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#MyKalsomStories by Lyana Sulaiman

#MyKalsomStories by Lyana Sulaiman

Part 1 :

For the past 4 years I have been struggling with myself. A lot of things broke me and reshaped me to who I am today. And I am not sure if right now I am being the best version of me, using my full potential to bring good to others and to myself. I would say that the main reason for that was the fact that sometimes I don’t think that I needed support to keep going, hence I kept myself in my own comfortable world that I forgot how it feels like to have someone by my side.

However, one of the nights in Kalsom changed me. I was always the girl who had nothing to say in meetings because I thought that what I was going to say was insignificant. But that night I decided to have a try and having the whole room looking at me and waiting for me to say something was nerve wrecking, so I stuttered and couldn’t speak as all these while I haven’t spoken much to begin with. Seeing my situation, one of the committees begin to do the tepuk-tepuk ‘Support’ , followed by the rest, and the next thing I remembered was how loud it was and how genuine all the faces were when they were cheering for me. I was shaking in tears, not knowing the reasons behind the mixture of emotions I felt at that moment.

Maybe I was sad that all these while I forgot to be a human and missed all the beauty of being vulnerable.
And most probably I was happy and touched that I feel supported genuinely by a group of people whom I may have not known for a long time yet. That kind of support was something that I have not tasted for a very long time and maybe I’ve missed it.

That night, I was a beneficiary and I ended the day with the hope that each and every soul I have met in Kalsom will be touched, just like how I did.

Thank you and I hope to stay surrounded by you guys.

Part 2 :

“ So Lyana, how was your summer? ”
I was asked this question by a couple of friends, and the excitement to tell them how good it was, overwhelmed me every single time that I feel like my words just could not deliver my true feelings at that moment.

I was recruited as a graphic designer for the movement, the job I like as I don’t really need to engage with people much. Yes, I am in real life, an introvert with decreased self-esteem especially for the past few years that hit me hard. But I thought I was recruited only to do my job, but actually, I ended up doing much more than that.

During camps when I was not assigned to design anything, I was a photographer and my Nikon D3400 was my mask, my friend, and my safety net. It was a mask, because it concealed my awkwardness when I do not know the appropriate/normal reaction to any situation. It was a friend, because at the end of each day in camps, I would review all the photos and videos taken just to absorb the emotions behind every moment frozen in frames, while feeling genuinely happy for the happiness of others’ that I’ve captured throughout the day. And it was a safety net, because it makes me feel like I will always have something to save me from feeling out of place and out of job. By doing that, I stayed in my comfort zone.

But god knows the best for me. I was in The Kalsom Movement(TKM) for a greater reason. I was assigned to also help taking charge of the Commonwealth Cultural Programme . It was a bittersweet experience that taught me a lot. For the earlier part of the programme, I thought we did badly as a lot of unwanted/unhappy incidents happened. By the end of week 2 we were heavily but constructively criticized and it did took my spirit away as we tried our best. Looks like our best was not good enough and it was frustrating. With one week left for the programme my colleagues and I were determined to do better and that week turned out to be socially and emotionally precious for me. That week I decided to really engage myself with them, let myself let loose and finally feel the fun of actually being there and not just seeing things behind the lens. For somebody like me who have been stuck with cameras, laptops, to-do lists and so on, it took courage to finally ‘expose’ myself behind all those safety nets.

At the end of the final week of TKM23, I found friendships built based on common interest and perhaps more interestingly, based on opposing characters as well. I’ve also found myself, the other part of me that disappeared for a while in the midst of adulthood that I’ve just got in to. Not to forget, I was definitely inspired by the committees, facilitators and beneficiaries in every ways possible.

This story is an appreciation post to those who were involved with me in TKM23, and a story to ponder for those who are contemplating whether to join us in the next edition or not. We all have our own paths in growing up, and for me Kalsom plays an important role in my journey even in my 1st year of involvement. Maybe, just maybe, it could do the same to yours too.

If you happen to read this long post till the end(thank you haha), i think that deep down somewhere, you are actually interested in joining The Kalsom Movement.

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