The Question Only Time Can Answer

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What’s your plan for the next 20 years?

That is the question I must answer as a consequence of being a newly registered medical student (not really, never in a million years I’ll be entitled as a doctor). As someone who entered med school for the knowledge it provides and not for the curing license it gives, I have no plan at all. Therefore, this question haunts me day and night as the deadline of the task is not getting any longer.

Wherever and whenever I try to arrange the plans I’ll provide as an answer to that one particular question, I have flashbacks of a quite enlightening conversation I had with some friends. We¬† were sitting in my class on a one fine afternoon after school. Out of nowhere, someone asked me why I consider choosing health nutrition as the major I wanted to excel in although I had a greater passion in something else (communication). Long story short, I told them that I chose it because I believe it is the most logical thing to do; it is the all-in-one package of things I want to study.

In the university I enrolled in, the health nutrition major demands us to study diverse topics (which I’m interested in): communication, management, psychology, and philosophy. I’ve seen other majors’ curriculum and none of those are as diverse as health nutrition’s. Since I’m totally aware that college is expensive and it is more likely to be a chance of a lifetime, I try my best to pick the major that gives the greatest reliever for my thirst of knowledge.

At that time, I shared my worries to those who were there. I told them that I was in a dilemma: should I follow my heart (which will more likely lead me to the thing I’m really passionate about) or should I follow my brain (which decided to think logically)? At that time, my inner self rooted for my brain as it has more pros instead of cons. However, never had I before imagined my self being a nutritionist, telling people to live healthy while I myself prefer greasy lamb chop than carrots and broccoli.

Probably pitying me for drowning in my own worries, a free-spirited friend of mine spilled his opinions out, “You cannot decide who you want to be from what undergraduate major you choose. Undergraduate studies only carve the way you think. What you’ll be is decided once you study in postgraduate school.”

You see, he and I are nothing alike. All my life, I used to have a life-long plan. I had always known what school I want to study in, I had always discovered what I wanted to do in life. But him? He is some kind of a free-spirited artist. He never really thinks his life through, but somehow he managed to keep himself afloat in this deadly current named life. He enjoys his life to its fullest while I focus on the present deeds I must do in order to secure my upcoming happiness in the future. Although I understand his principles, I always find it hard to imagine my self having those as mine.

However, that time, I kinda trust his words. Maybe I found it true, or maybe I was too desperate looking for words that can soothe me. From that day on, I change my perspective. I won’t let my major steers my future; I’ll use my major as a vehicle to reach my future.

So, right now, by the time I write this, I don’t have any detailed plan or grand ambition when it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud (I haven’t even had a single class!). When it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud, I just want to start college, learn new things about a particular thing I’m interested into, and see whether it works for me or not. If it works, sure, I’ll try my best to excel in it. If it doesn’t, maybe I’ll try other things. As Rumi said:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

However, I still have lots of ambitions outside my life as a health nutrition stud. Since I’m aware that I’m a little bit derailed, I’m not going to rush to make things happen. I’m not going to take it hard on my self, too. From now on, I’ll try figure out how my vehicle works out before using it on a journey in an alien terrain en route to my ambition. Yet, it is still possible that someday I’ll grow an ambition in the “health nutrition land”.. who knows?

This time, I’m a little bit relaxed because I used to be in some kind of competition (competing to get the best junior high and high school in town) and now I’m not. College doesn’t work that way. In college, I believe success is no longer defined as “accepted in the school of your dream” or “stand out among others”; to me, the definition of success has transformed into “live happily and be the kind person you want to be“.

Well, maybe this is just a rambling from someone who entered a major due to logical reasons instead of any magical callings from the inside, but I’ve witnessed lots of friends who half-heartedly choose to stay in a major he or she doesn’t like because of harsh reality and I hope this helps (although, praise the Lord, I don’t stand on their shoe, so maybe this is not too accurate)(plus, I consciously choose my major as the vehicle of my choice).

So, to answer that haunting question, can I say that I can’t? I have never been a 38-year-old woman and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m at that age. The age 38 is still 20 years away from me; for an 18-year-old girl, that age feels indistinct. And.. within those 20 years, anything can happen. Life requires people to open doors that lead to lots of opportunity; life is full of plot twists and surprises. Sometimes we can go straight to our destination, but sometimes we need to take a detour just for the sake of life lessons. That question can only be answered by time with the help of sudden inspiration.. and I cannot be forced to answer it right away. So, instead of planning it down to every details, why don’t we just focus on walking down the road?

oh how I want to write this on my paper

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Parts of Me Were Made by You

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“Hey, what are you thinking?” said the girl who wore long white dress with laces.

“Oh. Um… hey?” answered the girl who wore long black velvet dress. “Right before you came, I was thinking about how gorgeous this dress fits me.”

“You look so beautiful in that dress. I’ve always known that you would be beautiful if you made time to take care of yourself, but I’ve never thought that you will be this beautiful.”

The girl who wore long black velvet dress shrugged. Her palms were sweaty. “Thank you, I guess. Well, I won’t be this beautiful if you hadn’t give me this dress of yours. So, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, sister,” she said with her sweet signature smile. Not too broad, but enough to comfort the disturbed hearts of those who get the chance to witness it.

“I was also thinking about you, you know? I wasn’t expecting to receive this dress this soon. I wasn’t expecting at all.”

“Well, life is full of surprises, I think you already know.”

“Yeah, I do.” But this bitter surprise? I hate it.

“Besides about this dress-and my other fashion items that no longer suits me-I gave you, what thing about me are you thinking of?”

“I was also thinking about your profession. I believe that you’re going to be one hell of a human’s-mind-and-heart healer. You’re so kind and sincere, I believe lots of people will be delighted to have someone like you to talk to.”

“That’s very nice of you to say,” she blushed. “I’ve never known that you’re such a romantic person.”

“We don’t really know each other well, do we? I didn’t really recognize your age until today, I don’t know your future plans, I don’t know whether you have someone on your mind or not. I didn’t even know that you left home for that final test for months!”

“Fair, then,” she said with a nod of agreement. “But you know why I chose to devote my self in the field I studied, right?”

“Sure! I know your reason. I also know the reason why your blog’s background is black, and the origin of your blog’s name. Believe it or not, I still remember that you once want to live in Paris, Marseille, and Lyon.”

Her eyes brightened. “You do know me, after all!”

“Although we barely speak heart-to-heart, I’m your little sister, after all,” she let a downcast smile slipped through her lips.

“You are, and you will always be.”

They stared at each other for a moment. Both drowned in their own waves of emotion; joy, excitement, sorrow… all mixed in one and couldn’t be distinguished. Those emotions blended together and one couldn’t show up alone without bringing the others. They became a new kind of emotion nobody ever named.

The girl who wore long black velvet dress broke the silence. “I love you, you know. I adore you. I admire you. I’m grateful for having a great sister like you.” She started sobbing. “And I’m sorry that we rarely speak to each other, mostly because we rarely make time to meet each other. Sorry for being so distant. Sorry for taking you for granted all these years.”

“Why do you tell me all these now?”

“It’s better late than never. I know that this is very late, but I just wanted you to know.”

“Without you being this blue today, I already know. Thank you for giving me things I need instead of giving me things I want,” she said as she was about to leave. “Just promise me one thing, will you? Take care of yourself. Be bold. Say ‘I love you’ although it makes things awkward. I don’t want you to have this kind of conversation with other people. Let me be the last person you have this kind of conversation with.”

A pause. The girl who wore long black velvet dress couldn’t think of a proper goodbye since they had never had say a proper hello to each other. She hadn’t finished saying hello. And, so, she closed her eyes. She imagined reaching her sister in her arms, hugging her for the first and last time. I will, I promise. Thank you, I love you, and see you later, she whispered in her sister’s ear. She still hold her for another minute and when she was ready, she opened her eyes. Her sister had gone from her sight.

But never from her heart.

in memoriam, seven months later
so that it won’t happen again

and for those who I often talks to
I hope you all realize that I adore you
without me having to tell you

Separate Ways

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“Hey! Long time no see!” he shouted. From afar, I saw him waving and quick-walking toward me.

“Hey! Oh my God, how long have it been?” I said, still surprised. He seemed different. His hair had grown longer, his smile was broader than the last time I saw him. However, he was still the same person as the one I met three years ago. The same quirky funny tall guy.

“Umm.. was it… wait… umm… oh God, I can’t remember! It must’ve been such a long time ago, wasn’t it?” He sounded a little apologetic, probably for not remembering that tiny detail. However, I wasn’t even mad; I did forget too.

“Yeah, it was.” I know, I’m terrible at small talks.

Both of us still stood in the middle of the crowd, watching the star of the show as it entertained those party-goers.

Suddenly, with a cup of whatever he had in his hand, he turned toward me and said, “Anyway, from now on, it will be longer, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“Us. All of us. We won’t meet in a very long time, are we? We’ll be going on our separate ways.”

And that’s all it takes to break my inner layer of walls down. He’s right. That day might be the last day I saw him for a very long time. That day might be the last day I saw anyone, forever. Who knows.

“I’m going to quote Charles Dickens: is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?” Kinda rhetorical, I just wanted to know how he react to it.

“Sometimes it is better to be lonely since the beginning than to be lonely twice. But… I don’t know. Hadn’t I have the chance to be a part of this, whatever this is-life maybe?-, I wouldn’t have met her, the love of my life, my wive,” he pointed her, the gorgeous and perky soon-to-be-ex roommate of mine. “So, maybe this is not too bad?”

I shrugged, “I think it is better to be lonely since the beginning. Being left alone sucks, you know? I love leaving waaay better than being left.”

“Hey, I know you’re upset to have her moving out to move in with me and I know you hate this kind of goodbye-apartment shindig, but let me tell you this: people will always come and go, you can’t have control on it. However, people with great distance between them can still keep in touch as long as they care for each other. The deal is not to go on an extra mile in keeping touch with everybody; the deal is to get some people who will also reach to you,” he said, lecturing me in the middle of this crowd, “And… we will always reach to you, you know that. The awful feeling of being left sometimes worth the experience.”

His answer still couldn’t comfort me as I know that people will also change as time goes by. Soon they will forget me and I will forget them too. Human relationship is nothing more than about having people to talk to for a while and then loosing them for the rest of our lives.

But maybe he had a point. Maybe all of this is worth the experience.

“Thank you, Tyler. Love Tanya for me, will you?”

“Sure, Aislinn, I will. See you later?”

“See you later, someday.”

Dear Childhood Dreams

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Dear Teacher, Chef, Journalist, Vlogger, Scriptwriter, Director, Diplomat, and Writer.

I’m truly sorry for abandoning you these last eight years. These last eight years were kinda rough. I learned so many things till I was unable to make time for pampering you.

These past eight years, I learned things that had never crossed my mind before. I started realizing that paying bills cannot be done in a blink of an eye. I started acknowledging that food and rent are two essential things that don’t come cheap. I started counting my daily, monthly, and annual needs. Then I started thinking, how in Earth I could possibly afford it? And then, gradually, I started believing that I need a secure job to secure my future.

Ah, yes. I’m truly sorry for not believing you. I’m sorry for questioning you.
Yes, people spoiled me. They told me that you can’t give me a decent living. They told me that all of you are not reliable. They told me to start looking for another dream; a dream that have a respectable place in this world. A dream that is highly valued by society. “Ever consider being a doctor?” they said, as if being a doctor can be done as easy as lying.
Moreover, they pushed me to consider a still-fictional thing: family. “What about your child if you’re a movie director? You’re gonna leave them behind, aren’t you?” said their facial expression when I told them about one of you. “What about your husband if you’re assigned to stay in another country for five years? Don’t you think that the job ‘diplomat’ doesn’t suit you?” others said.

But, I’m not going to blame other people. It is me who is too naive to believe. It’s me who believe their shallow thoughts. I must have had believed that things like that doesn’t matter. A decent living can be pursued by any kind of livelihood as long as I enjoy what I do. I should realize sooner that my happiness is my priority and that my happiness can be seized by being what I want to be.

However, I guess it’s too late. I’m already poisoned by those thoughts. I’ve already seen them as some logical reasons. Maybe this is what people call as ‘growing up’. But if this is really is ‘growing up’, I guess growing up also means the death of childhood dreams.

So, if all of you are what used to be some precious seeds, I’m sorry for not giving any fertilizer to you. I’m sorry for not watering you these past eight years. I’m sorry to let you get crippled and forgotten over the years.

But, there’s one thing I want to say.
I really hope that I haven’t killed you all; I hope you’re just staying dormant. I wish that one day you can grow well and healthy. I wish that one day you can be a proof that people are wrong condescending you.

Sincerely,
The girl who pledged to encourage other children to look after their precious seeds.

2016: Lessons I’ve Learnt

The year 2017 is right in front of our eyes. Other people may be in their way arranging their best new year’s resolution, but I’ve stopped doing that since last year. It is not that I don’t believe that resolutions exists; I have come to an understanding which makes me realize that my resolutions are quite the same from one year to another. I realize that I don’t need new resolutions every year, because all I have to do is just to constantly aim new targets every once in a while. Therefore, instead of sharing my newest targets, I’d like to share things that I’ve learnt in this year.

1. NEVER, EVER, EVER, say “Yes” to something you’re not interested in.

I’ve gone through a not-so-delightful experience this year just because I say “Yes” to something I’m not interested in. You see, taking chances and risks are good ways to improve ourselves, to push ourselves beyond our limit. However, when you accept something just because you pity it (not 100% due to your fondness of the thing), you tend to lose focus and loyalty to that thing. After you start feeling bored of that thing, you’ll start feeling under pressure. You’ll feel like you’re forced to do those things. That kind of feeling will lead you to stress and even physical pain. And all of that is just because you don’t have the heart to say “No” at the first place. Trust me, it’s better to bear the guilt of rejecting someone or something than having to endure mental and physical pain over a period of time.

However..

2. ALWAYS say “Yes” to the things that give you more experience.

Giving a shot to something new and challenging will always lead us to a good thing. There are two possibilities of what that good thing will be: 1) a real beneficial good thing or 2) a bittersweet life lesson.

In 2016, I’ve said “yes” to two economics essay writing competition, a quite random high school quiz held by the government, a high school wall magazine competition, and an essay writing and debate competition about food technology. I may not rank the first on those competition, but from those competition I became to know my abilities. I became to know which topic I excel better than the others. The most important thing from all of that is that I became to know that anyone can be anything they want just by hard work and prayers.

3. Everyone has their own field.

Nobody is meant to be perfect. Nobody is sentenced to master all things. So, it’s okay if someone is better than you in something. What’s not okay is if you don’t try exploring your hobbies, talents, or interests.

4. It’s not about who is the sharpest; it is about who is the one with more effort.

A lazy genius will slowly having his or her mind blunt if he or she barely exercises. However, a diligent average person will start having keen mind if he or she constantly exercises to reach his or her goal.

Last but not least, here are two videos of Casey Neistat I really like for the wisdom in it. Casey Neistat is a New York-based filmmaker who has been vlogging for these past years. I started subscribing his channel this year and I have been inspired by his videos all these months. His way of life and his principles about success show me different perspectives in life. Watch these videos and I hope they do to you too. Arrivederci!

 

A Paragraph, If I May Say..

CA 2

..and talking about him beyond his knowledge just makes me more like a sinner and a desperate lover. At first I thought my word vomit will bring ease to my heart, and now.. well, I hope it does.

Enam Belas

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Enam belas,
Jadilah tahun yang baik.
Tahun penuh cinta dan bahagia.
Tahun ketika harapan tak sekedar angan belaka.
Jadilah tahun yang mendewasakan dan hilangnya keraguan.

Kepada para terkasih,
Terima kasih untuk kembali mengingat
Apa yang dalam hidup ini hanya sekedar terlibat.

Dengan haru berbalut rindu, 29 Januari 2015
Aku yang senantiasa berusaha membahagiakanmu.