September 26, 2017


Two weeks before the commencement for the class of 2017 was held, I had the chance to meet one of my favorite lecturers. Mrs. R paid a visit to Surabaya as a part of her doctoral research while her daughter spent her summer holiday with the family. I still remember the time she told me that she had to go to Japan since she was accepted at the University of Hiroshima to accomplish her doctoral degree. Probably it was a bitter moment during my college life. I adore her so much since I was just a freshmen and even made a promise that someday she will be the advisor for my bachelor thesis writing process. 

Meeting her was like meeting my favorite artist. Never had I thought that even though a year ago we already bid a farewell without any expectation to meet again in such short time. Since she was very busy, I only had about one hour to chit-chat with her. One hour is not enough for people who have not met each other for more than six months, right? Somehow I found it weird because as students and lecturer, we could talk about urban planning issues, our daily life, even our unfinished business as women. 

I told her about my future plan as a researcher which, of course, requires a lot of sacrifices to accomplish the ultimate career goal. Most of friends already plan to get their very first professional job as soon as they receive the diploma. However I am going to take a different path. To be a researcher, you have to join a senior researcher’s project first before making your solo debut. The path could be slow but sure, because researchers gained their reputation bit by bit even though they already put their effort at the maximum level. Aspiring researcher have also go back to school again as possible because who the heck would trust a research that only gained a diploma from the first cycle of university level education, where they only teach the basics of a specific field. Some people already gained their financial goal at 25, while probably at the same age an aspiring researcher is still wandering from one location to another for research purpose. Just like any ordinary human, the hardest part is when you are trying to convince yourself that you already the path you have been dreaming for and suddenly a glimpse of your neighbor’s life appears greener than yours. “Being consistent is hard if you keep perceiving the idea that your neighbor’s grass is greener than yours,” she said. 

Being consistent is hard if you keep perceiving the idea that your neighbor’s grass is greener than yours
It is quite normal in the department of urban and regional planning to talk a bit about your relationship, mostly if you are dating someone from this department, too. I told her that since I am currently not dating anyone so that I have no moral obstacle to go wherever I want. I have been dreaming that I want to live away from my country to learn more about development from the best practices around the world while hoping that someday I am going to have my significant other who would understand myself and my passion sincerely. One day after the commencement I post a photograph of me and my parents with a caption that said my adventure has not end yet since my parents wanted me to obtain a master degree as possible (which actually match my dream to be a researcher). Surprisingly Mrs.R left a comment that there are more cycles to go and I’ll meet someone supportive in the future, just like hers. Dear God, I could not more thankful for your graces, for letting me know someone that I would adore this much. 

Out of the blue, my tears felt when I recalled the meaningful moments that I experienced during my college years. I wish I could be more open minded back then to see the light instead of cursing the dark for everything that happened in my life in Surabaya. 

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