I'm not running fast enough. Either that, or time is actually gaining on me. Checking my schedules and e-mail messages everyday doesn't help when all I can see is a list of deadlines screaming at my face. Strange as it may sound, I'm saying that the work I love so dearly can actually wear me out to near exhaustion. As much as I love to draw for a living and make other people happy, sometimes I have other stuff in my mind, dying to come out too. Well, I am human after all.... I blame myself, really. I day dream too much, even when I'm working.
So today, I stole time...Well, borrowed a couple of hours was more like it...only because I wanted to be alone with my dream and this magnificent creature that's been haunting my head for a few days!
I hope you find a way to steal some time too! (^_^) oxox
Hope, courage and faith. These are the three graceful words engraved in The Deborah Award, that is now bestowed upon me by my darling friend, Ces. Although I wonder whether I'm worthy of such an award, I am truly honored to have it here at 'home'. I'm sending the same award to these remarkable people...So guys, feel free to spread the love to your friends too!
By the end of my second year in England, life was getting better. Well, easier, perhaps is the more correct word. School was becoming more bearable ever since I found new friends and I was starting to get used to things that were alien to me. I found myself enjoying my classes, and I was so glad that after countless jokes made on my surname, my friends were actually getting better at pronouncing it. Some even took the liberty of simplifying it and called me only by the first four of the fifteen letters. I never objected. They had lightened the load for me.
However, I must say that the real turning point for me was the first day I took Art as a chosen subject. It was something I couldn’t do back in Indonesia, so you can imagine the thrill when I found out that I had the chance to finally study art. I became acquainted with Van Gogh, dreamed endlessly of Renoir’s paintings and spent most of my allowance on art books and supplies. I even met some of my closest friends in that class. Funny isn’t it? It turned out art was becoming a bridge between the gaps and I found myself finally understood for the first time.
Other than art, traveling became another highlight. My parents, who wanted to make the best out of things, decided that it would be good for us to discover as many places as we could while we were living abroad. London became our playground and the weekends were filled with visits to every attraction listed on the tourist guides. Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London and Big Ben were only the beginning. Lord, I even posed with the Queen at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum once! I was a tourist living a local’s life. It was really quite ironic, considering some of my English born friends had never even been to most of those places before. But as much as I objected to what seemed to me then as these ‘ridiculously uncool’ trips, I knew my parents were happy. So I endured it half-heartedly.
And then there were the holidays. As if gallivanting around London was not enough, every holiday that came along was turned into an expedition. We traveled to many parts of England, large and small, popular and less popular. There was Brighton. Then Bournemouth, Oxford, York, Cambridge, Portsmouth, even all the way up to Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland (of course, these are just some of the places I remember, I sort of got lost somewhere along the line). My father became attached to the map of The British Isles. He would plan the trips and did research on each destination. Then when the date was set and everything taken care of, we would set off on the road with me on the back seat, sulking most of the time because I would rather be with my friends at the mall. And as my parents’ spirits grew bigger, the destinations became more ambitious. France was next on the line. Then The Netherlands followed. We were literally making the most of our stay.
It’s funny how life can suddenly surprise you with the biggest, prettiest and the most delicious looking cake you have ever seen, and you’re left with a choice to either take a little bite or finish it to the last crumb. I guess when it comes down to it, I am now forever grateful that my parents had a dream to see the world and I was lucky that they took me along with them.
Look at what I found today while cleaning out the dusty boxes up in the attic! It's my very own first recipe book! Ever!!
I remember getting this book when I just started out second grade, which was almost 27 yearsago!! (Ok, you can do the math...). You know how kids like to claim their properties?? Well, it appears I did too..
Just take a look at the wonderful illustrations... I think this book was translated from a Japanese book, since that was the trend back then. The recipes also include traditional cheese cake, a very popular cake with Japanese people, no?
Even better, this book is actually good for little cooks because it shows illustrated step by step instructions, and they are all just adorable! (click to enlarge)
I guess I just wanted to share this with you... I still can't believe I've had this treasure all along... a piece of my childhood! Now I can give it to my daughter and continue the cycle...
I have been thinking a lot of my past lately, my teenage life in particular. It was the most confusing time of my life, but also the most influential part. It was the time when I questioned most about my own existence and I believe it has shaped me to be the person I am today.
Born a native Indonesian, I remember my parents raising me with only little traditional values. My father for one is a man full of dreams. Fascinated by the West, he wanted to go to faraway places and taste a different kind of life than our own. He insisted his children to learn English at a very, very young age (5 years old, being my case), and at the time it was uncommon to do this. He wanted us to be prepared for something that wasn’t even in sight. But naturally, God works in mysterious ways. Little did I know that 7 years later my father’s prayers and wishes would be granted. We flew to England that very year and started a life that became the next crucial chapters of my life.
Adjusting to the new life was tough, although I had my father to thank because language wasn’t one of the problems. However, school was something I dreaded each day. I felt like a fish out of the ocean, plunged into open freshwater and learning to swim all over again. Suddenly I had to speak French, know all about English history, read Shakespeare, play hockey and learn scientific terms is English. Not to mention facing new friends who probably only thought of me as ‘the Asian girl with the weird, 15 letters long, unpronounceable surname’ (and having to spell it out each time someone needed it didn’t help either!). I was exhausted and overwhelmed. My grades slipped, my weight shot up, and my mood swings played frantically. I was a wreck and I hated my life.
Of course, being a teenager, I kept this to myself. I was a shut book and became my own refuge. Thankfully, I met a few open minded people who later on became my very good friends. I started knowing more and learning more about being ‘one of the crowd’, started to believe that my only way out of the mess was to become like them. I dressed like them, talked like them, liked the things they did, and the little traditional Indonesian values my parents had taught me faded away eventually only to leave mere traces. It was the price I had to pay.
Old friends (I was taking the picture!)
So you see, I think this story answers some of the questions I’ve been asked about my background. It may help to clarify the confusions to most of my new found Indonesian friends who I’ve met online and wondered whether or not I was one too. Or maybe correct wrong impressions that I wasn’t one because my art or writings portray the more Western part of me.
Now I understand that although brief, teenage years can be one of the most important stages in shaping a person’s mind and soul. That it greatly influenced the foundation of my point of views and the way I carry myself in life. Though difficult, it’s a lesson learned and I pray that I will be able to stand by my children when the time comes for them.