This is the first time I write a more personal post here on the blog. I really feel drawn and called to write about this, so here it is. Hopefully you can take something out of it 🙂
These past few weeks, even months, I’ve been thinking a lot on honoring my parents, my family, and my ancestors. There were old times when I blame my family for many things. However, especially my parents, there was this one time when I reached a point where I can understand them, I see their past struggle, I see their journey as a human being, and I get them.
All this time, I know they’ve been trying to be the best version of themselves too, just like me and other people. They’re not perfect, but they’ve tried. Constrained by tradition and society, they’ve been trying to be the best persons they can be. Their story is my first inspiration. So, this post is dedicated to my father and my mother, also their fathers and mothers, i.e. my grandparents; in short, my ancestors.
Just retired from his 9-to-5 job last year, my father was a corporate worker for 30 years, worked for the same company from Monday until Friday just like any other corporate workers.
I don’t even know whether he has any specific dreams or goals in life before he became my mother’s husband and our father. What I know is that, before went to high school, he once went to an art school trained to be a sculptor. And, he’s a good at chanting mantras; until now he loves to chant in the temple during ceremonies.
Born and lived his childhood life in a remote village in Tabanan, Bali, he then decided to set his foot in Denpasar and enrolled in a high school there. In fact, he was the first one in the family who has courage and willingness to go to high school, “I don’t want to be like the rest of my family”, he once said to me. Later on, his little brothers and sisters followed his path.
He’s the fifth-born with 11 (yes, eleven!) siblings. His mother, who’s a farmer and a housewife, can’t read, can’t write, can’t count, can’t even speak Bahasa Indonesia (when I talk to my grandmother, I should use Bahasa Bali which I hardly speak too). She managed to raise her 12 kids by her own, because her husband passed away so early. Yes, my father lost his father when he was just in elementary school.
To survive in Denpasar as a high school student, he offered himself to be a helper for a family who allowed him to stay at their house and provide him basic needs for free. His mother paid his tuition by selling grains and crops harvested from her farm in the village to traditional markets in Denpasar. And back then, it could take half-day for her to go to Denpasar from her village.
Graduated from high school, still with financial struggle, he enrolled in a 2-year program of Economics. He mentioned that he wanted to pursue a Bachelor’s degree but his financial situation didn’t allow him to, so he thought that 2-year program would do. Remember that education is not a priority in his family.
He then began his career in a pharmaceutical company, joined the marketing team. Started as a sales person, ended up as a regional manager. Yes, his first job became his last job. With no Bachelor’s degree, no connection, despite all the limitation and struggle, he made it. For someone with a background like him, it’s no doubt a great achievement.
His childhood life was not easy. He used to work so hard to survive. For all his life, he was so hard on himself. In his view, life is a fight, you fight or you die. I know he always loves his family, with his own way.
And I get him, I understand him. Thank you for being my father, Pa.
Not like my father who’s a village boy, my mother is a city girl, born and raised in Denpasar. Her family is not rich, but always believe in the power of education. Her grandmother’s messages to her and her siblings was “We’re not rich, but we can elevate ourselves through education. That’s why all of you should pursue your higher degree, go to a good university outside Bali”.
Her father was a teacher then a headmaster in public elementary schools in Denpasar. Meanwhile, her mother never finished elementary school, yet she’s a smart woman. My mother’s mother learned to read, to write, to count by herself; later on, she managed to get herself a job at the central hospital as a helper doing the cooking, cleaning, and carrying the foods to the patients.
Without being rich, they were able to live well enough to support wellbeing and education of seven kids in the family. But, why not earning more money? So, beside doing her daily job at the hospital, every morning my grandmother would prepare a number of rice boxes, traditional cakes, as well as packaged traditional drinks to be sold either at the traditional market or at the hospital.
My mother, as a first-born and that time an elementary student, was always the one who helped my grandmother selling them. Some times, my mother would bring the stuffs to her school and sell them to her friends. She kept doing that until high school. Because, she finally went to Yogyakarta to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at one of the top schools . Yes, she granted her grandmother’s wishes.
I always see her as a smart and brave woman. When I was a kid, she was the one who made sense many of my questions about life, about world, about religion, about God. She’s an open-minded and multi-talented person. She used to love hiking and travelling with her friends. In high school, she joined the choir. I learned cross-stitching from her, she’s really good at it, although she doesn’t do it anymore these days. And, of course, like me, she loves reading and writing.
Then she got married, had me and my first little brother, then got an academic position at a public university in Bali. I don’t know if she buried her dreams since then, but I know how hard she has been trying to focusing her life on her family, on us. As a first-born, she used to give way to her siblings for many things. I can feel that she has been holding many things deep down inside her heart, because she used to be the one who wasn’t allowed to cry or to complain. Her parents always tell her “Remember that you’re the first-born, be the example for your siblings!”, she once told me.
Until now, hold a Master’s degree in Statistics, she’s still a permanent lecturer and researcher at Department of Mathematics at the same university. She didn’t get the chance to pursue a Doctoral degree, because she couldn’t leave us, especially my second little brother who at the time was just born. Once again she buried her dream.
She’s my real example of how a mother raise her kids, while building a career and pursuing a higher education at the same time. She’s a perfectionist mother, yet I always love having a discussion with her. She used to hold her feelings so much. She used to make sacrifice for her siblings then for her husband and kids.
And I get her, I understand her. Thank you for being my mother, Ma.
What I’ve learned in the past few years is that before we expect to be welcomed by our cosmic family, it’s important to honor our biological family, our Earth family, first. They’re our first door to this physical experience. They’re the first ring of our connection to this thing we call life.
So, here I am, the first-born of a very regular family, with two little brothers. My father is a former corporate worker, my mother is a lecturer and researcher. My childhood family is like any other regular family, you can tell that there’s nothing really special or stands out about this family. Yet, their story is my first inspiration.
I’m the daughter who’s always proud to be part of the family. I’m the one who’s lucky. I thank them for opening the door, for being my teachers, for helping me learn my lessons here on Earth, for lighting the way.
I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, and thank you.
Satya uses tarot and oracle cards as tools to guide and heal others, in which meditation is incorporated to help her get centered and align with her higher self. Satya is also passionate about flower and plant healing with trainings in Bach Flower Remedies. She is the author of self-published book "Star and The Dust", a compendium of poetries exploring wisdom from earth and wisdom from stars and how to bridge both.
Satya loves mathematics and science, also esoteric and metaphysical things. She loves gazing upon the stars, also walking in a garden full of flowers. She loves working with numbers, also with words. Besides growing House of Prajna with her husband, Jati, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Operations Research at North Carolina State University in the USA. Satya believes that science and spirituality are a “twin flame”; to her, both of them speak the same thing with just different languages.
Visit her on IG @satyapparamita