(images by nickdvs)
dear life, thank you for this day. thank you for the ups and the downs. the highs and the lows. i am present and listening and grateful and happy. thank you.
I have lived out of Indonesia for more than 15 years. I married an Australian, we have two kids who were born in England. We live in the most isolated city, we have a golden retriever, two chooks, and an aquarium full of fish. We have built our own house. We grow our own veggies. Australia is my adopted country.
While I am happy to mingle with my fellow Indonesians who happen to live in the same city as I do, sadly to say, the only things that bond us together are the facts that we speak the same language and our love of Indonesian food. That’s it. Sometimes, I find them amusing yet entertain, merely because of their ‘attitude’. Two or three perhaps are the number of my good Indonesian friends here. Mostly, my best friends are the ones from high school through college, and work, and most of them are still living in Indonesia and some live in different continent.
It took me more than five years to build up a relationship with the Australian ones. I must say, motherhood helps me a lot. As I didn’t grow up here, I didn’t go to school or university in here, it is hard to form those close knit no matter how hard I try. So to say, when we lived in England, I found it easier to make friends and bonded with the English, why like that?
Through the boys, I met up with a couple of mums during Kindy and Primary school. I made a good friendship with three other mums that is still going strong, even though their children are not in the same school as my kids now. I became very close to one and dare I say she’s my best friend I’ve ever have in this adopted country.
Sometimes, I am still longing for another friendship to blossom from the Australian ones. You may think why am I so bothering to make friends or trying hard to be friends with the white ones or in Indonesian’s term; bule. Why not, instead, I make friends with the Indonesian ones? Or why bother at all? I don’t know, it’s probably just me being me. I like being social, I like making friends (not enemy) and above all, perhaps, in my opinion I’d like being accepted in bule society. I’d like being mixed and mingled with everybody and not being in one mainstream. I’d like being polygamy not monogamy….in friendship of course, not in marriage! 🙂
I’d like being included in girls night out, I’d love being invited to girls night in or watching a Sex Tape together. When you move to a different country, you automatically out of your comfort zone. Though you try to adapt yourself, sometimes it can be a bit lonely to face it. It can be a bit tough to watch a bunch of people laughing and chatting together, while I’m left alone. I can’t help but feel no matter what, I am still a stranger. No matter how hard I try to mingle, to speak the language, to laugh at their joke, at the end of the day, I only can bite my tongue while wandering through pictures on social media….why they don’t ask me out? Why am I not included? Am I a disease or is it because where I come from? I can’t help but wonder.
What can I do to be accepted? Here I am, kind of like a puppy dog that longing to be walked by the owner, or a little boy who tries hard to please the parents and will do every thing so he can get that lollies…. Why is it so hard? Or is this the culture of western society? Cold and individual?
Why is it so different, when the westerners come to easterners, the easterners will make sure that they are welcomed and that the easterners will invite and introduce them to almost everybody? The easterners will make sure that the westerners are accepted in eastern way.
Should I keep on trying? Or should I just accept it, it is what it is and keep going on with my life…. But then I came to my conclusion. I have tried hard enough to be accepted, but it didn’t really work. So I moved on. Maybe I was in the wrong crowd. Maybe I should try a different mob. Maybe they were just a bunch of snobbish. And guess what, when I don’t even care and try, things are better. I won’t say I got lots of dinner invitations to attend, but I got some lovely barbeques gatherings and coffee mornings. I’m progressing and that’s enough. Yes, certain thing is hard to change. Friendship can’t be build over night.
What about you? Do you sometimes feel alone in the middle of the crowd? Are you longing to be accepted in the circle or you don’t care and happy with your own life?
Happy Thursday everyone!