A lesson from a trip to Jakarta #1

What are you thankful for today?

I realized that it is a good question to ask every day. Sometimes, we are just too busy making a living that we forget the gift of living itself, to enjoy every step of the way. I think it is good to just pause for a few minutes every day just to think about the good things we are thankful for that day. There must be bad days but it does not mean that there is nothing to learn from them. It is all about our perspective and how we respond to things in our life. So, I made that decision to take some time every day to think and write about at least one thing that I am thankful for that day.

Yesterday I went to Jakarta to meet with my friend. She is leaving for Australia next week and we thought it was great to catch up before she departs. So, off I went. I took a train to go to Jakarta because it is cheap and it doesn’t have to get stuck in traffic jam for hours like riding on a taxi or a bus. I left at 2.30ish from Bogor station. The train was not too crowded and it was great. However, it was a different scene on the way back to Bogor from Jakarta. Pardon me for not being really familiar with the scene but this is what happened. I was waiting for the train to get back to Bogor at Cikini station in Jakarta and I realized it was a Tuesday, a working day. I said to myself, “Oh, it’s pretty fine. It’s not too crowded.” I saw a couple of trains passing by and only a couple of people were standing. It’s not too bad, I thought to myself. Until I saw the Bekasi train passed by, I was like, wow that was crowded and I was thankful I did not have to take the train. Then came the train to Bogor, which was the train that I had to take to get home. I could not believe my eyes. It was full but people kept going in. I jumped to the train and tried to hold on to a handle. The train made a few more stops and more people got in to the train. I was like, seriously guys, it’s already full, there’s no way more people can come in. I could barely see the floor of the train. I put on my earphones and listened to some music, trying to enjoy the crowd. Then more people got in and I was blown away with the craziness. I asked a lady next to me, she was trying her best to reach a handle to hold on, “Is it normal? Like this?” She answered as-a-matter-of-factly, “Oh yeah, it is very normal. It is like this every day.”

It was terrible to get stuck in a train full of strangers that day. I just can’t imagine doing that for every day of my life. But for these guys, they don’t have much choice. They have to do it or they don’t get to go to work. Even right now, as I am writing this in my cozy room, the same people are still going through the same thing they went through yesterday. That experience taught me to be more thankful for what I have. Life is tough at times, but we have to choose to see the bright sides and not only focus on the dark ones. I have been complaining about how hard my job is – difficult students, coworkers, situations – but I forget how convenient my life is. I have an apartment on campus for me to stay that I don’t have to commute to go to work every day. I even have somebody clean my apartment so I can get home to a nice clean apartment. Yes, there are hard difficult times to my job. But they don’t have to blind me from the fact that there are also things to be thankful for at the same time. I mean, isn’t there supposed to be challenges to help us grow? That experience that day helped me a lot to see the good things I have but I often take for granted.

Lessons are everywhere and we are lifelong learners if we choose to be one. I learned something from my trip to Jakarta that day and I will not forget the lesson that I learned. There is always something to be thankful for. What are you thankful for today?

-superriska

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