Playing Catch Up

I was raised by a preset of societal norms and expectations in the name of proper education.

At the time, it seemed to have fit me best. I was never questioning, I was never critical, and I accepted all that was taught onto me by default. I never challenged the status quo, I never wanted to deviate from the ideal stance.

That would have been alright and well except for the fact that my values evolve as I become more in touch with myself, and I had to unlearn everything I know about societal norms and expectations.

And I’m suddenly in middle school again, trying to play catch up with my friends who are now in their twenties and seem to have less of a problem in building relationships, meeting people, and socializing in situations that are outside formal institutional settings.

Unlearning and relearning the ropes is a tough process, especially when everyone seems ahead of you in the game. I fought to suppress it for a while, to try and logically learn about how people normally act at my age and just jump through the process.

Until I realized I couldn’t do that. I wish there was a shortcut because I just feel horribly immature around the people I interact with. But then I realize it’s a process, and I would have to go through it nevertheless, just–in my best friend’s words–at “warp speed”.

So I’ll let my heart skip a beat, I’ll let my stomach flutter. I’ll stumble and fumble and catch myself when I stutter. I’ll allow myself to smile at a text and daydream of the next.

I’ll embrace the process and live in it. Hopefully, I’ll catch up with you guys soon.

On repeat: In The Heights soundtrack

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Adversity and Its Hierarchy

Adversity is universal. Everyone deals with difficulties (or challenges, as some people like to call it) at different stages in their lives and at one point or another, people will have to deal with them when they’re not “supposed to” (e.g. in the middle of the semester, or when there’s a groundbreaking company deal that’s going through, or during exam period, or during a really important work project). These difficulties cannot be equated for everyone because no two people deal with the loss of a loved one or anxiety the same way.

Adversity is universal, but when you’re nobody and at the bottom, you’re not supposed to let any personal issues get in the way of your productivity and your work. No boss or mentor or teacher is going to let you slack off (too much) because you need to take a moment to stabilize your emotions when deadlines are closing in. No, no, any shifting in deadlines on a very low level of the company hierarchy will cause too many problems going up the chain and too many bureaucratic barriers are in place for any second-lowest level boss to make moves in.

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On #FreeAhok and Lost Dreams

Once upon a time, I had a dream to create an NGO that would improve Indonesia’s education system.

Over the course of a few years, the vision inflated and deflated. There are times where I narrowed it down to wanting to patch up the curriculum, and there are days where I thought I should take a step back and maybe do something smaller than trying to change the whole nation.

Lately, though, it hasn’t even been a question of what my aspirations are, but more on whether or not I actually can.

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