Breaking the Patterns

I am writing this post to remember my journey 6 years ago when I came to this country, not knowing what life would be in the next 6 years. I came from a big city (Jakarta), I was young and naive. I tried to build a new life in a new world and maybe some luck. I made my way up to where I am now and I am so blessed with all the things that God gave me and entrusted me with. I met such a wonderful guy and when I met him I knew that he was the Mr. Right ( the day after I met him, to be precisely :D). Last year was a milestone, I wrote about my 5th year living in the Netherlands here. And this year as IND (Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service) has approved my permanent residency application just recently, I am honored to write “my 6th year in the Netherlands” journal 🙂

When I knew that I will be living here as an immigrant, I honestly did not know what to expect. There were fears but frankly, I have no idea about the risks. As expats living in one country, they basically will have a circle of friends who are likely to be fellow expats. But when you come to live in a country as an immigrant like me, you do not have an actual length of stay in your mind and that makes you live like natives do. There are no 30% ruling perks for me, or higher salaries like most expats earn because apparently I don’t have specific skills that are scarce in Dutch labor market! The risks are once you live abroad you will be missing a lot of things back home. People you love go on with their lives and you still stuck in the period where you left them.

The first a couple of years I was busy with building my new life here, learning the language, looking for new friends and busy with adjusting myself with the new environment. It was fun, exhilarating and also tiring. There are some phases too in those several years, like ups and downs of job quest and language development process. I think those 2 were the most time-consuming things to feel secure in a new country. Then, of course looking for friends which I gained during the process of assimilating. But as the years go by, and when I feel a bit comfortable with my new life I create, the country and the people, I face another phases, ie; learning new values as I get accustomed with life here and how to combine it with my own values I have got from home (Indonesia).. It has fundamentally shaped me to what I am now..even though I am still a bit confused with these mixes and how to combine it in my life. New values and my home values.


Learn from Don Quixote? Toledo, Spain


This is it. This year I am reshaping myself 🙂 This is my ultimate goal for the coming years. Of course, I am also still struggling with that one particular subject, which is mastering (nuances of the) Dutch language but, it is a constant lesson I am aware of it. A constant reminder for foreigners! I think I finally come to a period where I am consciously aiming for an evolution. You know, I am not busy with collecting friends like I used to do a few years back. I am satisfied with my  current friends. The other day I was at a homeopathy doctor’s room, answering her questions during a medical examination and it came to me, a legit validation that I need to start restructuring my life. I burned many bridges and I still think I have made the best decision to take that leap and move to this little country. I feel by living by myself far away from my comfort zone has made me understand myself a lot better because not only I am confronted with so many aspects, also because I continuously have to make life changing decisions.

An acquaintance of mine has been asking me to join her ladies expat club to search new members and doing outings or shopping and so on, jeezz..I have passed that. I do not have the urge to have a lot of “friends” in this stage of my life, I want real friends in its real definition and not just numbers. I will have friends when I meet them not because of those forced gatherings. You know what I’m saying?




This post is a mere note to myself and I sincerely have no intention to give a life speech or whatsoever. So, if I am still blogging for the next few years I will update about how I break the (old) patterns. And of course besides that I’ll blog about new hangouts, cats, stupid pictures and food :p




20 thoughts on “Breaking the Patterns

  1. nah itu dia, berada di mana2, emang asiknya banyak temen. otherwise, that you enjoyed every your journey. right?

    • I indeed enjoy my journey and am really grateful for every moments I have. I don’t have that many friends though and sometimes I also like to be alone..just sometimes, like other people do 🙂

  2. Yeaaay udah dapet PR-nya ya Pie..

    btw.. setujuuu ma ini — > “But when you come to live in a country as an immigrant like me, you do not have an actual length of stay in your mind and that makes you live like natives do.” betul betul betul betul.. hahahaha

  3. Good inspiring post which is easy to recognize by fellow migrants like me. You have been doing your best finding your way here. I am glad I met you through blogging. Keep on blogging and sharing your stories. And good luck with breaking patterns for the better version of yourself.

    • Thanks a lot for your sweet comment mbak 🙂 especially coming from a fellow migrant like you ! this motivates me to keep writing and sharing my experience living abroad 🙂

  4. 🙂

    we are alike, you and i. mulai dari pindah sendirian, ga ikutan kelompok ini itu untuk nyari temen sebangsa, belajar menguasai bahasa & budaya baru, cari kerja di negeri orang, sampe akhirnya bisa memanggil negara itu sebagai negara sendiri juga. seneng dapet “temen” senasib, hehehe.. sukses selalu ya! dan selamat buat PR-nya!

  5. Aku suka statement yang “I want real friends in its real definition and not just numbers” karena makin dewasa kali ya, Pie. Dulu pas sma dan kuliah kayaknya makin banyak ‘teman’ makin oke, tapi makin ke sini makin terseleksi siapa yang emang circle terdekat kita

    • Apalagi ya sondang kalo merantau jauh begini, real friends itu jauh lebih penting daripada kumpul kumpul ga jelas gitu. ngabisin tenaga & ampuunn GOSIP bookk!!! dulu waktu abg kan klo bnyk temen kan eksis bgt ya, ah ga abg doang sih..orang dewasa jg kadang bnyk yg berpikiran kayak gitu. terserah aja sih ya sebenernya tp gw lebih merasa real friends gak hanya untuk teman suka duka aja tapi juga buat peace of mind, knowing that someone outside your family who really loves you and supports you regardless. menurut gw lagi, dgn punya real friends hidup loe jg lebih fokus & distraction jg berkurang *usep keringet*

      • beneeer, Pie. Show me your friends and I know who you are kan katanya. mau gak mau kita dan teman pasti saling memberi pengaruh kan. Jadi selektif dalam berteman itu emang perlu banget harusnya dr dulu, tapi tah kenapa kayaknya aku malah lebih berani selektif setelah umur segini hihi, kalo dulu takut banget rasanya ditinggal temen atau nggak diterima

  6. You made so many progress menurutku. Dutch…whaaaa… yang itu aku jg masih struggling. I have been here for 3,5 years. Selesai NT2 deel 2 jan 2012. Msh suka belibet sm grammatica.

  7. Pingback: Say Hello to 2014 | Bucket of Cherries

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