I still remember the day I wrote this post, and my feelings on that particular day.
That last day of 2015, I left the office feeling frustrated and desperate. I was tired of doing a job that didn’t satisfy me nor give me a sense of achievement, but more than anything, I was tired of living in Jakarta. In my desperate longing for a fresh start, I made an impulsive visit to an unknown hairstylist, and got my hair chopped to the shortest it’s ever been in 5 years. Despite my intention to start the new year with a positive vibe, I’d continue to feel rotten in the year that followed.
Sometime during those 2.5 years of living in Jakarta, I lost the passion for things I’d loved; photography, writing, dancing, going out and exploring new things. And as my interests in these things waned, I was slowly losing myself.
Everything was in stark contrast to now.
Moving here has changed a lot of things for the better. H and I have proved long-distance relationship doable, but it did cause much strain and stress, especially with a crappy internet connection on my part. There were a lot of times when I yelled at the frozen Skype screen, or hung up when a patchy WhatsApp call caused more frustration than joy. H, on the other hand, stayed sane and patient, bless him. I attribute the success of our long-distance relationship to his calm and sensible demeanor.
Now that we’re together, we appreciate little things we weren’t able to do, like meeting up for lunch or sitting in the backyard with cold ciders, Doritos, and good books. Sometimes we chat, but we’re also happy to enjoy each other’s company in silence, reading our own books. I like it when we share a knowing look when we find something funny or worth-frowning, and that I can now just shove my phone in front of his face to show him funny memes on the internet (instead of taking screenshots or copying links and sending those on FB messenger).
I’m also itching to go outside now, every day. While in Jakarta staying in was the thing that comforted me, in here, the opposite is true. I enjoy walking for many miles and watching people, all the while taking in the surroundings and every little detail. I’m grateful for the sense of security that I get here. I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to hold my bag closely in front of me to feel safe, or that I don’t have to look around warily when I walk alone.
The heat wave has broken and it seems that blue sky and warm weather will once again be a luxury. But even with the gray sky and biting wind, I’m happy to be outside. And after so long, I now use my camera regularly, stopping so many times on the walk to take pictures, and actually getting the joy and satisfaction as I look at my photos.
“I’m glad you’re using using your camera again,” H said to me yesterday.
And so am I.
After a while, it seems that the sun has finally shone again.
(Not literally, of course. This is UK.)