What Keeps You Awake at Night?


Internet. Like, you know, facebook… and like, you know, right now. It’s almost midnight and I have facebook, my email, and this blog open at the same time while listening to songs from my pandora radio station. Lovely.

I’d be lost if I suddenly don’t have the internet connection at home. I’m sure of it. The funny things is I’ve had the internet connection at home for about a year only. I still remember those days when I came home and did anything other than staring at my laptop screen. Vaguely, though, because the memories sure are fading fast…thanks to the joy that facebook has brought to my life. Love you, facebook. I promise I will watch your movie about how you were created as a sign of my appreciation.

By the way, what DID I use to do back then at home without the internet connection? Huh?!

Like I said in my previous blog entry, facebook and other social connection devices over the internet have been a blessing because I have made so many connections with friends and families over the internet, some old and some new.

Unfortunately, it is also a place to get lost, sometimes too easily. I’ve asked myself if I could ever live at least a week without the internet. And the answer is, I did. The last time I went home to visit my family in Indonesia. No computer, no internet connection at my parent’s home. You may be curious how did I find the whole experience. Hmm…let’s just say, I had plenty of distractions during the time. My days were full with activities and dozing off due to jetlag, which equals to no time for the internet.

Internet, by the way, is not the only thing that keeps me awake at night. Worrying is another one. Uhm…and I don’t know what the solution to this one, especially if what I’m worried about is happening thousands of miles away in Makassar. My family. You want to know how helpless feels like sometimes? Walk in my shoes, and I wouldn’t mind if you just take over my shoes and run with them too. Seriously, take the damn shoes 😉

Missing Here and There


I read one of my friends’ status on facebook today, and it brought back memories of my own. My friend lost her Oma (grandmother) in Indonesia and she will not be able to go to the funeral because of the far distance. My friend described it as the price of living so far away from home. Phew, I know exactly what she meant.

My own Oma passed away about 12 or 13 years ago when I was here in the U.S. I couldn’t go to her funeral too. It was worse in my case, my parents didn’t tell me about her passing until about a week or two later because they were worried about how I would receive the news. I don’t remember anymore why my parents decided to wait a few weeks to tell me. Maybe I was going through something at that time, and they wanted me to finish it first. Who cares about the details now. After many years, you tend to remember the feelings only. Well, hearing the news crashed me.

I have been told by many relatives that I look like Oma. Perhaps it was because I was her only granddaughter (duh!), so it doesn’t take a genius to notice the similarity in gender. But I guess, looking back at old pictures, maybe I did share many facial features with her. Regardless, she was the only grandparent I ever knew closely. I was so attached to her at some point in my childhood. Several of my early memories took place in many family gatherings at our house or relatives’ houses where I knew she would be somewhere in the kitchen or near the kitchen helping other ladies preparing the food. Knowing this, I would always look for her to see if she could sneak some food or treats for me, and most of the times, I succeeded in my effort (yes!). Oma, Oma, I still miss her, even until now. I never did get a chance to say good bye to her. Last time I saw her was when I last visited my home town, which was in 1994.

My friend’s status on facebook also brought me to another point. It is regarding the many occasions when we missed family events or family traditions at home. I know exactly what she meant. It is true that there is a price or sacrifice for choosing to live so far away. This is not regret, mind you. It’s more like… an acceptance.

Facebook or other internet social networks works almost as both a blessing and a…curse. It’s a blessing because it’s easier to share moments by looking at pictures, chatting, or posting something. It’s a curse because it reminds me what I miss. *sigh* Humans, we are never satisfied, aren’t we? Always want for more, and facebook can be a tool to feed that need. Well, what can I say? I’M A SUCKER FOR FACEBOOK. I finally surrender to the fact that I rather fall into that category rather than not being able to connect with family, relatives, and friends thousands of miles away. I rather feeling the aching pain of missing home than feeling disconnected or lost.

I post this writing as a tribute to my Oma, to the value of human connection, and to the pain of “missing”.

In the picture below, she is in the far left. In the opposite far right is her “look-alike” (proudly). This picture was taken at my first home, the home I came home to from the hospital, before it was later rebuilt and then eventually sold 😦  It was taken during the time when as a young child I could actually see what’s on top of the refrigerator (see the white object in the background there) without needing to use a chair.

Hi, My Name is ‘Olive Tree’ and I’m Addicted to FarmVille, Cafe World, FishVille, and still counting.


The joy of doing mindless games.

Aaahh, it’s weekend, no work brought home from my internship, no dissertation work this weekend, it’s time to continue with mindless games.  I’m still working on the feelings that seem to tag themselves along with me while I’m playing these games.  It used to be guilt, now it’s just a feeling of ridiculousness.  I can’t believe the amount of time I’ve spent on playing these games.  They’re addicting, very very addicting.  I’ve lost sleeping hours on these games.  Zynga, Inc. (the maker of many of these games) ought to have a support group available for people like me.

I wonder, though, why is it that I easily become addicted and spend an enourmously ridiculous amount of hours playing them?  As soon as I get home, I go straight to the computer, turn it on, open facebook account, and hoala…I get busy.  I have even sneaked time to check on my farm and cafe while at work.  More recently, I added two fish tanks and another farm into my list of places to tend.  Somebody save me!

If I have to take a guess, I think I know the answer to the question above.  It’s because life has been very stressful since September this year.  The responsibility and demand of internship work has been so high that often when I get home I can only do mindless stuff, such as vegetating in front of the TV, getting on the internet, or sleeping.  If I have the energy, maybe I spend an hour or less exercising.  What I miss are my hobbies, writing being one of them, but it has been very difficult to find time, energy, and ability to focus when I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted.  Mental exhaustion, yes, that’s exactly how I feel when I get home from internship.  The theme this week in internship, for example, was handling crisis.  Gosh, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

So, can you blame me for playing these games?  I probably wouldn’t even put time and day in the past to play them.  Didn’t even start until last month (October).  Another interesting question to ask is perhaps I’m already experiencing an early stage of burnout because I start to lose interest in doing old hobbies.  Thus, if you’re reading this blog, it means that I’m trying to bounce back to my old interests again.  Let’s see if I can keep this up.  🙂