About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am, one of many

I am, who I am
I am, one of many
I am, full of life
I am, here in the presence
I am, there when you need me
I am, infinite love
I am, God's faith
I am, hope for my generation
I am, living passion
I am, a miracle

The story of Wisdom triggered some stories from my past, some miracle, sometime we are forced to face adversity and challenges to reach our destiny and goals. The courage of the mother to be in reality and not pressure Wisdom to get 5 A’s in her grade 6 exams is commendable. There is more to life than getting A’s in examinations.

I am the youngest of four in my family. Each of my other siblings are roughly two years apart. Before I knew how to speak, my sisters were sent for their education in India and as such, while I love them dearly, I would say that I am not close with my sisters. They grew up in a different world, different customs, different environment and I am sure with some level of bitterness to be away from their parents and living with uncles and aunties.

If you are a five and seven year old girl being left in India while your brothers and parents remain in Malaysia, certainly it would have left some bitterness and thoughts of whether the parents did not love you as much. They have both grown up to be wonderful women and mothers and wife to their husbands despite their hardships in India.

This is just a prelude to the miracle I am writing about. Today's story is back to my story and miracles in life, but I wanted to set some background to it.

For what my dear sisters had to endure when they were growing up, I can only say this : I am sorry (not to have been able to grow up with my sisters), Please forgive me (for the decision was not in my control as I was only 11 months old), I love you (despite not knowing you well enough, not knowing what you like and what your fears may be, I do love you), and I thank you (for being my sisters).

I on the other hand was left growing up with my brother who is about 2 years and 2 months older than me. Again, I grew up with my brother and being just two years older, it seemed like I was always being compared to him. Sometimes by my parents but mostly by teachers, friends, parent's friends and society at large. While this is no fault of his and I love him but this competition definitely took a toll.

A while ago, I had wrote, in my poem who will cry when I die, "As I was growing up, going to school always having to always look up to someone, being the youngest of four, I was struggling."

And I was struggling, and I am a different person than my brother. So the comparisons did not help. I always had to live in his shadow, in terms of grade. But then one year, something changed, a miracle happened, and I changed.

In primary school, I was in the worst class of the lot for most of the years and I was the best or second best among the worst of the lot. (Yes, during my time, students were placed in a class based on their IQ and high scores in exams. Being among the not too “smart” boys, I was always in the worst class. And although I came in 1st or 2nd in class, out of the total grade, I would still be in the bottom quartile.)

Of course, my brother was always in the top quartile.

Somehow, being the best of the worst, I still scored 4A’s and 1B in the grade 5 exams. That was my peak for quite some time. That was the only exams I ever did better than my brother.

Four years later, we have the middle high school exams, called SRP during my time.

I do not remember my exact grades and my memory fails me now but I believe my brother had got 7A’s out of 8 subjects and I got 2A’s.

All the whispers had already started, I am not as “smart” as my brother.

In the final high school exams, SPM which is equivalent to O’ levels, I sunk to rock bottom.

Malay language - P8
Physics - P8
Additional Mathematics - P8
Chemistry - P7
Biology - C6
Geography - C4
Mathematics - C3
English - A1
Grade 3
(A1, A2 - Distinction; C3,C4, C5,C6 - Credit; P7, P8 - Pass; F9 - Fail)

1 A and grade 3 (My brother I believe had 5 or 6 A’s).

My world was over as I knew it. I studied hard, did well in school exams, expected to score at least 4A’s. Grade 3 meant I could no longer continue in the government schooling system and definitely forget about ever going to a local university.

Maybe it was time to put away the books and start working … what jobs could I get? It was a time when I could still get some jobs, waiter, cleaner, janitor?? I could not even apply for government jobs at grade 3.

I knew deep in me that I was not a dumb person, I think my parents knew that too.

I decided to go from Penang to Kuala Lumpur to look at some private colleges that had come up at that time. There were no colleges in Penang. I was leaning toward doing law, a LLB in Vanto academy or some other law academy. But even the private colleges that were all about making money did not accept me.

Then I met two wonderful people in KDU. My friend wanted to go to USA and went to the American Degree program in KDU. His grades were good enough that they admitted him.

And through partial pity and partial greed and partially being able to gauge my intelligence, these 2 wonderful people accepted me in KDU American Degree program in condition that I have to complete at least one more O’ level subject and get a credit in. Of course they recommended English literature considering I was good in English.

The first semester, I took the American university courses as well as the English literature paper. In 2nd semester, I forgot to register for English literature and KDU too conveniently forgot about it.

My grades gradually started to improve. Then in the 3rd semester, they started bringing in lecturers from some American universities as guest lecturers. And when I learned from them and their style of teaching, my grades started shooting further up. B+ and A- averages.

I eventually went to US and went to a small university mainly due to high costs there and graduated from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Arts (major: Psychology; minor: Communication) - Cumulative Grade Point Average 3.36/4.00 (Average of B+)

Some of my friends may say this is not a miracle. I believe in my heart it is a miracle and God guided me to the right place at the right time. My study habits had not changed from earlier yet my grades improved significantly, because I believed, I prayed, I sought guidance from God in every paper I did, in every exam I took, in every speech I made.

When I came back, I worked in various jobs. I started as a journalist, did very well as one. But decided to move on after 3 years and became a facilitator/supervisor in a multinational company. Here I had started doing my Master’s degree.

Eventually, I started being interested in IT and was offered a wonderful job in a friends small turnkey development company.

While working, I completed my Master of Science from University of Sunderland with a B+ average in coursework and B in Thesis/Project.

After a few years in my friend’s company, I ventured into a smaller start-up company with a few partners. That did not prove to be too fruitful but I did meet some wonderful people in a project I did. One of which whose miracle I published in the 1st miracle blog, “Jack and Jill”.

Then I moved to my 1st job in Cyberjaya with an international logistics company. Then I moved to a regional role in a oil and gas company in Sarawak and now I am back doing a global role in the same oil and gas company and holding three roles where I deliver global service management to two business areas and also set enterprise strategy and guidelines in the service management area.

I find that grades are not important. What is truly important and what matters is love, what matters is forgiveness, what matters is wisdom. Without these miracles, these experiences, this life, I will not be here writing this blog and being who I am. I am a child of God, I am not perfect and that is why I need to be guided every now and them. I am sorry (this is who I am). Please forgive me (when my words or actions hurt you). I love you (infinite love and gratitude). And I thank you (for taking time to read).

Take care and be well.


Nate said...

I really enjoyed the opening poem, I also have recently begun to appreciate wisdom over just knowledge. Take care.

Anonymous said...


Ser said...

Most importantly, you love your siblings despite everything that you had to endure.
Consider yourself fortunate because you are the only one in the family that gets to see his father (and your late mom - God bless her soul)daily. That gives you an opportunity to get to know him better and him to know you (vice-versa).

http://remrab.blogspot.com/ said...

Den Text finde ich toll.

Nil said...

Just to translate the German comment above. "I find/I think the text/writing is great"

Inspector Clouseau said...

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