It was one week after my graduation, I woke up early and took the first train to take me away from Boston. The noise and all its people. I was alone on the train and had no idea where I was going. I just took the next train available just to get away from the routines of life that I was so accustomed to. I stopped at a random stop and found a small coffee shop tucked away in the middle of nowhere. I sat the whole day in there with nothing but just a little small backpack and everything on my mind. I needed silence, and at that moment, it was the most beautiful sound.
In less than a month, I would be starting my first job at my dream firm in an entirely new city, and after more than two decades of exams, lectures, tutorials, assignments, I was finally free and while the new road ahead was seductive, serendipitous, and absolutely liberating, I could not help but feel sad. I moved around a lot during my school years, and each time I said goodbye to a place, I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind.
The one thing I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it the fastest way you can. Why couldnt I just stay in the same spot from the cradle to the grave I sometimes wondered. I hated farewells as somehow deep inside me I knew that things would never be the same again and I would never have the chance to live those moments again. Goodbyes may be one of the hardest things about life but, one way or another people always move on. So, I always choose to leave quietly.
It has been fifteen years since that quiet day in that random small coffee shop, and I have moved many more times since, quietly of course. I was aware of the danger of moving towards the new horizons that I would lose what I have then and eventually, I may not be left with anything except loneliness. But somehow circumstances made me move and not because it was of my choices,
The sad thing in life is that sometimes you meet someone or a bunch of cool people who mean a lot to you but only to find out in the end that it was never bound to be and you just have to let go. I cut my roots, left my home and family when I was only ten years old. I am always leaving never arriving. I have loved and lost, and I have regrets, and I miss and no matter how many times I in, start over, and achieve success or failure, the people, friends, family, lovers, strangers these people will forever occupy a fragment of your memory. Starting a new life in a new city takes a lot of energy, and more effort is required as you grow older. As I approach the inevitable 40, I do not have the energy to move anymore, and I have returned home, and maybe Jakarta is the final destination. I have arrived.
Ironically, home is a place we grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to, and such is my case. After close to four decades of living overseas, I am finally back to where it all started, but the chapters do not end here as my journey is still long from over. I will continue to read and write and fight and experience, as I think that one day all of these everyday experiences that will build the character I admire to live as. I will continue to love and cry, to try and persevere and cry as best as I can, to the extreme even, hoping that one day the people and the world around me will be able to read me as I like the poem I want to be.
My life can be described as one big never ending journey with the amount of places I have moved to. Consequently, this life style has been a great inspiration for me. Hence, for (X)SML next annual show I have drawn my inspiration from Tokyo, which will be my backdrop. Tokyo is a town that has left the deepest impression on me. It was not the longest city I have ever lived in, but it is the city that has captivated me most. Even at the dead of night, the city was alive. Almost 40 million people are living in such a small area with such discipline and ingenuity; it can only be Tokyo. And ultimately, what sets Tokyo apart from the rest of the world was, of course, the attention to detail and detail within detail. Even the greasiest, darkest, and most marginal street corners are impeccably clean and instagrammable. It may be hard to duplicate it exactly like the way I remembered it to be, but it will be a real honour if I could bring even the most intrinsic details to life in the city of Jakarta.
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Essay on the Place I Call Home. (2021, Jun 10). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/essay-on-the-place-i-call-home
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