By nurimroatun - November 22, 2021

image source: gene.com

(For weeks, I wrote a bunch of halfway done writings and can finish nothing so I am beyond happy to finally be able to publish one.)

When I was in the period of entering senior high school, my dad said something to me who just learned to ride a motorcycle: “Don’t rush on the road. What you are after, Im, that you need to speeding?”. He said that too many times as if I couldn’t truly comprehend by hearing it once. Indeed my dad agreed in the Javanese proverb: alon-alon waton kelakon (I don’t even know how to translate this saying hihihi. The closest I could come up with are the phrases ‘slowly but surely', ‘what’s the hurry?’ or ‘wise men are never in a hurry' depending on which aspect we want to emphasize.)


What you are after, Im, that you need to speeding?

Someone good-looking a couple of meters ahead of me maybe? *eh *joking


(If a good-looking man is a few meters ahead then I will not speed my motorcycle up. I will just scream “Hey could you please stop? You dropped something behind.” *hmmm I mean you dropped my heart :p *stop it, Im, you are getting crazy.)


Okay back to the topic. As time went by, I realized that besides telling me to be careful, my dad secretly taught me to embody self-awareness—to fully understand the reason to act a certain way. He covertly advised me to think deeper--recognize and acknowledge what truly matters to me and prioritize it. That I must be cognizant of something I want to put my effort in and struggle for. In that “don’t rush” case, my dad’s hidden message is that there is something much more important than arriving at my destination early/on time: safety. I should always mindfully get my priority straight and when it is decided, should be treated on top of anything else. In short: no matter how eager I am to arrive early (or to save time by shortening the trip duration), I need to take care of my safety first.  


It took me years to realize that I can put that advice in a universal context. Whenever I feel confused, all I need to do is ask myself that “What you are after?” question. I have to search for the answer within myself regarding what I truly care about. This searching process itself is essential for someone like me who intensely puts my all into the things I consider priorities. I must check whether my priority list sorts everything properly and appropriately. Because I don’t want to spend my resource on something I shouldn’t be consumed by, I need to keep searching for the direction of the life I want to have.


Talking about that, I remember when I (virtually) met my pre-departure training friends for the first time, I instantly found their red threads. They represented people who advocated issues they cared about. Their advocacies become their unique colors by which I could remember them vividly. Their eyes shined when they talked about their respective issues which make me wonder, what is that something that I can talk about with sparkling eyes. I bother myself to answer the question: what is the issue that I deep down care about? 


I feel like my current so-called “comfortable” situation, on top of living in such a hurried world, doesn’t let me think deeper about my north star. So I take a moment to periodically pause everything and let myself have a dialogue with a small voice inside my head to understand my purpose and assess whether what I am doing now is congruent with it. I need to keep in check whether everything that comes out from me truly represents my values—and whether there are values that I couldn’t let out because of some reasons. 


Because I only have one life and I want it to be meaningful. Because this is my only life and I want to be true to myself, my purpose, and my belief. I want to stay what I am, fight for what I believe, and raise my voice for the things I am concerned about.


In this life, I want to be brave enough to stand for the things I truly care about. And to know what truly matters, my dad’s question “what you are after, Im?” comes across my mind from time to time. 


Dear friends, have you ever stopped and asked yourself "what you are after?"

Your friend,


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