Hello, Late Twenties!

I’m turning 28 this year. Bye-bye early Twenties! Maybe some of you think of 28 as ‘old’. Well, I always feel like 18. Hahahahaha.

Looking back at the previous years, I can’t believe that I reached most of my milestones in my twenties. I graduated from college at 22 years old. I obtained my Masters degree at 24 years old. I got my first job at 25 years old. And I landed into my current job, which is thankfully quite steady at 26 years old. And, oh I started this blog when I was 20 years old. :p *it’s been 8 years. omg*

My early twenties also marked the metamorphosis of me, from a nerdy idealistic girl wearing glasses into a more easy going realistic girl (still wearing glasses). I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy my teenage time at all. I was busy catching up with courses and gaining good scores back then when I was in school. But I really enjoy my early twenties. The period when I started living separately from my parents, meeting new friends in college who eventually become some of my best friends until now, joining some organisations and communities, and got the taste of living abroad.

Early twenties was the period when I was forced to be an independent girl. It was all started on my late teenage hood, though. I moved to another town, 2 hours drive from Jakarta-my hometown. I lived there for 4 years. However at that time, I could still easily stay in touch with my family and even going back and forth to my hometown anytime I want. But a year after I graduated, I moved to a country ~10.000 km away from my family. I thought it would be hard. Turned out I really enjoy those moments living abroad. I enjoyed doing everything by myself, from cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, etc. Yes, I had all of the reasons to be independent when I was living in UK. When I returned back home a year later, my parents were surprised because I changed a lot in a positive ways.

Early twenties was the period when I felt unsure with my future. After getting Master, then what? I used to expect my future to be in a series of “college-master-PhD-Postdocs-Professorship-staying in Europe”. I didn’t realize that idealism is a utopia. And I also denied that a career in science is not steady and will not bring me anywhere towards financial independency. I still remember that time when I had a serious discussion with my parents. They told me to be realistic. People need to be financially independent to survive. It can be simplified as “you need money to survive, baby”. Right at that very moment, I decided to find a steady job, set a target to pursue a PhD while still securing a job so I won’t end up being a jobless PhD later on, and not leaving Indonesia. By not leaving Indonesia, I mean that I still want to pursue a PhD and probably a Postdoc abroad and stay there for a couple of years, but I will surely come back home and settle down in Indonesia. Some people questioned this decision because I used to be very ambitious to leave Indonesia and getting settled somewhere in Europe. I prefer to base myself in Indonesia, while still being able to go around the world getting and sharing new knowledge. I realize I’ve made some big decisions during my early twenties.

In terms of love, I fell in love with some wrong guys in my early twenties. I totally didn’t regret  because that was parts of my learning journey. I learned to let go of the things beyond my control. And now, I’m just hoping that I will find the right one on my late twenties. Say Amen! Yeah, I know it’s hard for a guy to love a high-standard woman (yet low maintenance) like me. Haha. But I believe there’s a brave man out there who’s willing to live the rest of his life together with me. Just wait for the right timing. Well, getting married is not on the top list of my priority at the moment, though. Maybe a couple of years from now. Unless someone propose me. *cough*

So many wishes I have in my remaining twenties period. My top priority is to continue my studies. Other than that, I will try to improve all aspects of me as a human beings, both physically and mentally.

Keep calm and be crazy, laugh, love, and live it up because this is the oldest I have been and the youngest I’ll ever be again

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A Surprise Cake from my parents. Believe me, my nickname is Ella and not Gaby. But somehow I’m a bit obsessed with that ‘Gaby’ name. lol
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What’s In A Person?

For all these years, I have always judged people, especially guys, based on their intellectuals. In my opinion, smart is the new handsome. lol. Also when it comes to me judging other fellow women out there, “SMART” is always be on the top of my list. It just brings annoyance to me whenever I see dumb beautiful women. Okay, maybe men think “well at least she’s beautiful”. Hello?

However, lately I think there is one other quality that is as essential as smart. Empathy. I realised that not every smart people has empathies to their surroundings. Being empathetic to others is actually simple. But not everyone can do it. Greeting your colleagues every morning, always put smiles on your face, not talking bad about others, and volunteering for misfortune people out there are just some of the least we can do.

I have just actually being “reminded” about this. I am a kind of people who is a little bit selfish. And I know something’s wrong with me if I still keep this characteristic on myself. Even some of my friends already labeled me with this ‘bodo-amat‘ type of person. Yes, I must change.

The combination of smart and empathetic will shape a great person. Just one reminder, don’t change yourself for the purpose to be adored by others. But change for the better you. And yes I think I would fall for a smart empathetic guy. Because handsome is just a bonus. Same goes to men, fall for smart empathetic women. Because beauty is just a bonus. And every smart empathetic women has the most inner beauty. 🙂

Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another