Time to Heal

Healing takes time, but it will come. And when it does, you will find happiness so bright, you will be blind to all that once tormented you.

We can’t deliberately choose the memories we want to remember. I wish I could, but that’s just not the case, isn’t it?

I have this one scene of my childhood that vaguely stuck in my mind. I’m not quite sure about the year, maybe I was five. I only know I was really small that even stepping over a 50cm-wide-ditch was a huge problem.

It was a daring game. My neighbours had this silly challenge of jumping over a ditch in front of my house. I was doubtful and scared. I was unsure if I could make it. But it seemed so easy for everyone, I must do it. So they started to applaud, pushing me to do it. Jump! Jump! Jump!

So I did. I jumped. And… I missed the other side of the ditch. It happened so fast. I can’t remember how I got up from the bottom. I can’t remember how I walked towards my house. But I do remember I was so embarrased and scared of what would happen next. I remember my face was covered with blood dripping and I tried to wipe it off with my hands. I remember my mom stood by the door in awe and in a second she passed out. I remember my dad ran to my mom and carried her to the sofa in the living room, while I was standing still by the door not quite sure what to do. A couple of minutes later my dad came and carried me inside. And the scenes stopped there. I don’t remember the rest.

It happened almost three decades ago. No pain that I can remember. No scars as a souvenir either. It quickly became one of those light anecdotes I tell people when we play “your most embarrassing thing” game.

I was healed.

Our soul, unfortunately, heals in different pace, different way. We can’t really see the wound, thus makes it trickier to take care of. We can feel it there, in our brain, sending pain signal to our chest, pushing the tear glands to squeeze and shed some drops. Thankfully, crying is good and necessary.

Psychic tears are the crying tears produced as response to sadness, anger, frustration, or pain. These tears contain a natural painkiller. Yes, this act of crying releases what is called leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and helps improve mood and reduce stress immediately. This is an important detox.

Therefore, it’s soothing to have a good cry. Although it’s addictive too. Our body is so amazing, isn’t it? It’s equipped with such a mechanism to help it coping with emotional breakdown. It might seem trivial, these psychic tears, but they significantly give remedy. Helping us to heal. Emotionally.

So hang in there. Take your time. Take a good cry. The time will come. You’ll be healed.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 3)

I like the most the back roll entry in scuba diving. It’s generally because I don’t have to bear the 15-something-kilos burden of the air tank and BCD and octopus and extra weights on me too long. I’d just sit by the edge of the boat and let may body roll backwards. Nice.

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Everything you need under water. Plus a good wet suit. Plus courage and determination.

Speaking of heavy burden, giant stride is obviously the method I’m most nervous doing. I’m not a big fan of jumping into water. And even though we are not supposed to jump, the idea of stepping forward into the water (with that burden) from about a meter high is not really my thing. Therefore, the other “lighter” method of wearing the equipment on the water surface, is also not really my favorite as I still need to jump into the water for it.

In life, however, I jump a lot (including jumping into conclusion ha ha). I often make giant steps too. I call myself courageous, but in some cases it’s merely being frivolous. Isn’t it fascinating to just do, to just close our eyes and jump?

I think I’m turning crazy about this diving thingy. But this how love feels like, doesn’t it? It’s an amazing feeling, really. Knowing how I fear of the limitless sea, the unknown darkness, the dependence on equipment wrapped in my body, the doubt if my body could handle the pressure (both physically and mentally) under water… Yet just like any other love, it’s simply beautiful to be in it. It’s beyond words.

I’m in love.

We don’t define love

I find it amusing how some people have no idea about what love is. They came to me and said “I don’t know what love is” or asked “what is your definition of love?”. And I’m not talking about confused and inexperienced young teenagers here. These are people who I see have more years of being in relationship even marriage.

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One fine afternoon in Belitung Island.

You know when you love someone. If you don’t know, then you don’t love them. It’s that simple. But I think people nowadays tend to complicate things. It used to be just “I love you, you love me, we are together”. Now it’s “I love you, you love me, but I can’t be with you, because I’m with someone else who I care about, so do you, and we end up feeling lonely”. Sad isn’t it?

Many philosophers (or normal people like me) have been trying to formulate the definition of love, but so far I can’t find one definition that represents perfectly what love is. Or what I think love is. It doesn’t mean those definitions are not right. What is right anyway?

Love could be so many things. There are symptoms, signs, indications you can cross-check if you’d like to know if you love someone. But that sounds so mechanical and theoretical, no? Why don’t you just take a deep breath and close your eyes and listen to your heart? You’ll know it when you love someone. If you don’t know, again, then you don’t love them.

We don’t need to define love. It’s a feeling that words can’t describe. You. feel. it.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 2)

The very first lesson you will learn in diving is to breathe slowly and continuously, never holding it. The theory sessions will remind you over and over of how important that is to breathe. Slowly. Continuously.

Before the first dive. Contemplating if I should really get in.

It’s kind of worrying, to be frank. They showed a wide range of risks related to breathing only. Be it the air quality in the tank, the failure in the regulators, the descending and ascending techniques, and a little bit of physics from high school that suddenly bothers you again, hehe.

Equalizing is a very important method you need to master. You will experience change of pressure gradually and repetitively when you go up and down underwater. Do it as often as needed, that’s when you feel even a slight discomfort in your ears. Don’t inderestimate equalizing. Ignoring this simple step could seriously damage your ear. It’s always wiser to be careful.

So that’s the story for today. When you’re not underwater, you could still apply the theory. Keep breathing. Slowly. Continuously. It surprisingly will calm you down.

Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 1)

I finally did it! After a long wait of around five years (and almost taking it two years ago), I eventually passed the Open Water Diver certification. I feel more complete as an Indonesian now, hehehe. I start to list the diving spots (and commit to save more money because apparently this sport is not cheap). I feel like I have the super power to explore the under-the-sea world. It feels wonderful.

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Not our best pose, but you don’t actually think of posing when you’re too focused, hehe. Photo is taken by our instructor.

I have so many questions before taking it, obviously. Like… can I do it? I’m not the most athletic person and I’m physically not strong. I’m skinny and short, with -10 myopia on both eyes (so I dive with contact lens). I swim only one style and I don’t do gym. My biggest fear was: how to breath down there, I don’t even snorkel fluently :p.

Another burning question was: do I need it? Well, technically, you do need it. Diving license is like driving license. Yes, of course you can drive without one, but you should not. After learning all possible risks of underwater experience, I won’t risk it. Seriously, you could die if you don’t pay attention on the smallest details.

Imagine you will be under water for an hour or so for each dive, in the depth of up to 18 meters (speaking of open water dive). Imagine how your life depends so much on the air tank on your back, the regulators, the BCD, the SPG, and the weight you add to your body. You need to master all the use of them. You need to know what to do at certain time and certain situation. As simple as you need to know how deep you are, how to clear your mask and regulator, how to descend without damaging your ears, what to do when your regulator doesn’t work, and so on.

Not very surprisingly, I’m not good (yet) at all those. I’m terrible at hovering in my neutral buoyancy. I’m bad at controlling my direction and fin movement. And I’m scared of the unknown when it gets dark down there. The sea is really vast, you know. But it’s amazingly beautiful also. I believe I will get better along my diving log.

I’ll write more later.

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Be careful what you want,
for you might get it.
The Universe is paying attention,
and conspires in making it happen.
.
And sometimes…
the Universe gives more than what you want,
It gives you what you need:
lessons for life.

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Silent Reading

It was early in my elementary school year, when I first learned about silent reading.

“Now open page 27 and read the paragraph silently,” my teacher said.

Bewildered, I opened my book and paused, wondering what that meant. I looked around and saw everyone staring, silently, at their books on their tables. Seemed easy.

So I looked back at mine, I opened my mouth, tried to start reading, but my voice came out. This is not right, I thought. I tried to read it again, this time I could manage to have my voice lower. The girl sitting next to me looked at me, amused.

“Just read it with your mouth closed,” she whispered.

So I did. But damn, that was impossible! Every time I try, I couldn’t do what seemed so easy for the rest of my classmates. I felt like an idiot. It was really frustrating. I spent the hours hoping the teacher would not ask me any questions.

The next day some kind of miracle happened.

It was a lazy afternoon when I pretended to be busy with an open book on my lap. I stared at the boring text there, contemplating words by words. AT first, it was just about going though words. Then I realized I was reading those words from the beginning to the end of that page. Voila! Just like that I started to read silently with my mouth shut. It was so magical.