"What are you doing on your birthday?" Or maybe "Do you plan something for your birthday?", some people can also ask "So how was your birthday?"
It tooks me a while to realize that a birthday can be really demanding. Have you ever had some thoughts like "why should I do something?" or "Why people are so busy preparing stuffs on my birthday?". This post can be an unpopular opinion but it does, disturb me for a while. I feel like I have this obligation to invite some people to celebrate the special day, or to be happy the whole day.
Well the thing is, sometimes you just want to have another day in your life. Maybe this kind of thoughts and reflections only come to people in their 20s or 30s. It could be a denial of getting older, which is quite, true for some people.
We have the right to do nothing on our birthday: getting up late, not wearing make up outside, not doing our hair done or stay the whole day under blanket and watching Netflix.
It doesn't have to be a gloomy and sad birthday. You just don't need to live with the expectation of people who cares enough for you to enjoy your birthday.
In the other hand, a cheerful birthday with party can go well too if you are feeling like doing it. I'm here just to say that the pressure of having a great day on your birthday is really overrated and can be different in some cases.
In any case, happy birthday to me.
Have you ever heard about "Winter blues"? Or winter depression? If you're living on the other side of the world, enjoying the sun while reading this than perhaps you don't. That was me, years ago before I moved to France. Winter is beautiful, snowy flakes falling slowly outside the window, hot chocolate under the blanket, cuddles become 100x more desirable (oops), skis, sitting next to fireplace, and so on and so on.
Believe it or not, winter blues is also called SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which to Psychology Today means a type of depression that sets in during the shorter days of of fall and winter lasts until spring that is triggered by the reduced number of daylight hours during the winter months, although other factors, such as cold temperature and weak daylight can make symptoms worse.
Wait, what could be worse than that??
I used to live in a tropical country, with about 12 hours of daylight everyday! Well, you can take off several hours in rainy season but that's it! Nothing could prevent me from seeing the sunshine embraced my skin. I have to admit that, even if France may not be the coldest country in Europe, one month without sun is... quite... distressing. Waking up in the morning without seeing sunlight on the window makes me think that I didn't set up my alarm correctly last night. Wearing tons of layer to get warm outside, to be honest, makes me super lazy to go out especially in the nighttime.
I seem like whining over winter, while I can't avoid it. It's there, there's no way I can escape from it - unless I go back to Indonesia. But it's just funny to think about it. I never thought that I would have such, experience (thanks to universe that let me be here for years). This is not even my first experience. My very first winter was so... good. It was a nice, not-so-cold winter with a lot of discovery in Europe. However, the second one was a bit harder, third one was worse and now I'm on my fourth winter in my life.
So what should I do now?
People, and even internet said light therapy will do the work. Light therapy is an artificial light, made to imitate the sunlight. A lot of articles mentioned that it is quite effective. However, it can quite a lot for a lamp, it can goes up to 300€ or almost Rp 5 000 000. Of course cheaper options exist, but most of them has shorter lifespan.
I'm thinking to get one soon. I hope it can help me get through this winter blues.
Do you ever feel the same? Tell me what did you feel and share how did you overcome it on the comments!
It's been a while...
Things changed, pretty quickly. I didn't realize it's been 3 years (and 1 month, almost two) that I live in France. Things are not the same anymore, because I'm no longer a student. Yes, one year after I did my second year of master, a year of apprenticeship, now I'm finally graduated.
I'm not saying that the education here is better. But it is, different. And this difference makes me grow and makes me who I am right now. I have this thing on my head, I learned it years ago from a woman on her 30s... She said to me "every person is a teacher and every place is a school". I believe in it and that's what I'm trying to do right now. To study a lot from everyone, and to teach and share people what I had.
On the first time I arrived in Paris, France in 2015 I never thought that I will continue living here until now. My life in Jakarta was awesome: I lived with my dad and my sister, I made an awesome side job that allows me to do almost anything that I want and I had a lot of friends here and there, people know me and I do know people.
Living in France is like a dream for some people, well... Maybe that is what people think at the beginning but after a while I just realised how difficult it is to live so far from my comfort zone and start everything from zero. Being an Indonesian, an Asian in Paris might not as dreamy as it seems.
First, la famille, family. If you already lived abroad before, or at least not in your hometown, you may know the exact same feeling like me. It's not simply homesick, it is the fact that maybe you will not find people that could understand you as your family did. Trust me, it is never easy, especially us, Indonesians, we are used to live in community. We meet our families each time we got home, and seeing our grandparents for at least once a month. Well, say hello to distance, we could not do that when we are so far away. This is something really important to think about when you are about to move somewhere abroad, so keep it in mind.
Second, culture shock. I was lucky because I spent two years studying intercultural communication, and three years of french studies so at least I know the basic. At least, that's what I thought! But then again, not at all. After I came here I realised certain (unwritten) norms that maybe you could never find in the internet such as holding the doors for someone behind you (I felt so awful because I didn't know it was so rude not to do it), not to drink before the others and to do toast without seeing the other person in the eyes. They said you will have 7 years of bad sex if you don't see them in the eyes, oops, who wants that?
Third, apartment chasing! For you who's planning to stay in Paris, prepare it well! I'm super lucky that I got a scholarship and I could live in student residence, but for those who don't, be careful. A lot of scams here and there, a lot of paperworks (which is super essential in France) and a big amount of money. We are talking about Paris here, so imagine the living cost is really high especially for the primary needs.
Fourth, yes you can still eat rice everyday. I know for a lot of Indonesians, eating rice is really essential. But there is no need to worry because you could also find it everywhere even in supermarket-chain like Carrefour or Franprix they sell a lot of rice variation. Just a bit of advice, you could choose the riz thailandais (Thai's rice) that is super similar to the rice that we have in Indonesia. However, speaking about the price, it is true that rice costs more than pasta so yeah.
Fifth, Indomie might be your "favorite meal". Yep, if you know the stereotype about university students: Indomie is a cheap food for the end of the month, think again. When you live abroad, Indomie might be something you prefer to eat in special occasions: Indonesian students gathering, sleepovers, or when you are in total homesick. Make sure you bring enough because sometimes it is hard to find one.
That is all for now! Do you have any difficulties or stories to share when living or going abroad? Share them on comments!
For those who knew me since years ago through my ask.fm profile, you will exactly know my favorite place to spend my time. I know, I know, people say that it's 100% overrated and the coffee, compared to Indonesian locals-- or Italian, since I just got back from there, is nowhere close. Now I will finally answer why I keep going back to this American coffeehouse chain.
I find the calm in the middle of the noise
I could set up the volume until maximum and made my head explode. But no, I prefer to work in the middle of the crowd. Weird, but I do believe I'm not the only one. When everyone is busy with their business, I feel like I need to progress on something as well. Plus, each time I get bored, I can always eavesdropping my next table and laugh for nothing. Kidding, well, not really.
I need that extra, extra, extra shot
Yeah you're right, my latte always has an extra shot in it. I'm not shy to admit I'm a caffein junkie. Like the old saying: "Life doesn't start before a (grande) of coffee.
I got lactose intolerant, like the rest of the world
You know what a creamy thing called milk gives me each time I took them? Pimples! I can't abuse myself by taking 3 espressos or americanos in one day. I do need some additional. Ever since they add almond milk in France to their menu, I always go for it. Soy on a coffee? Nan, forget it.
They are open every single fckn day
You know you work too much until you need to look for a Starbucks on Sunday or any holiday just to get in the mood to finish everything before the deadline. Starbucks is my favorite place when I can buy a grande / venti cappuccino and then work myself to death. Just sit next to an electric plug, bring every charger I need (iPhones, Macbook, etc) and then I'm good to dork.
I love to "Pump it up"
Do you speak Starbucks? If you do you might know exactly how many pumps of classic syrup they put on your frappuccino? Don't worry! Like everyone else, me too, like to spoil myself with an extra pump of caramel syrup, with the calories within, of course.
Now you tell me what makes you return to Starbucks on the comments below!
Nope, it's not yet the time for my quarter life crisis... I think I'm a bit too young for that. Hence, remembering that I read a lot of books about existentialism, I start to ask, my own existence...
Living in my twenties makes me thinking, back into my first five years in my life. When people asked me, "Sayang mau jadi apa kalau sudah besar nanti?" in english, "What would you like to be when you grow up?"
Here's what I've been thinking right now:
I'm taking a double degree program, I study communication. I work as a tarot reader. I have so much experience with people (that sounds like a CV okay- sorry). I saw a lot of people with diverse background, age, social status, lifestyle, etc. At the time I see myself on the mirror I ask myself just like those guys back then "Dytha, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?"
This leaves me hanging a while and thinking a lot... Damn, that is surely one hard question to answer. I read a lot of books and search some references, some days I just do nothing, some days it disturb me before I sleep... Then another question arrived...
"What makes me... me?"
What is my purpose in this life? What is the essence of being me?
What is living? Am I living a life right now?
Or I just live like the rest human beings?
Or I'm here just to fulfil everyone's expectation?
Or I'm here to make everyone happy?
If everyone else is happy, will I be happy?
Who, am, I?
I can't find my meaning in this life, yet. Well I have some goals... But now that I have those, what would it be? Would it be worth it someday? Would it be useful? Does anyone even need that? Do I EVEN need that? What is my purpose here?
What makes human a human?