The Bigger Picture

A lot has happened since I last posted an entry here – some unprecedented, enlightening, bold, tiresome, educational events that had truly shaped the first few welcoming weeks of my new coming of age.

I’ve ascended over 2 weeks of (supposedly) unnecessary national standardized computer tests, finished 3 seasons of watching Madam Secretary (and is currently catching up with the ongoing 4th), started rebuilding my humanizing Surabaya Tells project on instagram, drew a line on a sand between what I thought was a toxic relationship for me, had individual meals with the few good people I’ve always loved keeping in touch with, and then of course the final thing on this updating pattern: starting an internship.

My school has this 2-week-internship program, where every student has to find a company that would accept them to help in any sort of way in hopes to gain surplus to their craft. Well of course, me being a self-proclaimed community journalist, had to get a job in a media somewhere to simultaneously learn a new thing or two about it for self-improvement. I eventually did my research, sent proposals and CVs to several, but to cut chase: none of those media companies fit my internship bill. For various reasons like, limited transport, violation of duration procedures, restrictions, and so on. My short-term goal of trying out in a field I was actually passionate about was, in a word, shattered. 

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It was a pitfall I had to struggle with, there was even a point where I couldn’t cut myself enough slack to even say “it’s okay, there will be other jobs.” I kept blaming myself for not planning this soon enough, and re-imagining alternate situations, contemplating on how it would turn out so much better if I had planned a 3-month-internship before the designated timetable came, working in a media I was serious about to hit bulls-eye with – but eventually didn’t, and it consumed me.  

Desperate, but (slightly) resilient, I began looking for other opportunities. Since my main interest was out of the list, I pushed myself to compartmentalize ones that should also help suit my chosen university major: business management. Shortly after listing a few, I decided to apply myself into this café I once reviewed during my early days of blogging, with high hopes to really hit the target this time. The owner interviewed me in person, and I had to really allow myself to sound passionate about whatever job I was going to get. Long story short, I got the job. He didn’t exactly mention at first what my actual role was going to be, but during the near beginning of my internship week, I was told to handle the marketing department of this café.

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Wow, I thought. Marketing? That was, truth be told, uncalled for. Clearly, I did not see that coming. On a more surprising note? I was alone. Left with no literal instructions, no specific goals, and no team. The owner’s wife, who had previously handled the marketing, asked me to communicate her brand with any doable way possible, she told me I could experience and learn whatever I please within the spectrum I was entrusted with, then analyze the outcomes of it after.

There were a mixture of feelings at first – it felt great, yet lethargic to work in a department alone. My job includes brainstorming ideas, listing them, putting them to execution, observing the recipients of my promotional ads, coaching baristas to communicate my program to customers, and analyze the results all by myself. I suppose you could say that I am my own boss at the moment – the department moves forward within my solitary actions, thus it is up to me to both motivate and drill myself to ensure progress happens everyday.

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There is a silver-lining to all this, going to the same cafe everyday for work had allowed me to meet all sorts of people. As I mentioned before, I am a self-proclaimed community journalist, so my idea of marketing the café had to revolve around the customers who stopped by for a sip. It was hard to approach one at first, as I am an introvert, but I kept telling myself to just go for it, you know? It’s better to get embarrassed and (approximately) fail than not doing anything at all. Introduce yourself as the social media handler of this café and ask them what they think of their coffee, ask them to testify the cafe in a few words so you can use it as a caption on the cafe’s official instagram post, take their picture – it would be like some sort of a Humans of New York thing, isn’t this the type of content you’ve been trying to slowly achieve in your personal project? Interviewing strangers on a whim to hear their stories? The thought hit me like an epiphany and I did it. I approached these strangers, and got what I needed to maintain my content goal. Was I going to ever get a chance to do this in a 3-month-long internship in the previous job I aimed for? I didn’t think so. 

It has been a week long now since I started the internship, and I have already met a tremendous amount of people – ones I would have never imagined I would meet as an intern. A freelance journalist, a commercial videographer, a dermatologist, a teacher who teaches middle-east refugees in Australia, a contractor, an architect, a multi-level marketing sales, a part-time English teacher from Newcastle – England, a Danish worker who has been living here for 6 years to develop the shoe company she’s working for in my city – and that was only to name a few. A café is apparently a place for anyone with miscellaneous background to just sit, enjoy a cup of coffee, and stay as long as you like, bringing you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, which kind of feels miraculous somehow.

I suppose God had a way of pulling His own strings to make this happen. Who would’ve thought that I would get to meet this many diverse set of people at this very cafe I intern at? So far, the workload is still tough, the struggle is real, and there are still, countless things on the board that needed to be done, and yet here I am, in the middle of a soon-to-be-permanent-job (if I were to prove myself worthy) where the working hours are stuck in between flexible and overtiming, but hey, it’s always the unexpected roads that lead you to the finest, breathtaking views, right? 

Reflecting back, I should’ve thought twice about pressuring myself too much for not getting that job on the media company that day. Turns out God had indeed seen the bigger picture for all this: He wanted me to have this job instead so I can interview strangers and experience first-hand on what it is like to work alone, the true means of self-motivation that should enable me to grow more responsible as a person – all this to help shape me into fulfilling His purpose on my life.

And this was only the first out of the two + weeks I’m about to spend working here,

who knows what other unexpected things could happen within the next?

from an intern who’s still willing to write on her free time,

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