Getting Through This Thing We Call Life

A few of you have asked me to write on life issues, primarily… how to gain confidence, how to figure life out, how to move on. Trust me, I am as lost in life as you are. But.. I’m sure that over the span of this and last year, you’ve seen my growth and I hope to inspire you (my readers) that life is really what you make it out to be.

Okay, so. You must been going through something shitty to end up here. I get it, life gets a little overwhelming sometimes and frankly, I think you and I both know it’s hard to go to someone about your problems in this town. Because they’re probably pretty lost or you never know how fast words can spread and the worst part is… chances are… you’ll be more confused than before! Yikes, we don’t want that.

I am going to tell you a few things and it’s really up to you to believe it or not but…

YOU. WILL. GET. THROUGH. THIS.

I am not belittling your problems but I’m here to tell you that you are magnifying your problems. Being in your 20s, it really is one of the hardest “seasons” in life, I heard. Because my family plays a huge part in my life, I’ve talked to a lot of people who are older than me and it seems like it’s a pattern – that everyone will grow through something that will shake them up. It will shake them to their core and perhaps, that’s what you are growing and going through.

My advice is really simple –  be observant. be receptive. be thankful. be apologetic. lastly, be free.

I can’t give you the secrets to success, the secrets to get through all of life’s problems because.. hey, i am human too (and who the hell do I think I am in order to give you these advices?) I am literally just a friend sitting next to you, who can tell you that.. hey, I don’t know what you’re going through but … it’s up to you to change your mindset and do something with this change you are experiencing.

Be observant

I realized people around me are very ignorant. I am not too entirely sure if it’s just the way Indonesians are but… I don’t know, I feel like they aren’t observant. Being observant about yourself, primarily, will do you good. Why, you ask? Be observant about yourself because that’s the first step to getting to know yourself better.

According to my experience, the reasons why sometimes I feel lost or down, is because… I am going through something new, or something unexpected, something that isn’t going my way. It depends on how you see it. But I used to be the girl who would dwell on these things, asking and questioning why I have to go through what I went through. Observing how you react to things, to situations and the solutions you come up with is a skill to have.

Like any other skills, it takes practice. Observe what you like, the people you like, the way people make you feel, how you feel after a situation/event, how you think, how you process your thoughts…. etc. Just observe how you are as a person. Feel things. Acknowledge those feelings.

Be receptive

In continuation of acknowledging those feelings, I would say that being receptive to all that’s happening around you is another way to accept everything. Acceptance is key to a lot of troubles in life. When you live this life, you shouldn’t even wish for an easy life, you should wish for a fruitful, eventful life as it’s what makes you you! it’s what’s fun about it! The sooner you accept a lot of things, the faster you can get over it. The easier it will be for you as a person. You wouldn’t want to be the person who’s always stuck in the past. You get through things when you can make a joke out of yourself — it helps! Remember, one day you waste, it’s 24 hours that you will not get back. Time waits for no one. So it’s either you get back up and go on with life, or forever be stuck in that dark place. You won’t want that.

Being receptive technically means being “willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas”, and sometimes life doesn’t offer you a step-by-step manual. You really need to observe and then accept that that’s the change and plan for your next steps.

For me, I try to understand why it is how it is (sometimes, I call this psycho-analysing, cause honestly, i’m a f-ing psycho sometimes), and accept the whole situation, try to find a solution to it or to how I feel about it. At times, you also need to accept that there isn’t a solution to something and that’s okay. One thing that I have trained myself to do is to group the urgency of the matter. If it does not require my urgent attention, I usually disregard it. Or put it at the back of my head because… man, I really have no time for all that.

Oh! Keeping yourself busy is one major, major, major factor in order to not feel “stuck”. FOR INSTANCE, I think this is a very relatable scenario. Say, you’re going through a break up. Allow yourself no more than 3 days to weep over it. Make use of the three days (preferably on a weekend because you and I know that being corporate slaves that we can’t afford to take time off work for this kinda shit) to cry your heart out. Stay away from your phone or just social media in general. But after those three days, get back up, plan what you want or have been wanting to do for the longest time. And do it! Take up hobbies, tons of hobbies. That’s what I did, minus the crying part, cause girl, I really did not have tears to spare for that person.

I started saying yes to the most ridiculous things. Everyone would say “jangan gini jangan gitu, ntar jadi pelarian”. For me? I say go for it. Whatever makes you happy, girl. Just don’t do anything unhealthy, like drugs or alcohol. Cause homegirl’s been there. Alcohol will only make you fat. You know what you should do, EXERCISE.

Point is… be open to new suggestions, new routines, new … habits. Use your 20s to find who you are! The more you know yourself, the easier it will be to identify your life priorities.

Try this — sit down and think about the person that you are, the values you hold and the person you see yourself being in the next 2 years. I used to be given this question but instead of 2, they asked how I see myself in 5 years and I thought that was difficult, so I suggest 2. The key is to never be the same person you are the year before; change is necessary in life and is the key to “success”. That’s exactly what I did.

One night, I took out a piece of paper and wrote my plans for well, the rest of my life. I jotted down the person that I am right now, what I want to change and why, and ultimately, where I see myself. Writing down my hobbies, my bad habits, my issues are a few things that really opened up myself to, well, myself. You are the most vulnerable when you are truthful about who you are. And the first step is… shed your wall and “evaluate” yourself. That I think is really important.

At the end of the day, if I can tell you one advice on where to start, it’s to know who YOU are. By now, I hope how crucial it is!

Be thankful

Now that you’ve (hopefully) made progress, you need to give thanks. First, thank yourself for trusting yourself! I know this sounds really weird but problems often do start as a battle between the heart and mind. But once you get them to work together, you’ll feel more at peace. Thank yourself for the progress that you’ve made; get something nice for yourself. Celebrate this small victory for yourself!

One very underrated advice that people usually disregard is to pat yourself at the back and celebrate every milestone. It doesn’t have to be a huge celebration where you spend heaps on yourself, but.. a good massage will do. Start from there. A spa day sounds nice. (Also, if you’re using Telkomsel, use your telkompoints to get 25% from Martha Tilaar! Such a great deal.)

Say thanks to those who have supported you. For me, it was my family, close friends and… well, sebenernya I would say my followers. I remember there were days when I was going through something and I’m just generally a very transparent person, I would instastory my sadness. Some people see it as being pathetic, some people stalk to see how I am, but most of you… really helped me by reaching out to me. I can never really put in words how lifted I was when I get your words of encouragement without really knowing who each and every one of you. For one person to be saying those words to a stranger, wow. Technology really helps sometimes. So I am very thankful.

I thank God too, all the time. During bad times and good times. I really trust that whatever I went through or what I am going through is just this journey to really know and find myself. To live this life I call my own! Talking about religion sometimes is sort of, awkward, actually. I know people in this town don’t always see eye to eye in a lot of things but… whoever your God is… Be thankful of this life that He’s given you. Always remember you are a diamond in a rough, and always a work in progress. He is shaping you to be the best you… only if you let Him.

Be apologetic

This is a hard one. After all the experiences I’ve faced, one thing I learnt about myself was that I don’t really understood what mercy meant. I am tough, because I was made that way. My mum never left space for me to be this spoilt brat waiting at home for a prince to come get me. She’s always taught me to work for what I want. Hence, I was taught persistency at a very young age, and well, when you are persistent, you want things to go your way.

When things don’t, well.. Let’s just say, I’ll find ways for it to. So there are instances where I can be very hard, merciless. And frankly speaking, I am still like that.

What changed was… I have learnt to say sorry more often. Keeping oneself grounded is a way to see things in others’ perspective. Sometimes in this world, we’re always taught to think that it’s all about me, me, me. It’s a “me” world. But sometimes, you got to understand that … being and feeling entitled won’t really get you far. Especially, when you are communicating with other people a lot and when your job requires a lot of other people’s help.

I’ve hurt a lot of people in life, especially at work. I am not a team person because of the way I sound. Sometimes I admit I sound pretty bossy, but it’s because my head works really fast, and I expect people to be at my pace. Often times, I get agitated quickly. Anxious. Nervous. Especially when things don’t go my way. I used to not be able to control all these emotions. Words will just come spilling out and they don’t sound too nice. I admit that.

But what I’ve learnt is that… Acknowledging all this (again, knowing who you are) and being able to apologize when it is the time to, really works wonders. Coming from a place that I did, trust me, I know it is hard. But girl, we ain’t right all the time. Let’s come down and stay grounded.

Lastly, I know this is not an instructional manual to life. But I hope this works because it’s made me feel finally.. free.

I think that’s all I have for now. This is one lengthy post, I know. But I really hope that what I’ve written speaks close to you at heart. Please always know that if you are going through something and perhaps it’s too overwhelming, please seek help. Know that there are people in this world who are willing to help you, including me. You know that I am always a DM away. Good luck.

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