How Does Growing Up Feel Like?

8:35:00 PM

Hello, loves!

It's so good to be back! Yeah!

I've got something in mind that I feel like sharing. I've been wanting to share this since a while ago but I never really felt appropriate talking about this kind of things. Even now I feel like I still need to learn more and experience more in order to bring up subjects like this. But I'm open to any comments or reviews and just generally your perspectives on seeing things like this.

“I suppose it's like the ticking crocodile, isn't it? Time is chasing after all of us.” -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.
Jangan terpesona sama foto di atas, ya. Ya, begitulah saya dulu. I rocked things with glasses and sleeveless t-shirts. Hahaha...

As a kid, I was always a pretty active one. I liked doing a lot of fun things like playing tag, drawing on the walls (which always made my parents repainted the house because I really did pour out my endless creativity on to those walls. It was practically my gigantic personal canvas. Sorry, mom and dad:)), accompanying my mom to one of her pengajian once a week to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. I just loved to play so much that I found it hard to stay still. My only goal was to be happy. It didn't matter how I could get it or what my source of happiness was. What mattered was only the product of doing all of those fun things. And I guess, I should reflect more on younger me to feel real happiness.

Saya ingat dulu semasa masih kecil, ketika pulang kampung ada acara besar di dekat rumah tante dan almarhumah Unyang. Semua tante mendandani saya, mengepang rambut saya sampai entah berapa kepangan, dan memakaikan saya baju mini dan lucu. Saya disuruh tampil menari-nari di atas panggung sambil bernyanyi dengan segala kepangan dan dandanan itu. I didn't feel scared even if I knew I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood. In fact, I felt happy and just eternally amused by how confident I was on stage. Sometimes I do miss being that young and carefree. You know, recklessly do stuff without having all the other dreadful thoughts. Or just do things with every piece of your heart and soul. I miss that.

Being a kid back then, I used to love Disney so much and just any good make-believe stories. My grandpa used to tell me this story. It was telling the tale of two siblings and an ugly scary gigantic witch. The story used to give me nightmares. But every time I try to remember how it went, I always get this nostalgic feelings and more lessons about life. Disney on the other hand had pretty big influences on me when I was younger. I loved watching Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Winnie The Pooh. And as I grew older, TV series and movies like The Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and High School Musical came into the picture. I also watched a few non-Disney animations too. It ranged from Tom & Jerry, Spongebob Squarepants, Doraemon, Dora The Explorer, I can go on and on listing every single one of them without forgetting any but then I'll get distracted.

Anyway, TV shows and kids shows back then were two of the many things that influenced me so much. Kalau kalian orang Indonesia, pasti ingat kan, serial Jinni Oh Jinni, Eneng Dan Kaos Kaki Ajaib, Joshua Oh Joshua, Petualangan Sherina, dan acara serta film anak-anak lainnya beberapa tahun lalu? I was a part of the ratings. Being a kid, those shows taught me things and caused me some giggling effects afterwards. And I just love finding excuses to watch more TV than to do other things as a kid.

Other than Disney, TV shows, and cartoons, books also paid big contribution in shaping my younger years. My dad brought home a lot of prophet books back then. Kalian pasti tahu buku anak-anak yang serial 25 Nabi dan Rasul? Nah, itulah beberapa dari banyak jenis buku yang saya konsumsi semasa anak-anak. I loved those books. It gave my mind questions for me to ask to someone. Why did the whale ate Prophet Yunus a.s.? How could Prophet Sulaiman a.s talk to the animals? What is kuldi and did it really send Prophet Adam a.s. to the Earth to start a new life? Those questions were roaming around my head when I read those stories. I usually asked them to my mom, my grandma, my dad, and just basically anyone who I thought were capable of giving me some clear answers.

Princess books and books about Jack And The Beanstalk, those myths and fairy tales, colored my childhood beautifully too. And I know that ever since books were introduced to me, my love for it only grows bigger and deeper. All in all, my childhood was all about fun, TV shows, and story books. The only thing I was worried about was not being able to have fun and be happy. My only fights were getting cheated on the game my friends and I were playing. And I was selfish and a bit of a brat but everyone was too. We had no trouble fitting in and getting to know each other. We didn't meet and judge. We just naturally became best friends the moment we sat together on the swings. We didn't need to think about politics, education, economy, and life itself. We were there to only have fun, run around, and go home before the sun set. Younger me was there to enjoy life without any dramas and worries.

However, I gradually lost that somewhere between my attempts to grow up. I slowly lost the true meaning of fun. I also lost some of my childhood friends because they grew up faster than I did. Every once in a while I would just sit on my bed thinking about my life in general. I always find some times to spare to contemplate about life; what had happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Saya suka melamun untuk memikirkan semua itu agar bisa melarikan diri dari waktu dan proses menuju kedewasaan. I miss being here to only have fun and color some books and write on walls. I sometimes miss being a kid.

Growing up means receiving more responsibilities. I remember bringing home my first ever math homework. It was the multiplication tables with some blanks for me to count and fill in. I had troubles multiplying 12 by 6. It was one of the first things that made growing up and growing older sucks. Math used to be one of the scariest things I had to face as an elementary student. However, I ended up loving math more than I supposed to back then.

Coming into higher level of school, I always knew I would get more and more homework. Even worse, pop quiz. And the worst of all, finals. I have never really spent my younger years in school that is laid back. My previous schools were always filled with so many competitive and ambitious students. And that only made growing up sucked even more. I started to worry about being smart enough amongst everyone else, about my grades, about the product of 12 times 6, and about making fun friendships. Because everyone was always so determined and ambitious, I found it quite hard to be fun around them and you know, breathe and laugh once in a while.

Aside from school, my house also provided me with more works. Cleaning my room, since I wanted to have my own bedroom. I got to clean it and tidy the bed by myself which I always found myself too lazy to do. I also started to learn about boiling water, cooking eggs, and even making noodles. The older I get, the more house works I receive. That goes exactly the same with schools.

Like school and home, my environment in general changed. And everything that kept changing along with my growth has pretty much shaped me into the person I am today. I remember being lied to for the first time. I remember losing a friend, being told off by a teacher because I was defending a friend, being punished for running around the school hallway, getting caught bringing a cellphone to the class, breaking rules, faking my fasting, skipping praying times, the list goes on. I also remember being mocked by my friends at school, being called 'fat' by them, being betrayed, being left behind. And other not so happy things I got to face the older I grew and the more friends I knew. If you've read my previous blog post about haters (click here), I also remember the first time I ever learned about hate and what it can do to a person. I remember my first attempt to ride the bicycle and ended up wounded because I failed miserably. And I just have those memories kept in my head for me to return to any time I need to learn about life and just for my source of strengths.

Growing up comes with its own ups and downs, happiness and sadness, memories and lessons, friends and enemies, its own black and white.

Looking back at everything that has happened in my life and how much I've grown, I feel more grateful than ever. Setidaknya, sudah banyak hal yang saya lalui semasa anak-anak sampai sekarang menuju dewasa. Dan saya sangat menantikan apa-apa saja yang akan terjadi ke depan nanti dalam hidup saya.

Just a few hours ago, some friends of mine and me brought up a very grown topic. It was quite a new topic for us to discuss about. College, marriage, and the future. These are topics grown up me has to face. We started talking about college. Everyone is currently packing their suitcases to move to their new dorms in new places. We all are sad for each other to leave the city. Although I'm looking forward to a new beginning and new things in new environment, I'm also a bit shaken up by how fast time is going right now. We promised each other to attend one another's graduation party when we graduate from college later. We also promised each other to always be a part of each other's life. And then the topic slightly shifted to marriage.

One of my friends was proposed by a guy from her family's friend. Being just high school graduates, even the term proposal scares us. Apa sih, baru lulus SMA sudah dilamar? Kuliah saja belum. Masuk kuliah saja bahkan juga belum. Masa sudah mau lamaran? I get that early marriage is so recommended to legalize all acts of love and to minimize sins. But if we're not completely ready to take the bigger step towards life, then it will just bring us more harm and mess than good. My friend panicked and asked the other three of us about how to react to this. She's one of the thinker in the group. All of us are thinkers but she always knows what to say and what to do. So, having her asked us questions like that in a panic mode kind of shocked us a bit. Including me. How can an emotionally unstable lady-to-be's like us respond to a big question like 'Will you take me as your husband?' and not freak out about it? So, I told her to stay calm and analyze everything before picking the perfect and suitable answer.

See, another thing we need to worry about whilst growing up is that. Marriage, I mean. The question 'What's next?' will always pop up in every next stage in life. You finish high school, what's next? You finish college, what's next? You get a job, what's next? You get your Master degree, what's next? You get married, what's next? You have three kids, what's next? The older you get, the more 'What's next?' you also receive. Isn't that scary but exciting at the same time? It is to me.

Another topic that I've stumbled upon happened in FHUI'16 group. Grup LINE Fakultas Hukum UI angkatan 2016, berisi hampir 400 orang dan the number is still growing. Some of the members talked about political views. Their perspectives and reviews on our current presidents and our previous ones. One said Suharto was that. The other said Suharto was this. One again said Jokowi has done remarkable jobs. The other said Jokowi's program has not yet matched Indonesia's needs. Everyone was pointing out their arguments in such opened and objective ways. And reading those political discussion kind of amazed me and also terrified me. On one hand, these people are new friends that I'll meet and get along with for the next four years of college. On the other hand, topics like this will add up to my current list of worries. I will finally be legal to vote for a new president when another election comes. I will be stuffed with new information, perspectives, knowledge, ideologies, and new rays of people. I will have to worry about my faith, my principle, my belief the wider my network gets. Because differences can be both beautiful and dangerous.

All of those come with growing up.

So, how does growing up feel like?

It feels amazing, terrifying, challenging, and wonderful all at once. I feel grateful to be able to still live up until today and experience things that not many people can experience. A couple of my friends passed away too soon and it's sad sometimes losing friends in such a young age. You know, you would think that how sad it is for them not able to experience what graduating from college feels like, what getting married feels like, and what giving votes for presidential election feels like. But again, nobody can ever guarantee if we will also be there too. What's next? The question will always linger in our head every time we move to something new. What's next? It will always repeat itself in our head and challenge us to do more stuff, new experiments. What's next? That particular question will put us in a place where we can contemplate life, plan our future, and discover hidden secrets and histories. What's next? What is next for us to conquer and experience about? What is next that time has for us? What is next that God has planned for us? The answers are sometimes too uncertain and vague. All we can do is keep on planning and structuring our goals. Maybe failure will come next. Maybe a job will be your next. Maybe success will be our next. And maybe death will be someone's next. 'What's next?' is a simple question you get while you're growing up. It's a constant reminder of our next age and our new set of goal. 'What's next?' is the probably the perfect answer for this blog post. Because it's what every grown ups has to face and it's what every growing teens and kids will face.

From playing outside to watching Disney and cartoons to reading story books to losing a friend to making promises to attend my best friends' graduation party to getting proposed for marriage to talking about politics and infrastructures and presidents to another 'What's next?', I can say I have managed to stay calm and firm on my ground while facing all these growing up kits. I can say that my previous years of living has taught me so much about so many things. I can also say that every one of my new answer to a new 'What's next?' has never disappointed me big time. And I am here, all set and ready, to grow bigger and older and more mature in order to provide answers and plans for another set of 'What's next?'

Well, I think it's enough for now. My rambling went from Disney to Jokowi pretty quick. Hahaha... All in all, I think everyone has their own answer to how growing up feels like. It's different for different people because their pasts are different from each other's and definitely not the same as mine. This is my younger years and my side of the story. And I guess I'm ready to open my mind a bit bigger to experience more things as I grow older. And I hope you're ready too. Being scared is fine, I feel scared too sometimes since everything will be new all over again once we step into a new stage of age and life. But you're not the only one being challenged by the ever so terrifying images of being old. Everyone is facing different speeds of time. So, you're not at all alone.

Alright... Before I continue pouring out my thoughts, I'll probably end it here. I hope you can grow up gracefully and I hope we all can face life wisely. So, how does it feel for you to grow up? What has changed? Were you also a part of Hannah Montana's fanclub like I was? Have you ever missed Pooh and Piglet? When will you graduate from school or college? What will you do afterwards? What is your ideal type of future husband or wife? Where are you planning to get married? What do you think of your government? Do you think their program suits the need of your country? And of course, what is next for you in life? Have you thought about it?

And that's all from me for now. Enjoy this endless ramble. I hope my blog worth a pinch of your time. See ya on my next blog post, loves:)

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