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Saturday, February 2, 2019

(Happy) New Year (?)

Hi everyone,

I know the title was rather misleading since a month has passed since the new year but this whole post might as well explain why it got really delayed. This entire post was the reason why I wrote it ( if this makes sense?). Anyways, here it goes.

2018 was just something.

I had no other words to describe my overall feeling about it. I just think that 2018 had been very eye-opening to me. This eye-opening experience itself was not entirely positive.

It all started with a tiny bump at the beginning of the year. I was in between choices at that moment; I needed to choose whether I would continue a legacy people had been expecting of me or I would just pursue things that would help me shine in another field. This stressed me out, as I had been very indecisive and unaware of how both options would affect me in the future.

I got into my current school with the hope of realizing my dream career. That job was all I ever wanted to be almost all my life (except the early years of elementary school when I dreamed to be an astronaut). I carefully paved my way to the top and tried to plan everything in life. But as someone who can be super curious about so many things at the same time, I was distracted from my missions during my freshman year. I ended up doing things that did not even correlate to what I wanted to become. By the way, this statement does NOT imply that the work I had done at that time was useless or in vain; it just did not match my initial goal hence the plan got a bit ruined.

Although I enjoyed my time during these activities I did and I was grateful for the experience I never really had during my high-school years and prior to them, I was a bit down since I basically put my plans on hold for almost a year. Thus, when I decided to redraw from the activities and tried to go back to what I had been pursuing, I found myself super confused.

This confusion I encountered was very unfamiliar. The first time I entered a competition in my university year, I was afraid. I did not know all these faces. I did not even know what I had been missing all this time. Negative thoughts showered me; what if my technique was no longer relevant? What if everybody already got better than me? What if I would never ever win again?

As these horrible thoughts and feelings clouded me, it got me rather demotivated. I ended up doing things half-heartedly, hoping that everything would be over in no time. I was too focused on finishing things than making sure that I finished strong. I also did not care much about what I did or if the competitions I was joining actually suited my goal or not. The urge to win something or to achieve something was way bigger than my considerations.

I realized that I longed to be useful; I longed to belong somewhere. I longed to know what I was meant to be, and now I got lost and felt completely and utterly useless.

To see my friends flourish--win competitions, attend conferences, get nominated the best student, earn outstanding grades--got the best of me. I AM a very envious person. I easily compare myself to other people. Ironically, I am very very much aware that this kind of behavior is toxic. But, believe me, it can be really hard not to see other people (especially if you are surrounded by high-achievers) are already hundreds of steps ahead of you.

This may sound very arrogant, but before this happened, I rarely lost in competitions. This got me so much confidence and helped me get through problems and challenges. Can you imagine how this kind of person reacts if faced with failures?

They break.

Not only that, I got myself in a situation where I lost to people that should not even be there. This might sound confusing and I could not really tell all the details. In short, we had a selection to be in a team for a very prestigious competition and I got in. But all my expectations fell short. Aside from internal problems, a few people that did not make it due to some reasons joined the competition as a team without the faculty knowing and secured their position in the final. I hated my teammates and resented the people who did not play fair and square.

I was very depressed and emotional during the summer break. I got away from social media, cut off communications with friends and did not reply to any single message I received. Not to mention the painful daily dose of tears. It was a painful holiday I needed to get through, accompanied by utter failures.

When summer break was over and we went back to campus, I got better eventually and studied hard. I rarely skipped class; I even had perfect attendance in some classes. I made sure I took notes in every session and reread them again. I studied even when I fell very sick during test seasons. But, apparently, life loved to make fun of me.

The cherry on top to all my failures in 2018 was when I received my online report card. Overall, I got way better scores compared to the previous terms. But I got unlucky in one subject where I FAILED.

I FAILED A CLASS. I needed to assure myself that morning when I woke up to this nightmare.

If you are not aware of my school system, here is a little information. Indonesian university grading system only recognizes the title cum laude. In my university, you can only obtain cum laude title if you can maintain your GPA above 3.5, graduate in time (3.5-4 years), and never fail a class. Even if you retake a class and manage to fulfill the other two requirements, once you fail in a class, you can NOT be a cum laude graduate.

I was horrified. I was completely down.

This left me with feeling very useless. I ended up gaining weight for punishing myself. So here I was in a state of feeling ugly, unwanted, and worthless. I did not take anything seriously. I was devastated. So much. The cycle of the previous break continued. I avoided talking to my friends because I did not want to know that they succeeded and I would be hurt. If I had to, I would and I would try to be as composed as possible though it broke me so badly.

When I tried to get up again, I asked a couple of friends to join a competition, but no one responded to me when the deadline encountered. Called them but nobody replied. Even days after we missed the deadline, they did not reach out to me. Apart from the disappointment I felt toward my friends, I was mostly disappointed at myself. Did they hate me? Did I do no good?

Fuck me, right? I suck at everything. Now the institution I dreamed to work at wouldn't even look at me. I let my parents down. What have I been doing with all the time? Why is life so unfair?

I wasted my time playing games, sleeping, and eating. Basically, I lived the rest of my holiday like a pig. Until I was required to get out of my bed and do things for a club I am currently responsible for. That was the moment when I felt like I had some good use again. The event(s) pushed me to get better. I was genuinely happy. Then, after attending the events, I got some time to contemplate. I realized something I had not earlier.

During all the things that had happened in 2018, I did not really think of MY PART in the failure I brought myself upon. Yes, I did blame and cuss at myself in the narratives, but did I really introspect? I noticed that I kept BLAMING most of the part of the failures to other people, even to my own previous choices as if they were something external. This perspective stopped me from actually IMPROVING and CORRECTING my mistakes.

I overlooked the fact that my friends have been putting their best effort in everything they are working on, while I only 'try things out' instead of seriously execute them. If I want some changes in my life, I should be the one that brings it to myself. I shouldn't spend my time identifying whose fault shit happened to me was and invest it in finding solutions and improving instead.

After this whole realization, I felt better and tried to improve things little by little. I hope to be more positive in 2019, let's just see how it goes.

With that being said, I plan to write more frequently from now on, whatever that is, one post per month MINIMUM. The content will vary, from tips, reviews, rants, and many others. I hope that my fellow readers are still out there and can share their stories, experiences, and suggestions with me too.

The tone of the blog will be much different from last years, where I sounded a lot more sugary and sweet while dark and depressive at the same time. This time, it would just be me being me; in whatever state I may be.

I need to familiarize myself with everything again. It may be tiring, but I guess it could be fun to discover old passions or new things I never expected to see--or to some extent, be.

So, happy new year?

-Abigail Gee

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Life Lessons in 1 Hour

I've been preoccupied by several things these past few weeks. My mobility is higher than ever. I've gone to bed pretty late as well. It has been such a fun experience, though, as I love the adrenaline rush I feel after working on things at the same time. 

That day was no different. It was Sunday and I was still required to attend a meeting. I was currently staying in northern side of the city while the meeting is in the opposite side. As per usual, I check the online taxi fare and it showed a spectacular nominal: IDR 69k! It had only been early August and I of course couldn't splurge on a private ride. I needed to survive until the end of the month! So I decided to try out an alternative I honestly never tried before: Busway.

I've always loved public transportation, such as commuter line. But I rarely traveled with busway. I guess I got traumatized the first time I tried it out in my freshman year, when it took me 3 hours to get to my destination due to my poor orientation. But I decided to give it another shot today, as I got plenty of time to learn my way. I checked my Google Maps numerous times, making sure I was on the right track. It said that it would take me an hour long trip. So there I went.

As I walked toward the bus station, I could hear someone catcalling me. I ignored the catcaller and just walked straight. He finally gave up. And by that, I learned the first lesson today: some people have not yet fully comprehended the concept of respect.

Finally, I reached the bus station and hopped on the bus. The seats were all taken, so I had to make do with holding on to the pole. Then it was time for me to change bus. I got off the bus and on to another. When I was about to enter the bus, someone hit me in the shoulder and cut the line. I didn't want to bother on being mad at her, so I took a deep breath and just focused on the song I was listening to. After a few stops, a mother with two little boys entered the bus. I noticed the youth seemed reluctant to give up their seats. A few minutes later, knowing that nobody wanted to give their seats to the overwhelmed mother, an old woman got up and told the mother to sit down. I tried to look around and I knew that people noticed the woman's gesture but then pretended to sleep or converse right away. The mother thanked the old woman numerous times before sitting with her kids. I then learned the second lesson of the day: it would be great if everyone is considerate towards others.

One of the kids then made a noise. He blabbed about things I could not understand clearly but he was obviously loud. He kept jumping on the bus, while his younger brother was reluctant to sit on the mother's lap. You could tell from the mother's face that she was tired. She did not wear any make up, wore modest clothes, and there were sweats and she had eye bags. But she kept smiling and trying to calm her kids down by saying that they would arrive soon. Apparently they were going to Monumen Nasional. "Bentar lagi sampai monas nih, hore.." (we're already close to Monas, yay!) and then both the kids clapped. I could see her smiling from ear to ear looking at her kids. Once the bus stopped, they took off and headed to the monument. The third lesson I learned was happiness is basically very simple and modest; and it doesn't come without compromises. Once you enjoy the hurdles of life, you'll be completely and genuinely happy.

Half an hour passed and then it was time for me to get off the bus. I checked Google Maps to locate my destination; the coffee shop in Senopati. Turned out it would take me a 15 minutes travel by foot to get there. I could easily order an online taxi, but considering how much money I could save, I decided to just walk. I tried to entertain myself by looking around, enjoying how quiet Sunday mornings could be. It was enjoyable. I wore comfortable clothes and I felt pretty in it, I got to enjoy traveling around Jakarta with such cheap price, and I finally learned my last lesson in that one hour: you could really learn so many lessons when you paid attention to things that happened around you.

I hope you like this post!

-Abigail Gee

Monday, June 18, 2018

The 20-Year-Old Denise

Denise has always been unsure of herself. She never feels like she has found her right footing in anything. She wants so many things, yet she never knows where to start. She has always carefully measured every single thing before making any decisions; but most of the time, the time she takes to consider (and reconsider) is far too much hence there are rarely choices ever made. She misses out so much; she wastes too many opportunities.

She hardly remembers when it all started. Yes, all the harsh things and words the world has made her go through have been there long ago, but she never really recalled when was the first time she admit her defeat over the situations. There are a few single memories of her never really caring about what people say though they did hurt her in some ways, and she wants to know when she started doing so.

Denise opens her old diary, the one she has kept since she was fourteen. There she finds evidence of confident writings, a tasteful kind, rather than gloomy rantings. This diary, though, is accessible to everybody. So she starts comparing what she has written years ago and what she often writes about now. She is surprised to learn how different and how much she has changed, and wondered why that could happen. She had expected herself to be over-achieving by now yet she ends up having nothing in her hands at all.

It has been six years since the first entry in her diary, and now she has turned twenty. Not yet, though; she will officially turn twenty in three days. She has tried to reflect as much as she could, but she hasn't really found meaning or answers to any of these circumstances she's been having. She then starts wondering about the people she has met along the way. There are some she has never been in touch with anymore, there are some who have stayed for so long. She wishes to be able to contact them, but now that she is a coward she no longer feels the urge to reach them. But really, she cherishes them a lot. Every time she tries to recall her memories of those people, she will be all smiles. Denise will laugh on her own and tries to reconstruct the conversations she once had with them.

Not that she thinks that it is unnecessary to find them, though; she just thinks that she can do it later. She cannot figure out what to talk about, anyways. She has lost the taste and the relief when she talks to people about her problems. Her closest people won't listen; she tells them her stories when she is sad and all she gets are these very sentences, "Well, compared to my problem, yours is not that bad." or "Why won't you just be grateful for what you have become or where you are right now?" and many other denials towards her issues. Denise believes that everybody has turned into very selfish people that will never even try to understand her and help her. It may sound extreme, but she really thinks that it is the case; people think too much of themselves.

This doesn't mean that she is an exception, though. But she has tried so hard not to be that kind of person. Though expectant that she will receive the same treatment as the one she gives to people, she tries to listen to people's stories and lend them her shoulders. Unfortunately, this doesn't really give her much positive result; people are still reluctant to listen to her.

There are people who will, though, and she is very grateful for their existence. The only thing that makes it not working is that she has not really trusted them. Not that they are fake, but she just hasn't really felt that close to them. And so she decides not to believe in anyone any longer when it comes to her situations, and just casually befriends anyone while keeping them at an arm length.

She also sees her family differently as well. Denise had always found peace and love in her family. She used to think that her parents were basically the best parents in the world. She used to believe that her brother would stay lovely too. But as she grew up, she realized things she had not before; flaws of her beloved ones. Both of her parents are not saints and her brother can be so annoying and selfish. Even so, she still finds her family as the only home; she can still seek sanctuary here and they are her most trusted people on Earth. She now accepts every single part of her family members and cherishes them with all her heart--or at least what's left of it.

Even though what she thinks right now is rather sounding negative, she does not really mean it to be like that. She just has come to her senses, to be able to see reality better, to understand that she is often in a her own utopia and she has denies the truth served in front of her. She wants to be a lot mature, she wants to stand on her own feet. Denise no longer wants to be defined by someone else, but she really hasn't found it. But at least she knows that first drills. She is hopeful that this will remain this way, that she will stand strong against all the winds and lemons thrown at her, that she will find a way to love herself enough that she no longer needs to seek warmth and light from others. She wishes to be able to glow instead, and gives light and comfort to other people.

Denise closes her diary once again and smiles in relief. She looks at the window where she is served green and yellowish meadows, where the winds take her to another realm. She closes her eyes and she repels prayers for happiness, starting in her twenty.

Saturday, May 5, 2018



I still can't believe that although years have passed since the first time I ran this blog, I still come and seek sanctuary here, I'd also like to thank readers, whom I may or may not know, for reading the posts. They are kind of hopeless, I must say. All of these are just products of my negative thoughts, rants, and sadness I had no idea where to channel them.

I have been such an open book for years here, letting the whole world know about my problems and situations, which I suppose are not quite mature actions I pulled. But you see, as someone who can't really be genuine about her feelings most of the time, this is the most honest thing I could come up with.

And yes, I'm about to tell you guys virtually on what is happening in my life at the moment.

I have been so disappointed with myself recently. I used to join competitions and was rather popular for my achievements. Underneath all of the things I had earned, I had always been a not-so confident person. I might look or sound arrogant a few years ago, but believe me, I was just one messy thing that needed reassurance that things were going fine. And winning in several competitions, or serving with certain positions actually calmed me down. They made me feel like I could define myself; that I was worth of something.

After attending college, I started being more involved in committees and organizations rather than competitions. I was so into it that all the plans I had made regarding competitions just disappeared. I'd rather go to meetings than to finish a book I had just started reading; I constantly did not finish all the competitions I tried to sign up for; I dedicated most of my time for organizations and committees, increased my mobility level to its peak. I was happy for a while.

Until last year happened.

I was so involved in an organization. I was a staff in a department which served to run advocacy in many social issues. I was happy that I got to be useful for real; but really, I was rather struggling. I suddenly realized that I was faced to more a destined path; people had expected me to run for the head of department the next year, and for student body president afterwards. I was truly aware that this opportunity would shut the others; my dreams and chances of getting into any competitions I had been aiming for, so I decided to turn the position down. I applied for another position in another organization instead, which the timeline would allow me to join several competitions.

But after forgetting all the old ambitions I had, I felt kind of crippled when I returned to the 'battlefield'. I signed up for a competition I once joined when I was in high school. I had always been so passionate about speech competitions. I was a story-teller too, so being expressive in delivering my speech was not that hard.

But for the first time in my life, I was not unsure of myself; I did not believe in words I let out.

And unfortunately, it wasn't just me who didn't. Apparently the judges did not buy my words either. So they did not make me a finalist, and stopped my journey in the semifinals.

I'm sure that some of you would think, 'Why can't she just be grateful for what she did? It was rather great for someone who hadn't competed in years to get to the semifinals.'

No, it's not great for me.

I had been feeling insecure and so worthless these past few years whenever I saw someone who could run both worlds really well as I was just struggling to find my own definition of myself. No, it's not good enough.

I had always been defined with the titles and awards I won; and not being able to win made me feel even more worthless. I had lost myself. I felt really useless. I felt like I couldn't do anything. I was so mad at myself I could not even shed a tear. Why couldn't I pull it off? What went wrong? How did I make it right?

My post today won't end with me telling you guys my revelations and how I solved the problem, because I still haven't figured out how to feel or overcome the feelings. But I am coping up; still looking for ways to make it up to myself, or at least to believe in myself.

But I did realize that I didn't believe in myself enough, that I couldn't make people believe in me. I recently noticed that I couldn't really talk in public anymore. I used to be this kind of person who would happily offer people help or engage them in small conversations whenever I traveled by myself. But now, I couldn't even say sorry or thank you loudly. They would all come out as a little sigh, unnoticed.

Maybe I should try being confident. Maybe I should listen to myself. Maybe I should be more grateful to what I have and am now.

And I guess I have to seek the answer to all the maybes now.

-Abigail Gee

Monday, April 2, 2018

Being Let Down

All that is left is just sorrow and pain, a never-ending hollow that's insane.

It seems like my soul will never be familiar to the stinging pain of disappointment. I guess I have written so many stories and posts about how I was let down by the people I love(d) the most and I guess it will take many more to come to finally not give a damn about people and not to have expectations.

What kills me all the time is that all these series of being let down were done by people closest to you--or at least people who you thought to be close to you. And if it happens. you are not entitled to be sad about it; you had been warned about the consequences since a long time ago that it would hurt more if your particular beloved hurt you than your enemies did you, yet you agreed to all terms and conditions.

I wish I knew better. I have always kept cursing myself for being so stupid and dumb not to predict these kinds of outcome from certain people, or at least to be stronger than I truly was when facing them. I wish I was given strength to keep my head held high, walk proudly away from the misery, and just laugh it off. But I could never do that. I have always been so aware of people's feelings. Ironically, I have also been wondering if they are also aware of my feelings too.

After all the episodes of crying and regretting things, I would just repeat the whole thing; all over again! That is how foolish I can be; I have always been so hopeful and optimistic towards human beings. I do understand that I have been expressing all my rants and negativity on this page, but if you also notice, I would always give myself a little bit reassurance that there will always be silver linings in all the sadness coming my way. They did make me feel better afterwards, but what I hate about them is that they would not make me learn!

I just realized that my mind and heart had made such a mechanism where I could detect whether I could trust and rely on certain people and they also would give me a hunch if someone would not suit me. But I tended to see the good inside everyone. But then, turned out, it took more than just goodness to be someone's friend. To be friends with anyone; to know if you could trust them, also took measurement whether or not you could tolerate one's principles. People with different principles would lead to toxic relationships, where both parties constrained themselves with constant battle; of their liking towards the other against each other's values. But that does not necessarily make either of them or both of them evil. They are good; but not good for each other.

Or simply, maybe there is something wrong with me. But I wish it was not the case.

Perhaps I should trust my feelings more. Just to be cautious of what lies ahead. Perhaps I should be braver to put more distance. Just to make sure I won't jump to conclusions.

Or perhaps I should taste the bitterness of the experience, so I could be a lot stronger and slowly becoming numb.

-Abigail Gee