Don’t Hold Back

by Devina Gunawan

I visited the buyer of my art piece and he offered to sit down and talk. So we went to a coffee shop and talked for about half an hour. About things that mattered.

You see, despite my unruly nature and artistic/weird traits, I actually love learning from the older generation. They have so much to tell you. They have stories and a lot of times, it seems like they’re ready to burst out like bubbles. Like the stories are just eager to burst out of the bubbles and splash everyone around.

And during the short half an hour coffee break, I learned a lot.

Nothing new, to be honest, but more honest and open than usual. It had always been easy for me to open up to people I never got to see often. Because well, who would they tell my secrets to? Nobody who knew me, let’s hope so.

But he told me to always move forward. He said it very casually and directly, that I had lost the slightest idea to even reject the advice. Not that I had the intention to.

To be fair, I was much younger and inexperienced. That I just had to listen. And it was good.

So here’s the deal. I am twenty two years old, and in about a week, will be saying goodbye to my Taylor Swift’s “22” parade. And life has not exactly been going the way I would prefer. I said prefer, because honestly, I had no idea what to expect from life. I didn’t even know what life could offer.

I graduated too early, joined workforce too early, and got tired too early. I was not ready to say goodbye to my college life when I had to, and I was not happy with my job. Eventually, I walked away after a year of commitment to my job, and decided a while ago to go after what I really wanted.

And if someone had told me few years back that this was what would become of me, I would laugh. Because I would totally settle for an office job and try to be happy, instead of rebelling here and there like I am right now.

Life. What a strange thing we are trapped in.

So I am a baby, a child, and like everyone else, am adjusting to life. And he told me to have a goal, and it could be anything, but what mattered most was to have a goal. To have a vision.

And then the next step would be to work my derriere to get it. And whatever else on the way can be forgiven or ignored.

Oh, and these are the exact words he said to me, which I am going to hold onto for a long time.

“Don’t hold back.”

Because that’s what we often do. We hold back. It could be that we are afraid, that we are too paranoid, that we are too calculating and not ready for changes. It could be anything, a million excuses and reasons. But we hold back.

And I do not want that anymore.

Sure, half an hour of talk might not mean so much to anybody. But that was exactly what I wanted to hear.

I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to be free and happy. And unfortunately, it took so long to find the half an hour I needed to finally just make up my mind.

Why am I writing this?

Well, I do not want you to have to wait for that magical encounter with someone or something to decide that you want to push forward and let go. It might not be as motivating, but try to at least let go slowly and push forward. Because it will feel magical when you have my half an hour of coffee break. It will feel like it’s the right time to hear those words.

But you already know them. You already have them in you. And I’m telling you that even though these moments are special, you do not need them to arrive to live the life you desire.

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