Saturday, July 9, 2016


 I woke up in a studio with my dad whispering Happy Birthday, I was too blurred to acknowledge it. I proudly cooked up a storm, presenting him one of the Australian breakfast while proudly showing off my poached eggs skill. We went for a short walk along Bondi Beach and tried out a chic cafe with almond milk as its best product. I enjoyed the free and easy part where we took things easy. Dad had a dinner appointment with his friend and we hit the CBD. It seemed so familiar yet foreign to me to walk on the streets of Sydney, which made me missing Canberra even more. 

The unhelpful weather had both me and dad walked for 25 minutes under the rain until we reached The Star. While my dad was excited for the visit to the casino, I was more excited in getting scoops of gelato from Messina. The coconut and pandan flavour turned out to be a disappointment but I was pleased with the Italian nougat. I was glad to add some Italian touch to my special day, apart from a brief research on my trip. 

Before meeting my dad's friend, my risk-taking action might have caught on fire this time. While it is still too early to judge, it surely did not feel alright. Definitely a lesson to remember, to take measured risk or perhaps I should be taking less risk. Oh dear. Oh well. That is for later to find out. 

The rest of the day was not much. Tiredness had crept into me as I was having dinner, taking the train, taking the shower and now typing this on the bed. With a beer and a conversation going on, I started to reflect.

Just one more year to the mid twenties, I am not too sure how I feel about this. I do not want to complain about getting a year older but like last year, I did not feel like my age. I do not feel like 24. I am truly grateful for all I have this birthday, with my graduation as a (so-called) milestone and an upcoming trip. My parents being here with me on this significant period of time. 

But somehow I am still a mess, in terms of mentality, future career, financial management and relationship. Part of me still feel rebellious, irresponsible, irrational and inconsiderate; the traits which I do not like. There are still works to be done and I hope I can pull this off one day, to be the person I am pleased to be. Let's shut the negativity, shall we?

As my yearly tradition, I shut myself off the social media today, notably Facebook, but slightly active on Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger. These three are the platforms which my close ones are able to connect with me whom I am truly grateful of having each of them with me on this special day of mine. Thanks to the 27 of you who were with me with your wishes and conversations.

To the 61 people who wished me on Facebook, Skype and email, thank you for taking the effort. To the family who were always there, I love y'all. I wish one day I would be able to be the person I am satisfied with and to have gotten all the experience I want. I sincerely thank you if you have been with me for the past 23 years. For the 24th year, I do have a couple of things in mind. A new adventure, a new chapter, a new direction in life, and hopefully a better me. Happy Birthday to myself :)

Wen Xin

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Letter of Gratitude

Warning: emotional piece ahead. 

I just knew it would be. I am an emotional person and even if I am letting go my emotional attachment towards items and memories, I don't think I am able to let go of feelings.

A few knew the story of how I made it here. All in all, it was not smooth sailing at all, and it cost me an extra 1.5 years with tonnes of scholarship applications and disappointments. 3 years and 3 months ago, I received a news and it was life changing. I stormed out of the lecture hall, half way through a Mathematics lecture, to take a breather. 3 months later, I was here. 

I found myself in a similar position as 3 years ago, in the same gloomy and chilly weather at this old but not ancient looking campus. It was not a fancy campus and it was not  a vibrant city as compared to where I came from. But it was all I need for a change, somewhere down to earth but still reputable, somewhere quiet but still have all I need. Canberra and the Australian National University became home for three years.

Like all phase of life, the moments were both bitter and sweet with its ups and downs. I had ventured into a couple of experience I wanted to try to form some perspective. And I had also been through some emotional roller coaster which had probably shaped my mentality. I cannot be prepared for everything but I think it is important to be mentally prepared with a strong mindset in facing almost any upcoming challenge. 

I lost my mojo to strive for the best result, somehow becoming the best student or being studious was not what I was chasing anymore. While my time in ANU had not been the best in adding rainbows to my resume, and it was not a collection of High Distinctions. I had gotten some failures and challenges which had shaken some of my confidence. At some point, I thought I would not be able to make it. At some point, I did doubt myself if this is the right choice at all. I was grateful when I heaved a huge sigh relief while peeping through one eye on my result. Overall the academic performance was not shining brightly, but I was certainly grateful that I am now done with it. 

But I would like to say I had gotten all I need from this 3 years, on personal development. Australia was special to me in a way that two of my life-changing moments were related to Australia. I got to experience the Aussie lifestyle - laid back, family oriented, of higher standards, leisure and happiness maximising. The time here had allowed me to have the freedom to discover. I discovered some lifestyles and I will be bringing it back with me to Malaysia. 

I also had the freedom and the opportunity to made mistakes. Some stupid mistakes, irrational decisions and measured risks. Things that I should not be doing, which had some detrimental  effects academically, financially and morally. Some cost me, a lot, of which I do not think I deserve the heavy punishment and the emotional abuse but I learned to take it as lessons which God want me to learn.

I worked randomly, for the money and experience. I found myself not having the sense of belonging to this community, bringing up my Year 11 English theme again. Despite subconsciously developing some Aussie accent and being in this Aussie environment, I never once felt belonged. I had known this while studying in the Australian International School Malaysia. I was a local student in a foreign environment. Here in Australia, I was a foreign student in a local environment. Similarly, both were strangers in strange lands. Despite this feeling, I enjoyed working, more than studying as always. The frustration of bureaucracy, the ethnic of service industry, the interaction with people, the exchange of goods and services, etc; still fascinate me.

I travelled extensively which was a dream I made before coming to Australia. I had never gotten the chance to travel. With Australia, I learned how to travel. There were a lot of first times for me, which I loved to try. I didn't credit it to being courageous. Even if it was a brave thing to do like many had commented, I did not particularly feel it. I just wanted to try and experience, at that point, it felt like it was the right thing at the right time at the right place with the right person to do.  

Other than being emotional to this city and this country, I am also attached to the experience with the people. I am glad that I have created some memorable times with the people here, whether it was just hours, days, months, or years. From my involvement in the Malaysian organisations, to my time in Davey Lodge and Fenner Hall, to my studies in the courses, my workplaces, the Canberra community; I could not thank each and everyone of you enough and personally, for being part of these three years which I know I will miss dearly.

To people whom I had cheated on or hurt, sorry, I did not mean it at all. I had always wanted to be kind and sometimes I missed the track. To the people whom cheated or hurt me, financially and emotionally, thank you for making me stronger, I am still in the midst in figuring out the distrust issue but the lesson I learned will be remembered. To people whom I shared a friendship with, thank you, thank you for the memories, thank you for your time, thank you for the love, thank you for everything.

If we will meet again in the future, take care till our next catch up. If our paths do not cross again, all the best with life. I am excited for a little adventure right after this and another three years of chapter will be unfolding. 

Wen Xin

PS: Despite having access to five libraries with amazing collections of books, I did not manage to make good use of it. I had always wanted to read more and write better. Thank you for reading this far, perhaps one day I would really learn to write properly. One of the annual project, maybe?