Since a very young age, I have always felt like an alien, never quite fitting in anywhere. I was born in a country (Indonesia) that never felt like home, whose language never felt quite right, whose people never felt like "my tribe".
At age 15, I moved to Singapore on a scholarship without my family and felt incredibly liberated to be away from home, only to realize a few years down the road that Singapore is not where I see myself building roots either.
This realization led to several years of nomadic travels across the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia, and New Zealand, where I kept wondering: where is the place that I can call home? Which part of the world would inspire me to build a nest and settle down at last?
Now, as I write this in August 2021, I am back in my childhood home in Indonesia due to the global lockdowns, for the longest consecutive number of months since I was 15. Physically here, yet emotionally and spiritually everywhere else but here. At home, yet not quite.
Yet, despite it all, I have certainly experienced glimpses of "home" in a less physical sense; in friendships, communities, relationships, ephemeral moments in time...and perhaps, the ever-evolving soul is not meant to know a "permanent" home, for any home discovered will be quickly outgrown, to make space for the next, and the next.
And perhaps, in time, this collection of fleeting "homes" will become redundant, as the soul learns to be at home within itself, irrespective of external factors.
Until then...the seeker shall continue seeking.
the fashion dream (not)
My very first art form was drawing. As a 3-year-old, I remember drawing princesses with big ball gowns, which eventually evolved into a passion for drawing mythical creatures and fantasy characters, mostly female.
At age 12, I decided that I want to become a fashion designer. That clarity and sense of direction guided my choices with regards to schools and school subjects from then until university. Naturally, I chose a Fashion Design degree course in a university in Singapore.
Only to discover, after being in the course for a few semesters, that I wanted nothing to do with the fashion industry whatsoever. It's wasteful, unsustainable, and not conducive for a healthy work-life balance.
Therefore, after completing 2 out of the 3 years of degree studies, I decided to quit university. I didn't want to waste another year studying something I didn't enjoy, just to get a piece of paper that would enable me to work in an industry that I didn't want to be a part of.
Nonetheless, I managed to create some fun fashion pieces (that are probably more like costumes) during those 2 years, which you can check out here.
the performing artist (part 1)
As a child, I was very shy and could not imagine myself performing on stage. However, at age 15, I underwent a drastic change and joined the dance and cheerleading clubs in my middle school in Jakarta, the year before I moved to Singapore.
Following that, I also joined the dance clubs in my secondary school and high school in Singapore, and later became closely connected with the dance community in Singapore by attending open dance classes during the gap year I took before pursuing my university fashion studies.
Eventually, this led to a freelance career in dance, where I would do occasional gigs with the friends I made in the dance community and beyond. Aside from performing, I also did choreography, taught dance in schools, and devised show choir performances. This continued throughout my university years and beyond, and most of my friends know me more as a dancer than an artist, despite my fashion design studies.
Below is an example of a dance performance where I served as both a dancer and choreographer.
Around the time when I decided that fashion was not for me, I also decided that I couldn't see myself growing old in Singapore. The latter realization came about during a trip to Berlin, where I observed the kind of healthy work-life balance that I don't quite see in Singapore.
Even though I wasn't in a rush to leave Singapore, my life adamantly refused to allow me to build any roots there. Any attempts to get a full-time job in Singapore didn't work out. Any romantic attraction I experienced from then on only ever happened with men who were not based in Singapore, even if I didn't purposely close myself off to Singapore-based men. At some point, it just felt like the universe was trying to get me out of Singapore as soon as possible.
I found myself feeling called to attend a seminar on past-life regression by Dr. Brian Weiss, whose books helped me a lot during a particularly dark time in my life. I wasn't particularly dying to know about my past lives, I simply wanted to meet the man. So I ended up booking the next seminar available, which happened to take place on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.
Even though the seminar was only one week long, I decided that it would be a waste of money to fly all the way to that part of the world for just one week and then return to Asia. Therefore, I moved all my things from Singapore to Jakarta, stopped renting the apartment I was renting in Singapore, and prepared for the possibility of being on the road for up to 6 months, with my friend's wedding date being the cut-off point for the trip.
That trip indeed became a 6-month-long one, and for the next couple of years, I would spend 4-6 months at a time traveling, then returning to Asia for a couple of months, then traveling again, as a routine of sorts. Each time the destination would be different; that first year was the US, Mexico, and Canada; the second year was Australia and New Zealand; the third year was Europe; and so on.
During these travels, I would sometimes move from place to place everyday, sometimes every few days, sometimes every few weeks, meeting lots of strangers and staying in the homes of strangers' homes, yet I would often feel more myself in the company of these strangers than I would in my own home in Indonesia. There would often be this immediate sense of ease, as though we have known each other for years, and our interactions would often be filled with deep, meaningful conversations.
Aside from making lots of amazing friends, I also practiced photography a great deal during my travels, mostly featuring landscapes and people. These will eventually be added onto the website for easy viewing.
the performing artist (part 2)
During my first few years of travel, I would be on 'holiday mode' when I'm traveling, then on 'work mode' when I'm back in Asia. This meant that my first few years of travel were filled with nature hikes, sightseeing, and other leisure activities.
Then in 2019, something shifted. It became increasingly unappealing to invest my time and energy building networks in Asia and earning my income there, because it felt misaligned with my desire to not build roots in Asia in the long term. As long as I continued to depend on Asia for income, I would never truly be free.
Yet, I also had no interest in working illegally overseas. Therefore, I focused on finding volunteer opportunities and communities where I could develop co-creative relationships with others without monetary transaction. This way, I could form relevant connections that are aligned with the kind of work I want to be doing professionally, in various parts of the world.
One of those opportunities was the Hillsborough Music Festival 2019, where I volunteered to help organize a community festival. Eventually, after having not danced much for many years, I started doing improvisational dance performances after an experimental showcase in a Danish micro-burn, which you can watch below.
Following this showcase, I would continuously seek out opportunities to perform in various locations, from Berlin to San Diego to San Francisco, and I would typically adorn myself in elaborate face-painting designs as part of the 'outfit'. These performances would always be completely improvised, and sometimes done in collaboration with improvising musicians.
More examples of my improvisational dance work can be found here.
the virtual event creator
Since the global lockdowns began, I began to expend most of my creative energy into creating virtual events, ranging from concerts to festivals and more. It all started with one virtual concert in May 2020, which eventually led to what became the Metamorfosize Project. You can read more about that here.
Aside from producing my own events, I have also provided technical support for other festivals and events such as One World Tantra 2021, Skydancing Tantra Immersion, EVOLVE Fest, The Sensual Summer, and more. I have also collaborated with other online communities and event creators, such as the Co-reality Collective, Sparkleverse, Decentralized Dance Party, and the Million Doge Disco.
I certainly never imagined that I would find myself working this way, but it has definitely been a source of great fulfillment and an important creative outlet during these restrictive times. I have made many many friends from all over the globe through these initiatives, and despite having stayed in Indonesia throughout these many months, it felt like I was still experiencing elements of my nomadic lifestyle, albeit in a non-physical way.
What the future holds beyond this, I don't know for sure, but it certainly feels liberating to be able to work from anywhere (as long as there is good internet connection). It has also been profoundly fulfilling to bring people together and forge communities when so many people are feeling deeply isolated. Knowing me, I'd probably soon move on to the next thing and continue learning, but whatever it is, I know I will be wherever I can be of highest service to myself and those around me :)