One of the nicest things of being an introvert

Huff. So, you came back from work, all dreary, drenched in exhaustion (and probably a little contempt..) and you went face to face with your tiny yet cozy room.

Your day was supposed to be the happy first day of the year, and it should be filled with laughter. And of sharing holiday (or yet another drunken night recaps) stories with your colleagues, whilst frantically trying to remember wishing all the superiors and big bosses happy new year (with a little fear that you forgot and was remembered as the ‘unfriendly’ small fish.. gosh, all these unwritten society’s rules) and yet……… you were left staring at the.. the.. the normal thing you stare at the workplace. For.. awhile. (trying to be euphemistic here haha)

And so you came home, a little angry at fate. Your usual bed and shower greeted you, eagerly hoping to cheer you up. Imagine your frowny face slowly being turned into a relaxed smile, your hunched up, tight shoulders melted down in between the pillows, and your tiny bits of sinful midnight supper (ahem.. I know.. it’s a well deserved reward after a long day!) joyfully sending blissful waves to your brain, as you recharge, sandwiched in those thick bed sheets.
You scrolled up and down Facebook to see whether there is anything inspirational, anything warm-hearted and love-filled to share out to the world. You found one, which leads to you googling more about it, or reading more into the website. You sing out loud, ’cause who the hell will hear and care. You open up those pages of the old detective comic book, and you can read them until dawn if you have no commitments the next day. You watched those videos and shows you have long missed (well, when there’s more time than tonight).

It was just you, in your own world. For the first and only time today. It was your much needed dose of “me-time”.

Sometimes you chatted with your mom. Or dad. Either one, but probably not both at the same time. You chatted about your other family members. You talked to your housekeeper, occasionally giving her ideas of what to cook for tomorrow.

On certain nights, you write.

By the time everything’s done, you’re so sappy and happy and you’re glowing like a little kid ready to go to bed to brace another tiring day. No big crowds were necessary, no loud music blasted. And certainly no alcohol. And yet, you’re there again, one little lady brave and energised enough to take on another rising, yawning sun โค

I really love these pure introverted sides of me. I do have and at times miss the crowded and conversations-filled nights with a gang of peeps, but these, these nights, are like my secret pockets of sunshine.

๐Ÿ™‚

December, nine months.

December.

I stared outside the window of the blue taxi that drove me home at this cold December night.

It was a Friday, just fifteen minutes before midnight, and I was already drunk from dataroom just two days after Christmas. Tis my life.. The soft sound of red green ketupat keychain hanging from the rear view mirror.. ironically felt like two beliefs were clashing into one.. I blinked dreamily..

So many.. blinding lights of this urban town.. my concrete jungle..

Another sudden jerk.

I stared back out. The lights of this metropolitan city filled the air, all red green yellow and blue, prancing themselves as if these dead, supposedly unanimated objects came alive, prancing notoriously like licks of fires around the walls. The silent buildings.. the busy streets.. the many faces outside the window..

Another sharp turn. Another quick swerve.

What a heavily lit route.. My head felt dizzy from all the twists and turns.. The road seemingly still consisted of hurried travellers.. yet the walls encasing them looked like empty canvases screaming to be painted out.. more.. more.. more than these dots of lights please..

I felt a chill. A c-r-r-ee-p-p.

Another honking sound. Another traffic stop. Another familiar street.

The driver asked me the way. I showed him a shortcut. I rested my head sideways again.. Now a row of dark, quietly mad houses greeted me.. buildings, roads, objects again.

It was all so surreal. So many.

many. Many. MANY..

just like in a crowded room
so many people
and yet.. you can feel so alone..

Even after nine months.

It has been three weeks already..

It’s been awhile, my blog.

Been busy with so many things. Going out and about, learning and re-learning massive new things, and having less time thinking and missing Melbourne.

Oh noes.

It is almost within my consciousness to know I am losing my dearly beloved intuition, or, at my most optimistic state, not being able to express it enough. Everyday I strive to constantly plugged music to my ears, be it outside or inside, just to know that arts does still exist.

It’s not that Jakarta is a graveyard for arts, maybe it is simply because it is not as ‘in the air’ as in Melbourne.

Airport. Today.

(Finally. Peace. Trying to verbalise my thoughts with all the distracting background noises and bright lights)

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Airport.

To many, it is a much desired, expensive gate to a faraway land, a temporary harbour, where we stay short enough to only taste its sweetness. In that place, we’re nomads, foreigners, aliens, outsiders with no emotional attachments other than seconds of gasp or awe.

To others, it is a sorrowful land of accumulated goodbyes. That last hug or kisses we planted upon our loved ones cheeks. That final look, when we wished deep in our hearts that they won’t leave. That burning question: how many months years or decades till we can see each others’ faces again? Technology can only bridge that gap closer but those two dimensional monitors can never replace the warmth we felt when we stand close, look at their eyes, listen to their voices and experience their company. It is a land of mourning, a barren land, requiring continuous watering from our tears.

To some, airport is a fun thing in itself. The mere act of going there is like the redeeming of a promise, that an adventure, the unknown, which lay awaits us across the deep blue sea is greater than whatever we can imagine. At times, they don’t materialise. But the act of going to the airport, the fulfillment of those sometimes empty promises, grants us the joy we seek.

To me today, it is coldness. Every strand of my hair turned limp. My eyes are like two springs without water, dried of all useless emotions as I locked them in a high tower somewhere within me and hid the key deep down. My heart struggled in futile rebellion. Like an insane animal on the inside, I am running escaping my fate across the wide plains as fast as I can inside my head, yet my real feet are firmly planted on the ground, unmoving. Just another cool calm collected lady on the outside.

This is a start of a mission. It maybe a year long, or more. Or maybe few months are enough. I knew I had to do this. Planting a seed. Because how can a daughter be happy on her own while having unfinished business back home? Irresponsible. Imbecile. Heartless. God help me and give me strength. Amen.

Now, thank You God, despite it being a midnight flight, I’m going to engulf all the in-flight entertainment available until my eyes popped out. Good source of distraction :p

What’s your airport experience today? ๐Ÿ™‚ share it in the comments below.

The Really Sleepy Airport Blog Post

Don’t sleep. Don’t sleep. Don’t sleep.

It all began with a misplaced Singapore Airlines booking reference number. Due to this, I was unable to do online check in for my flight Melbourne-Singapore-Jakarta this morning.

I queued to check my baggage in with the other normal, not-as-tech-savvy, passengers. (I did have a little noble-turned-commoner feel, as I have always done e-check in – proud me got my lesson D:). It took longer than normal, but all good. After I hug goodbye my two awesome sisters in Christ, Yu Ying and Florence, who had sweetly sent me to the airport, I dragged my feet slowly but steadily (had two ‘overweight’ handbag and laptop bag crushing my shoulders) across the hand-carry scanner, and finally had my DIAC clearance done (where you gave your outgoing passenger card). As soon as the airport weighing scales were out of sight, I shoved a couple of heavy items from my bags to my hand-carry. I gave myself some time to stare at the rows of sunglasses across me while repacking… daydreaming and thinking of the uncertainties that lay ahead of me…

At that time, I was already not as early as I usually was. But still, when I arrived at the gate, no boarding calls had been made, and every traveller sat happily on their seats chatting their mornings away (or singing jumping bobbing their little heads up and down and running and peeking at you with playful eyes). I was at ease.

Knowing my phone had very low battery, I tried to find a plug to charge my phone just so that I can make a call when I reached Jakarta. (My housemate Steph had kindly reminded me of that and I snatched my beloved converter moments before I left the apartment). Unable to find one, I gave in and decided my mom and dad would find me anyway. So I find myself a seat slightly a little further from the boarding counter, just to give me a little breathing space from reality and maybe last few moments of denial that I AM leaving to stay at home for awhile. I texted my friends, bid them goodbyes, said my thankyous, ‘listened’ to my mom’s naggings electronically one more time, and posted a couple of farewell status updates on Facebook.

And then the final boarding call was made.

I looked up and around the waiting hall, and it turned out almost all seats were already empty. I glanced at the airport officers pacing impatiently and decided to finally make my stroll towards them. As I walked, I started my efforts to find my passport and boarding passes. I rummaged around the outer pockets of my handbag, then my laptop bag, then.. the inside pockets of both of them.. and.. still nothing. I began to freak out, I smacked open my hand carry, shuffled things around.. and even after a very thorough search of taking all things out I couldn’t find it!

Time then was 11:09 am, and the plane was scheduled to take off 25 minutes afterwards. Turning whiter than walls, I explained my situation to the airport officers. One of the lady ordered her colleague to accompany me to where I repacked my hand carry. I went there with her, looked up down right left and nope. We asked the sunglasses salesperson, and nope, no one has found anything. The lady officer assured herself it must be in one of my belongings, we walked back, and one of her male coworker we met midway told me I was already not going on the flight. Those airport officers at the gate found my baggage number tag and called for its’ search, just in case I was too late to board. Unfortunately for me, they found it a bit too quickly.

A trip to airport security followed, and guess what, praise God, they waved my passport in a gleeful -___-“. They told me it was indeed found where I repacked, but surrendered by the shop besides the sunglasses shop! (I really did sit across the sunglasses shop) The salesperson has asked the police to come collect it just around the time we were there looking. And if only my baggage wasn’t found, I would have still be allowed to board.

Oh wells. Haiz.

Throughout the whole ordeal, I endlessly zoned out in disbelief. Speechless. I mean, I have travelled to and fro home and for some holidays with my family – multiple times basically – in the past decade, and NEVER had a passport issue. When a trip involves one of the most crucial travel date, this happened. Well, I decided to laugh it off to cheer up. I indeed still wanted to stay in this city, maybe that’s why I unconsciously left (or dropped) my life documents there.

I was very lucky for the events that follow suit (ever grateful, thank you God!). I was offered, at no extra cost, to either take the next flight at around 3 pm to Spore, stay overnight there before going to the airport in the morning to take a connecting flight to J-Town, or, hang around in the airport until the midnight flight. Considering the hassle of more check-ins, plus two expensive taxi rides back and forth my sister’s rented place in Spore carrying my bulky baggages (well, at least I have a place to stay!) I chose to wander aimlessly in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport for the next 10 – 12 hours.ย 

So here I am, writing a blog post about this, whatsapping, snapchatting, facebooking, and reading (soon! Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom and Six Thinking Hats by Bono in store!) and struggling not to fall asleep after all the late nights packing. They let me out of the checked in area and I am like a little stranded Robinson Crusoe with her raft and food supplies (not the 1st time in Tullamarine, did once for a failed stand-by flight few years back)

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I am now comfortably warming the seat of the $2 massage chair, the only place I could find that allowed me to charge my phone. Got a large coffee to accompany me too.

In times like this, I do wish I’m not travelling alone. It will be good to have someone physically here to show this look to

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and laugh together at it.

And yes, after knowing the luxurious Changi Airport, it is a little hard to be satisfied with the cubicle size Tullamarine toilet has. Together with my trolley, I felt like I’m an elephant trying to do my business in a sheep’s washroom and kicking everyone out!

I am still grateful I get to go home on time though. Really. God took care of me so that I didn’t drop the passport outside, at home, or at some hard-to-notice corners. And maybe now I get to call my closest friends again to say more proper goodbyes. Yes, this whole drama must have happened for an unknown reason ๐Ÿ™‚

Signing off for now to do other things and sipping my latte (which I accidentally made Chai by adding cinammon.. thought it was cocoa powder.. dropped some chopsticks and spoons too.. oh sleepiness..),
JESSICA (AND HER TROLLEY)

Finding my introverted voice again

Over the past 3 months, after I met Reverie, I experienced a terrible emotional roller coaster involving a bird and leaving Melbourne. In the process, I guess I lost my introverted self a little bit, who’s happy to be on her own. I need to be with someone constantly. I’m easily lonely. I’m a little needy and clingy. As much as it is good having a friend whom I really connect with, I did lose a small sense of independence that I know is ingrained, rooted in me.

Today, for the very first time, the house is empty. Only me left shoving my life in Melbourne into boxes.

And weirdly, after 2-3 hours, I feel completely fine.

๐Ÿ™‚ yay! I found myself again, the independent work lady, who aspires to be a loving mother and a submissive wife if she met the right one. The one who saw this quote by Sister Souljah:

Dont let anybody make you feel like your child is a greatest burden, that because you had a child, life is over for you.. Understand that we are in a state of war, and sisters, you’re going to put that baby (and housework and taking care of husband and family, of course) your back and keep moving.

and secretly promised herself she will be such woman.

The INTJ who plans, while still remembering the importance of her natural INFJ mind and maintains the size of her heart. The one who loves her saviour greatly, Jesus.

I will still nourish my extraversion whom I’ve nurtured over the past few weeks. The one who’s not shy talking to new people. The one who actively contacts and keeps in touch with her old friends. But I will definitely remember and cherish the goodness of being one introvert ๐Ÿ™‚

*OH IM SO RELIEVED. THANK GOD!*

Blogging and Reverie

They always say females have a lot to talk about. Kinda true.

I made this blog because everyday I talked a lot with my housemate, Reverie. We enjoyed our conversations and we can converse about a lot of things. But in 1.5 weeks I will go back to home country, Indonesia, and as much as I desire to keep in touch, things will not be exactly the same.

You see, me and Reverie, we both are intuitive introverts people. She is airy fairy, rather dreamy, and a little too stubborn in her own fight as a divergent thinker. She treats Twyla Tharp as her bible, she herself does not believe in religion (yet). She loves eggs and makes lots of caramel. Sometimes, they involve burnt meat too (haha). She wears silk, tailored dresses from Vietnam. She writes on scrapes of paper, her notebooks ideas and thoughts are all over the place, and yet she has one of the neatest room I’ve ever seen.

Me, I am a lot different. I am a Christian, an almost stout believer who will rebel if you say bad things about Him. To me, He is my only beacon of hope, the one whom I’ve taken for granted and hurt numerous times but still able to accept me back when I repent. He is perfect. Sometimes my faith wanders, and I wish I don’t! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ anyway back to topic.

Apart from our vastly different foundations, I love having her as my housemate. My room might not be the neatest (esp when I have too many things in my head), and I do wish I have one silk tailored dress, but we talk. Heaps.

We connected from the moment we realised we love Sherlock, the BBC series! We loved the British series, its masculine, witty script, the English countryside and the dense London city sceneries we were fed with. While I love the criminal side and the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch was one husband material*, and she is fascinated by the love between Holmes and Watson, we clicked.

*he went to Tibet to teach English when he was 16 – how many 16-year-old did this – , he hates people who lied, and his biggest disappointment in life was that he is not a dad by 32! well.. things might change now that he is famous.. ย guys and fame. guys and wealth. dont get me wrong, I’m all up for him being successful. but those traits, I hope he still have them.

After that, it was easy. We talked about life, my project with Meld Magazine (online magazine for international students in Melbourne), her thesis, feelings, family, personalities (MBTI – countless hours spent), dreams, holidays, faith, future plans, fears, cries, cookings, recipes, baking, coffee, tea, England, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, chinese movies, chinese songs, China, Vietnam, vietnamese songs, vietnamese history, journals, cultural studies, asian studies, lime & bird, PhD scholarships, JohtSon..ย basically everything under the starry sky. She reminded me of my love of creativity, which, went out the window when I abandoned dance and was too occupied with 2012 issues. I reminded her that there is a Lord God, bigger than all things out there, who loves all His creations and has been taking care of her all this time.

Around mid-March 2013, I voiced my woes that as I am very used to speaking with her I will feel a massive hole when I go back. I said maybe blogging will help, but she said “I cannot maintain a blog because no one is reading them.” BAM. the moment when someone understands exactly how you feel.ย You see, I do have hidden blogs before, and even a hidden tumblr account, to scream back at the universe for my fate, asking this or that pain to stop. But they all didnt last. So I want to write differently now. Right now, I want to write daily things in a much more positive light, because even in my deepest downs of 2012, I have been blessed with enough food, shelter, clothing & emotional support. Most importantly, I have been led back to an even stronger faith in Christ.

^^

We then promised to keep in touch by blogging (though hers is a bit more poetic than mine.. -__-), to keep the friendship forever.

So Reverie, this is for you. For that tearful, regretful day when we start to walk on different paths and turn to be mere infrequent-calls friends. Of course I wish that day never come. I wish I can record these times and replay them again anytime I want to. I will be forever grateful if we can remain good friends forever.

But as we both know from our own past experiences with our previous friends.. things probably will not be the exactly the same.

Let this post help us reminisce the good times. Let this make us cherish those moments, one more time. Let this propel us to pick up the phone and call each other again, or even meet up, wherever we may be in the world.

Thank you for this friendship, Reverie. I am grateful.

“Many of us have walked or are walking our separate ways…it hurts to know, it’s sad to realise, but I take comfort to have known you for all those great times before the inevitable.” Ethel Chan, 2011

How do I vanquish butterflies in my stomach

For the past 2 – 3 months, I have been losing weight. Rather unintentionally. Maybe it is due to stress, stupid emotional burden, or worries and fear of going back to a country I have not lived in for almost a decade.

It all marked when I started to have butterflies fluttering in my stomach. Daily. At night. During the day. It decreased my appetite and made me feel full even after a relatively small meal. I recalled having ordered chicken schnitzel in January and doggie-bagged 3/4 of it. Think of weeks of that, and you have a shrunken stomach and a weighing scale that points more and more to the left.

I’m not complaining much about that weight loss, I might even be called ‘b*tch’ by some girls who have tried to lose weight but haven’t been successful. But it does raise a little concern.

But that is not why I am making this blog entry today ๐Ÿ™‚

As much as I am worried about the weight loss, I am so much more annoyed at the butterflies. Imagine trying to do work and those butterflies continue to flutter – in your tummy! Thankfully, I have figured out some ways to reduce their impacts.

Talk it out: I realise the reason of butterflies is because I have too much things in my head. (Like, right now. I’m trying to finish this asap and post it to make it ‘out of my system’). Telling your stories to a close friend who wants to listen and give suggestions help a lot.

Sweet food helps: Not telling you to binge on sweets, ice cream and chocolates, but when I lose appetite I feed on smoothies and, well, 1 – 2 icy pops. Fruit smoothies made with yoghurt at least will give the nutrition we need.

Listen to music: seriously, it is one amazing instant mood lifter. Try listening to jingles from Owl City, Taylor Swift, or those inspirational songs like Fireworks by Katy Perry or Born This Way by Lady Gaga. Oh, and Christian songs by Tim Hughes are amazing too!

Pray: my friend just reminded me that ‘say you made a mistake by going back. Still, God’s plan is bigger than your mistake!’ True. I might decide to go back to Indo at this moment, but if God really wants me back – He will show me the reason and give me the way.

There you go!

*this by right is the worst, most incoherent piece of work I’ve written, with no art or creativity or even a structure to it at all. But I need this woohah (just created a word.. hoho) to just vomit this out of my system. Sorry for this disgusting piece of writing.*

Dancing Raindrops

Aaahhh. Melbourne is raining.

Have I told you that I am one of those rare person who loves rain and hates sunshine?

There is something really romantic about rainy days. It is the droplets soft tapping on the windows, the invisible slight chill that wrap you, trying to get you to tighten that winter coat one more time in a teasing nudge. It is the smell of grass, the soil, the earth, that drifted together, wafted into one aromatic mixture that made you almost drunk in its sweetness.

Rain also inspires me to be creative. Those days you just want to sit by your windows, surrounded by an army of pastel pillows and create things, from blog entry to cupcakes. Or settle down with a really good book, as a prelude to a fantasy-like dream.

It also brings memories, or rather, dreams for a distant land, England. I will then be awake from my unconscious slumber and be wishing, one more time, to be able to taste rain and its splendor and glory where it is regarded as the most common occurrence.

I will miss days like this. Mmm.

chirp.. chirp..

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.โ€ โ€• Stephen King

 

Birdies.

 

Have you ever walked down the street

Sweltered in the summer heat

Blissfully unaware of the surrounding

Until a bird swooped past your coming

 

It was perched on a tree, staring

Bobbing its head and purring

you gazed at it, wondering why

That night away it didn’t fly

 

Weeks passed, at certain interval

The bird’s sound a certain signal

Intrigued, you start to pay attention

Before long, there grew admiration

 

And yet, the bird comes and goes

you wonder whose window it shows

missing it, you let out some bird seeds

thinking maybe that’s what it needs

 

As days passed, you give even more and more

every time you do though, its eyes turn sore

and contrary to what you really, really, deeply after

its stay has gone a little longer than a whisper

 

so one day you decide

throw all food left on the mud

and close your window tight

let it stare, from the coldness out.