Pourquoi pas?

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Archive for the category “thoughts and random musings”

Home is where your heart is

Greetings from the hot, humid, crowded city of Jakarta! Yes, that’s right, I have left Geneva, Switzerland, and returned. Here’s the shocking part: unlike what I had imagined before, I’m not devastatingly missing Geneva!

Preparing to leave was a crazy ordeal. Not only did I have a gazillion things to sift trough and narrow down to roughly 40kgs, it was still business as usual (if not busier) at work the last week I was there, and oh, the many friends I had to say proper goodbyes to! I was a ball of messy emotions ready to explode at any time. Strangely enough, the explosion never happened. At least not in full repeated blasts that I had expected it to be.

I cried (or tried really hard to not cry) the following instances during my last week:

  1. In my room when I realized I still have another box to go through and a full suitcase after hours and hours of “packing”.
  2. When the choir director/music minister prayed for me at my last choir practice.
  3. During the blessing given to me by the pastor and members of the congregation on my last Sunday in Geneva.
  4. Saying goodbye to Daphne and her husband as they had to leave Geneva for a family emergency a few days before I leave.
  5. Listening to the meditation one of my colleagues prepared on the Wednesday of my office farewell lunch.
  6. In the hallway walking out of the office on my last day at work.
  7. At the airport after check-in (where the clerk let me pass with 3kgs extra luggage and 2 cabin bags), walking towards airport security and it finally sinked in that I am really really leaving.

Only seven times! Not bad, huh? Okay, to be fair, I might have forgotten one or two, but still. I didn’t even cry on the plane nor after landing nor in the days after that. And I wondered about that. After all, I was even hesitating about telling people that I’m going home because in many ways Geneva was home to me. So what happened?

The only thing that comes to mind is a request in the prayer my Genevan pastor said. It was a request for peace in my heart, and I believe the prayer was fulfilled.

Now, here’s a thought about the almost overused phrase “home is where your heart is”. Once you have peace, you realize your heart is with you at all times (without peace it’s easy to lose sight of your heart). Therefore, home is wherever you are.

I have peace in my heart. I’m home.

PS: This is not to say that I don’t miss my friends in Geneva or some things about Geneva. It is however saying that I’m not crying my heart out over that feeling of missing someone/something.

staying home and contemplating…

I woke up at half past ten this morning, and it took me about five minutes to actually realize how late it was. The day then continued to be a lazy day. I did not go out of the apartment at all, and was only out of the bed to take a nice long bath and to have breakfast/lunch/dinner which was basically one meal.

I had three things (three?) on my to do list for the day: 1. finish writing the Sunday School curriculum, 2. prepare the prayers for Monday morning worship… and 3. umm, come to a decision of whether or not I would like to and can stay for another four months here in Geneva (provided the cantonal officers decide to be gracious). This third point is ridiculous, in fact, because I know the resounding answer is yes. What I was thinking about, however, and what took most of my time, was thinking and rethinking all the possible scenarios of things I’d like to do, I’d have to do and I’d likely be doing.

Having spent hours on this subject, with the documents for the Sunday School curriculum open, I decided it’s high time to start working on it, so I tried… but it’s been quite a while and I just blanked out and got REALLY frustrated. I say really frustrated cause it got my thoughts spinning like crazy going all the way to “but what if the world ends in December 2012?” Don’t ask how that happened cause I have no clue!

Anyway, here’s the thing. I have drifted away quite far from my theology/ministry background, gotten unused to reading, reflecting, contemplating, writing, connecting, delivering. I have also somehow managed to slipped away from the emotional balance I had regained when I first came to Switzerland. I can elaborate more on why now cause I’ve contemplated this as well, but it might merit a separate post. Needless to say, the last few days I’ve been an emotional mess… but at this point right now, I’m ready to say that I’m okay… and I’m ready to re-start in order to move forward.

Quite randomly I found this song on a friend’s blog that I haven’t visited in a long, long while, and while it might not be directly related, I do feel like this song is speaking to me in a way, almost like it’s a sign. I’ll keep the details to myself for now though πŸ™‚

Smiling but you’re broken, hurting barely coping
Out there waiting, hoping
For someone, somewhere
To tell you what you’re missing
So you can get to living
You feel way beyond forgiven
You’ve tried everything
You’re not too far away
You can’t fall too far to save
Sounds unbelievable, but you’re not unreachable
Just take the hand of grace
Your sins have been replaced
By something beautiful, you’re not unreachable
Let mercy pull you closer, your fight is finally over
Stop running, where you going
Give into love
No need for resistance, this time it will be different
Love will go the distance
Wherever you are
You’re not too far away
You can’t fall too far to save
Sounds unbelievable, but you’re not unreachable
Just take the hand of grace
Your sins have been replaced
By something beautiful, you’re not unreachable
You’ve been waiting to be rescued from your shame
But He was there, before you called His name
You’re not too far away
You can’t fall too far to save
Sounds unbelievable, but you’re not unreachable
Just take the hand of grace
Your sins have been replaced
By something beautiful, you’re not unreachable
You’re not unreachable, you’re not unreachable

Just hanging out! (an argument)

This past weekend (well, yesterday and the day before yesterday), I spent a LOT of time just hanging out with a group of friends. Pretty much the usual lot, really. And I had such a great time. At the end of the day, I wrote a status message on facebook saying “I think I have finally realized the fun of just hanging out with people… Of course it has to be the right kind of people πŸ™‚

The truth is, I’ve never really been a hang-out kind of person, and bad experiences in the past have led me to generally despise planning outings with people or going places with other people. I used to prefer going alone to events, movies, shops… I told myself I preferred travelling alone AND I preferred staying home or in my room than “socializing”. In a way, I was rather anti-social. I don’t like crowds, I’d rather keep my thoughts to myself, I never quite understood people who would be “hanging out” all the time.

So what changed? Well, I think a combination of growing up, living abroad (alone), a little heartbreak and opening up to this great bunch of people are some of the most important factors.

Then the question came from another friend, why do you NEED to hang-out and what do you DO when you hang-out? She mentioned that she needs to explain this to her mom, and funny enough I’ve had similar experiences with MY mom. She thinks hanging out is a waste of time, which is probably also why I don’t usually hang-out much.

Well, 06:30 on a Monday morning having only slept roughly five hours and 30 minutes, I replied to this comment… first with random things like “to not be anti-social (hey, after all, human beings are social creatures!), to wind up (it’s been a rather tough week at work, as usual), to share stories (obviously, d’oh!)” but then I came up with THE answer, partially inspired by my all-time favorite quote from Girl, Interrupted –> Sometimes, the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.

And so, why do we NEED to hang-out? In order to keep sane by spending some time going insane with a group of people! Because it’s always better to laugh your heads off when you’re with other people (imagine laughing out loud on your own — in public!) and in fact things are more hilarious when you share them with others.

Case in point, while we were sitting on a bench at the chocolate festival yesterday (we stayed at the bench for more than 3 hours, I think), we watched as helium balloons were flying off to the sky. It started with a Winnie the Pooh balloon stuck at a nearby tree. If I was alone, it might have made me smile, that’s it. But being there with two other people, this is what happened:

Person A — Oh look, there’s Winnie on the tree
Person B — That’s okay, he always does that to get his honey.
Me — *LOL*

Soon after, we saw a Papa Smurf balloon (“he’s probably trying to escape from Gargamel”), a flying unicorn (“we found it! we found it!”), a princess (“maybe she’s looking for her unicorn!” “Oh, Papa Smurf, did you see my unicorn??”) and a train (“look, the train is coming to pick the princess up and bring her to the land of far far away”).

Yes, we had a hilariously good time just making up stories of the balloons, which would not have happened if I was alone. Lots of laughter was involved. You do know that laughter is the best medicine?

The other thing about bonding with people over a good hang-out session is that it’s a closer bond than any other relationships and is therefore also a good tool for networking, and even an ecumenical gathering at it’s best.

Because you will probably forget that person in the same black suit as everyone else you met at some random office party by tomorrow, but if you spent even half an hour with this person making up stories about flying balloons, you’ll remember him… and if you’ve laughed out loud because Papa Smurf moved on from one tree to another with someone, you are definitely less likely to be having a dividing argument with this person about some theological term.

Meanwhile, a hang-out setting, very relaxed, no hidden agenda, just being there with others and bonding through laughter does create opportunities to talk about “serious” matters too, like sharing heartaches, problems, concerns, ideas, etc.

As for the question of what do you DO when you hang-out? Well, you talk, you share stories (see paragraph before), you take photos, you eat, you enjoy the sun/the environment… and you laugh at flying balloons — or whatever else that comes up in your conversations.

PS: Thank you, my wonderful group of hang-out people. Looking forward to hanging out with you more often!

Realization

I woke up this morning realizing that I’m okay. While memories of him still float around my head, I noticed they no longer make me sad. I don’t feel hurt, and I don’t feel angry either. I re-read my last e-mail to him and I couldn’t recognize the voice that wrote it. It is as if I woke up a different person.

While a small voice inside is still saying that he deserves everything I wrote, the bigger part of me is sorry for having been so mean to him. Me being mean is dragging myself down to the douchebag level.

So yes, an apology letter will be drafted.

Because I have no capacity to hate.

There are two kinds of men…

Those who grow up according to their age, and those who are stuck at being 5.

Those who are stuck at being 5 think that the world revolves around them.
They think everyone adores them and that they have the right to claim whatever they want.
They have learned to be manipulative, being sweet at times when they want something and turning sour the minute they don’t get what they want.
They get bored easily and move on without thinking about what they leave behind.
When confronted about their behaviour, they run for cover — keeping silent, acting like nothing happened or put you on limited profile πŸ˜‰

Like any typical 5 year old, they are adorable at first… until you’ve seen the real side of them.

Never ever fall for this type of men.

Recipe for getting rid of heartaches

Take one beautiful, loving person tainted by a broken relationship, aka yourself.

Get rid of all thoughts of the jerk who hurt you.

Add (in no particular order):
Some good friends who understand you instead of judge you.
A few pair of shoes/new clothes/cute little things. Or all of the above.
Chocolates and ice cream, the richer the better. Like a magnum liqueur bar.
Cups of tea/hot chocolate.
Warm comfort food, like macaroni & cheese.
A good, inspiring book OR a nice movie (stay away from chickflicks or love dramas, however).

Optionally include a sweet young man whose little gestures give you hope for the future of humanity.

Soak in a warm bubble bath until all sorrows are gone.

TwentySeven. Almost.

In just three days it will be my 27th birthday. It feels strange to say that… I mean, I haven’t even gotten used to the idea of being 26, and here I am about to turn 27. LOL. Personally I think I’m pretty much stuck at 21, or maybe 17… or 10, sometimes πŸ˜›

I am proud to say that most people are still taken aback when I say I’ll be turning 27… although so far this year I think there has only been one person who thought I am under 21, which is quite a change when you’ve been thought to be 16 at the time you were 22. Generally people think I’m 23 or 24.

This will be my 2nd birthday away from my family (read: mom), I think. The first one was when I was 6 or so, we were in Germany and mom had left me with (sort of) a nanny because she had to go on a business meeting. Well, Mrs. Reuter, the nanny, threw me two little parties, if I remember correctly. One in the morning with the family and then with the rest of the kids that Mrs. Reuter takes care of in the afternoon. It was fun.

This year, well, initially I wanted to go on a getaway to Paris to make my own dream come true on my birthday… but then my passport had to be sent to the British embassy to get my visa and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would get it back by tomorrow so the plan was cancelled. I got my passport back last week of course, but by then I had lost interest in planning the getaway, plus it wouldn’t exactly be affordable anyways. So… it came down to having nothing really special for my 27th birthday, except for the major fact that I am in Europe to celebrate it… and yet, friends to the rescue! I will have a birthday lunch with some of my favorite people. Yaay!

I’m looking forward to it, and to the year of being 27, the bigger part of the year still being spent in Geneva… I foresee a year full of travels and adventures! To start it off, of course, I’ll be going to London just 4 days after my birthday! Sweet!

Because…

Because you make me feel happy and loved…
Because you show genuine interest in me and my life…
Because you’re not afraid to tell the world how you feel about me…
Because you have a positive view on life…
Because you know what you want in life and work your way towards it…
Because you never give up…
Because you make me a better person…
Because you keep no pretenses…
Because your hand would always be there to hold me and support me…
Because you’re not afraid to tell me about your past, and your future…
Because I could go on and on gushing positive things I see in you…
Because you can laugh at yourself…
Because you entertain people…
Because you love kids…
Because you love dogs…
Because you have a heart that serves God…
Because you’re the answer to my prayers…
Because you know how to handle me…
Because I know I can trust you…
Because you love your mom…
Because you’re cute πŸ˜‰
Because you keep doing/saying things that are just right…
Because you never fail to make me smile…
Because you’re willing to wait…
Because I could go on with this list forever…

Because.

I love you.
And I hope I truly deserve you.

Love. This.

passionate sexuality and passionate spirituality are not oppositional but part of the same longing.
For connection. For communion. For ecstasy. For transcendence. For rapture. For redemption.

And maybe for some holy words.

Like: I love you.

Or: Love each other.

— Kelly Diels, God, Sex, and Dazzling Sentences

And for a “religious” point-of view (although I think I’m beginning to take the stance that everything we do IS religious), this journal article.

Now if only there’s a term paper I could write to dig into this subject… Hmm…

If you truly love someone…

then you should be happy when they’re happy… even when their happiness is because they’re in love with someone else.

I’ve said that before, but never really got to that point, ever. Heck, I even feel a tad bit of envy over my ex getting married… when I never really wanted to be his girlfriend at the first place (long complicated story). So yes, I understand I’ve been somewhat unfair at times, claiming this sentence while not really practicing it myself. In fact I didn’t even thought it was remotely possible to “love someone and let them go” as the saying so often goes. Well, especially letting them go while still being perfectly happy for them, that is. Of course you can let go and be miserable about it. And yet today, I realize that it is indeed possible.

Yes, for the first time in my whole life I felt perfectly happy upon hearing what would’ve otherwise been perfectly heartbreaking. And it’s a pretty good feeling, I must say. It also makes perfect sense, I mean, why be miserable over something you have absolutely no control of, right? It’s not like your crying 7 days and 7 nights would actually change the fact that he/she is happy with someone else. So why not be happy for him/her instead? Gaah, that sounds so simple… and on any given day I would say it’s simply impossible. But not today. I can’t help but wonder why, though… I could probably come up with a million different reasons given the circumstances, and I could also quite probably end up feeling kinda sad after all. Like maybe I was just simply really happy at the moment and it didn’t really sink in… or maybe it’s not really that deep of a feeling so it didn’t really matter much… or perhaps… oh well, it was probably something about his smile. LOL.

So yeah… if you read this as you might, you’ll figure out two things. First, I had a crush on you *blush* — underline the had, though… I think… LOL, one can never be too sure about feelings. Second, am happy for you, really am. May you have a wonderful relationship with the lucky girl πŸ™‚

Meanwhile… you… the one person I miss waaayyy too much for my own good… get around and send me a message, an e-mail or whatever, will ya? πŸ˜‰

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