Friday, September 29, 2006

As Time Goes By....

After a few days of blogging my latest entry here, I found myself asking a few introspective questions such as "Whose bright idea was it for me to do my Masters Program in Psychology Counseling?" "Why in the world did I decide to become a counseling psychologist?" "What made me do this?" "What am I getting out of this?" " Am I in the right profession?" "Am I doing the right thing?" "Am I any good? And if so, what have I got to show for it?"

I admit, asking myself these questions were a tad too late in coming. After all, in order to gain positively from any introspection, you need to ponder on these questions at a much earlier age and DEFINITELY NOT at the age of 41! However, always the late bloomer that I am, I guess its no surprise to anyone that I only get to this stage of life now.

As I think back to the time when my humanitarian urges pushed me to passionate desire to help and rescue people (apart from the fact that being the first born made me naturally bossy, pushy and demanding), my memory took me back to my early years when I was first presented with the opportunity to give guidance to a young lady whose parents thought that she was a troubled teenager. She was deemed so because she got pregnant out of wedlock by a man who was someone else!

Far from being a judgemental person, I readily helped her by giving her some space in my room (I was still living with my mom) and giving her small doses of advice and guidance daily and nightly, religiously like a prescribed medication. After successfully seeing her through her tumultuous pregnancy and eventual delivery of her baby, I prepared her for independence and let her go on her own way. I haven't heard from her eversince but I never forget to wonder if she is okay now.

Many more years with similar experience ensued continuously from then on and I have never looked back. Luckily enough for me, when I got married to my beautifully noble husband, he was very supportive of my crusade to the point of joining me and sharing my passion with zealous enthusiasm. I swear I don't think I would have been able to do half of the things I've done and helped all those people that needed shelter or help or love or just a little bit of unconditional acceptance without his undying support. He never asked why he should help. He only asked how could he be of help.

Over time, year in, year out, both my husband and I have seen and helped many souls, young and old. We took them into our home and eventually into our hearts. Although the inevitable drop outs are few and rare in between, we have witnessed many succeed in their own lives after leaving our sanctuary. Many have become near and dear to us, sharing our trials and tribulations without a single grumble or sigh of complain.

Most of them had thanked us for helping them through tough times and for making a difference in their lives. Others are quietly grateful and strive to make us proud of them in their own special and unique ways. But little do they know the impact of their presence in our lives. Little do they know how much they mean to us. Little do they know how deeply they had touched our hearts.

It would be a lie if I were to say that they were all stories of success. Some are still struggling to fight their own inner demons and battling the ultimate war with their own lowly desires. But then again, I have never been one to count or value successes superficially. What I value and respect in them is their determination to fight on and strive in improving themselves.

Since most of them were younger than me, they call me kak ana or kakak. When I hear them call me that, it embraces my heart with warmth and sisterly love. If any of them were to read this entry, I want them to know how much they mean to me. I hope that they will understand, in time, how precious their youth is.

It pains me to see some of them meandering through life as if they were tourists, sightseeing in a foreign country, buying insignificant souvenirs just to prove that they were there and coming home only to toss that souvenir away like trash. Life is not about collecting meaningless souvenirs. Life has meaning. A meaningless life is not living. It also pains me to see how some of them continue living their lives selfishly. They only think of themselves and don't seem to give a damn as to how their words and actions affect other people in their lives. They make promises they don't keep and give little value to their ability to speak and communicate. They make words worthless. When they speak, they lie.

However, these rare cases do not represent the angels that has entered my world. There are those that make my heart swell with pride when I see them triumphant in their struggles and actualized their true selves. They go to their destiny with my cheers and blessings.

So, if I was to answer the questions above, I would say this, "It was Allah that put the idea of furthering my studies in my head. I decided to become a counseling psychologist because of those people Allah had sent to me. He has designed me to help people. I do this because I feel sincere with myself, Allah and the people in need, because this is what I was destined to do. I get satisfaction in knowing I can make a difference in someone else's life. Yes, I am in the right profession. Yes, this is the right thing for me to do. Yes, I am good at what I do because Allah has given me all the virtues and characteristics needed to help people effectively and sincerely. And yes, I do have proof to show for it."

I have witnessed how Allah has touched many people's lives through me and my work. And this is what I will continue to do until my dying day. I pray to Allah that when I die, the ones I leave behind will learn from my life on how to live.

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What's My Name Again?

Its been a month since I last blogged here and many of those who are fond of dropping in to see my latest entries are beginning to complain. "Apa ni kakak? Dah malas ke?" , they've asked me, laughingly. I wish that was the case... of me being lazy. But the truth is I've been busy like a bee. At least bees produce honey. I have yet to see what will come out of my hectic life style, of late.

Truth is I've started my Masters Program in a local university. And even before I could start my classes, I was offered a job as a consulting counseling psychologist. Add my roles as wife and mother to two young ladies, and you'll be able to imagine how many balls I have to keep juggling in the air!

I was told that this was gonna be a very quiet year for me. As any loyal reader of this blog can remember, a few entries ago, I was bemoaning my bumpy road. But, God has never been one to let me down, and as always He loves to amaze me with His miracles and might. What seemed to be impossible to reach for me was suddenly in my hands, magically. I never had doubts in Him. As for my own judgements, I use to be one that never made a decision without securing all angles.....until now, that is.

No one told me how hard it is to be a student again at 41. No one told me that my brains are capable of going into reverse gear when fed with numbers and statistics! Someone forgot to advise me to re-think my decision to go back to school! At the very least, they could have locked me up in padded room until I came to my senses.

Now, after my last lecture that ends at 7pm on every friday night, my face is the perfect picture of confusion, anxiety, bewilderment, and fear! Sometimes, I forget simple things like my name!! That's how bad it gets when my brains go on reverse gear. I laugh so hard at myself until its no longer funny. Even in my dreams, I am busy with assignments! Talk about "Nightmare on Ara Street." Instead of Freddie Kruger and his screeching long blades as nails, I have Freud and Statistics!! I can't escape from this one. There's only one way to go, and that is straight ahead.

I have never been the kind to run away from challenges. I have every confidence that I will not regret my decision to further my studies. I know for sure that the knowledge I am gaining now will make me more skillful at what I do. I truly believe that I will come out of this a better and wiser counselor.

But meanwhile, I will have to focus my attention on finishing that professor's paper and swatting for my exams in coming November. I guess I won't be enjoying much of Raya this year, although I was looking forward to what's his name coming home from London with his kids. Which reminds me that I need to email something to someone before not sure when. I hope I will remember my name when I sign off.

Which brings me to.....umm....err.... Oh, never mind. I'll remember what I wanted to say tomorrow....I think....Sigh! Good Grief...