A Strange Island: The Beginning

No, I wasn’t going to an unknown island without any civilians. I just moved to Bali and it’s exactly beside my home island, Java. So, actually it’s not far. Well, 813km to be exact. But I’m still in Indonesia. So why is it a big thing?

Well, a lot of different culture in the world. And this is a few part of my culture, as a woman, well unmarried woman, who also the last child in the family (so my father still consider me as a kid), going far from home it’s like sending your child to a war. A bit exhilarated, I think. Sorry. But, you get the point. The closer you are with your family the better, geographically. Even if I’m allowed to stay in far away town, there must be family there, either my aunts or some of my father friends, people that we consider family.

Why would you bother to go far and have adventure that risks your life? I’ll answer that later.

That’s why, when I met some people here, they were also shock. With whom do you live? Alone? What? Why? Why did you move from Java alone? Do you have family here? Boyfriend? No? How can you survive alone?

Well, it might surprise you, but yeah, I survive so far and I will survive. I mean, why does it sound so impossible? It’s not! And I’m also glad that I met some other people who also agree with me. Have the same calling, going far out of your home-island, out of your comfort zone to develop yourself becoming the true you. True me? What it’s that? I’ll tell you later. Now, I will tell you about the experience I have in Bali, during my first month.

I arrived in Denpasar, Bali on 30th of August 2016. I stayed with my friends first. I hadn’t got any job, or actually I was in the process to get a paid job, but I must go through a-month trial. I would start at 4th September, Monday, so I had a lot of time on the weekend to have some fun. At first, it still felt like a holiday. Of course I had to look for a place to stay, like a home stay (we call it Kos-kosan in bahasa). I met nice people from the office that I’d be working in. They let me stay with them. Because I hadn’t got any money to buy furniture and to rent a room with furniture in it was too expensive for me.

Adventure number 1. Financial. Yap, I was struggling a bit financially. I had money in my saving but, I don’t want to spend it just for a lux place to stay. As long as I have bed to sleep, it’s fine. Bed is all I need.

It began to feel strange when I have to separate with my friend; she lives in Denpasar, 45-60 minutes away from where I live. And at that time I didn’t have my motorbike yet, so it was hard for me to come and see her. Anyway, I’m open to get new friends. So, first I thought I was no problem. Not yet.

Adventure number 2. Workplace. I was in a foundation (don’t want to mentions its name), let’s call it Flower Foundation (fake name). It’s doing noble job, in my opinion, that’s my I decided to apply there and thought it was okay for me to be a volunteer first before I’m actually working; because what they are doing is good anyway. I love to help.

If only I could keep that in my mind during all that I have to go through. Despite that it’s doing great things—noble things like helping people and all—it was not a nice and healthy environment to work in. People talk bad about each other behind each other, mostly about these two particular individuals. Even though most of them are facts—because I actually saw bad stuff—but still, just talk about it without solution is not right. Then, people meet each other smiling, like everything is fine. Everyone is hypocrite. Even I did become a hypocrite, because I couldn’t say a thing!

That’s why I felt so strange and most of all, lonely. I hate myself for not being myself; don’t know how to place myself in this kind of environment. My whole expectation about the Flower Foundation broke down to pieces, it’s not like how I read and imagine about it. It all happened in the first week, I already want to quit. But then I thought that maybe I just need to adapt and place myself. IT IS a totally different environment and culture, maybe that’s why I was shocked. Being among foreigners and Balinese, different way of communication and character of the people. Most of the time I don’t even know what to say, not because of the language, but how am I suppose to be like when I talk with them.

Because the way I be myself here, not really fitting. I like differences. But, I don’t know…maybe it’s just my mindset because this is a different place so it must be different way of communicating. Maybe yes, but maybe not. Nobody to talk to. You know that it’s more pathetic that you feel lonely not when you’re alone but when you are in a crowded place with everybody you actually know. Yeah, I felt that at first.

Until I decided to not let my feeling control me. Not my feeling, not the situation, let’s make it right! I start to think again of why I decided to come to Bali. Adventure! Which means not a comfort zone! Struggle! Problem! Adversities! That’s what I am looking for, oh what a crazy girl I am. Why would I ever ask for that stuff?! As the matter of fact, I did. I did ask for that. Because I want to improve. Diamond only become a diamond after go through “high-pressure” process. I want to become the diamond of myself. So this pressure—problem and all—is the process I have to go through. All I need is to be positive, state my mind, keep in faith, be strong, and have the right respond!

So then, I’m trying to do as good as I’m able at work. Try to avoid, as much as possible any negative conversation that occurred (this was kind of hard actually, the best that could happen if I end up as listener, but that also barely happen). I also talked. I hated myself for that. Well, until I get close with some people and finally figure out few that also have the same feeling as I do. We hate talking about bad-office stuff, let’s stop. Finally, with these pals I hang out most.

But that didn’t heal the loneliness I felt. Still deep inside, I’m so lonely. And then I realize why. The root of the problem is I was getting further from God. I’m to focus on my problem and pity-partying myself, rather than pray and worship God, focus on what is God’s will though this experiences.

After all, the closest family, friend, soulmate, of all, is Jesus. He is the one who know me and love me the most. Why would I look anywhere else when I have Jesus inside?

Strange land, full of distraction. Strange land for me. Strange strange strange land. Beautiful but strange.

But, God is the one who called me here. And I’m joyful to do so. Only, I forgot for a moment, that if God call me here then I have to walk through all with God. Not walking by my own thought and feeling, that’s why it didn’t work at first. Now, that I realize my mistake. I want to take the right step. It’s just the beginning, the first months I was like a baby learning to walk for the first time. Stumble and fall a lot. I have to remember that I have Jesus who always and will always hold my hands through it all. So I won’t stumble and fall anymore.

The beginning was rough. I ended up quit from the Flower Foundation. Why? A lot of reasons. But at least I had the chance to say few of my reason. I didn’t turn out quite well. You know, most of the times honesty can hurt. Some people can accept it, some others cannot. And when I did say what I think was wrong, it’s not accepted. And that’s the end of it. But thanks God, God who never leave me. I got another job, better job, a week after that.

It’s getting better. I learn how to take the right step on the right path. I love how God brought me thought everything, at the moment it happened; it didn’t look beautiful at all. But after I think about it over and over, now I learned a lot. A LOT. Not only about professionalism—work, office, and all—but most importantly about Jesus, how I live in His way. To become the true me He wants to be.