So I’m not usually one for posting long stupid things about how I’m feeling but today is an exception!
As I was walking down to the local supermarket at the waterfront this morning, I just took a look out across the lake, the rolling hills in the background, with my earphones in and in that moment I realised how truly happy I am with my life in Malaysia. I’ve been here for around 2 and a half years now after moving here for my A-levels with my mum when she got a teaching job out here. Initially I wasn’t supposed to come, but to put it simply my battle against mental issues, drugs and my father all became too much and within a day of one big argument mum booked me a flight here! This was my fresh start, a chance to make something of myself and enjoy life again!
Now I’m not saying I haven’t made a huge number of mistakes since I’ve been living here, nobody is perfect! But it’s the ‘making something of myself’ part which I think has really come true. I’m happy to say that within a year of moving here I was off anti-depressants, and a year after that came off all medication! I’m not the kid who gets along with everyone, I’ve had my fair share of arguments with even my best friend at times. But the small group of friends I have here mean the world to me!
My grades weren’t the BEST in my school admittedly. I have certain friends, who may be reading this, who got 3 or 4 A’s. But I think the impact that I’ve made can be summarised by recent events. Last weekend I went to Singapore with a school trip, after I attended last year while still a student and acted as a team coach I was invited back this year as well! I got my travel and accommodation expenses all paid for, and had I remembered to pick up my receipt in the restaurant I could have claimed back for food as well! I was essentially there as a teacher! The kids all had a laugh cause I know that I can get away with being a bit more fun than teachers, and at the same time the parents who were there all showed their respect to me, which REALLY meant a lot. Yesterday I also got asked if I would be willing to come in for 4 days when the PE department is short staffed due to trips and help support some cover lessons! I’ve helped out in school quite a lot, why I do it has been questioned many times cause I don’t get paid, but I do get invaluable experience which I’m hoping will also help set me up for my future! I was so happy at my graduation ceremony at school when I received the top award given. Me and my friend had sat through the whole thing already joking “Yeah this could be me” even when the speeches were saying “She ….” By the time it got round the the final one we had given up and accepted “No this can’t be…” Then the realisation hit me. The students who all got the top grades had collected all the other awards, then there was me. My contributions to the school were recognised, all the extra volunteering I’ve done for sports trips, the extra work I’ve done inside and outside of school, the networking I’ve done, the way in which I turned myself around from being a little shit to having teachers and parents thinking i was myself a teacher. It was honestly one of the best feelings knowing that it had all made a difference. Afterwards a parent asked me how I’d done it and I responded in saying that I wasn’t the kid with the best grades, but I had tried to make something of myself, doing more than just the basic studying as many students do! I think on that night, I could truly say I had made something of myself.
Okay so, that’s a slight tangent to my original title. But if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t have all these opportunities! I’m currently trying to sort out staying in Malaysia for university as well, things are definitely looking positive so I have potentially another 3 and a half years here minimum! 3 and a half more years of enjoying being in this amazingly interesting country, where I’m not having to worry about how cold it gets! Life here for me is so relaxed compared to the UK, why would I ever WANT to go back?
My dad is coming out here to visit me in June/July, the first time he has traveled to see me, after I’ve visited the UK twice since living here. We’re planning to go off travelling a bit around SE Asia to Cambodia and, my favourite place in the world, the Perhentian Islands! I’m really excited to be seeing him again and especially out here! Then the day he leaves I’m also due to be leaving for Borneo for a 7 week stay with Camp Borneo again, where I worked last summer. I’m so unbelievably excited for that, it’s now 129 days till i leave for Borneo! In the e-mail i got from Mel, the manager, she said that I was now a part of the family! How could I ever leave Malaysia now?
This is where I belong, this is where my life is now. The current visa in my passport says I can stay here until August 2014, and when I get a student visa that will be extended further!