The opportunity to shuttle between Jakarta, New York, Singapore and London, has been a once in a lifetime privilege.
And in some ways, the years spent moving around, pursuing an education and opening my eyes did change my life.
I have met and lost people who now hold a dear place in my heart, who fed my curiosity and shed light to my insecurities.
People who made me question, understand, argue, and stand up for what my beliefs.
People who provided the opportunity to grow.
Each metropolis came with its challenges.
Concrete jungles only sharpened my heel, as I make my way through life with no sword or gun.
Now, I walk on marble floors much more assured that I am also able to survive without luxury.
Change was a prominent character in the last four years.
As places, people and seasons changed, I felt the hours flowing through me, eating away at both confidence and fear.
My complexion has garnered freckles and lines that constantly remind me of the early mornings and late nights spent pursuing expectations.
But much like these marks and scars, change appeared incrementally.
It seized to punch me in the face.
It failed to take the air out of my lungs.
Numbers and schedules helped me stay on my feet, grounded and chained to the earth.
Scenarios were drawn and calculations were made to make each transition as easy as possible, to make each milestone as reachable as can be.
Weeks were spent awake.
And months were spent in solitary.
Afraid to make roots.
I was afraid to make roots.
Roots did not appeal to me, a girl who knew where her heart belonged.
A girl who knew that expiration dates were near.
The last few months abroad was spent yearning for a new beginning at home.
Home, a place for nesting and reconnecting.
Home trumped any temptation to live in newly gentrified areas of historical cities.
Home trumped any thought of a roller-coaster love life.
The last day abroad was spent grieving over a pet, who was not supposed to leave so quick.
The first day after the first week of being home was spent grieving over an Opa, who had lived past beyond his expiration day.
August managed to take the air out of my lungs.
It managed to change my life more radically and stunningly than the last four years could.
Lessons were learned far too quickly.
Negotiations were interrupted.
Beginnings were cut short.
I ran, I ran from this other universe of possibilities into the arms of reality.
And yet, as I landed on the hard, cold truth, my skin failed to bruise and my bones failed to break.
A soft landing was made possible by returning faces.
Hands that I thought would never type further messages.
Who unexpectedly came at the right moment.
At the end of the day, these are the three things that stuck
1. Planning changes only accentuates sudden changes
2. The figures that you waved goodbye to will surely make a comeback
3. Life is not a treadmill, nor is it a bottomless bottle
*The first image was taken off the internet and the other is owned by the author