Monday, September 03, 2007


I am thankful of being able to do what I do right now.

Recently, a number of people have made me question my decision of going to UK to study design. It is not nice and rather hurtful to hear "she could do it because they are loaded", "she can definitely go everywhere", "she decided on a whim", "she didn't put much consideration into it", "it's easy sailing for her" and the likes.

When it comes to making decisions, I tend to swing between a passionate romantic and a cold skeptic - I have had my moments of ten-second resolutions and months of mulling over in some other cases. To be honest, there is no fixed formula for making life's decisions as life itself is fluid.

Also, I am not very fond of declaring that one thing will happen only to find out soon enough it would not. In early 2005 I made the declaration that I would definitely stay in Melbourne - working while studying design part-time - and could only see myself living in Indonesia "in ten years' time, possibly even more". It was obviously embarrassing and rather inconsistent to learn that within three months of the above-mentioned speech I wasn't accepted into RMIT, scored a job at Astra, entered into some sort of agreement with my parents, and booked a one-way ticket home.

I also got criticised for being able to flit and move around places relatively quickly. Well, moving around is no easy business, at the very least it's logistically challenging. Add up the burden of telling people you're close with you won't be seeing them till God knows when, re-establishing a support network in the new place, and being alone... then sometimes I wonder how I could manage to move around twice in a bit over a year.

Well, people are entitled to their own opinions.
And I am entitled to choose my attitude.

Me doing what I do right now is the product of a series of miracles. Here they come:

1. My parents' support
Knowing them, I honestly never thought my parents would ever let me study design. I have this funny hypotheses whether it might have been caused by that 'mural' I did on the bedroom wall when I was three, but anyway... learning about their support is amazing.

2. My extended family's support
Can't be thankful enough for their moral support.

3. The funding
Well, it just appeared out of nowhere, really. Nobody was expecting it.

4. The university offers
It happened twice with my less-than-impressive portfolios. It is a venerable institution, too...

5. Lack of tiara on head
If I had won, I would have been made to refuse the first university offer, and the study would've been jeopardised.

6. The visa farce
My first day of school started on 13 August, I was ready to board the flight, and the check-in attendant informed us my dad's visa is effective starting on 1 August and mine on 1 September (he was supposed to send me off - great.) The days in Dubai were spent with realising that weekends happen on Thursdays and Fridays in the Arab world, learning the British Embassy in Jakarta did not send any messages to Dubai regarding my visa case, and frantically re-applying my visa. Good thing it was granted on the spot, phew! ^__^;
Oh, and the embassy in Dubai misspelt my surname. I was having cold sweats while going through immigration.

7. Building a support network
I have never imagined making friends could ever be so straightforward. I met two of my closest friends in UK on first day of school - we were enrolling together, we got enrolled into the same class, and we were equally loud :)) These two are like sisters to me and I'm glad for them.
Also, more friends and contacts came along the way - I'm glad I have no reason to moan about for having made no friends.

8. The boarding
Found the place while doing a quick casual check on lettings. Got interviewed and accepted within two days, and moved in two days later. And it is pretty good, too :D very very blessed indeed.

9. The guarantor
The guarantor? It's very hard to come across one, and to make it even more challenging I had no relatives who could stand as my guarantor. And yet, someone offered to be my guarantor from week one :))

10. Skills
I haven't found a way to explain how, but I'm glad I'm learning new skills all the time (both technical and mental.)

So yes, I'm here by sheer miracles.
I guess if I find myself feeling down and low, I should give this list a look. The problems I face probably won't go away but at least I would feel better. After all, attitudes can make or break lives...

Thanks for listening to/reading my blabs! I'm glad there are people who, after all these rants, still stick their eyes here to read this post.

Take care,

from a person with a changed attitude.


Rupert Breheny said...

Well put, very succinct. I met my girlfriend when she came across to study Art Theory in London and she really enjoyed it. I think the dissertation was harder on account of the language difference - make sure you have a native English speaker help you with your writing. She now manages a gallery in Seoul and the London experience really helped with that. Good luck with your studies...

ayahshiva said...

ya seperti itulah yang bisa merampas impian kita

johnorford said...

apart from miracles it sounds like guts and determination were also involved, don't ignore that! :)