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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Finding Mr. Perfect - Indiana Jones Way

"She looked at the steep black sand dune below her feet and it's long way down which ended on a sprawling bed of smooth volcanic rocks. She looked up and see the same black sand dune stretched for a good way till it reached the rim of the caldera. She realized she was trapped, perched like a bird with broken wings on the steep slope of the volcano. The sand beneath her feet kept getting loose, and she could feel herself sliding down with every move she made.

"I can't do it." She said with a tremble in her voice. The only way down for her is sliding down the steep sand slope, or perhaps even rolled like a log all the way down. Standing up and walked down with dignity was no longer an option in her mind. She was scared. She was frightened.

"Ary, look at me." He said. "I am here. I won't let you go. You can do it. I will catch you and help you if you slipped or fall. I won't let you go.""

As a normal 30-something woman, I have scoured numerous articles in magazines and blogs and books on what defines a perfect man. I have also heard advices, both requested and unrequested, of what virtues "Mr. Perfect" should have. To name a few: He should be affectionate. He should be considerate. He should be thoughtful. He should give you freedom. He should be able to provide for the family. He should be able to support you emotionally. You could say that Richard Gere's character in Pretty Women (complete with the inexhaustible credit card limit) is the epitome of the perfect man.

And thus, every woman search far and wide for their Prince Charming, the Mr. Perfect of their life based on this criteria, without a stop to realize that the core values for the perfect man are how much she can trust him and how well he proved his words and feelings towards her. All the other 'virtues' are nothing but a facade. Yes, that includes the white limousine and no-limit-credit-card.

I have lived all of my adult life believing in these virtues: ending and starting a relationship based on them, wanting so bad to have the perfect man. Even after I am married, I have had heated arguments with my husband over whose turn doing the dishes and other menial tasks/petty issues. I considered my husband's reluctance and/or delay on completing these tasks a great offence and a sign that he does not honor me or think of me as an equal. I know I'm not the only one like this though, because it is such a staple for women's jokes and memes. Sad isn't it?

Yet when you are grasping for air 250 meters (760 ft) from shore with a badly functioning snorkling mask and a fear for the unknown sea without a single soul nearby those arguments don't matter anymore. Or when you find yourself in a foreign country at night with very little chance on returning to the other country you know of on the same day. Or when you found yourself stucked in the mountain slope and lost all hope for a safe (and dignified) way down. Or when you are tunelling in a cave filled with caskets and skeletons of long deceased people with. Or when you have to navigate your way on a slippery clay barely-there path that hugs a stupendous karst hill. Or when you walked and hiked over river banks, waterfall (which has taken 40 people's lives with its strong undercurrent), sharp rocks en route to an ancient cave with its fast underground rivers, battling humidity and slipperiness of tropical forest and its vicious ants just to see a secluded lake. Or when you walked in a seemingly never end vast cave and afterwards the ever exhausting climb down.

Those arguments really doesn't matter on moments like these, when all you could think of is how to get to your comfort zone ASAP, or at least to reduce the fear and agony you felt for your dear life. And when you realize that your man is the only person you can rely on (since there was only two of you in the ordeals), and not only he managed to calm you and encouraged you, he also lead you and take you back to safety, you will feel those arguments are downright foolish.

Throughout our 3 months self-finding journey in Indonesia I have been subjected to a fair share of adventures thanks to my ever-enthusiastic husband. Within these 3 months I have been pushed to my limit, both physically and mentally, more than I've ever been pushed before in my whole 30-something life. I have succumbed in fear, broke in agony, trapped in hopelessness; yet at the same time I have been told over and over again that I could do it, I have been held so tightly and guided both by words and by sheer physical strength of my husband, and I have came out victorious in all ordeals, and a better, stronger person than I was before. More importantly, I have seen undisputed evidence on how much my husband loves me and care for my well being, on how accurate he knows my mental and physical ability, on how trustworthy he is with his words. And how he never, ever let me go.

Our trip will soon come to an end, and we will have to go back to 'reality'. But my reality is, I have found my perfect man. Others will have different experiences in this matter, it may take less glamorous occasions or more extravagant events to find it, but the truth stays the same: you will know what something (or somebody) is made of under pressure. I have the luxurious experience of knowing what kind of man my husband is, and I couldn't be happier. When jealousy and insecurity attacked, when doubt and ego overwhelmed me, I would close my eyes and remembering his encouraging words in the dense forest of Indonesia, in its dark caves and sprawling oceans, in its cold mountains and steep hills; words that were laced with love and strong desire for my comfort and happiness. I would close my eyes and remembering the strong grip he had on my arms and waist as he lead and guided me to safety, and his unbroken promise that we will conquer the challenge together. With that, I'd be at peace.

This knowledge, this trust, it is a big deal for me because knowing the man my husband is strengthen our bond even tighter. I wish all the people in this world would have this epiphany about their partner, and those who have had this knowledge will forever remember it. People change, they always do; human's actions and thoughts are always tampered by their surroundings and can change accordingly. But the soul within is a different territory, and once you get a glimpse of it from a person you know it will be like that forever because a soul seldom change. Thus, if you like what you see under the pressure, you might want to make an extra effort to keep it, and more importantly, to trust it.

The night have fallen and morning will soon come. My husband has stirred in his sleep and rolled over to hug me in his sleep. I can feel his warm sweet breath on the nape of my neck and his comforting arms around my waist, spooning me in a fetal position. It is time to end this note and to be lost in dreamland with him. I took the trust fall, and we both won. People can write long complicated essays about Mr. Perfect, but I've found mine; not in the swanky city scene, not in the homey daily-life scene, but in the magical wilderness of Indonesia. I hope you will find yours too, dear readers. I hope you'll find yours too. Goodnight :)

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