“THAT WORKAHOLIC GIRL”

Dear Workaholic Girl,

How are you doing? How have you been?

Ever since you started living alone, your life has been different. You’ve done numerous things you never thought you could. You’ve answered some of their doubts with the real results of your actions instead of mere words. Your best friends and other people who really love you and believe in you say you should be proud of yourself. It’s okay. It’s never been easy, but look: you’ve gone quite far. Life is a process. No one can make you live up to their expectations and standards or tell you to catch up with theirs – and no one should. Guess what? You have your own standards. You should know how to live your own life well.

Workaholic Girl, it’s obvious that you love what you do. No worries, that’s still a good thing. You need to watch out, though. The harder and the more you work, the busier you are. The busier you are, the higher the walls you barely realise you’re slowly building. Thick, solid walls of ice – somehow slowly immune to external warmth. Those walls surround you to keep you safe, protected, and unharmed.

And alone. You see, there’s always a price to pay in keeping yourself that fully-protected. Soon it becomes too cold for you to bear.

Air-tight. Can’t breathe. Please, let me get out of here.

However, you also find yourself hesitant by the door. Is it safe out there? Who awaits? Who makes that faint knocking on the door of your isolated castle within? Is it someone you can trust? Will they too hurt you so much?

Of course, there are times when you realise that you (should) risk yourself out there. It’s life that you should face. Every day is a silent, constant battle within. Sometimes you can’t locate the same old demons that still haunt you, taunt you with their evil laughter ringing painfully in your ears. Your own flesh and blood may not always understand. In fact, it’s been ages since you could really have an honest conversation with them, without fearing that your opinions will be dismissed cruelly, like a freak not worthy of any listening ears. (Remember the last time?)

Your best friends have been awfully patient and supportive, but you’re aware that they can’t always be your last stance. They have their own lives too, even when they’re still worried about you. Silently, they wish you’d reach out to them, crawling out of your dark solitude. You’ve grown used to sparing them your ‘irregularities’ by acting normal on the outside. Everything’s alright.

Who is he? Is he still there? Has he always been? The last time you almost let someone in, he ruined it by insisting on a game you knew you could never play. The stakes were way too high for you, while it was obvious that he had nothing to lose. To him, love was a mere experiment. If it worked out, fine. If not, just draw the line.

To you, it was never a child’s play. Whatever happens, you bleed just the same. He’ll never understand.

Ask yourself this, Workaholic Girl: what’s behind your reason to bury yourself in more work? What are you really afraid of? Because, deep down, you know you can’t always keep up with the same old performance. The world may see and admire your smile, but only a few pairs of watchful eyes can see what lies beneath.

Silently, they wait…

R.

Writer@work.

(Jakarta, 28/4/2016 – 6:30 pm)

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