Bakti Asa [User Interface] 2021
I’m trying to not use keywords too specific to the institution to avoid being tracked, but “User Interface” is the abbreviation to my university name.
I had an interview with Bakti Asa, a BEM [User Interface] programme aimed for student development through training, competitions and scholarships. I’ve always been interested in volunteering programmes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards programme I was a part of when I was in school and MASTER FEB [User Interface] and Prokadisu in university, but a lot has changed since March 2020.
I remember you telling me that you can’t be oh-so ideal once you start working and you’re absolutely right. The real world is harsh and you have to be tough to make it through. That’s why I’m pushing my most ideal self right now to be the most compassionate, gentle and loving person that I can be before the impending doom of the world comes crashing down.
“A person I hold near and dear to my heart was a recipient to a scholarship similar to Bakti Asa. I’d love to play my part in continuing on the love that built this person that I care for deeply onto the next generation. — me to the interviewer
That was the only answer I could come up with when they asked me why I wanted to join the work programme. To be frank, I could’ve talked about my background in volunteering work and in selection committees I was a part of, but all I could think about is you. You told me to move on but I ended up carrying on the legacy that you left me.
Have you ever mourned the passing of someone significant to you? If you have, how did you mourn? I know what I did is that I tried to keep the parts that they’ve left within me alive for as long as I can. This can be in the form of shoes they’ve walked miles on or stories that shaped their lives. When you left, it felt like you died. I was only left with superficial means to keep parts of you, and even the communications felt unreal because it doesn’t feel as human. But the thing about dying is that it comes suddenly and leaves you with nothing in the blink of an eye.
That’s why I’ve been writing on Medium. It’s a way to talk about you and to you but in a way that is not pathetic. I can try messaging you but the response (or a lack thereof) just makes the interaction feel cold and dead. There is a distance that is clearly marked between us here — it’s unlike directly messaging someone in hopes that the distance we have were truly proportional and equal.
What pushed me to join Bakti Asa [User Interface]? It wasn’t solely because of you. It’s because I see myself holding the role as a caregiver to the social care ecosystem. I nurture and nourish the people around me by creating and sustaining a community of care, joy and connection. What’s your role in it? Because, for once, I get to feel the things that I’ve been doing for so long with my life. I do not expect rewards for my role, but when it was given so unexpectedly and unconditionally (by you), it felt like home.
I also learnt new ways to nurture different people with different views from you. It shaped me into the person that I am now and will be a part of me further down the line, to wherever the future takes me. Because you left so suddenly, I will forever tell the story of you in the things that I do as it is the only (superficial) way I can keep this dead story from my past alive.
“You don’t get to choose who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” — Disney’s Hamilton
It’s not fair for me to say all of this when you have a boyfriend already, but the only thing I can do right now is grieve because reaching out to you is out of the question. Oh the irony of me sending this article to you. I’m not hoping for anything, not even empathy. I just want you to know, and I’m not even hoping that you do either.
Also, I realised I didn’t express my apology during our last conversation on Instagram, so here it is: I am very sorry for all the times I’ve been in denial, difficult and egotistical. I’m sorry I hurt you in ways that I can’t even comprehend. I’m sorry I made you believe that what we had was not salvageable to the point that you found someone to hold your hand in life with when I sat there waiting for you.
I’m sorry I can’t move on from you. That’s why I wanted to just stay as friends. It’s better than seeing you as someone who died in my past.
I’d love to hear how well your boyfriend have treated you. Maybe I can learn from him on how I can be a better lover.
I hope you get to read my “Running and Dreaming” post too.