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Tough Crowd

I found myself staring at the creaks of streams over the thick mangrove forest surround us on one afternoon. Their formed stream branches look like the beginning of a maze. We were just finished loading our water supplies for a week before another supply run schedule coming in and it was time for the routes check. As surreal as it feels, I was really here. We stayed at the camping ground, with mozzie nets and jungle hammocks. The mosquitos are no joke. Monkeys aren't afraid to come by and steal our stash of food. The monitor lizards are making appearances here and there. There must be tens of crocodiles in hiding, watching any repetitive movements. The pathway to the campsite from the nearest boat drop off point is like a scene from a ghost movie. 

There's no shower. Lights coming from our battery-powered head torches at night. Decent network coverage on the phone is a big win and a luxury - and also required at least an hour boat ride closer to the land side. You know you're in quite some place when the nearest Starbucks or McDonald's is like an hour boat ride, an hour flight and 3 hours drive away. Thirteen years ago, it was just a dream. I always dreamed about how I would go into one of those Nat Geo or BBC documentaries, making tv about the wildlife in the jungle or the like. For someone from a small town in Bali, this felt like a million years away from my reach. And yet, here I was, and times before that - surrounded by a very male-center environment, in the middle of different terrains making tv shows. 

Often times, I'm being really hard on myself. Thinking of how I feel like I'm not moving forward and name every single worry in your twenties that you could have. When I was in high school I made a list of things I'd like to achieve after college. When I found the notes in my old email archive, it reminded me of all the small little things that I've managed to achieve. 

  • Work on The Amazing Race. Checked, checked, checked.
  • Move abroad. Checked.
  • Do TV shows in the jungle or any exotic/extreme places like Mongolia. Checked and checked. 
  • Become a production manager before I turn 27. Checked. 
  • Live in a place with a decent size balcony. Checked.
  • Own a coffee machine. Checked.
As I read the list I'd come to realize that I've been living my dream all this time. The list given by my 16 years old self has been ticked off. We often forget to appreciate ourselves and how far we've come. It's so easy to feel left behind when everyone and the world around seem to so get it together and they move on with their lives. But the truth is everyone has their own timeline. Every now and then I need to remember to slow down and give more credits to myself. Because even the smallest win - like owning your very own coffee machine, is worth to be celebrated. 

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