Does work-life balance only work as a lump sum?

Does work-life balance only work as a lump sum?

The past few months, I have been nothing but swamped with work. Particularly since my return to Jakarta following my one-month vacation in May. My life has been revolving around my job and that only. And it has been a roller coaster of various moods and emotions, from tired to proud to drained to elated too. I did get a lot of things done and achieved, thankfully, but at what expense? I have not talked properly to my closest friends in weeks – even months for some. My sibling is working on his undergraduate thesis, in a field that is…

Letters from Post-Vacation Blues

Letters from Post-Vacation Blues

London, June 4th, 2022 As I typed these, I was sitting at a very unusually quiet corner at London Gatwick Airport, waiting for the first leg of a series of long-haul flights that would bring me home. After 32 days of being away from home for my โ€œultimate solo bachelorette pilgrimage,โ€ a.k.a. post-pandemic solo revenge travel, my reality slowly brought me back to Earth. That day felt much quieter than the previous 31 days. My eyes were still a little damp from all the sobs that lasted for hours last night. I was definitely sleep-deprived, and also felt bizarre โ€“…

UK & Ireland, 2022: A Month of Serendipitous Occurrences

UK & Ireland, 2022: A Month of Serendipitous Occurrences

Came for the places and the chance for a month-long quality time with myself, but stayed for all the serendipitous encounters and happenstances that I never anticipated to happen. That is perhaps how my recent travels to the UK, Ireland, and other British Crown dependencies in-between in May 2022 were best summarized. It was the first time I solo travelled after a long-overdue five-year, also the first in my late twenties. Perhaps the title that is most fitting to label the trip was an “ultimate bachelorette solo pilgrimage,” considering this might have been the all-in journey that uplifted me emotionally…

That Heathrow Morning Scene; May the Fifth

That Heathrow Morning Scene; May the Fifth

It followed a seven-and-a-half-hour flight across the terrain, where the last one-third of a night slowly shifted into a dazzling sunrise from above the clouds, followed by a sunny, lukewarm morning on a different continent. The woman could particularly recall a pair of hazel eyes and coiffured, well-groomed hair of a similar shade from that morning. Fair skin in contrast to her tan. Sharp-edged nose underneath a black-coloured face covering. An approximately six-foot tall man in his white tees and beige sweatpants. A black carry-on duffle bag. A two-hour conversation and shared chuckles, that led to zero names, let alone…

On ikigai and bizarre “guilt” of fortune

On ikigai and bizarre “guilt” of fortune

Actually, guilt may not even be the correct word for it. Guilt seems to imply that there is something wrong to be admitted, but for this particular situation, I don’t think that there is. I just haven’t found the exact term, and guilt feels to be the closest to what I’m currently feeling despite missing a certain justification. There is this specific pattern that being in isolation had brought me to, which I’ve noticed more over the years. It began when I was still living in Edmonton, where oftentimes, especially during winter when everyone couldn’t be bothered to go outside…

Defisiensi Disiplin

Defisiensi Disiplin

Akhir tahun ini, umur saya akan menginjak angka 28. Artinya, lebih dekat ke kepala tiga dibanding 25 – yang biasanya adalah batas usia untuk masih pantas disebut young adult. Agak aneh, mengingat kalau saya bertemu dengan orang-orang berusia dua puluhan awal saya masih suka berpikir, “Oh, masih satu generasi lah ya kita.” Hingga saya sadari, adik saya sendiri usianya sudah 21 tahun saat ini, dan kami bahkan lahir di milenium yang berbeda! Bahkan mungkin saya adalah salah satu acuan baginya saat memikirkan contoh figur orang dewasa. Yang dianggap dan diharap sudah bisa memegang penuh kontrol akan hidup masing-masing beserta segala…