10 Days Trip Down Memory Lane

Monday, May 9, 2022

Hello Jakarta! 
So many things happen during my ten days' stay in Bandung. 

Yes, I was born in Bandung and lived there for 22 years, but I lived in Jakarta for most of my adult days. It's my 11 years now in Jakarta, and now I feel Jakarta also is a place I can call home.

I don't mind having two cities as home, but my stay in Bandung this time hits different. It hits close to home, almost literally.

The sentiment comes all because of the decluttering we did TOGETHER: my mom, husband, and I. And oh, with my dad looking distracted because I know he didn't feel 100% ready to let go of the stuff, yet he gives his best to stay composed most of the time. I know it's hard for him considering it is HIS own home for more than 30 years.

The older we get, the harder it is to let go. Letting go is a painful experience, almost like surrendering to a long-time enemy. Beat me.

But the house is too cluttered. Pile is everywhere (FYI, we found 30 umbrellas from the storage under the stairs, no wonder Harry can live there comfortably, duh).


It irritates my mom, who loves everything neatly (she did a great job letting go!). But she knows she can't do the decluttering by herself. It would be too tiring. So here comes the help!

Ten days, a three-story house, one giant touch-ceiling kitchen cabinet (too big to be called a cabinet), and dozens of trash bags back and forth to the junkyard. It's exhausting. But recognizing the thing from my teenage years or even baby years constantly for days helped me know myself better.

Nope, I'm not contemplating whether to put the nostalgic thing in the trash bin or keep it for the spark of joy's sake. Instead, by touching so many things from the past, I realize that my whole life has always been more than enough.

(Read my first experience of decluttering on 2017: Beres-beres Rumah dengan Metode Konmari)

We never experienced poor. We never experienced less. I am all privileged since I was born.

I know it's not shocking nor breaking news since I always acknowledge the privilege I have on my social media. But growing up, my dad always said that someone else was more affluent than us.

Even though he never said things bluntly like "ya kita miskin" or "kita kan nggak kaya." He will say things jokingly like "ya dia kan anak orang kaya" or "hahaha maklumlah dia kan kaya".

So unconsciously, I always think: They're rich, we're not.

While actually, we're more than enough. We live way, way more comfortable than most people.

Over the years, I thought we were middle class, while actually, we're in the upper-middle class. We always have cars; I enrolled in English classes, Mandarin, Korean, and swimming lessons. My sister has her ballerina days. We never experienced hardship in life at all.

Another judgment comes from small things like a cute dusty pencil case from my middle school days. Each of my sisters has it too. It's from our aunt who lives in Denmark. Then my mom said, "you guys use the pencil case from Denmark, you know, back in elementary school; mine is from Japan."

It was the 70s, and some of her stationary came straight from Japan because one of her aunties lived there. Living overseas in that era was not as simple as today, right?

And I experience it myself, having your family members living overseas in a first world country affects your way of thinking.

My extended family is so open-minded; the conversations are different. For example, my aunt raised the issue of the right to be child-free in the 90s. I'm still in primary school, and the discourse in my family about being child-free is already there. Not because some YouTubers said she will go child-free in 2021. 

Thus, they're not your regular family asking "kapan nikah" questions or unwanted advice about having a second child. They're not a family that resents you because you get married to someone without their approval. It is a privilege that few people have.

Then since I post so many nostalgic things to my Instagram story, people flooded my DM with "wah dulu pengen ini tapi nggak kebeli."

But they are my everyday things like AlfaLink dictionary, Harry Potter books, majalah Bobo collection, wooden toys, dolls, stationeries, my sister's Barbie collection, etc. So then I realized I took them for granted. I underestimate our family's financial situation from that era up until now.

Now it feels like a flexing post from the past (it's okay if you think it is), but for me, it's a story about a change of perspective. Your parents have their own way of thinking, which influences your prejudice more than you are consciously aware. 

I want to tell you now that you're an adult, many things that our parents say or do since we were kids come from their own perspective of life. It comes from their point of view.

It is affected by their confidence and insecurities. So, yes, your parents are going through the same thing as you: quarter-life crisis, inner child conflict, and could be mental health conditions. However, it may only be that they don't know what it is called because of the limitation of knowledge.

But we live in 2022. We acknowledge privilege, and we talk about mental health publicly. So when you realize that now you see the world differently, something our parents repeatedly say over the years may feel strange. Still, it's not false, only different.

Because now you have enough of your point of view about life. You have your own confidence (and insecurities, too). So you can own your perspective and change the old mindset they plant in you. 

I believe we attract things that we think. If you think about wealth negatively, no wonder you are stuck in your financial condition now. If you believe the wealthy are wrong, no wonder you are not part of them because you don't want to be a part of evil people. So change it.

A new perspective will bring you into a new feeling, taking you to a new attitude. Different attitudes will improve your life.

The hardest part is to make the unconscious conscious.

In my case, I try to totally grasp the feeling that I always have more than enough. Even when my parents say otherwise. As a result, I change the frame of reference on my childhood. It makes me see my self-confidence (to reach out for my goals) differently.

It sounds complicated, but I hope that makes sense. Have a good Monday!

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate. --C.G. Jung




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