Christmas Coming & I Feel Caged Within

I miss you, Christmas…the season I always been longing to be my descendants’ culture and celebration

4 min readDec 19, 2022


Photo by Toni Cuenca on Unsplash

Come out of shell, Norlisa…. — Dr. Nandkishor

I am surprised by Dr. Nandkishor’s encouragement. He isn’t the only person who is calling me out from my nutshell.

It may have slipped my mind that my mentor, Alberto Garcia, has been hinting to me through his articles in the past.

Keep writing… Come out... Do not give up…

In Indonesia, the school director says to me (I prefer to make it in the present tense…)

“Norlisa, I do not understand my daughter’s prayer. She says that she has given up because the person will not come out to the front…”

That person is me.

Sometimes, I do think it has been the effect of following the culture of Yemenis. Women are not seen. Dressed in black head to toe with face veils while being outside on the streets. Yet, they are not seen.

But, that’s an excuse.

I have been hurt. I have been deeply sad. I lost trust in God — whatever His name is. I do not want to see anyone. I just wanted to be by myself.

I shun from publicity. I stay away from crowds. I prefer privacy only to realize that I have drawn very distinguished boundaries.

No one enters in beyond certain zone.

I do have enough. I have a fair share of days I enjoy being free…Feeling that peace always within me because I know I am enough.

I want to come out from my nutshell. I think I am angry because I know the potential I have within me, or how far life can bring me, however I keep getting setbacks. I am angry at the setbacks.

I am angry at the trials one after another which God sent. My late aunt’s cancer. My dad’s cancer. Afterwards my mom’s old age. Sometimes I asked God when is it time for me to live for my sake?

And often, the setback comes from my own blood ties. They can’t see me having more or better than them.

They always have the reverse psychology tricks to garner and gather support like 5 against 1 team. Either they use gaslighting or religious phrases ranting spree.

I think I can only show myself out when I am …err…successful? No.

How do you even define success? For them are bachelor’s degree, having a house, earning 4k monthly but pretending to be poor and stingy, marriage, husband or wife material, and so on…


This Christmas I feel caged. I want to spend time with people who matters to me. Not my family. They don’t do Christmas.

I can’t figure out how I will spend my Christmas this year…except being on my toes…I am losing sleep.

I think something is weighing on your mind and not allowing you to be a free bird… — Dr. Nandkishor Singhe

And this is what Dr. Nandkishor says which has been quite a question to me too.

I do not know what I am afraid about. I do not think it is fear. Perhaps, I feel insecure. Perhaps I just wanted to protect myself.

I believe, my French family in the humble abode on the hillside has been protecting me with their love. Greatly.

But I also feel that the managers would love to see more of the inner joy within me comes out.

Sometimes I feel that my restaurant manager wants to see me come out from my nutshell.

I have the urge to give up. I have the urge to resign.

I remember him saying to me…

“…if you give me your resignation letter, you see that thing (pointing to the huge black dustbin) over there? That’s where your letter will be…I will not even open it…I will not read it…Understand? You give it to me, and I will throw it away…”

I am not boasting about what he says…But I am always recalling his facial expression.

He will not give up on me…but I am giving up on myself…I am giving up on what the future holds…because I no longer see anything that holds in it something pleasant.

  • I put my online Turkish language classes on hold for a semester.
  • I stopped online Arabic language class after 3 years collaborating with the teacher from England.
  • I put on hold the last leap of story for my E-Book which I am supposed to launch it by Christmas this year.
  • I forget about Christmas coming and I can’t make up my mind who else I love to gift something to ’em.
  • …a lot more holds me back….a lot…a lot…a lot….

Something is holding me back to continue writing or coming out from the shell.

And this year, I miss Christmas…I really do. Damn! I need a long, big hug. Sigh.

Good night.


Norlissa 💌




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