Saturday, December 3, 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 complicated 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 complicated 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? :)

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