I know what is probably going through your mind when you read that title: visions of ice princesses casting ice to the all too familiar Disney tune. Sorry if it’s in your head the rest of the day, but this post is about how Indonesia has taught me to let go of some things—to be more … flexible.
It started on our very first journey to Indonesia. We were on our way from Jakarta to one of the smaller cities and I had bought, in the Jakarta airport, what would be my last Starbucks coffee for quite some time. I was ready to enjoy every last drop (I’m from Seattle, what can you say). We had been travelling for countless hours with three small children who took turns crying on the trip over, and were beyond exhausted. As we were getting situated on the plane, the top of my coffee was removed and placed on the floor. The flight attendant handed me the baby seat belt that was to be strapped onto mine, and before I knew it, the entire germ-infested seat belt plopped right into my coffee. That was the last straw for me. Unable to cope with anything at that point, I put my head in my hands and let the tears flow. After a few minutes of feeling genuinely sorry for myself, I took a deep breath, looked down at my coffee, and said, “You know what? I live in Indonesia now,” and then proceeded to drink, and enjoy, the entire cup.
Yes, I am a nurse and, yes, I have taken microbiology, but sometimes you just have to adapt, stay sane, and plain let things go. Perspectives can change or a situation might cause you to do or think in a way that you wouldn’t have in your home country. There are still a million things that I have not learned to let go of, especially when other stresses are piling up and my ability to cope is wearing thin. Looking back to when we first came, however, I can say that my perspectives on certain issues are not the same. Those armies of ants in the kitchen… just not the problem that they used to be.