My first experience of studying abroad (not just following a training just like my previous EDMAT in Malaysia) gave me unexpected opportunities. Life is full of series of unexpected events. Damn! It is said in Forest Gump the movie: Life is like a box of chocolate. Interpretation of it is you never know which flavour comes next. It may be bitter of dark chocolate, sweet of milk chocolate, too sweet of white chocolate (white choco is not made of any cocoa powder, it is from cocoa butter, a totally different fraction of cacao beans), or even semisweet.
Sweetness of life appeared in nice eventually-found friends, fondness of my department, hectic-but-I-like-it a student’s life, quite enjoyable a course, and my eventual fit in this country or Den Haag in particular. Bitterness came just at the beginning of my journey, when I felt alone (I am, but it reduces greatly), when I didn’t find any friends nor any comfortable situations, when I rarely found any acquaintances to walk with, when I felt a bit disappointment of my previous minor as I considered it unclear of goals and too easy for me, when I was really aware of my solitary state every weekend as my roommate always went with her bf while I found completely nothing to do, when I felt useless of my boyfriend’s need especially for not being able be in his side supporting him on his darkest moments, and top of all, when I had to make every single decision — from trivial to which takes my utmost — by myself. From which vegetables to buy to which courses I should attend. From which dress to wear today to how I comported myself for my new classes. Years ago, I was always able to consult my decisions with my parents, friends, housemates, or close teachers. But now, every single moment is on my side, on my palm. Gradually, I changed. In a rather simpler way, a person who is naturally enforced to change his or her way of living from communal work into more individual work or taste mostly change, but it is pleasant to admit it does in positive way. I can’t measure my maturity, other people can. So it is better to leave the measure up to the air. I just feel I’m more organised, more responsible for my own financial, etc. Why so? Because I have to control almost all aspects of my every single day. It’s very different from my previous life in communal community of college students in Indonesia because I was inside my comfort zone. I have my own folks, my own people to help me decide something, and very often I did this or that just because every other student did that, too. Now, I leave my comfort zone, or to make it more comfortable to hear, I enlarge my comfort zone. It reaches area where I haven’t ever been before. It started from going overseas alone (Ok I went in group, but we separated at the airport to make our way to our different cities), tried to fit in totally new environment to live, a brand-new schooling system, new people who communicate in different language (I mean, different accents of English, you have to get used to listening to every accent so as to understand them), and above all, to manage everything in my life by myself.
Lately, I have been rejected by several companies. I applied for an internship position as I am supposed to start my graduation internship in February 2011, but unexpected things, like I said before, always occurred. A series of unfortunate events, to be honest, came to me sequentially. From waiting for the reply for a long time to refraining myself from cracking because of rejections, I have dealt with. My emotional and mental state was intertwined in roller-coaster-like state; one morning I woke up with zest just to find out my applications were all rejected, and the following morning I didn’t want to wake up because I had to make effort for revising my CV, cover letter, searching for new vacancies, contacting the people, and sending my documents out. I was even frightened to sleep, since I had nightmares frequently, and it came more frequently on those evenings of the days on which I heard my rejection. Since the days on which I heard those unpleasant news came in a row, my nightmares came in a row as well. I even got to some point where I didn’t want to wake up, just wanted to have a peaceful sleep to eternity which I do not need to open my eyes on the following day. When I realized it, I learned how big my sin was. I seemed like defy and deny God’s enormous grace to me. I am still alive, can still breathe, can still walk, can still see the sun…those are no questioned unbelievable and absolute signs of HIS bless towards us, towards me. Then why on earth I could hope I didn’t wake up on the following morning, while He still wants to see me alive, to see me say my prayer, to see my giving thanks, to see my smile? I repent myself from my sins as soon as possible.
I also told my parents about my past and current condition by Skype. I cried. But, my dad assured me that this was a part of my maturity test. Patience and perseverance are both inseparable parts of maturity quality. Things change, my present state also changes. I must be able of making decision by myself, and most of all, to face the world – including failures – on my own. It’s hard, I admit that. But my dad again gave me some instances of people who are not as lucky as me. These people are the majority of my nation. They don’t have opportunities for pursuing their own dreams due to time or financial state natural restrictions. But I, one single lady out of 200 millions of Indonesian population, am blessed to pursue my dream studying overseas, by scholarship, if I may add. In addition, my dad encouraged me that I must be someone special, for I have already survived through the challenges of living alone abroad. I must be having something unquestionably tough. I must own extraordinary capacity of handling my life. That’s why I must not give in nor give up in this battle. I am an adult now; I am expected to have extra power to endure any hindrances coming across my way.
In biblical point of view, I consider this as the way of God shaping me. He gave me extra problems, since He already knew that I would have no problems with my school or daily life or even – thanks God – financial. Studying abroad must give me extra values, which can be obtained from either academics or routine challenges. In more elaborate way, I was rejected since God knew I had less passion on those companies, or the projects simply didn’t fit me in. He doesn’t want me to work just for money or just for graduation, or take the project for granted. He wants something special to be awarded to me as my internship, for I myself am special before His eyes. My mom also asked me to be patient, for God already provided something ahead. Still a long way to go, though, and waiting is not always pleasant, especially for ambitious person like me. However, God always makes everything beautiful in His time, not in ours. It’s rather difficult to learn which time is his time. So this is the point: He simply wants me to be patient. I did my utmost, yet He didn’t grant my wish. It means He already prepared something special for me in the end of this tiring journey. I’m exhausted of waiting, God, but if it’s the way Thou shape me, then what am I to question and mumble. I just believe and I cast my hope upon Thee.