Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Promise

I was lost. I was mad. I was sad.
No, it’s not because of all the questions or judgement people threw at me. True that sometimes those words did hurt me. Of course I was feeling down when some people questioned about my college life—at the same time judging my progress in thesis. But this time, it wasn’t about other people. It was because I couldn’t keep a promise to myself. A promise I made on my own, to myself, which I betrayed it—I couldn’t make it come true.

All that I wanted to do was crying my eyes out, sulking in the corner and regretting the past events. One mistake that cause another, who knew it would harbor to this?

Jul 15th, 2017. The day my heart broke.
That very day crushed everything out of my head; my dreams, my future plan, primarily my confidence… over and over again. I’ve never felt so crestfallen toward myself. Even though I did want to let my stress out, on that day what I did was hiding in denial. I was trying to convince myself that it was okay, that it was not a big deal. After all, my graduation date is near, right?

But really, if I have to say, it wasn’t about the date, but more about my capability. Isn’t a year long enough? Why couldn’t I make it? Am I really that slow? Am I that stupid? The more I think about it, the more my heart shattered…

I couldn’t keep a promise I made to myself, I’m such a loser…
I’ve been crying in my head since that day. Though I keep calm in the outside, it was just a façade. My inner self knew what was happening behind those expressions I showed to others. 5 years as a psychology student wasn’t a waste of time after all, at least I’ve learned how to put personas into a good use. Thank you, Jung*. 

Actually, I’ve got a hint that this promise would be broken. Even so, I tried to convince myself that somehow miracle would happen, that my thesis exam would be held before the sacred date so then I could count it over. I was holding on until the last minute. What a stubborn, right?

But of course, such miracle doesn’t exist. My opponent was my campus system, who am I kidding? They got a schedule, I’ve got no authority to break it.

So then, I continue weeping…

I was prepared to write about this failure on the same date as the card lost its power. However, as expected, all my will vanished together with the promise and my hope that was crumbling silently. The very first line of this post was everything that occupied my head that day; nothing more, nothing else. I felt like I wasn’t living, as if my life stopped right there.

Sounds exaggerated?

Maybe it was just a piece of card with a simple line written on it. No matter the bad handwriting, that sentence means a lot to me. A LOT. I bet my future on it. Everything started from there, thus no wonder it became such a huge fall when I failed to realize that one.

Probably because it was the first time I dare to make a promise, a big one and failed it.

To be honest, I hate promises. I guess nobody could be so emotional over promises more than I would. Yes, I would rather you not promise me anything if there’s chance you’d forget or take it lightly, no matter if it was as trivial as I’d buy you a candy. I’d remember it forever, I just couldn’t forget it. If the person didn’t fulfil it, heck, I’d probably plot a revenge.

I am a dreamer. No doubt about it. I have so many dreams from the time I was a kindergarten and still carrying it even now. However, I’ve never written my goal before—not with time limit—so it protects me from broken heart. I realized that written memo did help. It makes me conscious about time and motivates me to work so I could realize it like in the promise.

Well, talking about qualitative research, I’m fully aware that it takes time. It did. Matching schedules with respondents wasn’t an easy task, let alone to make them talk. Despite all the struggles, I completed the interview within 3 months and all the writing part as well revision was done in early June. But still, there must be a hassle in each step of thesis journey. When I’ve done all my part, the campus system just had to stand before me, blocking the graduation gate and shielding it from my sight… and me, a student could only wait until it’s time for them to let me walk down the hallway.

After I did the exam, I could finally be honest with my feelings and talk about it. I stared at the card for some good time, reminiscing the time I wrote the promise. The passion I had at that time… where have it gone? And although I finally reached the point I promised, I felt empty instead of happy.

I wouldn’t deny that there was indeed a slight happiness that sparked inside of me. After all I did it right? Still in the same month and only 10 days away from the time limit. The problem was my stubbornness as well my negative mind is way bigger than myself. Therefore no matter I smiled all day and laughed heartily the inside was still sulking and kept reminding me that I lost the battle. There was time I wanted to punch myself and got that little devil out of my head.

It didn’t stop there. That invisible negative dude kept blowing the balloons of guilt and self-hate in my mind, popping more and more until my head was full of it, leaving no space for positive vibes. And my emotions burst as the balloons explode like fireworks.

Congratulation, you won over me again.

*crying in silence*

Enjoy the moment because I won’t let you take control over me forever.

You were probably right about that one, but if I were to be blunt, it wasn’t all because of my fault. I tried my best to finish it before the promise date and I did. But there are things beyond my control. Even though I’ve finished the preparation and requirements in June, the campus has its own policy that I couldn’t break. So then I will make it clear, I promised two things there; (1) I will finished my research, and (2) I will graduate; both within a year. Now you see, I fulfilled the first part of the promises, but I couldn’t make the later part came true.

Yes, this is a self-defense, against my own self. I won’t deny that I’m just trying to reason out to make myself feel better. Heck, I really do that! This is super important, if I don’t move on from this, I’m jeopardizing my future. Because I can’t work, I can’t feel happy, and I’ll be drowning in guilt and self-loath forever. Geez, being an emotional introvert is awfully troublesome at times.

The happy faces of my parents, my siblings, my friends, even my new relatives who congratulated me that day… why should I be the one who was and still crying? Isn’t that mean I betray their genuine loves for me? The smiles and hugs, the warmth or their words and the looks in their eyes…  Even my prof said she was very satisfied with my work. I shouldn’t trade it all to that jerk for the sorrow… I must embrace the positive energy they were trying to deliver… I must be happy with my achievement, even though that wasn’t as sweet as what I imagined it to be—overly sweet stuff could give me diabetes, anyway.

But you also failed to get the perfect score!

Oh my, can you please just go to hell? I’ve never really cared about my grade. So why do you have to make this one a big fuss? True that research isn’t easy and I could not consider it as trivial as those other subjects I got the low marks on, but I didn’t get the bad score either.

“Grade isn’t only what is on paper…  you learnt a lot while in the field, nothing like what you got during classes.” My prof said to me as a consolation. That is true, for the research, I jumped into the words I never knew before. I swallowed my shyness and talked to a stranger that was truly wondering what kind of person a psychology student is… trying to make a good impression so I wouldn’t ruin my institution name. Not to mention qualitative is all about interview and observation. And even though I love to observe, there’s nothing like my fear of interview. I got extremely nervous during one on one conversation with a new acquaintance, but there I was asking the person questions while doing my best to make them feel comfortable with me. Oh what a story…

It’s time to move on isn’t it? I got plenty on my list waiting to be fulfilled. If I couldn’t get over this one… there’s no way I’ll get to taste the other flavors of life.

You’re suck, your research was about gratitude but you’re such an ungrateful brat.

Oh, positive vibes! Where were you when I really need that slap? I wish you appeared earlier, but this timing is good too. Now that I have let myself went drunk of all these depressive feelings, I believe after this painful hangover I could forgive myself and walk on to my next destination.

Oh, I mean… working so I could afford the ticket. Teehee!

Thank you for the support, everyone!


Thinking about that now… there are so many dreams I’ve neglected since I work so hard to fulfil this particular one. You see that there’s no entry from 2016 in my blog. That meant I had put writing aside because I prioritized thesis. Though I still wrote some trashes in my notes and diary, there was really nothing worth calling as ‘writing’. My novel projects… the idea almost spoilt from years ago… and when I opened the folder, the ‘last modified’ date on details made me to draw a bitter smile.
Maybe writing them down and set a time goal isn’t a bad idea after all. Maybe if I try harder I could fulfil the remaining dreams as plan… shouldn’t I get it more organized from now on? Surely I don’t have much time left.

*Carl G. Jung, a personality theorist.

~ Aira