Sunday, July 01, 2007

So you think you have problems?

So you think you have problems? Out of a job? Financially strapped? Love life sucks? Feeling insecure? Desperately seeking attention for it? Your manicure chipped?

Whatever it is... do you really think you have it bad? Let me school you on something. This was a scene I saw masa in Jakarta kat Pasar Baru

There was this old lady. When I saw her first... she was sitting down. With a wizened old face, scrunched up through years of bullshit she probably had to go through, she cut a forlorn figure sitting on her own, with a cane, and a black plastic bag, watching the world go by in the fast paced and unforgivingly challenging metropolitan city of Jakarta.

Oh yes... people stopped occasionally to give her money. But she never asked for it. Not once.

Not at all. She would sit for half an hour intervals or so for about fifteen minutes to rest her tired feet, yang cuma pakai selipar nipis, offering no protection whatsoever for her tired, aging toes.

She was not looking for handouts. Or a loan. Or sympathy. Nothing. She was just minding her own business, without complaint.Kali pertama dia bangun, baru aku sedar, how strong this old lady was.

No... she walked with a slow shuffle. One step at a time, almost painfully. Painful even to watch.
Her strength was in her will, her heart and her resolve.

Sebab selepas beberapa langkah, I saw her use the same cane that barely supported her weight, to take a stab at some plastic flying and swirling on the ground. She bent over slowly and with much effort, pulled at the plastic pastu masukkan dalam beg sampah dia.

Probably in her Seventies, nenek tua ni masih bekerja. She had no time for self pity.

She had no time for moaning about her fate.

Never mind her drab night gown. Or the cracked soles of her feet. Tu semua tak penting. Yang penting meneruskan tugasnya tanpa mengharap belas kasihan orang kerana umur atau keadaan dirinya.

She just kept going at it. Slowly cleaning whatever area she could cover for little bits of trash. Tak henti henti...

Menjerit hati aku... ,menangis... meraung melihat kegigihan nenek tua nih.

Honestly. I cried. I cried as I sat on the stairs observing her for over half an hour. Thinking about the selfish people in my life who think THEY'VE got problems.

Thinking about myself and how I allowed to let insignificant things pull me away from the flow of my life.. those little dramas, I allow myself to be engaged in. She shamed me for not being happy with what I have and not being thankful enough with her strength.

And she made me angry at myself and a lot of people who seldom appreciate the things we take so for granted.

And she went on....inspiring me with every second. Pausing to buy a drink - with HER OWN money from the pocket of her dressing gown with a string tied around her waist as a belt.No freebies. No asking for sympathy.

She could have... but she didn't. She was earning her living. And tetap nenek tua nih, pas abihkan her refreshment, offering perhaps a minute burst of energy, she continued. Painfully.

Inspiring me with every second, as I shed tear after tear. about how she persevered in the face of adversity. Looking back at these pictures, I recall how she handled herself.

Derita nya hanya Tuhan je yang tahu. Tapi dia tak pernah menyerah kalah pada takdirnya. She did something about it.

And maybe, at the the end of it. She's the happiest person if all of us were compared. Happy not in terms of much for us, but in terms of her true spirit to fight against the predetermined fate of our lives, and making me at least, realise that we choose to make ourselves what we are.

Someone asked me, "why don't you do something about it. Why don't you give her some money."

I could. I always do when I see someone who needs that help. But money... unlike what some will believe... is not the answer to everything.

I identified with something in this old woman. Something told me, while she will not refuse aid, her pride was worth a lot more. That's why she wanted to EARN her living.

In every painful step. She looked more taller, with a more elegant poise than most people I've seen and more beautiful in my eyes than anyone I've ever met in my whole life.

Her beauty came from her strength, her heart, her will and her poise in dealing with the world. And bagaimana dia tidak menyalahkan takdir untuk nasibnya, dan menyerah kalah begitu saja.

No amount of material items on you can make you as beautiful as this old lady. Kepada nenek, I know you won't be reading this, but I pray to God... that he'll bless you for you are truly one of his most beautiful creations.

Aku nitis air mata ketika taip ni... in my few days of incessant drama never ceasing, you have taught me a lesson without knowing about what real courage and strength is. May God bless you...

My theme song. For so long now. Dedicated to all the drama queens who are littered throughout the different stages of my life. No thanks. Carry your emotional baggage and your self righteousness far away. My worth and self value cannot be assessed by someone who deems themselves worthy by materialistic means nor false adulation.

Used to cry to this. Now it's more about holding on to the strength I have inside me, harnessing it and bringing it forth to use it demi masa depan aku sendiri. There is no one you can depend on but yourself. But some friends are for keeps and they keep me going.

Thanks to those true and have weathered everything with me. No more drama.Pampered myself a little today. Didn't feel much better, neither did it restore my faith in humanity.

All through this little difficult patch which I will undoubtedly bounce back, stronger and wiser, I owe it to one person who has been my emotional strength, and taught me much despite so much we've been through.

There's this song, that helped me though my first ever relationship. I put up two versions of the song below grabbed from Youtube. The first version by Sinead O'Connor (with hair, sebab takut nanti ada yang bsiing dia botak gak) and the other a cover by Faye Wong (with lyrics). For those yang are going through a difficult moment from a failed relationship, this is the best medicine I can prescribe.

The lyrics are just spiritual, and this song serves exactly like what I read once about how Sinead offered peace through this song, like the voice of an angel being carried through the deepest chasms of hell.

It's just been an emotional and weird couple of days for me... pray to God for the even half of the strength of that old woman...