Category Archives: Life in general

What being 22 taught me

Being 22 was an interesting year for me. I’ve gone through some real downs followed by some great ups. For that I’ve decided to share a list (in no particular order) of life lessons that I picked up from these experiences. I figure some of these lessons are ones I will have to re-learn over and over as I get older, but learning it at a young age gives me a heads up.

1. Tough love is still a form of love

2. With bad experiences come good life lessons

3. Real friendship is picking up from where you left off, even if it’s only months later

4. Maturity is putting your ego aside to be the better person

5. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel good about something, it’s probably because you don’t believe it’ll work. You’re most probably right

Read more…

Timely Decision Making

Leadership has been defined to be many things. One can say that the most important trait of all is to be decisive.

My brother recently started a blog after opening his cafe to document his thoughts on managing a business. I’m really proud of how far he and his wife has come and salute them in this endeavour to manage their own business. Happy reading!

Aiman Syed Jaafar

In starting a new venture which my wife and I call our own, people refer to us for everything. As we grow our team (who are an amazing group of people btw), the frequency of people referring to us increases. From simple things such as “do I pull the shutter down now” to heavier things such as “the customer has comments about the cake”.

I am reminded of a talk on leadership which I attended which can be summarised in 6 words:

Leadership is about timely decision making.

Is a leader supposed to be looking at the big picture? or look into the details?

Is a leader supposed to be passive, or aggressive, pushy “my way or the highway” style?

Is a leader supposed to talk more or listen more?

The answer to that is a decision needs to be made. A leader needs to be all that, in a…

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Keeping a journal

I was watching an interview Emma Watson did with Ellen Degeneres and besides talking about the Oscars and graduating from Brown, she also touched on her one habit she’s kept from young – keeping a journal. She said every since she was 9 (when she started filming Harry Potter) her family encouraged her to diarise important events in her life and so she did that, also collecting notes and napkins with messages – the little things that meant to her. And she’s been doing that ever since.

Not to sound lame, but I guess you could say I felt an instant connection.

I’ve kept a diary since I was 11 and while I didn’t write everyday, I wrote substantially throughout the years since 2003 (that’s a good 10 years!). Keeping a diary was a past time that came naturally for me and my siblings – we all kept our own diaries and pretty much documented our adolescence away. At the time I didn’t think about what it would mean come 10 years later ‘cos like I said, writing was just a past time I enjoyed. But now that I think about it, I’ve collected a good 6 books (some years I shared one book) of childhood and adolescent memories. That’s something. Imagine the next 30 years of my life.

I got back from class late last night and instead of getting ready to go to bed, I found myself on the floor flipping through these journals. T’was a walk down memory lane alright. Most of my entries were emotionally charged and filled with hard pressing advice to myself that I had a hard time taking. Subject matters like bad relationships, friends, getting good grades and making my parents proud dominated the pages. Typical adolescent thoughts no? But as the years progressed, I noticed something. My way of thinking (and writing) changed. I grew up and thought about other more important things.

When you were in school everything was about getting good grades or getting into that uni of choice or achieving this, achieving that. And when you didn’t meet your target, you’d beat yourself up over it. I sure did.

I guess now that school is over for me (well almost) – my thoughts have changed. These days it’s about the bigger dreams you want to achieve,the ideas you want to pursue, but being realistic about it. It’s about the friends you want to keep and what they mean to you. It’s about taking your health more seriously and eliminating those bad habits. It’s about appreciating the little things in life – the fact that you survived what you thought you couldn’t and being grateful for those life changing experiences. It’s about all those things that now matter to you which previously didn’t. It’s about seeing the bigger picture.

That’s the beautiful thing about keeping a journal – you can read and reflect back on how much you’ve changed. Looking back last night, I sure cringed and had a good laugh.

But i’m excited and motivated to continue writing. I’m in my 20’s now and I guess this is the beginning of the next couple of exciting decades to come, yes? Keeping a journal would definitely be worth it.

Here’s to the next 10,20,3o years.

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End of term

So my term holidays start tomorrow and I couldn’t be more thrilled but just before that…I have a mock exam to sit.

What is it with mock exams that make you feel just as scared as the real one? Maybe it’s cos it lasts 3 hours and the teacher only told us 2 weeks beforehand…

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I feel nervous as anyone would (should?) but also playing in my head is the excitement of the holidays.

So my thoughts go a bit like this…

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Can’t wait to properly unwind. A break much awaited. Happy holidays to all xx

Turning 21

Turned the big 2-1 recently! And it’s been nothing short of wonderful.

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Spent my last few days as a student in London with close friends and they were all so sweet as to make my 21st special in advance. In an ideal world I would have loved to have a dinner party where all my loved ones and close friends would attend. But splitting celebrations is better than no celebration at all!

Flew home 2 days before my birthday and came home to this…

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A Disney princess birthday banner! My family’s attempt at being cute haha. But super sweet nevertheless. Kinda feel like an 8 year old all over again but whatever, it’s the thought that counts! *twirls*

And on my real birthday I was surprised with this…

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A hand made scrap page by my second brother! (Or more like a timeline reminiscing my dorky days *cries*)
Super sweet and thoughtful really. I have no words. As you can see from the photo I was really happy. Best present yet ♥

From my better half I received this really chiq fashion book dedicated to celebrating the immortal icons of style. My cup of tea really. He knows how much I love fashion!

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Turning 21 has indeed been blessed and special – advanced birthday celebrations, and celebrations with the family and other half, just what i wanted/needed right after finishing my final exams ever. Turning 21 is also significant to me because it comes at the end of my degree. Finishing my degree and insyaallah graduating over the summer are huge significant timeline markers in my life so far. It’s significant because I am soon to end this chapter as a student and soon enough to start a brand new one entering the working world. All are pending developments. But in the mean time as I take a breather, I also need to start thinking about what I want the next chapter of my life to be like. So many expectations and pressure for achievement. Can’t believe I’m 21. Feels like yesterday I was 17 and wondering what life would be like when I become legal.

Well here it is.

Falling sick

I hate falling sick over here because it’s cold and the weather today was gloomy so I ended up feeling twice more depressed. And I think it was some what evident on my face because upon going to town to buy meds with a friend, she secretly bought me this to cheer me up. Blessed to have friends who care! ♥

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New fascination: cooking shows and instagram

So I’ve developed a new found fascination these past few weeks.

With the purchase of a new iPod (5th generation) and installing a wireless router in my university accommodation room (only internet provided is by ethernet wire), this meant that I could enable wireless on my ipod and use it throughout the flat. Hooray! And then I installed Instagram…

It sure is addictive isn’t it? It’s like = post a picture – check notifications – ooh someone liked it! – ok check back later – ok bored of studying lets check other people’s photos – oooooh – post another picture – and REPEAT.

Somebody tell me Im not the only one like this!

But there is this sense of joy – the editing of photos and sharing on twitter/facebook and seeing if you get any comments or likes. Same as uploading anything on facebook really. But this is reserved for your photo-lovers. Such is a joy!

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I’m back home for the winter holidays now and as much as I do not enjoy watching TV, fate brought me to the cooking chanel – AFC the first time I turned on the TV since I got back. And guess what? I’ve been hooked ever since.

Again, there is such joy in watching and learning how to cook via cooking shows. It’s either I’m becoming more domestically inclined or I’ve developed some new found interest or perhaps my time experimenting in the kitchen this term has led me to want to learn to cook more. Western food seems super easy to muster compared to your authentic local Malay food (it’s the technique, you either have the hands or not!) and so I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen with the mother, grasping the ropes shall I say?

My favourite show is French Food at Home with Laura Caulder and also Anna Olson.

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Chef Syahirah in the making? :p