Of regrets and lessons from Malala Yousafzai

Regrets are like dreams, we all have them. If I would be asked of my greatest regrets, I can easily identify three: 1) taking my education for granted 2) abandoning my love of and talents in art (if there is any — see I don’t have confidence!) 3) not writing often.

There are a few women I adore and look up to. These women have their own distinct character. But, there is one thing they all have in common; they live life to the fullest by passionately doing the things they love.

Thoughts of them inspire me. Their words fuel me. But their presence is like a mirror. It compels me to see my reflection; to see a wandering woman who does not have a clear grasp of what she wants to make of her life.

I like to write or create works of art because I’m hopeful that they can channel positivity, joy and inspiration to others. My attempts to create a piece, however, were always hindered by my hesitations that it will ever make any difference even at least to one person.

Recently I read the story of Malala Yousafzai, a very young — she’s only 14! — and brave Pakistani activist for girls education who was gunned by the Taliban. Even before I fully read her story I already knew she was going to open new perspectives for me.

Photo credit: thedailywhat.tumblr.com

Young Malala Yousafzai showed me one more thing those women I admire have in common. They are all privileged women. They were sent to prestigious schools. They live in a society where they can exercise their freedom. They came from a family that can provide whatever they need to pursue their dreams and chosen careers.

Malala, on the contrary, live in a war zone; a village away from the city. She didn’t have as much access to technology that can facilitate better learning. Education to her comes with a great price, her own life.

As I reflected on her story I came to appreciate the blessings life has bestowed on me. What is missing in me is the recognition of the gifts I had been given to fulfill my life’s purpose. My failure to recognize these gifts caused me to live an idle life, always short of motivation.

Malala risked her life for the cause she strongly believes in while I spent mine regretting what I could have done in the past. While she fights for her life at the hospital right now, I would like to pay my simple tribute to this brave young girl by redirecting my life and making the most of what I have.

Her mission may be for the children in Pakistan particularly for girls to be allowed to go to school but her story can serve as inspiration to all other women in the world. She is teaching us to live not just for ourselves but more for others. She is teaching us not to allow anything stop us from pursuing our passion. She is teaching us to stand bravely in a world full of threats to put us down.

I am praying for you Malala. Thank you for being an inspiration.

The love of music

If I have to list down the things –obviously people are not included– that I cannot live without, music will definitely be among the top 3. Not that I already know what the other 2 are but I’m pretty sure about music.

For most if not all of us, music is a great part of our life. Upbeat songs cheer us up. Love songs make us fall in love all the more. Instrumental music allows us to look deep within our souls, relaxes our minds or lulls us to sleep. Sad songs make us remember the past or the people in it and the longing for those people brings melancholy that the same songs, no matter how sad, can ease simply because it remind us of special people and wonderful memories. Religious songs can strengthen our faith and empower us to face life’s trials.

Different kinds of music create different effects and feelings in a person.

My choice of music depends on my mood. This evening I opted to listen to Christmas carols because they remind me of home and bring the spirit of the yuletide season.

Listening to music is my main de-stressing activity. But being a lover of anything artistic and beautiful, sometimes I’d prefer to watch music videos on Youtube. With millions of music videos available though, I seldom find ones that would really make me feel as if I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Omar is very good at finding really nice music videos. This one, I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz is his latest find. It may not be so nice for others but for me it is because I love letters and anything that looks vintage! And the lyrics is meaningful too 🙂

I would love to know your favorite music videos too! Feel free to share them as comments 🙂

Timeless place for a cup of tea

One downside of living in a city like Bangkok is finding a place to unwind or read that can give me both a homey environment with lots of plants around and the luxury of having a cup of tea. Luckily there’s Agalico that offers Bangkokers the feeling that they’re just in their home’s patio or garden, savoring the serenity of the weekend.

True to its reviews, Agalico indeed feels like being in a Jane Austen book. Although I brought The Great Gatsby when I went there. It has a gazebo near the fountain which I think will be a very nice pre-nuptial shooting location.

Agalico is not just for people who wants to find solitude and escape reality through a good book or for writers who need a place that brings out inspiration and creativity. In other words, people like me. Actually, I think most people go there to enjoy a cup of tea with friends and family. So next time if I get an invitation for meet-ups, I already know where to take my friends.

Its white interior is as breathtaking as the garden outside. It’s a very elegant and classy English-style living room. I was stunned the moment I stepped inside. Agalico has a wide-variety of imported tea to choose from. They also serve scones and cakes.

Unfortunately, Agalico is only open every Friday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. You can reach there by taking the train to Thong Lor station. Take Exit 1 and walk towards Sukhumvit Soi 51. The building is the first at the right side after you enter Soi 51. You can also call them at 02 662 5857 ext 111.