December 30, 2011

My 2011 Recap

Now that I think back on the past year, I think I've matured (or changed, though I can only hope in a more positive way) a little bit.

- The brand-minded girl
Ask me about Louis Vuitton purse series two years ago, and I could give you the exact answer, I followed the purse's forum, etc. Now? I don't even care about those shiny expensive brands anymore. Ok, I still carry around one, but it's from my old collection, as I do not intend to buy any bags, branded or not. And the funny thing is, I do not even feel the pride of carrying a more than a-thousand-dollar-bag anymore as I used to. I dont even eye what kind of bag the other girls are carrying anymore. Its just a bag after all. Hm, now that I say it aloud, I kinda wonder, is the reason behind it is that I'm getting poorer, financially speaking? :D Or getting more manly? *gasp!

- Being judgmental, putting labels on people
I used to be very judgmental about other people. I hated people who're depressive, whiny, weak, ignorant, and the list goes on. To put it better, I didnt like people who didnt measure up to my standards as I saw myself as a strong girl. I used to think, if I could do it, why couldn't you?
I was picky, selecting carefully who I wanted to befriend. My friends consisted mostly of people who're strong willed, arrogant, smart, free thinking.

But as I had some distortions in life, I went out of my comfort zone and somehow made friends with different people from different religious backgrounds, races, etc. And I realized they're good people and I started to become more accepting of differences. And I was happier that way.. And people told me I was fun to be with and to talk to. I guess it was because I started to accept people the way they are and stopped judging and comparing.. Wait, negative and depressed people still irked me though.

The lesson didnt stop there. Curiously, in the past year I was surrounded by 'holy' fundamentalist church goers and I was the one being judged as I'm not as devoted as they are. And I was angry thinking how dare they judged me, when they haven't even walked a mile in my shoes. Oops, I think karma does exist!

So, I was the judge and then the judged. The circle is complete and I understand. Now? I'm an extreme liberal, to the point where I can think that people are the way they are because they have their own reasons, their own life experiences. And since I never walked in their shoes, who am I to judge? Negative and depressed? Well, it's their own struggle. I do not claim the right to dislike them anymore.. They are who they are, and I am who I am. *Now am I being non-judgmental or more apathetic?

- Me, the control freak
Since I kinda adopted my dad's buddhist philosophy, that we hold everything in our own hand, that we can choose our own future and destiny, (I tend to forget that what we can choose is our state of mind), I was an extreme control freak. I had to get things right, I was arrogant, thinking that I could overcome everything. Which reminds me of a funny conversation with a friend a few months ago.

He used to be a hedonist, living life on a fast track, but now he's a christian convert. He tried to convert me as well, but didn't really work out since he still can't answer my questions and maybe I'm too bullheaded. He told me that there must be God who destines things for us. And he asked me "Haven't you tried your hardest but still it didn't work out in the end? That you suddenly feel the need to pray as you accept defeat?" I answered determined-and-arrogantly,"Nop. As long as it's in my hand and I do my best, I never failed." "Well then, you're lucky.", said my friend.

Recently I faced defeat, I've tried my best and things still didn't work out. At this point, I let go of my arrogance and reluctantly admitted that there are indeed things that are out of our control, that things can go wrong, no matter how hard we tried or fought for the cause. Apparently there's indeed a stronger power than myself, it might be god, cosmic power, the universal energy, whatever you believe in. And it brought me back to the realization that I'm not an almighty superman. But for some weird reasons, I didn't feel the need to bow down and pray as well (which reminds me of another story with some christian fellows, oh I'll need another paragraph). And it made me ponder on my life motto Opto ergo sum (I choose, therefore I am), that the point is, I'm free to choose my state of mind, but not necessarily how things turn out. So now in the face of the defeat, I still have the choice to choose whether I grumble and hold grudges, or I let go of things and see it as another valuable lesson in life. And with full awareness and conscience, I choose the latter.

I used to join a christian sharing group last year and the leader said there're two types of people. Carrots and eggs. Carrots are those who get weaker and softer while being boiled. Eggs are the ones who get harder instead. Anyway, the leader then asked all of us, how we perceived ourselves. As my turn came, I didn't even have the chance to open my mouth, and a friend answered for me,"Ah, she is an egg!!". Another friend even added,"No, she's not an egg, she's a rock. No matter how long you boil her, she'll stay hard." Well, I won't admit I'm a rock, as I wasn't that hard in the very beginning, but the egg part is somewhat true. Honestly, I would like to be a carrot, it's a lot easier to swim with the stream, but I don't think that's my core. Anyway, this is out of topic.

- Freedom
I used to care what people thought about me, I tried to please people, worrying that they didn't like me or gossiped about me. Now I don't. I think I've come to a point where I've accepted that no one is perfect. I am not and I don't need to be either. I'm happy with my fortes and flaws, ok, about flaws, I'll try to be better for humanity's sake (ok, I exaggerate a little bit hehe), but it's all a process. And as long as I'm in this process, I accept my flaws. What do I care if others don't, as long as I don't do others any harm.

I don't really know what I went through or what I did to come to this point, but I think maybe because I've stepped out of my comfort zone, spread out some wings and took the fall. I've faced my fear and therefore I know what I'm capable of, which gives me a sense of security somehow.

A friend told me once that she didnt really like me when she first met me, as she felt a bit insecure because she thought I was cute fun always-twittering, and she thought that I did it to attract guy's attention. But after she got to know me, she told me, that she didn't feel insecure anymore (she's a very smart, self reflective and independent girl, whom I admire very much), because I didn't pretend to be cute or funny, that's just the way I am. I am authentic. And I know that, I've stopped pretending to be someone I am not some time ago.

- Fear of abandonment
I used to be afraid of being alone. If we want to get psychoanalytic, it might be because of my childhood trauma or whatsoever. I've come to realize my codependency pattern that I couldn't be alone, I had to be around people. And I decided to put an end to the fear and learned to enjoy the company of myself. Afterall, I learned that the unknown won't be that scary anymore if we have taken the first step of facing our fear. I have to admit it isn't easy and I'm still trying to hang in this. But at this moment, I've realized that being alone and loneliness are two different things. The fine line is again our state of mind. Now I can proudly say, I am staying strong. I'm getting there, I know I'm getting there :)

"Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional"

December 26, 2011

Just another bitter rant

I think I have to admit, at this point of my life I harbor resentment towards those those fanatical godsent churchgoers. A quite radical preacher I once met told someone that his inner eye and sensitive spirit fueled by God's wisdom saw a glimpse of my tortured soul and it was blackholey dark. He didn't even bother to have a chat with me before he made the conclusion. And he was quite persistent in his effort to reach me to get me back on the 'right' track. Well, at least I know for sure he and his loyal disciples are praying hard for my soul salvation today :)

Ok, I won't be saying anything about beliefs anymore. It brings us nowhere. They're devoted believers, whereas I ,um, how do I say this? am more like in between.
But still I wonder, how hard they try to uniform differences, how they would like to force me to see things exactly like how they see it.
I mean, let's take a so-called measurement ruler as an example. I might say it's a torture device (as I might have been beaten with one), you might say it's a nondescript plastic/wooden stuff. A student might say it's a device used to measure things, ask the tribal people out there, and they might give you other answers and point of view. Which of them is right? All of them are.

Some of us see the image of a pretty young lady, where as others see an old battered-looking woman. Which is true? You might start debating, but both are. It depends how we perceive the image, what past experiences we had, the list goes on.
As Dalai Lama said,"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road, doesnt mean they've gotten lost." But well, he's an outcast as well, no wonder he's much more tolerant of differences :D

Well, I've stopped trying to inject some sense of respect for differences on the godsends anyway. It just doesn't work, as they've put themselves on the holy pedestal, seeing things from a high and mighty throne. Who am I, a vagabond, to dare to speak to these heaven-reigning kings?

But there's one question that's still popping in my treacherous mind.
If they can respect physical differences, such as races, genders, heights, weights, limitations, even justify death, famine, poverty, illness as God's greatness, why can't they accept different ways of thinking as God's greatness as well? As it must be God himself who endows us with our logical capabilities, life experiences, etc.
They see everything as God's plan, then just let my way of thinking be God's plan as well.

If they pray that God will change the way I think or the way I perceive him, then they might start praying that he'll change my gender and race as well, just to be fair.

Signing this,
the bitter bitch

So come 2012

I know so many people who were hurt and are afraid of getting hurt again.
I won't judge, since I can relate so well to them. Life hasn't exactly been disneyland-ish for me either but I personally think joy and sorrow always come together, just like shadow and light.

Lets talk about pain.
We human beings cant live alone, we'll always have people around us, people we love, who love us and they might be those who hurt us the deepest as well.
But if we think of it, sorrow will always be present in our lives. People will always hurt us, be it accidentally or purposedly, no matter how we shelter ourselves or hide, pain will always find us. We'll get hurt, we'll hurt people, people leave us, or the other way around, it's a never ending circle. Some think they have found everlasting happiness in their marriages, but some marriages don't last, and even if they do, it takes a lot of efforts. As you see, behind every light of joy, there's always the shadow of sorrow lurking behind. And in the end comes death. We will lose and leave.

So, now we know that pain and sadness are always there. There's no way out of this misery circle, so why won't we let ourselves be happy for a change? Open our hearts and take every little happiness life can offer. Every one of us deserves to be happy once in a while, don't we? We all had our fair share of swallowing bitter pills in life, why don't we take lollipops if we have the chance?

Those who'd been hurt badly would probably say,"I wont open my heart anymore, I prefer to stay in my grey zone, where I'm not happy but at least I wont be hurt that much"
Well, everybody has the right to choose how to live life. You might say I'm an ignorant donkey who falls twice in the same hole, but somehow my lust for life conquers my fear. And all I know is the ships that are safely anchored to the harbour are indeed shiny, unbattered by the storm, but they don't get to see the beauty and vastness of the oceans. And that's not what ships are built for.

I've had my fair share of pain, to which I finally broke down and hit rock bottom.
I used to think I was a supergirl. I refused to be beaten down, I refused to give up and I refused to cry. But things had been hard, and I got lost, I was broken and I've cried. In the end, I have to admit reluctantly, I am not a supergirl. I'm just another human being, just like my fellow human beings out there. It took me a while to finally admit to myself that I'm not as strong as I thought I was. But I promise myself this, I've learned my lessons and the bitterness of life won't beat down my hope and optimism. The secret is to live in the present. Not even the strongest man is strong enough to shoulder the luggage of the past and worry of the future.

Having learned my lesson now I know what I want.
I want to be more like a sea shore.
Observing and experiencing the high and low tide sweeping in and out
Enjoying and basking fully in the moment of high tide
Watching and letting go of the sea water ebbing away along the low tide
Those tides might have swept a number of my sands away,
but I know I'll never run out of sands of hope,
bracing myself for the next upcoming high and low tide.
So come, 2012, bring me what you have and I'll greet you with head hold up high and a smile on my face.

December 24, 2011

Her Christmas Wish

I wish Santa Claus would send those people who think they're godsends all the way to North Pole, leaving us to struggle with our own dark nights of the soul by ourselves.
Yes, I'm talking about religious fanatics, evangelists, about people who believe the Holy Spirit has led them to success and wealth. Im talking about those who, buoyed by their own faith, claim privileged access to the divinity and appropriate God's name to justify their every action, including the act of boring others with sermons and maybe even irking the Almighty with their pestering.

Leave poor God alone, especially when it comes to your personal glory. Giving him all the credit is tantamount to hubris, and it belittles the Almighty, presenting him as a god that only cares for the winners.

Here's what I dont need in my life: anyone who's concerned with the state of my soul and salvation, assuring me that Jesus loves me and that only the Truth will set me free. Whether Jesus loves me or not is something I'm quite happy to leave to the Savior's good judgment, as is whether Santa Claus thinks I've been good or bad this year. I object to those wise guys who think it's ok to tell me what Jesus or God thinks or does, and lays claim to the Truth.

Source: The Jakarta Globe by Desi Anwar

Can't agree more on her opinion. I just wish those holy guys who know so well what God wants would finally start practicing love instead of pointing fingers and casting the first stone to people who they deem as more unholy than them. You guys do not get to decide whether or not I'll be burned eternally in hell. Just live and let live. And for a change, start being more tolerant and accepting, which I think is what Jesus himself had been teaching about : Love one another. And here I don't recall him saying anything about loving only your fellow holy neighbours who live up to your standards.

"I like your Christ, but I don't like your christians. Your christians are so unlike your Christ" -Gandhi