2 years and a few months later

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I was just going through my blog and there was this one post on January 2015 where I wrote that I actually was letting go of my dreams… I wrote that I was drawing the line, that if I didn’t get the job in Dubai maybe this isn’t for me… 

I still somehow can’t believe that 1 year after I wrote that post I actually ended up here in Dubai… I guess it just shows you how God always has a plan up his sleeve… And sometimes you have to let go before you can actually get what you want… And that if something is really meant for you it will eventually end up making its way back to you…

Now… I have never been grateful for this opportunity and time flies so fast that I can’t believe it’ll be 2 years very soon for me to be here in Dubai… I have learned so much… This place is a major learning curve for me and now I realize something… That I can never imagine myself doing anything else other than this… I am a zoo person and all my life that’s all I will ever want to be… Even if one day I leave Dubai… I will eventually find a place where I get a chance to keep working with zoo animals… Be it not a curator, maybe back as an animal keeper, or even a tour guide…. I don’t fucking care anymore… Because in the end it’s not about the money… It never was about the money…. It was about doing something you were actually born to do. And for me, I grew up with so many dreams… Hell my parents gave me a name which means “dreams” in polish, so dreaming about my future was mostly what I would do when I was a kid… Be it an astronaut, musician, writer, doctor, whatever…. All of that doesn’t matter anymore to me now….

At one point I was so focused on my music that I was so obsessed with making it big in the music industry…. I became over involved in bands and performances… But you know what I realized? It was that I never really could commit my all to it… The biggest percentage of commitment was 80%. There was this 20% of me that was still looking for other life choices…

But now… I see it now… My commitment is 100%… I no longer care that I am doing so much overtime for my work… I don’t care that even sometimes I’m spending my own money to accomplish my work…. I don’t mind having to work 2 weeks non stop… Of course I’ll be exhausted but a good sleep is good enough for me…. I realize that… this is it. This is my place.

As a person who has been travelling most of my life, I’ve always wondered and searched for some kind of stability… But we all know that stability does not and will never exist… However, I finally found something that I can actually hold on to this time…. No more commitment issues, no more trying to live up to other people’s standard… This time, it’s just me, and I’m doing exactly what I want to do.

Thank you God for everything.

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And the confusion continues… my most galau post

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Life is about the decisions you make. However, no matter what your decision is, in the end we can’t walk out from other people who needs you. Life is not always about living for yourself, but sometimes it is living for other people as well. No matter how hard we try, in the end it is really up to God to decide our paths. And our decision has and always will be our own leap of faith. Deciding something, and hoping that no matter what struggles it takes you to, you will always end up where you want to be. Life is full of opportunities. It really is. And these opportunities aren’t hard to find. However, deciding between opportunities are hard. What seems to be the best decision for other people might be a decision you just have to compromise with. Living, making ends meet.

Sometimes I wish I was ordinary, but I know I am not. Sometimes I wish I was more simple, but I know I never will be. I wish I wasn’t a dreamer trying to constantly search for something, but that’s just not me. I wish I was a person who could openly accept the things in front of me, but I’m not. Maybe I’m ungrateful, I know many think of me like that. Why is it that I cannot accept the thing that is right in front of me? Why is it that I always go out of my way to defy everything that’s in front of me? Why can’t I just settle? Why can’t I have a simpler dream? Why do I always complicate things? Why do I always complicate myself?

The truth is, as I was searching for the answer of why I always leave. Why do I always leave?

Maybe, it is because there is nothing keeping me here. But in fact, there are things that should keep me here yet at the same time I always feel like these things were not as important as finding my own purpose in life. Have I become the most egocentric person in the world? I want something, yet in the end is it really what I want? Or am I just trying to find a reason to escape or run away?

JSeries Festival in Jakarta [6 June 2015]

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So yesterday I attended the J-Series Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. The festival is actually a big deal since it has been held in Thailand for two years beforehand. Since Indonesia has a long history of diplomatic relations, there’s often Japan festivals held in Indonesia, Jakarta especially. Other than that, there is a huge Indonesian fan base for almost every popular mainstream Japanese artist. This time around, there was the JSeries Festival which is dedicated to promote Japanese Dramas and entertainment. The ticket was free yet limited to around 500 people only, so by the first 2 days of registration, it has all been booked. Funny thing though is that they didn’t really promote this event, so if my fellow ‘I no Arashi’ (Arashi fan club in Indonesia) members didn’t tell me, I wouldn’t have known about it. So on the first day registration was open, I was lucky enough to get a ticket. My sister who wanted to register as well was 2 days late and there we no tickets left. Since the main guests in this event is Furukawa Yuki and Kiritani Mirei. But there were other stars such as Valshe, Dolls Element and AKB48’s local sister group, JKT48. On the day, the door opened at 2, but I got there at around 1.30 and the place was already packed! The die hard Furukawa Yuki fan club was there since morning and were using modified ‘Damn, I love Indonesia!’ t-shirt’ that read ‘Damn, I love Furukawa Yuki!’. The event was held in UpperRoom, Annex Building, Jakarta. Since I got there quite late, I had no choice but to get the back seats. Damn. But here I was excited to go in!

Untitled2 Untitled
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The event started at around 3 PM. The door actually was said to open by 2.00 PM, but since by 1.00 PM it was quite chaotic, they opened the door at 2.30 PM. The event started off by using an animated hologram of an anime girl as a host. After that, they showed a series of promotional videos of Japanese Dramas hosted by Indonesian students currently studying in Japan. This was before any guest stars arrived. So for about 30 minutes they showed clips of various top rated doramas, among them are: Hana Yori Dango and Itazura na Kiss: Live in Tokyo 2 (which received the most hysterical applauses). I’m guessing because of MatsuJun and Furukawa Yuki. After the series of clips ended, it was time to introduce the main hosts which were an Indonesian MC, Ocha, and a Japanese MC who speaks Indonesian very fluently, Hiroaki Kato. They then welcomed the main guests, of course, Furukawa Yuki and Kiritani Mirei, for the talkshow. So here are what I remembered regarding the questions and answers they had for the guests during the talk show:

picture from @kataelza instagram

picture from @kataelza instagram

MC: Kiritani-san and Furukawa-san, is this your first time in Indonesia?
Kiritani: This is my first time in Jakarta, however I have been to Bali once for a photoshoot for my photobook.
Furukawa: This is my second time in Jakarta, my first time was for a movie audition. [currently wondering what movie Furukawa auditioned for, and did he get the part or not?? My guess is probably The Raid or Killers which has been released a few years back]

MC: Please tell us what are your impressions on Indonesia, and what is the thing you like most about Indonesia?
Kiritani: I really like the food! Especially, mee goreng (fried noodles). It’s really delicious! At first, I was really surprised actually that people in Indonesia know me. When I was walking down the street yesterday, somebody called out my name and I was surprised. It really makes me feel like I must work harder through my dramas. I’m really thankful and happy to meet fans in Indonesia.
Furukawa: Yappari, the food is the best. I really like sate (beef/chicken skewers). I’m also really surprised because when the VTR was showing all the promotional videos of the dramas, they were cheering really loud. It means that they must be really open to Japanese dramas.

photo from @upperroomjakarta

photo from @upperroomjakarta

MC: What kind of dramas do you like?
Kiritani: I really like romance dramas [audience cheers loudly, mostly the girls]. Right??
Furukawa: I like suspense dramas.

MC: Have you ever faced any difficulties in playing your roles? and why?
Kiritani: I think, when I was doing Shinigami-kun, I had to play a really tough and mean person, and that was tough for me. So I had to keep studying and practicing to get the role right.
Furukawa: Usually I don’t really face any difficulties. However, when I was playing in Itazura na Kiss, it was hard because my partner was a beautiful girl and there were a lot of kissing scenes.

picture from @yohanastefi instagram

picture from @yohanastefi instagram

MC: What kind of role do you want to play in the future?
Kiritani: Since I’m 25 right now and I will be 26 soon, I would really like to play a more mature role, such as a mother or a tough office employee.
Furukawa: I’ve always been playing a student role, so I would like roles that are a little more mature. I want to play in a detective series, or play a villain. [audience goes ooh…]

MC: Do you want to play in an Indonesian drama?
Kiritani: Of course if I get the opportunity to do something like that, I would like to play in an Indonesian drama.
Furukawa: I’ve always wanted to work outside of Japan, so if I get a chance to work in an Indonesian drama, I will do it.

MC: So lastly, please tell us, why should we watch Japanese dramas?
Kiritani: There are so much variety of Japanese dramas, so it is suitable to be watched by anyone, and there is always a drama that is suitable for all age groups. I think also in Japanese dramas, you not only learn about the story but there are many things you can grasp from Japanese dramas, such as moral lessons.
Furukawa: Same thing. There is a variety of Japanese drama for everyone and you can definitely learn something from these dramas. So, please keep watching Japanese dramas!

MC: Oh, Furukawa-san, it seems you can speak English quite well if we’re not mistaken… [audience cheers for him to say something in English]
Furukawa: [in Japanese] Well I don’t know what to say right now… But since I have spent a long time living in Canada and America, I can speak English quite fluently.

——-

DOLL ELEMENTS picture from @florialiu instagram

DOLL ELEMENTS
picture from @floria_liu instagram

That’s about all I remember regarding the talkshow. I’m pretty sure there are more but I couldn’t record it all in my memories.  After the talkshow, there was a performance by idol group Doll Elements. They sang two songs, one of them is their single Kimi ni Sakura hirari to Mao 君に桜ヒラリと舞う. I’m not really familiar with DOLL ELEMENTS, but it seems they had quite a number of fans in Indonesia. The following day (7th June), they had a meet and greet with fans at the Ambassador Cafe, Jakarta. The next day they mentioned that Indonesia is the first country they’ve been to outside of Japan and they were quite happy with the reception they received here. They were also quite shocked since there are also a lot of female fans in Jakarta so they hear a lot of “Kyaa, kyaa..” while in Japan they hear a lot more of “Oi, oi!” from men.

VALSHE picture from @floria_liu instagram

VALSHE
picture from @floria_liu instagram

Valshe was also there and sang 2 songs, one of them was Butterfly Core, quite popular and well known as the theme song for Detective Conan. During her preformance I was so much in awe. Her voice and performance was amazing and there were so many fans waving their uchiwas in the air following the beat of her music. She also tried very hard to speak in Indonesian the whole time during her time onstage, and she forgot some words and some fans were saying “Ganbatte!”. I really liked Valshe’s performance during the event. It was probably the best out of the three. I have to note this was VALSHE’s very first overseas appearance and I am so happy and proud to hear that! There were quite a number of her die hard fans who brought banners that read: “VALSHE, Welcome to Indonesia!”. stage, and she forgot some words and some fans were saying “Ganbatte!”. I really liked Valshe’s performance during the event. It was probably the best out of the three. I have to note this was VALSHE’s very first overseas appearance and I am so happy and proud to hear that! There were quite a number of her die hard fans who brought banners that read: “VALSHE, Welcome to Indonesia!”.

AKB48 picture from @jenijenihoo instagram

JKT48
picture from @jenijenihoo instagram

And after the two artists’ performance we had the performance of AKB48’s sister group in indonesia, JKT48. My personal opinion, I am quite happy with JKT48’s appearance in Indonesia as the first overseas sister group of AKB48. Cause at a time when K-pop is dominating Asia, J-pop is still dominating in Indonesia and JKT48 somehow bridged that gap between Indonesia and Japan. JKT48 sang a total of 4 songs and Indonesian rendition of the AKB songs Flying Get, Gingham Check, Kokoro no Placard, and Koi Suru Fortune Cookie. They were very energetic to watch! The event then ended by giving away prizes, and it turns out the lucky winners had envelopes under their seats! Unfortunately I did not get anything, but 2 seats beside me and behind me, a guy and a girl got signatures of Furukawa Yuki. There were also prizes from sponsors such as tshirts from Olive des Olive and mascot dolls from 5 Japanese television stations: Domo-kun from NHK TV, Rafu-kun from Fuji TV, Go-chan from Asahi TV, BooBo from TBS and Banana from TV Tokyo. So the lucky winners who got the mascots got the chance to take pictures with Furukawa Yuki, Kiritani Mirei, Dolls Element, Valshe and JKT48.

ENCORE photo from @yesicachorine instagram

ENCORE
photo from @yesicachorine instagram

Well, that’s about all the reviews I have and it was quite exciting to be there! Here are some photos from after the event:

photo from @yohanasteffin instagram

photo from @yohanasteffin instagram

from @kinaljkt48 twitter

photo from @kinaljkt48 twitter

Furukawa Yuki Fans Club in Indonesia picture from @pvrmv instagram

Furukawa Yuki Fans Club in Indonesia
picture from @pvrmv instagram

VALSHE with her fans after the festival. Picture from @othamona instagram

VALSHE hanging out with her fans after the festival.
Picture from @othamona instagram

JKT48 meets Dolls Element picture from @jenijenihoo instagram

JKT48 meets Dolls Element
picture from @jenijenihoo instagram

Living Without a Plan B

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Recently, I realized that I have no Plan B! However, I have a plan A, and a plan S. But my goal is most definitely my plan A. In the case of plan S occurring, which I expect to be something worth more than plan A, it will be without any effort whatsoever. But as far as life goes, I decided to stop having plan B’s. I decided to stop having a safety net. So in the case that plan A doesn’t work out, I will not have anything to fall back to. In short, plan A has to work. For me, plan A is a necessity.

Last night I had doubt haunting me and without me realizing I started to cry. I had put so much effort in making plan A work that I was honestly beginning to get scared and started to imagine my life if plan A didn’t work. Honestly, as a human being, fear will one way another preoccupy your thoughts. Fear of stumbling, fear of failure, and last night, I stopped trying. I have been studying nearly every day for plan A to work, that I started to think that if didn’t work, all the time I spent will be worth nothing in the end. So for once this month, I stopped studying for 2 hours and wasted my time crying. It became a period when I started to freak myself out with hurdles and roadblocks of my plan A execution. The family thinks I’m crazy for thinking of this plan A every single day for months now, and they started doubting me. I started facing financial problems as well that directly correlates with this plan A of mine.

At that moment, I locked myself in my room and turned on Our Lady Peace, my choice of 90’s heavy alternative rock music filled with Emo lyrics, distorted guitar and Raine Maida’s screeching vocals. And then I started to break down and I couldn’t stop crying as OLP drowned the sound of my tears. One of my fave song from OLP which can throw me up and down:

After 2 hours, I started to imagine myself at where I was right now, which some would think was my Plan B patiently waiting in the wings. I am currently working in an office cubicle, working for somebody else, not learning anything new, no significant contributions, 30 years old, unmarried, and not doing something I want to be doing! It was most definitely not where I want to be. If this was my plan B, then I will be devastated and depressed my whole entire life. If it wasn’t for the money I would quit my day job as early as possible so I can spend 100 percent of my energy, time and passion in making this plan A work. So after 2 hours, I stopped and I stared at my study books, and then began to feel so stupid, but at the same time relieved because I threw all my emotions out there, and when it’s all over, I began to study again.

But if there was any revelation today due to last night, that was that I don’t need a plan B, and that if anything, plan A has to work. I have no plan B. That’s the only option I have in my life, nothing else. Needless to say, my life depends on it.

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Drawing the Line

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I think I’ve reached a point in my life when I realized that if it’s supposed to happen then it should happen right about now. Just yesterday I posted on my instagram that my dreams never died, and that I will keep striving and trying. Now I start to regret writing that. I think with all things, striving and trying has its limits.

When do I draw the line?

For me, I draw the line on my 30th birthday.
I don’t think I have the luxury of keeping my ego when it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. And as for my dreams, I draw the line once they announce whether or not I get this job as a Curator in Dubai. Obviously I don’t have the luxury of taking that kind of job in Indonesia because as much as I love it, it doesn’t pay the bills. What can you expect, it’s an under appreciated profession. I probably will still love animals, and I will do it as my hobby. If I don’t get the job then I will just create my own little zoo here in my house. Heck I have 3 cats already, and maybe I’ll get some birds, reptiles and a dog. That is however, if God is willing. So to make it short, if I don’t get the job then my dreams will be allocated in a different way and I wont see ‘a curator’ or a ‘zoo professional’ to be the only profession created for me. I will, be more open to other possibilities and other dreams.

That, my friends, is a part of me letting go. You know, like that Disney song… 😉

Yep, I’m finally drawing the line. Also I realized that I have other capabilities as well.

I think maybe 10 years from now things will change. And hopefully my future children will not worry about things like this and every profession (moral ones at least) will be appreciated equally.

Living with Hyperthyroidism

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Yes. After two years I’m finally admitting that I have hyperthyroidism.
For you who don’t know that hyperthyroidism is…. Well hyperthyroidism is a disease where you get an overactive and enlarged thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine, which is the hormone that regulates cells release energy from nutrients. It affects your bodily functions and is part of the Endocrine System.
As a zoologist I have always depended on my physical wellness to support my life motivations. It was only around 2 years ago I noticed that there was a big change to my physical strength. There were many times in which I just couldn’t go outside due to awful palpitations… Even if I do nothing, these palpitations come, my body become extremely weak, and my hands frequently had tremors. At first I thought it was due to stress, but I also realized that I lack a good night sleep (insomnia), I get sick easily despite vitamin doses, and I keep losing weight even though I eat a lot. One morning the palpitations got so bad I thought I was having a heart attack. When I got to the hospital they took blood samples and a week later determined it was hyperthyroid. They made me take pills everyday that I will be dependent on for the rest of my life. Even so, I never think that the drugs work for me. My palpitations, tremors, physical weakness are still present. I can say that my life changed a lot due to this disease. I couldn’t concentrate, and I couldn’t continue my work due to the demands of physical strength. At one point I got a little depressed.. I started thinking that I was no longer in the best physical condition to continue chasing after this dream of mine that required a great deal of physical strength.  At that point I stopped taking the medications, convinced that eventually I will grow out of the disease, but then my eyes started to bulge out and it scared me… The doctor had to call and check up on me every few days for a whole month just to make sure I’m taking my meds.
If you don’t know what hyperthyroid symptoms are, here they are and I got 22 out of the 26 major symptoms. I encourage every single one of you to be more aware of thyroid diseases, and to get your thyroid checked if you have not been feeling well and suffering from the symptoms below. These diseases can just happen in the blink of an eye and get out of control very quickly (trust me).
  1. Irritability 78.1%
  2. Visible Shakiness (especially hands) 77.4%
  3. Feeling hot most of the time 73.7%
  4. Anxiety 72.3%
  5. Inability to sleep 66.4%
  6. Increased fatigue/weakness 65.7%
  7. Sensation of shakiness inside but not visible 65.4%
  8. Loss of more than 5 lb. in 3 months 62.8%
  9. Trouble breathing/shortness of breath 59.6%
  10. Change in hair or skin texture 57.4%
  11. Anger 55.9%
  12. Increased crying 55.1%
  13. Inability to perform some daily tasks 50.0%
  14. Easily startled 52.9%
  15. Hot or cold flashes 47.8%
  16. Tired all the time 47.4%
  17. Significant decrease in social activity  45.6%
  18. Hopelessness 42.6%
  19. Sadness 41.9%
  20. Loss of sense of humor 41.2%
  21. Decreased sexual desire 40.1%
  22. Slowed thinking ability 39.7%
  23. Loss of interest in the things that formerly gave you pleasure 39.0%
  24. Chest pain 37.5%
  25. Not being able to “connect” with others 33.8%
  26. Changes in menstrual cycle 33.8%
Right now I still take meds although I must be reminded every single day. Living with hyperthyroid is not easy. After 2 years I learned to cope with the disease and try to take care of my health as much as I can… It’s not easy. Everyday it’s like a battle with your own body and it takes me longer to do something than the average person without thyroid problems, but… I am now also convinced that maybe God wouldn’t give us something that we couldn’t handle… Maybe I have to endure this because I can? Well, as I said, it’s not easy living with hyperthyroid. Up to today, I still continue to have these symptoms… But now I realized that having a chronic illness means learning to be happy for other people while not necessarily being able to find things in your own life to be happy about. Hey, I’m still alive. 🙂 And for those who already have a thyroid disease and are fighting everyday, we can get through this. ❤

Double Standards in Animal Treatment

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Don’t get me wrong: Like many other human beings, I love animals. Cats and dogs can be good pets (loving and loyal – especially around meal times), while a tender piece of steak (cut from the carcas of a dead calf and then lightly browned in a pan and served with mushrooms) can be extremely delicious.

Do we have to stand accused of dumping hundreds of thousands of male chicks in an empty farm dam and leaving them to die every week, because they were “economically worthless”.

This move seems to me to reflect the extreme double standard our society have towards animals.

  • We are allowed to murder animals, then cook and eat them, but it is a criminal offense to have sex with an animal or to mistreat an animal.
  • Its a good thing that a chicken is not a very bright animal because chickens are often treated appallingly in order to fatten them up quickly for slaughter or in order to extract the maximum amount of eggs from them.
veggie1

courtesy of Dr. Meyer’s blog (https://gmeyer28.wordpress.com/)

I suspect the reason for this double standard has much to do with the fact that as a society we do not want to take ethical responsibility for the fact that we are generally not vegetarians and therefore like to eat meat. And as we do not have to see how animals are mistreated while being prepared for the table, we can happily coo about cute furry animals and we can get outraged by the mistreatment of pets or even chickens, goats and sheep, while buying our plastic wrapped dead animals at the supermarket.

One solution is to criminalise the cruel treatment of all animals – even those we will eat later – or to prohibit humans from eating meat. But that will never happen because people love meat so much.

So we do the next best thing: we adopt animal cruelty laws that will be selectively enforced to make us feel better about ourselves without forcing us to make the difficult choices required to live an ethical life regarding animals.

It really does not make sense. The situation demonstrates that humans are inability to act consistently ethically.