Liberate from What?

Acin Aulia
3 min readJun 12, 2024


My Liberation Notes (2022)

“People who work in those buildings are amazing, aren’t they?”


“They can restrain themselves from jumping.”

A simple dialogue from ‘My Liberation Notes’ has lingered in my mind for over two years since it first aired. For an ordinary person, the conversation might have continued with “Well, the qualifications are strict, anyway” or “Right, they have a good job.” But apparently, the actual answer was far from these alternatives. Many say that the TV series itself is very monotonous, lacking a climax, with little background music, and so on.

The thing is, you can’t enjoy this show if you can’t relate to the characters. Some think it’s just a semi-documentary about people who sit around and mope about their lives — well, that’s probably very close to the reality of life, real life, our life. The protagonist feels like she lives day to day in a trap she can’t escape. She’s exhausted, with nowhere to go, nowhere to exit. She’s just existing without any kind of excitement.

That mundane life contrasts sharply with ‘Perfect Days,’ a movie directed by Wim Wenders that won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. For two hours straight, it focuses on the protagonist’s daily grind: work, bike, read, sleep, and grab a drink. To me, that’s oddly beautiful and brings joy, teaching us about the beauty of finding joy in mundane life.

Perfect Days (2023)

Of course, the burdens are also different. However, both of them share a mundane life. If ‘My Liberation Notes’ aims to break free from routine and feelings of restraint immediately, ‘Perfect Days’ focuses on the search for happiness within a repetitive cycle. Whenever the simple routine I do every day becomes painful and tiring, I always reflect on these two titles. It seems straightforward, but our emotions complicate it: do you want to find beauty within the cycle or break free from it?

So far, I’m a person who is easily influenced by the desire to run away and jump when I feel fed up. Of course, whenever I did make it out, I always questioned my decision, regretting whether I should have just put up with the madness.

Someone told me that although I had run many times, escaping from painful confinement, I was not the one who ran away the first time. The world is always evolving, and so are you, anyway. This has been a hard life, that must be acknowledged. No matter how much we lose, or the pain we endure, the most important thing is that we still feel ‘alive’.

I wish for all of us to find liberation from the burdens of painful feelings that weigh us down.

What do you want to liberate from?