I seem to always write in Kartini Day. Life has taken a hold of me and blogging feels so distant from me. I miss it a lot. I miss writing here and reading people’s writings. I am trying to make it a habit again, because every day when I interact with people on Instagram, I am reminded how that connection was made. It was through blogs. Reading and writing and talking via the comment sections resulted in friendships that I wouldn’t have made in real life. And that is a blessing. I feel the social media climate has really changed. I think 5-10 years ago blogging is still a very hyped thing. Nowadays, people can’t be bothered to read more than an Instagram caption. And so, the friendships I made all those years ago through my blog(s) are truly rare gems.
As you know, I started teaching at my local university. I have a somewhat “busy” life which I thank every day. Everything is still online: classes, meetings, presentations – and often it tires me out but at the end of the day, I feel a satisfaction that I was able to contribute something to the world. I found that my feistiness still exists, that I still talk passionately and excitedly and sometimes angrily. My friends pointed it out to me saying how I cannot hide my emotions. I take it as a compliment. There are times when I feel like I’m too much, but life is too short to wonder for some incessant thought like this. It is an unnecessary thought, I tell myself, because it always leaves me with guilt and assumptions.
I was foolish enough to think the “working world” would be better. I was mildly shocked when I heard my first sexist remark. It seems, during the time I was sick, I surrounded myself with people who are the same as me. Mostly feminists, with opinions that are inline with my mind. Though I knew the world was not perfect, I relied on my friends as a safety net, to reassure myself “you have these people, so the world isn’t so bad!”. While this is great, I also unconciously eliminated those daily sexist remarks, those catcalls, those meandering eyes inspecting my body from top to bottom. And now, here I was, in the “daily life” and those things are still there. It has not left. It is still not a safe place for women. Feminist is still a bad word.
Teaching young people is truly something else. Just like any other teacher, I can feel annoyed one minute but also happy the next. It is an exciting rollercoaster. I want to put my hopes in them. I wish them to be better than my generation. I find it my responsibility to teach them not only the book kind of knowledge but also the knowledge to be a better person, a more empathic person. I want them to know equality. I want them all to feel that they have a shot at doing something and not be restricted by their race or gender or status. I try hard everyday to show it in my teaching, in the hope that they catch a glimmer of it.
I am trying to be better at listening more to my body. Sometimes I push my body’s capabilities to its maximum and finding the consequences of it the next day, for several days. There is this need to fill out those 4 years that I missed out, but I also know that my body was not on a break back then, it was also doing its job to sustain me, to protect me. I know I still have a lot of work to honour my body and to give it the respect it needs. I take deep breaths, I try not to be provoked by small things (and there are a lot!), I exercise. Everyday is a battle, the perfectionist inside of me often shows up, telling me of all the little flaws I made. Even so, I am learning to acknowledge the imperfections and learning to accept it. I tell myself that sometimes allowing imperfections to happen means allowing my body to rest too, and this is more important than anything else.
So that’s my life as lately. I hope you are all staying safe.