I am not secretive about my age, I never was. I was born in Jakarta, in the year of 1983. I was born in West Jakarta to be exactly, in an area called Kemanggisan. And funny enough, I then kinda came back to this part of city when I went to high school. Our home in Kemanggisan was a rental, nothing fancy. I am not sure when we all moved to the suburb of West Jakarta in a little house my parents had bought. My mum had always a dream that she really wanted to have a real house with a huge backyard where she could plant some vegetables and had a chicken coop. Of course she never planted any vegetables, not even once since we lived in that house. Our grandma who took care of that. She planted a rambutan tree, a mango tree, a star fruit tree, some papaya trees and cassava. We ate a lot of cassava back then 🙂 My mum only had some Orchids planted for herself because that was her fave flower. I think I was about 4 when my mother, father and grandma (mother’s mum) moved into our little house with a huge backyard. The closest neighbor’s house was 200 meters away from our front garden. My mum was at my age back then, 29 or maybe 30 years old. She was happily married and had a little daughter (me), she had a house she wanted with the huge backyard. I think she was very content with her life at that moment 🙂 my dear mum.
And now, me aka the daughter. I am married too, but I do not have everything all figured out like my mum had when she was my age. I do not want a house with a huge backyard because it is impossible to have it that kind of house in the Netherlands (it would cost more than 1 million Euro, I guess..) And I am not even planning to buy a house in the near future, we are just happy to live in our rental with our two useless (sometimes can be really cute) cats. It does not mean I do not have “ambition” like my friends back home, who already have 2 kids and bought their own KPR houses in the suburb or just out of Jakarta. We still do not have kids because we do not want to have kids just for the sake of it, or because of my biological clock is ticking.
Thus, what is the standard of success among people of our age? To own a house and not to rent? I think that is one common thing young people have nowadays. Kids? Though I am not a parent yet I am sure, life will be merrier with kids. Good jobs that bring you to places, and with sophisticated (and difficult to write) function carved in your business cards?
See, there are people who are determined to be successful in their life along with the (big) houses with designer furniture in it, has a sport car, a good career with many exciting business trips, opportunity to go on many exotic holidays and also ski holidays. You know, all the benefits. If you possess that, well good for you. Roughly speaking, those are the what a young successful person does or has here based on my observation during my nearly 6 years living in NL. While in Indonesia, maybe my observation is kinda a bit rusty since I do not live there anymore but I guess there are not much changes going on since I left. To own a house, to have kids and nannies, able to travel far? and better if you go traveling to the rest of Asia or to Europe and visit as many countries as you can in 2 weeks, hmm..what else? Leased cars, designer bags, designer this and that. Tell me what is new?
But happiness is something you cannot measure with materials. And success is not measured by how often you go on holidays or how many cars you have.
So it agitates me when people start asking me about all material stuff and other stuff they think belongs to an adult’s life, while that particular stuff really does not interest me as much my interest in creating myself to be a better and mature person. Life is too short to be filled only with those material things. I do not possess all those things but I am happy. My priority now as a young person (I think 29 years old is young I guess I use the European standard here..hehehe, because in Indonesia 29 yo you are quite old!) is to explore what is out there while I am young and able to learn and am able to give back to the society. Seriously, I can be really upset if I only hear people bragging about what they have and what they want to buy. I am sorry, but I think that is too shallow and immature. I kinda understand when it comes from people in Indonesia because they have these weird thoughts about people who live abroad. They think that when you live abroad, it means you are successful and rich. Well, NOT all of them, my friends. I live like a normal person, I have bills to pay, get thriftier when it is a week before the pay check, do not even own a car only own a bike, have one husband (hehe) and thank God I do not have credit card debts!
It sounds like a music in my ears if I talk to new people I meet, when we converse about things that really matter. About what is going on with us, with our endeavors and support each other. It is exhilarating when we can talk about life profoundly, or how we can contribute something to the society… It gives me some major energy boosts and open a wider horizon in my head. That is why I always try to seek new experiences outside work. And to meet with other people with different backgrounds and interests are some of the things I really enjoy, because I can learn a lot from them and nurture my social skills. I never start the conversation with other people with, “Kok gemukan?” or ” When will you finally start a family?” or something like that.
I have totally a different life compares to my mum in her younger age. I live in another part of the world, in a different era, and different customs. The standards are shifting. I am not bitter, I am just a tad bit sad that (young) people are less genuine now and forget about what is important in life. Human contacts. Show interest to each other sincerely. Not just material stuff.