Turning 23: A Reflection

Exactly 23 years ago I was brought into this world and I still can’t believe that I can get into the stage I am at! All I can say is Alhamdulillah! I am so grateful! Sometimes I wonder, what did I do to deserve all of these?? I don’t think I have done something significant. I don’t think I have changed somebody else’s life. And I definitely don’t think that I have changed this world. Sometimes I ask myself, why am I the one who got all the opportunities to experience all the things that I wanted? Why not my sister? My brother? Why was I chosen to receive the scholarship? Of course, I work hard to get what I reaaalllyyyy want, but I feel that other people work much harder than I do. So why me?!?

2008 is an extremely significant year for me. Having just graduated from college at the end of last year, I constructed a number of goals and plans that I would like to achieve this year. Thankfully, most of the things that I wanted went according to plan. The biggest goal this year was to do a masters degree and I am so thrilled that I get the chance to do it as planned! I almost postponed my plan of going back to university again due to some obstacles faced at the beginning of this year. But alhamdulillah, despite the difficulties, I get a chance to do it :). I so believe in “if you have a will, there’s always a way” quote.

There are a few goals that I sadly missed out. Doing an internship with AIESEC was one of my major goals that I would really want to experience right after I graduated from UQ, but unfortunately, due to some visa troubles, I didn’t get a chance to make it happen. I just hope that I can still do the internship next year, or the year after… maybe doing some voluntary works related to cultural diversities in the Eastern European countries would be fun :). Now that I have a Schengen visa, it’ll be much easier for me to work in Europe. Wish me luck :). Besides my failure to do AIESEC internship, I was also not accepted in a university in Germany which was a big disappointment for me back then. It was all my fault anyway… I didn’t take the whole admission process really seriously as I didn’t bother to take a GRE exam and in addition… I didn’t have any references from my former lecturers. I was disappointed because… for the past 3 years, I had been doing quite a number of preparation for my study over there — that includes taking a German language course. But the news of my acceptance at TU/e entirely replaced my disappointment :). Despite the rejection, I am definitely going to Germany later!! All those things that I learnt about Berlin Wall, East Germany, Stasi, Nazi, etc make me want to explore that country so much. Now I realise that I wanted to go to Germany not because whether or not the quality of education there was good, but because of all those interesting World War 2 and Cold War history hehehehe…. 😛 .

Anyway, the biggest thing that happens this year is the fact that I can FINALLY be financially independent of my family. This is rather unexpected, to be honest. I thought that I would not be able to do it until the time when I get a permanent job. But I am so grateful that it actually happens faster than I first thought. Unlike the time when I was about to do my Bachelor degree, my parents did not spend a cent of money for my study this time — and that includes the preparation, travel costs, etc.  I am extremely proud of this! Thank you, Allah SWT… for always listening to my prayers.

Before I wrap up this post, I would like to give credits to people who have given me tremendous support, motivation, and inspiration throughout my 23-years life journey. My family has definitely been my biggest supporter and motivator! I admit that my parents expect so many things from me (and my two siblings) and I do sometimes get pretty frustrated during my weakest moments in my life. But I know deep in my heart that they want me to be a successful person (in social life, education, career, hmm what else?) one day. Thank you, mom and dad, for always showering me with the love that I need, encouraging me to dream endlessly, giving me freedom to achieve my dreams, persuading me to go beyond my comfort zone, keeping me grounded, and teaching me the lessons that I would have never gotten anywhere else. I am sorry that I have disappointed both of you; my ego and stubbornness are hard to control sometimes and I am still working very hard to deal with it… Love you so! 🙂

To all my friends who have contributed to my life in so many ways, I thank you for your support, help and encouragement. I am so blessed to be surrounded by great people :). I would definitely like to extend my gratitude to my close friends and former housemates, Jenny and Mayu, whom I spent the past 4 years with. Living with them was a new learning experience for me and I have learnt to become a better person because of them. Through them, I could see a life from their interesting perspectives and was able to apply some of them to mine. I became more mature and was challenged to reflect some aspects of life in different ways. I don’t know when we’ll be reunited again as the three of us live in different parts of the world, but I wish we’ll meet up again somehow in the future. Jenny and Mayu, I still owe you a long letter :D, please be patience. The letters shall arrive in your mailbox soon :).

The last person that I would mention whose lectures and speeches have motivated me and inspired my life for the last few months is none other than Randy Pausch. I remember at that time I was in a very bad state, unmotivated and pessimistic about my future. Two months after graduation and I still had nothing to do. I was waiting for my AIESEC internship’s confirmation so I couldn’t really do anything besides waiting. Most of my friends by now already got a good position in a number of companies and I was still confused what I was going to do with my life. I was so left behind!! And then, one day I was watching the Oprah Show when I discovered a Computer Science professor by the name of Randy Pausch reprising his lecture on that particular show. When I first watched him, I was so impressed and touched! This was a guy who was dying and had only a couple of months to live; yet, he chose to have fun and live his short life to the max. I then asked myself… man, what did I do with my life?!? I was in the wrong direction! After I watched his lecture at Oprah and his complete lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, I decided that I had enough of waiting! I needed to get moving and do something else (i.e. find another job). I became excited and motivated :). That’s why you would find me citing Randy’s quotes or talking about him all the time; I admire him, I really do :). I watch his lecture over and over again as my own reminder. His messages are very simple, easy to understand, yet sometimes people forget that those things are the core ones. Randy passed away last July and survived by his wife and three children. He’ll be greatly remembered.

These are my favourite quotes of him:

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

…if I work hard enough, there will be things I can do tomorrow, that I can’t do today.

You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.

A good apology has three parts:
1) I am sorry.
2) It was my fault.
3) How do I make it right?
Most people skip that third part; that’s how you can say sincerity.

If you haven’t watch Randy Pausch’s lecture, I highly recommend you to do it. It’s good for your life :). I hope you’ll get inspired and motivated and learn something from his lecture as I do.

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! 🙂

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8 Responses

  • ‘. Now that I have a Schengen visa, it’ll be much easier for me to work in Europe. ‘

    hahaha… mauuuu bgt tuh gue….
    jam kerja org asia terlebih disini gilaaa Mel….
    gue aja kalo deadline bisa sampe jam 2 pagi, dan nggak ada OT charge.gag ada tuh tuh yg pulang jam 6.. regular time gitu..
    denger2, org sana lebih tau gimana cara menikmati hidup…
    duh pengen bgt bisa kerja dieropa..
    gud luck sama masternya mel…
    english lo tambah okay aja bahasanya
    erghh hepi bday yah!!

  • debukaki

    selamat ulang tahun ya, amel… wish u all the best in life and after-life.. 😉

    tar kukirim passwordku ya? hehehe.. thank u… thank u…

  • Alistair

    Hey, it is good to see that things have been working out for you, really glad. I commented on one of the other blogs you left but had no idea things have changed since. You have done so well for yourself that you deserve all the luck in your life and lets hope this may well continue for many more years yet to come. Many happy belated wishes for your birthday and good luck with your studies.

  • Assalamualaikum.
    Salam kenal ya mbak, dari bogor, indonesia.

  • himawanto

    Happy belated birtday ya..

    iseng liat2, kebetulan gue mau kerja di saudi, dari tulisan Amel jadi punya ‘bayangan’ tentang jeddah dan sekitarnya. Nanti kalo dah di Jeddah, mungkin november ini, gue imel imel amel lagi deh, (nanya2 maksudnya:)

    Sukses dengan S2 nya yah

    cheers

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