On One Decade

I was fourteen, Bush was the President of United States, Nokia was still ruling the world.

Back then, the internet is a fancy thing. I had to go to a shabby internet cafe to just log on and post something.

Commemorating the years we've been together, me and this platform, I will try to distil three things that I have learned from our togetherness. As if nothing good comes out of it, I better shut this blog down, don't I?

First and foremost: When no one cares about what you think or do, it doesn't mean it isn't worth it.

The toxic mindset in this era of social media is that each of your idea, expression, and creation have to be validated by the number of like and love you virtually get. The less the like you get, the less worthy it is. To me, the whole concept doesn't make sense. If back in 2007 I was consumed by the idea of how no one cares about my imaginations, rants, and thoughts, I would have stopped express myself by writing and lost the precious chance to see the evolution of myself in the past one decade. Such a big loss. 

What fetus Tita taught me now is: applause from others is just a bonus. Regardless of whatever crap people give to us, the point lies in the effort to keep doing or creating what matters to us. The process of getting my thoughts to the written form has helped me release deep emotions which I often bottled up. Which is great. At least for me.

Second lesson: This, too, shall pass.
Being able to capture the feelings and hurdles in the past ten years, I have a vivid memory about how any problems in life would finally be solved, or at least how it finally became more manageable. Sometimes the process is slow and hurtful, sometimes it isn't as difficult as we projected to be. And no, as much as we like to say that we are stuck this way: yah saya mah gini-gini aja, we actually are growing without we even realise.

Our capacity to handle problems has somehow expanded. Our mindset evolved. The first three years of this blog is filled with my teenage rage. There were times I felt like Simple Plan translated my life perfectly.

Do you ever feel like breaking down? 
Do you ever feel out of place? 
Like somehow you just don't belong, and no one understands you? 
Do you ever wanna run away?
Do you lock yourself in your room?
With the radio on turned up so loud, that no one hears you screaming?

I literally often locked myself in my room and being an unpleasant teenager. I often blamed the situation, I often blamed my parents for having to went through what I had been through. Little did I know about the pain and suffer that cut them deeply too. Little did I know that parents are people. They have their own life before us. They have their own baggage from the past too. Now, how about an attempt to understand them? That's the least I can do compared to the sacrifices they made for me.

The teenage angst has way long gone. The real anxiety over quarter life crises, however, has just begun.

In a big picture, life is such a distinct period within a process of change. If we persistent enough, we at least get a chance to see how the future eventually unfold. Surrender then become irrelevant because this, too, my friend, shall pass. 

Third: People come and go. And that's okay. (At least it has to be)
It is not too hard to find the pattern that I had different companions from time to time. Circle of friends are changed, people in and out. A delightful meeting. A devastated goodbye. Close friends become distant. Recent acquaintances become close. New individual to get to know. New stories to be exchanged. It struck me how natural it is for people to come and go in life. How we cannot (and should not) cling to any person other than ourselves. We, indeed, can love. Can like. Can adore. Can care. There are particular people who stay a little longer than others. But we have to be aware that the farewell is real. And it might happen in the most unintended way beyond our will. Knowing that we will eventually be apart in no time, I no longer have doubt to show the affection I have towards people.

As bitter as it may sounds, farewell and goodbye, it reveals the essential lesson in life: we should not underestimate the relationship between us and ourselves. Because no matter who our companions are, we will be stuck with ourselves for the rest of our life.

This post has reached its end. Here is a bonus of me circa 2008 in the most natural settings with the most natural pose. 

Me, braces, and white frame. #cringe

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