Backhanded everything all day everyday
I am so grateful for everything that i have now. I may be broke (just for the moment because of um…bad judgments and poor financial management), i may be alone with no family in this big, scary, exciting place, i may be lonely at times because my friends are scattered all around the world, i may be working long, tiring hours all day five days a week, i may not be able to eat pizza and drink my favourite bubble tea whenever the need overcomes me…but i am here.
I am here in the greatest city in the world (at least in my heart and mind it is), living, breathing, loving, working here in Jakarta. There may be greater cities out there and people may argue that i’ve only seen a tiny fraction of the world to say something as conclusive as that but i know deep down inside that i could be watching all the best fashion shows in New York and i could be eating the most amazing pizzas and pastas in Rome (both of which i hope to stay in for at least a few months in this lifetime) and yet i would still feel a tug on my heartstrings every time my thoughts linger back to the place that holds some of my very best memories and feelings of my life.
I feel hope here, i feel safe (ironically), i feel happy, i feel lucky, i feel satisfied here. For the first time, i feel like i don’t have to be so…me here. Like, of course there’s still the essence of me and i still act on all the things that make me me but there’s also the feeling of being free to act however i want without having any preconceived notions or expectations from my surroundings of how i was and who i was to hold me back.
And when i think of home…all i see is darkness with pinpricks of light shining through tiny holes such as my friends…my siblings…my friends…my car…some food…my room (but even then i’ve made an entire home for myself here so that doesn’t really hold that much weight anymore). Of course, my boyfriend, like do i even have to mention him because that goes without saying. But when i think of family, that darkness turns into a deep, dark, pulsating red with a life of its own and it just blurs everything out. My parents recently created this group chat with all of my aunts and uncles and my older cousins entitled “Grandfather updates” in which they constantly send pictures of my grandfather in the full bloom of his cancer at the hospital, sleeping etc. and squabble over who should pay what and who should take care of who and when. It’s a delight. It really fucking is. If heaven isn’t waking up to uncles and aunties typing in caps over who they think contributes less in this whole tiresome process, then WHEW i don’t know what is. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for this aspect of my life. It’s just a black hollow that threatens to swallow me up whole if i immerse myself in it under the pretense of being “a family person”.
Tonight i asked my boyfriend Demitri if he would consider a common-law marriage…as in just moving in with each other without the pressure of marriage or having kids or all that icky financial stuff to mess things up. Like, wouldn’t that be so hip of us though? We’d be like the Indonesian and Bruneian version of the Maddens. He’ll be the movie director and i’ll be the magazine editor. It would be so artsy. But really, can you blame me for shunning the idea of making my own family when the one i was born into has yet to loosen its grip on my throat?
Lol this post is everywhere which reflects my mood pretty well. Tomorrow is another day– well technically later since it’s already 3am– and as lazy as i am to walk to the office, i shall embrace it with full hearted vigour and be grateful for everything and to accept all that happens as yet another component to this experience of being here. Thank you, God. Thank you, life. Thank you, Jakarta. Thank you, Demitri, for being the bridge that led my soul to this beautiful place i cannot wait to call my home.