Un-Living the Residue.

Diving into 2023, head first.

Never am I not so taken aback to early days of covid. Because since then, how much life had changed for me, perhaps like everyone else. and for the past 12 months that had gone super fast, I recognize some residue of last year like those hyper vivid memories of recovering from unhealed wounds, navigating healthier friendships, rebuilding the image, shifting career plans. Few of which are hard to detach from. Honestly *sighs in millenial*

Crazy to think that I am 28 years young. Imagine that! In this head, I’m still that 20 year-old out in the world with a series of one-way tickets chasing wonders in places, mortgage-free, and everything. I truly miss it. Not just the freedom of being in many places but the idea of allowing oneself to fuck up coz they’re young. This had me expanding my gen-Z horizon more recently and how the table seems to have turned, not by much, for me to be able to meet certain expectations, like being looked up to and answer stuff like how to salvage dysfunctional relationships, what to choose for their first job, how much money they should put aside for first property, what kind of workout one should focus more on, which bars to go, or WTF is wrong with that part of that car and a million other adult stuff I have yet to fucking learn. There are more and more life skills and tricks to unlock each day.

On people. Among the many interesting turns I had to make, I was lucky there was a number of accidental encounters and how a few of those have led me to bad decisions and the inevitable at the end of the line – heartbreaks. Plural yep. There is enough pain for everyone involved in the stories to bring back home and sleep with. And as for me, I am learning to be less evil and fuck up less. There are certain great and horrible qualities I know in me I’d like to evaluate consistently and learn to navigate around.

On career. Uh…I officially resigned few days before Christmas (it matters!) after 2-3 years working for incredible tech companies…and others on the side. There was more to that world I have come to learn than what my silly mind thought I knew, like how to write even more concise emails and lead non-boring meetings, or avoid office politics at all costs unless one is planning on playing the long game. Me nah, it’s just a quick stop for me to trade my values and skills that are worth a few bucks until it’s time for me to build my hot empire and shit. And it’s fucking time. Maybe. After my naps.

There’s a few life-altering events from last year I wish I had the will to share here too. Maybe another time. // heheheh

I cannot tell the entire life plans because I’ve learned it’s easier to speak about your dream plans than executing them. In hindsight, I will be actively starting a few ventures this year across two major industries. I will also intend on keeping my nonprofit running and perhaps contribute more hands-on with other amazing NGOs. That and learning to become a content creator (I started doing music too) on the go like every one of my successful friends have shown. And learning to be comfortable with unnecessary extra attention and comments from strangers. And be more smiley in person 🙂

There is this part in life where I stopped questioning who I am tangled based on who I was yesterday. It’s a bad box to put yourself in and see the universe through. My mind is now set to try whatever it was scared to do out of toxic perfectionism and I am this ever-evolving abstract of things. But yes, I am committed to lead a braver life again. Fist forward. Fuck up less perhaps.

Okii – hugs!

Heartbreak Express.

It’s a heartbreak-bound one, but we hopped on anyway.

There I was, after stealing a few glimpses, full-on struck off the gate, at you, the almighty energy, awakening every lust there was. We boarded with zero hesitation. And it’s just pure game on along these carriages.

Choo choo, off we went.

1st stop – lounging in the corner of this carriage I was smoking like a chimney, like you are, as we went on from common interests to diving into each other’s trauma. All the way into judging each other’s past. We already had nicknames for each other by now. You know you remind me of a past, you mumbled. As scared as you were, I leaned into you, followed by a number of unintended moves.

2nd stop – I moved my seat and led you on. You welcomed the subtle invite. I flirted here and there. We became more intimate as the train sped up. The world had stopped I no longer cared if Zeus would send thunders our way. I just stared into the depth of your eyes, fully captivated, into your world, full of tales, untold, raw. I felt safe. I hoped you did, too.

3rd stop– in one of the conversations, I revealed what I couldn’t keep to myself. Pushing us backwards from whatever we have developed. The mood shifted fast. You went to seek peace in a different carriage needing time to think. From one carriage to another, but still I found you, anyhow. The fuck are you doing here? your eyes caught my presence in great shock. With guilt, I distanced myself away though making sure I could still see you.

5th – having overlooked the fourth stop, think it’s my stop, in firm tone, you made sure I heard it. Asked me to leave the carriage so I went away, like any villain would.

6th, 7th, ……

10th stopWhere are you, I thought to myself. I kept looking out the window until I felt a warm hand patting my back. Just this time I wish God would let me see you again. I was….right – it’s you. God was right. The Universe was kind to have let you stay. You stayed and lord if it didn’t feel like I just cured cancer. I was so happy. I got us more coffee, talked more, overlooking many stop signs. But the clock kept ticking.

17th stop – let’s get off at the next transit I wanna try their food and buy us souvenirs. We got off. Ate and enjoyed everything they had there, music, coffee, you name it. Whatever this was. In the back of our heads, we were prolonging these growing pains. Trying to get on the train again and feel better prepared for what was to come. I hugged you but your tensed kisses, sending us to the abyss of sadness.

somewhere 19th -22nd stop – what is our threshold of pain? I began questioning, to myself, to you. We skipped that question and saved it for another hour. Another 6 to 12 hours.

23rd stop – the train didn’t stop. We stayed as long the mountains and the greens remained. Fun and games until the suppressed feelings begged to be felt. Pain to be recognized. We were past the threshold now. It was only wise to take the next exit, you suggested with crumbling voice.

I couldn’t bring myself to speak so I just nodded. Hence, Adios.

……highly doubt there is more to the journey we’ve had regardless of how accustomed we’ve grown towards each other’s comfort. The inevitable end was here. We’ve played all cards and thanks for loving me in times I could not on this ride. The love we’ve come to know is highly unacceptable outside of this train and It did not feel great holding on to uncertain scenarios, nor was it the best thing to fool oneself into believing in an alternate destination. Not on this train.

Saudade Saudade, I whispered, as I walked away from the platform.

End. Chapter One.

Note from writer: happy birthday to me. Instead of blogging more of life milestones and shit, I feel incredibly happy to have this personal space to craft my thoughts into something enjoyable and immerse myself more in my creative element. Looking to share more of this soon. Merci life. Makaci universe.

Full Circle.

It’s Monday and I’m well thanks for asking.

Through a series of anxiety-fueled weekends I have been working, I can practically breathe now with my freed up Monday morning. The second half of year, and I seem to have experienced several epiphanies, a few of which:

  • done deal. I moved back to the my adopted city, as in permanently, not for a quick 6-month to one-year layover layover while taking jobs, but as in bought a home a few ngesots away from where I used to live before all the havoc that is life pre-pandemic season. This is where I spent 3 years of my life in classes hating and realising I wasn’t cut out, or had the drive I thought I had at the start, for Computer Science. But anyway, it’s a nice home coming to life soon in 2-3 weeks once interiors are becoming less of a headache.
  • also a done deal, my baby project Tiang must come to a full stop. What a great pleasure to dream to build a nomad community driven to create cool things at home, Lombok, right off the hyped Moto GP circuit surrounded by incredible beaches. There’s a few things I why it did not work at the end. Sometimes you have all the time in the world, but not the capital, other times it’s geographic limitations (one stuck in France, the other was in Sydney, or Jakarta), or just a landlord being landlord squeezing way too much in the midst of pandemic. Regardless I wish them well and I look forward to the better tomorrows keeping in mind that we are never defined by what chose to discontinue. Quitting often feels underrated anyways in the heart of our hustle culture.
  • a few emigrating plans – also dropped. After considering and got ahead with paperwork of moving to, uh, between a North American city or down under (where it’s close to Lombok), we pulled the plug. Forgot why. I think, I had one too many big projects in my pipeline that I would not be able to afford had I executed the plan.
  • in the pursuit of lost money by Sista. To my readers, new ones, please look up my life stuff (online) between circa 2020 to 2021 (?) lol jk. Anyways, to share context, this snake Balinese-Lombok girl ran away with shit ton of my money, with quite a shocking amount, at least to me, and I had done everything one would have done to pursue justice (which doesn’t always exist) legally, responsibly, and all the ly. Lawyers, debt collectors, court and judges, think I am ready to make peace with and close this chapter (but won’t shut up about it lol). At least of the IDR 600-700 mio, she paid back like IDR15 Mn or so (?) which was split to pay my lawyer again. lol. And again to help me cope, in many different ways, more and more friends opened up to me how they actually lost (even the unthinkable ones that seem so perfectly smart). So just stfu and start an Onlyfans, whispering to myself. Zen. Breathe. Forgive. Zen. Zen.

Every pause I get to take now, there’s this little ache begging for a release that I am very struggling to allow. Karma exists and the Universe always finds a way to make us pay back no matter fucking what, and reward us even in times we’re not bothered asking. Think you saved up a bunch of money after dodging and outsmarting the game? Nah, wait for all the sudden things you never thought might happen like that tax or your suddenly broken stuff. Shit just happens, always. You could mitigate the risk but it’s just life being life. After all, man are we not sitting out here wishing for the great perseverance that people before us had, to keep going, to make the move no matter how dark and uncertain tomorrow might be.

That is how I’ve trained my brain to think, I do not allow myself to sink deeper, that to get out of horrible situations, you just have to constantly make decisions – to swim in any direction and find your way upwards somehow, just one decision after another. I’ve learned it’s a muscle needing to exercise in difficult situations and I tok have learned that the decisions we make during horrible times NEVER HAD to be perfect. They should be good enough to move us from one phase to another.

In light of these events, life took turns for me too – yay nobody asked. I am now psyched to be in the middle of starting and running dream projects in: property, somewhat fashion stuff, then continue the focus in content creating, and still run the nonprofit Runcing with mission I still very much believe in. Hmm, those among other things. / hehe

Bottom line: excited to punch and kick and sleep and eat and punch again and all that repeat.

[editing] A day off – Healed?

A quarter ago, life at work was peaking, I found myself struggling to navigate life around work and life, and love, to the extent I was taken to see a shrink. I was suddenly handed a million things at once and taking up too much of my personal bandwidth. I felt I was up for the challenge of course, but decisions I make in life have always had a strong impact on others, especially loved ones I was surrounded by, followed by the many impacted things I could not see in my busy days. That until one turning point in January, my work and love life took an unexpected turn. That moment onwards, I was less busy and had time for experiments.

Today I’m just unexplainably exhausted but whatever. Not from work. Not from all the things and exciting projects I do. Even on a day off like this, my mind seems a lot more exhausted than it probably should, longing for a space to NOT think and just be present, which I find, after learning for years, is still so damn easier said than done, except for those online life gurus who seem to have shit figured out. On some days I could carry on, meeting a lot of new people, code-switching across projects I do (that come from super different industries), trying to be accommodating and not that annoying social being I usually appear to be at times. On some days, it’s tough to even function or reply a single word to simple messages, drowned and swamped. Perhaps it’s just in my head so I waited it out until I feel better. I have felt better, just not yet ready to function more than I have been for the last 20 months.

Pinpointing your actual state of emotions or identifying signs of….um…depression could be extremely challenging. I am clueless still as to what I’m drained about mostly, is it the obvious social interaction and the overwhelming number of things I actually do. Is my heart tired from being on the prolonged survival mode I had to suppress my emotions everytime I had to be human. My therapist thought so. My inner-self, however, did not grasp this. Mind and body needing sometime to fully recharge and function again.

A lot of people on the internet simply have this idea of healing as easy as hopping on a plane to faraway places on self-pity journeys in hopes to find themselves and recover anyhow, with the help of magic and some religious traditions they now glamorize. Glad if it helps for some. But it sure as hell bullshit I never bought. For me it was difficult to see what kind of method I needed to be able to recover, to possibly heal, to finally feel not just happy, but to be at peace with every decision I’ve made, every version that I am, and whatever the fuck else healing means to me, or anyone trying to heal. It may look very different from one person to another.

The past one week allowed me to be one with family, both by blood and people I consider one, unbothered by the external world (re: social media) and do as I please. I wake up. Do shit, old and new.

An Antidote to Delayed Grief.

[let’s just keep this as WIP until the antidote works]

So, I have not been feeling like quite myself for some time now but as it grew stronger and my life took a few dramatic turns recently, the needs are demanding to be met, to pour out these emotions here, both the already processed and yet to be processed.

I now have more bandwidth than I ever had in the past 3-4 months, to sit with myself and finally process every bit of my emotions. I realised the horrible side effect of the way I was built from my teenage years – someone who wasn’t very fond of showing a tiny sign of weakness in everything they do. This, I’ve come to learn, isn’t the best soft-skill to be had in the world. It’s not hard for us fall into the trap – the I’ve got it all attitude – that eventually leads to things falling apart, losing one too many of what we’ve worked hard to build. Even when no one’s looking.

To the outsiders, words got to me that I have been perceived by a few new acquaintances to be this cold, bitter bastard. And yet to those who have shared drinks and stories or even grew up with me, I may have been presenting these charming, warm personalities who might have what it takes to always light up the room (source: my actual friends). I stopped trying to understand in which of these labelled boxes I could fit, just happy to be in the spectrum. Sometimes I just let the know-it-alls read and psychoanalyze me, then me proceeding to that ‘gosh so accurate you’re genius’ look to do my bare minimum as a social being. But really worth a fuck-all to me. Or perhaps it means one or two things about me.

So, which grief exactly? I do not know. From which I am trying to recover, or to heal, yesterday, or today. It’s a long journey one should, or is encouraged strongly, to enjoy, as opposed to what people seem to grasp about healing. Had a hunch it was about a bit of betrayal, buried with a lot of denials, and unprocessed loss of a strong figure in the past, or perhaps fears of not overdelivering and feeling inadequate to my loved ones. Or the side character longing for a new, different life. Or that my brain is exhausted of thinking, and the heart, all needing a timeout that it deserves.

So I caved in and allowed myself to not think, nor to feel. For the first time in a while now, I have been feeling not just empty again, but floating aimlessly in this vast nothingness leading to no end. I lost my drive I used to have to be who I thought I was destined for. I am evolving yes, it’s the ideal state, but I am stepping far back, trying to recalibrate the set plans I have told my brain to pursue no matter the weather.

In the long quest of discovering the antidote, among many, these are some of the ingredients I think might work:

  1. back to my old solo routine
  2. run again, at a great pace
  3. dismiss all the scenarios in my head
  4. allow one sad day each week no matter how busy
  5. stop over-complying to other people’s emotions
  6. do random shit –> I have not had the chance to
  7. deactivate IG, make less tiktoks
  8. meet new, interesting folks again, learn and experience
  9. meet nature again where you feel the safest, the sea, the beach, or the waterfalls on that mountain you dream of
  10. talk to therapist, open up more how you’re not superman
  11. endless caffeine and alcohol-induced convos
  12. maybe don’t do #11
  13. catch up with your exes and long lost friends
  14. write more? try singing again? learn instrument?

Still experimenting if all these would work, but probably through miles of walk. a few songs on repeat. endless convincing. filling up your empty heart with things hoping that the brain would just pick up somehow.

A year, two years ago today.

A year ago today, after flying into the capital from Jogja, and hypersocializing with 20-ish people from all over the country, I tested positive for COVID-19. I might have had the mild version of this Thanos virus that wipes out over 5mio people worldwide, but I certainly felt weak and helpless, isolated at my apartment, not being able to enjoy food and meds sent by good friends, or my body to digest properly. It’s like eating a packed bowl of Gyudon and Ayam Geprek twice a day and still have zero drive to move a finger on your laptop, or trying to reach toilet from your bed (that is 2m away form each other) with dizzy head hurting like an old man.

Not to exaggerate but it was hell. On top of all the worries, I struggled to finance my outpatient medical needs (I had 2 private insurances from work and 1 personal health insurance, none of which helped). Trying to recover at home could cost me around 1/10th of what my friends have spent had I chosen to be at the hospital (with figure hovers around IDR 100mio/person). Keep in mind around the same time I was in the process of waiting to hear back from a lawyer I had already paid for to chase the woman who stole everything I had and my back pushed against the wall to start paying back people’s money already – which was a great deal of mistake. All resulting in me living under the poverty line, needing help from here and there to even get tested as I headed back to normality. Everything about this memory hurts except laughing over seasons of Netflix’s Love Island Australia (this was how bored I was to spend time enjoying this shit).

Two years ago today, I was busy navigating Christmas dinner and luncheon around Canggu’s busy streets and Potato Head and Mexicola and whatever Bali overhyped spots with a vibrant group of MBA candidates from where Steve Jobs went to school. All this while constantly gaslighting my already made life’s decisions, among many things running in my head.

Three years ago today, I was celebrating a tiny, humble Christmas dinner with best friends in Lombok, one of whom, Chalten and I shared this mouth-watering steak with and exchanged our IDR 100k gifts. Among the many circles we have mutual in, this is like the go-to gang we shared dreams with in Lombok. And for unwinding, beach days, and a few others.

4 years ago today, I cooked Soto Ayam and made Gado-gado in the cold, stormy New York to help keep everyone in the family fed. This was a quick 10-day visit before I returned again for my sibling’s wedding. I missed the American white Christmas I was once exposed to for the first time in my life, looking out the windows in the suburban houses with their warm decors with nonstop Christmas playlist. I had two more new white nieces that week. That was……one warm winter.

5 years ago, I was in Mount Nebo, Jordan transiting before reaching Aqaba with our talkative uber driver, uncovering remains of the old church. There were locals preparing for the Christmas that day (though mostly muslims) then headed to to Aqaba to….stay warm with our Turkish coffee. In the Christmas morning, I walked to the nearest church to to observe the interesting service they had when done in full Arabic (it felt like you were attending a Jumat/Friday prayers for Muslims, except it’s about Jesus and everything). Not a lot I can recount on this but the sheer memory of rushing, running out of enough cash, catching the last bus with locals towards Wadi Rum arriving almost midnight. That experience lives in my head rent-free. The unexpected freezing desert at night.

I cannot seem to remember much of what the fucking fuck happened exactly beyond five years back around this Santa season where we feel the strong urge to be new and interesting. My brain would require Facebook or scrolling through archives to trigger the memory. What I clearly remember: I was busy revamping my business plan, pitching, and busy being driven to solve problems, pretending I knew everything (which was a tiring job and not recommended for everyone), while exploring new places on an extremely tight budget, while trying to ace computer science classes, just kidding, I barely reached the bare minimum (too much play outside and had a change of interest after 3 semesters). Everything about school to me felt half-assed and has failed to reflect my strong academic interests. But to give you context, running a way to Emurica and taking another gap year, did not give me the privilege to cut school and continued elsewhere having wasted the two years. The only option left was – to really gtfo.

Oh man just how much I am missing the world, the younger me, the unexpected surprising turns made around every corner of life, the stronger version of me, less about the risk-averse version I am now evolving into. I still do not know when or how I will be able to do everything I had the chance to before, to be reckless, to feel like everything is risk-free, or to think low-key every damage is reversible, or having all the bandwidth to meet new people and understand their stories. However, in retrospective, it was not all that remarkable not having enough money to afford things you wanted or craving a life out of principles shared by online gurus who are mostly about leave everything behind to get a fresh start, which glamorizes the idea of escapism, in a way.

It’ll probably take some more time for me to figure out a way to cure my mild longing of being on the road again and feeling truly connected and brought more alive. For now, everything I do around weekends will suffice. May we all heal in these unprecedented times where we lost one soul after another, figuratively and literally. Today I raise my half-filled glass to all the fighters, combatting battles you’re in in deep silence today, and tomorrow! Know that your support system is watching your every move very closely and are loved. Cheers!

From Card Getting Declined, to Hyper-Social.

Let’s just begin gently from how ecstatic I am to finally jam on this keyboard on Sunday morning, minding my own business, just penning shit from my head to this public, personal blog. I mean who else is blogging these days leaving messy digital footprint for their future partner, employer, investor? donor? school? The answer would start with – this guy.

A few days back, and some other sappy days, my card was declined at a mall to afford basic necessities like food or coffee. Took me a few minutes to recover from the embarrassment until a friend quickly wired me cash. By definition, I have probably gone beyond poor that evening and it certainly hurts like a bitch to not be able to rely on yourself at times, needing to ask for help from anyone, at possibly anytime. Even for someone who has thick skin like me, it haunts me to think what my closest circle might perceive my misfortunes and the idea that I am trying to push my narrative of ‘oh someone ran away with hundreds of million because I was too dumb so please help me‘ because you’re my friend. Yea it kinda has come to that. And the self-hate or reject and every other irreversible damage you get can be a little traumatising for self, when not managed properly, or intermezzoed with fun jokes.

HOW-fucking-EVER, the way I operate in uncharted waters, emotionally, I opt to not process the emotions yet and instead focus on my recovery plan (paying back all these with everything I can do in life to generate money) working myself to the bone, until one day I am able to cross this off of my list and get the fuck out to go on a long, self-pity journey and rebuild everything from the ground up. Better watch.

Anyway….thought I’d share to you here on what’s up w my life:

  1. Working life. I quit Fuse and crossed industry from insurtech to the ever-evolving proptech startup, Pinhome. There is a number of push and pull factors around the why. The bottom line though: startups of all sizes are fun when given the right room to grow both for the company AND the individuals who run the engine. I think I am in the middle of that all, even after taking a pause for about 2 years. The difference now is all the amazing things u get to learn from the inside and how proving urself wrong on plenty of things on work life and startup and how the know-it-all fades out as you grow better.
  2. Coworking space and Motogp. As for Tiang, my baby whom my partners and I gave birth to seems to struggle to find herself in the midst of me, my partner who is now completing her studies in France somewhat still optimistic but getting cold feet, and another who is constantly hovering at the option to flee and move overseas, that after he left Sydney to join forces building this Tiang dream. It’s extremely tough to land at a firm decision when you’ve spent over a billion to build and gamble in a commercial area relying on foreign visitors in the midst of pandemic, despite the overly hyped Motogp that’s around the corner.
  3. Runcing Foundation. This front I’m quite relieved and happy about. We are now focusing on expanding to Papua, NTT, and other parts. It could get extremely exhausting to run especially when you only have around 5-10 spare hours to spend a week on this probono, but given my incredible team who is spread across NYC, SG, HK, Lombok, Bali, Jkt, we have been able to always find the workarounds.
  4. The trying to be content creator and modelling. Yea I do that now. I’ve ditched all my stereotypes about this type of work and begin to understand the art from the inside. Things sort of took off a bit and I have been getting a few offers I could say yes to from modelling to endorsements. It is…..nice. But the juggling can be as difficult as putting one OPPO airpod on my left ear for a live photoshoot and my airpod on my right ear that is connected to an ongoing meeting. Yes it gets to that level of multitasking sometimes.
  5. The after-effect of it all is obviously getting the mini-fame situations, even when going to a small cafe not many people go to, someone sends a photo of you from afar in your DM, or getting a bit drunk at a bar and someone comes to you saying how much they love your content. I am honestly loving the admiration and love coming my way, but it sure is a bit intense, especially for someone without that sizable audience like me. If I were someone with > 100k followers maybe it’d make a whole lot more sense but mine….it’s weird.
  6. Inspira the mentorship platform we intended to start again this year may need to wait a bit longer. Still searching for the bandwidth to pursue all this again, especially for someone a hundred times busier than I am, like….superstar Maudy.
  7. With everything I’ve been doing, I feel that all these have forced my hyper social-self out of me in order to make things…..work. I can endure longer conversations now, even in person. To the extent I no longer get to recharge as much (now that I am not in Lombok for instance) or my weekends are often used up to do the other work I cannot do on weekdays (due to draining and time).
  8. Lastly, probably chasing Perempuan Lihai a.ka. Sista. I tried searching for her in Denpasar last month but to no avail. And personally, I stopped talking about it because it numbed me and talking to the wrong people gets you the unfavorable reactions when stories are half-told and you just don’t have the energy to explain everything. might as well be used for money-making activities so I can one day pay it all off and live my actual life. It has been 15 months or so since the tragedy. I have paid parts and numbed myself and held back from the impulses of actually buying primary needs for myself because spending around 20mio-ish a month can hurt a little fucking much. And seeking help from a number of lawyers or authorities had led me to a big fuck-all. Anyway….the sky is blue.
  9. Constantly denying you’re in depressed mode and re-shift the focus to…..anything seemingly more productive.

So that’s what’s up and If I had the extra time and money, the first I’d love to see myself doing is stuff like reminiscing the times spent alone here and there, doing all the crazy stupid fun wise things I can. Or working towards doing all that again before life officially enters its boring stage and I start talking down on younger folks thinking we know everything. More to write from me soon. Love!

Nailing the Summit.

I have not had the chance to trek anymore. The last time I did it was circa 2013 to Rinjani, which was closer to home for a beginner. And nothing major ever since, just a little hike here and there when I felt like it, and a few plans to embark on adventures in Nepal or India (but never had the chance to due to…all things).

I cannot put the memories back together tonight in the greatest details but I do remember these: it was in March (it kinda rained pretty damn hard and cold, the one that could get you soaked and hate your life but kinda had to make it anyways), squeezing the supposedly 3N4D trip to 2N2D to both the lake and the summit, zombied our way 10-12 hours a day from one post to another, and pushing through the finish line because someone had to fly the next day and the constant urge to like give up but amazed at the beautiful wilderness you’re surrounded with. To give you context, think about having not water-showered in the past two days, having only 1 headlamp working, 1 flashlight from a 9% charged phone, 4 of you, one-fifth of bottled water left, the guide kept saying 1km left since 8pm and it was midnight, through the jungle of the jungle in its most literal meaning that you didn’t dare looking elsewhere but your feet especially what you might see above your head or your side. All that beautiful pain until around 3am. SO it’s a bunch of mixed feelings. We cheered ourselves by talking about getting a nice massage tomorrow and revenge sleep in the city.

I cannot NOT go on, despite my broken legs and thirst and the toxic thoughts ‘it’s gonna be over soon’ for…..hours. I’m reliving those moments of weakness to kindly remind myself that it is the only way I’ve learned how to survive. In my present life, taking up 3-4 jobs at once, not taking a penny for yourself, paying off hundreds of million you never used as a cost to keep the already established trust among you and people, drained basically on most days but trying not look like one when talking and lending my ears to friends who’s bitching about the everyday life that we all have to endure anyways.

Right now in a life with stakes that could only go up, I could only learn to build and rebuild myself each day, armed with resilience. I’m not so good at self-pity knowing how incredibly privileged I am and so much to give. I may have lost what felt like everything, but I sure know how to fight. Fucking hard. Either that or I got comfortable being thrown against the wall and stand back the fuck up somehow.

We never really got the massage like we dreamed of doing that horrible dark hours. Perhaps the same way we overpromised ourselves the many things we no longer wanted after arriving at a certain age. I realised I no longer had all the time in the world to be stupid and do everything unplanned anymore. I have been a nice dude in the workforce now, do a lot of things by the book, putting aside my entrepreneurial dreams for a bit until things are under control. Do I miss my life being reckless and wildly optimistic? Or afford being irresponsible young adult? Yes and no.

Ah to be young and glorify the misperceived ideas of ourselves. I’ve reached the age of giving a fuck a lot more for the small list of things I care about, and waste less energy on bitching abt the little things, or explain myself. Anyway, thanks for stopping by in this no-context writing. To sum up, I’m happy to be where I am today can’t complain. And I hope that you are too, to find joy wherever you may find it today, and tomorrow, or the day after.

JB After Midnight.

One in the morning and JB Sentral was buzzing still with returning Malaysians from the Lion City. Me, however, was left starving with probably 60 RM in cash and the three ATMs I tried couldn’t dispense the damn money. Ugh was I not bummed out waiting for my next train from JB to KL to depart, which was in 7 hours (which ticket I also had not bought btw) and the only socket to be found was this dirty corner behind a vending machine. So there I sat my worries and thinkable fears next to my brown dora the explorer-sized bag.

Not a long time after my epiphany, this old man emerged from I forgot where, Southeast Asian-Chinese looking, walked towards me and we began exchanging words. Long story short, he’s a stranded Minang in Malaysia looking to return to Padang since months ago. I can’t recall perfectly the exact reason he fled Indonesia but having lost a lot of things from his loved ones to money recently, he struggled to return. All he had was his passport, an old address in Bukit Tinggi and like a sketch of his address, and….an ounce of hope for someone to help him return to Indonesia. That hope was this broke dude, unfortunately.

My leftover cash was then used on a plate of Indian meal that was open near the station. I was grateful he seemed beyond happy and for the first time after a long week I felt somehow content. After hearing plenty of his stories, in thick Malay accent speaking Indonesian, he then proceeded to ask me if I was willing to trust this Minang grandpa and spare him some bucks to go back home. God I hated how JB Sentral didn’t have a proper wifi so I could simply move money to my other bank acc that night or that the ATMs there worked with my card – the universe either hated me or my humanity was sincerely tested. That was inconvenient. So my problem multiplied from surviving the night with a starving tummy and purchasing my ticket to Butterworth and Bangkok, to now helping him to return on a good faith. I chose the latter.

The dawn had arrived and my back was screaming from another night spent on hard-ass, freezing floor near toilet. Malaysians were starting to flock into Woodlands and the shops are starting to open. All I wanted to do was run there to ask for a personal hotspot and help me this poor man. I worked my charm fast and I got it, so I rang my friend in KL to book my train ticket coz…..he kinda owed me back in Jogja months before so yeah. Ticked resolved. The old man was fed. Now some money from my other bank account – also resolved. I made sure I transferred enough for him to return to Bukittinggi. He insisted I left him my phone number. And that we grabbed our last meal of Nasi Lemak there before I departed.

I hopped on my train and was seated next to an old Chinese-Singaporean couple heading to KL only to….pray at this church I forgot. We spoke about their kids and bits about me. My train from KL – Butterworth had engine problems on the way there and that we had to stop and walked in the middle of nowhere in West Malaysia to the rescue train – but this was another drama to share. All I cared about that time was that the old Minang grandpa made his way back to Padang, Indonesia (don’t I sound like a saint here?).

A few weeks after, I settled back into my normal working student lifestyle in Jakarta. I noticed a text from an unknown contact saying thank you for helping him and that he sent money back to my account (though I’m still not sure to date how he got my acc but he did). Anyways, morals of the story:

  • It could have been my parents, my grandpa, or my friends, or me in a foreign country
  • Have the balls to ask for help in every opportunity.
  • An opportunity to help doesn’t always present itself, when it does, be sure to lend all the hands we have.
  • I miss travelling it hurts.
  • I should have captured the moment when I could but I was too tired.

K adios now. Sampai jumpa 🙂

28 Days on Tiktok.

Tiktok and I somehow became these great bestfriends in the past few months, so I decided one day to just fuck it and post whatever I made 28 days ago. Ever since, I’ve been showered with positive feedback. One or two posts I got lucky it went somewhat viral, which led me to the rise of followers on my IG swipe up and let’s face it, the expected creepy DMs that I have not seen in the many years I had been keeping my profile private. So, yay and phew.

I realised that such growth is doable for pretty much anyone, gifted with good look, or an interesting personality that could match whatever the bored audience of tiktok is looking for. With all this, I still often think after midnight of my close friends with the blue stickers who charge the equivalent of starting salary of corporate salary in Jakarta for a story and stuff like that. Anyway.

This constant effort trying to be…sigh…likeable enough so I could start growing a small audience has not left me an ample room to be whatever form of myself I thought was acceptable (despite however loud I preach about being weird and yada yada yada). Real talk. The top cons of never going in to this trend was me giving up my perfectly-sealed life of privacy and the bitter vibes that I unintentionally give off to people who do not know me personally, or know me – what (?)

Now, just trying to enjoy the wave and god knows. Will try to do that, continue making vids on Youtube, and being a secretly ambitious twat who brags about work-life balance but always trying to do a hundred things at once, and fucking excel at every single one of them. Yea coz why the fuck not. Life’s short and I’m realtively young (?) And trying to pay off the remaining debts I still have from the chronicles of fucking Sista who’s now hiding in her Bali nest. Stay tuned 😉

I will still keep this online home as a place to return to write good memories and learnable stuff. I have certainly missed writing a lot. My writing list is like a lot my fingers get excited to write though my head is like dead by 7pm these days.

See you and stay safe.