Some people might see their parents as figures of authority, repression, obedience or even a barrier. But, I see them in a very different way. I realised this quite recently. I think I was about 15 (which is like 2 years ago lol) when I started to think about what my life is and what role does my parents have in it. What is it that made them so full of impact? Are we close or not? Is what we have enough?
I didn’t find the answer quite quickly because I tend to think a lot. I didn’t simplify it, I analyze it and trace it. In the end, it all comes down to one thing. I see them both as indeed a figure of authority that I realised on my own, I need badly and unsurprisingly my best friends. In every sense of the word. Why? Some people may not achieve this kind of relationship with their folks due to one thing or another. Maybe it’s best for them that way or they are struggling to want to get there or just simply gave up on it. But, I am quite grateful that the relationship I have with my mum and dad are close enough for me to feel comfortable to talk about anything and everything. Literally.
I remember once I went to a friend’s birthday party with a bunch of my other friends. We get there by a car which one of my friends drove. And while we drove there, one of my girl friends brought a vapor. So, naturally I get curious cause I have seen this thing everywhere! I didn’t know what it is, what does it do and why is it such a hype (I have to say, that last point is still a question to me). I asked her and she of course explain to me what it is and how does it work. She showed me and well, next thing I know, I was vaping in a car and I remember it was Root Beer flavoured. It tastes quite interesting. Although, I have to say after trying it, it’s kind of underwhelming. I didn’t find anything special in it, only that the root beer flavour tastes really sweet.
That’s not all, after that we arrived. My boy friends, almost all of them smoked now. Like, cigarette smoking. So, that was news to me. And I also found out that the same friend who got me into trying to vape also smoke real as shit cigarette so that was news to me as well. I watched them and my mind began to wonder: Right, so my dad smokes and I see him quite a lot doing his thing. I have only smelled the annoying smoke that came out of his mouth but, never really know how does it feel to actually do the smoking. I have never been curious about cigarettes, I say that honestly. Because to be honest, although I kinda tolerate my dad for smoking (even though I’m worried about his health because for me a cigarette is a ticking time bomb), I hate the annoying shitty smell of it. I cannot fucking breathe around it. So, no. Cigarettes never appeal to me.
But, something struck a chord to me that night and after the party was almost over and we were about to get in the car to go back home. My friend pulled out one more cig and smoke before we get in. I brace myself up and went up to her, “Hey uh, can I try one of those?” I asked her and she just looked at me like, “You’re fucking kidding me? You’re serious? You wanna try a cig? Kya? You?” She just looked at me. And I was like, “Yeah, sure. I’ve seen my dad smoke. It’s just a cig. Never tried one. I’m curious.” I explained to her. She was like. “Aight, okay.” Shrug it off and gave one to me. So, I took it. She lit it up. I looked at it like this is a life and death situation because I know very well that my parents are against it. But, then I shook that thought off and inhale the shit. I tasted it and exhale and quickly gave it back to my friend who then chuckled at me. I looked at her and was like, “That shit stinks. I hate that shit. Why would you inhale fucking smokes?!” She just shook her head and continued smoking.
At the time, my way of thinking was “well, I might as well try this shit now or I will be curious for the rest of my life and that ain’t satisfactory.” Which, I have to say, although it makes a kind of sense at the time because I was fueled with raging teenager curiosity hormone, it’s actually a double edged sword and can’t be implemented in every situation. I realised how weak that argument is if I ever have to defend my actions that night. I then mentally vowed to never smoke again cause of the sheer bleghh feeling of it.
Anyway, do you know what was my first thought after doing all of those shit I wasn’t supposed to be doing?
The first thing that came to my mind was: I gotta tell my parents about the experience tonight! They have to know I tried vaping and smoking!
I did the things I know were kind of troubling. And I know for a fact that perhaps my parents are worried that someday one (if not all) of their kids would smoke because that shit is not good at all. But, here I am having committed the damn felony and my first thoughts were, they have to know!
That must got you thinking. I must be really close to them? The answer is yes, at least in my part. I am that close to them that I figured trying a cigarette and vaping are some major life experiences that I don’t want them to be left out of. I trust them so much that I felt like I just can’t keep this to myself and lie my way out. No. This shit is big and they have to know! I never hide stuff from my parents. I always tell them things about myself and/or my life to them. Because I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Not because they made it obligatory for me to tell them. Oh and by the way I did tell them and they were concerned but, here’s the thing. They didn’t went bat shit crazy and got mad at me. I think (I may be wrong though), they sort of looked at it from a curious teen perspective. After all, they were teens too. Maybe they understand why I decided to do that. So, they tried to give me an understanding on why it’s bad and destructive. But, honestly, they don’t need to worry. I promise them that I wouldn’t do it again. I know the consequences and I don’t wanna risk my health.
It’s not just that. When I have a crush or a romantic feeling for someone or an attraction or whatever, I tell them too and some times laugh with them about it. When I feel like I want to murder someone because I am so pissed, I would say it too. When there’s issues with the world and I have opinions, strong opinions on it, I would voice it and try to get their views as well and we would have lengthy discussions about it. When I am fan girling about my favourite band whose members are in their 50s and how I obsess over handsome actors who are mostly my parents’ age, I get them to freaking suffer with me through the undying thirst for grown men in movies. I let them went through everything with me, in fact, I invited them over to my doorstep.
The question is why do I have this level of trust? How did they do it?
I am not a parent, obviously. So, I really don’t know all of this parenting stuff. I don’t think I will ever know until I have my own children (i’m nervous about that even though it won’t happen soon but, still). But, from how I see it, they always speak from experience. I don’t know if this is accurate but, that’s how I feel at least. They also never enforce their role as a figure of authority in my life, the way I feel it. They make sure we (my siblings and I) know their position as parents and they make sure we treat them as such. Which I have no complains about because I do feel that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, they also know how to position themselves as us and as our friends and as someone who actually went through same shit and stages as we do. Rather than trashing that side of their lives completely, they kept it and use it as a reference when dealing with their kids. So, it’s much easier I guess for them to deal with us because they know, they have been there. The shit we do, they passed it. They went through it. They relate it to us and they imply that element in their ways of parenting.
I have a feeling that some parents trash their youth away. They enforce themselves as this no fun personalities. They forget how being young and reckless happened in life. They force, they dictate and I think that’s kinda fucked up. Because, in most cases I think it drove their children away. They can’t relate themselves, they can’t feel this mutual bonding and trust because there weren’t any in the first place. It’s always suspicions and judgments and constant “you’re wrong at this and that!” They never felt a safe space and again, I think that’s fucked up.
When I think of safe space and home. I don’t think of a place or a thing. I think of feelings and people. And those feelings and people are my parents. I feel the most comfortable, the safest, the most open and the most home-y when they’re there. Because they didn’t just made or gave birth to me. They get to know me. That’s important. Most cases, parents don’t even know their own children. That’s sad. Really sad.
One thing worth noting also is that my mum treats me like her friend too in between her role as a mother. She would tell me stories that amused her, she would share with me her experiences. The funny ones, the agitating ones, the frustrating ones even the ones that made her cry and broken beyond beliefs. I think that sorta provide the sense of recognition and made me feel like there is mutual trust between us that we felt like it’s not right if we don’t share this particularly interesting things that happened on our day or on our trip somewhere or whatever to one another. It’s that sense of acceptance of one another and I guess a mother-daughter bond that easily made its way to also being a unique kind of friendship. It’s like we are girl friends from a totally different generation but somehow found a common ground to connect and it’s bloody great. Her and I, whether she want to admit it or not I think has a lot of things in common. This year, I think, shit happens in our family that causes me to see a more emotional side of my mum and to be honest that made me realise that I might get my super emotional side from her. Because when she does that in front of me, when she pour her heart out to me, I see myself and how I do it, although sometimes privately on a piece of paper or a notebook. I just realise the fact that I might have loads of things in common with my mother more than I previously thought. It’s a moment of discovery, in a way.
My dad and I, personally I think, we both have our own bond as a father and daughter. I don’t think neither him and I are the type of person who express things quite so frontal, at least to one another. I think he knows that I love him despite the fact that I never really say it because I just feel like I don’t need to. I know him enough to believe that he knows that already. We bonded over things that are a subject of interests for the both of us. We talked about loads of stuff from general knowledge to history to royalty (which I am completely obsessed about) to experiences even as far as his high school shenanigans which sometimes got me baffled but, like, in a hilarious way. Sometimes I brought out my opinions on stuff to him and see what his thoughts are on the matter because I am genuinely interested. We are very alike in terms of appearance, a million people has told us that which I find quite irritating as time goes on because like, dude I know I look like my dad cause I’m his hecking daughter, geez. But, I really can’t blame people cause the resemblance is uncanny. But, appearance aside, I do also think that we have similar traits as well whether we realise it or want to admit it or not. Like, I think the way we are as critics on some stuff we deem unsuitable. The way we express it can be eerily similar sometimes. I dunno if he notice but, at some point I did. Heck, it’s in the genes.
I think I can speak for my siblings when I say that we are close to our mum and dad. In a sense that we share things to one another and we felt comfortable with each other and within each other’s presence. I think that’s part of what makes them our best friends or at least mine. I just feel like, not only that I am allowed to live on their house, their property but, I am also included in their lives and I think that’s great. I don’t just exist. They acknowledged and get to know me and try to understand me. Sometimes, I can be difficult but, I think it’s just a phase. So, I hope they have patience because I can be quite a handful.
There are times I think that my brothers and I forget our place as children of these two people. The thing about my parents is that they became our friends, align themselves to us but, does not let us forget who they are and why they are here. What they are in our lives and where their place is. They taught us how to respect them as the authority we need and how to treat them as parents. They became our friends but, never let us forget who they are in the first place. So we don’t cross the line. It’s cool how they balance that out and how? I don’t have a clue.
My parents’ way of parenting is something I am grateful about because I’ve never felt that they are a barrier in my life. I’ve never felt that they are restraining me from the things I am passionate about. Sometimes they projected me to do certain stuff but, I get their thinking even though I rebelled against it, in some ways. But, they always support me in my ambitions, what I aspire to do and what I set my mind in. Sometimes, I get that point in the middle of the bridge where I am crossing to get to my goal, that rocky point where things seemed to be uncertain for me and somehow they have this magic power to get everything done and made me feel at ease again. How? I don’t have a freaking clue.
I think if I can reduce the meaning of their presence in my life in to a simplicity of a sentence, I have to say that they are my home and my best freaking friends.
I have no idea why I decided to write this 2000+ words of a blog post emotionally throwing up sentimental stuff about my parents but, I did it and here it is. It’s kind of a proof of how open and expressive I am with things.
I hope you guys feel as amazing as I am and incredibly blessed to have such parents.
Keep living your best life.
I have been observing how people start a conversation with me lately. I can point out the majority of the questions they gave out because each time I start a conversation with someone I don’t regularly talk to, I always keep in mind the first question they ask with a previous knowledge of my current conditions.
Number one is “Where do you go to school now?” which follows with “Oh? You’re homeschooled? How’s that like?” which leads to “Which one do you like better? Regular or homeschooled?” It’s always the same thing over and over. I can almost guarantee the pattern. It’s the same with one of the things people keep repeating upon seeing me, “Wow! You look so much like your father!” or “You are your father in a girl form!” I swear if I get a dollar every time someone mentions that, I would be so rich right now.
Anyways, I always answer to the earlier question pattern with. “I’m homeschooled. It’s liberating. I like it better.” Most of them would show the face of “what? you don’t feel like it’s not normal? what are you doing with your life just staying at home?” And you can see it clearly. It’s the movement of nodding with slightly curled lips and squinting eyes with a sense of pretentious acceptance. Although, realistically, they are actually doubting if what I do is good or not.
To be honest, it’s pretty relative. I am the kinda person who loves doing things the way I want it to be done. I like rules but, only to keep me structured. I don’t like rules when I find them illogical and has nothing to do with the importance of learning which I find a lot in regular school at least the ones I know or attended. I love studying, I love learning but, I don’t like the dictating nature of an institution which I found to be quite useless. I know that every place has its own regulations and so on but, I know myself enough to believe that I can adapt to it quite smoothly. Because that’s just who I am. I adapt and I am aware of that. Sure, I can be shy at first but, once I found the chance, I shot right out. So, I have no worries at all.
“But, don’t you feel like you’re missing out on the high school shenanigans?” To be honest with you, no. Not at all. That’s what I have been avoiding, to be honest. High school can be stressful and the peer pressure is quite intense whether you realise it or not. I just don’t want any part of it. And I realise that I focused more by doing this. I may seem like I am not doing anything which, technically a little bit true. But, I found myself to be liberated in my ways of studying. I feel like I can absorb more of the stuff I want by excluding the unnecessary element of regular high school. Plus, I can study whenever however I want. No freaking pressure whatsoever.
“Do you still have any friends?” Why of course, I do. I’m not some lone weirdo who’s afraid of people. I am a people-oriented person. I love talking to people and interact with people. I love observing them and I love learning about them as well as them learning about me. So yes, of course. I maintain my friends and select a few I am really interested in. So, no. I am not lonely or anything. Fyi, I really love attention so, if I don’t have many people to attract with, I would probably be stressed out by now but, I’m fine.
“Don’t you miss regular school?” What? The place where I feel like I hate myself the most? Nah. I just feel like waking up early in the morning every day just to go to a place where I loathe myself is not something I am attracted to do once more. I just feel like I have never been appreciated for what I have and rather be defined for the things I lack in. No matter how many achievements, how many things I did brilliantly in the things I excel in, they won’t recognise that as me. But, when I do horribly on the things I lack the ability in, they would remind me continuously in a subtle way that I am horrible and I am not good enough. Recognition is needed sometimes. I want that recognition, it’s nice to feel recognised for your abilities and what you’re good at. They never allow me to have that, they always define me for the things I lack. So, no. I am traumatized and I would avoid going back. I was offered to continue my studies in reg-school but, I decline. I won’t sacrifice my freedom only to let me hate myself again over and over. I am lucky that I can handle it quite well. If not, who knows what might happen to me.
So, why exactly did I get homeschooled?
- Conditions: When the decision was made, I just got back from the Philippines and my parents gave us (brothers and I) options.
- My Own Will: I want and crave change.
- Mental Stability: I want to focus on my well being.
- Time: I want to feel like I have time and not running out of time.
- Living: I want to feel like I am living again.
This may sound so extra but, I am just being honest. Truth be told. Because I am just so tired of people asking questions and giving me looks over the things I do like it’s their business. So, why not just share it. This is the space for it, anyway. Plus, an expressive person like I am always have something to say and always need an outlet to say something.
Keep living your best life.
Lots of love,
17 July. Morning. 10 PM or so. On my laptop. Mum & grandmum just got home from the doctors. The verdict.
Have you ever felt like you just want to do everything you can but, you just can’t so the only thing you can say is, “It’s okay. It will pass.” Even though it sounds so pathetic?
Have you ever felt like everything will be okay but, just now you realised it’s bullshit?
Have you ever felt so useless?
That’s how I feel. I have been on the verge of a breakdown ever since I found out my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with a stroke. Early. But, that doesn’t mean she’s easily safe. Don’t let the words “Minor Stroke” & “Light Stroke” fooled you. Cause it’s actually more serious than that. That’s what people seem to think when they hear ‘minor’ and ‘light’ like it’s no big deal. But, it actually is. It’s like they can’t accept the fact that shit’s about to go down.
You know what pisses me off so much? The fact that I can’t do more than just help around with little things like doing chores more often or saying repeatedly to her that “It’s okay” even though I’m scared to fucking death about the prospect of her in pain. The fact that people kept saying that “it will be fine”, “things are gonna happen the way it’s gonna happen” and all those crap like they know shit. Fuck. I know, things are gonna be fine and that it will happen the way it was meant to happen. But, I just don’t want to hear that. I just need a chance to feel sad and let it all out. Aren’t you allowed to feel that way?
I really hate the fact that I can’t do things like I wish I could. I hate the fact that some people have the audacity to assume before they even see carefully for themselves on what my family’s dealing with. How this is unfair for my grandmother who has done EVERYTHING. How it is pissing the fuck out of me that some people just can’t get the fuck out of their worldly ambitions and care only about materialistic things. How it is destroying me, knowing the fact that certain people who you once thought are the closest, turns out to be sadistic-arrogant pricks that you hate to have interactions with or even see. How it is mentally draining me to live knowing that my loved ones are suffering, physically, mentally, emotionally, every-fucking-thing you can imagine. How it is extremely raging inside me, knowing that now my family’s at the bottom of the wheel, struggling, some people suddenly became blind, deaf and all out judging like they actually know what is it that we are dealing with. I just want to see, if they were in our position, would they kill themselves or not, knowing for a fact that they’re always been ‘on top’.
I just had enough. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t here. Sometimes, I wish I had disappeared. Sometimes, I wish I just fell on a long sleep. Sometimes, I wish I can slap the faces of those who shit on my family. Sometimes, I just want to spit on their faces. Sometimes, I just sit and act like everything’s fine and I am that smiling, laughing, confident Kya everyone knows. Sometimes, I just want it to end. Sometimes, I just want to breathe.
I just want a chance to breathe. Breathe like there’s nothing I need to worry about. Breathe like there’s nothing on my head. Breathe like I wasn’t on the verge of losing all my grip. Breathe like tomorrow’s just another peaceful day. Breathe. Just fucking breathe.
The woman I look up to says she felt alone. I understand her. I cannot feel what she felt but, I understand how she got there. I can’t say anything because there isn’t much to say. Sometimes, just listening already gave the nod. The only thing I can do is exist and I hope that is enough. I want to be able to also sustain, so that feeling of being alone doesn’t crush her. I should never allow such thing to happen.
All I have in my head is the motivation to make myself and all the people I truly, sincerely care about; Happy. That’s all I ever want. I have ambitions, I have dreams and the reason why I have dreams is because of the people that I love the most. I want to make them proud. People say we shouldn’t rely on on opinions of others. But, I always rejected that. Because there are the opinions of 5 people that really matters to me and everything I do is because of them. One of them is currently suffering after a recent diagnosis like I stated earlier and that really is a blow for me.
And again, all I ever wanted to do is breathe.
Just. Fucking. Breathe.
The poem I originally wrote on July 16th, 2015.
Leave a place
Leave a space
Leave some memories
Leave some strange sceneries
Walk the path of the future
Lead your feet out of the water
Trying to hold a grip
Though you’re afraid, you might slip
They come and go
Where did it all go?
Though I shall remember
All my fears and desire
I too shall forget
All my shallow regret
For when there are aspirations
Came great expectations
Must we all walk together all the same?
No, my dear
Find your own path and lane
If you shall feel
As if there is no end
Remember all God’s plan
And when you feel
A new breath of air
I will meet you there
All poems by me are very open to your own interpretation. I, of course, have my own.
Well, it’s almost the end of Ramadan! Which is bittersweet for most of us Muslims. The month truly is something else. But, that’s a different topic.
This is the second to last day of fasting during the Ramadan (Friday) which means, Sunday is Eid! Our holiday and celebration! It’s kinda like Christmas (it’s actually different but, in terms of celebrating, I guess the analogy could work. I just really don’t have time to explain).
On the day of Eid, we have our breakfast first because it is obligatory then we prepped up to go to the Masjid to perform Eid prayers. After that, my family usually got together (my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousin) in my paternal grandparents’ house. We spend some time there (doing the traditional Indonesian ‘ceremony’ of sungkeman & have a feast) before heading back home to welcome guests from my mother’s side of the family because my maternal grandmother is now the oldest elderly person in the family. Oh, yeah, that’s another tradition in Indonesia. You get together in the house of the eldest person in your family (grandparents usually). We have another feast in my house for those bunch of fams.
Then, there’s the food. My oh my, THE FOOD. It’s honestly the best thing besides socializing (
gosh do we have enouuuughhh of that already in our livesss). My family has this tradition of making a traditional Manadonese/Sulawesi cake called Brudel. I love that cake so much man you have no idea. For me, Eid is not complete without that cake. Sure, Indonesians have this tradition of making Eid cookies and yeah they’re great too (I can single-handedly eat 20 of those) but, nothing beats Brudel. Nope, nada.
Usually, the first day of Eid ends with us feeling full because imagine getting used to fasting for a month then BOOM! All you can eat! We would also visit some relatives and went to the cemetery to visit my maternal grandfather’s grave sometime between the third to fifth day of the holiday because of tradition and why the heck not. I never met my maternal grandpa when he was alive cause he died before I was born so the only place I can ‘meet’ grandpa is at the cemetery. Sounds spooky but, I can feel his presence there whenever we visit.
Anyways, I’m writing this because I am just so excited about Eid. It is our celebration and Muslims all over the world celebrated on the same day! (or not because you know, timezonesss).
I hope you all have a blessed Eid, spend some proper time with your family and just soak up all the positive that’s gonna come your way.
Life’s too short. This year might be your last Ramadan.