Friday, December 2, 2016

On 24 Years Old

A little surprise from my cousin on my 24th birthday

Dress (Lookboutique Store), Scarf (H&M)

Last August, I am officially 24 years old. As a person, I am that one kind who don't really like large parties and celebrations. In fact I don't really feel comfortable being surrounded by too much people, a true introvert, I guess? So I deeply appreciate my cousin for this surprise she gave me. A simple staycation in a hotel room so we can enjoy full service on a special day, a late night supper while watching movie in the middle of the night just because we want to, and a great buffet in the morning after a quality morning swim, is a perfect celebration for me.  

A gift from my cousin, a secondhand book.

Actually, that time was the first time I hear about Elizabeth Pisani. But how funny life was, at the end of October when I attend Ubud Writers & Readers Festival turns out that Elizabeth Pisani was one of the speaker and I loveee her dearly for her witty thoughts (going to share about Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2016 in a separate blog post). 

A gift from my man, The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank and a Scarf (Moral)

On this post about age I want to take a little time to pause and look at my life. Because what does aging mean without a little time for a little reflection and evaluation, right? If I can divide my life simply into two categories consist of progress and goals, I may not have much progress to get my goals done.  I am 24 years old now, basically still unemployed since I am still doing my clinical years as a dental student to get my DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) title. When my friends are getting married, having babies, getting their first paycheck, getting their master's degree, getting a loan for their first house,  I'm still stuck in the same phase since I enter this School of Dentistry 6 years ago. 

But, is our life really only measured by those mundane and standardized value created by merely human based on social stereotype? I think life is larger than that, no? I guess I should be thankful for this life God gave me not only by how much money I make, how great my relationship is with my significant other, how perfect my family is, or how normal I am compared to societies around me. If you can describe how normal is anyway...

No, I can not reflect and evaluate these 24 years I've spent based only on those things above. There is so much more about life I should also take a peek into, no? There is experience which I can get from traveling, expanding my horizon, or volunteering in a social cause, there is lesson which I can learn from my imperfect family life, from the little ballerina in a ballet studio I regularly visit, or even lesson I often received from my patient, there is new perspective I can get from the Mandarin class I join, from the little yet comfortable restaurant I visited, or from that not-so-close friend I accidentaly met while I was traveling alone. Isn't that little things that happen in each and every day is as valuable as the big moments people usually celebrate (like graduation, marriage, and another celebratory events)?

So on this moment, I want to thank god for giving me imperfect family life -and let the detail be unexplained- so that I can learn to be independent, to be strong, to be resilient, and to be prepared of whatever might happen. I want to thank god for showing me that life is more complex than movie, where the downside scene can not be fast forwarded and have to be faced, where the goal is not the happy ending but to survive each and everyday and make the most of it. By this lesson I can learn to see life beyond the social stereotype, I can be more considerate toward others' actions or opinions or choices because I know there is always reasons behind it. I can learn to challenge my mind to live life with more purpose beyond my personal happiness, because I know that out there life is more complex than what I know here in my still comfort zone compared to them; for example I should not think only about how happy I am to be in a relationship with my perfect man yet I have to think that out there thousands of children might undergo an unideal circumstances that can prevent them to get the best education, the best health access, and another development access. 

I want to thank god for opening my eyes with every little details that happen in my each and every day so that I can learn to seek for purpose of my existence other than my own happiness such as money, fame, perfect family, perfect relationship, and not to mention those (dreamy) so called happy ending bluntly interpreted from those fairy tales. I want to thank God for reminding me that I have to be the best version of my self hence I can give more impact to as much aspects as I can.

To put it simple, for me, there is so much more things that I can celebrate in each and every day, much more than those annual milestones people usually celebrate based on social stereotype. I want to thank God for the downside, the upside, the imperfect, the complexity, the funny moments that happen in each and every day of my life hence I can learn, celebrate, and make meanings out of each and every day. Because life is much more than pretty pictures consist of smiling faces in front of a decorated venue posted on Instagram, right? :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Travel Crush

Video from here.

And Nepal! Namaste! 
Video from here.

Let this be a reminder for me to keep on my best effort at work so I can take some days off later when schedule is not too tight. For now, this video should be enough, though... How about you? Where is your dream destination recently?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Society's Judgement or Our Own Uncertainty?

I’ve been reading a lot of articles and thoughts that spread all over the social media about our young generation complaining or sometimes blaming over and over again about what we so called “judgment”. When we come to age of maturity -which in our culture is 24/25 and so on- people tend to start catching up on us about the important matters in our life when we meet. And what is it all about, speaking of which?

Marriage, career, achievements, and even children.

“When will you get married with your long time boyfriend?”
“Hasn’t it been years since you two dating? When will it be official?”
“When will you pursue your chosen specialty? What will it be anyway?”
“Where are you working now? Don’t you want to have your own clinic?”
“I see that you posted a lot of pictures aboard in Instagram, you study aboard now?”

I heard those sentences almost everytime I meet my long lost friends, or families. And maybe most of us around previous mentioned age have been hearing the similar type of question quite intense lately. And it looks like there will be no end to those questions, it is not uncommon to me to hear people asking to someone older than me:

“When will you try for another babies?”
“Where does your son study now? He is a very bright kid I remember.”
“I hear your son has just got accepted at those multi national company? Congratulation for him.”

People will always be asking us about matters they thought important in life. And there is no harm about that, in my opinion. 
What is important in someone’s life is absolutely different from one person to another. Those happy wives will think that marriage is important and they will ask you about when will you get married, those successful friends who now run a well known restaurant chain will ask you about what’s your newest project is, those philanthropist friends of yours will ask about whether or not you have participated in creating a perfect corporate social responsibility in your office.

There will be no end to those questions.

According to my case, those people who asked me the question: my parents, my big families,  my dear friends, never judge me after I give my answer.

On “When will you get married?”

I usually will answer: “I do not have any plan to get married anytime soon, I am still in my clinical year pursuing my DDS degree. For now, I have two plan before I get married, after getting my DDS I want to pursue a one year master in health management or I will go to remote area, which also for a year, to do an internship in remote area clinic.”

For now, I love learning, I love traveling, and I love interpersonal relationship; in that order.

Maybe unlike what they know, what they thought, what they hope, my answer is not a quite common answer they usually get. But they understand, or even sometimes, open for a further discussion. Because I give them a clear answer.

A clear answer will come when I am certain of my choices. Whether it is common or uncommon choices, when I am certain of what I choose, people tend to support me too.  I don’t know about you, but in my case, that is the deal.

So, when people ask us “When will you get married?” -instead of showing them our own perspective of what is important in our life, how our goals set and how we put them in our very own priorities order- we get angry and call them judgmental, maybe we have to sit for a while, asking once again to ourselves, “Am I certain of my own choices, my own plan, my reasoning? Am I certain of what I stand for? Why do I got angry and offended over those simple question if I can clearly and easily answer it?”

From beaches, museums to highlands. Ubud, Singapore, Istanbul, to Kapadokya. Some of my latest journey I'm sure I'm in love with which I haven't been able to share in this blog, and promise to share it soon.