42 – the fresh (re)start

Yes, I took some time away. No, I did not abandon this little blog. Trust me, I had a very good reason for this.

First of all,

new (second) home! wooo!

We finally made the big move to our new office space! Look at that view from the 31st floor. Not only is unpacking a real pain, we’re also still a little shaky what with the scheduled working shifts and all. Yes, yours truly can be found at the office for the first half of the week.

Suffice to say, this has been taking up quite some time to adjust and all. In fact, I think I’m still adjusting to it now.

Second, the reason why I haven’t been as virtually active nor cheerful lately:

the poor fallen soldier 😦

My laptop died. Like, officially. After trying all sorts of tips & tricks I managed to rummage through the interwebz, I finally resorted to the good old service centre and the verdict was somewhat devastating: the logic board is completely bust. So yeah, I’m holding on to the office laptop while this baby is being treated 💔

Third and last, I finally moved to WordPress! It’s amazing how I had to withstand the frustration of having to deal with the previous host, and I’m finally not putting up with it anymore. Sure enough, a moving period was required so that’s probably another explanation for my brief silence, but big big big thank you to Kapkap, I am now a very happy WordPress user and I intend to stay!

41 – the half-month recap

Clearly, I’ve been lacking in writing. But then again, another day of not needing to vent is another good day in the pocket, no?

But yeah, a few things have happened since my last post, let’s see.

OK, so first and foremost, I TURNED 33, YO. Seriously, how did that even come to be?! I mean, it’s not like I was not expecting to have another birthday. It honestly just feels really weird to have made it to this point. You know those polls that you do when you have to pick an age group and you fall between the 25-34 category? Like, another couple of years and I will be moving up to another category. Just the thought of it sends me chills.
But on this note, I had a great one. I definitely felt all the love that was showered on me that day and given the circumstances I most definitely did not feel alone at all, which was definitely amazing in itself. I mean, yeah okay, so I still had to work and all, but I guess that’s what you do as a responsible adult, right? So yup, I got older. Well done, me.

Second, I finally got to step out of the house for the first time since March 16th, and that definitely felt really odd. All in all, I must have stayed indoors at all times for about a couple of months give or take. Let’s be real now, I know I’m an indoorsy introvert and all that, but even that was A LOT for me to endure. I felt so awkward being out and it even got to the point that I got carsick, which was definitely a bummer, noting that I live on commuting back and forth so many hours per day on any normal working day. Let’s say if the Government is indeed telling us to go back to work as soon as what the media has been telling us, then I am thoroughly fucked. I have to get through this car sickness as soon as possible, or else I’m screwed. I guess this is partly what the quarantine has done to me. Wow.

As far as I wanna try to not mention work, some part of it has been.. I don’t know how to put it. Say, ironically equal parts of exciting and disappointing. And this is not me trying to say things about going back to work because it’s a completely different subject. As far as I wanna open up on this topic I guess I’ll just leave it at this because hey, really, I know this is not a very publicly read blog but again, I really don’t know who’s reading my blog so I’m not taking any chances right now. I guess there will be more of this when things actually happen.

While we’re on the topic of disappointment, my laptop died. I put it to sleep at night just like I always do every night, and it just completely refused to wake up and that’s it, really. I’m trying not to be too bummed about it but .. come on, it’s my laptop. Even though I still have my work laptop on which I am dictating this entry on but it just feels different. And come on, it’s not even two years old, is it even supposed to get fried that soon? Oh well. I guess that’s a solid reason for me to wish that shopping centres would be open soon so that I can get my baby checked  and possibly repaired. Hopefully.

And what do you know, for once I actually made a bit of a long entry without thinking over for too long, ha.

39 – the beat goes on

How many days has it been? who’s been counting by now, meh.

At least there hasn’t been any extension since the last post, I guess for now it counts as a positive development? IDK. Getting back to the office is still off the books for now, though. And that kind of sucks because the next time I get to step back to the office, it’ll be the new working space, none of us working under the big tree anymore. (OK, that tree was a huge logistic pain, but the sentimentality, Goddamn it!)

It just feels different. Relocating in 2012 was the biggest pain of my life back then. I didn’t even get to lift a finger now as everything was done for me. Of course, my anxiety has been dancing in the back of my mind since then but eh. Trust is the main factor here, let’s just hold on to hope that my team had packed everything, and by that, I mean every. single. thing.

Two weeks counting down to my birthday. Not that it matters that much, but I just feel kind of weird to be feeling celebratory right now. Yeah well, I guess let’s just see what happens by then, if it does.

Right. I know this post is pretty much just brain fart, but since I’ve made it a mission to keep this post streak going as frequent as I can, might as well, no?

33 – the tiny baby rocket that finally took off

Never been this excited in my whole life.

Sure, we must endure all kinds of fuckeries in laying down the foundations of this company, but how many people will ever get to build something grand from the ground up?

Bloody hell, if it gets me to dance in public for the first time in my life, I’m sure it’s something different.

This is it, gang. Time to soar to distances we normally would have never thought of.

31 – the thing about spring

Funny thing they are, springs. Sure, you get them flowers blooming all pretty and whatnot, but you also still get the cold chill, you get the pollen allergy, rain and all. But then really, how can you mind it when it’s that pretty outside?

I went to the UK last month-ish. Anyone who knows me since way back then would know how major this is for me. Or at least how major that should have been. Liverpool and London, for 11 days. Sounds like the stuff I had been dreaming of since I was.. I don’t know, 9-10 years old? You’d probably guess that second sentence should’ve been “OMG YOU GUYS! I FINALLY GOT TO GO TO THE UK!”. Alas, of course something had to happen.. or some things, more like. Work just happened to become nearly unbearable. School exam got postponed to the exact week of my leaving. A certain little heartbreak happened. Health problems ensued.

I really hope nobody will ever get to feel the way I did just before boarding my flight. Knowing that you’re going to the place you’ve been dreaming of for a long long time, and not actually wanting to go at all, not sure if you’re going to want to do anything at all there. That felt utterly terrible, that much I can say.

As if it wasn’t enough, the weather in Liverpool was not sparing me any mercy at all. I’m a fairly tough girl, but under the need of serious medication and high fever after more than 24 hours of traveling, the slightest gust of wind sent me spiraling for a bit. I was so sure that trip was doomed right from the start.

Somehow, ironically, it was something told by the said heartbreaker that suddenly clicked within my head one day while aimlessly strolling through the city: “This is the spring time for you. Things are planted. Wait for them to grow”. I looked outside right away and the view was the one I had posted above.

Nobody could have told me that wasn’t a sign that things are going to turn around.

Sure enough, I started feeling heaps better and finally started enjoying the remainder of the trip. Even more so, the weather in London just happened to be lovely as I got there. I don’t care how Londoners said it was technically the hottest Easter they’ve had in a really long time, to me it was great weather, full stop. Bad mood and sentimentality (and also sickness) aside, I managed to have a great time and enjoyed myself. I finally got my chance to enjoy the UK. Best of all, I managed to ride out the intrusive thoughts and not come home a complete wreck.

You have no idea how thankful I am to have made this progress. Hey, any progress, no matter how small, is progress nonetheless. At least I got to claim this little victory for now. And damnit, this girl with a lot going on in her mind and body actually managed to balance work, life, and health. Tell me you wouldn’t be thankful if it was you. You can’t tell me I’m not getting better. I may not be much healthier now, but I’m definitely living with myself way better.

29 – the silver lining you keep looking out for

In typical Wina fashion, of course it takes me a whole bedridden day whilst recovering from physical exhaustion to finally address my ongoing struggle. Just because it’s been a rough few weeks (OH HELLO 2019, are we off to a weird and challenging start or what) and I need to get this out of my head for once. But anyways. I know I haven’t really spoken about the whole thing and I’m hoping that by through this post I can at least try to address what I’m currently dealing with.

Whilst growing up, I’ve always thought there might be something up with me, especially upon entering high school. I went to one of the most physically demanding high schools in town where morning jogs and tough exercises are part of the routine, and there were times where I actually felt like fainting (and I think I nearly did, a couple of times). However, we were just school kids, and everybody in the school was tired all the time. So I waved it off.

Then I went to law school, supposedly the best one in the country, yet facilities were sparse as F. I constantly found myself running out of breath after going up the stairs to catch my class on the fifth floor and spend the first 30 mins of the class trying to calm my racing heart, but who wouldn’t be out of breath after climbing five storeys worth of stairs? 

I didn’t think of it much after I started working, especially with the fact that lawyering did not involve a lot of physical work. In my attempt to keep healthy by going for morning jogs and walking places for lunch, I noticed that I started panting rather easily. Sure enough, one of the biggest challenges I was facing when I moved to Singapore was the fact that I had to walk way more than usual, and I still hold the biggest grudge against that particular staircase on the pathway to campus to this day. However, being in Singapore really  helped because I started to develop a habit of distance jogging/walking. Mind you, I didn’t say running. That’s because I didn’t run. I just couldn’t. What I did was go on slow jogs for a measly couple of hundred meters or so and just walk when I was too out of breath. The main point for me was to just keep on moving, no matter the pace. I’m still thankful for my loved ones who were so supportive of me to keep on keeping on, during those days.

Having moved back to Jakarta, and being too scared to go on morning jogs alone after getting harassed in my own neighbourhood that I live in, working out became a real struggle. I decided to get a gym membership, and it was there in my effort to get healthy that I found out something was actually wrong. 

I’ve always thought of myself as just a big bag of lazy bones, and all the weight that I’ve gained through the years will be shed through intense training sessions at the gym. That is, until one day in 2015 I actually passed out on the floor, whilst training. The sad thing was that even on the treadmill, I would walk briskly and have the heart monitor read my rate and it would go 160-180ish, and yet my coach and I would just wave it off, thinking “nah, that’s just because you haven’t worked out in the longest while”. It wasn’t until I actually fainted that my coach, my family and I agreed that an EKG was needed.

I never completed the treadmill reading during that EKG test, because my heart went racing through the roof and I actually felt like dying right there and then. Didn’t take long for the doctor to give me my diagnosis: Tachycardia. Atrial fibrillation. 

It wasn’t the big words or the doomed treadmill that sent me dizzy. It was the figurative heartbreak, knowing that something is actually faulty and your heart, is actually somewhat broken. Call me a hopeless optimist, but until then I had always thought that everybody goes through the same whooping in their heartbeats, the same pounding feeling in their hearts after going up flights of stairs. Apparently it was not.

I’ve been an anomaly all these years, and every time my own body was sending me signals, I kept waving it off. Of course, trust the doctor to think she was going to calm me down by telling me at least it’s not a disease, it’s just a condition you’ll learn to live with. But at least, diseases get cured. This was a life-long verdict delivered to me, and I don’t get to object in any way.

My working condition at that time, was only adding salt to the freshly opened wound. I wouldn’t even have called it ideal for the healthiest person, because it absolutely was far from it. Even so, people only see what they like to see. It was prestige over peace of mind for quite some time. I didn’t have the heart to quit, because I couldn’t bear seeing my family get so disappointed. I remember thinking to myself back then, not only am I already a physical burden to them, I absolutely cannot afford to be an economical burden as well. I still badly needed something for them to be proud of, and I thought I was in the right position/job to do so, so I stuck around.

Looking back, no wonder I started developing anxiety and getting panic attacks. After a while, it just became too much for me. Work was getting more and more physically demanding and emotionally draining. I was still trying to find a medicine regime that worked best for me, and all those times I was still rejecting the fact that something is not right with me. I felt that the idea of me being a cripple was absolutely abhorrent. How can I be so successful if I’m a cripple?. I practically fell down a deep self-hating spiral. Every medicine I had to take felt like a punishment, so I would purposely not take them when I needed to, which resulted in poor blood flow, and ergo really bad migraines, almost on a daily basis.

I used to wake up in the morning and instantly cry my eyes out over the fact that I still had to wake up and go through another day, to live through even more pain. To this day, I honestly can’t find anything more painful than that feeling, and I truly hope I won’t have to ever go through that again. It was getting really hard to hold your chin up when all you had in mind was bloody hell, even my own heart hates me this much. I believe I was lucky enough to finally feel that I needed to heal myself, at least mentally. I just couldn’t go on another day channeling all the negativity, and I can’t be more thankful that I chose to keep hope alive and decided to take steps to get better. 

I finally plucked enough courage to leave the toxic work environment and landed myself in one of the most supportive teams I’ve ever seen. I might sound a bit dramatic here, but a drastic change (for the better!) in the working condition also changed my mind set. Now that I actually get to take breaks (and also days off) to take care of myself, funnily I’ve been finding myself achieving so much more. I remember being a bit afraid that I was throwing away a career that doesn’t just come to anybody easily, and that I would never get the same privileges again. But you know what? I’ve been doing quite alright down here these days. And looking at the upcoming year, it looks like I’m headed for an exciting path up ahead.

I’ve also started rebuilding my social life, this time making sure I surround myself with people who understand and supports me through what I’m dealing with. I think with the growing awareness on mental health issues these days, it’s been getting easier for me to open up to people, and all the support I’ve been getting has been absolutely amazing. Now I see that I don’t have to go through this alone.

(I know it doesn’t look like it, but I swear I was smiling in this picture)

I know I haven’t been physically able to do things like the way I used to force myself to be, but now I’m in a clearer state of mind. I get to listen to what my body is telling me, and now I get to take better care of myself. I doubt that my conditions now can be called ideal, but hey. Now I get to feel better, to actually live and enjoy every second of it. Somewhere along the way, it’s like my mindset evolved into accepting that I’ve got it, so might as well just live and be proud of it.

Sure, there are still moments when I get tired, when I feel scared, when I get the same insecurity or sense of helplessness haunting me from time to time. But quoting the Klaatu song that my late sister used to drive me up the wall with by playing it over and over again, all is lost when one abandons hope. This time I know for sure that as long as I hold on to hope, I’ll be quite alright. I have survived all these years and only God knows how, and as long as the Universe allows it, I know I’ll endure, and my life will be quite alright.

 

 

23. the random realization

Funny how things have changed so much within a few years.

I just woke up from my deep slumber, after losing sleep due to nightmares the previous night.

Surprisingly, I woke up feeling so thankful for being so-well rested. And also, I can’t help but to notice the stark change.

I remember a couple of years ago waking up at roughly the same time of morning, only to cry my eyes out due to the fact that I actually still had to wake up and didn’t just go in my sleep.

I see, this has been one of those times when you are really just grateful for the most random moments.