Thursday, September 29, 2011

Warmth

"For every bad thing that happens, it will bring equal or greater benefits." quoted from one of the book I was reading for the past weeks. When I was reading that particular line, I was standing below a big tree with lots of birds. Who would have ever thought, "some-dont-know-good-or-bad luck" decided to fall on me. The bird poop slipped passed my fringe and dropped on that page. "Oh gosh...." I thought, "And how will this bring any good?" (Friends might be able to recall i posted a similar status on FB few weeks ago)

And indeed, today I had learned invaluable lessons. The price paid was extremely high, the opportunities lost were even greater. I was supposed to go for Damansara for UKCAT today, paid 100 pounds beforehand. Scan through the receipt email. Took a metred taxi and went over. The taxi driver was a headache, I am not sure if he really don't know the way, or is he faking it just to earn that few ringgits more, he kept on going the "wrong way" and making u-turns. The journey which originally would have take only 30 minutes ended to be an hour long HOLAN drive. But, I sort of expected this would happen, so I started off early and reached right on time.

There I was, in front of this huge building, totally clueless of where on earth I was then. Hence, I just "act brave" and marched into the building, registered as a visitor and went to the test centre. While I was in the lift on the way up, I had an uneasy feeling inside. I must have missed out something, I should have checked what should I bring before coming, something's wrong... But resolved to dismiss those negative, unnecessary thoughts as pure anxiety before a test that I would have no idea how to complete.

Horror of horrors, once I opened the door leading into the test centre, the woman there greeted me with a question that totally stunned me, "Passport?" WHAT PASSPORT?! "You have to produce an original, current, fine copy of passport to be able to take the test." WTH?! I have no idea we have to bring passport! I know I have to bring the receipt and an identification document (in this case, i thought MYKAD will do just fine since I'm in malaysia), but PASSPORT?! It's 1.30pm and my test would start at 2pm. It's impossible now to rush back and reach here in time to take the test. I pleaded her a few times, "You just need the passport to verify my identity right? I have ic and the receipt here. I am Christine Wong." "No, sorry, I must have your passport." Then I pleaded few more times for her "mercy" to let me in. She totally ignored me after giving me the testing company's number. I was stunned. There was no way I could talk this through with her, ignoring me like this. I called the company, busy. busy. busy. I was so shocked, speechless and the time was 2pm already.

I walked out of the tower, stood under the sun by the roadside. Frozen despite the blazing sun and heat, immobile and wondered what to do next. I was literally muted for about 10 minutes. You know what was i thinking during all that 10 minutes? The fear of not being able to get into any UK university, ever. I thought about this before, but what I was thinking at that moment was, is it really coming true? Oh, I am such a failure. So dumb. So careless, as usual. I don't deserve all the good stuffs that happened to me before, someone out there deserve this more than me. This is all my own fault.

I called my mom. I messaged Wei Jie, told him about it. I called my dad, who fortunately arrived just on time to fetch me and rushed back to college placement centre. I was panicking and my sight was getting blurred. Hold it back, dont cry, hold it. Ran to placement centre, met Si Ming outside. (Thank God for her being there) Then, we started calling the UKCAT, test centre and so many other people for help and begged for a reschedule. I can not lose this chance of applying to my insurance universities. Without UKCAT, I can only apply to the other 2 universities of which are both almost unattainable. The stakes are too high to let go. I could not hold it back anymore and straight away broke into tears. Lilian and her colleagues at the placement centre were really trying their best to help me, so was my dad. Every one was calling like mad as a consequence of my carelessness. It lasted for like 3 hours. I cried, stop and started crying again while Si Ming kept cheering me up and gave me hugs. Is this the selfish side of human, sacrificing others' time in order to make their OWN dreams come true and achieve their OWN goals? I talked to the UKCAT staffs, again and again, begging for the chance. (Yes, beg for a chance.)

"I am really sorry, but this is our policy. I can not do anything to help you. Thank you and bye bye," the woman on the other side of the phone said. My heart sunk. I looked at the people around me who were so helpful through the whole afternoon but I did not feel sad anymore, I felt this sense of relieved instead (though the disappointment was still there). I felt like I am the luckiest person on earth. I was being well-protected all these years by my loved ones, or even mere acquaintances. Yes, I was grateful for what I have, however, it was not from my heart. Suddenly, I realised, despite being such a cold-blooded animal all these while, God blessed me so much with these angels around. I lost the opportunity (though later i found out, not the whole of it), but I have adopted a very different perspective of human behaviour, a more humane demeanour. To be a human, and not a working machine. Besides, I had a practical lesson on "To Never Give Up" by Lillian and Si Ming. I had finally know what do people mean by "to fight until the last drop of blood". And that little bear as a token of encouragement by other staff at the placement (million apologies for forgetting to ask for her name), I will hug it to sleep every night. :)

In the late afternoon, Ms Hew called me to her room immediately. I was so afraid that she would scold me for being so dumb AGAIN. So i cleared my nose and wiped away those eyes, took a deep breath and walked into her room. Be prepared, ;( "Hello, Ms Hew. Do you have something to tell me?" Coarse and trembling voice. Timid me. To my surprise, "Yes, please sit down dear," she hurried me to a seat, "What happened? I heard....." Then I started the whole story until I could not longer hold back my tears any more and once again, cried, there, in the vice principal's room. She was so kind, patient and tender despite all the workload and burdens thrown on her and piled on her desk. She encouraged, talked and cheered me up and finally motivated me to be greater and stronger. Just the 2 of us, in that empty office, well after 5pm as setting sun shone through the window. Another great soul in that small figure!

Just as I walked out the office, my mentor saw me with those puffy eyes and red nose. Garh, why did he have to see me in such devastated state? He has always seen me in my best condition with the winner's smile, a sociable person with satisfying academic results and millions of untapped potentials waiting to be discovered. And now this? He looked at me and I could sense his empathy for me. I tried my very best to stop crying and told him "I'm fine, sir, don't worry, I'm ok, stop looking at me like that," But i really could not stop crying, he said nothing at all. I repeated those words again and again. He patted me on the shoulder and said, "Stay strong, k? Stay strong."

I walked to the collaboration room, met a few classmates. More heart-warming words of encouragement, verbally or through sms. I had never felt this "loved" since quite a long while ago. A classmate (you know who you are :D ) even sent cake to my house while I was out, just to cheer me up.

Being in this college for almost 2 years, I had always perceived it as a cold, lonely place full of work maniacs. But today, just before the last week of college, I had witnessed a different side of this place and the people in it.

Though we failed, we have all tried our best and I prayed hard throughout the whole process. God listened to my prayer, I have no doubt at all in that. He just have a different plan for me. Now that He has closed this door, I trust with all my heart that He will open another GREATER path for me. I just have to continue to have faith in Him and continue to glorify His name, according to His will.

Note to myself:
1. Life's a roller-coaster ride. Enjoy it!
2. I'm a challenge-addict.
3. I have recovered and will continue to fight this battle.

Indeed, for every bad thing that happens, it will bring equal or greater benefits. Have faith.

p/s: Melodramatic much. :(

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