Yang terpenting itu bahagia atas semua keputusan yang sudah kita buat. Ini bahagia versiku. Kenapa harus mengikuti bahagia versimu? (Besari 256)
That’s a quote from the last book I read, Catatan Juang by Fiersa Besari.
I realized that there are two types of life in the eyes of society: the so-called normal life and the one that is considered wild, weird, and even stupid. What is categorized as normal is a life that is comfortable, when you have good jobs, earn high salary, settled in a nice home, happily married, and raise nice kids. Such a typical life almost all parents I have met desire for their kids. To be honest, my parents are also included in that group.
When someone asks you about your plan in life and you answer them with a crazy answer like: “I am going to get my doctorate and then live a celibate life as a missionary in some third world country, building libraries and teaching the people how to read and write.”, they are going to think that you have lost your your mind. They think that your idea is insane and your education is wasted. They definitely are not expecting such answer. Instead, they expect something like, “Oh, I am going to get my doctorate and then work in a multinational company in some big city in America. I’ll get married and build my family there.” They will praise you and adore you. They will agree with your plan and they will say amen to your answer.
I always have hard times explaining to people what I have in mind. When I mention about going to some remote places to teach kids there, people roll their eyes. When I get emotional when talking about how miserable life in the streets is, they don’t understand. I don’t understand why people define success only by how much money you earn, how big your house is, how happy you look from the outside. They don’t even care about what you feel deep inside, right?
Well, sometimes we have to just shut our ears from people’s comments about us. Their comments are just words unless we let them define us.
Go get your dreams, friends. You don’t have to worry if society categorizes you as wild, weird, or stupid just because you don’t make decisions as they expect you to. You are not defined by what people say about you. You have your calling and live it out. You have the right to define your own version of happiness and it doesn’t have to be the same as theirs.