Growing up, I have always loved to write. I am not entirely sure why have I stopped. Perhaps it's got to do with the fact that I don't feel particularly fluent in any language.
I mean, yes, I am well versed in both English and Indonesian. But I have not written/spoken/read Indonesian like I used to when I was a child for a long time, until bout 1.5 year ago when I started working.
I was so rusty.
The thing is, I never considered myself particularly good at English, either. Sure, you can compare me with what they call 'average Indonesian' and I'd do better – but that's because English is the language I use day in day out. It's hard to suck when you are forced by circumstances to be good at it. Still, I don't think I'm good enough to have the courage to start writing the way my 12 year old self used to.
What I did love about writing – still do, actually – is how it has always helped me sort my thoughts. When it's three in the morning and my brain runs wild, or those lazy hours in the afternoon when ideas came to visit.
I used to always write them down; whether it's a possible future projects with action plan (more often than not I never actually act upon them), or random strings of words that enters my brain – an actual word vomit of sorts.
And when words cannot describe them, I read. I read and I read and I read everything that resonates with me. I read what helped me find words that match what I think and feel.
Now, 16 months into my corporate job, reading and writing feels like work. I would really love to read more, and write more, but it is also what I do in the office. It became harder to look at words and appreciate them, and it's really sad… although I suppose I got better at both English and Indonesian simultaneously during the course of this job, so I guess that's fine.
On my recent visit to Jakarta, we drove past little cafes along the streets of the city. I told my father that when I have the chance to stay in the city for a while, I'd love to drop by those cafes and sit down, observe.
Mom said it's a waste of time to spend hours siting in a coffee shop, doing practically nothing with absolutely zero purpose. The thing is, I love people watching, and an overpriced cup of coffee usually really helps… although not so much in the wallet department, obviously, 'cause I'm still broke as fuck.
Maybe when the day really comes, when it becomes possible for me to hop from one coffeeshop to another, in a city that feels like home but has become increasingly foreign for me, I'd write again. I'll grab a book, sit down in a corner of the cafe, alternating between reading and observing. I'll grab my pen and write down the words that would be running through my head.
Hell, maybe I'll write a whole book then.