25 – the eye-opening shock(s) to the heart

Currently sitting in the same spot I’ve always sat on in this all-too familiar airport, I can’t help but to wonder how the hell have I managed to keep my head above water amidst the whirlwind of all weird events that have happened these past few weeks. That, and the fact that my flight might get cancelled since another flight heading the same direction just got cancelled (reason still unknown, but I’ll be damned if it’s the weather).

I guess I’ve finally had my life-changing moment (For the hundredth time, you might say, since my life seems to always take unexpected turns when anyone least expects it. But please bear with me for now.) and these past few weeks I had to learn a couple of hardcore lessons, which gave me the following takeaways:

Be at peace with yourself. The world is rubbish by itself and most likely already fucking you up, no need to add fuel to the fire by fighting your own mind. Accept that things are the way they are right now, and learn to live with it. It took me quite a while to come to terms with this, and I must say it has been my biggest changing point so far. Even problematic breathing becomes easier when you just acknowledge that it’s there and not try to fight it so much.

Time is never on your side. Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking of doing, do it right away. I’ve learned the hard way that The Universe never lets anyone know how long they’ve got, and in most cases, you might not be around long enough to catch up with that one agenda you’ve been putting off. The clock stops when it runs out of battery, but time doesn’t. Just get up and do it already.

The rest of the world won’t care. Now, I don’t mean to get emo and all, but in the end, not everyone will play along with your sob story. You might be at a grave disadvantage, or you might not be able to do some things most people are free to do. The sad truth is, not everyone will have the capacity, or just the will power to sympathize or empathize. As I was told a couple of weeks ago, “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you can keep up with the pace, the world doesn’t stop turning for anyone”.

Be thankful. Again, the world is absolutely rubbish right now and I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me on that. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be grateful for. If you’re reading this in a developed country, then this might not seem that much to you. But as someone who actually has to go out of her hometown just to get a whiff of fresh air, I can’t stress enough how this point matters.

I’ve never been much into self-help and getting all wise and shit, but dangit. I pretty much just died and lived to tell the tale. And when you gain new perspectives on life, you just gotta make sure you actually take notes, you know? Just had to post this to remind myself when I need it.

I’ll most probably get all ranty and mouthy come next post, but let this be for the record that I am actually really, really enjoying the fact that I am still alive now.


22. the (un)triumphant return

Well, well. Look who’s back here.

Yes, it has indeed been ages since I last wrote here. More than one year. And what a period it has been.

Some 1+year later, a few kilograms heavier, after a new job, some few more countries visited, some new people encountered, a new way of approaching life viewed, I guess now I can say, yours truly is back here to stay.

I guess the picture above sums up my life lately. Still somewhat blurry and out of place, but hey. If it feels good, then I feel good.

21 – the other plans

Japan was nice. Cold, but nice.

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure whether I was going until the weekend before. Not with all that was going on in my head. But then again, I had the tickets, reservations, visa, everything. I literally took off to the airport only thinking “Well, it would have been a bigger waste if I had ended up not going”.

In all fairness, it didn’t really take my mind 100% off of things. Especially not about you, in case you’re reading this (and I’m sure you know who you are).

However, it certainly was nice to get away from my own thoughts. God knows I haven’t been in the best mental state these days, and the trip really served as a good distraction. 7 days of only thinking about where to go and what new sights to see was definitely a much needed change.

And also, what better way than a 7-day trip topped off by a 7-hour flight to make me realize that I actually have other things to think about. It’s like the big blinking “JUST CHILL ALREADY” sign finally went on in my brain.

I’m not suddenly going to get all “I’m a world traveler” and the like, God knows when I’m going to even be able to secure another day of leave. But yes, this was a nice little sobering trip away from all the mess in my head.

Really hope there will be more chances alike, though I’m not sure when.

20 – the message you’ll never read anyway.

Dear you,

Hey. I know you’ll never see or read this, and that’s exactly why I posted here. Chicken shit, I know. But then again, straightforward communication has never been our strongest suit anyway.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed what we had. I really did. ..Or at least what I thought we had anyways. For what it’s worth, you really know how to make someone feel special. I especially enjoyed the comfort of knowing that there is actually someone who seemed to understand me so well. I appreciate the fact that you always leaned in to hear me better instead of making me speak louder in a crowd. And of course, the sweet little nothing comments you give that always put me off guard. Every single time. I loved how you just successfully pull off the little things that matter. It’s like you managed to read through me so thoroughly, and not a lot of people have succeeded in doing so. And I especially love how you seem to pull that off effortlessly.

But here’s the thing : I’m letting you go, and I’m sure you know what I mean this time.

Continue reading “20 – the message you’ll never read anyway.”

18 – the worry that lingers on

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to make a commentary post about the political situation, or whatever kerfuffle is going on in Indonesia right now. God knows I don’t have the capacity to do so.

I’m just desperately trying to see a good reason of why, or rather how, I should stay here.

These past few months, I’ve been getting asked one question more than usually: why the hell did I come back to Indonesia? Right. First of all, I did leave for the sake of leaving.

Studying had a nice ring into it, but to be quite honest, it was a vessel, a reason for me to leave. At that time, I just needed to leave the country for whatever purpose. Did it feel good? Yes, for the most part. Not blaming them for any of it, but in the end family always comes first. As soon as I learned how slim my chances were of settling down in SG and taking them with me, getting back home became a priority. I thought to myself that well, it’s not like I’m going to move to a whole different place, I was simply going to be back home, to my loved ones, to go back to how life was, just slightly improved.

I’m beginning to see and feel like that might not be the case at all.

Sure, everyone was raving about “the new era of the new government”. A New Hope, some even said. But the thing that might have skipped everyone’s minds is that even in Star Wars, there were battles and wars to be won. It took Luke Skywalker 3 whole episodes to restore order wth The Force, mind you, and we can see that President Jokowi is no Jedi knight.

Of course, through a strange turn of events, I ended up the way I am now, working in a position that involves being in close relations with all sorts of government institutions. When the new administration took over, it really felt like things were finally getting better. But was it, really?

In true Indonesian fashion, when you take little steps forward, something always grabs you by the ankle and fling you backwards. Just when the government is taking baby steps battling their inner demons (if you catch my drift), the people seemed to be losing humanity. And by how things are going, I fear that we are plunging down rapidly down the evil rabbit hole.

It seems that Indonesia has been making headlines for a bit.. For all the wrong reasons. First the forest burning, the religious intolerance, the so-called uprising of the kelas menengah ngehe, the traffic that still gets worse when you think it just can’t go any worse, the obscene Halal law, the growing number of ex-ministers getting indicted for corruption, the death sentences, you name it. As much as I would have loved to stay optimistic, this country seems to running fully on knee-jerk reactions. I would only assume that from the outside looking in, anyone in the other side of the world would see us as a country flushing ourselves down into a deep shithole.

Funnily enough, the fact that I’m this worried has gotten me mixed reactions. Friends and colleagues have told me different opinions that range from “Well then that’s a good thing that you’re here, the country needs you to be here, so you can prove to the world that there is some good still left in this country” to “Well, you are easily part of the majority here and you have actually left once, if you are that insecure why don’t you just get on the next plane out?”, that I even question myself whether I am actually entitled to be worried in the first place.

I know I’ve been through a lot of things growing up in this country, I just hope I’ll be patient enough to be able to see the good part that will eventually happen. It’s just a matter of riding the waves knowing that the raging storm will pass, even though you don’t know when.