The Art of Becoming
By Arum Perwitasari
For a long time, I felt like I was walking on eggshells. I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. I felt isolated from friends and family, and found nowhere to go and talk to. There were always a bunch of problems lurking just around the corner, waiting to drop at my head all at once.
It was like a big mess and I felt stuck. I worried a lot and had doubts about my life: Would I ever be in love again after getting out from terrible relationships? Be able to finish my PhD? Ever be successful? Have friends again? The worst time was when I had my first panic attack; it was the scariest feeling ever. I was really in a dark place; too much pain mentally, I even had thoughts towards ending my life.
Yes, I thought about suicide every day.
But then three years ago, I had this moment of clarity. I just could not go on like this and decided to make massive changes. I promised myself to begin a new habit; eat healthier, start doing yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, began to start travelling more, ditching the habit of watching mainstream news; walked away from conversations that involved negative people; giving as much as I can, say good things about myself and much more. Trust me, it was not as easy as it looks! It was actually tough, even boring at times, but it was possible and you can definitely do it too, right here and now.
Richard Blanco says ‘We are always becoming. It never stops’.
I really agree with the sentiment, we are always becoming. Every day, we change. We are not the person we were five or ten years ago. We evolve at every stage of our life. We are all familiar with the physical transformation; wrinkles, grey hair, few extra pounds and many more human developments. But do we really recognize our personality change? Are we more generous and kind to ourselves than five or ten years ago? Are we becoming more confident and responsible? Are we open to change and new opportunities? Or are we becoming grumpy and bitter?
I reckon many of us live life on autopilot; at least I used to. When I decided what to eat, what to wear or what to watch on TV, I did not put any thinking into it. Life was just happening. Until I began to ask myself, is this the life I want? I took a moment and thought about my purpose in life, my own reasons to enjoy life. I have always loved teaching and sharing my thoughts for the sake of education. I started with that purpose, began to live intentionally and took actions towards the version I wanted to be.
I am so much more conscious now, and smile a lot. It sounds simple, but I sometimes ‘’fail’’ too and tend to get back to live life on autopilot. It is understandable to end up just doing what we always do because it is easier that way. To get myself back on my own track, I always remind myself of my own mantra: Remember to remember. Remember your life purpose and remember to take the actions that move you towards your goal and align with your future self.
Miraculously change provides the opportunity to grow into what is next. It gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We constantly change and are always evolving into the next version of ourselves. Yes, the one constant in our life is change. Are you ready to change? What decisions have you made?
 Richard Blanco is an American poet, public speaker, author, professor and civil engineer. He is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in US history joining the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou in this role. He is also the award-winning author of books, including Looking for the Gulf Motel (2013) and The Prince of Ios Cucoyos (2015).
(Arum Perwitasari is an educator, linguist, English Language Teaching enthusiast, academic editor and an educational content creator. She was born and raised in Indonesia. Arum graduated from Leiden University, the Netherlands with a doctoral degree in linguistics in 2019 and works in Higher Education)