The Aftermath of Eat Pray Love

by Amalia

I watched Eat Pray Love with Jessie today at the cinema. On the way back home, passing through the empty roads (mind you, it was past midnight), I did a lot of thinking and I realized that, hey, I was in the similar situation too: confused about what I wanted to do with my life! It’s a life dilemma, the first time such thing ever happens to me!

I used to know what I wanted to do with my life. Hell yeah, I was good at it! Since high school, I had my own life map drawn showing me which path I should take. When others were still confused about which university they wanted to go to or which major they wanted to choose, I already had everything set. It seemed so easy and I did it without the help of my parents, who practically lived miles away from me. I planned everything by myself. I knew that by the time I finished high school, I would go to Australia to study. Then afterwards, I would do my Master degree somewhere in Europe. I would then live somewhere in the Middle East to work and encourage more women to participate in the workforce.

I also used to dream about having a successful IT career. I would live abroad, have a great life as a single career woman, and at the same time, support my family; be it helping my dad to finance the education of my siblings or financially helping my mom to build a house she ever dreamed of. Then I would start to slow down, fall in love, have kids, and so on. It was an ordinary dream, a traditional and “selfish” one, I would call. Nothing fancy. It was a dream most girls in this world dying to have.

Those things kept me going up the ladder. Plus, I loved what I did. That’s what mattered. I loved what I studied. I was so passionate about the computer world that I would swear myself I would be doing it for the rest of my life. I remember when I first came to Eindhoven, a friend told me that he never met any girl who was so excited about being devoted to this field! Most of his girl friends, he said, ended up doing something totally different than IT, or throwing themselves in that field due to lack of choices. Well, it never occurred to me that I became one of those people he mentioned a year later! I didn’t know what had happened!

During my lifetime, I have learnt. I have been inspired and encouraged. I have been moved. But it all came to one thing: I always have wanted something different. I realized that the field of IT was not for me. Was I bored? Perhaps. I always get bored, even with my love life, which always makes me question, will I ever find a guy that I will never get bored of? I always demand for changes. That’s why you’ve seen me hopping from one country to the other. I want to see different things. That’s why you’ve heard me talking about being in the ocean. I don’t want to be in the same situation all the time. I want to feel energized every time. And that’s through experiencing different things.

Truth to be told, I can’t help thinking that I would be spending my entire life in an office, behind a computer! Even thinking about it already makes me crazy. Of course, I could be a manager or a head of something, like people ‘suggested’ me, but in general, working in the office hasn’t been a favorite to me. It’s too monotone. Imagine, every single day you wake up and do the same thing. It’s not exciting! It’s not fulfilling. You won’t feel satisfied. Why do you think people hate Monday?

So now, yes, officially, I have lost my passion. I don’t know my destination and goal are anymore. They disappeared without me realizing it. I am now in the intersection of a big road, confused of which direction I should take. Street signs are everywhere but they aren’t meant to help me with choices. They really confuse me!

Some people know that I’ve been really interested in the development world, especially education, youth, and community development. I’ve been looking into that field a lot. Is the development world really for me? Of course, at some point in our life, we want to help others and make a huge impact. But let’s just forget about it for a moment, because for me, if I want to help others, there are many members of my own family (relatives) who financially need help. And I think I have to prioritize them over anyone else in this world.

But then why is the development world seem so exciting for me? I feel like, by going deep into this field, I can interact with other people more often. The real people. The people who can inspire me. The people who may teach me more about trust, love, or anything. The people who can straighten my faith. The ‘ordinary’ people who know much better about what life is all about than those people who can’t seem to have enough of things. That’s what I love about it. Those people live their life based on love, the support of their family, lessons they learnt in the past, and experiences; not based on cool gadgets, money, BlackBerry, or fancy dress. I can’t find satisfaction in those. Perhaps, yes, temporarily, but not in a long term. If I work in an office, I can only imagine the usual boring everyday routine and the fact that there would be less human-to-human deep connection. People (including me!) are getting so further away from each other, thanks to the computer, Internet, and social networks. In addition to that, when you deal with people, you will be facing different cases or stories at some point. Surprises await you. Not to mention when you travel to different places, culture influences the creation of different individuals and that’s what makes it so bloody interesting!

I can’t say confidently that I have finally found my passion right now. I feel like I want to devote myself in the field of development. But everything is still vague and blur. Everything that I see is pictured in my selfish imagination. I haven’t really dive into it yet, nor am I experienced in it. That’s what makes me stuck. That’s what makes me afraid to go on and to take the risk. Even worst (and I say it again), I don’t know how to start. I haven’t met people who are experienced in this yet. I have no clear picture. I’ve been wanting to go to Jordan or even Palestine to do some voluntary works after I graduate but everything is still an immature plan. Everything that I have in mind is still in the phase of ‘let us see what happens after I graduate’. I don’t want to make myself completely into this yet, because I know I have some priorities. Unfinished business needs to be completed first.

It does seem like I don’t appreciate what I have right now. Don’t get me wrong, I do. I am grateful each day for everything that God has given me. But if God allows me to take a different path, why can’t I choose that path? If that path makes me more satisfied and fulfilled, why can’t I take that direction then? 🙂 I have a full control of my life. It’s matter of choice: whether I will spend the rest of my life dreading of going to the office OR waking up each day, full of love, excited about the surprises that life would bring for me. Of course I would rather choose the second one. Because I believe that “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy” (Rumi).