Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Ambiguity of Usefulness ~ 8

"No puppy love while you're still studying. Do I make myself clear?"

More or less, that was the kind of dialogue between my parent and I. Technically speaking, as an Asian, I have to say that the dialogue above is not an Asian stuff. Yet somehow, I do (partially) understand that 60's was not an easy period, especially for (poor) Chinese migrants who came to Indonesia. In short, money or education would get the first priority. Additionally, the dialogue above would be added with these: "Do not worry about getting a girlfriend, or even a wife. Once you're rich, you'll get 'em." I nodded silently, while accepting the quote as some kind of wisdom, or just a normal stuff, however random. Besides, it wasn't like I could say no, unless I could counter parent's rage and rattan attack (on a different note, I was told by everyone that, as a child, I must listen to whatever my parent said, no matter what, and no talk back).

As time goes by, while I chose to obey and manage stuffs (homework-tests-homework-tests-and-so-on), I prohibited myself to build an extension of myself: to understand other people better. At that time, I only saw people as a number. Report card was (and is) the easiest media to do the judgement, to see who are the smart guys, not-so-smart guys, and rebels. The system was built that way, and I was (kind of) "forced" to accept it as something normal.  Why? Because I chose to be on the top of academic pyramid, complete the whole educational set (at least up to bachelor's degree), work behind the desk, get paid, save money, and, by then, fall in love. It was such a plan.

Due to that grand plan, I couldn't say that I taught myself to watch over my own body, or at least my own health. When my PE score is one of the lowest (apart from art class), I didn't mind. Yet, there was one time when I couldn't do the number two for a week, which made me down with fever and nausea. I should realize that education, however important, must not be accompanied with neglected health condition. Mind you that in order to stay awake, I "injected" myself with huge portion of instant noodles and sweet coffee for supper. Sometimes, I would sleep 1 hour so that I could temporarily remember the materials for upcoming tests. I mean, what the hell was I thinking? Yes, I did realize that I wasn't one of those brightest guys, but I did believe that hard works would be paid off (laugh if you want, but that was something that I chose to believe, and to adore).

Then it came to university. It was nothing much, since the judgement system was still, more or less, the same. However, I started to choose to comprehend [how to be a human]. In other words, I got more friends, learned a lot of new stuffs, and made more interactions. Meanwhile, I thought the possibility of the other side: what if my parent was wrong? I mean, they are human, not a demi-god, an alien, or even a higher being. A chain reaction exploded. Will my grand plan work? All those academic achievements, were they meant for nothing? Confronted with such questions, those adults who gave the advice in the past would reply with this line: "Oh, you're smarter now, eh?" With mixed feelings, I didn't like that. It sounds like that knowledge and information are born for the purpose of being a sinner, however advance he or she. Therefore, silence is golden.

The die is cast. You cannot revert back porridge into rice. In the end, the grand plan would require certain justifications, with accurate timings. Some things would be hard, however improbable, to be built. Connections are not something that you can built in seconds. Trust is not a mere instant noodle. Doing things alone are not that bad. Since walking alone becomes a habit, I will just reply every "are-you-still-single" questions with a nod. Shit happens, and having a memory of puppy-love was, sadly, not in my list.

In the end, I can't point my finger to anyone with "Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" It's probably that most people just want to see the history repeats. While the darkest secret is not something meant to be shared, misery, however, can be "made" as something to be spread, like a virus (a meme, if you want). I chose to believe that everybody has, at least, one secret. Even my own parent. In summary, whatever you choose, you'll wipe your own ass.

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