The Rollercoaster Life – Part 1 (Reflection of 5 Years in Real Life)

RollerCoaster Life

We can’t design our life like a building.
It doesn’t work that way.
Just take the leap, have faith to live it,
and it will design itself.
Well, It may become like a rollercoaster ride,
but we always have a choice,
to either scream or just enjoy the ride…

Well, life is really just going so fast. Somehow, I can hardly believe it. ‘Cause it felt like just yesterday that I graduate from college and being “thrown away” to a so called “Real Life”. And as this year kicking-off, I sort of forgot that it’s been more than five years since the day I got my first job, back in the end of 2008.

I think, this is surely a good time to reflect on what I’ve done for the past 5 years. Especially, I’m surprised at where I am at now, compared to five years ago. It may a long post, but personally, it’s worth my time to write & share it, as such I’ll write it on several part, and this post is the first part. As the saying goes, “It’s our experience that shape who we are”, right?

The Beginning

Back on October 2008, after recently-graduate, like any other recently-graduate, I was endlessly searching job, took job-test & job-interview in various companies, attended one job fair to another job fair, traveling from one city to another city. Starting from Bandung, and just in the space of two months, I went to visit several cities e.g Jakarta, Cikarang, Karawang, Bekasi, Depok, Cilegon, Pekanbaru, Duri, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, even to Balikpapan.

Sometimes, I went from one city to another (faraway city) just in space of 2 days time. Even, I experienced one time where I was trying to rest in mosque, because I didn’t have time to find affordable place at the city I had never visited before. The harsh reality I had face at the time was it that, after countless job tests and all had the same ending, “no concrete job contract/offering”.

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The Reality of Living Overseas – Part 2

Eventually, a new country starts to feel like home.
But, the only way to really know if it’s for you,
is just to go for it…!!!!
Just say, “why not?” Life is beautiful…
Make choice to live your own life..
Live out your dreams before they turn into regrets…
Because, if you want it bad enough, you will make it work…

(~ARM)

Well, it has been officially one year that I’ve been living & moving abroad. And, I want to continue my writing on this topic (You can see Part 1 here), just to reflect from my own experience on living overseas. Like I said before, what about the realities of living abroad – do my dreams match the reality?

Yes, I love living in another country, soaking up all it has to offer. I constantly tell myself that these are the adventure that I’ll love telling my kids someday, that I won’t remember the downs nearly as much as I remember the ups.

However, as I always understand about life, there’s no such thing as “perfect ten” in real life, so still there is “but” somewhere along the line. I mean, that expat life isn’t glamorous as most people often thought it seem.

It’s Still Real Life, Not Vacation

I think, some people can fall into a trap thinking that, moving abroad is a piece of cake like “a long-term vacation”. Well, let me tell you honestly, you couldn’t be more wrong..!!! It’s a daily battle where you’ve been forced to adapt, and make things in new country become familiar.

You see, living overseas is nothing like vacationing there. 1-2 weeks of vacationing doesn’t provide a perspective on daily realities of living in foreign country. Vacations are a break from our daily life, they are NOT our everyday life. We still have to work, and we cannot spend money like on vacation. We need to watch our expenses, which limits us on all the activities like when going vacation.

The first 2 weeks after moving to a new place are, indeed, like being on vacation. There is so much excitement about being somewhere new and just seeing all the new places, people, and things. There is so much things to see and explore. Everything just looked shiny and new and wonderful.

But once “the honeymoon of being in a beautiful new place” has worn off, the reality of day to day life often sets in. Unforeseen difficulties and feelings of unfamiliarity creep in. I no longer know where to buy certain products, where to meet other people, where to go for walks or fun, etc. Familiarity is what makes somewhere feel like home and the absence of it, can be daunting.

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Self-Acceptance Part 2

Your life, with all its ups & downs you’ve encountered,
has molded you to be the person you meant to be,
exactly what it needed to be..
If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared,
the ability to laugh even as you cry,
the nerve to speak up even if your voice is shaking,
the confidence to ask for help when you need it,
and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered,
then you have everything you need,
to be the better version of your today’s self.

(~Marc & Angel)

This is the main foundation which I’ve started since more than a year ago. I’ve written the first part regarding self-acceptance in here, where my first step is, to give-up the control, or letting go the the thing that I can’t control in my own life. Because, life doesn’t design like engineering. Now, I would like to continue it, the thing that I mostly did since last year.

You see, sometimes, we just cannot force life to go in the direction we want it to. Imagine allowing things to happen naturally, and things work out, and all we did was smile and watch. We don’t have to worry about shaping things, about controlling something that can’t be controlled. We don’t have to push, and fix leaks, and put out fires. We just let things work on their own. They happen, at the right moment, for the right reason.

The Art of “Give-Up”

For this year, what I’ve been trying to apply, is “the art of give-up”. The thing is, I’m simply allowing things happened and I watch my life story unfolded, little by little. Surprisingly, the more I stop “trying so hard to force things to happen”, the more they just seem to sort themselves out. The more I let things happen, the less time & less frustations I’ve experienced trying to make them happen.

So, here’s the thing that I “give-up” in the pursuit of self-acceptance:
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Grown-Up: Train that Never Stop


What’s my age again? I’m 23 years old.. And somehow I think, so much of my life is wasted because I hate the idea of now and I love the idea of tomorrow. But when tomorrow comes and I still haven’t accomplished anything, I feel regret, depression, and ever so unfulfilled. Until, I realize about something that there is no turning back.

I mean, there comes a point in our life when We realize there is no turning back, right..?? We have all had that moment. The interesting thing is that some people are more equipped for this moment than others. Some people shut down and start to compensate in negative ways. Others embrace it and look forward to the future. Some people do both.

But, I guess, that’s why it’s called : Grow-Up.. And, this moment is pivotal because it is the start of my adulthood. As far as I’m concerned, how I deal with this moment has a lot to do with whether I ever really grow up at all – and, trust me, a lot of people at my age don’t..

I am not professing to have all the answers. Because honestly, I still struggle all the time to be used to with the idea for being like today, you know. Such as:

  • Financially independent – “make” money by my own
  • Emotionally independent
  • I’ve started on my career path & I don’t know where it end-up
  • I deserve something, but does not mean I will exactly get it
  • Figure out everything by myself
  • Admitted GENTLY when I failed, it means simply I wasn’t qualified enough
  • Make decisions, and it has to be really, really, really right

So, a few days ago, someone that I really respect told me, “Well, you have to grow up now“.. Honestly, those words have hit me so hard. No one starts at the finish line. And, the now is a foundation for it. Everyone has done something worthy, struggle, fail, and achieve,  and so do I. In simple sentence, “THINGS CHANGE”..

Yeah, “Things change, and It won’t stop”. Those words are the quintessence of growing up. These words summarize everything. Things change and when I fail to grasp that truth, I’ll suffer. Nothing lasts and nothing stays the same. My “kids day” is gone, my college day has long disappear, and all I have is NOW and, I hope, the future. Cause now I see, I’ll never stop this train..