I wish I knew you better

When I did some research for plan a trip to one of the concentration camp in Poland – which later, I didn’t go there on my last Europe trip – perhaps one day!, I watched some of Holocaust movies just to made me prepare about the situation in the camp. I watched The Pianist, a movie by Stephen Spielberg. A real good one, I can say.


But apart from how good was the movie, there is one of the statement in the movie that really caught my mind and stuck boldly on my brain until now. A statement from Wladyslaw Szpilman, when he knew there is the time for him to depart from his little sister, Halina, he said something that really touched my heart.


“I wish I knew you better.”


There is a common fact that even we born and grow up in a complete family which has father, mother, brother, sister, we often forget that family is one of the most important treasure we have on earth. We don’t really know them pretty well. They just “accidentally” become a part of our life, but we act like stranger to each other.


Growing up as the youngest and little sister, sometimes I become so spoiled, rebel and stubborn just like my star, a Mountain Goat (ehmm, this is pure excuse). Since young, I always chose what I want, no matter people in the family agreed with my choices or not. Sometimes I chose something bad and then I felt sad and miserable and I closed myself from everything – no one should knew how sad I was. Sometimes I chose something good and then I was happy and I let my family know about my happiness, because I only wanted to look cool in front of them.


I understand, as an adult, we should handle things by ourselves. But it’s a happy fact for me, as an Asian, that no matter what, for most of Asian, family is always a family.


I have 4 sisters and 1 brother. Because we live separated to each other now, in distance and country, we try to keep our conversation through social media (a good side of social media, heh). But I realized somehow we don’t really say things that we want to say in social media. We tend to show how happy our life is – is there an amen? But perhaps, at this very moment, we actually struggle with our problems and we don’t really know with who we can open up and sharing our trouble feelings.


I was so grateful with the latest trip to Europe because it was actually an idea for a family trip – later on, because I still have some time alone, I used that to visit another countries, alone. But previously, the trip originally for a good quality family time.


We spent few days in Doha, Qatar, where my brother and his little family moved there since 2 years ago. Then we stayed in our sister’s house, in France, who already live there for good since 2011. One thing that I realized, how time can not be repeated. The moment we are enjoying now with our loved ones, can not be repeated. Time never comes twice. We did enjoy our time as family in both countries, as my intention when going to Qatar and France also to know my brother and sisters better.


Well, it wasn’t easy as the imagination that I had. Turned out I was struggling with some habits or different style of traveling that we have. When I already wanted to do 1, 2, 3, 4 things, they still do the number 1 and not move at all. One time also I was having a fight with my sister because suddenly I can’t stand anymore with her that night. Then I needed to slow my pace. The most important thing isn’t to be win, but to go together.

My friend told me, there you are, family is supposed to annoy you.

Ah yes, but it’s good to be annoyed by someone rather than a dead silence.

I observed how my European friends – or people who I know and live in Europe, need to live their life alone and need to just focus on their life. Which is OK. It’s a sign of independent. But sometimes, I said to myself, how lonely it is. Plus Asian culture tend to be more loud, more warm, more intimate to each other family – even sometimes it feels like there is no room for personal zone, sometimes people like to cross your private area.


When I had a weary heart after one of my trip in Europe, I talked to my sister about this. I didn’t pretend that I was always strong. Or happy. Or cheerful. Like how people know about this girl, called Dea. I still remember when we were talking on the dining table, I was trying to put the food to my mouth, but I still felt so awful. My sister was being patience with me, trying to fill me with another delicious food, listening to all my words, let me be who I am and gave me some encouragement and advises because she cared.


Just yesterday, I finally being opened to my brother about my ideas, plans and worries about the future. I thought he will laugh at me, or think that I am too idealist or too crazy with my ideas. But no, he was supporting me and some of his comments made me smile, “I know this is good for you, because I know your personality.”


I realized, the moment I opened my true self to others, the moment I feel unrestrained. The moment I let them know who I really am, my struggle, my weakness, my fears and my problems, the moment I feel free. Become vulnerable actually help me to be healed and to easier to walk on this temporary life.


We are not living in the catwalk stage. As we grow older, we more appreciated to those who really showing their true self and being true to us.


“I wish I knew you better”


This is one of the reason, why when I close with someone, I want to know that person more. Perhaps sounded too fussy – hahaha. I wanted to know what make them scare, happy, sad, anxious. I wanted to know what was their dreams, their best moments, their fears, their goals, their failures, their favorite food, their music choices, their favorite clothes, their perfume, whatever thing that they like or hate. I want to know everything about them. Because I want to know them better.


Lately I also came to a realization on how, it’s actually only few people that really know me well and still being on my side, no matter I was in bad mood or in a triumph. Those people who I treasure more and more. Those who can genuinely call me as their friends, and I call them as my friends.

It’s always require a take and give between two strong human relationship. You should let them know who you are, as they will let you know who they are.

It’s actually interesting to know someone, better and better.

When I talked to my girl friends about something, most of the time, I think it was only on my mind, nobody will think the same as crazy as me. But then, they will say, “Oh yes, I understand what do you mean, because I feel the same as well!” Then I would be surprised, because I didn’t expect them to have the same opinion with me – especially the bad one, hahaha.

But that’s that. People chose certain people who they can be opened up with. For me, deep conversations are more precious than just, “Hi, how are you. Hi, how are you? Hi, how are you!” Or I am fine. I am fine. I am fine. I am fine.


I got confuse to continue the talk if I only get the same question and the same response like that over and over again. Time to move on then. Some people indeed are not ready for deep conversation or open up themselves to me.


I used to be very careful to really open up about myself to people, because I was afraid they can’t accept the true I am – what if they can’t accept that I can go angry, crying, mad, moody or even hopeless sometimes. I said to one of my good friend, I normally worry if I tell you my problem, you don’t want to listen to me, because happy news are always better than bad news, don’t you think? Also, I don’t want to disturb people’s life. I don’t want to take their time to just to listen to my stories – especially the sad ones.


She said, “Why do you think so? I think, if you trust someone and ask their time to listen to you, people who love you will give their time without being cranky about you are taking their time. If they do cranky, then you can find someone else who will listen to you. But sharing your trouble is important. We can’t live alone.”


I wish, to all people that I really care and love, I don’t need to say, “I wish I knew you better,” instead, I will say, “Thank you for letting me know who you really are. All your angels side and your devil side. I feel honored to be your friend and know you better”


And thanks to you, who walk with me so far on this journey – who accept me the way I am.


Time is limited, moments are precious. Let’s make the good one by showing who we really are without afraid of being judgement.



Dea Sihotang


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