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Journal Kita

Square Zero

Begin anew. Begin again.

“We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.” -The Truman Show

We all hit rock bottom sometimes.

Everyone has been through an experience where they feel they’ve lost everything, where they feel like there is no progress in their life, where it feels like you’re on the outside looking in.

For me, that’s every few years. Every few years, I hit a point where I feel like no one cares about who I am. Where I can live every day and make no impact on anyone else’s life. Where I could disappear tomorrow and no one would be the wiser.

And at that moment, that’s where I feel the most free.

Commonly, we are taught that consistency is key. Especially when it comes to your life.

Choose the right career, a career that’s in line with whatever you studied in college. Spend the rest of your life studying and working your way up the career ladder, honing the skills that you got years ago during college. Do this consistently and you’ll be ‘successful’ — as long as there is no deviation, no straying from the predetermined path.

As a result of this common belief, every time you feel lost, you can’t help but feel like a failure. Once the path isn’t so clear, you feel like you’re making a mistake, and you force yourself back on the same life path, even if you no longer know if it’s the right path for you.

But maybe we’re not meant to follow the same path for our entire lives.

Realistically, most of us don’t know who we are. The person we want to be at the age of 20 won’t be the same with the person we want to be at the age of 30, 40. Heck, even at the age of 21, we might not have the same dreams we had a year prior.

Yet we often feel ashamed to share these revelations about ourselves. We’re scared of being seen as unsure, unconfident, flimsy. And so we resign ourselves to trudging along a path that we know won’t make us happy — for the sake of appearance, to please others, to show that we are ‘secure’.

We stay in the same friend groups despite knowing we don’t belong, to protect other’s feelings, to avoid conflict, or simply because we’re afraid that we won’t find any other friends out in the wild.

Staying in the same place is comfortable.

But it’s not always the right thing to do.

They say you’re the main character in your life story. But they never tell you what kind of main character you are.

Most people imagine they’re the protagonist who saves the world or gets the girl. But the other kind of protagonist is the one I relate to more.

It’s the protagonist who enters a new world, who’s a fish out of water, who needs to restart their life.

Sure, they’re always confused at the beginning. They try to navigate through this new chapter of their lives, but they find themselves stumbling a bit here and there. But they always come out the end in a better place.

Sometimes life is going to be confusing. It’s going to be anxiety-inducing. You might not know where you’re headed, or even what will be the next step you’re going to take. You’ll feel alienated from everyone and anyone, alone in your own little bubble of confusion. You’ll be tempted to head back to whatever you’re familiar with, even if you no longer want to be there.

Don’t. Venture out into a new world. Leave behind the life you once knew. Reinvent yourself into something new.

You don’t have to be the same person you were. You’re allowed to become someone new. You can rebuild yourself from zero.

Take it from someone who’s ‘reinvented’ myself more times than I can count. When I first entered college, I wanted to make a startup. Then I decided to start reviewing movies. Then I stopped reviewing movies and proceeded to write more on Medium.

Now I’m lost in life. I’m back at Square Zero.

When you’re at Square Zero, you don’t know where life is heading. You don’t know who you can consider a friend — or who considers you a friend. You have tons of questions and no answers.

And that’s okay.

Starting from scratch sucks. But it’s the moment where you’re most honest with yourself. It’s when you permit yourself to try new things, to meet new people, to evaluate your life so far, and cut out the parts that don’t bring you joy anymore. Basically, you Marie Kondo the sh*t out of your life.

It won’t be easy. It’ll be a lot of nights, laying on the floor, staring at the ceiling, wondering whether you’ll ever amount to anything. It’ll be a ton of days seeing your friends being happy with their lives and figuratively punching yourself for not having everything figured out. It’ll be seeing pictures of parties you’re not invited to and wondering whether it’s your fault for being a bad person.

But at Square Zero, you’ll find the courage to do what you want, because you believe no one will care. You’ll understand a bit more about yourself — what you like, what you don’t, where you want to go in life. You’ll find the friends who will stick by your side no matter what.

So for those of you a little lost in life, this is me pushing you to go out and rebuild yourself. To start from scratch. To begin anew.

Maybe it’ll be hard. Maybe it’ll be a bit scary.

But life is long. You don’t have to be the same person, have the same career, or maintain the same friends forever.

Live as many lives as you want.

Start fresh. Start again. Start from zero.

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A vessel for Indonesian writers to share their stories.

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Haikal Satria

Haikal Satria

Writer from Indonesia. Writing for fun.

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