Saturday, 29 April 2017

Quick update!


So Im finding that its really hard for me to express myself (or the person Ive become) in writing. Or at least not the type of writing I normally do on here, if anything, all I write now is vague poetic-ish stuff. Ill be posting a lot more on there platforms:

Instagram : @ilmiramurni
Tumblr :

Expect a lot more picture, and your occasional instastory rant. 
Keep it real, keep it chill


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Intro to pole

You never really forget your first pole sit

"Hands up high above your head, you want to hoist yourself up, cross one leg above the other" Lauren, my instructor tells the class "let go of your hands then SQUEEZE SQUEEZE SQUEEZE"

You never really forget your first pole sit because that burn between your thighs... oh baby

On friday practise I (along with other beginners) go to the studio to practise our sits. We tell our friends in the studio 'Dammit! That hurts!' We tell the more experienced polers it hurts, as if they dont already know. We ask them if it'll ever stop hurting and they laugh (cause it wont)

But they also tell us that the pole will make us stronger. 
They were right

Pole gets a bad rep. Its known to be a 'sexy dance' and a lot of people forget all the strength and resilience that the art demands. Heck I know some people wouldn't even consider it a sport. I mean, you try invert into a crucifix and tell me that its not a sport. Its one hell of a demanding sport; theres a lot of core strength, flexibility and pain tolerance involved. Theres a lot of technique, a WHOLE LOT of getting to know your body, a lot of trusting yourself. And OF COURSE its sexy, but its so much more than that.

Its so much more than that to me.

See Im not the sporty type. Im not even the healthy type, I remember not being able to lift up a vacuum. I remember idealising a stick thin body figure to the point that Id starve myself for it, challenge myself to see how long I could go without food. I had a point when my relationship with food and my body was so bad I needed to get help for it, and even after that was over, I still kept obsessing over weighing scales and body figures and beat myself up about gaining a kilogram. 

When I started pole that changed. I think at that point my eating habits were alright but my mindset was still 'Mira you ate so much, BAD!'. My mindset was still structured to think skinny = achievement. So what changed when I started pole was I started associating achievements with acing that spin/nailing that invert/holding that pose. I started worrying less about being skinny and focused more on being stronger, and its such a rewarding sport because you have to take the time to get to know the way your body was made. You come back every week and you can clearly track your progress and witness your body change. I think the transformation your body goes through with pole is one of the most obvious and rewarding things anyone can go through. And its not a competitive sport so its just you, your body, your mind and the pole. 

On top of the nature of the sport being so rewarding and positive, I started pole in UCL and the society is one of the most open, supportive and helpful bunch of people Ive met to date. You forgot to shave your armpits? Thats cool. You're not a size two? Who cares. You wanna go pray before you pole it up? No thats not weird. Every Friday the committee sets the poles up and members can come in and out whenever you want, practising any move you want, so its the time polers from all different levels meet each other. Not once have I struggled with a move and not had someone with more experience come to help me out. Every time you nail something, someone cheers. Everybody is happy to offer to teach what they know and show you the way around the poles. And you can find people from everywhere, from all types of backgrounds and stories. The society welcomes anyone and everyone.

I have nothing but good things to say about pole and this years committee. This years committee has worked so hard to facilitate everyones growth and learning, and make sure theres lots of glitter in the process. I couldn't have had a more caring and lovely bunch of people welcoming me into this art that I love, and if any of you are reading this thank youuuu sooooo muchhhhh

Im so happy I found pole, and Im so happy with where its got me with my body and mind. Im the heaviest I've been in my life, but Im also the strongest and pole has taught me to be comfortable with looking at my chunky lumpy bits in the mirror and count what matters- and that is being able to rely on yourself to pull yourself up when you're upside down. 

Heres to more happy years on and off the pole

Love from London,

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

2017 and separation

In the face of adversity, life can get kind of discouraging.

Coming to the UK I told myself that the thing I feared the most was losing people due to the move. Be it losing people because the distance made relationships too difficult to maintain, or you know, death, I was really hoping none of that would happen in my first year. I thought, any year but this year, I can handle it, just need to settle down, fall in love with London and my commitment to study first.

Then 2017 came and just splat.

Thats how it felt at first, a big, hopeless, splat.

In January I had to end a long distance relationship with someone I was so incredibly in love and compatible with. Love to the point that it hurts to type it out (my gosh so drama), I can't even describe it really and I didn't even want to for once. I won't even try to do it here. I just wanted to keep the relationship personal and private (I'm an open book IF you haven't already noticed, so this was different and special), and it was hard to swallow that if I was in another place doing other things I wouldn't really have to face the break-up. 

Breaking up from a good relationship is hard in its own way. Its hard because there was so little that went wrong (maybe even nothing?) that its easy to end up at, wait why are we breaking up again? (Then Big Mira tells Small Mira, distance beb, distance) But break-ups are relatively easier to deal with than death. I told myself that I can still be happy and he can still be happy and we didn't end it on a bad note so give it time and we didn't have to lose the companionship if we didn't want to. Even though it was terrible to process and even now I'm still in a weird place about it, on the mostly I got over it, I was okay.

Then in February, I got news that my grandmother passed away. It was both shocking and not, she wasn't sick or anything like that, but she fell ill after a trip to umrah and her body just, never got better. All in all, the falling sick, the devastating hospital visits, the death, it all happened in two weeks. On the day of her death my mom had already told me it was coming, and when face timing her, my dad said ' So I guess this is your last time you'll see her'. That broke me. It broke me to not be home, to not be there for my family when another person driving or staying awake or taking care would've been helpful. I mean, it wasn't like they had any trouble taking care of her, my family bands together pretty well in times of health related crisis, but I wanted to be involved. To take care of my Wan the way she took care of me (I grew up like 70% with her in my first few years of life), to be there for my dad when he needed the emotional support. I just wanted to be there, not a FaceTime away, not a whatsapp away. I was face timing my family the whole evening, but I still felt so, detached. I really didn't expect not to have her to come home to. I still don't know how to feel about that.

So, 2017 has been hard on me. I've cursed the year many times over and just really felt like, not doing life for the rest of the year. I just kept wishing things were different, that I wasn't here. 

I was talking to my friend Archie about how I was feeling, and I stressed how demotivated I felt. It was a conversation over whatsapp and he said this to me 

He said I could go with my feelings or to realise the opportunity I have and make full use of it. I realise that any big decision comes with an extent of sacrifice, and I tried to hope my way out of not having to realise the full consequence of not being with my loved ones. But I had to face it, and now I have a choice; to do my best or to not. And right now, the way I see it, damn i better get a first or none of this is worth it lol.

I told that to Archie too, and he again pointed out that of course its worth being here. He pointed out that I have many friends and I'm learning new things in a way I never can if I was at home. That I gotta not neglect my opportunity but whatever I end up with at the end of the day, me being here is already worth it due to the sheer experience of being here. The whole time I was thinking, damn, when did Archie get so wise?

I talk a lot about how being here is not what I expected it to be. If I was to go into it here this post will never end, but I guess I was almost homesick to the point of disappointment in my first semester. But now, now I'm realising that maybe its not what I expected it to be but thats good too in some ways.

I'm scared of separation. When I was seeing a therapist he pretty much diagnosed me with separation anxiety, which is ironic because here I am, so damn separated from my life back in Malaysia. I talk about moving countries a lot because it affects me a lot, but this recent bout of separation, this facing my anxiety right in the face, its been hard. But its also been positive. I'm learning healthy ways to cope with it all, and I guess I'm only getting stronger. And seeing as how bad my year has started out, I only can go up right?
( #nofailingfirstyearpleaseIcanttakethis #prayforMira)

Yknw what they say,
when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

So Imma go now, till next time guys, thanks for reading, as always.

Love from London,

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

On being present

So the real reason why I haven't been posting on here at all lately is because I've found that I'm in quite a dry spell when it comes to writing here, and thats been because I've been feeling really odd.

The word to describe it best is sub-par. Not unhappy, not depressed. Not even a little bit sad. Just feeling like Im not feeling what Im supposed to feel coming to London. I worked myself for the longest of times to get here, but when I did get here, I really just wanted to go home.

See, thats the other thing. I didn't feel like it should be something I should talk about so openly. I'm aware that me being in my dream university under my dream scholarship is something that is of great privilege. I know so many pray for this and that I got really lucky with the cards life dealt me in terms of education. I was really scared of being labelled 'tak bersyukur' (ungrateful) in my attempt at being honest and I didn't want to complain. I mean, I got exactly what I wanted.

But I did feel sub-par, and while thats a whole other blogpost in itself, it is the main reason why I couldn't write anything here. I wanted to write about how happy and wonderful and amazing things were. And whilst I always found London to be a city easy to fall in love with, my first term here was just so 


A hugeeee chunk of my sub-par ness stemmed from the fact that I left so many people that I love back in Malaysia- one plane ticket and I have a long distance relationship with 70% of the people closest to me, and I kept indulging in the lonely thought of forever being left out (huge FOMO issues). I'm super close to my family, so it was really hard to know that I'll be missing out on so many dinners and stay-cations. My best friend was in Malaysia and I couldn't spontaneously barge into her house and of course, I tried for a while to maintain a relationship spanning oceans. I guess theres nothing particularly unique to my feeling homesick, its natural. But it all lead me to wishing I was home instead of here.

Long distance relations of any sort are hard, and not everyone is cut out for it. I started the year embracing the fact that I'd have to stop trying with one of my relationships. I think thats when the weight of what I have to sacrifice - by default of being so far away from so many people - hit me. I don't really want to go into the details of my getting over it but losing this bond did make me realise something huge. Something that was so damn obvious but yet so pivotal in my ability to enjoy myself here, and that was

Mira, you'll never be in Malaysia while you're in London.

I know it sounds pretty dumb that I didn't really truly embrace that, but I really didn't okay! I kept wishing myself to be home all the time, so much so that I was just ended up in between nothing. One of my friends pointed out to be that Im not present, and thats when the eureka moment happened. Thats when I realised that how the hell am I gonna see London if all Im looking at is Malaysia?!?! That I've been living in my head this whole time.

Though this may seem a little like a complain-ey post, I mean for it to be quite the opposite. This is a, I was really complain-ey but now I have gotten over my self and now, now Im moving on. Is it too late to make new years resolutions?

I'm going to be present. No, actually, I already am present. Im here now, fully. Where I have full responsibility over my body, where it will not eat if I decide not to go to the groceries. Where milk is so fresh and so cheap and finding curly kale isn't like trying to find the cure for cancer. In London, long walks feel like leisure and I wear sneakers almost all of the times despite not owning a single pair a little over 6 months ago. Here, the rain goes pitter patter and the skies are bluer because there aren't as many clouds. The sun is a privilege that I will willingly walk twice as far to enjoy. Im here in a place with some super peng fried chicken down the road and the hydrangeas are green instead of blue. I sleep with the windows drawn and the sun wakes me up, the cold whips against my face to remind me that i am here i am here i am here. Every tube station presents itself with a different character. The days look like literal grey some days and I've fallen in love with spinning on poles.
I am exactly where I dreamed of being.

So I guess its true, to make an end is to make a beginning.

Love from London,

Thursday, 15 December 2016

My everyday

I found Archie and Monika in the refectory. It was the very first day of uni and having spent the past hour making meaningless small talk in a sea of people, I was feeling very lonely. I remember our first conversation centering around how the situation outside (we were inside, seated in the refectory- I came in for the warmth) was not very conducive for breaking the ice. How for the first time ever, we found it so hard to make friends. 

It was my first real conversation of the day.

We stuck to each other because we did not know anybody else. Later during the day I found Lena, who I knew of because we were mutual friends with Abbas (They played in an orchestra together in Malaysia, and I came to watch). We found Tim in one of the introductory talks, sitting quietly next to us. Typical of the generation, our transition from becoming a few people who knew each other to something more, started with a whatsapp group.

Whatsapp groups are important for keeping up to date with the course, you know, just to make sure you have someone to take the lecture notes for you on those days that you're streaming from home. Its also much less intimidating to show up to things with somebody else, or at least have the knowledge that somewhere in this crowd, you have 4 people who you share a whatsapp group with. Its a support system, and thats especially important when you're an international student. And thats what we were, 5 kids who left home to come to uni, and all from different places too (Lena is from PJ, Im from BD, kira different la tu). 

Somewhere along the way, peer support turned to pure friendship. We became default lunch buddies, we dont even check in with each other about who we're having lunch with anymore, its always just each other. We got to know each others perangai/attitudes : knowing never expect to see some of us in lectures, discovering an unexpectedly loud persona after somebody got a little drunk, and shared the different cultures we were brought up with (Monika is from Poland but shes Vietnamese, Archie is from Kazakstan and Tim is from Slovenia, so its a lottt of diversity). 

Today was our last day of attending lectures (we are all not going to bother coming in for lectures tomorrow #thankyouuclforlivestreamandrecordings) and we closed the term with some good old Malaysian food. Lena and I got super excited about watching their reactions, and we all agreed that the roti pisang from Roti King was We parted our ways, everyone will be flying out of London by this weekend, except for me.  

In our goodbyes, Archie said, 'Thank you guys for being my family here'. It made me tear up on the way home, and yes, thats what we've become.

Friends are family we choose.
Being away from home, I appreciate more than ever the friendships I have here. I am forever grateful that there are already a lot of people that I know from home who are here with me. And I'm here, sitting on my bed, spending my first few moments on winter break being grateful for the friendships I have built here. I thought I'd be a loner on my first day here, but now with my everyday crew, my others friends from the School of Pharmacy, and my friends from pole, I'm building my own little home here. 

To my everyday crew, thank you babes, have safe flights cause Ill be here waiting. See you in the new year. I'll miss youuuuu

Love from London,

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

How its been so far

Its nearing the two month mark of my time here in London, and I know, I haven't written about it enough. The whole experience has been a new sort of growing up, and I get caught taking it all in and forget to make time to blog about it. But I'm up now and I have killer cramps that won't let me sleep so come, story time

I love uni. 
The teaching here is different, in the way that university is meant to be different. You have so much more responsibility over your own learning. There are no compulsory lectures, teacher don't get to know you on a personal one-on-one basis, nobody is reminding you what to do when and definitely nobody is going to tell you what should be more important. You get to decide your priorities, and you have the choice to try your best, or well, not try at all. See I knew this, but I didn't know it, you know? I didn't know what it means for skipping classes not to be a luxury and just, a choice. I never not had friends or teachers who would remind me that I have this to do and that to complete. I don't have to care if I don't want to quite frankly, and this predicament has made me do one thing : 
care very deeply.

Which is good. This is not to say that I am hunched over my desk scoring 98/100 on all my assignments, but it does mean that I'm finally genuinely caring. Finally genuinely interested, curios and intrigued. I don't think this is exclusive to UCL, but being in uni has made me fall in love with learning. I admit, I've been sort of blessed with learning but I never really loved it. But now, I do.

I walk to and back from school everyday, except you know if its raining and didn't bring an umbrella, or my toes are bleeding, or I'm really really really late. Its not a short walk to be honest..... takes me around 20 minutes if I'm rushing, 40 minutes at a relaxed pace. I have 9 ams everyday (I KNOW RIGHT) so I wake up at around 6.45. On average, I end at about 3 pm, but some days are earlier and some days are later. The walk to school is really nice, I pass a canal so its like pretty. Theres a road I cross everyday that I feel like I might die at (lol) because its so busy and if you're a second too late you might just get run over. I have to sprint a little and it always manages to wake me up for my 9 am lectures. Its gucci baby.

I also am taking up pole dancing (!!!). I've always wanted to try and since my uni offers it for quite cheap, I did try and I've fallen in love. My plan is that with all my walking and my pole 2 times a week, I come home with killer abs and a hot bod. Also it's good for me and all that, so yeah thats good too. I'm both healthier and more unhealthy here. I exercise so much more just by virtue of all the walking I do and since I cook my meals, I control what goes into my body. But on the other hand, a 3L bottle of coke is so cheap, and I always seem to have one on my desk so.......

Its all about balance right?

I've made friends here! Like good friends. Good enough for me to crash in their rooms for a nap between classes because my room is so far away. I will tell you more about my new friends in another post. And also about pole dancing and all that jazz. 

Living alone is actually quite nice. I thoroughly enjoy it, and I now have come to a point where I don't feel awkward being alone with myself. I think thats a huge milestone, and I'm proud of me for getting there. You gotta be cool with chilling with yourself yknw?

So other than some complications opening up a bank account, and having period cramps in winter, I'm really starting to like it here. Feeling a lot less like a foreigner, and feeling a lot more like a part of this busy metropolis. I think if London was a color, it would be like silver, and I'm totally into silver.
Also its so much colder than it should be right now! People say it only got this cold in January past years. CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL GUYS, HELP.

Hope everyone is doing okay. If you're not, please make yourself some hot chocolate.

Love from London,

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Rindu 1

I miss Malaysian sunsets.

How all the colors in the sky melt into an exploding gradient, an orange, pink and blue sorbet if you will. Contrasting colors entwining together as easily as my fingers with yours, whilst walking - at a pace so lax it is almost a waltz - down a road which you have welcomed me to call home. The days here dont end with sunsets. There is no dragged out period for comfort and contemplation with company and cuddles, no melting sky or smitten hearts. The birds don't fly across the horizon, because quite frankly, London pigeons are much too fat. No music blasting Thunder to remind me that just like the day, summer comes to an end, but even then its all beautiful. We were, beautiful.

No, here, there is sun up and sun down. When the day is done, it turns dark, and on the mostly, I am fingers in pockets and reflecting on the day Ive had. It is direct, focused - much like the student I aspire to become. Straight to the point, get it over and done with. I have worked to come to a city of workers, and with years of prayers, hopes and dreams in tow, I am grateful to be here, experiencing these sunset-less days. I am living my dream.

But sometimes I crave the Malayan sunsets, a time you call 'the golden hour.' I even miss the KL jams we got stuck in, the residue of sun on our faces, comfortable even in silence. We've sat in cars, cafes and couches together while the sun was bidding the sky adieu, all the while knowing that with every rolling sunset together, our goodbye was only going to be tougher. But for all the ease in this world, I would not give up the pleasure of witnessing the world transition from day to night with someone who transitioned from stranger to most treasured company, if it meant this would be any easier for me.

Love from London,