February 09, 2017

Conversations With Mom #1

It was one fine Sunday morning when I just finished preparing breakfast for me and my mom. Blueberry-banana juice and cheesy toast with egg. In the midst of our usual conversation, she suddenly stopped eating and asked me something that actually had been in the back of my mind since couple of months ago.

"When did you become this strong?", she said with half-serious and half-curious look. 
"What do you mean?"
"You are such a different person than you were back then. I've always been worried about you. You often got sick, you would cry over small things, you were so shy and quiet. But look at you know... you've grown into such a strong-willed and independent woman"

I was speechless. This was the second time during these past few months someone who has been really close to me told me about this thing. A good friend of mine used to said something similar. 

I kept quiet, munching my toast and finding the words to be said at the same time.

She continued. 

 "I don't think I can manage all of these things that you do now... living in a faraway land by yourself, cooking, doing laundry, groceries, doing your research in English, working with people from various cultures"

I drank my half-glass of blueberry-banana juice.

"To be honest, I don't know the answer Mom. I never intended to be strong. I'm just trying to handle my flaws. It even took me a while until I realised that the way I had been trying to cope with my flaws has made other people see me as someone I am now"
"Your flaws?"
"As you said, I'm physically not as strong as most people. Do you remember that when I was in junior high school I quit from Paskibra because my doctor said I shouldn't stand too long under the sun"
"Of course"
"Back in senior high school, I was almost always one of those last people who arrived late on the weekly run. And now, whenever I cycle with my friends, they need to stop and wait for me at certain point because I'm too slow"


She looked at me so deeply, right into my eyes.

"I used to be teased and felt so ashamed by my weakness. It didn't feel good, being weak. The way people looked at you and judged you because of what is shown by the eyes. Maybe that's why I started trying to become a strong person, at least in personality. Because it's the only thing I can do to cover my other weaknesses"

She put her bread on the plate and stop eating.

"But do you remember, how I would always tell you that you seem soft from the outside but strong on the inside. You are a very determined person", she smiled.

I smiled.

"Mom, I completely realised that I'm not one of those people who was gifted with the ability to easily comprehend and understand things. I'm not like some of my friends who do not really have to study hard to score higher than me. I'm not like some of my friends who were raised with English as their mother-tounge language so they don't need to keep rechecking their grammar everytime they write something or keep practicing the conversation to help them speak fluently or reading English books to expand their vocabularies. So I started to become a hard-working person because I know my averageness. If I dont work this hard, I'm going to be far left behind"

She just looked at me. 

"I never intended to become or to be seen as an ambitious, strong woman. I know some of my girl friends obviously show that they intentionally want people to see them as the so-called "Alpha women". But I'm not like them. I don't even realise that what I have done so far has made me to be viewed as a strong woman. I have done all of this simply for my own survival"

She nodded as if to show that she understood what I was saying.

"Sometimes there is no other way to live our lives except to become strong, huh?"

This time, I was the one who nodded. 

Then I took the last bite of my bread, and munched it. 

As did she. And we were back to our typical Sunday morning conversation. 

8 comments:

  1. Ozuuu, that was such a beautiful conversation and you wrote it beautifully as well. I was drown too deep it even took me a couple seconds to realize that this is not a novel :')

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    1. Miraaa, thank you very much for your kind words :')

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  2. I'm on the verge of crying reading this one. this hits home really bad bcs the only way we can be better is when we want to be better, even if when we didn't intended to make ourselves look better. thanks for writing :)

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    1. Hi Fitri... thank you for giving your comment here and letting me know all of this. Yes, sometimes we only want to become the better version of ourselves just for our own sake, but people see it differently.

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  3. Kaak, sweet banget obrolan dengan bunda. Baca tulisan ini lagi-lagi aku nemu kesamaan sama kamu soal nggak bisa lama-lama kena sinar matahari, lari nggak bisa cepat, semoga aku bisa sekuat kamu ya!

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    1. Hihii mungkin karena pengaruh jarak jadinya pembicaraan aku sm bunda jd lebih sweet dari biasanya :))

      Ahh aku percaya kamu udah sekuat malah lbh kuat dari aku. Aku pun salut kalo baca perjuangan kamu sejauh ini :')

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  4. Ozu, aku ngerti banget perasaan kamu. Dari dulu aku juga merasa selalu average karena kecepatan belajar aku biasa aja dibanding yang lain, akupun nggak atletis, dan kayaknya selalu aja ada orang yang lebih jago dalam semua hal. Tapi kayaknya setiap hal bisa jadi lebih mudah kalau kita fokus kepada hal yang kita tuju bukan fokus sama orang lain dan privilege2 mereka. Aah kamu keren banget sih, thanks for writing such a beautiful piece, Ozu :)

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    1. Kak Cupriiis.. setuju banget! Hidup jadi jauh lebih mudah kalo kita menghandle keterbatasan kita untuk mencapai apa yang benar2 kita inginkan, bukan malah jadi bikin down.

      Hihii samaa samaa kakk.. BTW, kak Cupris juga keren bangeett. rasanya semakin baca tulisan2mu di blog, semakin kagum sama kamuu :')

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