A little nostalgia: 3 things I didn’t throw away for the past 20 years! Thank you Agy from Green Issues by Agy for including me on the international blog train of “I Didn’t Throw It Away.”

Sometimes we look back to move forward. That saying has been helping my life journey from time to time. While it’s healthy to live in the “now”, I like to pause my life from time to time, remembering where I was and the things I did to become the person I am today. I found the relatively simple act powerful. Life’s moments are connected dots (as Steve Jobs said in 2005 Stanford commencement address) and the connections only make sense when you look back.

So thank you Agy for inviting me to her blog train initiative “I didn’t throw it away” because I get the perfect excuse to see how my dots are connected and see what other bloggers write as well! I get to dig around things from 20 years ago that happen to stick with me after all this years of moving to America from the other side of the globe and surviving the many moving-to-a-new-apartment and donating-to-Goodwill trips. Let’s start, shall we?

1. My Blue Watch

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I got this watch as a (birthday?) gift when I was in junior high school. I wore it every single day (even when swimming since it’s water resistant), so part of my left forearm’s skin that’s under this watch remained white for a long, long time. The outer blue wheel is rotatable and I thought the design was super cool. The original strap was blue, the same shade as the wheel, but the plastic was torn after a while and this black strap with blue stitches is the replacement. Now, it resides mainly in my nostalgia container, the battery’s dead, but otherwise in a very good condition. The reason this watch sticks with me until now is because of an failed mugging incident I had one day when I was in junior high. I’d remember that story any day :)

Start flashback

One day after school when the marching band practice was over, I took a bajaj ride home by myself (using bajaj was my preferred method of transportation for a 40 min. – 1.5 hour ride home during junior high and high school days). During one of the many traffic light stops, a random guy just suddenly made his presence known on the bajaj’s side, and through the open space above the door, tried to grab my watch forcefully. Reflexively, I pulled my left arm back and positioned my left leg to kick him in the face if I needed to. It’s going to be difficult to get my leg anywhere but the floor since the space inside the bajaj was cramped, but whatever. I was in a pretty bad mood that late afternoon; I was tired and a little bit hungry.

So as I grabbed my left arm close to my body, I barked, “HEY! WHAT DO YOU WANT!”

This guy’s attire was dusty, and the whites of his eyes were red. He couldn’t be that much older than me. “Give me your watch!”

“NO! How dare you… this is MY watch, so why should I give it to YOU? Again, WHAT DO YOU WANT!”

My left leg was itching to kick; it was shaking. My body was shaking too, a combination of rage and fear that started to creep in.

“I need that watch so I can sell it.”

“For what?”

“So I can get something to eat!”

“I see. So you need some money to eat. How much do you need to eat?”

He’s thoughtful for a little bit…then, “3,500 rupiahs.” At that time, it was about $1.5 (with USD $1 = 2200-ish rupiahs). The cost of my bajaj ride home was around 6000 rupiahs.

“Then why don’t you say so? Why do you need to try to snatch my watch for 3500 rupiahs?!”

I took out 3500 rupiahs from my wallet, keeping the wallet very close to my bag and my guard up. My left leg was still shaking.

I handed him the money with my right hand (the watch was on my left hand), “Here, get yourself some food. But I don’t appreciate you’re trying to mug me.”

The guy left. The bajaj rider looked at me like I was crazy, but he muttered, “It’s good that he didn’t hurt you, miss.”

“Yeah, I know. By the way, the light’s green. Let’s get out of here quickly.”

“I agree, miss. Let’s go, before that guy changes his mind or comes back bringing his friends.”

He pressed on the gas pedal; the bajaj slowly moved forward kicking dusts in its wake.

End flashback.

I unexpectedly had to cough up more money than I thought that day, but I was beaming with pride telling my story to my parents, brother, and aunt about the failed mugging. They were surprised, concerned, questioned my risk assessment ability, and they’re also proud for my display of bravery. But most of all, they were happy that I was alright, safe and sound.

Since that incident, I love that watch even more. I never got another watch until my 2nd year in college (as a gift from Chris). And even then, I didn’t throw my blue watch away. That watch is my constant reminder that I can be brave and stand up for myself, not just cowering in fear to any physical threats coming my way. Oh, how I love that symbol of bravery in my teenage years.

See it yourself on this old picture below, taken on one of the last days of high school after a marching band practice. You can see my watch there (and my best friend Irma, who was my MOH during my Jakarta wedding in 2013). Oh, youth :)

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2. A pair of Ornamental Papers

I don’t remember exactly when I received these beautifully decorated colored papers from my aunt. They were made with plastic flowers and long thin strips of colored papers. They’re so pretty that I didn’t want to use them quickly. So I kept them safe in my desk drawer…for years. And somehow when I moved to the US for college, those two found a way to include themselves in my luggage. They remain beautiful even now, and I think I understand why I’m so into making handmade gifts with papers nowadays.

So thank you my late aunt, who introduced me to things this beautiful, humble, and durable. God bless you in heaven. As for these two gorgeous papers, I think I will either gift them or treasure them forever. I DEFINITELY won’t throw them away.
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3. My Poem Diary

Oh gosh, this one’s the most embarrassing. I got the idea of keeping a fancy poem diary when I was 6-8 years old (that explains why I like blogging). I covered the book with some hot pink paper (a skill I gladly retain until now) with pictures of a popular milk brand’s mascots, and I was set. Right? Well…other than 4 pages of content, the book was untouched. It was hilarious how sparse in content the book is! Look at my hand writing when I was in primary school, so rigid and clumsy; it bears little resemblance to my handwriting now!
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But the poem diary’s state reminded me of my early attempts in blogging. Some days I really want to write things, some days I just had to write for the sake of having an entry every day. The former was fun, the latter was definitely not. So that’s why over the years, I got in and out of blogging. But now since I’m into sharing my fashion reviews, DIY Projects, my love of San Francisco Bay Area and Japan, and my musings, I found blogging fun because I get to share with people, and hopefully I get to inspire some people. I don’t blog just for the sake of making content. It remains challenging for me to create content regularly, but knowing that people like you read this and are looking forward for the next articles help to keep me going.

So I will keep my sparse poem diary, as a reminder that it’s OK to have a rough start. One’s passion, determination, and will power will decide where the journey leads to. Life is good. So stick around with me, my messy pink poem non-diary.

Thank you SO MUCH for reading; until next time!

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy on “I Didn’t Throw It Away.”

We have become such a throw-away society, but there are some things in our households that we still keep. Why is that so? Perhaps this blog train can unlock the reasons behind it! Follow the daily posts on this blog train and read about the stories behind the things we have kept for many years and why we didn’t throw them away.

Tomorrow Vicky Myers from Vicky Myers Creations will share with us her story of things she didn’t throw away! Vicky strives to make all her craft projects from 100% recycled materials and you can see her skills in various upcycling and refashioning projects of bags and beyond.

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