I have 2 confessions to make. 1) I never really enjoyed my graduation and 2) This is my first ever graduation ceremony to celebrate my academic achievements.
The smile I have here is forced and not at all genuine. firstly, I didn't enjoy my graduation because I never made any memory. I can't remember how I felt, what I did, all I know was, Being ushered to registration, robing, pictures, waiting in line, pictures and I got so dizzy. I expected it to be somewhat memorable. All I remembered was my heels were killing me!
Then, there was the case where there were just too many people. I don't function well with crowds and I felt so neurotic and nearly went mental.
Tremendously grateful for having my mom and fiance around. They put up with my endless complaints and my hissy fits and tried to make me feel happy. The fiance had to go to the car just to fetch my shoes.
He is my rock and he supports me, continuously telling me that I can do it, and he prays for me every single day.
My mom is a supermommy even if I don't tell her. She was the only one who believes in me that I was smart enough to do my Masters. Sometimes, she feels sad when she can't help me with my thesis but she's the type that would take me to Singapore to buy all my Political Science books, spending thousands on books and she does everything for me, just so I could focus on finishing my dissertation.
If I could thank anyone for my Masters, it would be my mom and my fiance for always supporting me. I'm not an easy person to live with and I'm extremely difficult when I'm stressed. These 2 people, really helped me to keep my head on my shoulders and they believed in me. Helping me out whenever they can and I thank the Lord for them everyday!
Another person that helped me achieved my Master is my best friend Zumlath Mohamed. She passed away shortly before the results were announced due to sickle cell and when I met her father and siblings, I cried. I missed her and I would have been overjoyed if she was here with me. To everyone else, she was kind and quiet and kept to herself. To me, she was the strength and the one who keeps pushing me to work hard. You see, she was Muslim and I, Christian. I have a rosary in my car and everyday after class, she would keep me company as we drove from Semenyih to Kelana Jaya.
Imagine, we spend more than an hour in my car and she never once felt uncomfortable in fact, she even says a "keep us safe" prayer with me everytime we begin our journey. I loved talking to her, she was never quiet and we talked about everything under the sun, my family, my grandma, her family, Maldives, religion, etc. Oh, how I loved our "long" journeys back then. Somehow, it never feels like more than an hour has went by.
Everytime, we would turn on Skype to keep each other company whenever we're doing our assignments. I failed one paper and she's the only one that could remove my doubts about myself and my low self esteem. I always thought that I wasn't smart like the other students in our class but she would always tell me otherwise. We would even share our work with each other, commenting on it and we were very close for that short time.
She always told me that she knows she won't be here for long. I'm afraid of death, you see. But she would always tell me to start living. this is what she taught me, "Michelle, wearing pretty clothes, spending thousands on making yourself beautiful, won't make you happy. In society's eyes, you can never be thin, pretty, fair, smart enough. The "glow of happiness" many people are looking for, is not something you can buy off the counter, you can't buy it with money. You can only get it by spending time with the ones you love and who loves you in return. People think that they can get things by spending money, but after spending thousands they're still not happy."
I always told her that she was so brave, to live when she knows that it's not long, her reply was always," I live for my family. They're very important to me, I have no regrets because I spent every single minute being with them. I will worry about them though, I worry about my mother and younger sister the most, but luckily, I have my dad to take care of them."
I will then ask her, "Don't you feel sad?" her answer is always so simple and it fascinates me, "No. I'll feel sad when I think that my family is sad. I don't like seeing them sad" By then, she would laugh and say that she'll feel sad if I'm sad too... So, I'll normally force a smile for her and change the topic.
She has always spoke about visiting her in the Maldives and she is my only true friend in Nottingham. Well, she was a very strong person, no one knew about her condition because she didn't want sympathy or preferential treatment. She re-wrote half of her 15,000 words dissertation because she received comments that she has to change a few things.
By then, she was already complaining of fever and headache and being in Malaysia while her family is in Maldives during Ramadhan. We used to keep each other company way into the night. I miss her. She was the sense in my crazy world. I hope that she's with Allah in Paradise now. I hope that she knows how thankful I am for a friend like her and lastly, I hope that she knows that I miss her very much.
Thank you Zum, we made it. I thought of you as I walked up the stage to collect my scroll that you helped me with. Thank you very much.
With my lecturers Chris N. and Josh S.
With my beloved Dean, (He's like the coolest dean ever!) Prof. Neville W. and my classmate and lecturers.
Overall, I'm glad to be finished and done with my MA. Now, time to find a "real" job. And, sorry that it's a lengthy post as I really miss my friend so much.