Of Life and Standard

When I was in my early 20’s, I dated a guy who said, “You know, when I first met you, I thought you were a rich girl. You know, come from a wealthy family because the way you bring yourself, the way you dress up etc” I didn’t think much of his remark that time but turns out, subconsciously, it became the foundation of our relationship where throughout the time I was with him, I became the “pleaser”. All I did was to please him and turned myself into somebody he wanted. It was like, I was trying to make him forget that I came from a poor background so he won’t look down on me and leave me.  I ended the toxic relationship.

At the same time, a friend from a rich family like to point out that I carried myself as if I was the same standard as she is. And she likes to tell people who first met me that “Oh Balkizz is not like us. She’s very poor actually. She looks rich because all her clothes are my old clothes”. Took me few years to have the guts to walk away from that “friendship”.

The good thing about these two is that they taught me to never take shit from people ever again. I never hide the fact that I’m not wealthy nor do I ever feel ashamed of my background. In my naïve thinking, I was never poor. I thought my family’s financial state was normal because we still have food and roof above our head. So I actually never see the huge gap between my situations with those of my wealthy friends (I’m always surrounded by ridiculously wealthy people who called me their friend)

You see, he way I view life; achievement, money and standards are a direct reflection of my peer groups. My peers were the fortunate one born from a well off parents who can afford anything they want. They don’t see impossible in their path. They see opportunity and easy way life because they were given resources to achieve whatever they want.

The downside of this peer group is that it made me such a materialistic person. I was heavily in debt just to appease my thirst of having things (I’ve grown out of this thank God!)

The upside of having this peer group is that they raised my standard in life. I’m not saying standard like having luxury items and such but standard in term of seeing life and achievements. You see, when I was young, I didn’t look up to my friends but I look up to their parents. Their parents achieve a high level of standard that I aspire to become. Seeing them enjoying the fruit of their labor gives me certainty that I too can become like them (I’m a sucker for successful people. That’s why when I was in Shell, I always seek to be among the leaders because their charisma, their thinking, their way of working was my fuel)

When I quit working, everyone knows I choose to become a SAHM while selling JTT at the same time. I was told that when I leave Shell, I would not longer have a high standard life. I understand what he meant. I mean, what is so glamorous about being a mom at home and selling a local product door to door?

When I went to Singapore and attend one of the most expensive life seminars, I heard whispers behind my back asking how could afford it? It’s funny to hear people asking “How much is the seminar? Where did I stay? How much was my hotel? My flight ticket?”

When I buy expensive things for myself, some people said I should just use cheaper product and that I was wasting my money. Their thinking is that I should live within my means because I’m just a SAHM and that I should learn to accept that this is my standard of life now.

People’s perception on me now is opposite of when I was young. People no longer assume my status in life is at the highest rank because they can see that my house is small and mediocre, I drive a cheap family car made in Malaysia, I send my kids to a normal school, I seldom travel and I don’t have luxury items posted in my social media.

That’s why when they see me spending a bit more than the bar their mind set on me, their alarm went off. “ALERT! ALERT! BALKIZZ IS GETTING AN EXPENSIVE THING! ALERT! ALERT!” and they get uncomfortable and unhappy.

Human being is a predictable creature. They want things around them to stay the same and at the same time they want unpredictability too but the unpredictable part MUST be something that they can accept.

It goes with people around me. They cannot accept that I’m getting ahead of myself. I should stay constant in the state that they already comfortable with. If I fly too high, they get agitated. They cannot accept it. But if they get higher in life than me, it’s perfectly fine as long as I stay where they want me to be.

Yes, this is the same case with my friend who likes to point out to people that I was her “poor friend”. By putting me down, she feels like she had controls over me. Most people, having control is like the essence of their life. They need things to be constant and predictable but occasionally they push their boundaries a bit to taste the unpredictability in life. That’s why people travel to foreign country and the next time they travel, they tend to go back to the place they already went because it feeds their “predictable” need.

I’m lucky that I don’t have that many toxic friends. I do have friends who are very supportive and celebrate when I break my glass ceiling. These friends I cherish and I need in life. Not because they are my cheerleaders but because they too have high standards and put high demands on themselves and I aspire to be like them.

There's Something About Naila

I actually have tons of things to blog about. But I just couldn’t bring myself to sit and write more than 140 words. Writing in social media is getting miniscule by the day that penning thoughts in long sentences become too tedious. I do not know how writers can do it. I guess I got suck into this miniscule blog so much so that I lost the desire to write a whole page of my thoughts.

Well today I decided to break the habit and pen some stories about my kids. What? You expect me to write something more politically challenge? Please. You got the wrong blog, man.

Before I start, I just want to warn you early that I’m a bit high on medication right now. Yes, I still have to take my nerve pain meds due to my chronic carpal tunnel syndrome. And the meds are making me super relax and high. Sometimes I would burst out laughing for no apparent reason. Yes. Awesome right?

Anyway, I do feel guilty for not writing more about Naila. In this blog, I wrote everything about Kaisan. From his birth to his first tooth and so on. Ahh the curse of being a second born…

But Naila is so unlike Kaisan. I should really write more about this girl. She’s so unique, funny, smart and damn opinionated. And I say that with pride.

She loves being the center of attention that she would shove her brother aside so she can bask in the glory of people’s admiration.

If Kaisan can sing, she can sing better. She would spontaneously burst into high pitch song with lyrics that she made up herself just so she can show she can sing too. Most of the time it’s just gibberish.

If Kaisan gets into trouble for doing something naughty, she would strut oh so confidently and announce to whoever listening that “Abang is very naughty and I’m very good. I didn’t do what he did because what he did was wrong” I know. Super annoying git, right?

If Kaisan have homework from school, she would cry that she doesn’t. I would secretly take Kaisan’s old exercise book and tell her “Naila, you must have drop your homework in Abang’s bag. Here’s your book” and she would happily sit next to her brother to do her homework.

If Kaisan were being taught by me to read, she would demand that she’s being taught too. And she learned very fast. She already know the word “BALL”, “ALL”, “CAT”, “DOG”, “BIG” and “CAN”

But however competitive she is, her brother is always her hero, her best friend, her playmate, her rival and enemy all at the same time.

When she woke up from her nap, the first person she would ask is her brother. “Where’s Abang? Is he playing outside? Can I play with Abang?”

When she’s been given a treat, she would run looking for her brother to share her loot. And she’s not stingy with her food.

Oh how she loves food! Whenever we attend a party or a gathering with food around, she would sit quietly by herself eating and enjoying her dish. She would be so oblivious with the kids around her playing coz her food is much, much more important than kids running around.

I always find this super cute. No, she’s not anti social. She does mix around with kids and able to interact but unlike Kaisan, the super friendly boy, Naila is quite reserve and selective. She prefers babies or older people like people my age. Hahaha! The reason is that she likes to talk and she knows only people my age would interact with her properly.

In school, she calls her teacher by their name instead of calling them teacher. I suspect this girl doesn’t know her own age…

With babies, she always been fascinated with babies that often she would come up to me and ask for a “little sister”. Nope! This baby factory is close, young lady!

Oh there are so many things I want to write about Naila but I’m almost dead on my butt now. It’s nearing midnight and I’m going to continue soon.



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