The other night, I was feeling blue and was sitting on my terrace for a long time, just listening to music (old stuff, mainly, that made me feel even more melancholy…).
It was one of those almost too perfect nights on Pulau Pef – warm air, no wind at all, the sea as calm as a lake and a million stars in the sky. All that was missing to make the scenery become too cheesy was a school of dolphins jumping in the small ray of light the moon cast on the water.
There I was in paradise, feeling trapped. I knew I was in a perfect place considering the worldwide situation, but all I wanted in that particular moment, was to go home. I wanted to feel and see things moving again, because I felt that on the island, I was stuck in a routine. And I don’t like routine at all. I need to be challenged, I like it when things are moving fast, or new situations come up all the time and you have to improvise or change your strategy. Which is why I love the resort atmosphere with guests. There is always something unpredicted every day, you never know what the next day will bring. New guests come every week and with them come new inputs, new inspirations, but also new challenges. Our resort may be remote, calm and close to nature, but during normal operation, it’s bustling with energy.
There is still a lot of energy on this island and within the team. And a lot of things are moving, are being rebuilt, improved and repaired. The team is busy and Ibu Maya still has a lot of ideas on what needs to be done. As a matter of fact, she feels completely different and has the impression that many things are happening and moving on the island. I agree, they are. But just not in the direction I would like them to move: have guests again.
While having these thoughts on my terrace, I felt guilty about having them. Am I allowed to feel sorry for myself when everything around me seems perfect? After all, I still have a job, the most beautiful office in the world, the best view from my terrace, lovely work colleagues, great food and a wonderful boss who tries to do everything she can to keep our spirits up. What’s wrong with me? When I talked to my daughter the other day she said: «Don’t even think of coming home, mum, it’s so depressing here! The weather is grey, people are frustrated, and the news is bad every day. Just stay where you are, you’re much better off!». I knew she was right and yet, I felt different.
I decided that I needed to challenge myself more. Reading in my hammock and jogging every other afternoon was fine for a while, but now I need a challenge on a different level. But what could I do? Ok, for one, I'm still struggling with Indonesian. Even though I work on my vocabulary every day, I need to intensify it and improve my speaking skills. I already understand a lot, but speaking is still a different story. So, that’s one challenge. Check. What else?
As I was looking up to the stars, I saw a firefly cruising above my head in the dark. I watched it for a while, then looked down in the water in front of me. There was bioluminescent plankton, glimmering from down below. This is a fascinating sight. If you’ve never seen it, you have to google it or check it out on YouTube, it's incredible!
So, there I was, in the middle of all this amazing nature, thinking what a fool I was. I’m still so fortunate and much better off than many other people currently. It’s up to me to make myself feel better. I’m the only one who can change something about my personal situation. If this were a friend of mine telling me her story, I’d probably tell her to get a new hobby!
So, I guess I’ll start thinking about a new hobby then. It may take me some time to find one, but stay tuned and you’ll read what I come up with…
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…