Fitting In.

I always feel like I do not fit where I am. It’s like a very loud noise at the back of my mind “You don’t belong!”

Physically, I was always- and still, out of place. My skin colour was never the majority of wherever I’ve been. It always seems to be the “wrong” one. Not white enough, not dark enough, not pale enough, not yellow enough, etc.

My attire and my general look have been described as not according to what my sex would traditionally wore. Hence, my sexuality has also been brought to question by some during the course of my life and became a topic of mockery for some poorly raised kids back in my school days.

My demeanour also does not conform with the unspoken social regulations on where I used to live. I was raised by parents who was conventional enough in my early years to belittle younger human being as “you know nothing” or “kids should let the adults do the talking” and my thoughts and opinion being dismissed accordingly. Lucky enough at some point of life, a foreigner that was our neighbour broke through my parents and took me seriously. 20 years older than me, he would stop whatever he was doing and listen to what I was saying, probing more questions, challenging me to elaborate further in a language that I was not familiar with in my formative years. He proceed with addressing what I said, responding accordingly and continues to discuss further despite my lack of eloquence then. For a good 3 years, I was taken seriously as a human being with thoughts, ideas and opinion that should be judged by its merit, not by the size of my body or the time that I have walked the earth. My parents digress and, to a certain extent, let me be who I am in the family.

While this helped a lot in my confidence when communicating, it does not proof to be a benefit in me conforming socially. My way of saying what I think, expressing my opinion, challenging misconception or misperception by older generations have been a constant problem even to this day. My way of communicating has been deemed “lack of respect” and deserves a slap or two to teach me a lesson that I was in the wrong. And I was told I deserve no apologies for the physical hurt I suffered from the stinging words that I uttered.


Now that I am my own person, living outside home, making my own living, I know better to adjust accordingly. When it comes to work and money making responsibility, I know that I have to conform to the rules and regulations and certain social arrangements accordingly and I do that consciously and willingly since I have bills to pay and a lifestyle to finance.

But my personal relationship is a different matter altogether. I am no longer required nor willing to endure my time outside working hours. Few years ago I made a decision to cut off relationships that I qualify as hard work and to tell you the truth, my quality of life skyrocketed in a nick of time. I no longer commit my time regularly to people that I do not enjoy being with. I choose to spend my time alone or making effort to nurture other relationships that I enjoy being part of.
People that I do not have to restrain myself from.
People that knows who I am actually and get along with, instead of expecting me to be someone else.
People that I would go leaps and bounds for to ensure that the relationship is good.

But even with that being said and done, I realised that the ghost of my past still haunts me. Those boxes that I thought I have left behind, still dictates my general conduct unconsciously these days.

Do I approach first? Do I buy him a drink? Do I let him buy me a drink? Is it okay to express how I feel? Is it too much if I initiate contact? Who pays first? Who asked for second date?

What if my way of doing things disgust him?

Oh fuck it. Let’s just get it over and done with.

Thankfully, this message was not only read but also replied eventually.

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“I Lived.”

“Nasib orang siapa yang tau? Kalau nanti kenapa-napa, memang sudah kehendak Tuhan kan?”

When I found out there was another bomb in Surabaya, I called my uncle. That was his response when I told him I worry.

Since yesterday, we have been confronted with the worse of humanity – people that think that they have the right to take lives based on their own judgement exists; and they are unfortunately thriving right under everyone’s nose. Silently. Stealthily. And then tragedy came out of nowhere when they decided to take matters into their own hand and exercise their own judgement towards the unassuming lives that are just going through the motion of life.

As a citizen of the country that has been victimized, I am left speechless. Anger, sadness, confusion, fear, frustration and helplessness all mixed into something that I am unable to express clearly. I found myself calling people that I am closed to and I hold dear. And when the line connects, I cannot even bring myself to say anything apart from the “hello” and “where are you?”

I thought about how do I, powerless and helpless as I am to do something that is immediate and tangible, responds to the fact that lives were lost – not naturally but in such a forced manner. And then, my uncle’s respond came along.

We have no control – who lives, who dies, who tells our story.

So what do I do with that knowledge? What’s my immediate respond?

I can only come up with clichéd one-liners. I am not that smart nor am I that deep. But in reality, these words are never done in its literal manner because… it’s cliché. So at least for my own benefit, I am just gonna do exactly those. And, should in the future I am proven wrong… at least I proved to myself that those damn one-liner does not work instead of staying paralysed in the state of confusion.

As you go through your days ahead, uncertainties of life will haunt you. It has always been there – but I won’t deny that recent incidents seem to amplify it. Do your best, anyway. Push through and don’t just go through the motion.

I’ll leave you with this song from OneRepublic that inspires me to do all those one-liners from “live your life to the fullest” to saying all those unwarranted “I love you”s.

I Lived – OneRepublic

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall.
Hope when the water rises
You built a wall.

Hope when the crowd screams out
It’s screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
You give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes you’ll say

I did it all
I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Hope that you spend your days
But they all add up
And when that sun goes down
Hope you raise your cup
Oh, oh

I wish that I could witness
All your joy
And all your pain
But until my moment comes
I’ll say

I did it all
I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived

With every broken bone
I swear I lived
With every broken bone
I swear I

I… I did it all
I… I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived