The Unspoken Truth
It was a rather quiet evening in the café – there were only a couple in their early thirties sitting quietly at the lounge chair waiting for their orders while flicking through magazines from the stack provided in the corner, the menus set aside.
There was a hustle as a small group of people walked in – their noise broke the tranquility and made the couple to look up.
They were a bunch of young, lively youth;, talking animatedly, and upon knowing the café was almost deserted, proceeded to make a big deal out of the table they were going to sit at. They were wrapped in their own bubble and speaking in an accent that was unmistakably metropolitan.
The woman who was reading the magazine looked up and noticed that the girl who was doing most of the talking was in her early twenties, very-average looking, thick-rimmed glasses and wavy undecided hair decorating her head. Her clothes were baggy, giving an impression she didn’t care much about her appearance. She was the one cheerfully trying to decide which table would suffice as their spot.
As soon as they setted down, the average girl started talking about the menu, thinking her thoughts out loud. The girl next to her didn’t say much. She didn’t have to; she was very attractive;, wearing almost no make up on her face, soft, shiny straight hair that she let down and was aware made her look more appealing, so she was always touching it, flicking it this way and that and let it cascade down her shoulders. Her clothes were casual but well-fitted. She held her mobile phone in her hand and sitting nonchalantly with her elbows propped on the table, demanding attention without having to ask for it.
From who? The two guys sitting with them, of course. What they look like is hardly important – same trendy hairstyle that all boys sport these days –full on the top and none on the sides, soft-colored tight-fitting shirts that screamed, “Look, I am a man but I am man enough to wear this baby-pink t-shirt!” and knee-length shorts and moccasins – no socks, you know the rule!
Now it was apparent that one of them was smitten to the pretty girl. He sat right next to her, a bit too close but still normatively acceptable as friends do. The pretty girl knew that she had his attention, so the more he looked at her, the more she would find her mobile phone interesting.
The average girl chatted on, asking the other guy sitting next to her side, whether he would be working this weekend. You can tell she was the friendly one; getting people to talk, as nice people do.
But that’s the thing about nice people isn’t it? They are nice because they are average looking. If they weren’t, she would end up like the pretty girl who was too engrossed with her Instagram. The pretty girl knew she didn’t have to be nice, anyway. It wasn’t a prerequisite, she just never had to make an effort, and you can’t really blame her for that.
The other guy sitting next to the average girl seemed to be interested with the pretty girl too. But he didn’t want to make the average girl felt bad, and he didn’t want people to think he was one of those guys who liked girls only for their looks, even though he did.
And that’s the thing about guys isn’t it? The nice ones choose the nice girls who are average looking because he knows he cannot get the pretty one, and yet he always wonders; what if? But he doesn’t want to be an asshole who only cares about the looks, even though he fancies the idea of having a beautiful girl linking her arm in his and having people stare in awe as he parades his trophy around.
The waitress approached them and started taking their order. The average girl and the two guys made their order as they politely waited for the pretty girl to finish reading the menu and make a decision; the waitress with her pen poised in the air waiting for a response, the two guys starting to get bored, and proceeded to check their notifications on their mobile phones.
After the waitress left, the pretty girl said something – obviously important, since they all responded. Ah, but of course – a group selfie! They all huddled together, trying to be as close as possible to the pretty girl who had her phone extended with one arm, making sure everyone would be in the picture.
The average girl smiled, but her eyes looked anxious. She knew sitting next to her pretty friend was a bad idea. But that’s the thing about nice people isn’t it? Nice people have evil thoughts too. But they don’t show it, because if they do then they lose they only thing that makes people like them.
The pretty girl smiled, loving the way the camera captured her beauty, loving the attention she was getting from the guy sitting next to her, and slightly worried that the other guy wouldn’t find her as attractive, so she shook her head a bit, letting her hair framed her face and made her look more angelic.
But that’s the thing about beautiful people, isn’t it? They are used to getting people’s attention, they worry as soon as one person doesn’t, regardless the importance of this person in their life.
One, two and three shots were taken. The pretty girl couldn’t wait to upload it right away to her Instagram account. Crop, filter, effect, done. It would be one of the many photos of her and her fabulous friends, in which of course, she was the prettiest one. And of course she would tag her average friend – a gentle reminder of who she was and what her position was in their so-called group of close friends.
But that’s the thing about humans, isn’t it? We have the need to put people in positions, by making ourselves more superior – either by wealth, looks or power. We are no different than a pack of dogs – dominating each other to be the leader. Some come out stronger than the others, some just yield to fate and accept that they can never be the superior one.
While the youths were engrossed with their mobile phones, two exotic looking girls walked in, all dressed up to the nines in Uluwatu dresses. They were carrying their helmets with them – odd, but somehow made them looking for eccentric – as they got themselves seated.
The pretty girl noticed those girls from the corner of her eyes, and felt attention slowly being diverted from her. They were tall and strikingly gorgeous, wearing beautiful dresses that would just make her look like a midget in comparison, and riding on motorcycles wearing heels – truly a skill not many women can master! The average girl on the other hand didn’t make a big deal – after all, she was used to being around people who were far more superior looking than her.
But that’s the thing about life isn’t it? Once you feel highly superior, something reminds you that there is always someone out there who is more, much more superior than you are. It’s a never-ending cycle, and it’s a battle we will always lose.
So, my question is – are you the pretty girl? Or the average girl?
As of me, I know who I am. I am the woman who just finished reading the magazine and is now devouring the Carnivore hamburger with her husband.
A Reason To Be
It has been two and a half weeks since I started my new job.
Being the new kid on the block again is always challenging. Suddenly, everybody else seems smarter and more capable than you are.
Even the interns are smarter than me. They are younger, smarter and more capable, and soon they will all be managers by the time they are twenty five. I feel so deeply inadequate and behind. This is all a whole new game for me. I am exhausted almost everyday by the feeling that there’s so much I have to catch up with. I am tired. It’s hard to get up in the morning. I go home past seven every evening to a home that is forty minutes drive. The feeling that there are simply not enough hours in a day and that time goes by so quickly – that feeling, is back.
When people ask me questions you can’t answer, I seem and feel like the biggest idiot. It’s not that I don’t know what the answer is – I probably do – but I get so stunned by being so new and being asked day-to-day questions so quickly, I momentarily forget my brain and a few minutes later I will be slapping my forehead and go, “Duh!”
But am I happy? Is this what I want?
Honestly – I am clueless. All I know is that my passion for teaching and learning is slowly coming back. I feel like I want to give my 110% effort again.
If the reason to give and help others is enough to make me happy, then so be it.
I want to make you happy
But all I do is disappointing you
I want to stop crying
But the tears keep flowing
I want to stop caring
But my mind keeps on thinking
What if, what if, what if
I want to be the one who matters most
But the fact is,
I will always be the one who makes mistakes.
Is there a point of reconciling?
Is there a chance to feel again?
For my hope and dreams are gone.
All I am has amounted to nothing.
I am reminded again not to trust happiness.
In the end, it will always leave me.
Out of the top of my head – here we go:
- Learn to speak French
- Learn to speak Japanese
- Read and understand at least two of William Shakespeare’s works
- Visit London
- See a live football match in London
- Visit Santorini
- Attend Above and Beyond’s concert
- Get a totally rockin’, six-pack lean mean bikini body
- Live in an Asram for a week
- Produce one drawing/painting every week
- Grow my hair past shoulder length!
That is it for now. That’s a lot already. I hope I can achieve them all before I die.
Let’s Talk About It.
Is it normal to think about death at my age?
There are times I do wonder about what will happen when I die. These random thoughts oddly occur when I am on a plane, or a car, or any places that you can think of. A lightning strikes. A random car hits me while walking. Or driving. A plane crash. A slippery floor and I fall and break my neck.
I dare not think that it will happen soon – but I do wonder whether I will be ready for it.
I suppose no one is, come to think of it.
A close friend of mine has his own death decided and planned down to the very details. He knows exactly what he has to do.
He says there is no point of being alive when you know your body cannot support itself any longer. And that is the time that you know you should end your own life before you get to the point of not being able to do it on your own.
Apparently many people have done it. I suppose it is much better to end your life before you wait until your organs have started to fail on you – one by one. Before you become a burden to other people.
When it finally comes the time for me – I am not sure whether I am ready for it.
A famous person once says that you only have two lives – and the other one begins as soon as you realise that this is it – you have only got one life. There is no ‘life after death’. Being alive here on earth really is the only chance you have.
And you shouldn’t really waste any more time.
Perhaps my unreadiness stems from the fact that deep down I feel I haven’t achieved the goals on my mental list. I haven’t been to the places I want to go. I haven’t experienced the things I would love to do.
I feel a homework of a list of things to do coming in.
Love After Love by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
That Moment When
It was raining outside.
I had The Mighty Rio Grande by This Will Destroy You playing in the background.
I was sitting in front of my Macbook, contemplating on writing something, with both feet perched up on the edge of the chair I was sitting on, and no source of light except from the ones coming from the laptop and the diminishing dawn from the window that would soon turn to black.
A cup of steaming Earl Grey with a dash of milk was placed on the right side of the laptop.
Then my mobile rang.
Himself just called me on the phone, saying that the company which he applied for in Bali is calling him for an interview. In person.
He couldn’t talk long, he said. He had to rearrange his flight schedule booked in July and he would probably move it forward to next week to come for the interview.
After he hung up, I set my phone down on the table and sat back on the chair and looked outside the window.
I will probably remember this moment for the rest of my life.
The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait.
That has got to be the biggest lie anyone has ever come up with. Seriously? Why wait? Unless you’re Paris Hilton, I doubt anything good will ever come my way if I don’t do anything to achieve it.
I was getting tired and demotivated from my old job as a teacher, not to mention being stuck in traffic on a daily basis started to feel like a living hell for me, so I decided to apply for a job in the hospitality industry.
I wasn’t confident in the first place, but Himself was never tired of convincing me and encouraging me to just try.
I got the job though. Was it easy to get it? I don’t think so. I spent a lot of time completing the Self Assessment Form that they sent me, as well as getting drilled by Himself answering all the tough questions for the interviews.
When I did get the job, I was in a dilemma – do I take it? If I don’t, I will probably regret it. If I do, I will be separated from my husband, and I am not a huge fan of the whole long-distance-relationship thing. Being separated from Himself is similar to losing a limb.
But I decided to take it after all, because isn’t that what we want to? Settling in Bali? And if one of us don’t make the first step towards it, how are we ever going to get there?
The first few weeks being alone in Bali was super hard. I cried a lot, called Himself in weird hours crying my eyes out saying how much I missed him and maybe this whole thing was a bad idea, etc., etc. But I got the hang of things soon enough, and Himself has always been there to lend his ears or give advice and cheer me up.
Working in a “grand” hotel (I say grand because it is more than twenty years old with employees who have worked there for ten to twenty years long, and plus you don’t ever call a grand lady “old”, that is just mean.) has its own “charm” and it is an excellent learning opportunity for me. *gags at my attempt on being diplomatic*
But going back to my own goal, I need a job where I can settle, preferably one in a worldwide chain hotel.
Two weeks ago I had a spare time at work and I idly googled for similar jobs in Bali.
Saw one. Applied. Had to sign in. Signed in.
The next day, I got an e-mail from the company asking me to complete an online assessment.
I completed it and sent it.
Here goes nothing, I thought.
I probably won’t even get it.
About a week after, I got a phone call for an interview.
I went for it. And today I just signed a contract and I will start mid April, next month.
Looking back to my old job being a teacher – I am amazed at how fast things are happening right now.
Had I not applied for the job in Bali, I probably will still be stuck in traffic and cursing everything and everyone around me, hating my job and my life and wondering when I would ever get out of the dead-end.
All it takes is just that one step and leap of faith towards the unknown, and now I am in places I never thought I’ll be.
Welcome to the new adventure.