🧁 I'm a February Baby 🧁

11 February 2020



I celebrated my birthday not too long ago and it somehow transformed into a full week of birthday surprises and wonderful gifts. If you've been around my blog long enough, you probably noticed that I just about rarely talk about my birthday because a) I don't really celebrate it, b) because I don't hype it up, nobody knows and finally, c) I haven't planned out how my initial responses will be if I got surprised with a celebration for me. Am I supposed to burst into tears? Smile until my cheeks hurt? I mean, is there a guidebook on ''HOW TO REACT REASONABLY TO A ONCE IN A BLUE MOON BIRTHDAY SURPRISE FOR YOU"??? Turns out that this year was a little different and I'm showered with surprises left and right for at least 2-3 days straight.

I had wonderful birthday gifts this year including a poetry book from my all time favourite poet, Atticus whose book is called "The Truth About Magic", a super pretty velvety blouse from my roomie, a silky beautiful grey baju kurung, chocolates and snacks, and cutie birthday cards. I didn't think of what I wanted this year but the precious people in my life seem to know exactly what to get for me. There were also slices of tasty birthday cakes thrown into my surprises and with that, ladies and gentleman, my cravings for cakes have been fueled to the max to last me for the rest of the year. I'll never again ask more cakes... But I mean, we will just have to see how far that perseverance will last.


We managed to gather some of our close friends in our masters degree batch to a dinner and had a quick catching up session. Most have already completed their masters and are either working or searching for a job. I'm so proud of them and the stories we brought to the table!! Laughing till my stomach exploded is a complete understatement.
Location: Serai @ Jaya Shopping Centre



I received two EXQUISITE boxes of clothes this year with one containing a pretty rusty orange blouse. It feels so soft and velvety to the touch with a cute bow at the waist. I'll wear this for LIFE. It's the most adorable blouse I own now. HAHAHA And the second one like I mentioned earlier is a silky grey baju kurung that I was oggling at for the past year. I wore both outfits during my dinners and events that I had last week. Thank youuuuu to the two precious people in my life for these precious gifts. You know who you are! <3


Accompanying the blouse, my roomie also arranged for a surprise birthday cake with a red squiggly birthday wish for me. The Secret Recipe waiter had lit a candle that was on the cake and sang a birthday song. MY FACE WAS ON FIRE. I didn't know if it was because of all the attention I was getting or the huge weird smile permanently plastered to my face, but I was soooo happy! I ate the rest of my cake and dinner till I felt like I was going to explode for the second day in a row.


I was also gifted with a beautiful book from an even more beautiful soul who understood my deep love for poetry. I had almost forgotten that Atticus's third book is now published and simply WAITING for me to get my hands on it. Thank YOU for this present! I know it'll be sitting faithfully at my bedside for weeks until I've memorised my favourite poems in the book.

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Happy Birthday to all February babies out there! I hope your birthday in 2020 is a blast!



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😒[Relationship Series] Does Insecurity Kills the Cat?

26 January 2020

Syazwani14Cats
Insecurity is a lot more common than we think. Between you and I, everybody in this world has some levels or aspects of insecurities they're clinging to. Perhaps for some of us, we're more anxious to break free from the many unanswered "what-ifs" questions we beat ourselves with. At some point of our lives I'm sure we've come to the realisation that our insecurities, whatever form they may be, are taking a toll on our lives and relationships, and it's actually exhausting to face it by yourself. In some instances, you might be so overwhelmed with these thoughts that you'd hurt the ones who you actually love as well.

Before we truly begin with the topic on insecurities in the context of human relationships, I'd like to just point out that I'm clearly not an expert in this sort of discussion. My own experience in battling my inner turmoils and talking it out with a few kind souls that I trust are enough to convince me that it's okay to talk about it in public. Let's face it, we've all come across the same problem a couple of times in our lives.

If you're not confident about yourself, then how do you expect to believe in someone who thinks the world of you?

I came across similar sayings like this in movies and even in conversation exchanges between friends. It strikes to me because it truly shows how insecurities can block a lot of good things into your life, including believing in yourself and others. I don't think a mere post can change my life for the better, but it could be a step to realising that I have a problem and that I can fix it... step by step.

What is insecurity?

According to Good Therapy, insecurities involves having a lack of confidence and self-worth that some people perceive about themselves in their lives. In some instances, being a little insecure isn't entirely a bad thing. Feeling a bit jealous or possessive that is expressed within a safe boundary is still considered healthy. However, the moment our insecurities lead to actions and make us grow more dependent on someone, it changes the game entirely.

When we're in a relationship with somebody without our self-worth, we give ourselves little choice but to depend on that very relationship to complete the missing pieces. When this isn't reciprocated, we break apart and that's how our relationship feel the side-effects of our insecurities.

Here are just some examples of instances that showcase insecurities by PsychCentral. Do you spot any that relate to you? To be honest, I feel slightly attacked with some (insert inner laugh-cry here):

  1. Pushing yourself to be extra nicer or giving to get someone's attention or support.
  2. More focused on pleasing others than fulfilling your own feelings and needs.
  3. Have a major fear of unwanted scenarios like rejection or abandonment.
  4. Can be easily overwhelmed with emotions and need the help of others to calm you down.
  5. Have trouble to express/open yourself up to others so you focus on their interests instead (can be overwhelming for that other person).
  6. Purposefully choose partners who you perceive as "distant" so that you need to work in getting their attention and ensure the relationship is intact. The downside? It pushes your belief that you're not good enough (you're working to make things work).

Sue me, I have insecurites. What do I do?

We've heard of this many times, but I'll put it out here to nail it to my head too: your relationship with YOURSELF is worth everything and that is why having awareness to form a better inner relationship with yourself is important. The success of your relationship with another person all comes down to how you view yourself in the first place, which will reflect your actions and behaviour with others. You may be a wonderful person to be with but your insecurities, if they're not pushed aside, can stop you from fully expressing who you are.

  1. If you critic yourself too hard, then change tactics. Channel that same energy to convince yourself otherwise. Remind yourself with reasons why you're an interesting person. There are people in your life who love to have you around. Tell yourself how your existence made a difference in someone else's life.
  2. Set realistic goals about changing yourself and drop your inner-perfectionist. You can't be a different person overnight. If you want to be better, you have to celebrate every little detail of you as you change. Even if you flopped a little, you're trying and that's always better than nothing at all.
  3. Keep your relationships with family and friends alive. You gain more strength in a relationship when you know you have a backup plan if things don't work out. Have steady, quality relationships with other people you trust that you can fall back to if things go wrong. There's more than one source of happiness in our lives.
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"Insecurity breeds insecurity" as Dr. Randi Gunther wrote in her article. This was used to describe an analogy or a consequence when our insecurities continue to be let loose even when our loved ones try to heal us. They would scrutinise their own worth in the relationship when nothing works or little of what they did actually made you feel better. There is so much that someone can do to help make us feel better. In the end, you need to realise that you have that upperhand to face yourself straight on and love yourself. 

πŸ‘‹ 2019, What a Time to Be Alive

31 December 2019


How would I reflect on my life this year? What do I make of the good and bad that happened? 
To be honest, I'm not so sure. There's just something about 2019 that overall doesn't sit very well with me. I've gone through a lot, mostly fighting through my mental battles and just trying to stay in one piece without breaking at the edges. Things were tough and I feel that way strongly about 2019. Of course, I'm not going to brood about this very long because let's face it, I want to get 2019 done and over with as much as the next person does. At the same time, I won't sugarcoat my words and pretend things were completely fine. I wish I can recall all the things that happened but when you have the memory of a squirrel, it doesn't work well. 

But with that, there were definitely some very good things worth to remember about this year. The things I achieved were achievements I never thought I would have the strength and enough opportunities to do. The friends and family who stood by me and believed that I could do anything I set my mind to even when I lost faith in myself are priceless. And at the end of the day, I realised that things will piece in together and turn out for the better. What I needed was a little bit of faith and magic (of course not the latter) to see it through the end. 

I'm not hoping to make new resolutions for 2020. What I am hoping for is that I would give myself more credit, be a little kinder and strive to better myself within my means. 

AAANDDD..... THANK YOU FOR READING!

I hope you had a great year in 2019 and perhaps an even better year in 2020. 


Lots of love, 
Wani





πŸ’ƒ November 2019 Wrap Up

28 November 2019


It's been a couple of months of mostly involving me coming back here and ended up empty-handed, not quite sure of what to write next. I've been around of course, just blogwalking from one blog to another but I didn't manage to light up any hints of inspirations to write one of my own. It's been like that for almost FOUR WHOLE MONTHS. And now that I have dared to spell that out, the guilt does without a doubt bear a heavy weight on me.

That being said, a lot has happened since then and now I'm ready to pour it all out. The best way to do that? Summarise them all in the most acceptable and coherent way possible - a list. 

Now making a list is a completely new thing for me. I'm fairly sure I haven't ever posted a monthly wrap up or anything of the sort in my blog. Let's be real here, there can be days, weeks or months when nothing out of the ordinary happens and worth to write about. When we're talking about my life in particular, the closest thing that's exciting or unique is playing with my cat, Leo or having those super rare weekends when I literally just not do anything. And take a break, whatever that means. 

Well, that is until just lately.

1. Recited some of my poems for the first time in public.

Open Mic Night was organised by SSAUM or the Sudanese Association in University Malaya. I found their event poster by chance as I was scrolling through Instagram (nothing new here) and I had this weird need to JOIN IN. Not as an audience but an actual performer. I've made tons of poems of my own for the past few years and my only readers comprise of my friends on Instagram. I wanted to see what reactions my poem can gather from a crowd. Would they like it? How would I be like standing on a stage reciting my poems, word by word out loud? The thought itself almost drove me nuts because I was battling with my inner self that joining in was a good idea and that I wasn't going to combust and die of fright at the front. That it was also chance I never thought I needed.

Turns out it was probably the best decision I've ever made. Although I couldn't come up with freshly written poems to fit with the theme that night, I think the audience (who were so supportive by the way) loved it. I even made one new friend who approached me and gushed over my poems and wanted to read them for herself from my notes! If another similar opportunity were to come my way again, I'd definitely sign up without a second thoughts. The experience really does feel magical.

2. Just barely surviving through my master's degree (ongoing).

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I'm still furthering my studies in UM and trying to survive my third semester in ONE piece. It's currently Week 11 which means I have approximately 4-5 weeks left to get everything done. Procrastination is no longer a choice available for me or just about anyone to choose  and the only thing we can do is to face the music and march to our deaths. Things will only get uglier from now on. I can feel it in my bones.  


3. Watched Frozen 2. I know, I must have been possessed.

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This has been by far the least expected thing I thought I would do. If I had told the younger me back in 2013-2014 that I would pay to sit and watch the second installment of the movie... she would have buried me alive. I was basically (and still is) not a fan of the movie, especially the first one. Even as a teen, I felt that it lacks a solid plot, the characters are a little hard to like and the crazy fan-base just throws me off entirely. However, after seeing the second movie trailer released on the Internet and seeing how hopeful everyone was about it, I was... intrigued. Well, maybe that isn't the most accurate word to use but it did linger in my mind for a while. Elsa was just super badass doing her stuff out there and Olaf??? He was comical! I gave Frozen 2 a solid 8.5 stars because it really did get me hooked. 

4. Welcomed my old favourite hobby - watching anime!

Perhaps this may be of a surprise to some people, but I'm quite a huge fan of anime and mange. Before there were K-Dramas and Netflix, I spent a huge chunk of my childhood pouring through anime (my first watch was Fruit Basket!). I haven't watched much of them since school and only until recently did my interest piqued again through honestly AMAZING anime shows like The Rising of the Shield HeroDemon Hunter, The Promised Neverland, Fate/Stay Night series, etc. 

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5. Grew a horrible sleep routine and now trying to fix it back.

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Feeling mostly sleep deprived during my waking hours is not what I thought I would consider as part of my monthly wrap up but it is significant enough to make it to the list. I'm very much aware of how much I'm pushing my sleeping schedule limits these days and it has reached to a point that its becoming a typical routine for me. I stay up late into the night and wake up early 4-5 hours later. Over time, it does wear me down fast and so to counter the problem, I'm currently trying to lessen the hours I spend to work at night so that I have more time to take a decent amount of quality sleep. I'm done waking up to feeling grouchy and sluggish every day. And not to mention, EYEBAGS?? No magical concealer in the world can hide them now.

6. Been doing my everyday makeup in the dark for the past 1 month. I'm officially an owl now.
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I... don't even know how to begin to explain why this happens but it's exactly what it says. I'm now an expert in doing makeup in the dark with zero to minimal lighting because the lamp in my room has been burnt out for about a month. Fixing it would require not just the technical knowledge needed to connect the necessary wires to a new bulb, but also the agility and courage to climb up a ladder and stay balanced throughout the whole procedure. should also mention to you that the ceiling is wayyyyyyy up high and out of reach for most people with my height plus ladder. 

I'm not sure if it'll ever be fixed but I have my ways of getting things done even without the lighting.

7. Subscribed to an AMAZING new podcast programme - The Happiness Lab.

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This may be one of the most pleasant new things I've managed to pick up this month - subscribing to podcast shows! I've discovered that I prefer listening to talks and conversations than to music in the mornings when I'm bustling about to get ready for class. Personally, it sort of warms up (theoretically speaking) my social battery so that I'm more motivated to actually socialise on my own free will. It's a huge help for me to build that right mood to start my day and the best part is, I actually learn a lot from some of these shows.

One of my favourites so far would be listening to The Happiness Lab by Dr. Laurie Santos who shares on the latest scientific discoveries and stories about happiness. Because it's about science, it might scare a few of you off because it's not everybody's cup of tea to having to listen to heavy stuff so early in the day. Well, it did catch me by surprise by just how casual and easy to follow the whole show is. The best part? The topics just get to me and my favourites that I have just recently listened to this week include: 

I've also received suggestions to listen to other podcast shows too like Ear Biscuits which I'll give a try soon! If you have some recommendations of your own to share with me, leave them in the comment section! I'm so new to listening to podcasts.


8. I'm suddenly super obsessed with ASMR videos because they work for me!



Okay, remember that I mentioned how I've been struggling to get some sleep lately? I found that some particular ASMR videos work wonders to lull me to sleep for hours. In fact, I've even curated a special playlist with video selections that I think work best for both during my assignment sessions and sleep. You can check them out right here.


It's funny how I used to think that I was on the wrong side of YouTube whenever I watched some of these videos. These days, they're a life saviour for stubborn sleepless people like me. 

9. Learnt that teeth retainers should be worn FOR LIFE

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YES, THAT'S RIGHT. Teeth retainers are meant to be worn for the rest of your life, especially for those of us who used to have braces. I didn't even know about this until one unexpected day later when I came across Suraya's blog post, How I Spent Over RM10k During My Braces Journey. I was petrified. Suddenly my whole five years of teeth-retainer free days came spiraling down in front of my eyes in one big mess. In that same week I discovered to my horror that my teeth may have possibly been moving around in the five years I allowed it to roam free, I booked for an appointment to make new teeth retainers at the UM Dental Clinic (my old one is long gone) and I'm now waiting for the mould to be ready by next week.

I can't imagine how painful it'll be to wear a teeth retainer again after all these years but at this point, pain is the least of my worries. I just want to be in the best of shape. Haha!
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This post has finally come to an end along with my current updates on things I've done this month. I hope you like it as much as I do and I'm looking forward to what next month has to offer (psssst Big Bad Wolf Bookfair!!!). Until then, see you next time!



😳 [My Stories] If Only I Wasn't So Afraid...

7 October 2019


WELL, WELL, WELL. A fresh new topic to get my weaknesses spread around the Internet? Getting my readers more depressed with my weekly posts? Well again, not really. I think this is more for the purpose of getting it out there that despite how I look around people, I'm actually really shy. Okay, so maybe shy isn't the right word I would use and I know my friends would rather rip their brains out of their heads than associate "shy" with me.

No, the problem with me is not that I'm just shy, but I'm sometimes a little frustrated by how much I hesitate to push away my fears, insecurities and the many "what-ifs" before making decisions and do something for myself. I get it, being a little cautious is not necessarily a bad thing but if that results in stopping me from getting what I want, then I need to rethink how I handle myself in these situations.

I realise that I have missed out on opportunities that could have been big for me. Things like voicing out my emotions when the time calls for it rather than keeping it stored inside. Things like making more effort to ask how my friends are doing and meeting up. Or even read through the ginormous amount of freshly bought books I never touched because I'm worried I'd read too much and time passes by when I have other things to do too.

You know, they're all just little things that if done right, I know I have spent my day well.

Here are some things I hope to tick off in the next one or two years:
  1. Become a better listener and an even better composed person at giving advices.
  2. Take my OWN advices as well.
  3. If I'm not happy about something, SAY IT.
  4. Avoid getting into toxic topics on social media just so that I can brag that I'm up-to-date with current news.
  5. Eat healthier, exercise more. It's not embarrassing to sprawl on the floor, exhausted in my apartment and letting my housemates question my motives. 
  6. Dress up and makeup the way I like.
  7. Keep my plants healthy for the rest of the year.
  8. Don't be afraid to be heard in a group of friends.
  9. Believe that you're doing just fine. Just because things are tough, it doesn't mean you're failing. You're surviving.
  10. To accept that despite my many insecurities and weaknesses, I have my strengths too.
  11. And despite how I am, there are people who love my company.

Inspired by Wit & Delight


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🀷 [College Stuff] Blog Hiatus: Sis, What Happened to You?

1 October 2019


What did happen to me? I'm still a bit confused and dazed myself as to everything that had happened this month. I also think that it's been about that same amount of time I was last seen alive and well in this blog. Time just has a way of dragging you away to deal with your life commitments and by the time you're here, in this blog, you don't know WHERE to even start.

I'm currently a Master's Degree student at the University of Malaya and being in my 3rd semester now, things have started off pretty fast. No, scratch that, it's been pretty much BULLET-TRAIN-SPEED STYLE lately. Yes, we did get a little break from that crazy haze season about two weeks ago and our lecturers converted our usual lectures to e-learning mode. BUT there was just as much work as any other normal day. It didn't help either that that "time of the month" decided to drop by and say hello PLUS being sick that entire specific week (first time this year). At the end of all that, nobody blamed me for questioning for the hundredth time, "Why me." I was in such a sorry state. haha!

However, things have drastically slowed down since then. I'm at my 4th week in the semester and I'm adapting to the class setting a lot better. Keeping up with weekly lectures and assignments is bearable now that I have organised everything in a systematic planner. As far as I can tell, I haven't slowed down in committing to each recorded task. I have to be this meticulous with planning my time because I'm such a worrywart when things abruptly pop up and I don't know where to include it in my daily plans of tasks/commitments.

I'll update more soon, perhaps over this weekend as I'll be off joining a few events here and there. Let's just all PRAY that I'd remember to take pictures so that I have some colourful content to add in this lonely blog of mine. Until then, thanks for reading!