The Art I Master In One Year of College

The video above sums up the major lesson I learn from the first year of college life, albeit the excessive use of the f word is not a part of what I learn. To keep my posts suitable for all ages, from this point onward, I’ll replace the f word with fish.

Four years ago, back when I was in high school, I was taught to give a fish to almost every people and every events around me. Not without any purpose, those lovely seniors who taught me expected me to reduce my indifference. As a minimum requirement, I was expected to know the condition of my friends or colleagues. If it had been possible for me to help him/her, I would’ve felt obliged to do so. In one way or another, giving fish to something that is not my business at the first place is shaping me to be more social. It makes me easier to do unnecessary good deeds willingly. The impact of giving a fish to almost every single thing to my habit is not so surprising though as it is actually basic physics:

Newton’s First Law of Motion
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I constantly give fish to people, thus it’s easier for me to give another fish to other people the next time.

However, one thing my seniors forget to teach us is that we actually need to consider who (or what) get more fishes than others. Some people or some things aren’t worth giving the fishes! Sure, it’s okay to give tiny weeny lacking omega-3 fishes to everyone or everything; it doesn’t cost that much. Giving tiny fishes for free is kinda good though if we consider it as an act of charity that might bring smiles on people’s faces. But although there are plenty of fishes in the sea, our access to the most nutritious fishes is limited. Our resource of good quality fishes is scarce; we must manage it well enough to keep it sustainable.

Entering college let me acknowledge diverse interesting things that can actually easily seduce me to give them fishes for free. But as a year went by, I get more assured that those appealing things aren’t worth my fishes. Sure, they might seem shining shimmering splendid (you peeps are an old school if you get this), but they don’t need my fishes. They’ll still be working fine without mine. Plus, many of things I met won’t give me anything back for a return (knowledge, tranquility, attention, etc), so why should I give mine?

Some may say that giving or not giving fishes based on the rule I set up for my self is too transaction-al. But, hey, guess what! Life itself is a transaction between us, human being, with The Creator. We obey The Creator’s rules to reach heaven as a return; why can’t we apply those rules on daily basis? All I say is that we really should start investing fishes on things that matters or to things that need it the most. That way, zero fish is wasted.

Ciao! lookingbackfromnow,didIaccidentallyenrolltocollegeoflife?

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Moving On Is Hard; I Tried

This post is written on my 19th Eid Al-Fitr. At this point of life, I no longer take Eid Al-Fitr as the most awaited celebration of the year. It’s because… I no longer have any reason to celebrate it.

I grew up as my parent’s only child thus I relied on my cousins to have fun. Well, I did. I did have a wonderful childhood. Every Eid Al-Fitr, I and my cousins spent the night at our grandma’s house for several days. We made a fort out of thick removable cushions and slept there. It was silly how three kids were willingly to be cramped in the most uncomfortable way in a small fort whilst their grandma provided a large house for us to sleep, but it was part of the fun.

6ae72fcf9b98cf1a56f6f554870ae7c1--trains-miniatures-model-trains

One of the two loco we have exactly looks like this!

We also played with those electric trains my late grandpa left for his family. Oh, he left us with the best kind of trains! The trains were made of hard steel and it could move if only we arranged the rail right and tight. We also made tiny peoples, stations, gates, and monuments out of used papers. We were such good city planners back then.

Not to forget, we used to play PlayStation games together. I don’t really have a favourite game, but I excel the most at Guitar Hero. Oh, I’m also good at Need for Speed and GTA. Meanwhile, my cousins were very good at Call of Duty. Heh, good old times.

At the night before Eid Al-Fitr, all family members gathered at my grandma’s house. My uncles and my aunts brought fireworks for us to play. They brought different kinds of it: the most nonviolent ‘wire’ that we can use to draw light, the most common fireworks that explodes in the sky with a loud bang (we didn’t plant it though, we held it in hands; I feel so badass back then), the silent waterfall one (it seems like a falling lava, if I’m not mistaken), etc.

On the morning of Eid Al-Fitr, we all prayed together at the nearest grass-less soccer field. After that, we visit the grave of my ancestors, cleaned it, and decorated it with flowers from the market. We then headed to the house of a distant relative in the city center to greet them for less than an hour. Then, we headed back to grandma’s house. We performed sungkem (a traditional way of expressing sorry to the elderly) and ate the most awaited opor ayam (basically a dish of chicken soaked in coconut milk with other spices). After that, I and my parents headed to my other grandparents’ house near my high school before going home at last.

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This is opor ayam in case you have never seen Indonesia’s Eid must-dish.

Well, now, the feast is no longer that big. All the magic of Eid Al-Fitr has gone along with some members of my family. Some members of my family are also unable to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with us in my hometown due to incredibly long geographic distance. What’s left from Eid Al-Fitr is only the morning prayer, the grave visit, and the opor ayam. And.. who can I blame?

As time goes by, distance grows geographically and mentally. I barely even talk to my cousins anymore and I don’t even remember why we started stop talking anyway. The one who used to make me start talking has gone (I rarely show that I’m in grief, but, really, I still hope for her presence which I believe will make things better). Maybe it is because we no longer have the same topic to talk about or maybe it is because we rarely meet. But, still, my best and favourite theory of what has happened is that… life goes on, and so does the people.

It is a bitter truth that I’m still unable to cope with. Life goes on, the people goes on too. Nothing can really stay the same forever. At some point of our lives, childhood euphoria shreds away. People come and go while I still stand at the exact point I was since a long time ago. Why aren’t you moving then? Where to? I have no other place to go… yet.

So, that sums up my feeling for the Eids these past few years. I’m so sorry for the negative thought at (what supposed to be) the happiest day of the year, but I really can’t help it. If you still feel the magic of Eid or Christmas or Waisak or else, please enjoy it the best you can before it is too late. I had a great time, and I hope you still have it with you.

Arrivederci, peeps!

Why We Race to The Moon and Beyond

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For the team behind Falcon Heavy
Thank you for giving humanity a great step forward

This is hell. If this is not hell, I don’t know what is.

We should have arrived at Aislinn’s cousin’s rehearsal dinner on time if I hadn’t begged Aislinn to accompany me watch the sun set at the hill nearby before heading there. The rehearsal is going to be held by the beach at 8 pm and now is 7 pm and we are nowhere near the beach at all.

Luck is not around us, I know that. We ran out of gas, right now, in the middle of the road surrounded by never ending rice fields. There is no one driving on this long road other than us. There is no street light at all. Phone signal? Oh you wish! We’re literally in the middle of nowhere! We have nobody to run to! We are surrounded by complete darkness with a faint hint of the moonlight!

“I’m so so so soooo sorry, Aislinn. Had I listened to you, we wouldn’t be stuck here. Had I listened to you, we could’ve had proper dinner for tonight,” I kneel in front of her who sits on the car hood. I bury my face on her lap, too ashamed to look at her face. “I know you love Sara so much and I’m sorry to make you miss her wedding rehearsal. I should be less selfish, I know that now.”

Aislinn doesn’t answer me right away. Instead, she runs her fingers through my hair and hugs me on my head. “I’m a little pissed, but I’m alright. Thank you for apologizing, I respect that,” she says as she caresses me, “Come here.”

She moves like an inch to make space for me. I come up and sit next to her. She reclines and I follow. She’s not hitting me at all, so I think it is safe to say that she’s not mad at me right now.

From below, I can see above us lie a thousand stars, tiny dim dots on the night sky. The moon stands alone, but being that way doesn’t stop it from being the biggest and the brightest among all. Yet Aislinn and I are still surrounded by darkness; the moon and its troops don’t help.

“Do you know that I am actually glad we can’t make it to the rehearsal dinner?” she says abruptly.

“Huh? I don’t know that you’re glad. Instead, I thought you’ll be mad if we don’t make it on time.”

“Mmm not really. I just want to be there for her, but I’m currently not in the mood to meet my whole relatives,” she sighs. “Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I’m just not ready.”

“Not ready for what?”

“Not ready for their interrogative questions. As soon as we arrive there, distant relative will ask us where’s our child, why haven’t we had one, what are we up to right now, what have we achieved all these years, and else,” she rants, “I’m just so done with those kind of questions. They compare their happiness level to our lives and see at what stage are we in right now. If we’re below what they call as ‘the happy stage’, they’ll tell us what to do even if we’re not eager to reach it!”

“So, you’re fed up with what people think as life standards or basic life goals?”

“Yes, thank you very much for the conclusion!” she shouts. Nobody is around anyway, so that’s okay. “I hate it when they ask questions like that.. I hate it even more if what they ask is what I want and what I haven’t been able to achieve.”

I lie still next to her. She’s right. This world is full of people who compare one and another continuously, endlessly. They judge people’s life not based on what the person have achieved, they judge people by what they haven’t achieved.

“I haven’t done it to you, have I?” I asked. “I don’t wanna be hated by you. You’re the last person I want to hate me.”

She turns at me, her hazel eyes gleamed at me, “No, you haven’t. So far, you’re the person who encouraged me the most.”

Thank God.

“Peter, I think now I know why people are eager to start a new life outside Earth. Remember Aurora from the film Passengers? I think now I feel what she feels. Life on Earth is exhausting, and sometimes we just want to leave it all behind to live on the great unknown.”

“So, say you have a ticket to board on Aurora’s spaceship Avalon, will you still board and leave me here all alone?” I asks.

“No, NO, of course not! I’ll bring you with me, and if I can’t, I won’t go!” she pouted.

…so she chooses me above all possibility, above all chance for her own happiness? Does that mean I’m the one who give her the utmost joy? If she thinks so… I must offer her what she trusts me with.

“Say, Aislinn, after we attend Sara’s wedding tomorrow, after we land back home, will you go on an adventure with me? We can take a break from our jobs for six months and go travel to some places. I can’t promise you five-star hotels on our journey and I can’t promise you that we’ll travel the world right away, but I can promise you that we’ll be happy. We can taste the life we never have ’till now, and if we enjoy it, after some considerations in the future, maybe we’ll shift our life,” I say. “We can redefine happy. How? Do you want to give it a shot with me?”

She looks down, “Do I give you another problem to think of? I feel so selfish just by wanting that to happen.”

“No, you don’t! I think what you say is right! What’s the point of living in the city, chasing a decent life, and by decent is what I mean as what people think decent is, if we get stressed eventually? We need to spice our life up. What do you say?”

“If that doesn’t give us problem, then I think it’s a yes from me,” she says. “Thank you for bearing with me.”

“I have promised to live by you for the rest of my life, haven’t I?”

Above the car hood she then snugs to me. “You know what? Being here, stuck in the middle of nowhere with you is fun. I like this.”

“Tonight is not too hellish then?” I asks.

“Yeah. I think I need an escape from everyday routines every once in a while. And to think about it again, I think all the escape I need is you.”

“So, we’re each others’ spaceship?”

“Yeah, definitely.”

What We Have But They Don’t

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“Aislinn, what makes us work?”

I felt some weight shifted from the side of my body. Aislinn pulled herself, making us seemed like two individuals sitting properly on a couch after how-many-hours-only-God-could-count spending the rest of the Sunday being two individuals clasped in one wrapped by a thick white duvet, looking like a potato made of snow. “Huh?”

“What makes us work?” I repeated.

“I cannot see where this conversation is going,” she said blatantly. I don’t blame her. My random question might have distracted her focus from solving Tommy and Tuppence’s case narrated by Agatha Christie inside the thin N or M novel she had on hand.

“We were once complete strangers, but now look at us! We’re the dynamic duo, two relationship virtuoso.” I saw her smile broadened a little. “So, I was wondering, what is the thing between us that makes us work?”

Aislinn put her book down and she then gazed at the ceilings. Her eyesight might be limited by white-painted walls around us, but I exactly know that her mind was wandering freely to the edge of the universe, seeking for answers. That’s just the way she is, a deep thinker, a great companion slash lover.

“Is it our similarities?” I asked again. “I know that we’re not so much alike, but is it those small similarities that makes us work?”

She then turned at me. Her eyes were locked at mine.. and I was lost. I was lost at her warm almond eyes. I know that ‘similarity’ was not the answer we were looking because she was diving to the deepest part of me by looking into my eye. She often did that, as if my eyes held all the answer she needed.

“I know what makes us work.” Funnily, we both said those exact words at the same time.

“What do you think it is?” she asked quickly.

“I think we have big enough hearts to understand each other. We digest information from each other thoroughly before we reply.. and I guess that’s why we’re able to understand each other well enough.”

“Hmm, similar,” she said. “I think we work because we listen. Honestly, I really appreciate it whenever you stop looking at your phone every time I called your name. It might be something very simple, but it means a lot to me. It’s a proof that you’re a good listener, and that’s all I need.”

“Oh, I just don’t want you to take my phone away just because you’re mad at me for gaming all the time,” I said. Oh, teasing her was always fun!

“If that’s so, you’re such an arse!” she sneered, sticking her tongue out at me. “But really, I think people nowadays should stop taking public speaking classes and start taking public listening classes instead, if there is one. We always want to be heard ’till we forget to listen. We humans are too selfish, aren’t we?!”

She started ranting for like a whole five minutes, condemning humanity. That’s one of the thing I like about her: she’s fully aware of anyone’s flaws (including hers) and she’s eager to mend it. She is like a program which automatically knows when to hit the refresh button.

“You know what, Aislinn?”

“Hmm?”

“I really appreciate it when you answer my silly questions seriously,” I finally said. Really, I’m truly grateful for it. Finding someone who would listen to your dorky dreams or silly stories is like seeking for a needle on a haystack. It’s hard, nearly impossible. Dear Good Gracious God, what have I done that makes me deserve her? “Thank you, love.”

She didn’t reply, but what she did next was enough to light my heart the whole evening. Our random Sunday discussion ended with her bright smile addressed to me.

Yes, to me.

2017: A Year of Choices, Wrong Decisions, and Faith

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Hello, internet! Months have passed since the last time I post something on this dusty ‘lil blog and it is already December! They say December is “the most wonderful time of the year” and I agree on that since December means holiday. And holiday means free time to do things I really like, blogging for instance, yuhuu!

Just like every December these past few years (except for 2015’s December, I just realize that I forgot to summarize that year into a post), I’d like to summarize my experience this year along with all lessons I’ve learned. Quick story before I start: the movie “New Year’s Eve” inspired me to do this. Having a moment to reflect all deeds I’ve done in a year sounds like a good idea to me. Plus, I need something to do on new year’s eve since I can’t sleep thanks to the bangs (although this one and the last one on 2016 is not written on new year’s eve). So, straight to the points, here we go!

1. On attempting new things: consider the reason why you start thoroughly.

Last year I made a promise to my self to be more selective when it comes to saying “yes” and “no” to new opportunities. This year, I think I’m still unable to select what’s the best for me.

The year 2017 is the year I enter college, therefore the year 2017 is the year I discover lots of things. By “lots of things” I mean a lot. One of those things is these amazing people whose “personal brands” are outstanding and that make me feel smaller and smaller and even smaller.

In college, it is very easy to define people: John Doe the president of organization X, Richard Roe the entrepreneur, Jane Doe the researcher, etc. Those people have participated on international conferences, joined nationwide summit which made them have new acquaintances, attended talk shows as the key speaker, and so on. It seems like they have reach the front door of success at a very young age (oh please, none of them are above 25!). But above all, those outstanding people possess something not everyone have: the power to give good impact to wide range of people.

I want to be one of them. To be someone whose presence is not only as another plus one; to be someone whose presence can be a great impact to lots of people.

I realize that to find the definition of someone, to be well-known at a particular field, or just to be able to contribute to the society via a certain field, someone must be competent and professional. And to be those two, I also believe that experience is the best catalyst. Experience can be gained through formal studies, taking extra classes, being a part of a community filled with bunch of people with the same interest, being a committee of an event, and so on, depends on what field you want to master. That way, you’ll become an expert on your field and you will be like one of those outstanding people who can contribute a lot.

And that is where I went wrong.

Just because most of those people I met are committees of something or researchers of something doesn’t mean that I must go through the same path as they did. Everyone has their own field and every field have its own stage at the end of the path. I figured out lately that having “what field I want to master” or “what field is the most beneficial if I master it” in consideration is not enough. “Want” and “beneficial” are what make those not quite right. When you only have those two in considerations, when you finally meet an obstacle on your way, if your will is not strong enough, it will be easy for you to give up.

I figured out lately that “what field I’d love to master” is what should really be considered. When you’re in love with something, you will fight for it despite all the hardships that come to you. You’ll face obstacles with a light heart and you will still be happy. Forget about long-term benefits; your happiness must be prioritized because…

2. Happiness is what truly matters.

It doesn’t matter whether what you’re doing is beneficial for you or whether what you’re doing can fund seven generation of your descendants, if that makes you unhappy, ESCAPE THAT TOXIC JOB OR ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY! What makes life precious is the small happiness you get on random occasions. When you’re older, the moments you’ll remember are the moments when you’re having a conversation with your best friends, not those moments when you’re studying all night without a break to get straight A’s! I’m not against studying, trust me, I support it fully. But, sometimes we just need a break. Life should be balanced, isn’t it?

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I need to keep this one in mind more. I often forget this one because I’m often too focused on my long-term goal, duh.

3. On befriending people: it is always about quality over quantity!

I’ve been on my most comfortable zone these past three years. The people who surround me are the best kind of people. They always bring the good side of me, and when I’m not, they’re still there to handle me. Long story short, they’re the best kind of friends I could’ve asked for.. we just clicked. Thank you!

Stepping into college means I must get out of my comfort zone. I don’t get to hang out with my old friends everyday though we still communicate regularly.

For exchange, I get to know new buddies from different parts of this country. They’re cool people with different backgrounds. They have interesting stories to tell and I respect them for how they struggle to enter college. But still.. it is not that easy to click with them.

In college, I also met various people whose personality make me shakes my head.

I met someone who take advantages from me. Don’t get me wrong, I like being beneficial to people. I love to take part in someone’s life as someone who helps them. But.. being that someone who is contacted only when being needed.. that’s not what I want. I’m here to also make friends, you know, not only to be someone’s helper.

I also personally met these bunch of people who talk politics and other sensitive topics to strangers. I don’t mind if those topics are being discussed just for the sake of knowledge, but these people, these bunch of people, even try to penetrate their ideologies to strangers. Yes, to strangers, duh! I don’t know about other people, but I think it’s inappropriate. Political views, religious views, and other similar things are private things and better be discussed in private too.

Bottom line, I now know that I really need to be selective when it comes to befriending people. There are lots of toxic people out there and I should do my best to not allow them spoil me in any kind of way. Befriending lots of people is good, but make sure to only have the best kind of people in your inner circle!

4. Stop thinking and just do your best to chase what you love!

This year’s greatest lesson is that I need to think less and care less (of what people think). This year’s greatest mistake is that I think too much ’till I forgot to listen to my heart. I think too much about possibilities and advantages ’till I forgot to consider my passion in my decisions. That made me really unhappy and that drove me a little mad for a moment.

This big mistake I made is not easy to fix; This is the kind of mistake I need to get along with. And I don’t really know how to face it; I have never made a mistake this big in my life.

But, to think… was it really a mistake? Or isn’t it just me who is still unable to see the good in His plans? Who knows, maybe it is the latter. I don’t know about you, but I believe that every thing that has happened, happens, or will happen in this universe is already planned by Him. And I also believe that He is The Best Planner of All.

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This brings us to the last (big, major, notable) lesson I learned this year:

5. Stop having what if-s, start having what’s next-s.

Having what if-s in life won’t help us anything, really. Having what if-s turns us into an ungrateful person. It will also make us hate ourselves more and that will be counterproductive. Mistakes are made in the past… so what? There’s nothing we can do regarding to the past.

All we can do is to plan something to mend our future, and that’s the only thing we need to do. It is easy to say and I know that it is so hard to execute, but I believe we can do this. We can go through this!

So, arrivederci people! From now on, let’s hustle!

The Horcruxes We Made

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for Shafa and Atika: both of you are actually still here in the city
and for London, the city where I hide one of my Horcrux

Summer. It should be sunny. The dry wind should travel around, delivering light touches to some people’s exposed skin. As it is summer, those who used to be lazy has their spirit magically turned on. They go out to see some friends, have some nice barbecue, or crash someone’s party by the sea. Somewhere, in summer, laugh must’ve been the highlight of someone’s day.

But sometimes, to remind those people to stick to the ground, universe intervenes.

Once in a blue moon, a day in summer might have lost its summer. The sun has left its 7 billion fans and let sheets of grey clouds replace it. To people’s disappointment, it also starts to rain. Some might have been driven mad, and some might have been driven sad. The joy of summer is gone.

“So, this is it?” Aislinn dropped her best friend’s duffel bag next to the yellow line drawn along the platform.

“This is it.” Tanya said with a sigh. She didn’t sound regretful; it’s a kind of sigh to welcome a new chapter of her life.

“After all those silly things we’ve done, you’re still going to leave me?”

Another sigh, the kind of let-me-go sigh. “Please, don’t put it that way. You’re just making me feel more guilty. I’m off to chase my future, don’t you want me to succeed?”

“Of course I do. That question is so rhetorical.”

“And I hope your understanding is also a sign of your blessing.”

A frown. “Huh, such a trickster you are.”

“You still love me no matter what.”

“Ha! Sure.” She rolled her eyes. “Silly me.”

“Oh, come on, it is not that I’d be gone forever. I’m coming back.”

Come back? Why would she? Aislinn thought. Tanya was going to have everything. Starting tomorrow, she would be sitting next to a window with Eiffel Tower as its main view. She would study in one of the world’s most prestigious university, accompanied by her life-long companion, Tyler, who also happened to had a project to finish in Paris. She has no reason to come back to this monotonous city, NYC.

“What? You seem like you don’t want me to.”

“No, sure I want you back here. However… if I were you, I won’t come back. I mean, you’re going to a more promising place. You can have a life there! You will more likely have a future.”

“But that place… that place is just not home.”

“Don’t be silly! You once said that home is wherever love is… and there you go, you bring Tyler with you! You’re taking your home with you and it makes you have no reason to come back!”

Seeing her most independent yet somehow most needy best friend almost cry, Tanya rushed forward and gave Aislinn a last hug. She didn’t want Aislinn to know that her eyes started to go blurry too. “Don’t cry, please. You’ll be fine, no, we’ll be fine.” Just like what Tanya believed, when one is weak, the other should stay strong.

“Aislinn, think of me as Voldemort,” said Tanya.

Aislinn pulled herself from Tanya’s hug. She seemed confused. “And why should I imagine you as a nose-less monster when you’re about to leave the country?”

“Oh, come on! I thought you’re great at analogies!” shouted Tanya a little louder than she planned. When other waiting passengers turned their heads to check on them, Tanya nodded a little and mouthed “Sorry.”

“So?”

“So… I’m Voldemort. I created Horcruxes as I live, and so are you and other people if you notice. I left a little part of my soul at everything that makes me feel like I’m home. You, our cramped apartment, and New York are just three of my Horcruxes that I left here. I do bring my other Horcrux, Tyler, with me, but I also left other Horcruxes here. I left pieces of my soul here, Aislinn, of course I’ll come back.”

Aislinn went blank for a while as if electricity on her head’s circuit board were jammed somewhere. A moment later, she oooooh-ed, and give Tanya a hopeful look, “I’m one of your Horcrux?”

“Sure. I left a little part of my soul at someone who always cook me dinner these last few years, at someone who is always ready to hear my whines.”

Aislinn smiled. Somewhere, deep down, she felt warm. She never thought that her simple acts of caring would actually make her win someone’s heart. She never thought that she would be someone’s reason to come back. It had never occurred at her mind before that distance means nothing when two person cared so much at each other.

And so they both said goodbye. Aislinn and Tanya shared one last hug and exchanged promises they solemnly swear to fulfill. A few minutes later, Tanya jumped on the next train that brought her to the airport. Soon, she’ll be reunited with Tyler who had been waiting for her in Paris and she’ll start a new chapter of her life.

Being left had never been easy for Aislinn, but as time went by, it was getting easier for Aislinn to face it. From afar, Aislinn whispered, “I’ll stay here and be the reason for you to come home. I want you to succeed and be happy. Go.

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