In the entertainment industry, Club 27 refers to a phenomenon of world musicians and celebs who died at age of 27 years. Starting from Janis Joplin’s death in 1970, who died two weeks after Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison was also found dead by suicide a year later, then it became the main idea behind the creation of Club 27.
In the years after, there’s also some musicians who died at 27, such as Brian Jones (1938), Robert Johnson (1938), Kurt Cobain (1994), Amy Winehouse (2001) till Korean singer and member of SHINee, Kim Jonghyun (2017).
So, what’s the correlation of all I wrote before with today’s topic? Does the author of this post have suicidal thought so she can join Club 27?
No, my dear. Who do you think I am to be at the same club with the world legend?
But, I hope that this isn’t my last post or “good bye message”.
So, what will happen when people reach their 27? Getting older, yes. Coming to late 20’s, of course. Closer to death, absolutely. But, what else?
Research shows that in 27, someone’s body naturally undergoes a biologically inevitable mental decline. Furthermore, the decline to mental disorders can lead to potential depression, such as feelings of sadness, anxiety and emptiness.
Sounds so scary, right? Is it because of the higher expectation and social pressure?
I’ve heard that the expectation and social pressure are getting higher when you reach 27. People will ask more frequently about your achievement in career, wealth and relationship (especially about your love life). For some people, these kind of questions can raise their level of insecurities and hurt their pride. This is why they will be more stress and depress easily.
Well, for the sake of my mental health, I think I should stop comparing myself with others. Because my insecurity exists and to be honest, it’s not easy to always have the right state of mind, then comparing “me in the present” with “me in the past” is better choice. So, what I have done? What I have gone through till today?
First, I care more about my body’s need and health
I used to eat late and skip meals too many times, especially when I was so busy or had many works to do.
I was so lazy to do workout. Meanwhile my work needs me to sit and staring at laptop screen for the damn 8 hours per day. So, yeah, I’m doing the little of physical activities which is not really good for my health. That’s why I need to change that habit.
Second, I try to love and accept myself for who I am
i’m a perfectionist. A little mistake or failure could make me frustrated. I’d blame myself for my mistake or failure.
One day I felt tired for hating and blaming on myself. It made me so sick.
Then I learnt to forgive myself. I embrace all of my mistakes, stupidities and failures. I embrace, cure all of my old pain and said to me, “it’s okay, you did great”.
Third, I could free me from toxic relationship
Almost a year ago, I broke up with my BF. Even we had plans to get married and we’re already knew each other’s parents.
You might ask why’d I broke my relationship if we planned to engage in long term commitment.
Well, I won’t tell you the detail. To be honest, I love him, but, the only thing I can say is surviving and bringing this kind of relationship to marriage will be disaster for us.
Yeah, It might not big changes. But, it’s like an achievement if I can improve some aspects of me or my life. And I have the right to celebrate it once again.
“No’, might make them angry, but it will make you free. If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger” -Nayyirah Waheed-
What does “freedom” mean to you?
Everyone might have their own definition of “free” or “freedom”.
But, no matter it is, we agree that “freedom” means we are free from subjection. In a nations or country’s case, subjection might appear in various types.
The most important and always be mentioned in our history book is colonialism by other country. Now, there’re modern subjection in economics, ideology–even what we’re facing today–pandemic.
Indonesian Founding Fathers, Bung Karno, has ever said that our struggle might be harder in the future because we have to fight against the internal enemies. Like a prophecy, what he said becomes reality today. Corruption, poverty, radicalism, hoax spreading and hate speech, are some types of subjection that we’re fighting of.
The most dangerous enemy comes from the internal. From them, who are the closest to us. Even we can be enemies for ourselves.
Well, let me ask you something. Do you realize that your life is surrounded by people’s expectations?
If you said “yes”, then you’re not alone.
Annoyed? Tired? Stress? Absolutely, yes.
Who’s not tired of fulfilling people’s expectations and be a people pleaser?
First, you have to be realistic and realize that you can’t please everyone. You also can’t force everyone to like you.
In the haters eyes, you’re always be a bad person. No matter how nice, kind or well manner you are, their perception about you won’t ever change.
You don’t need to always agree or say “yes” to their requests. Cause you’re just a human, not Aladdin’s genie or Cinderella’s fairy godmother.
If you want to express your disagree and rejection, make sure that you have valid reasons and strong argument. Then, express it in a respectful way.
If people don’t like of what or how you do, it’s not your business.
Your life is your responsibility. Their life are their responsibilities.
Everyone has an authority to rule and control themselves. Your mindset, your words, your attitude and behavior are things that under yourcontrol. Because you’re a leader of yourself.
Other’s mindset, words, attitude and behavior are things that out of your control. So, why are you worrying a lot of the things that you can’t control?
You have right to choose what’s the best for you. You have power to rule and control yourself without always fulfilling people’s expectations. If you can do it all, then, you’ll gain your own freedom.
*) This post is written as a reflection on 76th Independence Day of Indonesia. Hope our homeland will recover soon from its “illness“.
Have you ever had a writer’s block? I think it’s the problem that usually occur to every author.
Then, why could it happen? How do you handle this problem?
In the sector of lean manufacturing industry, this method is well-known and become a widely applied-philosophy by managements in business world. It is known as kaizen method.
Kaizen (derives from the word “kai” means change and “zen” means for thebetter) is a management method that originated from Japan, and was rooted in the classical Japanese philosophy and ideas. Kaizen philosophy emphasizes on “continuos incremental improvement“. It applies not only in industrial field or management-related things, but also other aspect of life, such as personal life, home life, social life, farming, construction, craftmanship, local government and humanity as a whole.
Many writings are written and published out there. Article, book, journal etc. They might discuss the same issue, topic or problem, but have you tried to find the weakness and criticize the content as well? Have you identified what’s still lacking from the writing?
Nobody is perfect. Same as writing. The weakness can be cause by lack of valid data and fact ,bias interpretation or opinion, contains logical fallacy, no longer relevant to current condition or limited knowledge of the author (especially in non-fiction or popular scientific writings).
So, here are the tips of how I apply kaizen method in my writing process.
Read, read and read One of the best way to find ideas and inspirations is reading. You can read a book, article, journal, news, magazine etc. Read, then understand and contemplate it.
Criticize the whole content After reading, you should identify the weakness so that you’d know what is lacking and how you can fill the “empty” part.
Try to find another point of view As I said before, the writings can discuss the same issue, topic or problem. So, you should add “novelty” in your writing. Try to find different point of view that is still rare to discuss. You can explain it from socio-cultural, economics, environment, art, political and religious aspect (and other aspect). You can tell your own experience (it can be your parents, friends, spouse or others experience as well) if necessary.
Write, write and write Just write what’s coming in your mind when everything is ready. Do not procrastinate if you really have a chance and time to write or the inspiration will disappear. Beware, inspiration is expensive and valuable.
Check your writing Don’t forget to check and edit your writing before clicking the “publish” button. Read again your writing and make sure that everything is alright (free from typos, coherence within sentences and paragraphs, use of punctuation and so on). No need to rush.
Well, any other tips you want to add or share? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
*) Note : I wrote this poem to remembering my best friend who passed away in the beginning of June 2020. Actually, today is her birthday. Since I miss her a lot, but can’t congratulate her anymore, I decided to write this poem.
Today, I can’t talk Doesn’t mean I lose my words in arranging my stories just a piece of wound I can’t tell appearing on the surface making a new scars Oh, this blood! dripping on the paper that I used to write a poem tonight
What do you do when negative emotions, like sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, disgusted, etc hits you? What’d you say to people you care about, when they tell you their problems? Do you show them an empathy or toxic positivity?
We might not realize that we can be victim or culprit of toxic positivity at the same time. So, what’s toxic positivity?
Toxic positivity can be defined as excessive and inneffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situation
To give you an easier explanation (I hope), I’ll show you some example below.
Your friend has broke up with her boyfriend. She’s really heartbroken. She’s crying out loud and needs someone to talk to. Then she came to you and told you her problems. As a response, you told her some “encouragement words” ,such as :
” Be positive” “Look on the bright side” “Don’t give up” “Everything’s gonna be alright” “Moving on” (etc)
(In Bahasa, you often say, “sabar ya..”, “semangat ya..”, “jangan nyerah”, “udah ikhlasin aja” etc)
You told your best friend that you’re defamed by your coworker. It really damaged your reputation that you’ve developed for many years. And your boss was starting to lose his trust in you. Then, your best friend compared your problem with hers or others. She compared which one is more pathetic. She compared who suffers more between you and her or others. In the other hand, she just talked about herself, didn’t pay attention of what you’re saying.
If you have experienced those kind of situation, well, that’s toxic positivity. For situation 1, your friend become the victim of toxic postivity. And you become the one who throws toxic positivity. Meanwhile situation 2 is the opposite of situation 1.
There’re some characteristics of toxic positivity.
Denial. Toxic positivity is fake positivity. It makes people deny and pretend to be happy just to cover their negative emotions. They’ll refuse to be honest to their true emotions and feelings.
Unrealistic. Toxic positivity puts us as if we always have to be happy and positive. Life is up and down. Our life is not always at the top. We can’t always laugh. Sometimes we can cry. The encouragemnt words like I told you in situation 1, look good and motivating. But, it’s kinda problematic and unrealistic. Why? Some of you might disagree with me. Some of you might answer, “I just try to motivate his/her, so he/she can forget his/her problems. Where’s the mistake?”. Well, I suggest you to read it till the end cause the answer will be revealed (implicitly) on the next part.
Comparing who suffers more. Like the example on situation 2, toxic positivity thinks others problem is nothing compare to our problems.
So, what should we do to avoid toxic positivity?
Admitting and understanding your negative emotions. Negative emotions are normal. You don’t need to hide your true emotions by smiling or pretending that you’re okay. Cause it’s okay to not be fine (sometimes).
Releasing your true emotions. If you’re sad after breaking up, you can cry. If someone treats you like a shit, you can angry. When you’ll have a presentation on annual meeting, it’s normal if you’re nervous, especially if it’s your first time. Why do we have to hide it? Why do we have to lie, like everything is okay? Hiding your emotions will damage your mental health in long term.
Learning to control your emotions.Controlling emotions is different from hiding emotions. If you want learn how to control your emotions, you should admit and know first, what kind of emotions do you feel, what do you want. And you won’t ever know your emotions well, if the things you do is denial.
Be a good listener. Don’t interupt someone who tells you her/his problem. Listen and pay attention to what they’re talking about. That’s the reason why God gives us 2 ears and 1 mouth.
Don’t compare who suffers more. Our problem might be the same. But, our strength in facing the problem might be different. What you think is easy, can be difficult for others and vice versa.
Giving the right response. I know it’s hard to give the right response and honestly, I often act like Ms.Know-It-All to them (I’m so sorry T_T). So, what’d you say? You can show them that you care about their condition by saying, :
“I’m deeply sorry to hear that” “I know it’s really hard for you” “If I were you, I’d feel the same” (etc.)
Or… you can give physical touch if necessary (and if he/she doesn’t mind about it), like patting his/her shoulder, hugs, etc. Then, you can offer him/her to talk (or even crying) more till he/she feels better and satisfied. If he/she asks you for an advice, please, do it wisely. If he/she doesn’t ask, please, don’t be Mr/Mrs/Ms Know-It-All (Tbh, it’s the hardest part I should change from myself). Cause sometimes someone only needs to be heard, not asking for advice.
Wearinglonghijab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as more religious rather than women who wear shorter hijab*
Wearingniqab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as terrorist
Wearingrevealingclothes : *being labeled as a bitch* -___-
(For this part, I take an example of what have happened (usually) in Indonesia. So, it might be different from your country)
Thick : “youlookugly! youshoulddiet!” (I have a close friend. She has big body. But, her friends, including me, hope that she won’t do (extreme) diet cause she’s already beautiful even with her thick body)
Thin : “doyoureallyhaveboobsandbutt?” (If you ask me this kind of question, let me slap your face with clog)
Loves pink, wears skirt/dress, plays barbie doll, watches romance movie, wears high heels, loves shopping etc : “ew..toogirly! notcool” (Tomboy girl feels more superior than girly girl)
Loves black (dark colours), wears jeans, wears sneakers, football lovers, listens to dead metal/punk/rock music etc : “areyoureallyawoman?”
Being gentle, innocent, lady-like, elegant : *being labeled as weak, not independent, cry-baby, inferior, submissive, can’t stand up for herself*
Being bold, fierce, brave, independent : “men will be afraid of you. so, please, act like a lady” (Sir/Ma’am, I don’t behave to attract men’s impression cause I’m not an attention seeker)
Workingmom : “You’resoselfishandmaterialistic“
Stay–at–HomeMom : “Youwasteyourdegreeandachievementjusttostayathome” (Although you have good carreer, you still have responsibilty to take care of your husband and children)
Single : “Whenwillyougetmarried?” (Fyi :If you’re Indonesian woman, at least 25 years old, but you haven’t introduced anyone yet as your boyfriend or future husband to your family, then this question will haunt you like a nightmare)
Married : “whenwillyouhaveachild?”
Married + 1child : “whenwillyourson/daughterhassibling?” (Meanwhile their baby is still a month)
Conclusion : Honestly, we live in society which everything is rated based on men’s point of view. Meanwhile, we also live in society which women ‘kill’ each other. We can’t please everyone. So, no need to think that much about what they’re saying. You can disagree of others opinion, but, don’t throw a hate comment. You can have your own standard, but, don’t push others to follow your standard. You can have your own preference, but, don’t push others to follow your preference. Because it might not fit in/doesn’t work on someone who has different culture, habit, social status, religion and so on.
*) notes :
Hijab : a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immadiate family, which usually covers the head and chest
Niqab : a garment of clothing that covers the face, except eyes, worn by some Muslim women as a part of particular interpretation of hijab.
Ironically, those statements are spoken by women too (mostly).
Ok, let me tell you something.
Womenmustbesmartandwell–educated. A well-educated person is different from a person who’s attended school and got academic degree. Degree and diploma are just signal that you’ve attended, then graduated from school or university. But, they’re not necessarily show how well-educated you are.
Have you ever known someone who’s not attended school or university, but, her/his knowledge is no joke? Have you ever known someone who’s decided to drop out of school/university, but being successful at very young age? Well, I don’t tell you that school isn’t important. I just want to emphasize that one of characteristics every well-educated people have, are never stop learning from anyone or anything. School, university or whatever you said, is not the only place to study. Every place in this whole world is our school and everyone is our teacher.
Let’s back to the topic!
Smart women always know how to handle and overcome the problem. They know how to put themselves in every place, time and situation. Being smart women have nothing to do with their life choices as a working mom or stay at home mom.
Now, imagine if your husband asks you for your consideration or advice on important and serious thing, then what’d you say to him? Please, don’t say that you’d answer, “up to you”. Becausemenwillbeannoyedifyoualwaysanswer “uptoyou” oneverythingtheyask.
Imagine if your children come to you with their innocent yet unpredictable questions, then, how could you explain to them (especially if your children are still underage)? In Islamic beliefs, a mother is the first madrasa for her children. So, howcouldamothereducateherchildren, ifshehasnoknowledgeatall?
There’snothingwrongwithsmartwomenaslongastheystayhumblewiththeirsmartness. So, women should care about their brain and attitude too. Not only their beauty, make up or fashion. And if you have a boyfriend or crush who can’t appreciate your smartness (for example), I’dsaythatit’stimetofindanothermancausehedoesn’tdeserveyou.