There are too many things on my mind right now. Too many to count, actually. Too many to write. Since I’ve got holidays right now, I should be writing much more than usual – at least that was what I thought – but instead my writer’s block refuses to fade away. I simply don’t know what to write about. And once I’m being inspired, my inspiration comes from little things, not big enough to be worth to write about, in my opinion.
But two days ago I got a very nice mail-review on my blog, which totally made my day. In it the person stated to have always wanted to start a blog, but just never knew what to write about.
And this sentence reminded me so much of myself in the beginning; I felt insecure about what to post: insecure, if someone would read it or just like it or if someone was interested in what I was writing at all. Now I don’t think that way anymore – or at least that’s what I used to think. I guess, that after posting photos everyday, I slipped again into my early state, this insecurity of what to write about.
But after reading the mail-review 2 days ago, I furiously wanted to set an example and so I’m ending up here, writing a post about what caught my eye today, although it’s not something too big:
’cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
and then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
but I’m thinking of what Sarah said:
that “love is watching someone die.”
What Sarah Said – Death Cab For Cutie
This morning I was listening to one of my favourite bands, Death Cab For Cutie. And somehow it was the first time that I really listened to the lyrics of this song because I just never noticed this beautiful, blue and mostly true passage: “Love is watching someone die.”
It was just one of those moments, you know, when realization hits you, realization of something that you somehow always have known all along but never managed to put in one, single sentence.
And therefore it never came to my mind – in this one, single, complete sentence – that actually, if someone’s dying – and you really love this someone – you’ll stay at his side, no matter how painful or how long until death has taken him. Love is not finished once death has come, but stays for much longer. Love is not walking away. Love is the willingness to take pain and hurt upon yourself to make something better for somebody; to sacrifice your comfort for someone beloved.
When I was ten, my grandmother died. It was New Year’s Eve when we heard that she was ill. We flew back home to Indonesia, but of course it was too late. When we arrived it was New Year and she already deceased. It was the most cruel new beginning I’ve ever experienced. First I was in such a shock that I couldn’t say a word; but one moment later I was crying my heart out. I admired her so much and though I didn’t get much time in my life to get to know her, the few years I spent with her were enough to make her one of the most important persons in my life. Seeing me so broken, my cousin dragged me to the coffin so I could say a proper goodbye to her. But instead I squirmed free of her grasp and ran away. I feared to face the reality, the truth, the beloved face.
I regret it until now, that I couldn’t see her last expression properly. That I prefered to look away.
I know it’s not the exact situation as in the quote above, but it’s the closest to the situation above I ‘ve ever experienced. And when it was so hard to just look at a person already dead, how much harder is it to watch someone die?
And here I’d like to ask you if you’ve experienced something similar?
At the end of this song there was this one question that haunted me for a while (but I’m not going to write about it now):
So who’s gonna watch you die?
The Story: This swingset belongs a playground next neighbourhood. When I was little I used to stare at them for such a long time because I wanted to go on them so badly. But I never did it because it doesn’t belong to our block and I was quite afraid of being caught playing on a “forbidden” swingset.
When I got there last week to take of photo of this swingset, I actually discovered a signboard saying that playing on this playground was explicitly allowed to the children of the block it belongs to!
Gladly, there wasn’t a sentence saying that it was also only allowed to these children to take photos of it.
To this picture: As always, I made some versions of a shot. The reason why I chose this one here’s because I didn’t want to lose the beautiful contrast in colour (green-red) but also wanted to capture the quietness, the loneliness of this playground, which somehow reminds me that you get only one childhood in life – and that, once it has passed, there would be no comeback (hope you get what I mean).
Time’s flying by too fast. While in this virtual world I’m as slow as some snail (due to my lack of posting), in reality, time’s running away. It seems just like yesterday that my holiday ended, but actually it’s already been four weeks. On Thursday I think “yesterday was Monday” only to realize that the next day’s Friday. Nothing’s in the right time and place, and I feel as if I’m constantly lagging behind time. In a few weeks are spring holidays and then our home economics course for three weeks, and then soon afterwards summer holidays, and then 5th grade starts and I’m already thinking about topics for my final paper. Especially right now, seeing the current fifth graders hanging up their little papers with their ideas for their final papers makes me think of what I want from life.
I’m not a first grader anymore, letting time pass by and destiny decide of what I’ll be doing in the future. No, decisions are awaiting me soon. And with every year, every holiday they’re getting bigger and bigger. What do I want from life? I don’t have a clue. It seems so unfair. How am I supposed to know it with 16? There are just a few people I know who have already determined their profession after school. So confident in what they’re going to study. How can they trust us all at the age of 18 to make the right decisions? To make decisions this big? Are we already ready for it? We’ll see. But I’m 16 now and next year 17 and the year after next 18 and – you know – maybe it’d be good if I’m already thinking about the future. At least a bit. Because there’s this pressure that somehow, between school and friends and family, I won’t be able to think about it much.
And this thinking, this whole thinking is scaring me. Scaring me shitless. But at the same time this whole mess in my head is turning me into some dull, uninspired, lazy person instead. So I can suppress those thoughts. And maybe it’s the warm spring sun, maybe it’s my leaning towards nostalgia, but lately I’m daydreaming a lot, sitting in the sun, just doing nothing. Nothing relevant at all. And when I remember my current concerns, I feel like the biggest fool in the world to just spend time with daydreaming. And here, here we have the reason why I haven’t written for so long. I guess, I had just to figure out some stuff. Like, my life. My wishes. Myself.
Starting with easy questions like “Is the spring sun really making me lazy?” to harder ones like “Should I really think about my future subjects at college already now?”
And you know what my conclusion is? That in the end, it’s not that important. I mean, I still have 2 years to figure it out. And it’d be good if I knew what I’ll be doing in two years. Or at least have some ideas. But it’s not tragic if I don’t know it yet, either. And maybe this is so completely stupid (and tragic) that I refer to the twilight saga movies, but remember in Eclipse? When Jessica made this graduation speech and said that now, after their graduation is the time for doing all the mistakes, all the wrong decisions in your life? Well, it feels like now is the time for me to do so. A few years ago my biggest wish was to grow up as fast as possible. To become a famous shooting star or a life-saving doctor or a genial architect. But right now, I wish I could go back to 6 years ago. My biggest wish now is just to lie down on the grass with nothing on my mind but pure contentedness. And maybe this lying down and taking life slow is a mistake. Maybe it’s a mistake, but at the same time, it may be alright. It may be totally all right. Because it’s what we humans do after all, isn’t it?
We make mistakes. Then we learn from our mistakes. And finally, we do it right. All right.
2 weeks of school and one week being sixteen, I don’t feel any different than before. I want to excuse myself for not being able to post often in foreseeable future – I just got into the dull, boring everyday school life in which the term “free time” is not included. Right now, I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’ve got a music presentation to prepare and several exams in the upcoming weeks; yesterday I finally managed to write a letter to a friend in Australia who’s doing an exchange year over there.
It was actually strange, you know, to write a letter. I mean a full letter, with your own handwriting on it, put in a nice envelope with a nice stamp on it. I remembered the times when I was little and used to write letters on a daily basis to every friend and every teacher I could think of (well, maybe a bit exaggerated, but I really wrote to almost everybody). Remember those times to?
Last saturday I had to clean up my bedroom and I eventually decided to sort out the things in my drawer as well. In it, I stumbled upon a mass of letters, birthday wishes, christmas cards, birthday party invitations and old, crumpled notes passed to each other during boring school lessons. A very nostalgic moment for me. I really couldn’t believe that once there was a world which didn’t depend on mail, text messages, Facebook or twitter. Where we (With we I actually mean girls because somehow boys never wrote any letters except love letters.) actually bought letter paper with the matching envelopes or better – when we even collected them and exchanged them among each other. (Remember the huge Diddl-Mania about 6 years ago? Now it doesn’t seem that long ago…)
All this seem now unbelievable to me and so I was almost moved to tears as I read all those letters again. The cutest was definitely the birthday gift from my sister, in which she invented a point-system. If I gave her a present of her wish list on her birthday, I get 30 points. If I read her a book – 5 points. And so on. You know what the crappy gift coupon I eventually get from her (if I reach 100 points)? That if she was at the computer and surfing in the internet, I’d be allowed to interrupt her and then it’d be my turn on the computer. Haha, definitely stupid – but sweet.
This all ran through my mind while I was writing the letter yesterday. First it was strange to have fountain pen in my hand and the paper beneath it, waiting to be filled. And then I started and wrote the first words down… and almost couldn’t stop anymore. It felt really satisfying to take the time to write a letter with pen and paper, decorating it with colours and putting it in an envelope. The most amazing feeling was when I finally stick the stamp on the envelope and wrote the down the address; while doing it I had a huge smile on my face.
And I think, in the end it’s just nice to be a bit nostalgic and old-fashioned and for once not being glued on an electronic device.
“What kind of music do you listen to?”
“Er… indie. Mostly.”
“Excuse me? I… what?”
“Indie. Independent music.”
“You mean Indian music?”
“Gosh, no, indie! It’s a style of (mostly) rock and pop – but in an independent or alternative style.”
“Ah. Well, I’ve never heard of that before.”
After conversations like this, I usually don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Mostly after having them with people bragging about their musical knowledge (which often means rattling off the newest charts). I don’t consider myself as a musical specialist, but I think that indie’s now so popular (and not so indie anymore, sadly) that everyone somehow’s got to know this term if he considers himself being very much into music.
For you, I found a definition on Wikipedia:
In music, independent music, often shortened to indie music or “indie”, is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels and an autonomous, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing.
And here also a link with a very well-written and original definition: http://www.bob-baker.com/buzz/indiedefine.html
So this is the music I mostly listen to. It took me a long time to get there; first I was, as any other ten-year old girl, into the mainstream pop scene (Madonna and such). Then through my cousins I got to Linkin Park. I was a pretty long time fan of them, listening to their songs non-stop. It wasn’t until some months after their release of Minutes to Midnight that I realized that they’ve turned a bit too mainstream for my taste and so I, very disappointed, stopped listening to them.
During that time I was very on the punk-rock line, listening to Evanescence, Nickelback, Die Ärzte, Incubus, Kaiser Chiefs and such. (It just sounds so pure – actually I was also listening to the radio, so there still was some mainstream music in my life.) The reason for listening to this stuff was (somehow pathetic) that I so desperately wanted to be different from other people, especially from other girls. I wanted to be the one listening to the “cool” music and head-banging to every song, purchasing cds every week (which I never did, actually) and listing, when asked what my favourite music was, all the band names that none of them knew of. (Just sad, that this method only functioned in my school (because, come on, everyone knew Linkin Park, for example. Or Nickelback. Or Greenday.)
My music style only got really “mine”, after visiting some acquaintances of ours. Their eldest daughter, who then was 18, was out, and I explored her room – which includes looking at her cds and getting inspired because she was much older and so automatically had a good taste concerning music. (Why I knew that she wasn’t listening to mainstream? Because I saw her Chucks (something I considered only cool chicks would do) and stupidly and full of prejudices, I came to the conclusion that she must be listening to rock music. Brilliant. As if shoes would indicate your music style. Well, maybe it does – a bit – but it shouldn’t.)
Anyway, I went through her cds and found – tataa… The Kooks, my first all-time favourite band. After that, I was constantly searching for new The-bands or such with names I’ve never heard of – the main matter was that they were indie rock.
In second grade, that means about 2 years ago, I read Sarah Dessen‘s book Just Listen – and much like the main guy, I wanted to become independent and listening to weird things, giving everything a chance, no matter how strange it sounds. I was searching for some “musical enlightenment” (I tell you, here in Switzerland, you won’t get it easily (or at all) with no friends of yours listening to that kind of music). (Remember my boring life? I needed a hobby.) That was why I promised, or better swore to myself, that I would never ever listen to the radio for longer than an hour if it’s avoidable. Why? So I won’t get into mainstream music.
Maybe you’re asking yourself if I managed this task and well, I did. With a little bit cheating: I checked out the charts on iTunes once a week, so I’d know what the newest music was. (This whole no-radio thing is a bit stupid, I think, but it’s lasted til now, so why stop?)
After this restriction I’ve really begun to develop my music; I’d read music magazines and see which bands were considered “good” or “cool” so I could start with them. Then I tried to listen to each of them without allowing myself to throw my headphones away and later forming an opinion about each one of them so I’d have the overview of what I liked and what I didn’t like. (confusing, yes.) This whole categorizing was, as I later noticed, good for two things: First, that I’ve finally found my all-time favourite bands The Kooks, Mando Diao and The Strokes; somehow I never get tired of listening to their songs, of which I’m glad because now I know that they’re music’s now something that kind of defines me, will always be part of me and my life. I mean I’m a teenager and I’m questioning so many things and myself, and I’m glad whenever I figured out something new about myself.
Second, this listening to so many kinds of music and forming opinions about them, I think, was a kind of journey for me. It was about finding my interest and eventually, myself. Music expresses your attitude, your mood, what you like and what inspires you; music can be the most effective thing when you present yourself to someone because it says a lot about you.
That’s why I also think, that music’s one of the most personnel parts of us, because there’s so much of us reflected in our music, because we identify with our music.
Sometimes I get asked for a few musical references and you know, I like to give them, share my likings with other. But you know what? I also think that first, before you ask someone about musical recommendations, you should know your likings first, the thing you would recommend. You have to be sure about them, think of them as part of yourself, because otherwise you might just accept these recommendations without really knowing if that kind of music really belongs to you; you might just take them for “good” or “cool” because the person you got these references from also thinks high of them. (This is all really psychological, it’s so difficult to write down.)
And if you don’t then better go on your own musical journey first; because I think, that searching the domain of your future likings, that’s what you’ve got to do all alone, all by yourself.
And to conclude:
“And you? What do you listen to?”
“Me? Oh, at the moment I’m totally, absolutely the biggest fan of Eminem!”
“Oh yeah? Which song do you like best?”
“Love the Way You Lie!!!!!”
“Yeah! It’s so awesome! Just gonna stand there and… trallallalla…”
“Well, yeah, it’s not soooo much Eminem. It’s Rihanna actually.”
“And? Because I like the way…trallalallalla…”
“You just said, you like Eminem, not Rihanna.”
“Who cares? This part’s the best of the whole song!”
(Well, I care, because Rihanna’s clearly not Eminem.)
PS: This was my longest post so far, yay! Sorry I haven’t written for a while – I definitely got too much exams right now.
Bah. I hate it. Everyday, and I really mean everyday, I’ve got to edit my posts. It’s so annoying and I’m 100% sure that I have to edit the same ones next week again or so. Do you also have to edit this much?
Anyway as for today, I actually (half-) promised you to write the second part to my “home” post. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write. (So tragic, it always happens to me.) The only things I can add are my two statements to a saying a friend told me (see the comments of home part 1) and to the movie Up in the Air.
1): Home is where you heart is.
Well, actually, it just confirms my definition of home; because my family’s in my heart, and where my heart is, ergo my family, is my home. But then again, I thought, I must have many homes. Because my heart belongs to Berlin for example, a city I’ve only visited once, but has rapidly grown to my favourite city. Or to my bed, because that’s where I feel safe and warm on dark, winter days (like the ones currently). Or home may also be here in front of my computer, blogging, because doing this feels so right for me at the moment. Is it possible to have many homes? I hope so.
2) Is it possible to have no home at all?
I’ve recently seen the movie Up in the Air, the one with George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga. In this movie, Ryan Bingham’s (George Clooney) always travelling around the world, first, because he has to (it has to do with his job) and second, because he wants to tie the record of having 10000 frequent flyer miles. During the film, there are of course a few scenes in which he returns “home”. But is it really home? He calls it home. But how can it be home to him, if he’s hardly ever there? He doesn’t know anything about his neighbours, because he has never time to visit them properly. His flat’s always tidy, because he’s rarely at home to use all of his furnitures and belongings. I don’t think, that his family’s home to him either. He has flighty contact with his sisters; he never visits them and so, doesn’t know them anymore. Home to him, or the real, true feeling of being at home, I think, are the few moments he shared with other people (of course all during travelling), when he (probably) forgot what his goals really were when he completely let himself be there, at this place with this person, and just enjoyed the moment and forgot to actually just stay there for a short time. (Now, if I want to continue, I have to spoil, and that’s what I don’t want to do, therefore I’m not going to say anything anymore about the plot.)
But isn’t this sad? Home for me, is a place where you feel warm and safe, a place you like to be (and concerning me, there can be a lot of those places); or the feeling of being safe, loved and relaxed. A feeling you can always recall when you’re having bad times, and a feeling that will comfort you then. And Ryan Bingham, I think, doesn’t have this feeling or this place. He’s homeless. He’s a lonely soul. He has no home at all.
When I was younger, the thought of going alone through the world, having freedom and all the time alone for you, pleased me. I wanted to be one of those heroes, who were strong, because they’re alone and are able to do everything on their own; who are able to do everything they wanted, having no boundaries at all.
But these thoughts didn’t stay for long; I recognized, that it might be nice just to be alone for a while, but it’s also nice to know having someone supporting you, and accepting you, no matter who you are or what you did. This is the thing I wouldn’t have if I were all alone: acceptance. Acceptance from the people you like. As a loner you’ve always have to fight for some acceptance, for some tolerance. And also an important thing: trust. It’s nice to know people trusting you; and vice versa people whom you can trust. And for my little me (I was about eleven or so), this was the most important reason, why I gave up on the idea of being a “cool” loner. Because I’ve always had problems with trust, because I hardly trust someone and I didn’t want to end up all alone without no one to trust and no one trusting me. And as long as I had my family around me, I realized, this was guaranteed, and from then on I knew where I could find my home.
Uh, geez. That was a big family-love-declaration. I’m usually not this (love-) declaring person.
It’s 00:57 am and I’m still up, annoyed that I didn’t write yesterday. But I am pretty tired (I just can’t sleep) and a quote hasn’t left my mind since sunday: It’s a quote I read on Fidel Hart’s Blog:
“…travel can become a compulsion. It keeps us away from friends and loved ones – even when we’re back. When I’m away, I often yearn for home. When I’m home, I’m listless. I seem no longer to fit. History and literature are filled with characters who see Asia, or Venice, and can never go back to the way they were.” -Anthony Bourdain
I commented, that I don’t travel as much as other people do, but because of moving from Indonesia to Switzerland at a very young age, I sometimes doubt my belonging. Or actually, I sometimes don’t know where to belong. I think, if I left Indonesia when I was a baby, I surely think of Switzerland as my homeland. And if I left Switzerland in my teenager years, Indonesia would be my homeland. It’s just too bad that I left at an age somewhere in the middle between the two options above; it has the effect on me that I’ve spent too little time in Indonesia to have the complete feeling of belonging there; but also have not experienced my whole childhood in Switzerland, so that I missed the little, but somehow important things, that you traditionally do in your country during your childhood. I mean kindergarten is in every country different. And these things connect people; in primary school they would once in a while talk about their kindergarten times and share all these memories and traditions they’ve learned together, while I somehow felt a bit left out.
So during the past day I’ve been wondering, once again, where I truly belong too. There are many people asking me whether I like Switzerland or Indonesia more. I’ve got to say, that’s a tricky question and my answer depends on my mood; after visiting my relatives in Indonesia, I’d definitely say Indonesia; but after recently having some amazing experiences with Swiss friends, I surely say Switzerland. Anyway I don’t think that’s the point to really come to an answer about my musings. The belonging to a country, a state, a nation, does it really depend on how much you like it? I guess that now, that Switzerland has a rather conservative attitude obverse (?) (criminal) foreigners, which doesn’t please a few people I know, they still think of themselves belonging to Switzerland: First, because it just the country in which they were born and second there are of course, other, better sides of Switzerland!
And if I’d compared the traits of my two homelands, I don’t think that I’ll know the answer; because everything has its good and its bad sides.
After a long time thinking (I’m so tired, I’ll might write down all my thoughts some time later for you) I came to the conclusion that maybe I belong to neither of these two nations. Why? I think that with me being dragged from my birthplace at a young age, but still not being long enough in another country, I define the word “home” for me not basing on which country I like more to live in,or in which country I’ve got more friends, or on my actual situation (living in Switzerland) in contrary to my birthplace (Indonesia); no, I simply adjusted my heart on where my family momentarily is, I think. (Or, at least that’s what I think at the moment, this may change tomorrow morning.) I think, that home is where I’m surrounded by my family, because that’s when I feel most at ease, and so home to me could also be Germany, French, Italy or Austria; it doesn’t really matter as long as my family’s around me.
What’s home for you?
And you know it’s now 01:32 am and I’m really, really tired and can’t concentrate. I’m sorry that this post didn’t focus so much on the quote at the beginning, if you expected a spectacular analysis or so. And I’d like to write more, but am plainly tired, maybe I’m writing some part 2 tomorrow (I’ve got ideas referring to the movie Up In The Air).
As for now, goodnight world!