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351 articles in category Personal / Subscribe

Growing up in Jakarta as a part of the minority, I wasn’t really taught to be nice to strangers. When someone asks for help, ignore them – most probably they are wanting to get your money or to kidnap you. When someone asks you a question on the street, pretend you don’t hear them – you might get hypnotized.

No, I’m not joking. And it’s not a fear without reasons too. One of my parents’ friend’s child was hypnotized and almost got kidnapped – true story. Luckily she was found by someone who knew her before the kidnapper could do the action.

The first thing my Mom always tells me when I go back to Melbourne is, ‘Remember, don’t go out for coffee alone too often. Don’t speak to strangers.’

I can’t and don’t blame her. We live in Jakarta: the perfect place to grow up with a lot of prejudice, just because.

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When people know that I blog, they usually ask about the topics I write about. I usually just say, ‘Ah, you know, bits and pieces. Here and there. Life, relationship, studies, anything in between.’

Then they’ll go to my blog and read some of my posts. The next time we meet, they’ll ask, ‘I don’t know how you are able to share private details about your life on the internet. I won’t be able to do that.’

Funnily, I’m already used to this comment by now. But it just gets me thinking: do I really share stuff that are that private on the internet? Should I cut back on the stories of my life?

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I’m 23, halfway through my Master’s degree and I just can’t sit still.

Every time I do nothing, I feel like wasting time. Every time I do useless things, I feel a little bit deflated.

Why? Because it seems like I should be using the time to build my career instead. I should be using the time to get more skills, do more work, get more things done, write a business plan or think about ways to make more money.

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Confronting people is not something that I’m good at. In fact, every opportunity I have I always try to not get into a debate or argument. You know, make peace, not war. I’d say that I’m a fairly agreeable person, although that has not always been the case.

Looking back, I thought I’m always the type of person who say what I mean and mean what I say. Throughout high school, I thought I had that reputation of not succumbing to care of what others thought about what I did. Sure, I’d offend people along the way, but I didn’t really care. Well, probably I’ve changed.

As I mentioned in the last post, I think I’m a nice person, especially in work and university setting. I think it’s just common courtesy to extend patience towards others, but this semester has tested me more ways and times than I could imagine.

So. About confronting people.

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My Dad always said this to me: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. He lives by these words too – never once he takes back what he has said nor does not deliver on his promises.

It just hits me that this is probably one of the greatest wisdom of all times.

I have not had a good semester, and I’ll tell you all about it in the next couple of posts. And as I was laying on bed at 2 am, I kept on thinking about my Dad’s words.

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Lately, I begin to realise about the importance of de-stressing. Face it, life sometimes gives us headache. Things do not go as planned and we are disappointed at certain project results. We have bad days, hard days. So what should we do?

We should de-stress.

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I feel like my short attention span is killing me slowly.

I was doing my research paper when I decided I’d take a break and read something good. I wasn’t sure how, but I ended up at Mitch Albom’s website and I began to read some of this writings. Then I came across this: Mitch Albom’s advice for journalists and writers on writing.

If you’re like most people, you’d give up after skimming the article. If you’re an aspiring writer or journalist, you might try to actually read the article. After you reach the first subheading, you’ll get the urge to flick through Facebook first before going back to read it again, as there’s a …(1) notification.

I was tempted. So tempted. But I forced myself to stay with the article and read it at my good read pace, not at my skimming’s pace, until the end.

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The movies. They may say they are based on true stories but that’s just it – being based on true stories does not mean that they tell the whole truth.

Probably just partial truth, or some of the truth, but not the whole truth.

The books. The articles. We may read pages and pages of how a person has lived their lives. But you know what? They are edited. The stories are edited. They may resemble the truth. They may be close to the truth. But they are not the whole truth.

Our Facebook posts. Our Instagram photos. They are only part of the truth. No one posts a photo when they argue with their partners. No one posts a status when they are undergoing depression. Only a part of the truth. Edited.

As a writer and editor, the other day I find myself thinking about this: how nice would it be, if I can edit my life.

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I think I have known this for a long time: I am a highly sensitive person.

The other day I was browsing Facebook as per usual and I came across this article by Wall Street Journal. It’s titled, Do You Cry Easily? You May be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’. Seriously, I feel like this article is written for me.

I cry when watching almost every movie. I cried during the first five minutes of Up. I’m pretty sure I cried when watching the latest Avengers movie, although I don’t really remember which part. I cry when reading stories, and every time my sister came home from her palliative care job, telling me about how that patient died and how the patient’s husband had, lovingly, created a pair necklace with ‘forever loving you’ engraved just before she passed away, I cried a river.

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I think once in a while, and perhaps more often than not, we feel disappointed.

We are disappointed at our family members, who at that particular weekend was not as nice as we expected. We are disappointed at our friends, who cancelled a meeting at the very last minute. We are disappointed at our partners for being late.

And we are disappointed at ourselves.

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