This morning, WordPress sent out a reminder about my anniversary with WordPress. It has been seven years! I’m happy to take this path and make a lot of friends along the way. It was a strong urge to free out all of my thoughts and share my words with everyone that made me Write Ally! Write!
While blogging is nothing new for me at that time. I already had one as early as 2009. I wrote a post about it. You can read it here.
Somehow, looking at it back now, it is the best outlet I’ve ever had. I think I’ve posted more than a thousand poems here to tell all the things I’ve gone through. Especially on all the mental states and thoughts I’ve drowned myself in for the past years. If there is a question one day asking who is Ally L.? Just read all his poems, that is the kind of person he is. He is probably the good, the bad, and a person that always trying to find something that he doesn’t even know. Or probably someone that is always struggling to be somebody.
I have more things to say about this but I stop here. Simply because the conclusion of it was ugly and made me run away from it. Never mind, let’s move on from there.
What’s next? One of the ways for me to make it easy for readers to read my work is by publishing e-books. Not everyone has time to read all the posts in the blog, so I usually compiled them into an e-book for an easier reading experience. Also, I would distribute them for free. If you haven’t checked them out, feel free to get them here.
However, it has been a while since I published my last compilation. So, I will compile one soon and let you all know about it. While I have other things planned up, it is not the time to share them. Hopefully, everything will be done and I will be happy to share it here, FIRST!
For anyone who is contemplating doing things that they love and are passionate about. Don’t pause and think too much, if you have that spark inside of you and a strong urge to start the first step, do it. The longer you keep pressing the brake, the longer you hold yourself back. No one says that you can’t take another pause after the first step, another rest after the next step too. If the world can’t give you the peace, you make your own.
I hope everyone will have a great day ahead. Wishing everyone stays healthy and safe. Until next time!
I recently watched a film on Netflix about a Japanese singer called LiSA. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on some of the things she said that struck me hard.
The title of the film is LiSA Another Great Day available on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. I’ve listened to some of her songs previously and I did share a post on her song here. You can read about it below.
This is not a review but more like things I learned from watching the film. My tears can’t stop falling whenever she says something that I can relate to. Then leads to more questions about life and living. Then somehow begging me to pen this thought down, “Where is the place you call home?”
To be honest, I don’t feel attached to someone or a place to call home. I have had this post stashed in my drafts for a while and I can’t seem to complete it. One of the reasons would be it is too personal and involves the people around me. I don’t want it to bite me back in the future for something that not everyone will be able to understand. How I feel about it right now might change in the future but as of now, I’m staying true to the words I said.
Alright, back to the topic. There was a scene in the film where LiSA faced hurdles in her journey to be a singer, a singer, being a star, and in her present, she emphasized her support system. That is her ‘home’ that keeps her together and a reason for her to keep on going. For me, watching the whole film is totally inspiring.
Then I asked myself, where is the place I call home? There was a time when I think I found the so-called home. Until it got swiped away by the strong wind of life. Since then, I’ve learned about myself, the people around me, the people in my circle, and life in general. The only home I found is myself. I strongly believe that there is no one who can help me except myself. Everything starts with me. However, the line that separates this moderate belief from being hyper-independent is also myself.
There are times I have forgotten about this journey of life. For me, it has always been about the lessons, and the mistakes, then as I tried to sort things out and improve them, life has given me another lesson. However, I don’t see myself stuck, I’m always planning and strategizing things to get through. I invited no one for the ride except myself. I somehow keep myself in survival mode all the time. Without a safe moment and place to call home.
During the film, she sang one of her latest songs, LiSA – New Me. The lyrics resonate strongly. Somehow, all the hurdles, struggles, and frustration are a phase and path toward greatness. The song then fires up with strong words of consolidation and motivation. Start line. Stand up. Good luck. It’s like saying we will always face hardships thrown towards us, yet by facing them all heads on, the result tastes sweeter in the end.
If you are in need of motivation and feeling stuck in chasing your dreams or facing hardship in life generally. I highly suggest watching the film, or documentary, LiSA – Another Great Day. While it may raise an existential question about a part of my life, I’m sure it would inspire you the same as it does for me.
It is February and I hope it is not too late to wish everyone Happy New Year. I pray that everyone will have a great year ahead. You are able to achieve whatever dreams you have.
Happy holidays and we are counting down to the new year. One of the buzzing words that happened in 2022 is ChatGPT. In simple language, it is quite an advanced chatbot that is really impressive!
So, I had to experiment with a lot of things with ChatGPT like asking different types of questions, asking for tips, and reviewing works. One of them is sharing a few of my poems and asking ChatGPT to write a poem. The poem is based on my previous shared poems.
I will share the poems it is based on below. Here is the poem written by ChatGPT.
A soul yearns for fulfillment, From the sound of music in the air, Euphoria that we all wish to last, Until the old soul can no longer hear.
It was a hot and humid day, A ceiling fan wasn’t enough, The steady wind blew, Like a temporary comfort, On a beach with serenity, Until it was too cold, Followed by heavy rain.
He is not mysterious, Nor does he want to be, He is mostly reserved, Hiding behind a silhouette, He has much to say, Yet spoken shortly with emojis, He is nothing, But a lost soul, Walking on a crumbled path, A man deprived of everything.
Each person yearns for something different, Music, comfort, or a sense of self, But we all seek a sense of peace, To find our place in this world.
The last stanza took me by surprise. It is definitely written on its own yet has a similar style and feel as my poems.
The poems I’ve shared with ChatGPT are;
There is so much more to talk about the ability of ChatGPT. But, for now, what do you think?
Today’s thought might not be for everyone because it involves my dearest country’s future, the general election. It is the 15th Malaysian general election after our Prime Minister dissolved the parliament.
Immediately after I reached the eligible age to vote, I registered myself as a voter. This was before the recent amendment for Undi18 which automatically registered people at the age of 18 as voters. Why did I register to vote? It is simply because of what was happening around the previous general election, the 2008 Malaysian general election. The countless rallies demanded change, political tsunamis, and the first female opposition leader. All these things made me think about what is going on, in Malaysia.
I started to have the need to learn. Who are the politicians, which parties, what are the policies, and how does this country reach this point? The media was so disgusting at the time with its one-sided views plus numerous sex scandals during prime time news. Not to mention how the media keeps on painting the opposition as the devil that will disrupt the harmony and stability of this country. Where does all this unfairness and slander come from? Does this happen to other countries as well? Is this how politics should be? I have a lot of questions back then.
The most important step to take is to question. Then, I started to care. I learned to take interest in what’s going on in politics. I started to care about the national budget. I also started to care about national policy even though it doesn’t concern me much. I want to see progress. I saw that being independent for half a century and yet, racial discrimination is still strong. I grew up in the system, education system, yet, I don’t understand how things look so different in politics.
To be a voter.
With all those questions, curiosity, and realizations, I decided to be a voter. Ever since then, the upcoming 2022 Malaysian general election will be my third general election plus one by-election. While the game of politics can be an overwhelming one, especially for younger generations. Heck, even for me too. I believe what is the most important thing is to have something that you want for the country. I want stability but with progressive policies, I want to eradicate racial discrimination and biases by promoting a stronger bond of real unity, I want real planning with actions to tackle the climbing cost of living and improve Malaysia’s economy.
And lastly, I want to have leaders with high integrity and clear policies. I don’t want leaders that keep on badmouthing others, inciting racial discrimination, riding religious cards, and belittling the rakyat – citizens.
For those who wonder.
If you are wondering, should you vote? Who should I vote for? Everyone sucks here, I should not vote at all! Before I proceed, I would like to invite you to read about what made me a Malaysian below. When you have a solid foundation of what you are and a strong understanding of Malaysia, you will develop your own answer.
Back to the previous questions, voting is the basic thing that you can do for Malaysia. It is the bare minimum. If you ask what is the point if the candidate doesn’t look good at all? It is time for you to sit down and think about this carefully. You may think that your vote means nothing because you are just one person. However, you are not the only person having the same thoughts and ideas. There are other people facing the same dilemma as you. They are sitting on the fence and you are one of them. You will be surprised to find out that some candidates win and lose by a small margin
The next one is which one does align with your values. Some parties have different merit and narratives. If you understand your values, why not find out which parties are the closest to yours. At least, that is the basic thing to understand why you vote for someone or parties.
Finally, I understand that changes are scary. There are so many narratives frightening us if we welcome something new or something progressive. However, in some ways, the current conditions are not even better. Our economy doesn’t fare well, racism is obvious out in the open, ridiculous and uneducated remarks from so-called leaders, public infrastructure issues, and a lot more. If you don’t even feel the slightest frustration, I applaud you for not being affected. I know my life did.
So, if you are a registered voter. Go out there and do your duty. At least we still have this democracy and we still have the power to decide. Trust me, after a few times, even though the candidate I voted for lost, I learned to accept and respect the process. Endure and vote again next time.
I recently had the time to talk about life with someone and a subject that is really interesting came up. Sacrifice. What is sacrifice?
By definition, it is to give up (something valuable) for the sake of others. Something valuable can mean a lot of things like money, time, or even one’s life.
In a marriage, what is considered a sacrifice? In a family, is burning ourselves like a candle considered a sacrifice? Does being a citizen of a peaceful country run by corrupt leaders a sacrifice? Does everything have to be a sacrifice?
Let me sort these thoughts one by one.
I personally believe in sacrifice BUT not the kind of sacrifice based on manipulation and self-serving conviction or belief. What does that mean? To offer something valuable to us does require a huge sacrifice for example being the better person in an argument or donating our organs. I know it doesn’t sound close to a certain degree or level of sacrifice that we all perceive and consider as a sacrifice. There are two things that these two have in common, that is having the option to do it.
The first example, taking the higher road and being the better person. What is the valuable thing that we sacrifice? Ego and pride. Do we have the option of being petty? Yes. We can escalate the conflict but we don’t. Even though, we can. Then, let’s talk about the second example, donating organs. We can also donate our blood. According to an article by The Medical Futurist, How Much Is Life Worth? a kidney is worth around $262,000 each. However, instead of getting involved in a black market, we decide to donate our organs in the hope they reach the ones that deserve them. Do we have different options? Yes.
My point is a sacrifice is to have an option. What about an ultimatum? We have a choice too, right? I guess it depends on how far the perimeter of the ultimatum is controlled by us instead of the other party. If we don’t have control of it, I would consider that a manipulation. The same goes for self-serving convictions like, ‘I did this because of you…’, ‘I sacrifice my this, this and this, so you could…’, and goes on. I believe instead of a well-thought option, it becomes a personal and self-centric decision.
I do want to explore more of this topic but the thoughts ended here. In conclusion, we all have sacrifices to make but it should be based on our ground and willingness. If it goes beyond our willingness and moral compass, it is either we are being manipulated OR we believe that we are serving the best based on our own beliefs.
Before I forgot to mention, Ally’s thoughts are mostly a post on random thoughts and based on my own personal opinion and perspective. It is undeniable that there are other perspectives to be discussed such as academically, philosophically, religiously, and more.
However, for now, this is just one man’s thought alone.
Recently, I worked with an NGO, and a question was asked that keeps on bothering me for months. What made me a Malaysian? The manager raised a couple of good points like the fragility of tying our nationality with food, and sports. I can’t help to agree. This is just my personal opinion and that is what “”Ally’s Thoughts” segment is all about.
I agree with his statement. Does being a Malaysian about having good food and good badminton players? Is it about having the tallest twin tower in the world? In a more recent quick discussion, I had with an academician, he said, if being a Malaysian is all about having all the good food, it feels superficial. I nodded in agreement.
Let me share my opinion on what made me a Malaysian. First of all, I know well Malaysia is a multiracial country, once a British colony for hundreds of years. The colonizer brought in laborers, mainly from India and China to maximize the production of local resources. They created a system that somehow managed to seep into the present, elitist. If you are Malaysian and somehow want to understand more about it, I highly recommend you to read The Colour of Inequality: Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia by Muhammed Abdul Khalid. It doesn’t matter which race are you from because it definitely helped me to understand why Malaysia feels so torn apart sometimes.
Unity and beyond
I personally believe being a Malaysian is all about unity. The unique thing about it is we look past it beyond colors and belief. For me it is a blessing compared to other countries, Malaysians enjoy each other’s company, celebrate together, and deeply respect each other in our daily life. In the recent crisis, Covid, and the flood that happened, I saw how united Malaysian can be. The solidarity shown for fellow Malaysians that was affected by the crisis is heart-moving. It really shows the Malaysian spirit.
I believe this should be the starting point for a better future. I also believe similar things have been done in the past. However, if it works, I wouldn’t be writing this kind of post. I would probably be writing about something else, not about the obvious thing that should make me a Malaysian.
Somehow from my observation, I don’t think we Malaysians share the concept of history the same as each other deeply. We all understand how we gain our independence and the leaders behind it. However, we came from different backgrounds. Some might feel that independence is a distant past that the younger ones have difficulties embracing.
Again, unity as the core principle value is not new. I’ve seen the words countless times as I grew up. The terms perpaduan, bersatu padu, semangat perpaduan, and the list goes on. We have been injected and shaped with those words constantly, I, for example, have been to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK), playing with those words in my essays. Even so, I believe in experience and practical things rather than just theory. I attended two different SK. One is in the city, where I experience the multiracial environment. The other one is in the kampung, where 99% of the students are Malay. The atmosphere and experience are totally different. When I get to SMK, the students from the kampung have a hard time mingling with other races and prefer their own. It’s just from my observation.
Of course, unity is the key but the keysmiths are the politicians. They are the leaders that shaped the country. I understand that Malaysians inherited a system from the colonizers and passed it down to the younger generations. I strongly believe we need to break free from it. It is in the news about how racism is on the rise but Malaysians don’t really talk about it. To be honest, I have faith in my generation and the coming ones. Slowly, I believe the real Malaysians, not the elitists, will be able to shape a better Malaysia. The one that has been brought up by the spirit of living in Malaysia will lead the country. Certainly not by the silver spoon-fed families that have no idea what happen on the ground. Real leaders that will bring unity which all Malaysians deserve.
You can leave if you want, but…
Of course there are Malaysians who believe that this country is doomed. No point in staying and better migrating to another country. That is their opinion and nothing is wrong with that. But, the one who stays believes otherwise. They still want to fight, they believe in change. Slowly, they did. Slowly, they progressed. They are fighting for a better Malaysia.
You or any other Malaysians who no longer believe Malaysia can be better, you can leave if you want but don’t ever disrespect or belittle the effort of the ones who decided to stay. The same goes for Malaysians who don’t vote because they don’t believe in change or the system. To vote is the bare minimum to challenge the system. That is the basic thing to do for a Malaysian.
As a closure, being a Malaysian is all about unity. For me, that is the answer to the question, of what makes us Malaysian. This unity stems from respect, admiration, and understanding of Malaysia’s identity. I believe this unity has already sprouted and grown but is still a long way to fully mature. Perhaps, one day.
Have you watched a video from not so long ago about a judge recognising a classmate? If you haven’t, I’ll leave the link to the video here. Plus, with the update.
I believe this is a great example of how we all have choices. There are times when I am at my wit’s end. A dead end after a long confusing walk in a labyrinth. It usually happens when I don’t have the ideas, the knowledge, the different perspectives… I tried to do it alone. Don’t get me wrong, I realised that there are things that we can do alone, and there are things that we need help with. And for some people like me, asking for help can be challenging. However, that is a different problem. Let’s go back to our main topic of the day, choices.
So in the video, the defendant managed to change. To note, this is not his first run in court. He has been in the same situation previously. However, this time, a different judge decided to take a different approach. Imagine if she continues without having that conversation with the defendant. She had a choice. Either ignore or talk about it. She chose to talk about it. The impact? Is something that some of us wanted, to change and to be someone better.
I made bad choices in life. Some of them are painful, and some left me with emotional scars. However, I learnt that is the next step after that. There is nothing wrong with reflecting on our mistakes. What matter next is the choice, either to drown yourself in it or take the first step to own it and made better choices.
I’m writing this down not to preach. I want this to be a reminder to myself. I would probably read this post again in the future. When I hit the same dead end. When I made bad choices. When I need the strength to move on. I know this because I read my previous posts. It helped me even though it was something I wrote years ago.
Have you been in a situation where you don’t think things will work out because of the differences in values?
I’ve been wanting to share about this for the past few weeks but I couldn’t decide on how to share it. The word value also means principles or the thing we think is important in life. If we think love is important, love is a value in our life. If we think money is far more important, we hold money as valuable and a priority in our life. Those are just examples.
What if a couple doesn’t share the same values? What if a family has different ideas on the values that matter? What if the company’s value is totally different from that of its employees? It is a mismatch and will hinder their situation, trust, and growth.
Of course, a solution or a compromise is the next step forward. However, before taking that next step, the current step is to understand what kind of values that we believe in.
I personally, can be really particular about the things I get myself involved on something. Be it personal, networking, or career-wise.
I was in such a situation recently and I feel tormented for the inability to share about it. Imagine working on a project that you are so uncomfortable with. It was not the tasks, colleagues, or the bosses but the whole idea of the project. A project that focuses on great values but personally to me, it is against mine. Don’t get me wrong, I do support the project but to be personally involved in it, stirs the guilts and pressure inside me.
Sorry for the long absent. I don’t even know what am I experiencing right now. Am I having relapses, non-stop anxieties, living in survival mode, or trying too hard to escape reality.
To share how and what I feel, I feel like I am struggling. Struggling for or from what, I’m not sure. Not at the moment. I wonder if I am in fight or flight mode. Maybe my depression is creeping on me harder than before. Is it depression or something that I am used to? I don’t know. All I know is like I am living a double life, one trying too hard to survive and the other one, already giving up the fight.
Perhaps, I’ve been overthinking. To the extent when simple things feels huge and difficult. I really don’t know. I don’t feel sad but beyond it. The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. I don’t know what to express. I feel like an empty vessel, soulless. I remember when I always am associated with the word lifeless. It somehow stays and still relevant, to this day.
I have forgotten the feeling of happiness, excitement, and hope. Mostly reality hits differently and being merciless. Too much thinking, too tiring. The thought of living overshadowed by the crushing struggle. Shrouded by loneliness is like a wound that never heal. I’ve written things down in my book, lashing it out in this space.
I hope you are doing well and I wish you all the best to go through any difficulties in your life. I recently watched The Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix horror series. I am not a fan of horror. When I saw the trailers years ago, I couldn’t really brace myself to watch it.
However, after I’ve watched You season three, I need to fill that void of watching Victoria Pedretti. It’s just this strong admiration to see her bringing these characters to life. If you missed my thoughts about You season three, you can find the link here.
So, I decided to watch the series and I’m pretty much beaten and drained. As usual, I’m not going to talk about how good or bad the series is, this is not a review. It’s just a way for me to share my thoughts on certain aspects of it. If you haven’t watch it, there might be spoilers. So, read on with cautions. You are warned.
It’s sad. Just sad.
If not for all the jump scares, I might forget about it being a horror series. Throughout the series, I am mostly weeping, thinking, and sadness filling my chest. It’s unthinkable how traumatic experiences would affect people growing up. I can’t help to be able to relate. The show highlighted it really well.
Adding it up the sadness, the characters are misunderstood, denied of their feeling, and struggling with their own problems. Sometimes, it is more than what we can handle alone, we need supports. It reminded me of my own fragility, as a human. Throughout each episodes, the conflicts of the characters slowly creeps into my mind.
I’m having critical thoughts when it comes to family. We are not perfect and have flaws but that shouldn’t be the reason to not try. To have a family is like building a house, foundation, pillars, walls, and roof. The bare minimum and basic properties. Then, the electricity, water, and gas. Followed by the paint, wallpapers, decorations, and furniture. Everything build by time. Slowly, improved. Renovations.
If we really love the house, we would try to work on it. Until a time that we know well, when to leave. The parent tried so hard to build a strong foundation for their kids. However, due to the circumstances, the kids grew up and go on their separate ways. The bond and connection changed and things didn’t get better until it was too late.
This post have been in my draft for weeks now. I’ve watched Bly during that time. However, I’m not really keen on writing about it because, I don’t have anything that I want to highlight.