Midweek Reflections #7: Jessica Burai Markus

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“Midweek Reflections” is a space for team members and cultural practitioners of The Tuyang Initiative to share their thoughts, fears and dreams. For feedback, please email hello@thetuyang.com.

Firstly, Selamat Ari Gawai and Kotobian Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan to those who celebrate this harvest festival season here in Borneo! 

Celebrating Gawai this year is surely different than before. But as much as others, I am looking forward to a brighter, joyful and safer environment for Christmas, so that we will hopefully be able to be together again with family and friends. After all it is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!

Ever since the Movement Control Order (MCO) started, it has been quite challenging for me to suit myself working from home. This is mostly because I would be distracted by my other home-based responsibilities too.

At one point, the struggle became so real, balancing between day to day life and work, I had to take a step back to think and readjust to this new norm, knowing it’s only for a moment.

As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one day, I read something that had a profound effect on my then pessimistic view on things. It struck with me well. I moved from saying “I can’t do this” to “I am strong and always will be!”.

Gladly, I managed to plough through, not just from the inspirational post, but also with the help of my family and my colleagues too. I am grateful to have people like them around. 

Apart from that, I would also like to take this chance to thank my brother who is in the army, as well as all the others who had been on the frontline since the pandemic started.

Every time we get on a video call, he would always remind us to follow the rules and take care. Knowing then, the load of their work, I couldn’t help but to remind him too, that we always keep him close in our hearts and minds, as well as his colleagues and others who are standing shoulder to shoulder with him.

I hope he reads this, so that he knows how much we miss him and love him. 

It’s quite frustrating to know that some were still unabiding to the semi lockdown regulations. Because to overcome an instance such as this is a collective effort, we can’t heavily rely on the frontliners who have been working tirelessly for us. I can’t stress enough that it is very much our responsibility too. 

I guess that’s all from me.

Hoping everyone is well and I look forward to a healthier time for us all. In spite of it all, don’t forget to take time for yourself too. It’s tough now, but we’ll get through it together!

Don’t forget to love and care for yourself, and spread positivity to one another!


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