#ProustQuestionnaire with @soefira

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

SJ: Not unhappy? A book, a bed, milk & cookies.

 

What is your greatest fear?

SJ: Ignorance.

 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

SJ: So many! I like Catherine the Great coz her real name’s Sophie & she’s German.

 

Which living person do you most admire?

SJ: Steven Pinker. Tied with Robert Sapolsky. For the moment.

 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

SJ: Hesitation. Thinking too much.

 

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

SJ: Sombong bodoh.

 

What is your greatest extravagance?

SJ: Err. Never been extravagant actually. Quite austere.

 

On what occasion do you lie?

SJ: I am lying right now 😉 or is this #doublebluff?

 

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

SJ: Je suis une petit femme. I nak jadi 6 feet tall. Ha.

 

When and where were you happiest?

SJ: 9 yrs old, a book, a bed, milk & cookies.

 

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

SJ: Not to be allergic to cats.

 

If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?

SJ: I want to be Steven Pinker’s daughter.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

SJ: Sticking to my guns even tho so many against me.

 

If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?

SJ: A pampered cat.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

SJ: Like, hello? My darling books of course! 😉

 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

SJ: Urgh. Being depressed loh. Like no hope liddat.

 

Who are your heroes in real life?

SJ: Err. Dead heroes I have loads. Maybe Claire Tomalin? Yeah.

 

What is it that you most dislike?

SJ: Bigotry.

 

How would you like to die?

SJ: As painlessly as possible. Yup.

 

What is your motto?

SJ: Just try lah. Give it a go. If fail, fail lah, so what?

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I was thinking over and over again her words, “I don’t want to break your heart.” And I started thinking, maybe what she’s afraid of, is the fact that there’ll come a point when she will really love me, and what will happen if I break her heart instead.

Fear.

There’s a certain subconscious truth in fear that we don’t realise, but shows in how we respond and react to a certain situation or statement.

This post is triggered from that thought.

I asked several friends, “What are you most afraid of?” And the answers have been quite interesting.

A few people are afraid of failure. Failure is scary. How do you redeem your self-esteem from failure? That’s one thought that came to mind. People leverage on ego, and achievements boost ego. I’m not referring to ego in the context of arrogance, everyone needs ego. But where failure is involved, I trust ego is bruised at some point.

Some people are afraid of what they cannot do. It’s either do well, or don’t do at all. Quite easy to understand that. But then the fear of failure comes in as well. What if I can’t do well in this particular thing, and fail to ace it? That is a risk, and the strength to actually find victory in failure, is not for all to master. In that, I’d advise Ida who’s afraid that people won’t like the show, that whatever happens, just wing it!

Lisa is afraid of the probability of civil war in Malaysia and losing her eyesight. But then, will there be any blessing to have lost the sight before the civil war came true?

A lot of people are afraid of disappointing their loved ones. And also losing their loved ones. Some is scared that they won’t love enough. Love, is as honest as it is. As loved ones, we’ll say we’ll love them, no matter what. And as loved ones, we will never say we hate or are angry with them, but just… a little bit disappointed. 🙂

A fair amount of them hate reptiles, or creepy crawlies, or slimey worms that moves. While fear of height leads to fear of falling from high places, there are also fear of the deep sea, of what’s down there in the abyss. You should watch that movie, The Abyss. Great wonderful creatures came out from the depth of the sea, Sheena. It’s something you got to believe in. And it was the only reason why this portal is called the Cosmic Abyss. 🙂

There was also a very specific fear in childbirth. Specifically when they insert a tube through your urethra to drain excess urine. Then, there’s epidural.

While Charlie is afraid of losing her freedom, most of us in Malaysia are fighting for freedom we actually already have. I don’t know. While people are condemning the ANTI-LGBT demonstrations, a lot of gay people are partying in the same country. So, I seriously don’t know.

My very tall and handsome friend, Rafai is afraid of ghosts. This particular fact actually interest me. I’ve always thought about this. Ghosts, are basically a form of being that exists in some other realm or dimensions, as we crazy metaphysics believers believe. And how does ghosts eat us alive, if they are just beings in the form of light, or energy? But Rafai came up with a fairly believable justification.  “They’ll MAKE me kill myself. Like jump off balcony.” You know what, this could be true. Paranoia does destroy ya.

Someone replied to my question when I asked her what is she most afraid of. “Replying to this question and not knowing who’s asking.” Apparently we are also scared of strangers, or maybe just the fact that we might forgot to save a dear friend’s number.

Some people are afraid of God. When I asked why, they answered, why not. Nadrah instigated a mildly confusing but fairly interesting argument on this subject. I’d like to share the conversation I had with her here.

 

Me: What are you most afraid of?

Nadrah: God! 🙂

Me: What are you afraid of in God?

Nadrah: His wrath … And maybe fear of being blinded from the Truth. And emptiness.

Me: How do we know? What’s true and what’s not? What’s wrong and right?

Nadrah: You’ll get there. Just keep on asking. What you seek, is seeking you kak. Rumi wrote that … What is Real?

Me: Real is faith.

Nadrah: And what is faith?

Me: Believing

Nadrah: In what?

Me: Real only happens when you have faith. And faith only happens when you believe.

Nadrah: Yup. But believe in what?

Me: Believe in what you want to be real

Nadrah: So what is real?

Me: Anything can be real when you have faith and believe in it.  Like God. Some people doesn’t believe in it.

Nadrah: So does that mean God is not real?

Me: It’s only up to you.

Nadrah: So you are your own master, in other words? Solipsism. You have own control of your own soul?

Me: Yes.

Nadrah: Then who or what controls the regulation of your body? The heartbeat, the blood and stuff like that?

Me: The divinity delegated and entrusted to you by your Creator. Must’ve been one sick Genius. 😉

Nadrah: So there is a creator then! You’re not entirely absolutely controlling your own soul? Hehe.

 

After thinking this through, I remembered a piece of advice, or probably one of the best speeches I’ve read, by one of the people I truly respect in life, Aung San Suu Kyi.

It is not power that corrupts but fear.

Without fear, would we lose control? Or is it easier in life, to have fear that subconsciously controls us?

And funnily, Sheena is right, “in the end, we are afraid of things we can’t control.”

So, what am I most afraid of?

 

Leaving, and not being able to say Goodbye.

 

A Fool in April

It’s that time of the month or probably that time of the year when I feel like I’m not doing anything right.

I’m beginning to think that it is no longer about being insecure. I seriously do think that I’m not walking any of my talks. Thus why, I can only find relief in writing.

There’s something about writing that detaches you from reality. But detachment from reality doesn’t mean it’s false facts. The great author Alan Moore once said, “It is important that a story ring true upon a human level, even if it never happened.” However, writing allows one to dwell on certain things that crosses one’s heart and mind, but not necessarily builds up the reality in one’s life.

When I was small, like 12 or something, I like to write short stories. I was never a bookworm despite my fetish and love for books. I can barely finish a book. That is mostly due to my short attention span. Unless the book is really really engaging, then I’d finish it. I’m now 29, and still struggling to finish almost 4 books that I’ve bought since 2007. I stopped writing when I started high school (13 yrs old) but when I was 17, my English teacher started this ‘journal’ project in class which got me to writing again.

Then, in uni, one of the lecturers pointed out my exam paper in class, called up my name and commented, “This person writes with flare.”

It’s been 9 years since I started writing, and Ever since I started a fulltime job since January this year, today is the first time, I’m missing writing so much that it makes me cry.

There comes a time when reality should be re-assess on its subjectivity.

The reality is that people are scared to follow their heart, because we don’t often take responsibility of how we feel. We either blame it on the menstrual cycle, our age, or the people around us. Even in love, we wait and wait for someone else to come, that will make us fall on our knees, head over heels, in love. We’re afraid to say, “You, yes you, I don’t know if You feel the same way, but you know what, I can feel that we’re right for each other, and I want to try to love you for just based on that feeling.”

Again, the weirdly great Alan Moore said,

Because things that we do without lust or result, are the purest actions that we shall ever take.

I just had a good chat with one of my soulmates who’s now working in Kabul. It’s nice to know that someone out there see the sensibility in the decisions that I will take in this near future.

I talk to you guys again in May, if I can find my way there.