11 August 2011

Who Am I? Where Am I Leading To?

I came across with my old writing which I’d written couple of years ago. I still remember how I was being complimented in front of the class for doing a good job in the given assignment. Two questions were given:


Who Am I?
Where Am I Leading To?


This is my very first work which received encouraging comment from my lecturer. I feel appreciated for the work I’d done and no one realized there was actually tears in my eyes while hearing upon Dr Haslee’s compliment.


So, I thought of sharing my old work here as a token of appreciation and gratitude from me. Well, I’m sharing it not just because of the ‘assignment’ which I’d done but it’s more of my sharing on my personal thoughts of the two questions.


This is a highly reflective post.




Who am I?
I’m Kelly Tan

Who am I?
I’m a soon-to-be 21 years old Chinese girl.

Who am I?
I’m a 2nd year counseling student in University of Malaya.

Who am I?
I’m a good, beautiful daughter in the family.

Who am I?
I’m a Malaysian.

Who am I?
I’m a great thinker.

Who am I?
I’m a human being.

Who am I?
I’m somebody who lives on the earth.

Who am I?
I’m an organism.

Who am I?
I’m who I am.

Who am I?
I’ m nobody.

Who am I?
Tell me, who am I?

Who am I?
I don’t know.

Who am I?
Great. I’m lost.

Who am I?
No answer





I remember how I was being asked with the same question repeatedly in my Yoga class by my course mate during in the month of May 2008. It was my semester break and my father and I signed up for the Art of Living classes in one of the centre in Kuala Lumpur. For your information, the Art of Living is an organization which teaches the society on how to practice a healthier and happier lifestyle.




You must be surprised why I was being asked with the same question “Who am I” for thousands of times. Well, it’s in our syllabus during in my yoga classes. Other than increasing one’s physical health, the guru of The Art of Living is also taking a serious attention on one’s mental health. That’s mean other than teaching yoga like stretches, breathing and meditation, this course is also helping the people in increasing the awareness on how we think and behave in our everyday life.


I should say, I love this course and it has changed the way I perceive the world indirectly. It’s about spirituality and I find out that it’s really helpful for my individual development and at the same time increase my understanding about human and life. There is no scientific theories like in the books, but it’s about one’s finding and understanding about the fact of life.


Coming back to our question on “Who Am I?” you must be wondering why we were being asked for so many time on that same simple question. Of course, there are reasons for everything. If you realize on how I answered the question from the very beginning until the end, you will notice that I’m no longer able to answer the question confidently. It’s simply because, I am lost. It’s not because of I’m confused with my identity or I’ve no confidence in myself. It’s merely because of I’ve realized something importance behind this question.




Spending a little moment thinking of the question, I’ve realized that the outer part of me is actually a cover and my identity for example my name, religion, nationality, gender, age, IC number and etc is actually a label to differentiate me from the others. Let say, if one day, someone (allow me to put it as God) takes away my identity and change the way I look out of the sudden. Am I still the same 21 year old, cute little Kelly Tan girl who is following Dr Haslee’s class in University of Malaya? What if I’ve been changed into a male with the name of Bill Gates who is 7 year old? Am I still who I am? Physically, I may not but mentally and spiritually, I’m still the same person.


I may sound a little illogic or too fantasy but I’ve the points here.


I wonder, what if one day I am accidentally being knocked down by a car and I’ve a serious injury on my brain and encounter a long term memory lost, what will happen to me? I believe I will no longer know who am I, not even knowing my name, my gender, my nationality, my family, my friends nor my dreams. It’s like reformatting your computer and everything has to start from the very beginning again. So, will that mean I am a new person with new memory?




Or maybe I don’t encounter any memory lost, but instead, I’ve done a plastic surgery on my face because of my strong dissatisfaction on my look. So, happily my small-little-sleepy-eyes have turned into a pair of big-attractive-eyes, with higher nose like Nicole Kidman while my body has transformed into Jessica Alba’s hot body figure.


It sounds great isn’t it because I will soon expect high admiration from the society and who knows, if I’m lucky enough I may get a big contract from those big entertainment industries to get me working with them. Isn’t it fantastic? It’s like every girl’s dream. So, is that means changing my physical look will make me a brand new person?


Honestly, both of these situations don’t make me think that I’ve turned into a new person. I mean, physically yes, I am a new person but for the inner part of me, I am still who I am since the day I was born. It’s like changing the cover of your mobile phone from black to pink and with different design. Will that make any differences on your mobile phone memory capacity, the operation system and the function? Obviously, the answer is “no”. It’s still the same mobile phone you have before.


Again, who am I

From that very short moment when I was being threw with the same question for several times during in my yoga class, I’ve realized that I’m actually a nobody. Nobody here means that I don’t depend on my name, status, age, religion, nationality and any other physical label to make me who I am. For example, if my name is Mei Li (Chinese means beautiful) it doesn’t make me a beautiful girl and my ethnicity as a Chinese doesn’t make me a genius in Mathematic. It’s just a label and I don’t have to be one if I’m not one of them.




Basically, nobody here means I am actually like everybody else in the society who owns the same body parts (brain, organs and etc), share the same opportunity to success, having choice to choose to have a happy life and anything a human can do.


Every human is actually the same and there is nothing to be proud of when I own something and others don’t. For example the amount of money I own in the bank; my reputation at work; the grades which I achieve in exam and the type of car I have doesn’t make me a special person. I’m still the same person as I am although I don’t own any of these. So, I will never draw any border between me and others. Well, why should I?


I should say, my granny’s death has taught me an important lesson. I was there when she exhaled her last breath in the hospital, about 50 days ago and she brings nothing with her. Not even a single penny. From that moment, I start to remember what my granny told me before “You come with nothing and you go with nothing”.




Well, she is right. No matter how many properties we have, still you can’t bring any of them along during your death. And she added, “But you can bring happiness into others and go with joy and peace”.


I guess, she is right. All of her family members (including me), her old friends and people around the residential area cried when she leaves the world. She was a very helpful lady and was willing to lend a hand to anybody who needed her help. For some reasons, I really admire my grandma and she has supported my view that, I am nobody once I leave the world.


Somehow, having this point of view which stating I am actually a ‘nobody’ doesn’t mean I am depressed and I should leave my life entirely to luck and fate. It’s untrue. Keeping my mind to think that I’m nobody will remind me to be humble and accept others as who they are. I shall not let my self-ego differentiate me from the others. For example, if I’m talented in music, I shouldn’t look down on the others who don’t have any talent in this field. If I do look down on others, it means that I’m ego of my own ability and unconsciously, I will start drawing a line and differentiate me from the others. That is when we start labelling, judging and categorizing others and we will never get the chance to know others better.


When I have this point of view that I’m actually a ‘nobody’, it will allow me to accept others openly. At the same time, I don’t feel I’m weird or the weak one in the society since I’m actually the same as others. Besides, it allows me to approach others more intimately and friendly.




Therefore, having the thought that I’m a ‘nobody’ will actually help me in understanding myself and others better as everyone is unique and has their own values. Furthermore, it helps me in achieving my dreams- to make life a celebration and to make a difference in other’s lives.


Yes. I do have dream and long term goal and I’m going to achieve them.




Ever since my granny has passed away, I’ve been thinking of why human lives are so fragile? I can go in any minute while typing this assignment. No one can ever predict future, except God. Since no one can control the future, I shall use my life meaningfully and beneficially. I don’t want to waste any of my precious moment and that’s for sure.


So, where am I leading to?


Well, I will ask this question whenever I am lost and demotivated. Surprisingly, it will keep me on track whenever I’m aware of my answer. My main objective will be spreading and bringing joy and happiness into other’s lives. It may sound a little childish. Well, who cares? I love having this objective. In fact, it keeps my life happy as well. I guess, this is the reason why I’m taking counseling at the very first place. Counseling is about helping people to help themselves for a better, happier life and I enjoy being one of the helper.




Knowing my goal and objective, I’m trying to keep myself on the right track to become a counselor. I know it’s not easy to be a successful counselor as one must have good communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, theories and counseling skills. Well, I will never worry about myself as I know I will be a registered counselor in the future. Yes. I know I will.


Besides being a counselor, I want to be an active social worker. This thought has never come across my mind until recently. Right now, I am a helper in a deaf organization namely RC Deaf Mission and I enjoy helping around like selling cards, introducing RC Deaf Mission to the society and being an interpreter between the deaf and hearing people. I’ve never known how much the disability people need help and support from the society until I’d signed up for a sign language course not long ago during in my semester break (May 2008).


I get the chance to communicate with the deaf and I’m glad they allow me to enter their world – The world of silence. I have learned a lot from the deaf like never give up in life as nobody is perfect and we should create our perfect lives. I even start to understand their feeling when the society is isolating them. That’s why most of the company doesn’t hire any deaf workers.




Frankly, I love mixing with them as they always teach me something new about life. Because of this, I have a bigger dream which is to involve myself in more social work. As I believe, there are more people who need help from the society like the children in Myanmar, Si Chuan, the blind, orphan and etc.


Other than this, I wish to be a journalist or maybe a writer who able to touch the readers’ hearts. I love writing and sharing thoughts and knowledge with others. It will be great if my writing can share something beneficial with the others. Other than increasing my knowledge in counseling, I should improve my language in order to sharpen my writing and speaking skills.


Last but not least, I should improve myself in every aspects of my life including health, mental, personality, behavior, communication skills, and moral values. Besides, I shall not forget my family and friends who have been supporting me all the time. I will never want my family being abandoned by me if one day I may get busy at work in the future. I want to have a happy family (parents, husband and children) and at the same time securing my dream job. Of course, it’s not easy but this is what I’m leading to.




I believe if I don’t take any commitment in improving myself, it’s meaningless to help others when I, myself need to be helped. In order to achieve my dream, I’ve to be patience and hardworking all the time. It is not easy to achieve any dream, including mine. So, I will always keep that in mind on where I am leading to so that I’m always on the right track.


So, who am I?
Where am I leading to?

I guess, I have answered the questions… Winking smile


p/s: It’s good to re-read what I’ve sincerely written. There are changes in these 2 years but my view on who am I and my objectives in life are still in line. Even if there are changes, they are for good.