1.03.2020

2019; A Retrospect

random passerby at Tai Kwun (taken on my recent trip to Hong Kong in November)

It's late and quiet today, unlike the rest of the week. I woke up at 11 still wearing my Friday work attire, which looks a lot like something I can also wear for Saturdays, too—it's just how I dress for work. Possibly I was replacing the sleepless hours from the past week, or saving up enough rest for the upcoming—yes, it's a thing. Either way, December has arrived. It's the glass balls and lamplight season all over again. It's everybody at the malls dressed up in either red or green, or north pole deers, giving promo coupons. It's me no longer have to wait to dine out and seek for Christmas specials.

The year has kept me pretty occupied, which has to be the reason time feels like it's sprinting... The whole work thing just felt too much all at once it's unbelievable. I encounter new things everyday, and everyday too, people expect me to master it in three seconds. Deadlines, meetings, more deadlines... well, you can relate. And then I have to be present for my family, friends need some catch-ups to do, too. I wanted to read a book, but there are e-mails needed to be prioritized. I wanted to write, too, but sleep sounded like the better idea. I woke up early to outrun time. But on some days, mornings were already too hard.

One day a colleague slash friend texted me early in the morning, saying something like, I'm still on the bed right now, not wanting to get up. Please, the workload is too much I can't bear with it anymore, please. At that very moment, I felt what she felt. Every truth in me wanted to roam the same. The voices in my head echoed so loud that I was afraid she could listen. And we were just texting. Although, there was this sense of relief. That hey, turns out it wasn't just me! feeling, because of course this whole time I thought I had turned myself into a total wacko.

See it was rather upsetting, seeing someone close to you having a hard moment when you are having one, too. Watching them scatter their pieces while being just as fragile. But no, you can't rise up a momentary broken soul with another bad day. Just like you can't calm anger with an even higher voice. Or a sad story with "You know what, what you've been through is nothing compared to what I have been through". I guess it wasn't merely about the job, or the workload. It was never that. It's every other thing in life I had to face along with. Altogether.

When we're doing a life with someone else, whoever they are, their lives become part of our lives, too. A lot of times it doesn't come with a choice. My mom was sick last week, I had to cancel work so I could stay home with her. This also happens when you have a cute cat and love it so much it consumes you. And then say, your company is having a crisis, now it becomes your responsibilities too, somehow, to save it from sinking. Though maybe the most you can do is by doing your job correctly. We'll find ourselves smiling for even the little chuckling sounds they make. We carry their happiness with us. Their sorrow, too, however, is ours to carry as well. Ain't that crazy?

But what makes life crazy... is how time flies crazier. Not necessarily because it flies too fast. Maybe for some of you it flies too slow. Unlike me, maybe you're not that afraid of tomorrow as you can already see it happening more or less the same as today. Sure a couple of bad news, but it's relatively safe and okay. But maybe that was the case for you. Maybe you find yourself extinguished in a safe and lonely shore.

Life is equally hard, only in my case this year, it was always how about I could sneak off, you know. For a call, for a getaway, for my loved ones. And I managed to do so. Though it did come along with a weird sleeping schedule and lots and lots of works done while commuting. Time has surely shown me how some things are more important than the other: by squeezing them in. No distance is too far, no time is too little. You'll make time for everything that sparks even the slightest fire in you, even when time is impossible. Especially when time is impossible.

In case you haven't looked at yourself anytime this year, well, take a good look now. Look at that person, going through another round of year once again. Winning, loosing, beaten up, once again. Still breathing, once again. Does life simply gets better? Life doesn't. Even I'm feeling a lot of unintended emotions as I'm writing this. Don't worry, we are adjusting. Through effort. Over time. Whatever it is that's hard now, give it a try. Sometimes a try also means a time. So give it that... the longest it needs. And every time you feel like you're not moving, look at the rearview mirror to see just how far you've made it through. It wouldn't solve your problems, but it will show you how much strength it took to get where you are now.


Happy new year round!

10.29.2019

You'll Feel Whole... Again






—You'll Feel Whole... Again
poem by me | photo by Jay & Venus

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8.01.2019

24/7: 23

The state of aloneness.

The idea that I glorify maybe a little too much in my life. I am surrounded by people whom, I think, concern about my life the way I don't want them to be. Most of the times it feels too much. Some of the times it feels like you are owned, and your opinions and decisions don't matter. Hence I really value the time I get to spend alone. It's really hard to explain, especially when there are also times I feel like I need company and attention—though I never so desperately asked for it. But do I have the choice to control the way people act towards me? Of course not.

A lot has happened in a year. I continued my remaining classes in uni, all by myself, because all of my friends had graduated by then. But long and winding roads later, I made it. It happened not without a struggle, I would say, especially when you're alone and not feeling like yourself most of the time. So I congratulated myself, not only for graduating, but to had gone through them all. I also found a job not long after. Not something I had expected, so there is that. Life has been so so much better in a way.


This year, I started to live alone again since I have to work outside the city. So that means I have a monthly salary now, and live in a semi-apartment near my office area, afar from my family. But these facts alone apparently haven't made me feel like an adult enough, and independent human being, so I had to book a ticket to Vietnam alone to celebrate this year's twenty four seven. Alone, alone. And without a letter of consent to anybody either, including my parents. Because what screams adulthood more than not telling anybody about your travel abroad plans right?

But why?

I'd say, why not? I'm 22, and I have prepared the money, and well, I did survive in some foreign country before, so why can't I make it just fine this time? Until I realized that convincing my parents wasn't really the thing I was trying to achieve, proofing them that I'm capable of my own being was.

Sometimes I think this was the case of my relationship (of any kind) towards everyone. The idea of being dependent on anyone or anything terrifies me. I try to convince everyone that hey I'm fine, I can do it without your help, so thanks for the offer! Which I can. But even if that's the case then does that necessarily mean that one should be alone just because they can do things independently? I don't ask for attention, so when I'm exposed to it, and especially when it happens so naturally, I become so reluctant that it's such an impossible thing.

I imagine being on the other side of the boat, where I want to give my feelings to somebody but couldn't. Where I want to help, or at the very least, make sure things are going okay for my loved ones, but doesn't have the power to. How it would kill me when I don't have enough knowledge over that. I think it over and it really doesn't feel so fair...

Sometimes people loved the wrong way. My mom and her worries, and early morning texts, and sudden afternoon phone calls. My dad with his (also) worries, and corny jokes. And past flames maybe with their hate speeches or unintended feelings, well, who knows?

During my solo trip last week I felt the most of myself. And it's really the weirdest thing because the feeling always, and only happens when I'm not around anyone who knows me, and moreover in somewhere really, really foreign. No one knows my name. At one point I told some dude my name was Jude. And though he didn't get the reference, it still felt really nice.

I didn't go to so many touristy places since it really wasn't the whole point. I hopped on one cafe place to another and just sit there writing and drawing, and sometimes maybe having a dead-end conversation with strangers who speaks sufficient English whom I'd never meet again. Things I wouldn't have done if I were to travel with a company. I'm calling it a self-made retreat, this time with the background of Ho Chi Minh city and the smell of warm egg coffee.

I don't want to feel restrained, ever, so I don't want to make people feel restrained either. Hence I should exist between my own space and the people who cares for me. There should be a place where you could be happy for yourself without having to drive people away. Though having to understand that people do things their very way is still a lot to consume, I believe it's a good start.

Here's to year 23, and the love that surrounds.

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