First of all, I want to puke. I don’t always know what’s inside my gut but I always want to puke every time it’s near the time of the agreed meeting schedule. To whoever my friend reading this, please do not take it personally. I can assure you, a hundred percent, this is a me problem.

It is not always visible. In fact, people cannot see this from the outside. I can be very friendly, I realized I have various tones when I speak, some people see me as an easy going person. No, it is always a big effort for me to talk to people. Oftentimes my hands are sweating and my heart is pounding.

Uttering one simple daily question is a result of me trying to breakdown every single piece of words inside my head, an effort to stop myself in the activity of thinking about the possibilities of people’s answers.

I stutter. English or not, I do. Yes, I stutter in Indonesian too. I rarely have a structured sentence every time I speak. Subject, predicate, object, adverb, what even is that… My brain, it never used to that. Perhaps that’s why I prefer to write, somehow it can be more structured.

I wonder how it feels like to have a natural talent to speak to people. To have the exact words flowing easily, beautifully even, from their tongue as they form a structured sentence. Those who have it might struggle too, of course. Talent will fade when you don’t have enough respect for yourself to practice. But you know what I mean.

There are times when I bailed out, many episodes of it I feel very ashamed about. But many times I kicked out that temptation, you know, and actually meet people. Once I meet them, though, I would feel glad that I didn’t bail out. Those times are the times I feel proud with myself.

Ibu said meeting people is an opportunity. I think she is right. Meeting people is an opportunity to borrow their pairs of eyes they use to see the world. We will never have enough pairs of eyes, I think. Even though we got to go through many episodes of fighting the urge to puke and pounding hearts and awkward questions, another person is another place to travel.