Monday, April 23, 2012

Keep calm and fail...

What had happened? Nothing particularly urgent, if I could say that. 

It’s not about the work or romance, it’s neither about some humiliating moments. It was merely my another Saturday’s scuba on Bone Bay, Southeast Sulawesi. 

I might have told you that rolling into the deep was not my favorite. But after getting encouragement about drowning myself and swimming innocently in the water, I have been fine. Then I enrolled myself the open water diver certificate... and voila!, I’m a licensed diver eventually. 

Credit all the“daring myself to get into the water” to my mischievous bf, who is evidently very fond of water (whom I suspect he has gills while diving in the sea). I learned to be confidence moving myself in the water as well as believing that nothing bad would happen. Hell yeah, I’m doing pretty darn good for a noob in the deep down – at least not until last Saturday on my second dive. 

This time, nine fellows from the workplace and diving club joined for the fun dive session and the salt-water diving introduction for several new divers. This could be the biggest number ever to go to Tolala for diving, not for chilling in its white sand beach. 

 Fast forward to the dive, my first one was beyond my expectation. A few days before, I had trained my buoyancy and breathing in the Lake Matano – FYI: This deepest lake in Indonesia is the perfect place to train diving, while the freshwater is great just in case I am thirsty, swiftly. But, I had no idea that it’d affect my performance right away. During my first dive in the morning, it was something I personally felt: everything was beautiful and calm. I handled my breath slowly and deeply, also my buoyancy and movement gently. 

After more than an hour of SIT, I remembered I did not lose my attentiveness towards the basic gear-check before ready to dive for the second session. Then I was thinking that possibly the glee of my smooth first dive was just too much, and I should have not done that. 

 For the first 7 minutes underwater, I had water entering my mask through the nose side. This is normal for divers and scuba diving activity. I always have this moment whilst diving and they have been not a big deal as I could manage to clear the mask. This time it was slightly different, as the water kept coming in. Although I had my mask cleared, it didn’t the stop the water from going in. 

The next 10 minutes was a nightmare. I sent signals to my buddy – happened to be my bf – telling him that the water entered my mask, my situation was not fine. That was it! I told myself to keep calm, breath slow and deep and convinced that everything was actually okay. Swimming forward next to the wall of corals, I could feel how the nose part of my mask was actually placed a little bit higher that it should have been. This caused the water came into mask slowly and nose was clipped by the mask. The dive wasn’t relaxing after all. 

Realizing that something was wrong, I could hear my heart bounced like crazy. Clearing my mask all over again until I felt the water finally went through my nose; I grabbed my buddy’s arm and told him that the mask clearing failed whatsoever. 

At that moment, he showed me how to pull the mask down my face and set it precisely. I was encouraged to follow him and kept calm – but the practice scared me more. More water came in and I did clear the mask again and again, and got panic. 

Trying to tell my buddy to get me out of the water a.s.a.p. by doing the “please” hand gestures a few times, I sensed the intimidating, undersea feeling which jailed me in stages. 

He signaled me, “Okay, we ascend now. But we’ll make it slow and safe. Safety stop has to make, too. Understand? Keep breathing slow and deep, you’re doing fine…” (That was things you told me, wasn’t it, my dear buddy?) My eyes were hurt of both the salt water and tears. However, I tried to calm down and trust my buddy. I held my mask to protect it from the water and kicked the fins as unhurriedly as possible. 

After 20 minutes, I emerged and inflated the breathing system jacket. Whispering billion thanks to God for the bright blue sky I could still see, I took out my mask and started to cry. Oh yes, I was so emotional that I cried myself a river and my hands even shook. My buddy told me to inhale and exhale for calming down as he held my hands. He yelled at the katinting (Sulawesi’s traditional boat) boat driver to get close so I could  step in to the boat. 

In the end, this experience taught me not to blame myself for everything that happened to me. I tried to be friendly to myself and understood that both bad and good things would give me strength for my better, stronger life. No matter how vulnerable I am, I’ll double my determination and persevere what I’ve started. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the fight. My life’s worth it.

Have a pretty day!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Honesty for intimacy

They say that honesty and integrity would bring one to a further level of life, which leads to a self-peaceful and satisfaction. When you feel serene inside, calm with yourself, then the contentment comes upon and it feels like nothing’s wrong. You are grateful for everything you have. It is God who rocks it.

Even though at some points the sincerity may disturb a few people and can cause a difficulty in telling a little lie in a particular moment, you can never your angelic side of being truthful. You are honest by saying what you really think, feel, your opinion, fear and even act with no fake – with a manner of politeness, which are, of course, varied depends on whom you interact with.

Don’t you get it?

You can only tell frankly what you want them to know only if you trust them. Speaking of trust, for me, it is a hard stage. I can never fully trust someone I just met or some acquaintances or even frequently-meet friends. I can’t even reveal my true self to them, it’s like I hide my another 60%-self to these people whenever I interact. I don’t think I am ready to let them see my true color, and I don’t think it matters to them – absolutely they could not care less of my “existence” either. So shy should I bare everything to the public?

In fact, this character seemingly has been on me since forever. I tend to talk or act as modest as possible in front of people because I don’t want them think I’m a annoying person. It’s not about their sudden judgment towards me, but it’s about how slowly I should expose myself just for my own goodness.

The longer and more often time I hang out with people, the deeper my emotional would be involved with. It means that I unhurriedly learn how they tell stories, how they respond things, how they laugh and show off their feeling a bit and their expression, gestures and movements. It sounds complicated, but that’s natural for me. 

Slowly but sure, I unconsciously decide whether these persons are worthy to befriend closely or only for fun. At the time I choose my close friends is the time I am comfortable to bare myself, and so are they.

This is essentially important as I am not searching for a short-time, meaningless camaraderie. What’s for anyway? I need them until we grow old. We need each other to simply share secrets, painful and happy stories, do brainstorming, even when we yell for help and get to know one another’s families. Yes, it looks as if we’re lovers. What’s the difference?

All of us had better be honest to our lovers, as well. We are happy if nothing’s concealed, aren’t we? Being open to each other, communicate what’s on our minds and show each other’s world along with the people within. No camouflage, no two-face personality and no shame in letting him/her see you cry at a moment.

The bottom line is find the comfortable feeling in yourself while you are intermingling with others, be them your friends, not-so-close ones and lovers. When you’re comfortable and being yourself, nothing else matters. 

That’s why I value and appreciate much on intimacy and closeness that can be measured by not how frequent you meet and talk with them, but by how profound the conversations occur.

Have a beautiful day, people!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Am I mature enough?

This kind of topic emerged as my parents (esp. my mother) gave me some parent-daughter ‘counseling’ when I flew home last week. I had no personal hard feeling or dreariness in listening and chitchatting with them in the session. I am always that person who thinks it’s blissful to receive critics or input from others, of course by considering who they are in my life. But after a while, I started to think whether they “trust” me for my own happiness – whether they already see me as a responsible, mature woman who has the world with its consequences in my hand.

You can say that I am a “wise-beyond-years” person ever since I was a little. I keen on hanging out and having conversations with a group of people whose ages and personality are considered mature. Being in the middle of them is valuable. From casual, to futile, to meaningful and serious talks, I don’t feel bored to death at all. The talks, the way they behave and bring themselves, as well as a their diverse way of thinking and viewpoint enthrall me a lot. Some may be wondering why the hell hanging out with “grown-up” people is fun.

Those grown-up people are not defined by the years they were born or the pretty wrinkles that adorned their face. Grown-up is people that are being mature, let alone the ages aside.

When I’m typing this right now, I’m a 22-year-old, considered a grown-up and society expects to me to act in manner and maturity. It isn’t wrong, at all. Anyhow, how often do we witness people around us, with the age of 20-something or maybe in 30s and above, response life as if they were children? How many times do we whine about people that look mature physically, but do not act in such likely manner? Are we one of them? Am I one of those people?

Realize it or not, by spending time with mature people, I tend to be one of them – who thinks, says, responds and acts like a real, swagger grown-up. I am glad to have this feature, anyway. It’s not that I forget how to have a great time with this 20-something moment in my life and my peers. It’s simply I know what I like, how to handle my abhorrence towards some people, what to say and to wear. Furthermore, I realize my limitations, I can live through my fear, my ability, my weaknesses and my appeals.

From time to time, I know how to hide myself in front of people, when to “fake it till you make it” and to reveal myself to others. I am aware of my self-conscious and lack of confident, of my straight-looking, devilish face; of my bad habits and favorite snacks that would be a factor in gaining weight. I may opt to say what’s on my mind truthfully, politely or just keep it to myself.

Being mature denotes that you are aware of the “right” things to do. It’s about having depth and integrity; not superficial and deceit – to yourself and people. It’s about talking things thoroughly and responding life with a clear, unemotional mind; not throwing outburst and act with instinct. Maturity is about observing situations from different perspectives, open for feedbacks and criticisms, accept various kinds of jokes and words which people may shout.

Absolutely, responsibility is another essential attribute in every aspect of life. For me, mature and responsible are two distinctive things. While mature is apt for bringing and putting yourself as appropriate as possible without burying your true self; responsible is about answering your own actions, obligations and taking care of your own matters. Responsible also stands for the commitment to things that you decide to do, not to put things off whatever the reasons would be, awareness of the consequences of certain behaviors and, the most focal one, being trustworthy. Such a person that can be trusted means he/she depends on him/herself upon completing things and prove that people can count on them.

These past couple days, I had also thought about forgiveness. Not to people or frenemies, but to myself. I experienced some moments in my life that made me upset and frustrated, and sensed them deeply to perceive if those were caused by people that I suspected or myself. It was surprising to find out that it was me that made myself grieving. starting this time, I forgive myself for everything I haven’t yet accomplished, for things I am not able to do, for every single things I wish I could do but I didn’t.

Ultimately, do my parents think I am (not) mature enough? 


“Growing up is never easy.
You hold on to things that were.
You wonder what's to come.
But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come.
The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older.
We just had to forgive ourselves... for growing up.”    –The Wonder Years (TV series)


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