Kindness Punks: The Ones That Love Me Right

September 07, 2022

Defi “Salsa” U. (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Indonesia. She is a college graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering who’s passionately raising mental health awareness. Her passion for literature inspired her to write a winning essay in celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day. Salsa does a lot of creative writing in her spare time, mostly, fiction. Working as part of a team has always excites her, and as such, Salsa had served in her student council for two periods back-to-back. As a natural-born leader, Salsa is eager to motivate others to grow and care for their wellbeing.

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I remember how shaky my hand was to know that links of Lady Gaga’s posts announcing us were attached to the email. Then the WhatsApp group “Little Monster Indonesia” blew up, everyone tagged me and wanted to know if that was me in the post. Oh boy, the tears I cried that night. The overwhelming feeling of “Wow, look! Lady Gaga posted a picture of me!” and “Oh my God, this means I have to set a good example!” haunted me that night.  

From that day on, I realized that I have the power and the platform to change the world. To create a kinder, braver world. It felt like a heavy weight on my shoulders. I thought it would be hard, but with the help of my fellow board members, it was completely doable! We worked together as a team — such a beautiful, wonderful team. I wouldn’t change it for the world! 

Being in such an amazing team made me long for a lifelong friendship. I always wanted to be close to my fellow Advisors. To befriend every phenomenal individual. Throughout these best two years of my life, a few friendships were formed. I’ve become good friends with some of the Advisory Board Members, but Laurens, Mauricio, and I are connected by a special bond. Now we have a WhatsApp group chat called “Kindness Punks ⚔️💗👹” inspired by Lady Gaga’s Chromatica. 

I don’t remember exactly how we got close in the first place, but Laurens told me that he was the first to contact me on Discord where I accidentally left him on read for three months! As with Mauricio, I think the first time we interacted was in or around September last year during YOUNGA event. According to him, I led him to Laurens and that’s how they became friends in the first place. Mauricio and I became even closer while preparing for the in-person convening, as we both have to apply for visas to enter the US. He was there for me when my visa application was denied, and for that I’m forever grateful. Laurens and I have been gradually building our friendship over the past few months. After I “ignored” his messages on Discord, Laurens then contacted me via Instagram DMs, but then we agreed to move to Twitter since we barely checked Instagram.  

The story of our trio began not so long ago. On the last day of the convening, I texted Laurens how he was doing, and he asked me instead if it was okay if he called me. I said yes and we went ahead to WhatsApp. We talked over video chat for over 2 hours, realizing that we have so much in common than we thought we were. At the end of the call, he suggested that we keep in touch in a group chat. Since Laurens and I are very close to Mauricio, we ended up adding him to the group. We have been talking and supporting each other pretty much every day. Every morning, I would wake up to cute messages and look forward to each evening where we would catch up on our lives. Each day, they have me waiting for my phone to chime. They are so special and I hold them close to my heart. I set a personalized ringtone for our group chat so I know it’s them and I don’t miss it.

In fact, they are the ones who inspired me to write this piece of work. I’m so in awe of how much love they’ve sent my way even though we have never met each other in person, let alone we live worlds apart. Laurens and Mauricio have become my people. I know that I’ll be with them through thick and thin, and I believe they will do the same. I know I’d do anything for them in a heartbeat. 

I love you, Kindness Punks ⚔️💗👹

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