The Past

Keep Going

I am going to tell you a secret, or a story, or a secret story I perhaps never told anybody at length because I always deem this to be the opposite of perfect; and sad, heartbreaking stories should remain silent in pandora box, never to be told.

But after watching an interview with Ms. Delevigne two hours passed midnight, I found my fingers tiptoeing across the keyboard and decide, maybe I should write this. For the hell of it, or with hope this would find someone, somewhere at the right time when the demons are asleep that they could relate and feel one of the greatest feeling, that is to feel less alone.

Let me begin by saying, I have never known Depression very well. I have never been exposed to it, other than on writings and clips floating the realm of World Wide Web. I may have romanticise the idea of Depression, like Sylvia Plath on her novel the Bell Jar, Virginia Woolf, to name a few, but regardless, how I feel lately is perhaps so close to what I assume as minor depression and I have a tough time to acknowledge it. Others perhaps have come across something tougher than this, I'm sure.

As you may have known, I have this incurable, inexplicable obsession towards the Great Britain since I learned to spell impossible. My mother believed I was born British in my past life but I’d like to think everything was magic. Instead of casting spells, it was one great thing led to another, from one sensationalised fictional novel of an orphan boy went to a wizard-y school and an incredibly fit four crazy-goodlooking guys in a band with the greatest accent, then to the first encounter of what seemed to be love with this half English, half Indonesian young man in a band with the charm of a poet. In 2011, I finally moved to England.

But the problem of motivational quotes and other fairytales is solely about getting the dream. But nobody ever tells you what’s going to happen after. The aftermath often involves two scenarios: the lucky ones who managed to stay afloat and others who struggle to keep the spirit well-lit and alive, knowing there’s no such a thing as happily ever after— in which, I am unfortunately fall under the latter.

During the four years of living my dream, the Universe constantly throws stick and stones that sometimes most nineteen or twenty year old kids find it hard to bear. Good grades fall apart, I had my whole life-standards of typical Eastern culture "you have to get good grades, otherwise you're a worthless" education up-bringing slowly decreasing, financially challenged that turned into a snowballed guilt of missing my brother's teenange rebellious phase where I should have been there by his side.

I eventually got through, with the help of beautiful strangers soon turned into friends, and the guardians of the night, bartenders and other bright creatures. In that time, it did not occur to me anything else but surviving and I’m going to have to do this on my own without the tangible moral support from the traditional sense of familiarity, as simple as a touch, a hug, from the loved ones who used to be my backbones for eighteen years. So, it passed by.

It passed by so gradualy that I didn’t realise I’ve got thicker skin yet growing a fallible, fragile heart and state of mind. The dream that once shine so bright, lowered down into a state of survival, a reality, and ordinary, that it becomes a struggle I ought to get through — and it made everything more real, which what dreams didn’t showcase in the beginning. My dream became real. My eyes were blinded with the buoyant accent and cloud-shaped ideas.

Until the day that I had to leave England, and return to the traditional, boxed definition of home that is Indonesia.

This is when it hits me — actually, it hit me when I was on a holiday, where I should feel the freedom as the water splashes on my face when I jumped off the boat and see the beauty of the coral. But once I am at shore, I realise I couldn’t shook off the hollowing gap in the centre of my chest. It didn’t stop following me. And what I didn't realised, along the way of making my dream come true, I lost some part of me, too, in the reality of struggle and just to keep the dream going. Some part of me that I’d very much like to see again and give a pat on the back for having such an amazing dream – and had it.

As soon as I returned home, more than once I thought of packing, not necessarily knowing where to go, just somewhere where my thoughts aren’t this loud. Don’t get me wrong, this journey doesn’t lessen my affection or love towards my family, if anything, it amplifies bigger than I could ever imagine. Perhaps, the reason why my thoughts are louder this time is because I unconsciously finally at rest. I am at most child-like atmosphere I have long forgotten where I finally feel save to collapse, and to let all the suppressed feelings float to the surface, because if I do break, I know the glue won’t be so far away.

But I couldn’t help the itchy feeling of longing for England now has motivationally paralyse me from blossoming, and it creates this grey guilt towards my loved ones for once I return almost feel like I have Nothing where I should have brought Everything. This feeling of alienation being in the one place I thought I’d remember most of the shortcuts has overtaken me. The old crushes who never dies in the corner of my memory, now come across so strange. The friends I held dear have grown to be a different person, even though in a better way, but I’ve had or seen enough changes so far, adding this to the pile feels too overwhelming. This is when once again England breathes hope again, this time it’s the emotion it gave me — like home should feel.

Researcher named this confusion as reverse culture shock, but to me it embodies something greater than that. Reverse culture shock was originally depicted when they studied a group of veterans returning from war. My return is far less glorified or honourable than wars. My homecoming is based on my decision, partially my fault of not working harder, there are other aspects I may have, or should have done differently, or stay stronger than this. But at the end of the day, regardless who’s fault or what should have been, I am here.

For weeks I struggle talking to myself, which often takes form in writings. And that perhaps what stresses me the most. I feed myself with distractions: work, old friends, advising someone else’s problem, only briefly mentioning mine then quickly diverted the topic to the traffic or the horrible top forty hits constantly repeated on the radio or complaints of how sad the young generation is in Jakarta for not having individual characteristics because they are all wearing the same clothes, following the same trend and listen to the same goddamned Electronic Dance music. 

But without this, I won’t be able to come into a greater conclusion, I wouldn't learn that imperfection is okay, that what makes us human – flaws are the things that make us special, the crack within us are the beautiful parts that need to shed light shine on them. And it could make a damn good story, too. This time you mean it, not just because everyone says so. That it could be one of the greatest, most beautiful part of human being.

Without this, I won’t be able to answer the question I had for myself in the very beginning: what comes after getting your dream? It’s to find a greater, bigger dream. Cause life is a constant learning process and many great, beautiful things are waiting to happen. And if you have achieved one of your dreams, what’s stopping you from the next one? It even makes it far less impossible than the first, isn't it?

I’d like to say to myself, and everyone else, that it’s okay, I love you, just keep going. 
A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Aku Harap Ibu Mengerti

Pertama kali aku memberi tahu Ibu akan keinginanku untuk memulai belajar menulis dengan Bahasa Indonesia, reaksi pertamanya adalah, "Jangan." Ketika itu kami tengah menghabiskan waktu di salah satu kedai kopi di Bandung sembari menanti adik pulang dari acara kampusnya. Aku baru membeli buku kumpulan puisi Joko Pinurbo, Malam Ini Aku Tidur Di Matamu, di toko buku kecil sebelah.
Ia takut bahwa pelajaran baru itu akan menimbun ilmu tata bahasa asing yang telah aku rajut semenjak masa remajaku. Walaupun sejujurnya bagiku salah satu cara mudah untuk mencintai suatu bangsa adalah melalui bahasa, atau sastra. Mungkin itu juga sebenarnya mengapa aku terlampau cinta akan negara kelahiran William Shakespeare. Karena awalan bahasa dan rentetan literatur yang menawan.
Aku ingin menjawab bahwa mungkin ini sudah saatnya untukku belajar mencintai tanah airku sendiri. Aku berjanji untuk tidak melupakan apa yang pernah ada, karena layaknya seperti kisah cinta, semua itu ada untuk selamanya.
Aku harap Ibu mengerti.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz