Essentials of My (Current) Peaceful Life

I need my family. I will acknowledge that I’m privileged to still have a complete family in my late 20s. A beautiful mum, a strong dad, a cool older brother, a nice sister-in-law, very sweet niece and nephew, a kind gramma, and tons of supportive uncles and aunties. I may not be close to most of them, but having a relatively stable, big family, definitely helps my psyche in dealing with life that I’d still have my people however far I go. They’re there.

I need my best friends. I understand I was (am) not an easy person to really get along with. I was unstable inside, I disappeared often from everyone’s radar, I still prefer to go out alone at all times, and I’m not good at opening up about myself. But those who I consider as best friends somehow understands that about me, and even though we might not talk for months, I or anyone of us could just drop a “lunch this weekend?” and we would meet, picking up our conversations from where it was left off before. I love them. I often feels like I haven’t appreciated them enough for sticking with me all these years, but I hope they know I really do love them with all my heart and I’m very thankful for their existence.

I need regular therapy sessions. I’ve been going to psych care for 2 years now, and almost a year with my current doctor. Things in therapy is never linear, there were lots of ebbs and flows in my progress, but I love that looking back, the trendline is always upwards. I would never stop promoting therapy for anyone in my life. Especially since here in Indonesia it’s covered under our generous universal healthcare insurance scheme, from the consultations to the medications. I would need to pay at least about IDR1.5million per month for my current treatments, but I only paid a iny, weeny, teeny, weeny percentage of that because of BPJS.

I need a super long-term goal and a bright vision to work on and invest in. I’ve talked about how I don’t want to buy a house here because I really don’t see myself settling in Indonesia for my future, but I understand I would always need a place to live in, now and later when I’m old/ retire. Although I joked about how my retirement plan is to die young, if somehow that don’t work, I know I need to prepare. So, what I’m building towards is my retirement home funds, which if you choose the top-tier ones here, it could get to almost IDR 500 million per year. Crazy.

I need people to romantically love, and to romantically love me back. Or at least the illusions of it. I have romantic partners in my life, but we’re never in such traditional knot, nor would we ever want to be. I just need them to be alive, to respond to my texts sometimes, and to go on dates with when our calendars permit us to. I think they’re a huge part that grounds me and keeping me sane on navigating this singleton life, because they make me not desperate to crave something that’s called love.

I need to do lots of extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime activities, in addition to building routines and skills that need consistency and perseverance. You know how some people’s entire lives could be described in just a few words, for example, my ex’s would be “IT, photography, and martial arts.” Those are the 3 things that he consistently do in his 40+ years of life, the ultimate opposite to what I am. He never peered off to fashion, jewelry-making, calligraphy, traditional dancing, puzzles, watercolor drawing, crocheting, blogging, violin, candles, tea culture, etc., unlike me who’ve tried them all in my short 28 years of life. Simply trying them alongside my main things is what gives me joy. Aside from those little stuffs, of course, I have my bucket list full of ventures to do at various places all over the world for a reason.

I need my personal space and my independence. I’ve been living alone for about 11 years now. I couldn’t imagine a life where I’m fully, physically have a daily codependency with someone else. Like, I understand when it comes to my future spouse/ life partner, I love them and I would want them in my life forever, but that doesn’t mean I would want to share the same oxygen supply with them at all times. Even when I’m on vacation with my parents, I would need breaks from them for a while and just go to the pool/ garden/ bar/ store by myself to decompress and recharge my social battery. I like being in my head in silence and peace, not distracted by noises made by someone else.

What I do not need:

I don’t need to wake up and start my day at 5am everyday. I was raised in an early riser family, so it was ingrained in me that I needed to be that as well. Even though since childhood, I’ve always had delayed circadian rhythm which now I know may be rooted from my ADHD so I’ve only ever started to feel sleepy around midnight. Until about a year ago I still tried to maintain what my family taught me and still rises at 5am, but weirdly enough, I never feel like 24 hours a day is enough. There are many things that still left unfinished even though I’ve started my day early. Only after therapy, bettering my relationship with my resting schedule, and letting myself have adequate 7-8 hours of sleep every night, I’ve started to actually able to do more with my day. I have more energy, my brain isn’t as foggy, thus I don’t procrastinate and waste time as much as when I was tired from the lack of sleep I’m having.

I don’t need to have perfect Instagram feed. I used to not wanting to post lots of my days and sweet memories on social media because “why should I? nobody cares” thinking. But these days, I reverse-UNO-card-ed that thought to “why shouldn’t you? nobody cares anyway.” So now I post more. I care less if the photo is blurry, the video is shaky, the resolution is shit, or the views and likes are fewer than number of days in a week. I’ll post what I want to post.

I don’t need to keep conforming to my past self’s ideals. We all are a byproduct of our surroundings. Who we associate with, where we live, the things we do, where we are in live, all are supposed to be constantly changing. I wrote extensively before on how, personally, being a part of a typical Indonesian/ Asian society, complete with its customs and practices which focus on family and everything home-oriented, while being shoulder to shoulder to Western colleagues who value individualism, did shift my paradigm. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle; my head is turning west but my heart wants to stay in the east, and I understand that it’s not helping me in the long run, because it holds me back from progressing. We’ve heard again and again how one person is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move abroad, but turned it down because they choose not to leave out of fear of homesick. I mean, if it works for them and they’re happy about it, then that’s fine. But being in the middle means I myself am not sure about what I want. If I did take the offer, my heart would guilt me for leaving. But if I don’t, my brain will flood me with tons of what if scenarios. And that’s not a fun way to live. I have to synchronize the two.

I don’t need to grind so hard to be loved. Love shall be easy. I’m not saying it’s effortless because to stay in love you need to put in the work, but being in love should mean that I’m at ease. A big chunk of my therapy sessions were focused on how I was so flabbergasted and couldn’t understand why my partners and friends keep wanting to be with and associate themselves with me for so many years despite me feeling unworthy of a person/ friend/ partner for them all, without looking back at myself that I also love and cherish and want them to still be in my life despite the little flaws they have that I am willing to accept and/or ignore. Love shall be easy; that’s the mantra.

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