moving away, living alone

It has been some time since I managed to write anything here, and much have changed since my last writing. I am currently 11.237 km away from the capital city of Indonesia, leaving with 29 other housemates, in Groningen, The Netherlands. In a short period of time, I went from the girl who’s stuck in quarantine for months, to officially a university student!

Back in quarantine, I made a final decision with my family that I would still study abroad even though the pandemic is still going on and the teachings are mostly hybrid. This is such a privilege I know not many can afford, knowing some of my friends still have to stay back home and attend their classes fully online, adjusting to the big gap of timezone, I can already stay here, make friends, comfortably studying according to the ideal timing.

For the longest time, I know in the back of my mind I would go and study abroad for university. I have several majors I wanted to pursue over the years, ranging from Journalism, History, Politics, International Relations, to Communication, Psychology, Marketing, and Commerce. Reasonings behind these vary every year, depending on my hobby around that time, my friends, the comments from parents and other family members.

Growing up, I wanted to study subjects that sparks my interest the most. I like writing, therefore I’ll take journalism. Then I started becoming interested with politics, and I wanted to take International Relations and Politics. I then realised most of my friends come to me for advices, and that I like giving them, and I started thinking about taking psychology.

It’s simple, and I never thought much about anything else. But as soon as I got to high school, and learned how much money it needed for you to achieve comfortable life, and how much it actually matters. I begin making money as my main orientation, shifting more to what is considered as potential majors with wider job opportunities: communication, marketing, commerce. Then I begin choosing what I study now: International Business.

To a certain extend, I was thinking about it back and forth. I want to pursue subjects I actually like, but I at that time it felt like, with who I am (my race, my family background, how I was raised, etc) it would be hard for me to follow my idealism and studied what I studied. What am I going to be? What if I can’t work anywhere? What about support from families? What if I regret it?

And so I settled with the major I have know. I concluded the war in my head with the mantra: I’ll study IB, become rich, and then I’ll have more power to finally pursue what I love. I can always take Masters or crash courses. It will be fine. I then applied to numerous schools, wrote essays in between classes, went to my English teachers multiple times to get their revisions and letter of reference. Within months, I dived deep and focus more on the procedure of my application rather than really thinking about my major. Maybe when I don’t think about it too much, then I’ll see why its the best choice for me.

And I did not think about it. For the last months of high school, I was just focusing on getting accepted and graduating.

But the pandemic, the months of just staying in your room doing almost nothing, made a drastic change in me. There were moments I doubt my major, thinking whether I should just take a gap year and apply for other major. But I realised its not the time to doubt everything I’ve worked hard for, and it’s not the time to bail. So I took the chance, pack my baggages, and left.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Business. I am enjoying all my classes.

But the pandemic, the time I spent reading on politics, history, sociology, on community development, empowerment, humanities, journalism, made me learned that deep inside I’ll always have my calling for it. I think: this is my calling. This is what I would want to fight for.

But do I regret taking International Business (and further help spin the wheel of capitalism lol)?? No. I do like it. I found numerous ways to connect it to the subjects I like, to the subjects I am passionate about. I learned to see every readings, essay, assignments, as an opportunity for me to see International Business from different perspectives: on labor welfare, on the environmental impact, on the protection of human rights, on sustainable development.

I learned about development and the importance of it: building network, making businesses and profit, providing the right infrastructure, creating a sustainable work place.

But I also learned how equally important empowerment is, which most of us often forget: training labors and low skilled workers to motivates them to create their own businesses, promoting and embracing local wisdom, ensure the wellbeing of women and kids, the importance of adapting to customs and culture (not appropriating them).

And I realised how much we have been always told to be successful and that we have to work hard for it to be deserving of it, but we don’t talk enough about how the power you then have should also be utilise to empower others. I was guilty for how much I used to think that I am naturally born smart, when I was just lucky that I am born to the right family, have the privilege to get the best education, and to potentially work at the best companies. Through this major, I found what I want to do in life: I want to empower. I want to help reduce the inequality that is caused by this very system we are living in.

And I know this might sound like a huge hypocrisy and pretend, but I genuinely feel that my life would be meaningless if I was only focused on my own goals: my prestige, my wealth, my bright future. On the other hand, I felt indescribable happiness whenever I though about all the potentials I could bring back home as soon as I graduated.

That’s how much a pandemic and a whole mess of studying abroad and living alone for the past (almost) 2 months got me: thinking about my purpose, my life actions, and what I would want to contribute to in life. From barely having time to think about what I actually want and not what people expect from me because of high school, to finally having all the time in the world to decide, for and with myself:

This is my life, and whatever other have comments on, this is my life. I am the one in control.

IDK how to end this and in what way, but here’s what I have in mind now. It might be a small, nearly impossible dream right now, but to see myself go from someone who spent their times fulfilling others’ expectations and dreams on me, it’s nice to finally have the answer to: what do you ACTUALLY want to do in life?

To make impact. To empower people.

I hope you find yours soon.

adel.

a stream of unconsciousness

The past months have been quite something. I have always been a highly productive person, contributing and taking part in so many organisations and projects, doing what I love, pursuing what I am passionate about. The last 4 months, I am privileged to be able to take home quarantine as a long needed break.

I started the quarantine being extra productive (as you can read from my earlier posts). I bake, I write, read a lot of books. I even created a new Instagram account to keep all my writings and photographs. I was also occupied by university preparation. Even though the classes are still online, I am genuinely looking at the opportunity to be able to still go abroad. I am currently still processing my visa and everything else.

But the pas few weeks have been quite hard. I can’t help but feeling unproductive and had the tendency to beat myself up for not creating or experiencing anything new. I kind of lost my sense of time, being stuck in the same routine (waking up, eat, some episodes of kdrama, listening to music, doing something university related, or taking my online courses), and have nothing to look forward to (well except for my going abroad).

I realised I am super lucky to still be able afford quarantine as free time. But it I felt guilty for not spending it the right way, in a way that is inspiring, moving, or creating any impact for those around me.

I realised we are surviving in the middle of a pandemic, a big economy crisis, so there should be no expectations whatsoever. We all should be grateful to simply be living until this day. To be able to pass another day yet again.

Today was the 10th anniversary of One Direction, a band which used to be a giant part of my childhood and teenage years. I first know them back in 2011 and have been a hardcore directioner ever since. More than ever, listening to their songs again remind me of specific memories of my teenage years.

Certain songs remind me of my crushes (which I didn’t even remember the name anymore, I just collect the moments in my head), of my happiest times and my lowest, how I manage a giant fan page in Facebook and Twitter, productively created a whole fan fiction dedicated to them (which was a giant hit at that time).

Even though my parents and other family members would told me it was just a phase and that I would forget about it as soon as I grew up, the reality is I still listen to their songs from time to time and even cherish their latest solo albums. Still a big fan of their personality, but my crazy fangirls days have past and know have been changed into simply a deeply admiration and respect.

The fan-girling part was indeed a phase, there was a time where I would ask for all things One Direction related, from their merch, books, CDs, etc. There were times I cried my eyes out for not being able to go to their concert in Jakarta since my parents didn’t allow me.

But I can’t deny the fact that they were a big part of my life, helped me shaped my personality, built my confidence, helped me connect with many internet friends, and taught me a lot of progressive topics. I learned early on about toxic masculinity, about PR stunts in celebrity lives.

Quarantining really make me revisit a lot of my childhood and pre-teen memories again. I thought about the person I used to be, all bubbly and friendly. I am luckily still that person, thank god, and I am grateful I have let my inner child grow within time.

I see too many people pushing their inner child away before it is ready to be grownups way too soon, which cause their relationships with other people and with themselves to be shallow and all kid-like.

I recently also watched the Korean drama It’s Okay Not to Be Okay, which basically highlights on mental health issues. The drama gave a perspective on how people can act because of what happen in their childhood. They may be varied outcomes, be it becoming antisocial, or all egoist, or be someone who are so nice and never break any rules because they suppress themselves from pursuing what truly made them happy.

I am learning that when people seems to be an egoist or narcissistic or push people away and seems to be antisocial, was not necessarily because they are mean or rude. Sometimes their inner child just feel lonely and wanted to be loved. And it is normal, because growing up they didn’t receive the love they deserve to experience.

I am going to spend the next 24 hours just embracing my inner child, the little me who was full of life and ambitions. I am going to cherish the directioner side of me, be happy for her and to remind her of how much she have grown from that person. I have been non stop listening to all the albums and the recently released EPs.

That’s it for this post, I have some more ideas I am going to write about soon, I just need to find the motivation (writer block is real and it is killing me rn).

See you! Also happy birthday One Direction!

adel.

for those who don’t know where to start (also me)

The past days have been full of plot twists, anger, constantly seeing violence being presented online through social medias. People raising awareness, people sending hate to each other. It have been rough, and I believe I still don’t have enough knowledge to form my own personal opinions on it, but I really feel like sharing the notes I cite from the abundance of information I have been getting from many sources.

If anything, the last few days have made us been aware of our surroundings more than ever. This is the time where we started seeing things from different perspectives, when you start to view things differently and learned things you never get back in school. When someone said we are living through the history, it is not a lie.

I am just popping here to make a reminder that even though the news we’ve seen lately is indeed uncomfortable and might make u feel uneasy, neglecting it and not wanting to care is also wrong. We need to ask ourselves, why are people so concerned about it? Why is everyone talking about it? Because if the whole world is changing because of it, there must be a very important message that you have to want to know.

I’ve heard some of my friends who have not been actively stating their opinions regarding the recent issues because they don’t feel like they have the adequate knowledge to do so. This is the impression that I fully understand, as I myself also feel that way, whenever I see people on the internet saying something in the lines of “don’t speak up for it if you are only following trends and don’t actually know the problem.”

I agree to some extend, don’t speak up only to follow the trend and chase the clout, but I do believe that everyone would have to start somewhere. We can’t expect everyone to all of the sudden know the history and the movements and have things figured out. And yes, it is a privilege to be able to learn racism rather than experiencing it yourself. So own up to it and start learning, then take the actions in anyway you can.

It is so sad to see people arguing when they are actually fighting the same fight. While we get it a lot of people are trying to take the benefits from the movement as a trend, this is not a one time, one week, one month thing. This is a wake up call. This is the first steps towards changing an entire corrupt and unjust system.

So, it is going to be a long ride, and instead of guilt-tripping those who haven’t been actively speaking in social media (and they might be constantly silently educating themselves off social media), we need to encourage more people to want to know and educate themselves on the matter as well.

They already have the calling and the awareness, don’t discourage them.

An account that I really love on Instagram, @ohhappydani or Daniel Coke, sums the feeling nicely. Today, she made an IGTV speaking about racism from the point of view of The Bible. She spoke on how us as Christians can help with the movements and how should we react towards oppression and injustice in our society.

In the beginning of the live stream, she said this as a reminder: “perfection is not a prerequisite to participation. you don’t have to have the perfect words to say something, you don’t have to know where to start to get started. we all know enough to know that racism is wrong, we condemn it and we call it by name. and we all have a personal responsibility to eradicate it while we are living here now. so, it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

As an Indonesian, I myself am guilty of not knowing so many things about racism in Papua prior to the BLM movement. I might have been racist in the past, or conscious or unconsciously might have let racist acts be done without calling the people out. But I am educating myself now every single day, because I realised that this is my responsibility as a part of the society. We might not be racist individuals, but we have to understand that we live in a systematically racist society and we, one way or another, have benefited from it.

We have not been listening to the minorities and the oppressed for the longest time, and it is our time to listen. Listen. To learn. To acknowledge, not deny. Start small, by sharing petition links and help donating, or simply by re-sharing the information you find from reliable sources.

I am agreeing so hard to the post made by Elle Glenise Pike. There are four stages of becoming anti-racist that we need to now: awareness, education, self-interrogation, and community actions. It does not happen overnight.

View this post on Instagram

Good morning, loves! Did you know that becoming antiracist is a process? That it’s about more than developing awareness and educating yourselves to the point of being walking woke word banks with no utility? Or that you HAVE to do deep diving self-interrogative work to unpack, understand, and dismantle the many ways your own behaviors perpetuate white supremacy? . Did you also know that there is a way for you to bring this work to your communities by incorporating antiracist principles into your daily lives from your positions of leadership and influence? And that you can do this with real confidence and WITHOUT perpetuating harm against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color? . Well, I plan to talk to you more about those things later today, but in the meantime, I want you to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with what the process of becoming antiracist looks like. . There are four stages to this work. Each are necessary and crucial to the end goal of dismantling white supremacy and moving us towards human equality. None can be bypassed and no one is an exception anywhere along the way. . In a few hours, I’m going to open the doors to my first ever Antiracism Leadership Accelerator. It is a first of its kind, 12-week, intensive training on HOW to do this work from your current positions of leadership and influence. Following the WCS Becoming Antiracist framework, I will walk you through what is expected of you in the Community Action stage of this work, so that you may begin incorporating antiracism into every aspect of your lives to encourage others to do their own self work in ways that not only honor BIPOC, but lead by example in the fight to dismantle white supremacy. . Whether you’re a start-up founder, a transracial adoptive parent, a marketing expert, a non-profit employee, a Christian mission worker, a social media influencer, a teacher, or a stay-at-home parent, this Accelerator will be for you IF you’re ready to take your antiracism work to the next level and would like 1 on 1 guidance from me in the process. . More details to come later today, but y’all…. I’m pretty excited to walk this journey by your side!

A post shared by Where Change Started (@wherechangestarted) on

Before anything, like she wrote on the caption, it is important to self-interrogate, unpack, understand, and dismantle the many ways our behaviors that have perpetuate white supremacy. Eg: how we have been glorifying western beauty standards and thinking that lighter skin tone equals to beauty, how we have saw people from East Indonesia as barbarians and less educated, or how we as Asians have been silent in moment of injustice because we feel like we are the model minorities.

It has to be based off of reflection. We can change. And once you understand why people do what they did and fought their fight, and when you see people risking their life to beg for their very own human rights; you realise how you can help with your power and privilege and you move to do better, to take actions, for the better.

There are countless resources we can find online to start learning; here are some I have found;

  1. https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/, resources for the #BLM movement.
  2. https://weneedtotalkaboutpapua.carrd.co/, resources for the conflicts in Papua and West Papua and the #PLM movement.
  3. https://bringjustice.carrd.co/, resources for different movements fighting injustice all around the world.
  4. Other resources can be from reliable news site and academic journal (can be googled with the keyword “Black Live Matter” and “West Papua Academic Journals”.

None of the links I mentioned are made by me, I am just citing from resources I found from Twitter and Instagram.

Ultimately, it is important to realise that; as what the account @jabladora had said:

Raising awareness starts with listening.

This is an uncomfortable, changing time. But understand that we are fighting in the name of those who have been living this way (discriminated, experience racism, and being utterly uncomfortable) for hundreds of years, and we are responsible now to be there for them and channel their voices. But know that we are fighting for the better, and we can start from ourselves, from our own family, from our own community. To anyone still scared; this is going to be the beginning of a long fight, and it needs a lifelong commitment. So baby steps, baby steps, but always move forward.

Starting right now.

adeline.

note:

this post is meant to help courage and share to people that you don’t all of the sudden have to know about everything that is happening. many people don’t. i didn’t. but what matters is that, now it caught your attention, and even though its uncomfortable, it is the reality we are in. and now, more than ever, we have to choose sides. with the oppressors, or marching alongside the oppressed to end the oppression.

as long as we stay silent, it will stay the same. so start educating yourselves. it is NOT a competition, it is a collective fight against racism and injustice, all for a better, just, and peaceful world.

Revisiting my inner child

I recently cut my hair. Part of me long for a feel of adventure, of doing something new. While stuck inside the house, there has not been so much thing do (since I graduated online the beginning of May). Chopping my hair off then seems like an easier option. I was initially thinking of taking the risk of crazy on the edge hairstyles I have never tried before (like either very short, or going bald).

Because even if it ended up to be so bad, I won’t meet anyone for the following months either, so I might as well use the time to explore as far as I have the bravery too. I dedicated a whole board on my Pinterest account just for my hair styles and spent days thinking about it.

At this point we all know I am someone who have a hard time making decision for herself, but making decisions for other people are way easier. Knowing that this might be the time of my life to explore ANYthing, made me even more conscious about my choice more than I used to.

I know for a fact I wanted to cut my hair really short and probably add some bangs. The last time I had bangs was 4 years ago, and it did not went well. Having bangs (especially if it’s a full on bangs, not the little strands here and there) needs extra care and from time to time you have to trim it to tame it down.

So I decided to went for another type of bangs, the ones long enough for me to push to sides, but also can serve as bangs when styled. Therefore, I won’t be having problem with it as it can be worked with towards my look on that day.

I got my hair cut on my mom’s friend’s salon. Since the virus outbreak, she has been implementing the rules of only letting one costumer inside per session to limit the risk of spreading the virus. Mom signed me up for 11 am appointment, and off we go.

To this day, for some odd reasons, I still want to have my mom around me when I am getting my hair cut. Even though as I grew up, she talked less to the hairdresser and trust me to give comments on the cut, but knowing that my mom was around when I cut my hair still soothes me somehow. Lov u mom.

Anyway, last minute before we arrived, I joked to my mom about how I spent the first almost 6 years of my elementary school life with the same short bob with bangs haircut. Mom laughed and said, it’s a very low maintenance style and the bangs is long enough to be tucked behind my ears so it won’t get in the way of my eyes.

I used to look like this. Took a screenshot from one of my post’s archive of this exact pose and I instantly felt really nostalgic.

Being in quarantine without anything to do made me spend my time on social media more than I ever did. I used to be so busy at school, and spent most of time either studying or hanging out with my friends and family. Scrolling down through timeline, as I’ve mentioned in the post before, had made me somehow insecure about how I looked.

I have never had that much interest on fashion. I like to mix n match and explore new style, of course, but I never feel the need to have thing and wear clothes just because other people are wearing it. But now since all my connection to my friends are online, it’s easier for me to compare myself to the personas of my friends on their social media as well (which is, of course, is way well-managed since we all will naturally present our best version there).

Looking at old pictures of myself remind me that, back then, little Adeline didn’t care much about what others have to say about her. She didn’t care whether its the hair on that that was good or bad, whether the bangs was on its place or not, she didn’t take too much care about what others are wearing. I was just happy being me.

It made me realise how much social media have changed me as a person over the years. I feel deeply moved at that time, and last minute before it’s time for me to went inside the building, I decided to ditch all the hair inspo I have collected and asked for the exact same hair style I’ve used back then.

I ended up loving it so much. It is still very low maintenance, and even though I looked so young (the hair dresser didn’t even believe that I recently graduate from high school and my dad pointed out the fact that this exact hairstyle is the same one I used to have for years when I was little), but I had fun and felt good about it.

I guess now every time I looked at my own reflection on the mirror, I am constantly reminder that nothing, especially looks, can really determine who I am as a person. It also reminded me of the little girl in me who is excited about life, who choose her own happiness before anything. Who doesn’t let others’ opinion get in her way of enjoying her day.

As I grew up, especially with a lot of major life changes going to happen in the near future, I pledge to keep my inner child deep at heart and to wear my heart on my sleeve, to be vulnerable, to be more open to growth and laughter and friendship. That in whatever life choices I make, I want to make sure I am pursuing and doing what I love and what I truly believe in.

It’s a very short and personal post this time, but I guess from time to time we need to revisit our inner child and be a little more like them, to listen to what they have to say. When the world we are living right now was all weird and the future seems to be blurry and uncertain, visiting the old times can be fun yet triggering.

You might came across moments you didn’t want to remember ever, and the traumas you didn’t even know you felt. But look further than that, find yourself before everything. find yourself in genuine, wholesome feelings you’ve felt and re-learn what it takes to be in that place again.

adeline.