Pacification by Paddy Fields, Desensitization of Dogs: A Postcard from Segara Beach, Bali

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

~ Seth Godin

“I divide my friends into two categories,” a college senior of mine once said. “The ones that dread and complain about their jobs, and the ones that enjoy and love what they do for a living.”

I have at different times found myself in both (my senior’s) classifications. So if I were to ever find myself sitting on the mid-parting fence, the choice should be obvious. But here’s the thing about this kind of twenty-something dilemma.

On one hand, the job I dread and eats me up from the inside comes with the convenience of organized training and orders I’d only have to follow, the comfort of a high-rise office building in the business district of Jakarta metropolis, the confidence from wearing figure-flattering skirts and high heels and carrying a smartphone and a black leather planner, and last but definitely not least, the security of a bank account that remains on stand-by to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and occasional exotic holiday.

On the other hand, the job I love and wake up looking forward to in the morning, is teaching. And we all know what that comes with, a lot of compromises. Mostly in terms of finance and convenience.

And for a single, independence-striving twenty-something that has known little of lifestyle beyond the boundaries of luxury and walks around with big dreams of entrepreneurship and parenthood, that love does post a concern.

So I spent months exploring both options, at the same time stalling my decision-making in fear of committing to either option that just couldn’t seem to fulfill my ideal.

Whenever I came close to sealing a deal with the corporate, I cursed myself for giving in, selling out. And whenever I found myself magnetically pulled by the possibility of going back to teaching, I cursed myself for being such an old soul, for knowing better, for being so clear about what my calling is, this early in life.

Oh, Ignorance, thou art bliss.

The cold shower came one afternoon during a job selection process at the last local corporate agency I applied to, when the company’s owner concluded to me, in a way, that I appealed more as a personality than a corporate figure. It was the ultimate confirmation, once and for all, that the corporate isn’t where I belong.

But the afternoon I spent scrolling through teaching job online ads and suddenly found myself caught in a kind of rush of involuntary flow of energy of natural excitement, was the ultimate set-in-stone, once and for all, that not only that this Love is undeniable; it is unavoidable, and most importantly soul essential.

So when a job offer came from a school in Bali, I packed up my stuff within a few days and left Jakarta to land on the side of the fence I should’ve been back on a long time ago.

And as it always has been, Love never fails.

The fact that I have a job that wakes no urge in me to distract myself by checking my phone, personal email or Facebook is the way it should be.
The fact that I work in a library building literally bordered by green paddy fields that stretch just behind the Sanur beach is just a bonus pacifying compensation for some of the convenience I’m lacking.


the scenic official morning greeter at work


Banjar Tangtu paddy fields cum lunch time view from the teachers’ lounge

The fact that I have been fortunate enough to become a part of a culture so abundant of humility and kindness is a grace.
The fact that I find myself living in a place with such wonderful energy that I feel an effortless synchronization to is a peaceful luxury.

The fact that there are so many street dogs wandering around that I can’t always run away from is the accidental blessing of fear reduction in disguise.
And the fact that I’m writing this sitting at a beach with sand on my feet, the sea breeze blowing through my hair and the sound of crashing waves to my ears while waiting for the sun to set, well, that’s just living the dream.


Oh, Moon, thou art full and bright.

The only catch is that I still haven’t come here for a vacation. I still have to put myself on a monk diet and manual laundry duty in order to stay healthy and have enough to save up, and spare plenty of time in the weekend to keep myself on my toes for my work’s sake.

But for now, it’s all enough for a life that I don’t need to escape from.

Oh, Enlightening, thou art Bliss.

I have also decided to dedicate Saturdays to go, see and write.

So, till next weekend,



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