dark spirit

Spirit Of Diyana.

Awe has been the response. “Wow!” = (bombastic) (pretentious) (high level) (weird)

Spirit. It’s something that we rarely talk about or acknowledge. Heck, some don’t believe in such mumbo-jumbo. It kinda has the same ring as Magic.

I believe we all have a Spirit. It’s what makes us who we truly are. Sure the brain might have got something to do with our character. But the Spirit is what differentiates between identical twins, for example. While it may seem that our Spirit has been set, I think it changes as we grow. It absorbs the things we see, hear, feel and experience and becomes a recipe of one’s essence.

That being said, the Spirit is not always basking in sunshine; it is sometimes clouded by darkness. Whilst I may portray myself as a happy-go-lucky, smile-a-lot person, I am not always so. It is easier to show the good or happy side of oneself rather than the other. Due to the circumstances of my life, it seems that I have no choice but to show the other side(s) too. Otherwise, I might explode.

Indeed, my Spirit is quite dark at the present. This is not unusual, as I have felt this before. At least, compared to before, I now know the symptom, cause and solution. However, I have yet to gather the recipes to resolve this situation. All in good time, I suppose. But for now, I just want to warn you that there may be more negative thoughts here. Do not worry though, I am not suicidal. I promise.

It is just that I need an outlet to get rid of these nasty thoughts and emotions, and to be sure that at least one person may read. That is until there is a person who would care enough to truly listen regularly so that I do not have to express it here.

Since I am physically fine, I think this is surely a mental health problem. What is it exactly I do not know. But it is something that has been coming and going for some years now. I will seek professional help if it is truly unbearable because really all I need is (real life) constant support and companion. It’s not that complicated.

In the meantime, I shall figure this out on my own as I usually do and perhaps expect a burst of creativity, as these times usually invoke.

Advertisements

apologies

I feel the need to apologise to you—but really mostly to myself—for neglecting this blog for a couple of months. I have denied myself the pleasures of writing and sharing wonderful experiences and peculiar thoughts. I could say I was busy with work, which is rather demanding. But it could also be that writing had not been my priority. Indeed, my priorities had shifted.

Before graduating from university, I was quite adamant on avoiding the usual 9-5 job. I wasn’t blind to reality either and so I knew that perhaps such a job is inevitable for me. This is because I have been brought up in a system that leads a person towards that kind of situation. You go to school, you’re taught certain things and not others, the school produces quality products (students) that go on to further refinement (study), narrowing down the scope of skill (subject) to one or two, and then with that one or two field of knowledge, the individual is given a job that takes most of one’s time to produce something that only helps the economy.

I may be generalising too much but I’d say it’s the norm. That’s all the government or companies care about. They don’t care about one’s well-being. They don’t care about one’s health. If they did, they would’ve banned McDonald’s, KFC and the likes. They would’ve advocated for a plant-based diet. They don’t care about your mental health. If they did, they would allow employees to work at any time that they want as long as they meet the number of hours and the important meetings. We know that some people may be more nocturnal and some work best at dawn. And yet, we have been made to be like machines, not humans.

Being aware of this messed up or robotic system that’s been going on for centuries doesn’t make things any easier. It has just become a constant itch whenever I divert from my newly-adopted values. And indeed some of my actions have not been aligned with my values, sadly.

When I graduated, I thought that at least I could work in a company that allows flexible working hours. I wasn’t entrepreneurial enough to start a business nor was I smart enough to be a freelancer. And so I had little choice but to work for a company, which is actually not a bad thing per se. The key is to find a company that shares similar values to you and what you want to achieve. If you have no idea about either one of those, then you need some soul-searching to do, my friend.

Anyway, long story short, I found a company–Mindvalley–that creates online educational content pertaining to topics such as yoga, meditation and self-improvement. Sounds like my cup of tea! I applied and got interviewed at the HQ in Kuala Lumpur. However, I didn’t get through after the interview. Perhaps I’ll tell more about this experience on another post but basically, I didn’t feel the vibe that they seem to portray online and that perhaps I wasn’t enthusiastic or experienced enough.

Some weeks later, I found a company that deals with the environment and I applied, went for the interview and got offered a job as a trainee consultant. It’s strictly 9-6 (or longer) and I got given my own desk and chair. Sometimes, I would go on site visits, which would provide me with fresh air. But those visits are not frequent and only when needed. Otherwise, I would go to meet people in other buildings to get certain information from. That’s what basically a consultant does–80% at their desk writing reports and 10% meeting clients or going for site visits.

It’s not too bad actually. Considering it’s a small, private company I’d say it’s much more relaxed than a large, corporate company, I think. The office is about half an hour drive from home with traffic (15-20 minutes without). And the people are generally nice. Some would say I’m quite lucky to have secured a job here.

As work gets busier, the time for my “hobbies” or “other interests” gets reduced. I could no longer read for hours on end and I could not focus on blogging. Doing more work after work is nearly impossible, as I get sleepy by ten. Weekends are for spending time with family and friends or catching up on sleep/movies/TV shows etc. So, I hardly have any time for writing or even video editing. Ah, how I wish I was a vampire!

But then again, I still have the time to exercise, meet people, go out to eat, shopping, hiking and holidaying… so why can’t I make time for writing?

No motivation. No creative juice flowing. No inspiration. No mood.

Meaning, EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES!

I guess this is a signal to sit down for an hour or two and re-evaluate my priorities, my needs and my wants.

Sorry if there is not much point in this post but I suppose this is just an explanation for the lack of posts on this blog. I can’t promise a more regular posting schedule until I’ve got my shit together and really make this a priority and know exactly what I would like to write about. In any case, thanks for sticking by if you’ve been doing so. And if you’re new here, apologies for the rather sombre tone of this post but I can promise you a better topic next time and that I won’t stop writing!

 

birthday reminiscence

The 9th of June every year has always coincided with some holiday or another. The past three birthdays were spent in the UK as I was studying there, and I always did something or other. The first year in 2013 on my 20th birthday, I went punting on the River Wear with my corridor mate, Eiffel. It was a brilliant sunny day and I had a good laugh at Eiffel not being able to punt very well. We then walked around Durham and had a nice meal.

IMG_3623.JPG
Me punting on the River Wear

On my 21st birthday, I took an hour train ride to the medieval city of York and spent time with my bestie, Aliyyah. It was another beautiful sunny birthday! We went to a chocolate factory and learnt about Rowntree’s history whilst nibbling on free samples. I got excited when I walked through The Shambles a.k.a. Diagon Alley, hoping Hagrid would appear. He didn’t, but it felt magical nonetheless.

11357292_10204450360365295_3262311428360012954_o.jpg
Me standing in the middle of The Shambles

A day after my final exam ended in my final year, I hopped on a plane to Munich. There I joined my other bestie, Dinie, and her brother. A week of travelling in Europe! On the 9th, which was the third (or was it fourth?) day of Ramadan, we were in Rome. We took in the sights and sounds but had to resist the taste of pizza and 90 cents coffee. It was the best birthday yet.

15800556_10208218308561645_7848381798590457349_o.jpg
Me with Dinie at the Colosseum

This year, I’m in Malaysia. The 9th of June fell on a Friday, a working day, but I had decided to take the day off because no hell way was I going to get stuck in the office the whole day. So, I spent the day basically at home relaxing. Quite a contrast compared to previous years but I think wouldn’t have it any other way. It had been a long time since I was at home for my birthday so it was a good change.

I spent the morning watering the plants and absorbing the vitamin D. The afternoon was spent editing videos, watching YouTube videos, editing and posting photos on Instagram, replying thank yous to people who sent me birthday wishes, keeping tabs on the UK snap election, and rolling on my bed. A pretty chilled birthday.

For dinner, my mum, brother and I went to BMS Organic, which is an organic vegetarian restaurant. I brought along my cake that I had ordered. It was a raw vegan cheesecake by Aesthetic Eats. I loved every bit of it and I was amazed by how it was absolutely raw! I was also given another cake — a vegan chocolate cake — by a colleague at work. That was a total surprise but a much appreciated one.

IMG_2925.JPG
The chocolate cake that my colleague surprised me with
IMG_2944.JPG
The raw vegan cheesecake with a personalised message!
IMG_2943.JPG
creamy!

We then went to watch a movie, The Mummy, because my mum loves Tom Cruise. I think it wasn’t too bad but it wasn’t very great either. I liked the message of sacrificing oneself for the one you love, albeit a bit cliché. All in all, I was glad to spend time with my mum and brother (and my gorgeous plants). I definitely had a pleasant birthday.

Sambal Tempeh | VEGAN

I realised that I haven’t put up a recipe of my current favourite dish so here you go!

ingredients

2 cloves of garlic

3 cloves of shallot

1/2 of big onion

2 tbsp of blended red chilli

peanuts (optional but recommended)

tempeh (cut into small pieces)

salt

sugar

oil

method

  1. Blend the chillies (however much you want – you can keep the extra in the fridge). Alternatively, you can use chilli paste but I can’t guarantee it wil be as tasty.
  2. Crush the shallot and garlic using pestle and mortar.
  3. Add oil to the pan and heat it. Fry the tempeh until golden brown.
  4. Take out the tempeh and put it aside.
  5. Fry the crushed shallot and garlic.
  6. Add the blended chilli and continuously stir for a few minutes.
  7. Add the cut big onion.
  8. Add the cooked tempeh back in.
  9. Add peanuts if you want some crunch!
  10. Add salt & sugar to taste.

Because this is not baking, you can adjust the measurements according to your taste. That’s why I prefer cooking rather than baking – you can just throw in anything and however much you like! Except for salt, of course.

This is absolutely delicious and if you do try to make this, let me know!

PS: more tips in the caption underneath the pictures below!

IMG_6976
cut the onions and garlic into small pieces
IMG_6982
crush the shallots and garlic
IMG_6987
before blending the chillies, remember to remove the seeds unless you can stand the heat! Also, soak the chillies in water for about an hour so that it’s a bit creamier.
IMG_6988
remember to fry the tempeh first before frying everything else!
IMG_6994
fry the shallot and garlic
IMG_6996
add the blended chilli/paste
IMG_7000
add the cut big onion
IMG_7004.jpg
finally add the tempeh
IMG_7011
enjoy!
IMG_7014
steamy-licious!

IMG_7025

the quiet rhythm

The office sounds like a toned-down version of what it had probably been like during the 1900s when a room full of typewriters made their joyful clickety-clack sounds. At least, that’s what the period movies usually depict. Quite therapeutic, the rhythmic bashing of computer keyboards lulls me to a state of almost-asleep. It’s after lunch and my mind would always shut down briefly around this time. I believe it has something to do with how the digestive system is using up most of the energy in the body and so the brain has to give in.

So, I sit back on my chair, cross-legged and neck tilting slightly upwards. It takes my brain at least 15 minutes to replenish the energy it needs. Sometimes it may demand more time and usually, I wouldn’t mind. Alas, Guilt kicks in and reminds me that I am paid to sit here and do work. At the same time, Pride barges in and tells me that I’m in full control of my life; I can and should do whatever I want. To appease Guilt, I wake up. To satisfy Pride, I continue day-dreaming.

It is still rather quiet, but the rhythm goes on. I wonder, as I always do, how they can keep on typing. Do they really enjoy doing their work? Is it just merely an obligation they have to fulfil? I don’t think I can type continuously for more than 3 minutes even on a topic that I find interesting. My mind pauses at intervals. Like my body, it needs rest every now and then.

The bashing reduced to two pairs of hands. The quiet remains. We are each in our own little universe. And quite suddenly, a different sound decides to join. It was first a pitter-patter and then quickly joined by a rush like that of a waterfall. The furious rain hitting the roof breaks the spell and the two pairs of hands take a breather, a pair of legs starts walking to the loo and a voice starts an empty conversation.


 

The above was written today. Whenever my mind feels congested and my heart is dangerously close to exploding, I indulge in writing. I played with my senses, which caused me to be present. Then, I write down what I see, hear, touch or smell. I played with the sentence structure and I gave inanimate objects some character. It may not be great, but the process sparked that thing in me that I nearly forgot how it felt. And I bloody love it.