Like many living in big cities, most of the population are migrates from the outskirt of the country or even abroad. Including yours truly. I came from slightly northern part of the country. Ipoh mali talak sombong (Coming from Ipoh we are not snooty, so they say). This city, this Kuala Lumpur, is the city that I learn to love and hate and has also toughen me up in so many ways. I am sure many out there could relate to this story. From a less busy town, you graduate and not long after you got offered a job in the big and glamorous metropolis. After the excitement and after convincing your parents on the opportunity laying ahead, you turned to friends or close relative who are already in the big city for some assistance until you could manage on your own. Ahh memories! I do deeply appreciate all my friends (Efie, Diyana, Ling, Aza) who let me crashed at their place on the first month here tho I basically lived in my car back then. We have come a long way ladies! Anyway, the stories usually start the same but the ending will depend on your wisdom and rezeki (sustenance).
Some flourish and grow, a few stumbled but ultimately everyone will continue to struggle in order to accomplish something in this city.
Moving and living into a big city be it KL, New York, Seoul, Paris, Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore, it is never going to be easy especially if you are on your own most of the time. Looking back to my 8 years in the city (if including 4 years of university here it would be around 12 years), you have to be tough and very patient for you to survive the urban jungle from changing jobs, moving apartments, finding friends, money management and so much more. If you are already brought up in the city, be thankful! My reason for writing is simply to remember and to remind myself about the toughness of younger me. To also remind everyone to celebrate where you are today!
Being agile is so important at this stage. But its easier I guess when you were way younger (23 years old me has unlimited energy compared to 30 years old me). Your whole vibe is about speed and gaining experience. Fresh out of college, a new job, new environment, new freedom too I supposed (which could be harmful at times, haha). It was a lot of fun but it didn’t get by so easily. Once I lived in a 3 bedroom apartment with 10 housemates, all with different yet strong character. I am always surrounded with strong women and loved it. Other experience also include finding another house/room at a short notice because the owner is moving in, moving from one job to another (for the better) altho sometimes you end up somewhere you don’t want to, managing your expenses so you have enough to survive the month because you have too much pride to ask for help from anyone (first job payment is always pathetic right?), business ventures try out, buying cheap groceries to save money, packed lunch toward middle of the month, car breaks down in the middle of traffic and its pouring, and so much more.
The most important thing for anyone at this stage to do is to be their own pocket full of sunshine. You gotta not complain and lived with a super light heart knowing things will get better as promised and the struggle will make you stronger. Because if you don’t and you become negative and bitter, you would attract the wrong pool of people around you which is the last thing you want while living on your own.
If the 23 years old me could look at me now, I am pretty sure she would smile and be proud. The small tough girl from Ipoh survived!! The struggle will always be there but the accomplishment at every step should very much be celebrated. Alhamdulillah….