Kebahagiaan itu tak ada di Pulau Dewata

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Lautan aku seberangi

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Norma dan adat istiadat ku langkahi

Namun kebahagiaan sejati
masih enggan untuk memunculkan rona jingganya

Ia menyimpan semua kesejukannya
dalam sebuah kotak tanpa nama
dan menutupnya rapat-rapat.

Lalu aku mulai mempertanyakan
Bentuk apa yang sesungguhnya akan ia ambil
ketika ia memutuskan untuk menjumpaiku
yang telah mencarinya
bahkan sampai ke ujung dunia.

Apa yang akan kudapati
ketika ku kecap keberadaannya dalam ruang dan waktuku.

Yakinkah bahwa ia akan terasa begitu manis
atau akankah ia datang dengan sedikit taburan kegetiran
yang membuatnya terasa begitu berharga.

written in Denpasar on April 29th, 2018.

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The Coffee Shop Analogy

I am writing to you from the brighter end of the horizon.

Today, my life isn’t so bad. Had you asked me yesterday, I would have served you a very different answer.

But in this moment, I am in my perfect element.
Sitting in a coffee shop.
It is not too busy, but not dead either. Most of the seats are occupied by people who are on their personal computers. There are three guys to my left who are seating as a group, but they’re all on their laptops and are wearing huge headphones. I caught a glimpse of their screens and it seemed like they were working on editing a picture.
“Must have been a group of photographers”, I thought.

Some other people on the other tables are having a light conversation. About their salaries and their love lives, but they are not being too loud. I love it, they are sensible.

This coffee shop is almost fully decorated with wooden panels, the warm yellow lighting really just sets the atmosphere.
But it is located inside a department store, so there are quite bright lights coming in, but it doesn’t interfere with the atmosphere in the room.
It’s almost like this joint is in its own little bubble, in the middle of a brightly-lit department store.

Oh, I just noticed, on my far right, there are three Japanese men sitting in a group. They are dressed quite formally, with pants and long-sleeved shirts. Their grey hair told me that they must have been above the age of fifty.
They are conversing quietly, but not in a secretive manner, and laughing in unison here and there. It sounds so pleasant in my ears, like I could feel the subtle cheer in their conversation. I could feel it, I could hear it. Although I could not understand it.

As for me,
I am sitting in a set of tables and chairs meant for four people. So I have quite a space between me and the person on the next table. He is sitting alone, just like me, but instead of a laptop, he had not took his eyes off his phone, from the minute I sat down.

Oh wait, remember the Japanese men I was telling you about? behind them, sits a lady.
She does not look very comfortable. She is sitting alone on a table for three. Her makeup looks very up-to-date, her slim legs looked longer because of the sky high wooden clogs she is wearing. Hair straight and long, huge hoops and a tight cotton dress adorned her figure. She is sitting uncomfortably and keep looking left and right.

I don’t want to talk about her anymore, it somehow makes me feel a bit uneasy and weirdly, anxious.
Her demeanour just screams anxious to me.

I took another spoon of the cake I ordered. It’s a lovely and luscious boston cream cake. Boston cream is one of my favourite things, put it in a donut, cronut, or cake, I’d eat them all.

I like to plan out my food and drink sometimes, I think about them too much. Since my cake would be sweet, I ordered a Vanilla Sweet Cream cold brew. I was sure the strong coffee taste would balance out the decadence of the cake.

I am in my perfect element.
My surrounding is filled with people, but I am alone. I am plugged into my earphones and doing my own thing. So is everybody else.

I am in my perfect element. My laptop is on 68 percent brightness, just the way I like it. My dress is made of corduroy material, which is perfect for the temperature of the coffee shop.

I am in my perfect element.
I am aware that life is not always going to be smooth-sailing, but I know that I want to be someone who can make a contribution in making the world just a bit more comfortable for everyone, like this coffee shop. Anxious or happy, alone or in a group, everyone can feel okay in this coffee shop.

I know I want to be someone who will be remembered for the contribution I made, no matter how big or small. I want to be remembered and celebrated as the women who is able to create her own element, regardless of the condition she is being put under.

So, this is me. Writing to you from the brighter, happier end of the horizon.
Some days are better than others, some days are worse.
When I come back to this tranquil place, you will know.

Perfect Element
written on April 17, 2018.

 

Adulting

It is one of the scariest, most confusing phases in life that I have ever had to go through. So far, anyways.

All of a sudden, 24 hours in a day can never seem to be enough.
It became harder and harder for me to manage time between work responsibilities, family time, social demands, searching for higher opportunities and of course, as an acute introvert, a huge chunk of quality time with my self.
Surely, this is something anyone in their mid-twenties are dealing with, and I would like to shy away from the mundane stuff that everyone talks about, for a second.
Everyone knows that time management became difficult, finishing chores and mundane responsibilities became rewards in and of themselves.

But there is one huge thing that caught me off guard and almost threw me off completely in this entire process.

Transitioning from child-like behaviour into a more adult mindset is just as tough as the other stuff, if not more.

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For example, up until I was 20 years old and graduating from University, I was very much used to having people telling me what to do.
Education systems sort of have that common setting that dictate what you’re suppose to do, and in what way. Although in my case, education did promoted free and critical thinking, but I was at least told what to think about.

It then brought me to a year and a half of pursuing a Masters degree. On one side, yes, I had become somewhat passionate about education, but on the other side, I knew it was a safe option. I could at least buy my self another year or two before I have to throw my self into the so-called real world.

Now, in terms of the technical stuff, I would say that I have handled ‘adulting’ pretty well so far, but in terms of the way my brain works, believe me, I still have long ways to go.
I was raised as an independent child, yet still, it doesn’t make it easier for me to go through the transition and shifts in my world, and my brain is definitely not cruising smoothly through it all.

It could be very overwhelming at times, and some other time, it just felt like I have such huge burdens being imposed on me without me agreeing upon it, and I just felt like I didn’t deserve it or it was not my responsibility.

Given the conditions that I have, it could be challenging at times to maintain positivity, but what I have learned is that we should all let the negativity pass through.

Although we shouldn’t let it stay with us forever, it is also not the best idea to repress and deny the fact that we are struggling and that we are having a hard time adjusting to a completely distinct point of view and objectives we had a couple of years back.

After all, I believe that one of the things that makes us more of an adult than we were yesterday, is our ability to stand through tough challenges and our resilience in facing problems.

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So, I am not sure where or how to end this post. I wish I could tell you some ways I cope with adulting, but, alas, I am still struggling and exploring my ways, too.

I will, though, leave you with this.

Accept changes. Try as much as you can, not to repress things. If you are like me, who simply cannot open up to someone else, find a healthy and enjoyable way to channel whatever emotions you’re feeling. For me, writing does the job just fine, but there are always unexplored options out there for you to discover.

Falling over is not a taboo thing. In fact, it is one of the things that makes us human. Just make sure to rise wiser and hopefully, more of an ‘adult’.

 

written on April 5, 2018.

You Have Lost (Not an April Fools Joke)

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

The mac n cheese does not bring you warmth anymore,
working out now feels like a chore,
and coffee only seem to agitate you more.

Everything seems out of place,
yet they feel like they are meant to be.

You can no longer distinguish between the right and the wrong.

Every pleasure brings you guilt,
Every sin tasted so sweet.

And so you go out of your way to put the blame on somebody else,
“Everyone sucks”, you yell.

So you decided to lock yourself up in a little sanctuary you call your bedroom.

First you try sitting on the desk,
but those pile of papers only bring you stress.

So you scooched over to the vanity,
playing with lavish cosmetics only reminded you of who you used to be.

The bed it is.
Two pillows under your head, a blanket over your body except your face and your tippy toes. Just the way you like it. Wait, liked it.
Doesn’t seem so pleasant anymore.

The sound from the TV was now too loud. You turned the volume down. Still too loud, so you turned the TV off altogether. Too silent.

You become restless.
No longer knowing what would bring you comfort anymore.

Anywhere you sit, lay or stand just don’t feel natural.

Dragging your numb feet to function, when everything inside had combusted simultaneously.

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

Defeated

written on April 2, 2018.