Of Downed Flight, Grief, and Flowers

The other day, I saw the news about the JT610 plane crash. This wasn’t the first time a plane crash had happened, of course, but as I scrolled the feed on my Twitter and Instagram, I had come to realize that more and more people were posting news about the incident.

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Photo by Milos Prelevic on Unsplash

I found it fascinating, that instead of the cold, monotonous, professional tone of a newscaster voice that dictates how many people died, how the engine failure happened, and what the airline company promised to compensate, there were more and more people commenting about the victims’ lives.

Inside that airplane, there were more than 100 people aboard. Some of them were newlyweds. Some of them were expecting to be married. Some of them were going to see their family and friendsonly to end up in an unfortunate accident.

I shuddered when I thought about being inside that very airplane. What if I were in there? Who would be the last person I contacted before I took off? What would I have said? During the time when the plane fell, would I even stop to think about somethinganything? Continue reading

Growing Up with “Failures”

The good thing about growing up, I think, is that we become more and more accustomed to failure than we were during our pubescent or childhood. Just hours ago, for example. I was in a small room with 4 others; 2 of whom could literally decide the fate of my professional career.

Yes, I was in a meeting. It’s a very laughable situation where I had to present a proposal I’ve been meticulously preparing for weeks to a member of the board, only to have this person point out every single mistake I’ve made, even denoting that “I haven’t done a thing worth mentioning” in regards to the proposal.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The meeting itself was cut short, as you might have predicted. The end result? A humiliating rejection from the board member, and some dissatisfying remarks I will probably carry with me for the rest of my professional career. This includes unpleasant vocabularies such as “worthless”, “mistaken”, “unneeded”, etc.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel disappointed. As a matter of fact, I knew I could get a much better outcome than just a plain rejection. I knew for sure that I’ve already prepared all I could, and even rehearsed the presentation because that’s just how paranoid I can be.

But still, this thing called “failure” stalks from outside the window; bidding its time until it finds an opening to creep in. And despite your best efforts to prevent it from happening, it always catches you off-guard.  Continue reading

Bon Voyage

There’s just something about marriage that excites people. The other day, when Felicia—my friend of 8 years and counting—announced her marriage, I couldn’t be happier. I genuinely wanted to congratulate her from the bottom of my heart, because I was truly happy for her.

But at the same time, there is this lingering, quaint loneliness in the corner of my heart, whispering the advent of a certain end. Continue reading

For Adventurers Clad in Long Robes

I have always been fascinated by the idea of being a valedictorian. You know; standing in front of people, delivering a speech that will hopefully change the world—or simply waste a few minutes of people’s lives.

The very foundation of using your own words and voice to instill a drop of water in the bucket we call “our generation” is a peculiarly foreign thing to me, and thus, fascinating.

Unfortunately, even though I believe I have the passion to deliver these words, I did not have the qualifications to do so in my graduation ceremony. That day, I sat in the middle row of the great hall with shame and listened halfheartedly to the valedictorian’s speech.

I must say, the speech itself felt so fabricated with all those subliminal advertisements of our university it even made me sick. But the person who spoke in front of us seemed like your typical good kid. I even wondered seriously whether this person we call the valedictorian actually enjoyed his campus life.

Judging that he had less fun experience during university just because he was smarter than everyone else was, of course, not a fair thing to do. But as I sat there and pondered about all these explosive train of thoughts, I began to truly wonder whether this person, this valedictorian, at the very least, really wanted to deliver the speech. Continue reading

Watching the Knots Unfurl

Don’t you find it funny that people drift apart for no reason?

The other day, I accidentally met one of my childhood friends in a shopping mall. The very first thought that came to my mind once our eyes met was, “Crap, now I have to make small talks.” And I don’t know if my friend realized it, but during that moment, the only thing I wanted was to escape from him, go home, and bury myself under a pillow.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-black-and-white-building-business-264471/

Yes, I have been called an introvert a number of times, but I really doubt being an introvert would drive me so much that I couldn’t enjoy a short, innocent meetup with an old friend. Especially since nothing bad ever happened between us; it’s not like he was my ex, or he bullied me in school. If anything, our past relationship was cool. Continue reading

Writing a Letter to Myself

In some occurrences between my slumber and waking, I often get strange visions. You know, the ones strange enough you couldn’t help but realize you were still half asleep.

For instance, I once had a strange vision of meeting my younger self right there, inside my room.

 

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sleeping-935777/

 

My younger self sat in the corner of the bed. It felt really strange seeing myself there—as if I was looking into a mirror, only that the mirror reflects things from the past. In any case, I knew exactly what I was seeing; a phantom from my childhood who refuses to disappear in my sea of consciousness. Continue reading

The Place that Nurtured Me

I used to work in a startup company.

It wasn’t a big company per se, but we did have a big dream. It is no secret that in this modern era, founding and nurturing a startup company that will eventually go boom in the market is like a proverbial rat race everyone should participate in. It was almost like the norm, even.

I still remember the day when I first set my foot inside the office, back in March 2014. I was still a total newbie and wet behind the ears. The office only occupied one medium-sized room inside a two stories office building in the heart of Jakarta. Having previously interned in a more “prestigious” office that perches on the 28th floor of a rather modern skyscraper, I had clearly thought that this company was a total joke.

Continue reading