romanticising my job right now as I’ve created this picture in my head as to how its all going to look.  I don’t want to get my hopes up if it doesn’t work out the way I want it to.  But I am confident enough that it’ll be all that I pictured in my head and more.  The people that hired me seem really laid back and I told them I am a student they seem very accommodating to that.  Inshallah it’ll work out for the best.

Right now, I am in a very ‘at ease’ state of mind.  It feels good.

A Sweet Song To End Off The Night

Perfect sounds to end off the night…

Youtube EDU

Youtube.edu

This is one of the most unique things I have come across lately in my daily surf of the Internet.  Youtube has created a specific directory of all of their college and university partners.  Educational institutions from all across North America and the world have their own channels on youtube where people from anywhere in the world can view whats happening on their campuses.

Youtube.com/edu offers a directory of a number of post secondary institutions that post videos.  The nature of these videos range from recent and past commencement speeches to guest speakers and even classroom lectures.  So one could literally sit in on a class on the fundamentals of physics class or a game theory lecture without leaving their home.

This part of youtube is great for those that are wanting to research which college of university is the right one for them.  They have some of the top schools in the world posting videos all the time.  There are even a handful of Canadian universities such as the University of Manitoba and SFU that have partnered up with youtube.

This is perhaps most phenomenal in the sense that it allows one to explore academia from the perspective of a student without having to pay the necessary tuition and money to acquire an academic knowledge.  Now obviously not all classes and subjects are posted.  This is all at the discretion of the institution but its better than nothing.

Have a look and perhaps a lecture on one of the classes you are taking is somewhere up there.

Because I am a political science student, I am going to post a lecture from poli 114 (Political Philosophy) from Yale by professor Stephen Smith.

Six Words

We waited for you. Still waiting…

Unorganised Thoughts

As you guys might have noticed, I have not posed an entry in quite a while.  To be honest, I have been avoiding my blog and I really have no idea why.  I log in every now and then but never mustered up the energy to actually write an entry.

Which is an odd thing really because I have had a pretty good semester.  Alhumdulliah I got some amazing marks this semester.  I had a lot of fun with the club I was involved with (we put on some successful events) and my social life was quite exciting.  On top of that, I fulfilled all the requirements of my for my degree.  Aside from a little student loan mishap (actually its quite a big mishap but oddly enough, it doesn’t stress me out a whole lot) and a bit of drama that went on, it was a really good semester.

So I’m sure there are some deep seeded reasons as to why I didn’t visit my blog.  It may partly be due to the fact that I am pretty much done my degree.  And I know once I officially graduate, I am going to ball my eyes out.  I am going to utterly miss university and the whole undergrad experience as a whole.  I am still planning on taking classes as I want to bring my GPA up to a level that I am satisfied of.  In fact, I am even contemplating doing a minor.  After all, with the way the economy and the job market is now, it’s a good time to increase one’s education and qualifications.

I am starting to realise now that I lack a lot of things in my life at this point.  The two biggest things are the lack of religiosity and the lack of balance.  It’s been said that one’s level of religion is similar to that of the flightpath of a bird; up and down.  Sometimes my religious level is very high and other times it is very low.  It’s quite embarrassing to admit.  I don’t know why but I can never keep it at a constant high level.  Maybe that’s just a part of the whole experience but I need it badly.  The worst part of it is that it’s not even that hard.  I, myself make it hard.  And I know so many of my problems could be solved if only I was more religious.

That may be directly or indirectly related to how the current imbalance I am feeling in my life at the moment.  Life doesn’t suck right now but its hardly going the way I want it to go.  I am either indulging in too much of one thing and not another, or I am wasting away my time on things that have no relevance in the greater scheme of things.  I am just not utilizing my time the way I should be at my age.  For example, I am currently in desperate need of a job right now and I haven’t been giving the search all my attention.  I’ll search for one every now and then but despite the desperate need, I am not putting my full attention on it.  And its not like I am looking for anything serious.  I just need a small job that will pay my bills and allow me to save up a little.  Because all the plans I have right now require me to have money which I don’t have at the present moment.

And as I type this, I realize its always the same stuff I am complaining about.  It never changes.  It’s almost as if life is at this constant static state, that nothing ever changes.

I really need to get my act together and get myself out of this prolonged rut.  Time is running out.  I need to become more responsible and really understand that I am the master of my ship.  All I need to do is steer it in the right direction.  And right now, that is not happening at all.

*fingers crossed*