The Hardest Puzzle Ever

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Isn’t it funny that sometimes life is just like a mystery puzzle set?

Sometimes you think you need to have every piece, sometimes people can just feel complete without needing to have all of them. Sometimes you think you have everything but still you feel there’s a missing piece that you don’t know what it is.

Sometimes you just wanna barter the pieces you have with other pieces which there’s no guarantee they will fit better.

Sometimes you have 9 out of 9, sometimes you can only find 2 out of 9. Sometimes the number of pieces you have change in every phase of your life, today you have 8, two days later you lose 3.

Sometimes someone becomes the one that completes the missing piece, sometimes that person leaves and costs you more missing pieces. Sometimes you become that piece to another person’s puzzle set.

Sometimes you think how to put every piece in order, which one has to be placed first, or you can just do them randomly. And you think, “Did I take the wrong step if I put this piece first?”

Sometimes you keep looking for the missing piece while in fact it’s been sitting next to your hand for so long and you were just not looking.

Sometimes you steal the piece from others, sometimes you achieve it by yourself, sometimes you’re just tired to think about the puzzle and create another imaginary puzzle set, sometimes you just wanna restart the game and don’t wanna mess up again. Sometimes you just have no choice. What does happiness really mean?

I realized I haven’t talked about my feelings in this blog lately, I mostly talk about my travels and other things that I find interesting and informative as they bring more traffic to my blog. Of course who wants to read about sentimental crap. And yeah I’ve been lucky enough that so far throughout this year I’ve had great journeys and relatively in happy and positive mood. But of course I am not always happy. In every year, there must be gloomy moments. I think it’s the first time this year I have it.

No matter how many times life gives you lemons, you’ll never be as prepared as you thought you will be. I understand it very much that in the end, everything depends on how we react to it. But it’s not always easy. Sometimes I wish I could be an ignorant person, sometimes I don’t wanna understand things that I understand, so that I’ll stop feeling worried, so that I’ll stop feeling sad.

Sometimes I just want to forgive myself to feel like this and make it an excuse to not do anything beside being sad. Then I regret the time I spent being sad, because only the time you enjoy wasting is not a wasted time, they say. And eventually, stumbled upon the quotes that I always come back to, “If you do nothing, nothing happens.” And here I am pouring my feelings through drawing and words. Not a big thing, not even matter to other people’s lives. But life is still a mystery. We’ll never know, we’ll never know.

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28 Things in 28 Years

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Yesterday I just turned 28, so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME..!

My 27 was so great, and some checklists were accomplished but the journey is still long. I feel fulfilled most of it because I started doing what I love, less stress, met interesting people and had new experiences. I am establishing my fashion brand, RAYU, which I’ve never thought I could be as I didn’t have a good support system in my closest surrounding when I was growing up.

Here are the 28 things I’ve learned in my 28 years wandering in this planet. Doesn’t mean they should be applied to other people’s lives, I’m just sharing these values and principles I hold.

  1. Everything happens for a reason.

There’s nothing such as coincidence, there must be reasons for everything. There are reasons why I wrote this, why you’re reading this, why we met and haven’t met somebody, etc. Most of the time we don’t find the reason right away, it takes time, sometimes an hour, a week, a year, 10 years. But whatever happened, they happened for the best.

2. I can’t control everything.

As much as I want everything to be under my control, I can’t and will never be able to do it. Especially when it involves other people’s feeling, but I am in control of my own feeling and how I should react to everything. And I should not worry over things I know I can’t control, for some things, I have no choice but just letting they go with the flow. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

3. Nothing is permanent, everything is temporary.

Whether it’s good or bad, things are not gonna last forever. So, when good things happen, enjoy while they last. When bad things happen, don’t worry, they shall pass.

4. Life is short.

I saw people I know passed away or dying or being depressed. I realized how short life is and in this one short life I don’t wanna do and be something I don’t like. Life is too short to be spent in one place, to be someone I am not, to read only one book, to have only one dream.

5. Invest on yourself and experience.

I guess many of us made mistakes in the first time we start earning money, we spent it on luxury. Now I’d rather invest on developing myself, improving skills and gaining experience. Because when I am old and my hair is grey, I will not remember the specification of iphone or gadgets I bought, I’m gonna remember moment. Memory is what we’ll have in the end. And my skills are can take me places.

6. Take a good care of yourself.

Like it or not, we cant expect much from people no matter how close we are to them. I am in my 20s is gonna be the one who takes care of me in my 50s, not my husband, not my kids.

7. Don’t hold grudges.

Life is too short to be mad at others and at yourself. I need to have the ability to forgive or at least forget, because I only have one heart. I should not make grudge a drive to do something. For example, trying to prove to parents because of what they did/ didn’t do. That means I am doing something out of grudges, instead of love. The only reason why I wanna do something must be love and should not be any other drives. Because when you do something because you love it, you don’t need to prove to anyone.

8. People can’t really change.

One’s personality can’t really change permanently. Maybe they change for a temporary, but not forever. So I don’t want to waste my time with people whose characters are soo in contrast to mine. I only have two choices, either to leave or to accept them as they are. If I choose to leave, I should not regret. If I choose to stay, I should not complain.

9. If I do nothing, nothing happens.

The truth is that everything worth having doesn’t come easily, even if you’re born as Paris Hilton. If I say I want to have something but I don’t do anything related to achieving it, I shouldn’t expect it’s gonna be served on my plate because life doesn’t work that way. If I say I wanna be a writer, then I have to at least write a paragraph daily. And I have to react fast to change my own situation. If bad things happen, do something to fix it. If good things happen, do something to maintain and improve it. If nothing happens, do something to make it happen.

10. In life, we need mentors.

Most of the questions we ask have been asked and answered by people before us, so I have to reduce my ego and learn from as many as possible. I was so stubborn before to do everything self-taught, which is not totally bad, but it would have been more time-efficient if I had had mentors, time is soo expensive that no stores sell it once you wasted it.

11. Don’t mind other people’s opinion.

Sometimes being stubborn is good. I can’t please everyone, there’s always gonna be people who disagree or simply don’t understand my choices. But that’s okay, I don’t owe explanation nor happiness to anyone but myself.

12. Stop depending happiness on other people.

I’ve had felt down and really sad many times and I got tired of it, I always evaluated from each failure to find why I could feel that sad. I thought the answer was because of other people who did me wrong. Maybe they did, but it’s not 100% their fault, it’s mine too who had depended my happiness 100% on them, so when they left or broke my heart, I ended up feeling worthless. Until in a meditation class, the teacher told us that most of the people choose to create and rely on unstable happiness, which means the happiness from outside the mind. We feel happy or sad because of what others did to us, that’s why it’s unstable. It’s called ‘outsourcing’ happiness. Meanwhile happiness is the state of mind, so everything that makes the mind happy should come from the mind itself. Hence, the ability to manage how we react to things is very important. I’m learning and meditation helps a lot.

13. Everybody has a different clock.

When we’re still in school, almost everyone go through similar stage at the same time. But after school, everything changes. We go our ways, the roads we are on to some destinations may be in different length compared to our friends’. I shall not compare myself to others. Happiness and success are not a competition anyway.

14. I can’t do everything by myself, I still need other people.

Being independent is good, but knowing how to work smart is better. I sometimes push myself too much and try to do everything by myself. Just because I can do it by myself doesn’t mean that I have to do it by myself. I have to learn how to either drop it, add value to it or delegate it to other people.

15. Look for myself first before I start looking for others.

In life, especially for women, we’ve been taught by fears of not getting something. Therefore, we’re always told to find jobs, or husband/wife instead of discovering who we are first. Seriously, this is so wrong and the consequence is high because you risk your TIME. If being in a wrong job or a relationship just risk money, it still can be repaid. But if I lose time, where should I go to get it back?

16. The opposite of love is fear, not hate.

Money is not the root of all evils, it’s fear. Fears that transform to other names, it becomes jealousy, hate, greediness, grudge, etc. And we fear to admit that it’s fear.

17. Hard work never betrays.

I don’t know how many times I feel down during learning process. I get bored and not rarely I fail. Slowly I see things getting together as long as I do things consistently. Sacrifice needs to be made, but someday this will pay off. Work until I know better, and when I know better, do better.

18. There’s no shortcut to success.

Patience is not one of my best capabilities, I always wanted to get things fast when I want it. That’s why I always tried to find shortcuts, in the end they cost me more in price, time, and energy. From this I learned to be more patient and love the process. Like it or not, not everyone is born a superman, so we need to go through process in order to achieve success.

19. My vibe attracts my tribe

I should not complain about the people in my circumstance because the reason why my circumstance doesn’t change is because I haven’t change myself into the energy I want to attract. So if I want to be surrounded or approached by positive people, I have to reflect it first.

20. Accept change and make friends with it.

Changes are not always scary. Comfort zone is not always good just because it’s familiar.

21. Everything has consequences.

Every decision I make today will result in my tomorrow.

22. What I tolerate makes me worried.

Sometimes being selfish is good, meaning I have to put myself first and learn to dare to say ‘NO’ to people or things that actually make me feel uncomfortable before they mount up. Be brave to leave things or people if it means for the better. It may sound heartless, but we only live once.

23. Niche down. 

Took me years to learn that small circle is better than big one that’s loose and shallow. Growing up, I tried to attract as many people as possible to like me, but that limited who I wanted myself to be. Now my circle has been smaller and smaller and I’m loving it. It also can be applied in business, that I should find my niche rather than targeting everyone into my market.

24. Don’t stop questioning.

Always stay a beginner.

25. Growing up doesn’t mean I have to stop having fun.

I’m not gonna be a boring person. Every child is born creative, I choose to remain creative. I don’t wanna see life as burden, I wanna see it as a playground or a blank canvas a painter would play with colors on. I wanna paint a picture I want to remember, because my name, Citra Ayu, means ‘a beautiful picture’.

26. There’s no such a thing like a ‘collective destiny’.

Just because I was born a female then I have to be and behave certain ways that an area believes in. Just because something didn’t happen to other people, it doesn’t mean it’s not gonna happen to me either.

27. Happiness and beauty are not competition.

I used to think that being an employee for years is lame, but it’s actually not. Just because something is not my cup of tea, it doesn’t mean it should be the same for other people. Just because I wanna be an entrepreneur, it doesnt mean that those who work in institution or housewives have boring lives, they have their own concept of happiness, so do I. And I am happy for other’s happiness.

28. Age is just a number!

I don’t grow old, I choose to grow gOLDen!

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taken on the day I officially turn 28

The Truth about Living Your Passion

I’ve passed the phase when I questioned what I want to do to in life, whether I was doing my dreams or somebody else’s which is called the passion searching. That phase was filled with trials and errors and pivoting is common. In the beginning, the picture of what I wanna do in life was blurry, like solving a puzzle. At that time I was not sure what I wanted to do, but I’ve always been sure all the time about what I don’t like and don’t wanna be since I was younger. Along the way it gets clearer, I’ve never been this sure. It’s true that passion searching is important; to believe in it, chase it and live it. But after you find your passion and are sure about pursuing it, what happens next is not less important as the journey to find it.

You can find sooo many motivational speakers on Youtube to help to convince and motivate you to be true to yourself and find your passion. But in the process of chasing it (before you can enjoy your life from it), that job to convince and motivate yourself is on you only. Not many of them will tell you how hard, chaotic, mental, physical and emotional-wrecking it can be.

Unfortunately for most of us, our passions don’t typically fall right into our laps. We have to get out there and take action, often with a little uncertainty, in order to discover them. Hence oftentimes passion changes.

I will say that just because you’ve found your passion, not every body should chase it and risk the comfortable life and career path they’ve had before. Because it’s only for the strong, patient, resilient, and hardworking ones. Especially if you have decided to give up your stable 9-to-5 job and focus on your passion that could be in creative or anti-mainstream field. Be ready for the misery that it will bring too, because love doesn’t always come with joy. I’m still in the striving process too, but it’s been better than months ago. Slowly but surely, the seed that you plant will blossom as long as you do it consistently.

4484This is the phase when you’ll realize that it’s much harder than you thought it would be. That you  will question yourself, compare yourself to others, blame yourself for the things you haven’t achieved yet. Things will not go as smooth as you planned, there will be a lot of errors that test your determination, little things yet can be fatal and make you just wanna give up and go back to the normal life like other people.

You know what, every time I wanted to take my game to another level, there’s always obstacles, my phone got stolen, tablet suddenly got broken, DSLR camera couldn’t turn on, sewing machine didn’t do its job, everything happened in a row in just four months. These devices are my main production and marketing capitals which without them I can’t do much. Furthermore, I’ve been let down by the people I worked with, when they didn’t give the effort and quality they promised. There’s always things that happened to make me quit, for many times I seriously thought about quitting. But then I remind myself, this is only the beginning, too early to quit.

When you work a 9-to-5 job, there is already guidance, what you should do and how you will do it, you’ll risk other people money if you make mistakes, not yours. To make it worse, I always felt that I dont have as much time because I found my passion late, unlike other people who’ve done and got the opportunity to learn it earlier by picking the right major in uni as their passion. Meanwhile I couldn’t and I will never be able to. Even if I had been sure about my passion in creating fashion since high school, I would never have been able to go to fashion school or any design major because it’s so fricking expensive, my family can’t afford it.

And even when I’ve chosen my passion, there’s always parts of it that I don’t enjoy doing or I can’t do well. Don’t think that just because you do something love then you will enjoy every process of it. No, totally not.

Not to forget that it also means less money in the beginning, the duration may take months or years to eventually take off. This can cause another frustration when you’re used to be able to predict what you will get every month and then changed to you don’t even have idea how to survive tomorrow.

I’ve read somewhere a quote that says, the mid process of making a masterpiece always looks like a chaotic and almost-doomed ship. Which is true, every project/ design I’ve done that turned out to be good always made me had doubts in the mid process because it didn’t seem like it would. Meanwhile everything that I did smoothly turned out to be just a so-so result. So maybe that can also apply in life that if your life seems like a mess now, maybe you’re going to a great life in the future. They say, the enemy of a great life is a good life.

The graphic below from Austen Kleon’s book, “Steal Like an Artist”, perfectly describes the phase of executing ideas, where do you think you are now??

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Lessons that Travels Have Taught Me (so far)

Experience is the best teacher and the most experiences I’ve got are from travelling or living nomadically. I’ve moved a lot in my 27 years although none of the places I’ve lived in or visited is abroad. Well my country is big and it’s not easy for a developing country citizen like me to travel abroad. Also, every corner of Indonesia is so different even though it’s in the same island; the people, culture, norms, weather, etc are different. The first time I moved to other city was when I was 17 y.o when my parents decided to go back to their hometown in West Sumatra. I hated it back then, the fact that I had to be separated with the things and people I’d been familiar with. Ten years later, I’ve become a restless soul that always wants to be challenged by new environment periodically. It has given me long-term impacts and lessons that shape the person I am and will be. Even the ways I travel changed. Let me share some things that travels have taught me so far :D.

  1. Travel has made me realize that life is short.

Life is short to do and be something I’m not, to only read one book, to only have one perspective, to stop questioning, to not seek for answers, to be spent in only one place, to only have one dream, to learn only one skill. And most importantly, to not be shared.

2. Changes are not always scary.

Fly High Yoga by the sea in Gili Air

Starting again in new places with new people, situation etc sounded scary before for me. But I survived, I’m glad of most changes that happened, sometimes a reset button is necessary. Breaking the comfort zone is good, just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s better. It is when you’re already outside the box then you can see what’s wrong about the box.

3. The world is so big and there are so so so so so many people in the world.

The more places I visited and the more people from different background I met, the more I want to see and experience other places. This makes me realize that for me moving is one of my needs. Many people seek for settling down in one place until they’re old and die, while I don’t think myself belongs to that category. Even if I know Bali is my fave place to live, it doesn’t mean I want to stay in Bali forever. I will someday settle, just not now. Also, knowing that there are billions of billions of people in the world–I mean yeah of course all people know the big number of population, but many of us choose to trap ourselves into small community; like people in our city or our country only–makes me more optimistic in life that it doesn’t matter if one person doesn’t agree with nor like me, there are still billions of people in the world, even Trump is still liked by some people. It doesn’t matter if I feel I don’t belong with people in West Sumatra, maybe I just happened to be a black sheep, I met people who are like me–the black sheep–in Bali, whose homes are away from homes. There will be a lot of places in the world that are more willing to accept who you are, you just need to find where it is.

4. The more I travel, the more I need less.

The moment of packing and unpacking are the times I know I’ve been collecting or wanting things I don’t actually need. It’s the time I have to decide which one to keep in my life. I still don’t travel light, but for people who know me and with so many things I had back home, it’s an achievement to pack my life into just some briefcases. It makes me realize that if I’m ok with it during travelling, then I will be okay with same at home. The more I don’t understand why people could be so obsessed with having a big big family home, taking loans for big house, fancy cars, electricities, etc. That makes more sense to me if it’s for property business, but I can’t see myself living in a big house because I don’t need that. I need plane tickets, enough money and health.

5. Self-discovery.

I’ve read somewhere that if you want to find yourself, leave your home. My self-discovery process happens faster every time I am away from home, my goals get clearer.

6. Travel gives me hope and faith that THAT kind of life is possible.

Since my childhood, my parents and most adults around me taught me how scary it is to have no uniforms, which means a job in institution or company. I believe that every generation has their own advantage from the previous generations, hence we should not live with the same fears. My generation’s advantage is the advance of information and communication technology. I don’t want to miss this opportunity. Nomad living is possible which allow us to make money from anywhere we want. It makes it possible to earn in different currency. That if I really want something to happen, there’s always ways. Travel allows me to meet alike-minded people who many of them are more successful in their 30s than my parents who worked for over 30 years in institutions. And what great about these people are their energy and creativity that are always alive and pumped.

7. Complaint less, be more patient and grateful.

When you just move to a new place, then expect the unexpected, things go out of plans and it’s okay. I saw how people can live with less and still be happy which all too often we forget how to live like that.

8. Shop less, experience more.

I can say I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel myself since young age. But the way I travel and how I see it have changed a lot. I used to only target big cities with big malls during the sale season, travel was only about shopping for me. I always flew back with extra baggage than when I left. Doing it for years, I always felt exhausted after the holiday (and broke, of course), also felt rushed during the travel. I used to list so many shopping agenda in my itinerary for a 2-3 day holiday. I think that’s how most Indonesians are like during holidays, we try to go to as many destination as possible in super short time that we don’t really enjoy our visit anymore, it’s become more like a check-list than a relaxing holiday. Now I prefer to have much less agenda and be more spontaneous. I rarely shop unless it’s something very special that I still think of after 3 days, by then I know I really want it rather than an impulse buying. I buy something that I will use and remind me of the place when I see and use it. Someday when my hair turns grey, it’s the experience that I will remember, not how many and expensive things I bought.

9. Enjoy solo travelling while you can.

The idea of travelling with a partner and family may sound tempting to many. I have friends who missed their travelling opportunities or chances to move somewhere only because of waiting for a life partner to arrive. That’s not me, at least for this moment. Most of the time for me at this moment, I want to have a time for myself. When I get married, I will less likely have it anymore, I will have husband and kids to travel with for years. So now is my time for my self (before I get stuck with them, LOL). It’s nice to have a travel partner sometimes, but not every time.

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So that’s my ode to travel. I’m sure that’s not all yet–at least what I can think of for now. I want to continue living like this, moving place to place, looking forward to more adventures and changes for the better because nothing is more exciting than seeing who I will be at the end of each one. PS: this year I will have my first international travels, can’t wait!!

It’s always been there

IMG_1176I was arranging my bookshelves when I stumbled upon my old notebooks and binders. I realised that I used to always keep two kinds of journals; diary and inspiration books. When I wanted to write about my feelings and experience, I poured in my diaries. Inspiration books are where I collaged everything that I liked from printed media, whether it’s quotes, articles, illustration, language learning, and fashion styles.

These are some inspiration books I kept since 2006. At that time internet was expensive and there’s no Pinterest, I couldn’t just pin-and-save all the inspiration I like. I was a magazine addict, I hunted old English teenage magazines because I wanted to learn English (later I found out, English teenage magazines’ content was too ‘mature’ and ‘experienced’ for an ordinary nerdy Indonesian teen like me, seriously they talked about sex and sexual identity at that age, I was like, “Ouch!! Is it porn?”)

I didn’t keep inspiration books anymore since I befriended more intensely with internet. Also after highschool I was distracted with so many silly things. Also, we often listen more to what other people say than to our selves. Now at this age, 10 years later, re-reading those books makes me realized there are some parts of me that’s always been there and haven’t changed. Yet, at some stage, I didn’t know it :

  1. I’ve always been fond of fashion; about 60% of the content is fashion collage. I cut all the looks that I like, they all have similarity, that explains my style. After learning fashion at 27 y.o, I knew that method is called Mood-boarding, that’s what fashion students and designers have to do to design a collection and to find what their styles are. Meaning I have had done it before I even know that’s a part of a curriculum in fashion design study. No wonder now I go back to what I dreamed at 16-17, to be a fashion designer.
  2. I love languages; I collected vocabs and idioms from books and movies. I always watched English movies with notebook and dictionary in my hands. I watched a movie more than once, first to follow the story, second to check the new vocabularies, third time to re-play with new knowledge I got. And not only English, I taught myself Japanese and Spanish ( I still can understand a little Japanese, but Spanish has been gone forever from my brain and muscle memory, haha!). Now, I am a big fan of illegal movie streaming, too many movies and videos to watch, I can’t waste my 6 hours for just one movie!
  3. I like writing; I created fiction, short stories and sometimes poems. But majority of my short stories dont have endings yet, I dont think it’s because I didnt know how to end them, I just hopped to other stories/ things that caught my attention.

I see I made progress in my drawing and writing, language as well. I think these fashion moodboards by far have given me more inspiration than other resources I have now, because it’s already filtered by the old me to define the future me. The present me is stealing from myself in the past. Like Austin Kleon said, “We steal from ourselves; from dreams and memories.”

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I drew this when I was a Japanese Manga-lover 16 y.o kid.

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Those on the right are from 9 years ago. The green one is the most recent, a month ago.

How about you, what have you stolen from your dreams and memories?

The Most Interesting People

Don’t we all want to be interesting or at least to look interesting?

Well, the definition of ‘interesting’ is subjective. Beauty is in the eyes of the be(er)holder for sure. Some may call other people ‘interesting’ if only either they’re famous, successful, rich, or good looking. For me, what can keep me amazed with a person–who doesn’t need to be famous, could be my friend, or people I just met–is when I can see how much she/ he believes in what she/ he does.

Because, for me personally, if success or wealth is what makes people fascinating, well there are a lot of successful, wealthy people, but still some of them look boring to me. I also don’t think it’s about the kind of job one’s having. Two people can have the same job but one may look more fascinating than the other. Or in other case, a person can have the most boring job, but really, they’ve touched me in some ways.

I see the similarity that these people have, from artists, accountants, writers, pilots, teachers, even a supermarket customer service. They all believe in what the do, a musician like John Lennon who believed in what he sang and created. You can compare the sparks in his eyes when he sang or talked about his music to any other singers who sing just to sing because that’s what they have to do to be famous, who only sing what other people wrote for them. Compare writers who write because and what they believe than writers who write just to make money. Lecturers who teach because they love teaching than lecturers who are doing their job only to support their lives. These fascinating people put their souls into their works, and it shows, then touches others.

I think that’s what interests me most about other people. I love knowing people but I get bored easily if I see he/ she has no interests/ obsessions/ passions in anything. I was amazed with my colleagues in my previous job when I listened to them discussing about types of frogs for one hour. Seriously, I’ve never met people who could talk that long only about frogs and who cares about frogs that much. The topic was not my taste of course but I was amazed that I just kept listening to them. I want to be able to talk like that about something. If I cant talk that passionately about my job, then maybe what I am doing is not the right thing. If I cant talk about what I am doing that long and passionately, means my works won’t be good. Because in the end, the works won’t lie about the artist.

This is for You

**This is actually an old writing from my R.I.P blog that I wrote in the end of 2016. I repost this in favor of someone who said that he often visited my old blog to read this post whenever he felt down. You, you know who you are, this is for you. 🙂

This writing is for you who are in your mid 20’s—and older—but still feel discontent about your life, always feel that you haven’t achieved anything to be proud of.

This is for you who sometimes doubt about chasing your passion but too reluctant to do something that you hate doing.

This is for you who think that life is not as optimistic as you thought it was when you’re seven. You had never thought that you would have landed in your current situation.

This is for you who have decided to leave your comfort zone and now sometimes question whether it was the right decision.

This is for you who have failed and been rejected many times that you just want to give up.

This is for you who feel that every day is just another new low, no matter how hard you try to make things work.

This is for you who think that you could’ve been more than your friends with all your talents and skills, but at the present you don’t. And that hits your self-confidence.

This is for you who feel that anyone lives a much better life than you, including the welcome-girl/boy at the restaurant.

This is for you who feel like the whole universe conspire against you.

This is for you who hold a degree yet believe it’s a mistake.

This is for you who keep comparing yourself with others.

This is for you who feel like your parents and family think of you as directionless. And you sometimes feel that they could be right.

This is for you who feel bothered to tell people about yourself.

This is for you who keep telling people, “I’m okay”, when you’re not because you believe you can’t show people that you’re weak.

You, whoever and wherever you are, you’re not alone.

You are in a transition phase, okay? A transition to somewhere better and greater. This is just a phase. It’s temporary, no matter how long it will be, it’s temporary. It doesn’t define you and your future. Many people have been through this, if you’re never in this situation, it means you have no dreams. The poorest man is not without a cent, but without a dream.

But, only believing that it’s temporary is not enough, YOU have to make it temporary. No change will ever happen if you do not make it happen, if you’re just planning without execution, if you’re just laying on your bed all day, if you’re just hoping for a miracle (because it doesn’t exist!), if you’re just doing things unrelated to your dreams, if you let other things distract you from the big picture, if you just keep your eyes glued on social medias of the lives other people are trying to portray. Because it’s not only what you believe, it’s what you do.

Do not underestimate any little daily goals because they contribute to the big goals. Don’t underestimate yourself, you’ve been brave enough to leave what you believe you don’t want to see yourself in the future. No matter how hard it is now, it will still be better than doing something you don’t like. Youth is not forever, better spend it on something you like to remember.

This is not a matter of age, number or degree. No degree is better than others. You may have a degree in medicine but still fell discontent. Anyone can be in this situation. Because it’s a matter of personal dreams trapped in a phase.

At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.

You don’t need to burden yourself with the thoughts of being successful at such young age. It doesn’t matter if you can’t be a young college-dropped-out billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg. It doesn’t matter if you can’t publish any novels before 20 like Jane Austen. You are you, you are meant to be you. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Breathe, live, love, laugh, and believe, “This is just a phase. I was born to be adorable.”

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