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.

on social comparison and why we should stop

I signed up to a Coursera class.

I am not saying this to push you and guilt trip you to do the same, as I know we all deal and live through this strange time in different ways, so if you are doing fine with cuddling with blankets all day, binge watching every k-drama or tv series, that’s totally fine!

But other than the occasional feel of anxiousness coming around, I tried as much as possible to at least make a little use out of this time. I know the new world will be around for some time, and it is better to start adjusting to the new routine now than to never try.

The class I joined currently is The Science of Well-Being by Prof. Laurie Santos, one of the most well known class in Yale University, in which she taught about positive psychology and how to increase happiness and build more productive habits. I am currently in week 3 classes (I should be on week 4 but I’m late pretty much behind), and she had revealed misconceptions about happiness, the annoying features of the mind, and the research than can help us to change our way of thinking in our pursuit of happiness. We are also asked to incorporate different wellness activity each week to help us further.

I have not been diligent on the wellness activities (we were asked to write reflections and to did random act of kindness every week) since I have been stuck at home with my family so there is really not much thing nor motivation to do so. But I have been following every video and did every reading asked.

Yesterday though, on one of her videos, she talked about the Annoying Features of the Mind. These ‘features’ caused us to not be as happy as we could, and by acknowledging it, we can be better and live a happier life. She called it miswanting, the act of being mistaken about what and how much you will like something in the future.

For example, she talked about how many students want to get a good job as soon as they graduate and obtain good grades and achieve our body goals. We think that when we get these things, we will finally be and feel happier. The truth is, many researches suggest the opposite. Turns out, getting these things didn’t make us any happier since we’ll get extra pressure to from people who seems like they have achieve more (no matter how much you have things, you will find people who seems like they have more than you, and so on you feel more depressed).

She then explained one of the feature, which struck to my mind right when I see it. Our minds don’t think in terms of absolute, but judge relative to reference points. Reference point is a salient, often irrelevant standard against which all subsequent information is compared. We are judging things from it surroundings.

This cause us to constantly compare ourselves to those around us and explains why there is not general rule on where one’s baseline of happiness. We see our achievements from what we could’ve have achieve if we have done better and from things we have before. A student who usually get A in all her exams will have a hard time coping with one B score in her report card because 1) She will compare herself to the other top students who most likely have achieve more than her (social comparison) and 2) She will beat herself up because she know for a fact that she could have done better, based on how her past scores were.

She then showed us an example:

She asked the students to choose which orange circle was bigger than the other. Our eyes and minds will ‘trick’ us to think that the circle on the right is bigger than the one of the left. The truth is, they are both the same size. The one on the right seems bigger because it is surrounded by smaller grey circle compared to the left ones.

The more we are surrounded by people we consider better than us, the more we feel ‘small’. This pretty much explains why looking at pictures of pretty people in social media might make you feel uglier. Because right at the exact moment of you scrolling through your timeline, you don’t look like any of them.

Another example:

In this video she talked about a group of athletes (I swear she did mention their names repeatedly but I really have no idea who they are know), and told us about how facial expressions can also show the level of happiness we are feeling. The one who got silver medal didn’t seem as happy as the one who received bronze, because they both have different benchmark of expectations on how they could’ve done the competition.

Several posts ago I wrote about being afraid of failure and how much I beat myself up for not getting into my dream school. To this day, I still sometimes think about it and all the what-ifs, but then again, I became so sad because I value my achievements based on the past, and I still feel like if I had done something different of if I had been better, I could’ve made it to the ‘top’.

Wait, I don’t want to get the wrong message out there. We should never blame others for our insecurities, it is wrong in so many levels and we should stop doing that. But acknowledge that it is super NATURAL to feel competitive when you feel like you are around people who seems to be getting the hang of life better than you.

To some extend, we need the feeling of competitiveness to push ourselves to constantly be better, to inspire us. As social beings it is inevitable to not value yourselves based on your society, so use the freedom to choose the right circle of friends for you, who push you to be better but don’t let you dwell in all the bad sides of you.

The more we are on the top (studying in top schools, considered as the top students, put it in any context), you will naturally feel more threatened by others who are working their way and achieving similar things to us because we want to ‘save’ our position we initially have. To some extend, we can even stop ourselves from growing in order to hinder others from growing as well.

This explains why successful people won’t think about sharing their secrets to the wealth they posses since it threaten their position as the rich. Giving others the same chance to grow are minimised since we don’t want anyone to be better than us.

Knowing that from time to time, I am also this type of people I just tell you to not to be, I am coming up with ways to find reasonable comparison. One that makes us motivated and not threatened. This might take some times, but ultimately this will lead you to more happiness, since you no longer count your happiness solely on how much you value yourself in compare to others, but how you value yourself based on mindful actions and contributions you can make to others.

We are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us, and social media help us to further do it in the more toxic ways. Especially now since we are all staying inside until indefinite times and the only way for us to really connect to other humans outside our family members are through online platforms, we are more connected to the internet than ever. I notice nowadays we can see more people talking and acknowledging more about the importance of self love and the danger of social media, but I was still mesmerised to the fact that we can actually explain it psychologically. By knowing that this is a real thing that happened to people, we can have more concrete actions to know how to overcome it and not be tricked by it.

I recently took a month break from Instagram, allowing myself to really enjoy my time in quarantine. The first days was quite hard for me since I was used to being able to know what my friends are doing, and but after a couple of days I started feeling better and in general happier. I still got to connect with my closest friends through chats and video calls.

I also got to spent more quality time with my family and started finding new ways to spend the day, be it by writing more, journaling, and re-arranging my Spotify playlist. I am now back on Instagram and I felt changes happening since I don’t unconsciously open my account anytime I am bored.

Other things I’ve been really doing is to watch tv series and shows, calling my friends and selling my old but cute clothes online, since it gave me reasons to be busy. I recently connect myself back to CISV, an organisation which I used to be quite active in 2016-2018, and joining their annual regional conference has given me a chance to virtually meet my international friends! I have joined in numerous insightful discussions on numerous topics and learned new perspectives.

Some of my friends have been spending the time opening thrift stores to sell their clothes, cooking and selling their homemade baked goods, and get ahead of studying for the university exam coming up this July.

All in all, social comparison is a very natural instinct of us humans, but we also have ways to not let it get in our way of enjoying our life to the fullest. Challenge yourself constantly by surrounding those who are better than you to push yourself indeed, but remember that in the end it is not a competition, you are going and growing in your own time.

Your companion in this long journey of self love and acceptance,

adeline.