Bloodline, ambition and real accounts

I try all my waking minutes not to judge everybody around me, but believe me still I do. I think I spend most of my time focusing tirelessly on myself. I become selfish but, in my defense, that is because I feel we are living in a world where every man lives for himself. So fair enough.

But I miss is the real account's of the life of everyday's people around me. In these past two weeks, I have managed to have a long talk with people whom I think I know who they are for real. These are my old friend from high school, old friend from college, my cousin and my own mother.

Image from We Need to Talk About Kevin (2013)
I haven't watched the movie but see the tension in this picture
This is us when we need to talk face to face to our closest people

Before my departure back to Malang, I managed to catch up with an old friend from high school. Unlike me, she decided to be married at a young age and now, she is building a little family and I am happy for her. At first, I saw her as one of those girls who have an easy life--who secures themselves in a good marriage by marrying an established older guy who had been given a green light from her parents.

After I spent a day in Uluwatu and I practically joined their family for hours. It turned out they live simple like ordinary people do. Social media really gives an overwhelming peek and portrayals into one's life. She has a maid, but she still takes cares of her baby and she shops for the baby's need. That is so unlike what she shows in the social media which had been clearly making me assumed of her 'easy life' and that she becomes one of 'that' housewife.

She said to me that she planned to take fashion design study, to which I support if only she commits to herself, and yes I can see her committing to her passion.

And I guess, there is no need to patronize the singles and the couples. I bet everybody makes different life choices and construct different life paths.

I reflect more a lot when I met my tomboy friend from college who has turned into an investor relation officer at a private-sector business. For some reason, she sounded like my mother and she tried to keep me grounded. "It is Indonesia, we are back home. We need to make reasonable and responsible choices." that's what she keeps on saying on me. To throw the ideal and the dreams off of the windows because we cannot have fun as we used to and not getting any younger.

Again, I do not know about her. Maybe, she is smart enough to pick stability: a good corporate career and a good boyfriend. That's what my parents are wishing for. I know the salary of a corporate career can sustain my life and closest people around me, but I do not think it is what I want. Not the money, but the direction does not feel like suiting on me.

Maybe it is reckless enough to wish for more adventure in the age of 23, when the age 27 and 28 is the maximum age requirement to apply for several career including trainee in corporate. But I want to taste to work in an environment I love and grow from it. For her, investor relation was different from the PR work she used to do, but she feels that she is growing. Then good for her. But for me, I am not in the same page. Maybe, if I were a foreign correspondent then yes, I can see myself growing.

It has been certainly the thought of the day. The next day I was having a fight with a good friend and my feelings was hurt. I woke up at 4am but I stayed in bed til 8am. I did not even have the thought to get up. It was that bad.

So, I went and followed my parents to my aunt's house. I brought my laptop and immersed myself in a cold silence and I started to write my travel diary and few poetries. I did not really talk, though it was rude I know, but I was not looking forward to entertain people when they ask me about my job or my relationship.

Then my cousin, who is a quite a rebel and a newcomer in the entertainment industry (true, he spent money to be orbited in the business and busy with little concerts) came to me and showed me his published work. He writes! I am happy. I have a faith in my cousin, unlike the elders who do not like his reckless habits--me too--that involves dating, smoking, drinking and swearing in public--he is only 19. Maybe if he is 35, then I'll let him do what he wants. But he is 19 and he has so many bright things to do ahead. But then he writes! And I told him how proud I am to him.

He writes on a personal topic of divorce or broken marriage, which for me is, a quite bold move. By reading his writing, I understand him better. he is actually hurt from surviving the pain of being the victim of divorce. It is unlike the persona that he shows daily and in social media where he tires to appear cool and awesome, in writing, he is not embrassed to be fragile and honest.

I see that I have similar personality to him. In a sense that, we are quite childish but we have a good intention to grow, but what we are lacking of is an emotional intelligence. We seem to always make a bad decision for ourselves. But that'd be nice if the elders/parents to inspire or lead instead of you know assuming unhealthy judgment.

This week, I spent most of the days accompanying my mom to the hospital. She is concerned about her heart problem and she thinks of undergoing a small surgery to her blood vessel, but she is scared.
And I learnt that she had skipped medicines for months amd then she had some mild attackes few months ago.

Truthfully, I have faith in her. She is only 50 years old and she is strong enough. And I guess, the attacks happen because she did not take the medicine regularly. And I did not know why she refused to take the medicine, and now she is nervous about the operation. I said to her that, "Yes you can still be healthy without any surgery unless you keep drinking the meds, control your diet and did some little exercise. There have to be efforts."

But she rejected my ideas. I think she doesn't like the idea of taking meds everyday because it makes her feel even more sick.  I suggested her to go to yoga and a group exercise, but she is totally against the idea, saying that she hates socializing. She added that she does not want more in life, not even more friends.

"I want to stay at home, knitting, watching my grandchildren and growing old."

I feel pain in my heart too. For all my life, my mom has been my supporter and her tough critics show the way she is as an independent woman and strong role model. It breaks my heart to see that she does not want more in life.  But she has been living for so many years, and I do not know what kind of 50-year old I become.

I tried to excite her and  told her stories about all the elders who visit Ubud Writers and Readers Festival I just came back from, but she said, "Yeah, they do not think about the afterlife. Don't they? I want heaven... a good afterlife."

... and about the grandchildren part. I do not event have a prospective partner and I am still heartbroken from past companionship, I just want to take things slow.

But then I say, "But at least, they are happy in their current life. They are old but strong" I refer to the elder visitors of the festival.

But again she said that having fun in life is a waste of time. I am getting sad. Because we are clearly a different person then. I am always looking forward to create happiness. I will not waste time for it and it does not mean I am wasting time, because my happiness that is created of what I do is an inspiration, a good deed. Because I have been there, seeing my friends write and do poetry because they feel inspired by little, silly things I do.

Has my mother experienced the same joy?

What was she trying to be when she grew up?

She was busy knitting and I watched her, wondering, if we are in the same age. We can be good friends but not the best one. Maybe she can be the girl that has it all, career and boyfriend and I am the hippie girl she sees once a month to update stories. I am with sunburnt skin and she is in her sleek suit.

She is a hustler and I was born craving for adventure, which sometimes feels like a curse. I do not know which bloodline inherits this to me.

Until she told a story about all the books and the stamps. About the books and magazines my grandfather used to subscribe and that my grandmother did not read even a line because she loved playing canasta and being in the kitchen.

My grandmother was a great cook. In fact, when I was a little, I helped her to prepare cookies for celebrations. My mom said she liked to try new things when it comes to cooking. She was a skilled tailor and she had never taken the family to a restaurant because she said she could prepare everything from the kitchen. And she did... My mom told me that my grandmother used to share her skills. She loved to teach people, from sewing, knitting and cooking. I guess now I know where the this ambition came from.

But people grew old, and they are trying their best to sustain passion and real life.

It has made me realise that I come from an open-minded family. We are not coming from a great empire, but to know that we work honest and have a pure intention that has been enough.


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