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Monday, July 10, 2017

Alive and A Life

I hugged a man last weekend. I didn't even know his name. I would see him from time to time near my bus stop, and we have chatted once or twice. He always told me I'm beautiful and I got it good. It's been a while since I've seen him at that bus stop, so I was surprised to see him again at the subway station on Saturday. We chatted again, and he told me he was happy to see me good. He told me I am blessed. I giggled nervously. Accepting compliment was never my strength. As I said goodbye and walked away, he told me to be safe, hope to see me again, and next time he's going to give me a hug. I laughed and said, "Why wait?" then walked up to him to give him a hug. Why wait? Because this man is way bigger than me, I don't know him at all, and I will be at his mercy once I am in close contact with him. But I strode and give him the biggest hug I can give. I like hugs too. The hug made him feel so happy. His face was blushing and he said he needed it, and it's the best 'wake up' he could get.

I asked a man to dance last weekend. Well, since it's a swing dance event, I asked plenty of men to dance with me. I am not a very good dancer, but I love to dance and I won't waste time waiting around to be asked. One gentleman stood out. "Cameron" was dressed in a perfect historical outfit, complete with a telltale white and black dancing shoes. I zeroed on him right away. As someone who dances without proper training, a good lead is delicious. It's the key factor to make the dance merely enjoyable or out of this world. Cameron smiled and looked interested enough as we danced together. When the song ends, he told me he'll walk me back to my friends, and he did just that: chivalrously offering his arm and we walked together with my hand holding his arm like we're back in the golden days of 1940s or 1950s. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. There I was, for a brief moment, treated like a lady. A real lady, by a real gentleman.

Three flapper girls went out to get ramen last weekend. One of them already walked oh-so-casually at MacArthur Park, waiting for the bus to take her to the dance event. It's one of the crazy things you do 'Just because' a.k.a you want to see what it feels like. The three flapper girls did just so, albeit in a slightly better area, trying to find a place to eat. In other places, finding a decent place to eat that serves vegetarian meal after 10 pm might be a challenge. Not so in Los Angeles' Koreatown area. Is there anything more absurd than the three flapper girls in their 1920s dresses walking amidst graffitied walls and broken pavements? The three flapper girls were having the time of their life though, all smiles and laughter, oblivious of their surrounding and the fact that it's 10 pm, Sunday night. The food came and each of them encouraging each other to finish the meal. The carnivore had fatty pork ramen, the herbivore had vegetarian ramen. It felt surreal.

 I wrote in my online portfolio: "A firm believer that there is more to jobs than just to pay next month's bill." There is more to life as well. We like to think that our Earth is alive. We like to think of how the plants and the animals are alive. But are we alive? And do we have a life? Alive. A life. As an English as Second language speaker, this amuses me. Alive and a life. Which one do we have? Ideally, both. Alive is mandatory, can't really have a life if you are not alive. But do you have a life, and if yes, what kind of life are you living?

There is more to life than just walking on the path that we thought we know so well. There is more to life than just living it with simple-minded blindness, cozily hidden in our thoughts and beliefs. There is more than this comfortable nest we build around us, not wanting to leave it because 'Nothing compares, anyway." Look up, look around us, and see how small we really are. In this grand scheme of Universe, we're nothing but a speck of dust, an atom among all the atoms that create a matter. But didn't that how we harvest nuclear energy, by harvesting the energy from the atoms during a fission process? So even a humble atom has energy, a great amount of energy as a matter of fact. Can we not see how important we are in this world, how our thoughts and action affect the world as a whole?

What can create even more energy is the fusion process, where two atoms combined to become one. It is not commercially available as yet, but it is highly desirable as it will produce almost limitless non-polluted energy. The same principle applied to the human relationship. The process is hard and challenging. It requires two self-governing bodies to become one, erasing any barrier (read: ego) that might disrupt the fusion. Yet when you got it right, the result will be very rewarding. The question is whether or not we see it, whether or not we realize it, whether or not we are willing and/or able to utilize it. 

Life, for me, is this wonder. Each event is a fragment of stained glass that when pieced together will shine beautifully in the dark. Each encounter is a domino piece that will fall and trigger other sets of events, other encounters, on and on it will go as we unknowingly become the player of the universe. Each moment is a piece of a puzzle that I carefully put together to form "The Life of Ary Yogeswary." Life is warm hugs, respectful embraces, giggles and laughter. Life is the soul in us, the soul of people who we come to contact with, be it a passing moment or a lifetime acquaintance. And us together create the majestic painting of this world. Some strokes are less visible than the others, yet each is necessary to create the said masterpiece. 

Life also sucks. It's not always happy, and a lot of times people got stuck in the darkness and the pain, whether intentionally or not. It's difficult to be the proud little flower in a field of parasitic weed. Yet you know, the sight of that flower will bring joy in the heart of the people who see it. You don't need to be that flower if you can't, or just for the sake of somebody else. You can do it for yourself, do it to feel good about yourself. Appreciate life, appreciate *your* life, because you should appreciate yourself. Appreciate all the little details, all the tiny smiles, all the minuscule blessing, and realize for others you may be a part of, and even the cause of, all that smiles and blessing.

I can't say I am what you called success. But I love my life, and I appreciate it very much. And you know what? That's more than enough.

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