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…

Not a Review: The Worst Person in the World (2021)

Not a Review: The Worst Person in the World (2021)

i. Julie Julie was most of us. Or perhaps, we were all a Julie once. But most ridiculously for me, Julie is me. It might be long overdue, but my boyfriend and I finally watched the movie the other night. After five minutes of processing the prologue that somehow felt a little too embarrassingly familiar, he broke the silence by saying, “Why do I have a feeling that this woman is essentially you?” And he was right. Julie is me – a more reckless version of me, the kind of person I would become if I deliberately let my truest…

Excerpts from Unarticulated Monologues

Excerpts from Unarticulated Monologues

โ€”to friends that are perhaps no longer. Maybe it’s something in the configuration of the sky and celestial objects floating in it, or simply hormones – nonetheless, lately I’ve been drawn a lot towards the feelings that come from every interaction, or the lack thereof, between myself and human beings surrounding me. I’ve particularly been lost in thoughts during several occasions where I was made to reminisce about the connections I made in the past. Friends, mostly. People who used to rub off on me the way I rubbed off on them, mainly because we shared so many mornings, afternoons,…

The newly unlocked kind of joy you didn’t know could exist.

The newly unlocked kind of joy you didn’t know could exist.

It’s fascinating, the things you discover as you age. Things you never necessarily learned from anywhere, nor previously heard of, and yet they somehow come about unabashedly – and that you get to experience them firsthand, which is also the sole reason why you come across them in the first place. Certain states of mind, emotions, and feelings – they materialize out of sheer serendipity. Sometimes, it’s unannounced. For better or for worse, they may change you inside out. Even if it’s just a temporary surge of happiness, or ache, or anything in between. Even if it dies out immediately.…