write and recharge my battery

I have been…

Running more lately.

Reading more lately.

Working out more lately.

I am becoming better in many things – finishing homework before bedtime, being on time for work and classes, being open to advice from others, and changing those few bad habits bit by bit every day.

But the weather has not been nice to me. It takes all my energy, leaving me with this emotion mess. But I assume there are still ways to get out of it without moving to somewhere warmer.

Be optimistic.

That sounds counterintuitive, I know! But isn’t that all we need to be happy? It’s truly hard for an introvert like me to work in groups and talk with people at work and class all day long. I always imagine that every second when I open my mouth to speak, my energy slips out of my body.

That does not mean I will lock myself up forever to preserve my energy. I think after a while, a long while of encountering people for different reasons, I have learned to expand my limitation. I still need time to think through things before sharing them with teammates, but I also learned to initiate conversations in groups. Those “turn to your neighbors and discuss this problem” no longer seems to be annoying, but rather a way for me to use my energy sufficiently to learn from friends, I suppose.

Today, I read this great, great paper of a guy in his English Composition class. What I loved about it was how his sentences were fragmented, but they also connected so well. The structure was not something teachers teach at school, but it’s how he communicate with English, with the world. And that fascinated me.

Today, I realized that there is always this feeling in me that bothers me so much. That I am different stops me from telling those who care for me my thoughts. I always assume people will judge me for who I am and for what I do.

I never get to test if that is true. I might be able to find joy in those moments of sharing, but may I have a little bit more time? More time for me to process my thoughts, to be sure of what I think, to keep those precious thinkings for myself.

Because they’re all I have.

Those words you said, they hurt me. I would love to walk instead of taking the Uber, because I think it’s a great way to be closer with nature and with my mind. Yes, you might say I make way more money than you and I am stingy, but forty-five minutes walking under that cozy weather energizes me. I know there were other ways to do things, but I wanted to use that walking-running time to talk more with my housemate. Perspectives are dangerous and are something you cannot judge. So I beg you, for once, just listen to me, and that’s it.

Arts 🎭

This is Joy. She was mad because she didn’t understand all these artsy stuffs.

This is when I told her to smile so that this would be a great photo. And greater it is.

Curvy. Los Angeles. The City of Angels.

We have been here for five days. To me, this is my very first trip that I have gone with friends at my age, that we all have to be in charge of our own stuffs, and that I am not in my hometown.

I was and am excited. I am not sure if I want to go home, but I am also not sure if I want to stay.

A city. I was born in a big city. I know it’s big because everybody look up to it, as a goal, an achievement, something that they have to reach for, to try their best for. I was born and lived in that city for 16 years. I have met and heard about all good and bad things, and I love it.

The city. I left it two years ago for a smaller town, where once I miss the bus, I will have to wait for an hour and a half until the next one comes. It is a Dutch town, 75 years old, and it is safe to walk around at night, because there will be no one walking around except me.

My mom usually tells me to find a bigger city, because that’s where I have always belonged to. A bigger city gives me chances to learn about life, to see more people, so that I will be more “active”. But after two years living in that Dutch town, I have fallen in love with this peacefulness. No need to talk to people. They are all nice because they are not too busy with their own concerns. Little town where people know each other.

I went to LA, because I wanted to travel. I have always been aware that I need to go places. I want to make a decision about which school to go to, and the best way for that is to understand if an urbanized area is a good fit for me.

To my surprise, sure it is. I love LA because of what it has to offer. I love the metro lines, the bus, and the underground subway. I feels to me that I was born in a city, and therefore my heart is drawn back to cities the moment I am there, even though I left the original one.

Los Angeles is also not solely just a combination of Asians and Americans like Bellingham – the place where I am currently living in Washington. I don’t just hear Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese, but in LA I hear French, Italian, and especially Spanish. The mix is greatly varied.

Los Angeles was great to me, as though I found a part of me. However, traveling with other girls who are as the same age as me seems to be hard. They were all Indonesians, and therefore the only way that I can talk to them is using English, and that’s in cases when they want to speak English to me. Sometimes I do feel as though I am left out. There was even a time I cried to myself because they didn’t let me know what was happening.

Languages is a big difference between us, but as human beings we are all the same. There were small conflicts during the trip, and I, as a non-Indonesian and a gossip-hater girl, was put in the middle of a cold war. Two eighteen-year-old girls and two seventeen-year-olds (I’m 17). Joy, the girl I mentioned in the beginning, was complained about how she behaved during the trip, while I was also complained to about the other two girls.

When I got a chance to actually talk to all of them (in this case, I have nothing to do with their war, but I am put in the middle. I guess I am the bridge then, which I’d love to do.), I got to understand that they have reasonable points of view, and the only thing is that they are lack of communication.

See the photo above? The two sides of that photo have the same meaning, but from two perspectives we get two outcomes. This is also what I have learned from this trip. I think as long as they actually share what they think, they will feel better. But they never did.

I am aint the odd or even. For the most part of my life, I hang out with boys and with myself enough to understand why Joy never has best friends that are girls. I aint the odd or even. I can be both. But I’d prefer to be the bridge between Joy and the other two, rather than let them separate from each other. After all, we are one.

Women, ladies, or girls, or whatever you call them, have this powerful strength that can break others’ hearts. I don’t know who is right or wrong, but I do know that the lack of communication caused enough damage on human bondings to actually get people far from one another.

I also realize my power, that I am understanding and know what to do to make others feel better. But I don’t know what to do to make others also perceive the situations from different perspectives, so that we all can have the same voice and our bonding will be tighter.

Sometimes I think that’s my fault. The bridge is broken.

For the night, it is a mess now. I am disappointed because the other two girls are older than me, but they leave me this mess without actually telling me what to do. I know how it feels to be left behind. Because that what they have done to me. I know how it feels to worry about something but having to suffer it on my own. Because I went through that situation. But how? How am I supposed to tell them what they should do when they are older than me. This is a mess.

And I am hopeless seeing my friends turned their backs from each other.

Joy, I know how you feel, I will be with you.

Ivy and Tasha, you two are great, but I wish not just great to me, but also to Joy.

At a place 2-hour flight from home, we are home to each other. Make it safe and warm. We have been through enough.

Mệt quá đi hiu

(Other perspectives) Looks like tears. 

Sáng mở mắt dậy mà cứ hiu hiu không muốn đi học đâu, không muốn làm bài đâu. Nghĩ tới cái lịch kín mít chẳng có nổi nửa tiếng nghỉ ngơi mà buồn xịu. Rồi dần dần cũng nhận ra hình như dạo này mình đang xa cách với tất cả mọi người vì bận, vì bài vở, nên ngồi một lát cũng ngẫm lại vậy liệu học hành thế có đáng không. Đáng không khi mọi người quên mất mình là ai, và mình cũng quên mất mình là ai. 

Mà phải chịu thôi chứ sao, mình phải ráng ráng, vì mình mong muốn được vào một nơi cool cool, vì khi nhìn lại quá khứ mình biết cuộc đời mình đã thay đổi chóng mặt nếu không được vào trường cool cool như bây giờ. 

Mệt quá đi huhu. Cũng khó có thể nói với ai vì 1. hoặc là ai cũng bận bịu vậy, 2. người ta không thèm hiểu, và 3. người ta không thèm lắng nghe mình. Mình gặp nhiều khó khăn nói chuyện với các bạn gái hơn là con trai, mình không nghĩ vì mình hợp với con trai hơn, mà đơn giản chắc vấn đề nằm ở mình – mình không cởi mở đủ nhiều nhỉ. Mình hứa sẽ thoải mái thân thiện cười nhiều hơn mỗi ngày. Mình không muốn bị bỏ lại đâu dù giờ mình đã cảm nhận điều đó thật rõ rệt. Mình mệt mỏi và bận bịu tới mức chẳng còn quan tâm tới ai khác. 

Tại chính mình mà mình cô đơn. 

Mình mong mọi người hiểu. 

Invisible Love. 

The mind and the heart. 

Which one wins? 

Ừa vừa mới nhắn các bạn ơi đừng buồn mình vì mình bận quá nha. Communication is key. 

Không biết nữa. Love is invisible, but that doesn’t mean you can still claim that there is love when there’s no sign of care. When I stop asking, I also stop them from being my friend.

At the age of 17, I understand that I am still young and life still has so much things for me to learn. On the one hand, it’s easier for me to forgive myself when I make mistakes and also easier for me to be open-minded about the world around me. On the other hand, being 17 exposes me to emotional changes that are just really hard to bear. It will be better later, but the feeling at that moment sucks. I don’t have experience in getting over things, hard things, and learning them also brings about hard feelings… 

But I’ll make this time of my life valuable. I will not waste it because I understand I am still young and free. I know I can work and study as much as I want without worrying too much about my health (well, I don care a lot about it, otherwise I will die pretty soon), I can eat or not eat whenever I want, and I can go back home to visit my family without thinking about how much time will it take for me to adjust the time zone. 
And it is also awesome when I am young and adaptive. Changing environment seems to be nothing, and that is extremely important because the world is changing fast. 

My mind tells me to study hard, stay healthy, and do what I want to do.
My heart says I should care for others also because they are the core of my life. Without them I am nothing. 

What do I do? 

Puzzle Piano and Books

My own guide to complete a puzzle: 

  • Step 1: sort out pieces that build up the frame of the picture, especially the four corners. 
  • Step 2: sort out different colors: bright and dark, or other special details that can be easily recognized. 
  • Step 3: don’t be intimidated, and be patient

And by being patient with a little piece of puzzle every day, I learn how to apply those steps in bigger or more complicated situations in my academic and social life. 

How many of us are often so discouraged by our surrounding environment? We all know that factors like the weather, transportation, stress, or even friends, mentors might sometimes stop us from wanting to do our best. And it takes time for us to know that those are small challenges that test our ability to be persistent and stick to the plan. 

Puzzle is a way for me to feel better. As well as books. When I stop doing these things, there’s a voice in me saying, “You are not doing things as good as you used to!” And I believe that that is totally true. Without books, my words would become fragmented. Without puzzle, my nerve would dwell up and it stops myself from many more important things in life than just worrying. 

People say, “Oh these things are just not for me. I am not talented enough to learn it.” 

That’s nonsense. When I learned about Piaget, I partly agree with him because in my life I have been in touch with many kids from a wide range of ages, especially I have witnessed my sister’s life since she was a newborn. I know how their thinking develops after each stage of life, and they all seem to be consistent with what Piaget described in his theory. However, there is one thing I don’t really agree with him: human development continues even after the last stage – formal operations. 

We all learn and continuously learn and improve even when we stop going to school. And that is how we grow in personality and ability. 

Talent is not something that you are born with in your blood. You perceive it after a long while of trying and failing. I have to admit that failures suck, but without those moments of discouraging, I would never know what it means to have real happiness, or to have the real stories to tell others. 

When I recall my journals that I have been written for years, I realized the days when I could write good stories were the days I cried because someone hurt me, or because I made something wrong. It the days when sins were confessed, and that also meant I withdrew lessons from mistakes. 

I am not talented at playing piano. Even though I can play sonatas or many other long classic pieces, I still have to admit I am not talented.

Because the work I have done so far is the result of hard work. Really hard-work. 

I know how many hours a week I have to devote to piano in order to be better and better at it. I know how hard it will be for me to play a piece after a while without actually practicing. There is no such thing at being talented at playing instrument in me. But there is the one thing called patient. 

And that is exactly everything I would ever need.