jiwa bergelora (lit. soul in turmoil).

My room is a mess – it looks something like the aftermath of a hurricane – but I can’t care less. Because I feel like the real hurricane, storm, tsunami – they’re happening inside of me, right this moment. There seems to be a lot of unease in my heart and soul lately, one I can’t put a finger and name to, yet I admit: I recognize it like one remembers an old friend; familiar.

This isn’t the first time.

To be honest, during those long train rides alone in cold Copenhagen, Denmark, last week… those rides allowed me plenty of space and time to think and reflect but I kept forgetting to take my moleskine journal and pen with me, so all that energy and scattered thoughts went nowhere in the end. What a waste, no? So I am – you are – left with this ball of anxiety who is typing away her random and messy stream of thoughts. What is it that I am seeking for, trying to make sense of?

I don’t know.

Considering the HR lady has not contacted me about my (submitted hard copies) documents, I am taking this to mean that it’s official: I am formally employed. Yes guys, I’m no longer unemployed! Hurrah! I start in January 2016 (…holy shit, 2.5 months from now) and will be moving back, this time for at least two years, to that particular small-town in Borneo.

Why is my enthusiasm so… lacking?

I am grateful – you should know me well enough by now, of course I’m grateful – but there’s a strange vibe floating in the air. I am immensely grateful but I think there’s a – maybe larger – part of me that is afraid.

Did I make the right decision?

I’ve signed the dotted lines of the offer letter, one with great perks and a higher pay for fresh grads compared to the average starting salary for an engineer in Malaysia. It’s a large, well-known international company. They funded my six years of overseas education, though I honestly need not feel morally obliged to work for them because I am not contractually bonded – the scholarship was an actual free lunch; such things exist! – but the job position sounded doable. It’s not environmental engineering, but still engineering and I am at this point, game to try new things. Long story short, it’s as good as it gets.

So why do I sound… why do I feel… why…. is there a lot of internal turmoil?

Here, a set of questions – maybe they’ll shed some light:

What happens when you get exactly what you want, in the exact form and conditions that you wanted it? What happens to a dream realized? What happens …next? What happens …to you?

(What happens to me?)

This feels like “Congratulations! You’ve gotten the scholarship – you’re good to go to the US for your degree!” back in 2009, then “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted to the environmental engineering MS program at Stanford!” in 2013. These Congratulations! for everything in my life so far, the small and big life-changing moments. They’re all too good to be true because at those points in time, they were exactly what I wanted for so, so long. I built entire life plans and goals around them and each time those dreams turned into reality, I am like I am now – strangely bewildered, unable to move.

What is it that I fear?

What happens (again) to a dream realized?


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