it is what it is

about a concerned friend, the new city, and a canon event

valentina citra
3 min readOct 12, 2023
a picture that I took from the bus stop on my way back to my place

On one day, where I didn’t have to trapped in Jakarta’s traffic, I decided to spent my day off in hermit mode. I spent a whole day holed up in my room. Busy scrolling, reading, watching movies, and listening to music while imagining some silly scenarios based on the song. Jakarta’s traffic is beyond crazy and it makes me reluctant to go anywhere. So if I don’t have any plan, I prefer to stay at my place.

Then my mind wandering somewhere — as usual. I thought about the text my friend sent me a few days ago. I read that text when I just started my work yesterday and it got me thinking, on and off just like a switch.

I pretty concerned with your mental health.” That’s the text he sent me.

He’s that one friend who got excited — way too excited — when he knew that I was about to move to Jakarta. He said that I’m embracing the Ted Mosby within me and I laughed. But now look at him, saying something like that out of the blue. I’m touched, of course. But also wondering at the same time. Why would he say such a thing?

Yes, Jakarta is testing me. Everything in Jakarta is testing me. This city is draining my energy and my soul. It feels like I just need to wait for the hell within me to break loose. Especially with the absence of my best friends — my people — life is hard. Since they’re my remedy, my elixir, and now I have to live far away from them.

In this populous city, I have to learn how to stand up for myself. Voicing out my thoughts without any hesitation. That’s not an easy thing to do. I was raised with an oppression over my voice to not get my mom into trouble. “But you have to be brave, stand up for yourself for Jakarta is a cruel city or you’ll get trampled by others.” That’s what my other dearest friend said to me, on the second day I crashed in her house. So yeah, I’m learning.

Another message stopped my train of thought. A message from the same friend who is concerned about my mental health. He replied my why-question. He’s concern about my mental health because I’m alone in this city and somewhat guilty since he was the one who persuade me to move to Jakarta, and he wish me all the best. And I was stunned. His tentativeness gave my heart some warm that is comforting.

Well, it is true that I’m alone in this city and barely know anyone, barely have friends. I do my best everyday to live, to keep myself sane, and to not let this city overwhelm me or crushing me despites the stress, inconsistent eating habit (and time), and sleep deprivation. Sometimes when the loneliness hits or when I’m stuck in the nasty traffic jam, I asked myself a question ‘why did I move to this city?’. The more I think about that, I reach one conclusion: maybe moving to Jakarta is my canon event. It’s a choice that I made and just like what Nelson Mandela said, may my choices reflects hopes, not fears.



valentina citra

a living mayhem with wandering mind | write in ina / eng | @aleviannt_