This is our homeland. One of God’s masterpiece, home of world hundreds active volcanoes; long stretch of coastline from the west to the east; heaven of tropical rainforest, various species of exotic animals and plants.
Here, we stand to welcome the sun. Surrender ourselves to the morning for the sake of new hopes. “We’re born and die here”.
Our homeland is a piece of paradise. Mountains become the upstream of rivers and tributaries that flows happiness and life. Seeds that we sown, grow thousand grains of goodness. Human use it to support their lives.
But, our homeland is exchanged with money. Capital owners and deceitful politicians suck the citizens blood.
Mining’s everywhere, dredge up bowels of the earth. Sea and river polluted by mercury and plastic. Fishes are die. Our lungs filled with pollution.
Trees roots are not strong enough to handle the water flows. Forests are gone, converting to oil palm plantation. The villas stand tall on top of the hill, swallowing ecological areas.
When the rain comes so often, everything’s float off and die, swept away by the flood. Left pain and sorrow that will be recorded in our memory.
Our motherland endures her pain, due to the ungrateful behaviour of her children. intelligent human beings that never use their brain. Feels like the one who can take a control while they’re just souls that full of greed.
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.
How many times do you have to put a smile when the words are just sweetener on the lip tip No one knows about your heart, which is like a battle field where the memories are vulnerable in front of grudges
Nothing is more toxic than a fake smile while mumbling of bad things undetected and not tasted just left a never ending chaos
If “sorry” doesn’t ever come, which one should be there first between regret and forgiveness?
“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“.
I couldn’t help hearing your conversation with a middle-aged man in a stall when I passed by on Sunday at 6 am. Seems like you left your anxiety and regret to be written on an article that released at a homepage even though it couldn’t be the headline. I would like to join, but, I just kept myself away from you and started to make a new conversation because I didn’t know if it was true or just an assumption that played in my head.
I remember when you visited my veranda few days ago, you ordered a poem. Were you joking? And these verses were created, with or without you read it.
Another day you asked me “when”, when it could be an ambiguity, between literal meaning or just a metaphor. Because in a pandemic wave, red zones, restrictions and the death that stalks us even more, the question of “when” is about mystery, prediction and uncertainty.
The distance that we can reach through a screen, my words are announcement without voice but heard by you on the other side which I hope is fine.
Someone who gives birth and takes care of life? Someone who can do and be whatever she wants? Someone with tenderness and power at the same time?
Someone who has lower status than men? Victims of patriarchal system? or just sexual objects for men’s satisfaction?
Hundred years ago, we rarely found well-educated young women in our society here, especially in Javanese Land. The tradition forced young women to be secluded at home (pingitan) and waiting for the wedlock.
Many young women lost their youth too early. They lost their dreams, freedoms, rights to get better and higher education. They really had no power to refuse.
The same thing happened to a 12 year old Kartini. Luckily, she was born into a noble family with strong intellectual tradition. That’s why, her family allowed her to attend school before her seclusion.
Among other subjects she got from school, she learned Dutch (and fluent in it), an unusual accomplishment for Javanese woman at that time.
During seclusion, girls weren’t allowed to leave their parents house until they were married. But, Kartini’s father was more lenient. He gave his daughter privilege to attend special events in public with him and took embroidery lessons.
Kartini also self-educated herself during seclusion by read many books, newspapers and European magazines. She had deep interests in European feminist thinking and desired to strive an education for women so that they could be equal with men.
She also discussed her ideas a lot to her several Dutch pen pals, such as Rosa Abendanon, Stella Zeehandelaar, Mrs.Ovink Soer, through her letters. Later, after Kartini’s died on September 17th, 1904 (at the age of 25), Mr. J.H. Abendanon, Minister of Culture, Religion and Industry for East Indies, collected and published her letters that she had sent to her friends in Europe.
Hundred years after Kartini’s died, we commemorate her birthday every April 21st. If it’s not in pandemic, we would see every female, in schools, offices, public services wears kebaya (an upper garment opened at the front traditionally, made from lightweight fabrics, such as brocade, cotton, gauze, lace or voile) and completed with “sarong kebaya”(jarik) as a bottom.
We would see parades in the street and held events to enliven the commemoration.
So, how do we commemorate Kartini’s Day without those fanfares?
Pandemic that makes us to stay at our homes, should be our contemplation of how the ideas can make a change even though our bodies are trapped in a seclusion.
People can imprison our bodies, but not our minds. Not our ideas.
Kartini proved to us that woman can use her potentials to empower herself and others.
She proved to us how a woman can have such thought that’s beyond its times and being the inspiration to the next generations.
We should be thankful of her ideas of emancipation even though we still have long run to fight for gender equality. Because it’s not easy to change an old tradition that passed down from generations to generations.
We need more women who aren’t afraid of expressing their thoughts. We need more women who aren’t afraid to break the old beliefs that have no relevance to our lives today.
I’m glad that many forums give us chances to talk about women and the issues around them this month. And I hope that in the future we can see more women speak through her works.
-Waiting for iftar (ngabuburit) in the end of April 2021-