How I Imagined myself 10 years from now (stated 10 years ago)

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Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting up with my friends from university. After years of not meeting some of them, it’s really amazing how we instantly picked up where we left off and started conversing like we just met up last week. It’s really not a shock to me though, cause I guess that’s what real friends are like. No awkwardness, no pride, just people to whom you can truly be yourself. Yep that’s real friends for you.

Anyway, one of my bestie is going to tie the knot at the end of this month. And I vaguely remember what she said to me 10 years ago, that she wants to get married before 30. And yaay, just moments before celebrating 3 decades of her life, she will tie the knot and turn that resolution she made 10 years ago into a reality. And truly, I am happy for her. Maybe some people will think I will be jealous or something, but honestly I am not. How else are you supposed to feel when you hear your best friend is turning he dreams into a reality? Congratulations!! I can’t hug you or anything because I’m not that kind of a touchy person, but I am praying for you though.. 🙂 ❤

Speaking of which, I have just turned 30 last week and I was thinking… Hmm… How did I imagine myself 10 years ago? Due to my inability to plan something in the long term, I don’t really remember what I said. But last night I watched the video our class made 10 years ago as we stated what we imagined ourselves to be doing 10 years from then (which is now). I said something like “I wanna be doing my PhD and be someone like bu Yani”. For all of you who don’t know bu Yani, she is probably one of the coolest lecturer I have ever met. Her real name is Dr. Noviar Andayani. I rarely talk to her though, but I enrolled in all her classes and I could only admire her from afar as she was travelling around the world trying to save the world. Sugoi! She’s really awesome and I was really thinking that she was really making some concrete contribution to the world. A world class zoologist, researcher and environmental activist. She was really a fearless woman. Who wouldn’t want to be like her?

The last time I met her was around 4 years ago in Bali when I was still working in the zoo and for her to remember me is already awesome as it is. We briefly exchanged words (like always) and she said “It’s really good you’re still sticking to wildlife!” At that point I was thrilled and I was pretty well fixed on being a zoologist (or so I thought). So after running off to Malaysia to continue that path of being a zoologist and then coming back, it feels very different now than how it felt 4 years ago. I think somehow I was too focused on being that zoologist I didn’t really see other opportunities in front of me. So recently I was offered a job in the zoo industry again in Dubai, but seeing how I am at this moment and how there is another awesome opportunity in front of me (not related to the zoo industry), I started to evaluate what my initial dreams were, before I was striving to be like Bu Yani. Let’s face it, I am not as smart nor am I as focused as bu Yani. I also remember 3 years ago before I went to Malaysia, another lecturer of mine asked me in reference to my job hopping: “Aren’t you a little too old to be finding youself?”. At that time I thought she was dead wrong because 3 years ago I was so focused on being a zoologist that I was job hopping thinking that the only reason I’m doing these jobs is because of the money, not the career.

But now, after 3 years, I started asking myself questions like “Do you really want to be a zoologist? If you had to choose this instead of being a zoologist, which would you choose?” You know, things that I shouldn’t really be asking myself at 30. One thing however was clear though. 10 years ago, I never stated I saw myself married at 30. Not that I don’t want to be married, because even though I could never imagine myself to be married, I always imagined myself to have children and a family. That for one really came true cause hey I’m not married at 30! But also at 30, I was really questioning my choice of being a zoologist. I mean, is it really the only thing I can do in life? So just recently I decided that I will take 180 degrees turn and go back to what I really wanted to do when I was 18, and that is, not to become a zoologist, yet to start from zero all over again in a completely different field. I don’t have anything really pulling me back right now. No children, no family, no career, and thank God not even money.

Some people think that maybe I’m a little too old to start from zero. But honestly, I don’t think I am starting from zero. I’ve been striving to become a zoologist for 10 years now, and opportunities were there if I really wanted to set my career in it, but I never did. It was like I never really wanted to become a zoologist in the first place. Now that I think about it, I did my Master’s not because I wanted to become a zoologist, but because I wanted to travel. And to travel in my dictionary is not to become a tourist, but really grasping everything. The language, the culture, the interaction. So maybe I never really wanted to become a zoologist like bu Yani? But I wanted to travel like her going off to one country to the next, spending months and years researching and learning the culture?

I finally found the answer now. And as I step back, I’m finally ready to step forward.

Honestly though, starting over from zero, countless times, that is my specialty. It’s what I do. I learn, learn and never stop learning. I find things, I strive for them, I let go of them. I start over. I’ve done it countless times now. If anything, my dreams consist of more learning, more discoveries, more struggles, and overcoming them. Sadness, happiness, anger, I want to experience it all. It’s the simple things in life I am after really. So when the time comes, and I have children of my own, I will have done things that my children will do as well. And more than anyone, I want to be the one to understand them the most.

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