32 Years — Is It Time For Midlife Crisis Yet?

Oke, setelah bertahun-tahun rajin bikin “birthday wish” sebelum ultah, tahun ini akhirnya telat nulis. The reason? Karna sibuk ngurus anak. Klasik. 🙂 But wow, saking sibuknya ngurus anak sampe nulis blog terakhir kali aja satu tahun yang lalu. Ahahaha

Things changed a lot lately. For the past… Idk, 6 months? I’ve taken a step back from social media. So I haven’t touched my Instagram as often as I used to. The reason being, for past two years I think Instagram has been giving me more anxiety than I could handle. It made me compare my life to other people’s, it made me feel lacking and inadequate. People share whatever they want others to see, which is valid and fair, but it’s not always wholesome contents. I see people shop for branded stuff, or go to have dinner parties and socialize, or their kids doing awesome things and showing their skills and whatever… I see those things and all it made me feel was that something is lacking from my life.

The thing is– I don’t even care for branded stuff. I don’t care for fancy dinners or whatever. But seeing other people have those things made me feel like I could’ve, I should’ve, or like, why am I not living as good as they do? In logical levels though, I understand that their lifes could be miserable but they just never shown it. I understand that. But still, they have things to boast about. Their lavish vacations or their kids achievements or gifts they got from their loved ones, or idk.

And to mess it all up more, if you just click past through those boasting posts, for the last year or two especially, you’d occasionally see obituaries. Or people got covid and hospitalized. Or their loved ones got it and… It’s honestly like a roller coaster ride. One moment you see someone announcing they’re expecting a new baby, and the next you’ll see someone else posting they’re at the hospital. One moment it’s someone’s birthday, the other it’s someone’s funeral. I couldn’t take it.

So I decided to invest my time elsewhere, and that ‘elsewhere’ happened to be Reddit. I made a new ‘persona’, I’m not Redz, I’m not Henny, I’m someone else. Someone new, someone without a background, someone who wasn’t a relationship expert, and I could just complete be anonymously me. And from there I found new communities, new friends and meaningful connections, and I explored a new side of me that I never knew existed.

It’s been quite an eye-opening journey to be honest, one that I’m glad I took. It validates a lot of things I never realized I needed. It made me feel lovable again cos people get close to me even when they don’t know me. You know? All they knew about me was that I’m a bored stay at home mom of a toddler, and that’s it. They welcomed me. They invited me to new groups. Even when they never seen my face, they wanted to talk to me. Even when they never knew I wrote books or I gave relationship advice, they still surrounded me with acceptance and kindness. And I’m grateful for them.

Another thing I’m grateful about is they are all broken people. Depressed, insomniacs, broke, some with self esteem problems, some with other problems… And yet we all just get together with all these imperfections, be there for each others, share warmth, listen to music together and chat and trash talk and tease each others. It’s fun. They seem normal, they feel normal, they have problems like me, they’re not perfect, they don’t boast about fine dining or branded bags, so I feel… … …at home kinda. I don’t have to put on a mask and be someone, I can just be the shitty ole me and they accept me.

So I gotta be honest, I haven’t been checking Instagram at all lately. Not Facebook either. Not even Whatsapp. And it feels liberating. Although also concerning in a way, cos I’ve neglected my real life friends (I’m not hanging out as much as I used to) and my best friends are all online now. Is this even healthy? I got my peace of mind but at what cost? I’m detached from the persona I’ve built until last year. I don’t benchmark anymore so I wouldn’t know if my kid is slow in whatever progress other kids his age have been achieving. I’m at least at peace and not stressed out like I used to. But in the end I’m unsure. Like… What am I even doing in this life.

I’m 32 years old now and I’m just a sentient stardust floating in the universe, growing more and more apathetic as time goes by.

31st Birthday Wish

So in a couple days I’ll be 31. Wow. I’m an adult! Well to be fair I’ve been an adult for quite some time already but with each years passing it just gets more and more real. And what’s interesting is that the older I get the things I want become less and less tangible lol. As for my wish this year, obviously, I wish for the pandemic to be over. I’m so done with it.

Of course there’s a bit of a silver lining from it. With my husband spending less time at office and starting to work at home, we’ve been closer as a family than we’ve ever been. It’s a blessing that he didn’t miss the first time his kid held his own neck up, or sat up, or stood up. He’s also been around a lot to help me with house chores. I’ve been very much helped by it. It would have been perfect if it all happened not because there’s a pandemic going on, but welp. That’s just the cards we’re dealt with, I guess.

And. For the sake of continuing a tradition of birthday wishes I’ve always been posting leading up to my birthdays for the last …ten? years, here are my wishes for this year.

I wish this year I could bring my son to Jakarta to meet with my dad and mom, and my brothers. I wish I can meet my friends too while I’m in Jakarta. I wish to eat lots of good Indonesian food and get some good Indonesian massage. I wish my son would enjoy Indonesia, too.

I wish I could travel! After being pretty much confined at home for a year since the birth of my son, I’m getting cold feet. My husband is eager to bring Takeru to Hokkaido to meet his beloved friends up there. While we’re there we’d probably meet up with my FIL’s family as well. I would LOVE to go.

I wish my son would develop properly and on time. I wish things get more stable with the daily life and everything, I wish I can bring him to places to playdates and to parks and to the zoo. I wish he can enjoy this year too.

But of course none of the things I wish for, would be possible unless the pandemic is over. So, back to step one, I wish Corona-chan would go away soon. I know there’s a plan for vaccine already on going, but my son wouldn’t be able to get the vaccine, and I don’t think my parents would too, given their health profile. That means, after I get the vaccine I should still thread things careful. I wish we can all be free of this shit. I miss my carefree days going our meeting friends without masks, visiting places, without needing to feel worried about meeting strangers.