#31 Letters to No One

Dear No One,

Can I call you No One? It’s kinda bizarre I know, but since I don’t even know your face or how you looked like in general, you’re practically a mere idea inside my head. You’re not anyone in particular, thus you’re No One.

How are you, No One? I hope everything’s fine with you wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.

Everything’s fine with me, just in case you’re wondering. I just finished my thesis, thankfully, on time and currently enjoying every second on my sweet, sweet procrastination. I got nothing coming up except maybe the responsibility to make money on my own. Yes, I have to get a job, eventually.

But it’s nothing to worry about, I’ll get that under control. Hopefully.

You know, writing this to you seems a little funny because I feel like I’m writing to myself. Or maybe I am? Am I using you as an excuse to have a conversation with myself without the fear of being labeled as ‘insane’?

Wait, how do we even know we’re sane at the first place?

I don’t know. Maybe you can tell me the answer for that question?

Write me back, I wanna hear from you.

Sincerely yours,

Anyone

***

Dear No One,

Here I am again, knitting letters and words aimed for you though I never know if I’ll ever get a reply or not. You’re so mysterious; I can’t help but keep writing to you. So… I guess, that’s why I’m here again.

It’s 3.41 am where I am. I can’t sleep. No, I’m not an insomniac, it’s just another day with sleeping difficulty because of too much movie and internet before bed. I have just finished one later this night, in fact. A movie, I mean.

The movie… ah, the movie. The movie is great! Let me tell you, it’s so good I cried at some parts. Well, it’s not actually a surprise though, I am such a crybaby sometimes. But seriously, it was great. Do you want to watch it? I’ll send you the link if you want to.

Anyway, I think what makes me adore that movie so much is how it captures stories in a city that is as fast-paced and as ruthless as this capital. I always loved this capital, don’t you know? Nth-hundred thousand humans inside, this city is not only filled with cars and motorbikes and air pollution but also, stories. Stories are scattered everywhere in this city; inside the hollow homes of the elites, all over the street and small alleys, in the building of the so-called parliament, on every seat of taxis, buses, Ubers and Grabs and Gojeks, inside the tents of street seafood stall, in every bakmi bowls… everywhere. It crowds the city. Buzzing through its every nooks and crannies. Making it alive.

And that is exactly why I love this city and every bit of its captivating complexity.

What about you, No One? What city do you love the most? Please do tell me the next time you decided to reply this letter, okay?

Curiously yours,

Anyone

***

Dear No One,

It’s finally raining today!

It hasn’t rained since the last two weeks and the weather are starting to irritate me. I hate heat. I don’t like summer. I love rain, as cliché as it might sound.

Don’t you think rain is beautiful? It’s like, Mother Nature decided to give Earth a bath so that he can clean whatever dust and dirt he was covered with for a long time. I like how it feels after the rain. Cold and chilly, perfect for a bowl of indomie. We all love that legendary noodles aren’t we?

What do you like to do when it rains? I, myself, like to curled up under my blanket with my Air Conditioner on, read a book, watch movie, or just… existing. Not doing anything. Thinking. Contemplating. Sleeping.

(Sleep always comes best when it rains. Agree?)

Anyway, I’m sorry I can’t write much. I’ve been busy with… stuff. I’m still waiting for you to write me back, though. Don’t you ever think I forgot.

Sincerely yours,

Anyone.

***

Dear No One,

Is it wrong to wait?

You know, because I keep waiting for your reply even though I know it’s close to impossible; I’m writing to No One—a reply shouldn’t be something to be expected. Right?

I know, I know. Expectation is a cruel bastard. It is.

Now I feel stupid to wait for something I know would never happen.

But is it wrong to wait?

Sincerely (still) yours,

Anyone

***

Dear No One,

I miss you, it’s scary.

I shouldn’t miss someone I have absolutely zero knowledge about.

 

#25 Playing God

My best friend once said to me, “You need to stop playing God. If you’re happy, be happy. There will be a time for sadness, and when that time comes; you can be sad all you want. Stop being sad when you’re happy, and stop trying to be happy when you’re sad. Be happy when you’re happy, be sad when you’re sad”

It has been my self-defense mechanism for so long, to be cautious of happiness, to overthink everything when I’m happy beyond my equilibrium, to sabotage the feeling… of just being happy. It’s quite a complicated mechanism I know, but I also know that many of you did that. Am I right?

We can’t bear to be happy for a long time because life has shaped us so. We can’t be too happy when payday comes, because soon all the money we earned from working our asses off for a whole month will be gone to pay our rent, food, clothes, car installment, insurance, and all the things we need to survive in life. We can’t be too happy when our birthday comes, because that only means we have another year less to live in this temporary world. We can’t be too happy when we had our favorite food because then when we check our weight on a scale, the number will increase by a few pounds. We can’t be too happy when we’re on a holiday because it will end, sooner or later and we’ll go back to everyday mundane life of work and responsibilities. We can’t be too happy with our lover because of the silly little fear that they might break the heart you’ve given them voluntarily, they might break every promise you have believed all this time, they might leave you for someone better, and they might change.

We can’t even be too happy with ourselves because this automatic system that gets us to compare ourselves with another person with a better everything than us.

So what do we do?

We toned our happiness down.

We toned it down to the level we can handle, disguised in such things like modesty. We stopped splurging our paycheck for things we loved and start saving for things we need to survive (like a house, probably). We stopped partying every year on our birthday and just blow a candle on a simple chocolate cake with a few of our closest ones. We stopped eating our favorite food frequently and start eating green things we don’t like more often, for the sake of health and whatnot. We stopped enjoying holidays. And we stopped giving our hearts to people that might break them; instead we build walls and shut them out.

We have been playing God all along by sabotaging our own emotion, by commanding ourselves to feel things that are the opposite of what we should feel, by trying to control things that shouldn’t be controlled. It seems like a normal things to do because we have been doing it almost all of our life, unconsciously.

We are so used to toning our happiness down; we forgot how it feels like to be really truly happy.

So, how do I propose a solution to this?

It’s easy.

Stop playing God and feel what you need to feel. Be happy when you’re happy, and be sad when you’re sad. Stop making yourself sad when you’re happy and stop trying to be happy when you’re sad. Don’t control things you can’t control, just hold on to those you can. Embrace your emotion. Stay true to yourself.

—F.S.