Me as Sri, photographed by Dalih Sembiring
Since I was a little, I had this little curse of moving around. I was born overseas in the first place, on my second birthday I moved back to Indonesia, to my grandmother’s house at my mother’s hometown. By the time I was four we moved to another house which still belong to my grandmother because our own house was being rented to others at those time. In my fuzzy memories, I was probably around 5 to 6 years old when we move to our own house next door. I slept in my parent’s room until probably around 10 years old and got a room shared with my little brother (who sleep with my mother more in the end, so either I will be alone or my father will accompany me) but the roof is always flood with rain, so the trickle of rain in the wall has coloured the memories of my tween years. At twelve years old I finally owned my own room in our new house, which last me until I was fifteen. Then I went back moving overseas for high school.
By the time I was 16, I traveled to Sydney alone, dragging my suitcase and went to the small town that I was born by 7 hours train ride. I moved into this town for a semester and dragged myself back to Western Australia and finish high school. I was working for a girl’s magazine for a year in the capital and went to Jogjakarta later on to enter the universities. I got accepted to the public universities, both majoring in history and art photography. Stayed in different semi communal houses with friends and keep on moving all over Jogjakarta until I stayed in the house I rented until today. Its the longest house I rent, a decade (with skipping living in it for some months and years but kept the house still for my things). I might as well break those moving every decade curse by now.
I thought to myself that this was pretty normal for me, until last year I met a child psychiatrist. Instead of talking about my son’s mental health and my own concern, in the end I found out where my inner child of these constant moving situation has affect me in some certain aspect of life. Compare to my son who knows well about where he belong to and where he is comfortable in staying, I had never learn to settle in one place. In my adult life, my constant need of moving around has become my comfort zone. Moving around is what I know very well and it made me feel safe.
Living with my boy had teaches me and also teaches him the meaning of compromising the way we live. Early on in his life, he moves around too like me. But unlike me, he likes stability, he loves to have a secure home where he belong. He is connecting emotionally with his surrounding while I grow detached throughout my years of upbringing.
This decade I went to the places that I never knew I could reach. Places that I thought I can only dream about in the decade before. Going to India in 2012 broke my assumption of my limited self. It also give me the confidence to take work travel projects and involving more travel to my works. Being in Tibet in 2013 made me rethink about the life that I wanted to do and that in the end I had to let go of things in order to renew my own dreams. Nowadays, I just commit to go to at least one places outside the country I never go before. My favourite are still the South Asian regions, which are for me is another continent where I grow the feeling of home in order to understand my sense of home while being in my own country. I learn to settle also with small exciting trips which are just nearby to keep me sane every two months in a while. I started commuting to the capital more often since last year while seeing dear friends and renew my bonds there. I make peace with my need of space and exploration.
Motherhood has not kept me away from travelling, in the beginning it was the only choice to work and survival. In the end it become a habit. I had to ignored the very best intentions of people advising to settle down. I had that problem of every time I tried to settle down, things would always go wrong. Nowadays, I don’t try to settle and let go that expectation. Nowadays, I just try to keep the balance and found myself in my own version of stability. My son also learn and grow in the many travels we did together throughout his first decade. He is one of my favourite travel buddy too. It has made both of us grow our adaptability muscle and nerves while we are on the go.
I know very well with my need for movement. Although nowadays I tried to apply this more into my inner movement of being. This is when in the end of another life crisis and transition I found conscious dancing by Gabrielle Roth. It has helped me manage and resolve the way my energies work. This journey led me to start teaching movement practices for others, although for me it is still yet another huge homework ahead.
For myself, movement is an important element in my life. It has somehow teaches me to be still in any kind of situations. It has teaches me to laugh at my own reactions and trigger. It has brought me different kind of people from all over the world and immerse myself in various cultural experiences. It has open my eyes and found the interconnectedness of all beings. It has brought me many teachers in many forms. It has brought me troubles and broken hearts. It has healed me from so many things. It has been a way to meet happiness and find love. It has been a way to cry it out loud. It has been my spiritual path of the wandering heart. To find home inside my beings. To find stillness inside my own storms.
As the weather, movement teaches me, that everything too shall pass.