salmon and cheese

i just had the best salmon and cheese sandwich in the world. melo bought it and decided he wasn’t hungry, ag wanted to eat it, i had bites of it, and i can’t stop thinking of it.

now i’m thinking of nandos.

i was asked today, ‘how do you manage everything?’

i think there are heaps of women out there trying their best to juggle so many things at one go. some at will, some against. that’s just how humans are.

we’re built with the ability to juggle. in fact, we’re all jugglers. if you’re sitting at a table with all your friends and suddenly your mother texts you. you’ve got no choice to reply, whilst still sticking around as your friends continue conversing with each other. that’s simply juggling. you’re driving and you turn on the radio, you’re juggling. you’re walking and you press the button on your carkey. you’re juggling.

we all juggle everyday.

i’ve met a few people who have told me tales about how they juggle. most of the time during conversations, i noticed that i listen more than i talk, so i dare say i’ve listened to more than ten or twenty different people telling me how they go through their days doing two to three things at a time – these tales come mostly from working women and men, or students.

i’ve got a friend who told me about her hectic schedule- she wakes up at five to pray, preps for college, heads over, attends class until 12, finishes her assignments during all her breaks, goes for sports in the evening, goes for extra activities at night, does sports close to midnight and then stays awake until 2-3am just studying. bare in mind that she tells her tale breathless, coping up with her own storytelling session just to get her exhaustion all off her chest.

truth be told, not all of us go through busy days like hers, but most of us do. some of us struggle with money, hence having to do part time jobs at night after school and house chores at home. some of us work double jobs, sleep only for two hours and could still maintain good relationships with people. some of us have frequent emotional breakdowns and require more sleepysleep time, making it difficult for them to juggle a lot of things at one go.

basically, nothing else beats faith, time management, good communicating skills and self-control. it all goes hand in hand.

lets say you’ve got class at 1pm, and you only finish your part time job at 12pm. your university’s quite far from where you’re working at, hence you need good communicating skills to either explain to your boss or lecturer that you’ve got a class to attend or that you’re working part time. when explaining, your higher-ups don’t want to listen to a tone that’s tinted with annoyance. they want to hear honesty and most importantly, they want to hear respect, just as how they want it to be reflected in your work ethics. you’re lucky if you’ve got a higher-up who doesn’t mind letting you off early or arriving late.

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how did i survive my hectic university life while studying?

it was tough. it was mostly a battle against risks and consequences. a battle against time, and a battle against my inner-thoughts, while still keeping my life within the boundary that my parents had set for me.

trying to balance a singing career and studying was tough.

singing in a duo meant having to synchronize your time with your partner’s. it meant having to reach a level of understanding that requires a lot of give and takes, a lot of sacrifice, and most importantly, patience.

hani and zue is no longer about ‘going to open mics and making songs in our free time’. we’ve gone through that specific phase during the big gap between our spm and entering college. we went for open mics back then, and had ample of time shooting random cover videos. many new listeners of haniandzue, i noticed, still have perceptions that we’re still in that phase of our career.

“you guys make covers on youtube right?”

“hey maybe you should join this open mic next tuesday!”

“why don’t you guys come perform at our school! it’s exposure”

we’ve been through it. in fact we started during our spm year. so basically it’s been two years of openmics, writing songs, making covers and discovering ourselves.

having to prove ourselves took a lot of our time, effort, strength and will. most of which we could’ve 100% dedicated to our studies.

going to university, i’d see my friends yawning in the morning, complaining that they only slept for two hours that night trying to finish assignments and that they need more time. during moments like these, i thought to myself: at least they have time to finish their work leisurely, at the comfort of their homes or any preferred cafes. why am i doing this side job? why do i even bother?

passion. that’s simply it. passion kept me driven everyday, and the fact that i’ve made it so far: meeting experienced people in the industries, slowly building a name for ourselves, understanding how to make better music, going for radio interviews, appearing on television, playing wih great musicians, acquiring people who favour (and hate) your art, singing at so many events- could you just imagine, all that, and i still encounter moments that leave me questioning my decision.

simultaneously i pursued a 3 1/2 year programme, BA (Hons) Degree in Interactive Multimedia Design, which meant: your laptop’s your life, and deadlines are often.the thing about doing design is that your work depends on your creativity and ideas. with time constrains, it was difficult for me. i had to think of both my singing (and i wasn’t even that good of a singer when i started out, especially having to sing alongside hani), improve myself, build self confidence for me to sing lots of lines, and simultaneously press all the juice in my head onto all my assignments, deal with lecturers (thank gosh most of them are understanding), face soap operas that occur in-out of classes, save money, and still find time to spend time my family.

my basic schedule during a song promo and upon reaching a deadline, would be as so:

6am solat, prep for uni*, arrive by 8 or 9am (if i don’t fall back asleep), have food between classes*, have group meetings*, change in the university washroom, makeup, skip a 4pm class for a radio interview, run back to university for an overnight stay in a classroom to finish our assignments, accidentally fall asleep (all of us together) at 4-5am usually, wake up again at 6.30am, go home*, and repeat.

* i do these while i frequently visit my laptop to work on tweaking designs or continue writing/proof reading my thesis, even in the car sometimes*

sometimes i don’t even repeat. sometimes i don’t sleep, head home at 4am, immediately bathe, makeup halfway and rush into paan (our previous manager)’s car as he arrives with hani, continue making up in the car as he brings us over to media prima for an 8am Malaysia Hari Ini slot. at that point especially, paan was prolly a gift sent from heaven to us both.

after the show, i’d be back in uni, continue work on my assignments, all the way until 8-9pm where i’d later on head over to Cosans Coffee in SS15 to continue staying overnight there with someone accompanying me (diyanah, most of the time), if our class don’t book a classroom together.

however. throughout those years of tough living, i noticed that aside from time management: praying consistenly and remembering God, was the key to everything. that’s actually it.

when you’re consistent with Allah s.w.t, He will be consistent with you. He loves you, and no one else will truly unconditionally help you except for Him. when you’re astray, that’s when everything eventually tramples you because you’re not supposed to go astray. He knows everything, He knows you’re tired, you’re sad, you’re depressed, He let you fall into such a horrible situation so of course He knows you’re tired: complain, express, cry it all out to Him, He wants that, He wants you to depend on nothing else but Him.

That’s when you’ll get the hang of juggling. Trust Him. Trust that all failures you encounter while juggling- it’s all for reasons, whether it being known by men or not. all your effort, all the climbing-back-up after falling off a canyon and withstanding the intense pain you feel, it’s all worth it when you put all your trust in Him.

so that’s it about juggling.

the key i’ve learned so far is:

have faith, manage your time, learn good communication skills, give and take, sacrifice.

oh one more thing. we all have to rest once in a while.

so. also learn to say no to things you’re not keen on doing or places you’re not keen on going. or else you’ll never get the hang of juggling.

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