A Year of Grief

Monday, April 13, 2020

Couple days before my birthday, I was wondering.. How it feels like to have a birthday alone at home? I think I've always had some kind of celebration on my birthday. I was never alone. A party, dinner, mid-night birthday surprise, birthday lunch, birthday sex, birthday trip, all sort of birthday celebrations.

This year, the pandemic happened. I have to stayed at home. Alone (still not sure if it is unfortunate or is a bliss).

At first I thought it will be miserable, but then I realised, I was not alone alone. All my loved ones are around. We were just happened to be not in a same place. I still can celebrate it in my own way in regard of any situation. So, on my birthday, I chose to be happy and grateful with the situations.

Apparently, celebrating birthday during quarantine still felt so lovely with all the sweet messages, phone calls, and gifts from my love ones.

Feeling loved and content on my 29th birthday :)

I spent some time to reflect on what I've learned in the past year. A day before my birthday last year, I submitted my thesis. Afterwards, I defended the thesis, got it published. Graduated. I went to Alaska and California to celebrate it. Then, I came back to Jakarta, started working in an NGO. Going back from Flagstaff to Jakarta was difficult. It took sometime to readjust and feel comfortable again with the new routines.

I also worked on plenty of big problems that I have been dealing with for sometime. It was one of the hardest phase in my life, if not the second hardest after the 27th years old. There were times where I didn't want to exist. I didn't want to wake up in the morning and start the day. I wished I never wake up. There were times when I wished I can disappear and never come back.  I wished I can declutter my self. I kept having these voices telling me it wasn't even worth-it to stay alive. Why should I stay alive?

"Try to survive until tomorrow, ok? Tomorrow you can give up, but not today.", I said that many times to myself.

People said: try to workout, eat healthy, drink more water, get a better sleep, reduce alcohol/caffein/sugar consumption, write journal, go seek professional helps, etc, etc, etc. Most people who said those, was never in my shoes. They probably didn't understand how much it hurts, but they were and are always around. No matter how messy I was. I thought, if I couldn't find reasons to stay alive for me, I would try my best to stay alive for them.

With small amount of energy, I managed to showed up in all difficult conversations and decisions. It was hurtful and painful. It wasn't easy ride at all. I still don't know how could I survive?

I started working out like crazy, heard that it will produce dopamine and serotonin. Reduce the pain and anxiety. Not to mention, I can run away from my own thoughts. Well, after couple of months, I can see the result on my body physically, which make me think that things can get better. It just takes time and energy. And I started to enjoy the workout more than just as a distraction. I went climbing and dancing. I met a lot of new friends. I invested my heart, time, and energy for people who loves me. It all makes me happy. It makes me think that life is still worthwhile. 

I seek professional help to assist me processing the emotions and getting through the flood of thoughts. It works. It is helpful because I learned to accept my vulnerable sides and be okay with it. You probably know me as a happy go lucky person. I am, but there were times when I fake those smiles while breaking down inside. It was really weird. With the professional help, I know how to be unhappy and let out feelings. Let them come and go. I am learning to respecting my own feelings and be real.

I moved back to the house of my dream. For couple months, I run away from all the triggers. I started to fill up my schedule in every possible ways. So, I don't have to be at home. For many months I didn't want to be alone because I didn't want to be with my self, deal with all the triggers and thought of painful moments. 

A quarantined selfie.

Then, the COVID19 happened. I have to stay at home. I can't run away. All the triggers shot me so many times. I can't go away. So, I've spent this month to be friend with the triggers. Who are you? What do you want? What can I do for you? It's been kind of fun to be able to get through these.

You know, I probably not the same person as I was a year ago. I changed so much and yet stay the same in a weird combination. Although it wasn't easy, I kind of enjoying the process. I'll take it easy and see how it goes.

Now, I am 29 years old. Next year I will enter a new decade. Sometimes, I wonder, what kind of woman I want to be in the next decade? I will think about it next year. Hahaa.

Anyway, thank you for all the love. You probably don't realised how much it means to me. I hope you believe me when I said I am grateful to have you in my life. You keep me alive. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

With all the love,



  1. When you feel sad, just text me. And a large cup of boba will come after. Asal jangan ditinggal senam aja. HUF.



  2. You're loved! Happy birthday Dindin, it's late but I wish you all the happiness :) **kiss and hug from me and the prayer plants**

    1. Thank you mi amor! (baru bales setahun kemudian hahaha)


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