Lesson I Learned This Summer – Part 1

Sometimes it takes losing what you had to realize that you were blessed. Why do we never know what we’ve got till it’s gone? I’ve never really realized that home is…that sweet, and family’s the most precious thing I could ever really have on earth. I thought about the life I was going to live in the next few years. I pictured myself being a part of that flood of human, trying to reconnect with the families they dearly missed.

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Sometimes it takes losing what you had to realize that you were blessed. Why do we never know what we’ve got till it’s gone?

For me, Summer 2012 marks the first time being far away from home.

So this summer I have to do internship as a compulsory course from my major. In Chemical Engineering, all students are randomly paired and assigned to certain companies related to ChE. Students cannot choose which company they wanna have internship at, and with whom they wanna be paired. I know… *sigh*

Anyway, I was assigned to a petrochemical company in Cilegon, Banten. At first I was like, “okay, it’s just several hours away from Bandung, it’s still categorized as city, and I’m not gonna live in a jungle. Fair enough”. Well, despite the fact that I really really had problems with the place (endless 4-hours-in-average crazy traffic, overly polluted, high cost of living, barren roads damaging my laptop, blah blah blah I could go on and on), I learned a lot of things that I might not have learned unless I did this internship. And allow me to share it with you, dear readers.

Lesson #1: Home Sweet Home is Real, Darling

Don’t blame me for being overly sensitive about this. I’ve never been far away from home. I’ve been living at home since I was born and I’ve been mommy and daddy’s little girl for 20 years. Somehow, this internship makes me think about dad and the days when he was still a healthy man working in Jakarta. Actually, it makes me think about all parents in this world who have been living and dedicating their life for their children. I’ve never really realized that home is…that sweet, and family’s the most precious thing I could ever really have on earth.

When your ground’s shaking…

My first coming back trip was after 2 weeks living in Cilegon. I went to Jakarta with Arline’s car and got a “travel” to Bandung. In the last coming back trip before the last week of internship, I took a night public bus from Cilegon hesitatingly, for the sake of saving money. I had never been on a public bus before. The last time I took a public bus was when I was going to New York from Boston. Don’t ever compare this Indonesian kind of bus with the one I took in USA, which was a double-decker bus equipped with wi-fi. Hmm.

I was scared, totally scared inside that night bus filled with –what seemed to me— some random guys and older men with creepy smiles who jeered when I stepped my feet on the bus. I was so scared until I didn’t dare to talk to any stranger even when one asked for direction. So scared until I ordered myself not to sleep even for minutes. So scared until I had a lot of worst case scenarios running in my head. And finally, so scared until I did dzikir and read Ayat Kursi like they were my last breath. Laugh as you want 😀

As far as I remember, always in every coming back trip, in between the crazy traffic, I thought about the life I was going to live in the next few years. I pictured myself being a part of that flood of human, trying to reconnect with the families they dearly missed. Wherever they worked, weekend seemed to be the only last thing that could make them sane. And I think about it until now.

One night after struggling to get out of traffic and arrived home after midnight, I tweeted these:

  •  There’s something about normality that you miss. Something that you’ll never know you’ve got it, till it’s gone…
  • …and so here I am at home. Eight hours on the road seems like nothing, only to find myself sipping lemon&ginger tea, 2am in the morning.
  • It’s all worth it.

That was the day when I realized how… how I missed my normal life.

 

I don’t want that kind of life. I don’t wanna be far from home. I don’t wanna be the one missing mom’s-made-meal and be the latest to know what’s going on with dad’s medication or bro’s experience as a young doctor. I wanna go to cafes anytime I want, eat proper food, and drink smoothies whenever I want. That being said, I miss being teenager having less burden on her shoulder.

But during that time, I also realized that I had to move on. That I had to be ready to face anything in front of me. That I had to be ready to let go of everything I have got used to. Because how can I ever be someone who moves forward and thrives, when all I can think about is how I miss the chapters of life that I have to close?

 

The first lesson in this internship period teaches me to be grateful for everything I’ve had. I’ve taken my whole life for granted and once it’s taken away from me, I just have to adjust, like a fallen General making new strategies to defeat his enemies in the next war. Like Sun Tzu. A part of growing up, no matter how suck it is. No time for weeping, no time for whining.

For me, home has never felt this good.

Author: mfaradina

An Indonesian. A reliable realist outside yet a romantic dreamer at heart.

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