You're so ambitious for a juvenile...
Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two..."
Vienna by Billy Joel
South Korea as My Eyes Saw It
Garden of Morning Calm
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
I remember when I was a child, though my memories are not so clear but the feeling is still so strongly attached in my self like it wasn't happen more than decade ago. How happy I was as I sit on the train to Bandung, experiencing train for the first time with both of my parents and my brother. Observing life outside the train window along the journey, sometimes I saw small houses densely populated with families of all generation, children, adolescent, parents, and grandparents. Sometimes I saw a vast unpopulated area filled with paddyfield, river, and birds accompanied by the blue sky with cotton candy clouds above. Sometimes I asked to my mother "Where is that, mom? Is someone ever be there?" and the other time I would just sat quietly observing things while eating an undeniably delicious warm cup noodle.
Wasn't that a simple occasion? Ain't I still used to go traveling every once in a while until now? Can't I easily experience a journey on a train again nowadays? Yes I can take the train whenever I want to, but the experience? I will admit it, no, it is hard to enjoy one as perfect as how I had it when I was little. It is true, yes, sometimes I would quietly enjoy a journey on a train while reading Tuesdays with Morrie. Sometimes I would do what I do best, observing the life accross the window with a cup of coffee or tea in my hand. But it would not last as long as when I was a child. Because not long after I enjoy the moment, there would come the thoughts of problems I got back home, mostly on works. Then I would still stare at the window but I was no longer observing, I was drowning on my own thoughts thinking about all the works I haven't perfectly finished, calculating how much time I have to spend after I got back home from this journey to finish it and how I should finish it. I lost the moment. I was there but my mind wasn't.
Exactly a month ago while I was observing the quite life beyond my bus window on a journey from Pyeongchang to Seoul, I saw mountains covered with snow it was so beautiful I was so tempted to take a video of the moment because it would be a beautiful one to be shared on Instagram stories. And if, there I followed my desire, I know I too, will lose the moment again. As soon as I finished uploaded the story it would be no secret that I would be stuck on Instagram replying the comments or maybe curiously checking on who's viewed my story.
One month ago I succeeded on holding the temptation to share too much moments or stories on social media. I succeeded to refuse to post photos as soon as I captured it on my camera. I succeeded to refuse to think about my pile of works to be finished back home. I succeeded to stay in the moment.
It surely wasn't one easy task.
As I grew up from a high school student until now that I am in my last year as a clinical student, not much people of societies around me encourage one another to stay in the moment. This last decade education and economy is growing fast and technology is so rapidly developed. One after another social media is coming up and have taken our attention. Everybody is easily connected online. But offline, is it as easy as that? Life becomes so fast paced for information becomes shorter, more efficient, but also more immediate.
Everything is fast. I could get any information be it about a travel destination or medical related stuff, easily from the internet. I will know the news of my friends who are studying abroad easily from Instagram, ain't no need to wait months for that postcard to arrive anymore. I could be in Jakarta in the morning and arrived at Amsterdam in not more than a day with a direct flight that is now easily available. Everything is fast. And so does my mind is pushed to travel my thoughts faster. When I was in my last undergraduate year, people around me already asking where would I go after I finished my minor thesis. And now when I am in my last clinical student year, people around me already asking where would I work after I got my DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) title. Circumstances around us always direct our mind to think about the future instead of staying in the moment, doesn't it? Nothing is wrong of course, oh it is perfectly normal human nature.
But how about habit on enjoying the process?
But oh have I just realized, I can control it. I can control everything starting from my own mind. Now I train a habit on enjoying the process. On my last journey to South Korea I push my self to only post photo on Instagram when I arrived at the hotel and had satisfied wandering the neighbourhood and oh hey I even succeeded in taking ski class without taking any photo of my self for I busy sharping my skill on ski! I try to enjoy Sunday morning without phone so I could enjoy my mundane morning swim and brunch all to my self, smell the aroma of a french pressed coffee while observing my surrounding or reading a book. I try to enjoy my Tuesday ballet class without bothering my mind to think about my tomorrow's work. I try to enjoy my work without controlling and expecting the outcome. I lock my phone in my bag once I'm exchanging conversations with my long distance boyfriend I meet once in a while these past 7 years of our long distance moment. It is a slight improvement but it starts to develop into a habit of mine.
A habit to stay in the moment, just like the old time, just like how I enjoyed observing the life outside my train window to Bandung when I was a kid. Oh, stay in the moment, it does sound liberating, doesn't it?
-Sunday, February 12th 2017-
(Written at one of a comfortable coffee shop with French Pressed Papua Wamena accompanied me, after a good quality morning swim I had and my phone is comfortably locked in my bag. This post, too, is a reminder for me of how good today for I stay in the moment while writing and observing this old couple busy taking wefie of themelves and share it on social media rather than talk to one another.)