Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

As we're coming into the new year in a couple of days -just as usual, and just like what everybody does; it's been like a tradition rather- everyone of us must have come out with a new resolution. Some of us would ponder again, how we want to become in the next coming year. Some of us would flash back; think all over again, what we have done wrong, how we can be better in the future. And the date 31st of December and 1st of January would be just the sacred dates for us, whereby we think it's really important to commit something with ourselves on those two days. So actually, for everyone of us (most of us, at least), we find it very important to leave something behind and to begin something new; to be given a second chance to try our better every single time.

So here we are. At the brim of the year 2009. In front of us lies a vast, blank pages of 2010. Looking back at the year 2009, I still can't believe I can be here. I must say, it's been an amazing year. I had my bests, and I had my worsts. I had my highs, and I had my lows. I had my laughs, and I had my tears. But on top of it all, by grace, I went forward.

So as we are making our lists of resolution, let us think what needs to be done. Someone said, the not-to-do lists are just as important as the t0-do lists. And after all that's been said and done, like a song says, cherish the life. Live, laugh, love. Happy New Year!

I have been to sorrow, I have been to bliss
Where I'll be tommorow I can only guess
Through the darkest desert
Through the deepest snow
Forward, always forward, I go

What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
And they're bound to guide my way

When they're shining on my life
I can see a better day
I won't let the darkness in
What a journey it has been

Forward, always forward
Onward, always up
Catching every drop of hope
In my empty cup

What a journey it has been

- Journey, Lea Salonga

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mau Sampai Kapan

Dia duduk, beranjak, berjalan, hampir berlari. Hampir menangis, tapi hatinya berkata, buat apa? Hampir marah, sebelum ia akhirnya sadar, memang begitu, kan keadaannya?

Dia lelah. Dia lelah harus terpaksa menyerah terus sama keadaan. Dia lelah dengan ketidakberdayaan memilih. Dia lelah dengan dikte yang -mungkin enggak secara langsung diberikan kepadanya, tapi secara pasti. Dia lelah dengan yang namanya komentar. Dia lelah dengan menunggu. Dia lelah dengan yang namanya persistensi. Dan dia hampir lelah dengan yang namanya mimpi dan segala cara mewujudkannya. Dan stop, jangan ada yang seenaknya menyalahkan dia. Setidaknya untuk sekarang ini.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yes, this is a dedication for you

Not trying to become so melancholic, but right now I do feel I need to say some things about all my friends. And to all my friends. I need to say sorry, to say thank you, to say I love you, to say you're amazing, to say you're everything, that I might not be able to express it to you all one by one without missing anyone. But if you ever read my blog, and this posting, yes, you're it. You are exactly who I am talking about here. You are one of the wonderful friends that has filled my life with all that it has to offer me. You are one of the amazing friends from which I learn about many things -life and death, meet and farewell, coming and going, love and hate, heartache and forgiveness, sadness and joy, loneliness and togetherness, indifference and care, desperation and hope, past and future and dream -all. And because of you, I am rich. You might not realize it, but trust me, you are one of those people who has made me who I am today. You are one of those people who have peeled me off my skins, dig deep down inside of me, help me to find myself.

It is, a blessing to have friends like you in my life; and to be called your friend, is my privilege. You might have walked away, and some of you might have stayed; some might have been staying, and the others will still stay. But to every single one of you -for the time we have spent together and for the time we will spend, to ever have you in this rich life is a blessing I wouldn't want to trade.

Renny :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

17 Agustus 1945-2009

Sebagai orang Indonesia yang 'terbuang' ke negara lain kayak saya ini, suasana 17 Agustus-an jadi benar-benar langka. Jangankan lomba-lomba atau arak-arakan yang seringkali bisa kita lihat di RT-RT. Atau upacara kemerdekaan di Istana Negara yang biasanya bisa kita tonton di RCTI (meskipun stasiun televisi nasionalnya sebenarnya TVRI). Lagu Indonesia Raya-nya pun, engga akan terdengar kalau bukan kita-kita juga yang menyanyikannya.

Tahun ini, sekali lagi saya engga di Indonesia ketika Indonesia merayakan hari ulang tahunnya. Bersyukur, saya masih bisa merayakan 17 Agustus-an sama teman-teman lain yang senasib sepenanggungan di sini. Dan saya cuma mau bilang sekali lagi tanpa bermaksud untuk terkesan begitu patriotis: seberapa pun jauhnya saya dari Indonesia; seberapa suksesnya pun saya di negara lain, Indonesia akan tetap menjadi tanah air saya. Merdeka!

Indonesia, tanah air beta
Pusaka, abadi nan jaya
Indonesia sejak dulu kala
Tetap dipuja-puja bangsa

Di sana, tempat lahir beta
Dibuai, dibesarkan bunda
Tempat berlindung di hari tua
Sampai akhir menutup mata

Chapter One Begins

It feels like it's been forever since I posted in here weeks ago. That time, I haven't even had any idea of how working life looks like; or to be precise of how being a teacher feels like.

Well, yeah. I am teaching now. A career, which, if I am to be honest, would have been the last career I would ever consider. Ask my friends, and they will tell you. I still remember years ago, someone asked me to just become a teacher. And I answered right away, no. That would be the last thing I would ever do for a career. I might enjoy children very much, and I don't deny the joy I would feel if I can impart something to somebody, but doing it in a day-to-day basis for a living has not really come to my mind -at least, until few weeks ago.

Because here I am right now everyday, trying to make up my mind and pick up piece by piece both the skills and the experience of what being a teacher is all about. And I tell you, despite all the tiredness and the apprehension I would feel, I am enjoying this! I can't really say whether or not this is my dream career, or whether or not I would spend the rest of my life teaching; but I do enjoy and discover the reason why some people find teaching fulfilling.

Just consider the feeling of how, among other students in class that might be very, very naughty, you can still find a boy that is so adorable and smile to you and say, 'Bye ma'am, have a nice weekend!' Or how in a class, you can find many students that are just so eager to learn, and although they find it difficult, insist you to stay and teach them how to do. Or even, how you can find a class that can never be quiet, so much so that you need to smack the white board or the table just to ask them to look up to the front. Or how you would feel very sad and agitated dealing with students that are so hyperactive and stubborn; and how you would treat each of them differently -sometimes you whack them, but sometimes you just need to look at them. Or how you would spot those who are trying to cheat during test very, very easily. Reminded me of how foolish we were when we were students, trying to fool our teachers who were more mature and had gone through a lot more!

Those students, I can't find them anywhere else. This experience, this career, might be much more different than any other jobs. Some say, no prestige. Some others say, can't give you as much money as other career would offer. I'm not sure. This would probably be my transit point before taking on another direction I have dreamed since so long, but as far as I know, I think I have fallen in love with this.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Humanize Yourself

Have you ever been in an awkward situation, when every move you make is just wrong? When everything you would want to say comes out to be just wrong, every direction you walk is just wrong, and everything you do is just so wrong and you just feel ridiculous. You feel very awkward and very out of place.

Good news, you are not alone. You are not the first one, neither you would be the last one, because we are humans. And human makes mistakes. In fact, that's why we are human. You don't need -and no one could ever need you to be perfect at anytime to get the approval from others. And the very fact that you are making wrong moves and making mistakes actually doesn't tell anything but that you can still improve yourself.

I learned, that it doesn't bring any benefit to us if we are afraid of making mistakes in front of others, or worse still, if we are afraid to try anything at all because we are afraid to make mistakes. Let me tell you the paradox; people are afraid to try something in front others not because they are shy, but instead, it is because they are too proud to be ashamed of in fronts of others! And to be frank, that's really true. Everything that we are afraid of: public speaking, giving opinion, etc, is not because we are a shy and introvert people; but because we are too proud to make mistakes and to be ashamed of. And I realize that people who are afraid to make mistakes are the ones who actually do not want to change themselves. They are the ones that are actually saying secretly in their hearts: 'I will show you that I am good enough, that I am perfect enough, that I only deserve your compliments, and not your criticsm. That I am just perfect and no mistake you can find in me. And if ever I present myself to you, I will only do something that will make you compliment me. If I'm not sure or if I am only going to be criticized by you, I might as well not do anything.'

Therefore, it's really not a big deal to make mistakes. It is just a part of our human make-up. And it's really not a big deal with us not being perfect, because really, nobody is perfect. The most important thing is not in being without blemish, the most important thing is that we learn every single time we fail. Do as many mistakes as you can while you are still here on earth, because the moments we are making mistakes are the moments we can learn, and finally become a better person.

You grow up the day you have the first laugh -at yourself!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a Difference a Day Made

If I ask you, when is the day your life begins? I believe the answer would be different from everyone. For some, it would be the day they start working. For others, it may be the day they find their soulmates, or the day they get married. For some others, the day they finish school. Or maybe it is the day they become parents. But whatever it is, you would know for sure that your life begins right at every exciting moment of your life; when you finish something that has been so sure, and start something new that is full of doubts and uncertainties. The earth would keep spinning at the same speed, your days would go on just normally, but somehow you can feel it; and you can feel it so well, that you are entering a new season of your life. That from that day onwards, your life will just never be the same again.

I think about this today, just right after I finish my graduation ceremony. It might just be a 2-hours ceremony, photo-takings here and there with friends and professors, finish. But as I think about it once again, today is not just a celebration for me finishing the university life, but rather, it is really the milestone for me to start a new season of my life. And what makes this new season of my life so different? Because suddenly I feel like I am given the full portion of what is called responsibility. That I need to be serious with my life. That from this day onwards, I am not all that I need to be concerned with. That I need to be responsible to the people other than myself. That I need to be ready to welcome the real world that is ahead of me.

And I notice, that in all phases of our lives -no matter how young or how mature we are, we need this one ever-important ingredient, that is learning. We need to learn all our lives, we need to learn in order to be progressive, we need to learn in order to change, we need to learn in order to become better people. And learning, I find, is just an unending process we need to go through in life. Learn from our past mistakes, learn from the success of others, learn from the failures of others, learn from the people that are more mature than us, also from those who are younger than us. Learn from every little thing happened around us, and think how can it make us go further than where we are right now..

...and there will be the day when you stand up, look at the mirror, and say, "This is what I am meant to do, and all that I've been going through has prepared me for this day."

So, yes. I am ready to welcome everything, anything, that this real world has to offer to me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


There she was, sitting on a wheelchair holding bags full of handkerchiefs. Shouting at almost everyone passed by her, "1 dollar, 1 dollar! Three for one dollar, please." And most of the people would just ignore her, treating her like another beggar, not worth paying attention to. I don't know what was in their minds: perhaps, they didn't need the handkerchiefs this handicapped lady was trying to sell. Perhaps, even if they needed it, three for one dollar was just too expensive for handkerchiefs? Or perhaps, buying handkerchiefs from a handicapped person was just not reliable enough? I don't know. But certainly, this lady has been waiting all day long for her to sell her handkerchiefs; to get money for her living, but there was none paying attention.

For me, this handicapped lady was not a beggar. The moment she started 'asking people to at least concern about her condition and help her by buying what she was selling,' she was no longer a beggar. She was no longer someone who pity herself and ask others to pity her as well. Neither was it an exploitation. Using her weaknesses so that people would be moved to help her. She was just trying to do whatever things she could still do even if it is on a wheelchair. She could just sit there, stretching her hands or holding a box so that people would pity her and give her some coins; but she didn't do that. She was doing something out of her limitations to make things work for her. For me, she was a handicapped with an able-men mindset. While often on the other hand, how many of us are able-men, but having a handicapped mindset?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

That One Life-worth Searching

I bet everyone of us would know this song titled "Flying Without Wings." I don't know about you, but for me, this song was just like another song with a cliche words that we can hear almost everytime -so often that I would just pass it by without ever really listening carefully to every single word that makes up the meaning of the song.

But if you really listen to it; paying attention to what the words are saying, they actually say a lot more than just a good song to listen. Inside it is what may make you aware of precious things in life we often take for granted; while they should be the ones we hold on tight and never let go, because without it our lives would just never be complete.

And it's really true that sometimes, we can never understand things like how a mom would give up her successful career to take care of her baby. How national heroes would give up their comfort life for the freedom of the country. How people would give up their dreams to be with the people they love.

Because when you've found what makes your life complete, you would naturally stop your searching. You would say, that even if it needs you to give up all your life, it's worth it and you won't regret. Simply because all that you've been searching all these while is finally summed up in that one special thing. And you just need nothing more.

Everybody's looking for that something
One thing that makes it all complete
You'll find it in the strangest places
Places you never knew it could be

Some find it in the face of their children
Some find it in their lover's eyes
Who can deny the joy it brings
When you found that special thing
You're flying without wings

Some find it sharing every morning
Some in their solitary lives
You'll find it in the words of others
A simple line can make you laugh or cry

You'll find it in the deepest friendship
The kind you cherish all your life
And when you know how much that means
You've found that special thing
You're flying without wings

So, impossible as they may seem
You've got to fight for every dream
Cause who's to know which one you let go
Would have made you complete

Well, for me it's waking up beside you
To watch the sunrise on your face
To know that I can say I love you
in any given time or place

It's little things that only i know
Those are the things that make you mine
And it's like flying without wings
Cause you're my special thing
I'm flying without wings

And you're the place my life begins..
..and you'll be where it ends
I'm flying without wings
And that's the joy you bring
I'm flying without wings

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vanity of vanities

Agree it or not, all about this life are truly vanities. Everything that we are doing and trying to do; we have done it before. And every single time, we are creating something to actually eliminate it.

Just mention some of it: we eat, yet we will get hungry again, and then eat again. We wake up in the morning to do our things during the day, before then comes the time for us to sleep again and wake up again the next morning. We shower to get clean, but then we dirt ourselves up again and wash again. We are cooking some food, to actually consume it, and cook again the next time. And on and on and on; our lives are all about cycles. And they are unending cycles.

And I believe, no matter how adventurous we might say our lives are, we will still get trapped into this one inevitable thing called routine. The fact is that, that is life. Life is meant to be in cycles, and almost everything you can recall always go in cycles: seasons, days, years, how water goes about the earth, the clothes you are wearing day after day, taking baths, sleep, etc.

But among all those routines that we cannot change, let us know what really matters in our lives the most. What can make those routines become a purposeful routine for us, so that every single time -no matter how in vain this life can be, we can still turn to it and say, 'thank God I've got you.' And for me, it is love.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
- Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sepandai-pandainya tupai melompat..

Dua hari belakangan ini, saya benar-benar vakum dari kehidupan. Kehidupan yang saya maksud di sini adalah kerjaan, pelatihan-pelatihan, ngurus ini-itu, ketemu orang ini-itu, semuanya. Dan yang saya bisa lakukan cuma tiduran di atas kasur, berjaket, berselimut. Beberapa jam sekali makan buat minum obat. Dan ditambah apa yang paling saya takutin dan engga suka: hampir pingsan dan kehilangan kontrol diri sendiri. Betah? Engga banget. Merasa kayak orang engga berguna. Tapi saya diingatkan satu hal: jangan pernah ngeremehin yang namanya istirahat. Terutama buat kalian semua yang workaholic, atau yang merasa bersalah kalau istirahat saat kerjaan belum selesai. Atau buat kalian yang merasa sok jago dengan bisa ngerjain 2-3 kerjaan sekaligus.

Sejak kuliah, saya biasa banget dengan yang namanya tidur jam 3-4 pagi. Meskipun bangunnya terkadang jam 9-10 pagi. Buat saya, malam adalah waktu yang paling efektif buat saya ngelakuin banyak hal tanpa diganggu. Nah, gawatnya, ini berlangsung sampai sekarang. Jam berapa pun saya harus bangun pagi harinya, saya akan tetap tidur sekitar jam 3. Alhasil, saya tidur cuma 4-5 jam setiap harinya. Dari jam 7 pagi, saya akan ada kegiatan sampai jam 2. Terima kasih banget, kalau siangnya keburu tidur siang. Tapi kalau engga, berarti akan saya lanjutkan dengan kerja (rodi) part-time sampai jam 11 malam. Terus pulang, dan masih ada kerjaan lain menunggu.

Nah, selama ini saya memang sok jago dan sok kuat. Saya pikir, toh engga sakit-sakit juga. Dan toh, secapek-capeknya saya, saya masih bisa kalau dipaksa sedikit. Yah, kayak begini ini jadinya. Sekalinya sakit, sakit beneran. Jadi, istirahat engga ada salahnya, kok. Sayangilah badan sendiri. Jangan dibuat kerja rodi. Yang penting adalah, kerjain apa yang kita harus kerjain selama sehari itu dengan efektif, terus istirahat sebanyak apa yang menjadi hak tubuh kita.

Yeah, I'm getting well now.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Recently, a book reminded me about one thing that we often overlook. It's really true what it says, that happiness is to have what you want; but contentment is to want what you have.

And after all, I think that in the end, what we are seeking is not just merely happiness, but the contentment in life. I mean, you can search all the world looking for that happiness -that is to have all that you want, but here's the thing; let's just be frank: life is not a fairytale, and often you will find the wind blowing in a different direction with the one your ship is going to go. And sometimes, you will end up getting something you don't really want to get, doing something you don't really want to do.

And some people -and perhaps I, just can't accept the fact that we are left behind our own goals and dreams. We get discouraged. We get frustrated. We ask everybody -which is nobody, actually: why can't I just be happy for once? I deserve what I want. I don't deserve getting this. I deserve better. I deserve my dreams!

But we seldom realize that the problem does not lie in the circumstances itself. Because I have learned the hard way, that being happy is not the same as being contented. As being satisfied, as being fulfilled, as being thankful for who I am and what I have. But that being contented is when you want what you have, when you acknowledge that whatever you have is meant for you. When you have the confidence not because of what you can do, but simply because of who you are. And when you realize that you are not defined by how much of your dreams you can accomplish; but simply by who you really are by being contented with your own self and all that is in it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What does it really take to be parents?

Sayangnya saya memang belum jadi orang tua. Saya memang belum punya anak, dan berbagai tanggung jawab lainnya yang ada di pundak saya. Tapi paling enggak, saya adalah seorang anak. Dan paling enggak saya bisa menilai bagaimana dan apa penyebab banyak anak-anak seperti kita yang memberontak, atau melawan orang tua.

Bilang saja saya sok tahu. Tapi, paling enggak coba baca tulisan saya di bawah ini. Sekali lagi, saya memang belum jadi orang tua; tapi anggap saja bahwa inilah yang seringkali menjadi seruan hati kita semua sebagai seorang anak dalam keluarga.

Sekarang, coba ingat-ingat waktu kita semua masih kecil. Masih balita, atau mungkin sampai SD. Orang tua kita pasti sering banget suruh kita begini, begitu. Kita diajarin ini, diajarin itu. Hampir segala sesuatu -dari jam bangun tidur, makan, main, ngeles, tidur siang, mandi, sampai tidur malam lagi, diatur orang tua. Menurut versi ke-sok tahu-an saya, alasannya ada dua: yang pertama, kita memang belum bisa mengatur diri sendiri dan membuat keputusan yang tepat. Yang kedua, karena kita ini seakan-akan bagian dari hidup mereka, yang harus ikut mereka tata. Kalau anak-anak engga teratur, berarti hidup mereka juga bisa jadi berantakan. Jadi, sebisa mungkin hidup kita akan diatur sedemikian rupa sehingga mendukung terlaksananya kehidupan mereka dengan baik dan lancar.

Oke, tapi saya mau sedikit berargumen; patut banget untuk diingat bahwa semua itu bisa dilakukan waktu kita masih kecil! Waktu kita belum tahu bahwa ada yang namanya mimpi, keinginan, cita-cita. Dan bahwa semua itu bisa menjadi kenyataan kalau kita mengejarnya. Dan bahwa ada yang namanya pilihan.

Dan sayangnya, saya merasa bahwa terkadang para orang tua itu suka lupa bahwa anak-anaknya semakin dewasa. Bahwa perlahan, anak-anaknya mungkin bukan lagi merupakan suatu bagian dari hidup mereka yang perlu mereka tata, yang perlu mereka jadikan sedemikian rupa sehingga semuanya bisa berjalan sesuai rencana mereka. Bahwa perlahan, mereka harus mulai mempercayakan hidup anak-anaknya -yang sedikit banyak berarti hidup mereka, ke dalam tangan anak-anaknya sendiri.

Atau, mungkin mereka lupa rasanya menjadi seorang anak. Dan memang, mungkin memang lupa. Seringkali mereka bilang, bahwa di jaman mereka masih kecil, kehidupan enggak senyaman sekarang. Bahwa dulu jarang banget yang namanya mengungkapkan kasih sayang di keluarga. Bahwa cara pemikiran orang tua mereka kolot, sehingga mereka enggak bisa semaju yang seharusnya. Dan kemudian mereka bilang, bahwa mereka enggak mau jadi orang tua yang seperti itu. Mereka bilang, mereka akan berikan untuk anak-anak mereka, hal-hal yang enggak pernah diberikan oleh orang tua mereka dulu.

Ironisnya -dan harus diakui, bahwa kita akan cenderung menjadi sesuatu yang paling kita enggak mau. Dan sadar atau enggak sadar, orang tua kita itu akhirnya juga melakukan hal yang sama seperti yang mereka dapatkan dari orang tua mereka; simply karena mereka memang dididik dengan cara yang seperti itu selama berpuluh tahun! Dan terkadang mereka memang enggak bisa menyadari bahwa hidup itu progresif; anak-anaknya progresif; dan bahwa mimpi dari anak-anaknya di masa depan tidak bisa diraih dengan cara pemikiran dari masa lalu; tidak juga dari masa ini.

Salah satu tes kepribadian, pernah bilang bahwa saya waktu jadi orang tua akan cenderung obsesif sama pendidikan anak-anak saya. Yah, bukan enggak mungkin. Segala sesuatu bisa aja dilakukan secara enggak sadar. Dan saya enggak akan bilang bahwa saya engga mau jadi seperti itu. Tapi saya cuma bisa bilang, bahwa saya akan berusaha sebaik mungkin untuk menjadi busur, dan bukannya menjadi penghalang untuk mereka meraih yang terbaik yang bisa mereka raih, sekalipun itu berarti saya harus merelakan cara berpikir saya sendiri. Saya akan berusaha untuk percaya kepada mereka, sekalipun terkadang saya tidak akan mengerti keputusan mereka.

Terakhir, saya mau mengutip apa yang dirangkum oleh Kahlil Gibran sebagai peran orang tua:

Dan seorang wanita yang mendekap anaknya berkata:
Bicaralah pada kami perihal anak-anak.

Maka orang bijak itupun bicara:
Puteramu bukanlah puteramu.
Mereka adalah putera-puteri kehidupan yang mendambakan hidup mereka sendiri.
Mereka datang melalui kamu tapi tidak dari kamu.
Dan sungguhpun bersamamu mereka bukanlah milikmu.
Engkau dapat memberikan kasih sayangmu tapi tidak pendirianmu.
Sebab mereka memiliki pendirian sendiri.
Engkau dapat memberikan tempat pijak bagi raganya tapi tidak bagi jiwanya.
Lantaran jiwa mereka ada di masa datang, yang tak bisa engkau capai sekalipun dalam mimpi.
Engkau boleh berusaha mengikuti alam mereka, tapi jangan mengharap mereka dapat mengikuti alammu.
Sebab hidup tidaklah surut ke belakang, tidak pula tertambat di masa lalu.
Engkau adalah busur dari mana bagai anak-panah kehidupan putera-puterimu melesat ke masa depan.

-Kahlil Gibran

Monday, June 29, 2009

Berenang, Sahabat, dan Pelajaran Hidup

Beberapa hari yang lalu, untuk kedua kalinya saya berenang di kolam renang deket rumah, yang panjangnya ampun ampun. Kurang tau juga, sih pastinya. Tapi harusnya itu pasti lebih dari 100 meter. Capek banget buat berenang dari satu ujung ke ujung yang lain, tapi ternyata engga sia-sia juga loh capeknya. Karena selain (katanya) membakar kalori, saya juga jadi belajar beberapa hal tentang kehidupan dari beberapa menit berenang itu.

Sebelumnya, saya mau cerita dulu tentang pengalaman saya berenang di situ untuk pertama kalinya. Waktu itu, saya sudah sadar, sih kalo kolamnya kelihatan panjang banget. Tapi, namanya pertama kali, saya engga tau sepanjang apa. Jadi saya mulai berenang. Kecipak.. kecipuk.. duh, kok engga nyampe-nyampe, yah. Lebih parah lagi, saya engga bisa ngeliat ujung kolam renangnya sama sekali, soalnya kacamata renang saya kurang minusnya. Jadi, berenang kali itu kayak engga ada akhirnya, dan engga tau kapan berakhirnya. Ditambah lagi, saya juga engga bisa ngelihat teman-teman saya yang lain, yang mulainya beda sama saya. Alhasil, saya selalu menyerah di tengah jalan. Engga kuat. Capek banget. Tapi, di round saya yang terakhir saya sengaja mulai berenang dari satu ujung bareng-bareng teman-teman. Waktu berenang, saya bisa ngelihat mereka ada di depan saya. Sekalipun saya engga bisa ngelihat ujung kolam renang, tapi saya bisa ngelihat mereka sama-sama berjuang sama saya. Jadi, untuk pertama kalinya di hari itu, saya bisa berenang dari ujung ke ujung non-stop waktu saya berenang bareng yang lain.

Terus, kali kedua saya berenang di sana lagi. Sebelum mulai berenang, saya memang sudah menyiapkan mental, this is going to be very long. Dan saya mulai berenang. Kecipak.. kecipuk.. eh, engga disangka-sangka, beberapa waktu kemudian, saya sudah lihat ujung kolam renang. Wah, saya seneng banget! Kok, kali ini kayaknya engga sesulit waktu pertama kali. Waktu saya enjoy aja sekalipun engga tau kapan sampai di ujung, kok tanpa terasa saya malah bisa sampai di ujung. Ternyata, kayaknya kolam renang yang panjang banget ini, engga panjang-panjang amat.

Nah, apa yang saya alami di kolam renang ini kalau direnungkan, sama banget kayak yang terjadi di kehidupan kita. Banyak tantangan, banyak masalah, yang kelihatannya bakal panjang banget berakhirnya. Kita engga bisa liat ujungnya. Kita engga bisa ngelihat titik terangnya di ujung sana. Kecapekan. Kehabisan napas. Dan kita ngerasa sendirian. Akhirnya, yang kita lakuin: ah, nyerah aja, deh. I give up! I quit!

Tapi, pengalaman berenang ini mengajarkan saya dua hal yang bisa membuat kita bertahan di tantangan hidup yang terlihat panjang itu:
Yaitu waktu kita bisa melihat ujungnya, titik akhirnya; atau kalaupun kita engga bisa melihat titik akhirnya, paling engga kita menghadapinya bersama mereka yang kita sebut sahabat-sahabat kita. Dan sekali kita bisa overcome satu tantangan terbesar dalam hidup kita, selanjutnya hal itu udah engga akan jadi masalah lagi buat kita. Jadi yuk, kita saling nemenin buat overcome bareng-bareng.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In Finding a True Happy Ending

Now I admit that I might not be that expert enough in relationship stuffs; I am still someone who keeps looking for answers to understand this whole complex thing called love; but out of the enormosity of mysteries of this man-and-woman relationship, I just want to share something here -not theories, not what other people have said about it, but simply from my little past experiences.

I'm not really sure about men, but we women, should admit that we have this unconsciously serious problem within ourselves, which is called insecurity. Agree? Let's rewind our memories to childhood times; where boys were more concerned about Nintendo, Kamen Rider, Power Rangers, Tamiya, soccer, we girls were already concerned about the way we look. Some of us would bring mirror to school. Body cologne if there was a physical education.

Should we do ponytails? Or pleat our hairs? Hmm.. or just leave it loose?

Aarrghh.. really hate this curly hair of mine. Bad hair day. Should I just rebond? Do I look ok? I must do something with my eye-lashes. I have a crush on that boy, but don't think he likes me. Or does he? I want to have a boyfriend. Oh no! My other girl friends have already had one! I need to find one, too. As soon as possible.

See? Never ending self-criticsm. Not secure of being just who we are. And we have always thought that this insecurity will end as soon as we have a boyfriend. Because having a boyfriend means that somebody approves that you are good enough. But what happened after we had one? It didn't solve the problem of security at all, trust me. It got worse.

Do I look pretty enough today? He's chatting with other girls? Why do he look so close to them? Why is he not calling today? He's not been replying my SMSes. Does he want to break up with me? Oh no, I think he's gonna say it real soon. What should I do? Should I call him? What did I do wrong? Should I apologize?

Girls! Are you not tired? The way to solve this problem of security in ourselves is really not in being attached; it is really not about having a boyfriend; it is not about finding approval from anybody to assure that you are great! That you are who you are no matter what they say. That you are worth loving. That you don't need to beg for love, that you don't need to try to please guys in order not to be blamed, not to be abandoned.

I have been in such a relationship; where I tried to be perfect just for not being left, because I feel I was never good enough. I was abused -not by the boyfriend I was with, but rather by my own self-insecurity. Thankfully, I learned my lesson. As what I said earlier, I might not be an expert in relationship, but I can at least tell you this: that you will never be ready to get someone if you are not ready to lose him. And so long as there is insecurity in a relationship, the relationship will never work out. Now the thing is, you will never be secure in a relationship if you are never secure when you are alone. Girls, insecurity will just make you rush in choosing your partner, before you find yourself ended up with disappointment over and over again. Be still, be cool. You are pretty, you are great! You don't need a boyfriend to prove that you are worth loving. And when we realize of this very fact of having security in ourselves, we will find that we are on our way to our true happy ending.

Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up:
If a guy punches you, he likes you
Never try to trim your own bangs
And someday you will meet a wonderful guy
and find your very own happy ending
And your commitment to each other

Every movie we see, every story we're told
implores us to wait for it
The third act twist:
the unexpected declaration of love;
the exception to the rule

But sometimes we are so focused
on finding our happy ending
we don't learn how to read the signs
How to tell the ones who want us
from the ones who don't
The ones who will stay
from the ones who will leave

And maybe this happy ending doesn't include a wonderful guy
Maybe it's you, on your own
picking up the pieces and starting over
Freeing yourself up for something better in the future

Maybe the happy ending is just.. moving on
Or maybe the happy ending is this:
Knowing that through all the unreturned phone calls and broken hearts
Through all the blunders and misread signals
Through all of the pain and embarassment
You never, ever gave up HOPE

- Gigi, in He's Just Not That Into You

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not for Sale

Saya yakin, bahwa di jaman lulus-lulusan begini, pasti banyak sekali dari kita yang lagi menimbang-nimbang, mau ngapain selesai lulusan. Mau lanjutin kuliah, kerja, atau bikin bisnis sendiri? Kalau mau lanjutin kuliah, kemana, ambil apa? Kalau kerja, kerja apaan? Bikin bisnis, bisnis apa? Dan semua itu, kalau mau dilihat lagi, pertimbangannya cuma satu: uang. Yang membuat kita bingung memilih mau ngapain itu cuma masalah jalur mana yang bisa bikin hidup kita lebih terjamin. Karir mana yang bisa bikin hidup kita stabil. Apa yang bisa menghasilkan lebih banyak pemasukan. Ini engga muluk-muluk sama sekali, karena kenyataannya adalah, hidup itu memang perlu uang. Dan ini, lebih membuat kita jadi semakin sulit memilih, apalagi kalau apa yang sebenarnya kita mau itu jauh banget dari kata komersil. Mimpi kita engga bisa dibilang sesuatu yang bisa menghasilkan banyak uang. Dan kita sampai kepada pilihan: mengejar mimpi atau mengejar uang?

Saya sendiri, nih, lagi bingung juga menentukan arah. Bisa dibilang, bahwa kualifikasi yang saya punya saat ini benar-benar beda dengan apa yang menjadi mimpi saya, apa yang saya benar-benar mau raih di hidup ini. Dan kadang-kadang, saya distracted juga dengan kenyataan bahwa saya mungkin bisa mendapatkan pemasukan yang lebih stabil dengan kerja yang biasa-biasa saja. Engga perlu bingung-bingung bagaimana caranya bisa membuat mimpi menjadi kenyataan.

Tapi sekarang, pikirin deh. Kalau kita memilih untuk mengejar uang dan akhirnya meninggalkan mimpi kita, itu tuh sama banget artinya dengan bilang, bahwa mimpi kita bisa dibeli! Bahwa mimpi kita itu cuma seharga gaji yang kita kejar itu. 5 juta sebulan? 10 juta sebulan? Dan kalau mimpi kita bisa dibeli, then it's indeed not worth pursuing! Berarti mimpi kita engga cukup berharga buat kita sehingga bisa dibeli sama yang namanya kehidupan terjamin.

Kalau saya sendiri, percaya bahwa mimpi saya not for sale. Dan saya percaya, bahwa buat kita yang masih engga yakin apakah mau tetap mengejar mimpi sekalipun engga bisa bikin kaya, mimpi kita engga bisa dibeli. Kita mungkin harus berputar sedikit untuk membuat mimpi kita menjadi kenyataan, tapi kita engga akan gitu aja menyerah untuk engga mengejar mimpi kita cuma gara-gara uang. Lagian, saya percaya satu kenyataan dalam hidup ini, bahwa waktu kita mengejar uang, uang itu malahan engga akan datang kepada kita. Saya percaya bahwa mimpi kita jauh lebih berharga dari sekedar 5-10 juta sebulan.

Jadi, kalau kita punya mimpi, jenis apapun mimpi itu -mau yang menghasilkan banyak uang atau engga, let's go for it! Peduli amat sama uang. Mereka bisa dateng dengan sendirinya waktu kita fulfilled sama apa yang kita kerjain. I believe that our dreams are not for sale.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Too Much is Never Good at All

I learned something, that human will just never have enough for themselves. That the grass is always greener on the other side, that human will never be thankful enough of whatever they have. Everybody might say that it is lucky to be you, but human will always look at the negatives, trying to compare oneself to others, and say, "I want that, too." While in fact, he might have things just much better. Basically, human wants to have just everything. Human will never have enough.

So we live in this realm of the unreal, where we pretend that everything can be done without concerning anyone, anything, any limits. Where everything can go on just the way we want it. Where we can just switch to anybody we'd like to be at that very moment, where we can just throw away what we have right now and replace it to another stuff, and take it back again whenever we want it. Where we don't need to have any regrets because of any reason whatsoever, because everything can be played back and forward. As easy as pressing the button 'stop', 'reverse', 'fast forward', 'pause', 'eject', 'power' on the radio. This is the ideal, the unreal; where you are daydreaming.

But then I have also learned, that you can always choose how you are going to live. Whether you want to live in reality, or you want to live in daydreaming. The later, I admit, is addictive. And though many of us know the inevitable risks of it, many of us enjoy it. Many of us fall into this thinking that we are saving the best for the last, that is sometimes pain in disguise. Daydream is always tempting; it is always luring, it is always relieving. But too much is never good at all.

I've heard a story before. There is one guy, having a monkey with a very long tail. He loves the monkey so much, but he feels irritated, too, because everytime the monkey jumping around the house, the tail will keep smashing everything that is in the house. So he knew that he needed to take an action. If he is to keep the monkey with him, then he'd better cut the long tail of the monkey. If not, this problem will keep going on. But by the time he is to cut the long tail, he felt so bad. He didn't have heart to cut the long tail. "It must be very painful for the monkey!" So he decided, "I will not cut the long tail at one shot. NO! It must be very painful! The monkey will not be able to bear it. I will just cut little by little."

Stop daydreaming. Now or later, the pain will be the same. Even, the pain may be greater if we keep postponing and cut it off little by little. I learned that too much daydreaming is never good at all. We are alive, so just be real.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Journey vs Adventure

Perhaps at this point you can take a while and ask yourself: has my life been a journey, or an adventure? Because they are different, and the way you look at your life will actually determine the way you live it; the way you make choices in it; the way you carry yourself through.

I have just been reminded that seeing our lives as a journey is not a very good idea after all. Think about this: a 70-80 years of journey? Seriously? A 2 hours-journey in a car of Jakarta-Bandung, seeing only roads after roads or fields after fields is a boring thing already. Or think about a 1.5 hours journey of Jakarta-Singapore flight. Having only rows of seats, few air crews, clouds everywhere outside there; they are not fun at all! When we look at our lives as a journey, we will end up cruising through life. Just enjoy life -that's true, but when your trip is just roads everywhere, or fields everywhere, or clouds everywhere while you are just sitting; you will end up getting sick of the trip, getting sick of the things you are supposed to enjoy.

So think about the other kind of enjoying life. When you look at your life as an adventure; when you have a trip of flat tires, petrol running out so you and your buddies need to take miles of walking the rocky mountain to reach the nearest gas station. And how in the middle of the way you will meet a friendly stranger that is offering you a ride, and in the end you find out that that stranger actually happen to be your childhood friend that has changed so differently from he was before. So then you manage to fill the tank up again, and manage to reach the nearest city to stay for the night. But you can't find any vacant room in all the motels; instead they offer you to pitch a tent in their garden. The next morning you continue your trip, passing through all the fields and mountains again, when you suddenly realize that you are hungry and the food you bring has all been eaten up! So you and your buddies need to find a way to get some food. Now across the field there is this forest fully planted by apple trees. Having no choice, you walk across the field, going up the trees and pick the apples for you guys to eat, and continue the trip.

Ok, enough. Now, all of us would agree that the first trip is far easier than the second one. No hassle, no problems, the trip has been just smooth, everything is in place and as planned. But to be honest, they are boring! No story to tell, nothing to share and impress others. As for the second one, has it been a tough trip? Yes. Is it a challenging one? Yes. Is it hard and tiring? Yes. But I have a story to tell, I had an adventure that you can be jealous of.

So, the question is, have we lived our life as a journey -where we are just cruising through the easiness and comfort in life, or has it been an adventure -where we face challenging experiences? Which one will we go after?

Yes, I don't want to waste my life. I only have one life to live; once in a lifetime when I can become 21; once in a lifetime that I can live on Sunday, June 14, 2009. And I might as well living it all out. When I have a dream, I want to go all out for it! When I am to choose my career, or the path of my life, I would just go for the hardest, I will go for the things I love, no matter how challenging it may be. I will just challenge myself everyday, I will just go for an adventure! I will just do whatever I've never done before.

If you want to fly, you need to be brave to have the ground taken off your feet.
- Caleb Natanielliem

Beautifully Imperfect

Pernah engga merasa selalu engga cukup pantas untuk menjadi 'seseorang'? Engga cukup pantas untuk mendapatkan sesuatu, atau engga cukup pantas untuk menyayangi atau disayangi?

Saya menyadari adanya 2 ekstrim dalam diri setiap orang. Yang satu, adalah perasaan cepat puas, yang akhirnya mengakibatkan kita enggan menantang diri sendiri untuk melakukan hal yang lebih besar lagi, yang lebih sulit lagi, yang lebih mustahil lagi. Sementara ekstrim yang lain adalah perasaan yang justru engga pernah puas dengan diri sendiri. Seringkali kita jadi orang perfeksionis yang berlebihan waktu kita menghadapi diri sendiri. Merasa diri engga cukup baik, engga cukup bagus, engga cukup mampu; dan kita selalu menaruh standar yang terlalu tinggi untuk diri sendiri. Dan pada akhirnya, kita frustrasi karena kita merasa selalu engga cukup sempurna.

Padahal ya, kita -manusia memang engga sempurna, kok. Jadi, menurut saya, santai aja deh. Dan saya mau menghibur yang pernah berpikir seperti itu. Saya juga pernah berusaha untuk engga pernah salah dalam segala hal, saya pernah berusaha untuk menjadi sempurna tanpa cacat cela dalam segala sesuatu, saya pernah berusaha untuk memenuhi semua yang saya kira sebagai tuntutan orang-orang terhadap diri saya. Tapi ternyata kalau direnungkan lagi, sebenarnya semua itu sama sekali bukan tuntutan orang lain; semua itu sebenarnya tuntutan diri saya sendiri untuk memenuhi standar yang saya buat, untuk menjadi cukup sempurna.

Jadi, saran saya, cintai aja diri sendiri. Seperti idiom yang sering kita dengar, nobody is perfect. Itu bukan cuma kata-kata klise, tapi itu memang perlu kita sadari untuk membuat kita sedikit lega, karena ternyata kita memang engga perlu sempurna-sempurna amat. But that we are all beautifully imperfect. Ketidak sempurnaan yang kita punya, justru akan membuat kita menjadi semakin menarik. Kekurangan kita membuat kita justru menyadari, bahwa kita perlu menyayangi dan disayangi.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Really, actually.

Could I say that I'm afraid I might lose something, while in fact, I have never had it?
Or then it means that I might only have a feeling of having it, while it has never really belonged to me.
And then I can't really say that it would leave me, because it has never actually stayed.

So, why should the fear bother me?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kerja Keras Untuk Istirahat?

Beberapa hari belakangan ini, saya menyadari adanya sebuah paradoks yang bikin saya engga mengerti sama manusia, termasuk diri sendiri.

Kita seringkali -atau malahan, senantiasa bekerja keras untuk beristirahat. Kalau mau dibilang, tujuan kita kerja keras banting tulang capek-capek itu buat apa, sih. Cuma buat mendapatkan yang namanya istirahat, kan? Buat mendapatkan satu hal berharga dalam hidup ini, yaitu menikmati hidup itu sendiri.

Dan kalau kita kilas balik lagi, engga heran kalau kita jengkel sama hidup. Engga heran kalau kita selalu mengeluh bahwa hidup itu susah, bahwa hidup itu engga adil. Karena waktu kita bekerja keras buat istirahat, itu engga akan ada habisnya. Kita akan menemukan diri kita restless setiap saat, dan selalu merasa bahwa kita engga cukup kerja keras buat bisa cukup menikmati hidup. Dan kemudian kita akan memaksa diri kita untuk bekerja lebih keras lagi. Pertanyaannya adalah, mau sampai kapan?

Kenapa, sih, kita engga mengalir aja sama kehidupan. Engga usah ngotot-ngotot sama kemauan diri sendiri, and always try to meet the expectation we impose on ourselves. Dan rasanya, dengan kayak gitu kita akan lebih bisa menikmati hidup, dan engga jadi seperti orang yang sudah mati padahal jelas-jelas kita masih hidup di dunia ini. Remember, life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.

Akhirnya, saya mau tutup dengan kutipan di bawah ini; tentang kehidupan dan bagaimana seringkali kita terjebak dalam apa yang kita capai di kehidupan itu sendiri:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more
problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We write more, but learn less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

- Bob Moorehead

Tentang Tuhan

Kali ini saya cuma mau berbagi tentang Tuhan.

Di tengah-tengah krisis atau problema yang terjadi di sekitar kita, banyak orang seringkali bertanya, "Di mana Tuhan?" Seakan-akan kalau ada sesuatu yang engga beres sama dunia ini, yang bertanggung jawab itu pasti selalu Tuhan. Dan seringkali, sekalipun kita percaya sama keberadaan Tuhan, kita jadi ragu juga. Mengingat betapa rajinnya kita berdoa dan memanggil-manggil Tuhan, dan sepertinya Tuhan engga menjawab-jawab.

Dan kemudian, saya jadi teringat sama permainan populer masa kecil, petak umpet. Kalau kita lihat secara sekilas, permainan petak umpet itu, kan tujuannya supaya yang ngumpet bisa pinter cari tempat ngumpet sampai engga bisa ditemuin sama yang jaga. Tapi, coba pikir-pikir lagi, deh. Apa, sih serunya main petak umpet, kalau yang ngumpet terlalu susah buat ditemuin. Bagian paling seru dari main petak umpet justru adalah waktu yang jaga nemuin yang ngumpet. Dan kalau kita pikir-pikir lagi, bener juga. Temen yang ngumpet pasti menunggu-nunggu dalam hati dengan antusiasnya, supaya ditemuin. You are actually hiding to be found.

Dan, ini juga yang saya pikir tentang Tuhan. Waktu kita nyari dan manggil-manggil dan Tuhan engga jawab-jawab, mungkin Tuhan lagi sembunyi, dan sebenarnya menunggu untuk ditemukan. Jadi, cari terus aja.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

About Missing and Loving

Am I missing someone I love, or loving someone I miss?

Do you know that word that is mostly used in love letters are not 'love,' but 'miss,'? It's like missing someone is the manifestation of the love you have towards them.

Because I found that when you love someone, you just want every part of himself to be near.
And even if he's miles away, you just want every part of himself to be near.
And even if it's not possible -or even if it's possible, it's not as easy as you think, you just want every part of himself to be near!

It's the tragedy of loving; you can't love anyone more than someone you miss.
- Jonathan Safran Foer

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

That Old Feeling

Kali terakhir saya pulang ke Jakarta awal Mei yang lalu, saya ketemuan sama teman-teman SD. Rasanya udah lama banget engga pernah ketemu lagi sama mereka. Has been like, 10 years? Nah, pas ketemu, semua orang udah keliatan beda. Ada yang mukanya berubah, rambutnya berubah, tingginya berubah, gayanya berubah, badannya berubah, macam-macam perubahan pokoknya. Ya, change is the only constant in life, right? Tapi satu hal yang saya agak heran, waktu ketemu mereka I felt like home. Maksudnya, sekalipun udah 10 tahun engga pernah ketemu lagi, kita kayak engga ada canggung-canggungnya. Malahan rasanya kayak mereka adalah teman-teman yang udah sehari-hari bersama saya.

Kemudian baru saya sadar, alasan kenapa saya engga ngerasa asing sama mereka sekalipun udah 10 tahun engga ketemu. Alasan kenapa waktu berada di tengah-tengah mereka, saya ngerasa nyaman. Alasan kenapa saya bahkan merasa diingatkan lagi, artinya persahabatan.

Karena persahabatan yang kita mulai lebih dari 10 tahun yang lalu itu, kita mulai waktu kita masih putih polos. Waktu kita jadi teman tanpa adanya alasan apapun; bukan latar belakang, bukan kesamaan pikiran, bukan untung rugi. Waktu kita belum dipusingkan dengan berbagai kesibukan, kompleksitas pemikiran, dan berbagai pertimbangan. Waktu kita belum terkontaminasi sama pikiran-pikiran negatif, pengalaman-pengalaman menyakitkan, dan berbagai keahlian manipulasi yang diajarkan sama dunia ini sebagai pertahanan diri. Waktu yang ada dalam pikiran kita hanya bahwa punya teman itu, bisa menemani main. Dan bahwa sendirian itu engga enak. It's just simply because of our tendency to be attached to the others; hardly with any additional reasons. Dan ini sebabnya; karena pengalaman persahabatan yang saya punya sama mereka dulu adalah pengalaman yang murni. Dan bukankah itu yang kita cari?

Salah satu teman saya ada yang bilang, let's be childish. Well, saya engga setuju sama sekali sama pemikiran itu. People do change, and change is the evidence that we are growing, that we are getting more mature. Mungkin lebih tepat, kalau saya bilang, let's NOT be childish in our way of thinking; but let's be like a child again in our heart. Waktu motif kita masih murni, waktu alasan dari persahabatan kita adalah persahabatan itu sendiri.

Other things may change us; but we start and end with family.
- Anthony Brandt

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Jarang-jarang nih nge-post yang lucu-lucu. Dan mungkin ini akan jadi yang pertama dan yang terakhir kalinya. Can't help it soalnya, karena saya benar-benar merasa ini kali pertamanya saya bisa berpikir selogis atau seanalitikal ini dan hasilnya selucu ini.

Jadi ceritanya, beberapa hari yang lalu saya digigit serangga. Bentol dan sakit, langsung saja saya injak serangganya sampai mati. Bentolnya masih belum hilang sampai sekarang. Masih gatel-gatel sakit. Padahal si serangga udah saya bikin mati dari beberapa hari yang lalu. Terus, salah satu teman saya bilang, "Elo harusnya gigit balik dong serangganya. Biar dia ngerasain bentol juga."

Tiba-tiba saya kepikiran. Iya, ya, curang banget, engga adil. Saya bisa mati, tapi serangga engga bisa bentol.

- logis dan analitikal tapi lucu engga?

Proof of Your Dreams

It was only yesterday that my results on last semester's exams out. Not much different from any other semesters though, except that now my status is already a graduate, and unlike any other semester, now I don't need to calculate what scores I should get next semester in order to maintain or achieve certain CGPA anymore.

Happy? Yes and no. The fact is that I realize, setting goals to get certain scores is far easier than choosing which path to go for the next phase of your life. And between where I'm standing right now with my dream and desire lie a long road, deep valleys, and wide oceans.

But still I need to move on. I need to do just whatever I can do to move closer to my destiny, no matter how insignificant it is. Because the proof of your dreams is your pursue. Wanting something without pursuing it is only daydreaming. And this is not what I am doing. I do not want to only daydream; I want to have it. And that's why I need to do something about it; I need to work on my dreams.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Friday, May 22, 2009

Worthwhile Silence

Pernah engga, sih merasa sendirian. Atau, sekalipun banyak orang di sekitar kita, kita tetap merasa sendiri. Pernah engga merasa bosan, capek, kecewa, sedih. Dan sekalipun kita pengen ada seseorang yang peduli sama kita, kita pun seperti engga bisa cerita dan membuat dia mengerti sedalam-dalamnya apa yang sedang kita rasakan.

Dan, kalo lagi kayak gitu, engga butuh yang namanya dihibur, dikasih saran, atau solusi. Cuma pengen ada seseorang yang mau stay around dan bilang -seperti lagunya the Pretenders, "I'll stand by you." Dan kita akan terkesan sama betapa kehadiran seseorang bisa begitu berharga, sekalipun tanpa kata-kata.

Oh, why you look so sad
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and talk to me now
Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
Cause I've seen the dark side too

When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess can make me love you less

So, if you're mad, get mad
Dont hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide
I get angry too
Well, I'm a lot like you

When you're standing at the crossroads
Don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
Cause even if you're wrong

I'll stand by you
I'll stand by you
Wont let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Baby, take me in into you're darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kind of Addicted

I guess it's human's nature to have to love, to have to believe, to have to submit, to have to search. It is spontaneous; like a reaction that chemists would say as having negative free energy. You can inhibit, you can retard; but you just can't stop it.

Oh, I can't break away

I must have you everyday
As regularly as coffee or tea
You've got me in your clutches
And I can't break free
You're getting to be a habit with me -can't break it
You're getting to be a habit with me

- Diana Krall, Getting to be a Habit with Me

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Heal the World

Be kind. Everyone is struggling.
- Anonymous

Germany. A motorcycle accident happened on a road -it slipped, causing the rider to struck the ground of asphalt severely. Helpless, he was struggling alone, crawling to the sidewalk, bleeding. He waited there, hoping that there was someone somehow among the people around there that could offer him a help. 15 minutes. Cars that passed by was just passing by and pedestrians that walked past the sidewalk was just walking past. No one bothered to help this man. Finally, there was one car pulling over. He said to the man, "Hey, are you okay? I have just called an ambulance and they will reach here in few minutes. You hang in there for a while, ok." And left.

In the train. Now it's 7pm, the highest peak time of the day; everybody is making their way back home from their offices. Everybody is tired, everybody wants to be able to sit in the train. Standing near a seated young guy is an old lady who had a hunchback, carrying heavy stuffs and struggling to keep herself from falling everytime the train stops station after station. No asking, no offering, nothing. The young guy would keep working on his PSP and the old lady would keep standing until her last stop.

Realizing it or not, we are now living in a time where everybody lives in our own world. We don't care what other people around us is doing anymore. And we don't want to care. And we are not interested to care. We just don't bother to care. We often say we want to change the world, that we want to make a history. Why don't we start small? If only we are willing to spend just a little bit more time for others; to give a little bit more attention to what they are doing; to give a little bit more care to what people are going through, I believe we can make a difference. We are making history. And we can make this world a better place to live.

There's a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much brighter than tomorrow
And if you really try
You'll find there's no need to cry
In this place you'll feel there's no hurt or sorrow
There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space, make a better place

If you want to know why
There's a love that cannot lie

Love is strong
It only cares for joyful giving
If we try we shall see
In this bliss we cannot feel
Fear or dread
We stop existing and start living
Then it feels that always
Love's enough for us growing
Make a better world, make a better world

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place
For you and for me

And the dream we would conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify it's soul
Though it's plain to see, this world is heavenly
Be God's glow

- Michael Jackson, Heal the World

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Perhaps what was said by these two people about soulmate are quite true:

"When your soul finds another soul, it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it..but sometimes you have to let that person go. When you are a little, people, movies, and fairy tales -all tell you that one day you're going to meet this person. So you keep waiting and it's a lot harder than they make it sound. Then you meet and you think, 'Okay, now we can just get on with it,' but you find out that sometimes your soulmate has other ideas about that."
- Francesca Lia Block

"People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person that shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soulmate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soulmate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soulmates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soulmate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master."
- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

Part of me thinks this is quite true. That at the end of the time, the one we are spending the rest of our lives with may not be necessarily our soulmates -though it may be. But whatever it is, deep down inside I do hope, that once I find the one, I wouldn't have to let him go. Somehow I'm sure that I just wouldn't be willing to lose that person ever again no matter what. For this is what I'm afraid of: to find someone but to lose him at the end of the time. Even if it's not that I can promise him anything better by staying at my side. Call me selfish, call me mean. But which one is more idealist: to think that you should hold on to someone you really love no matter what, or to think that to love someone doesn't mean you need to have him/ her?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Indonesia, a Place Called Home

Saya baru aja selesai berlibur ke kampung halaman -Indonesia! An escape after months of homesick, going back home has always been so relieving and blissful. Yah meskipun 'blissful' mungkin kata yang agak berlebihan, tapi pokoknya 'balik rumah' itu adalah 2 kata yang selalu berhasil menghibur dan memberi semangat di saat-saat saya jauh dari rumah. Seperti banyak orang Indonesia bilang: "Jakarta, kan macet." atau "Udaranya itu loh. Tambah jerawatan makin parah." atau "Duh, di mana-mana engga aman." atau "Internet connectionnn. Lelet!" atau "Berantakan banget kotanya. Transpor susah." saya pun bukannya engga setuju sama semua itu. Tapi waktu kita berat banget ketika harus meninggalkan sesuatu, bukannya itu tanda kita mencintainya yah? Tepatnya, I love Indonesia because there live the people that I love.

And as what John McLeod said, "Home is where the heart is."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Chapter

The day i finish my bachelor of engineering is finally here! My waiting is over. My persistence has been paid off. My new chapter of life has begun.

As I think of this, it became very interesting for me, that our lives are actually divided into chapters. Isn't it true? When you started school the very first time, you left your life chapter of playing all the time at home, and started to enter into a new life chapter of getting to know new friends. You learned new things. Playing at the playground, started to be given homework. Learned to write, to read, to draw.

When you finished kindergarten, you started a new life chapter of going to primary school. You were getting to know new friends as well. Then you learned another new things. You learned to study 5-6 hours at school, learned substraction, multiplication, division. Had your first exam. Had your first crush on your seniors, or the boy sitting beside you.

Finishing your chapter on primary school, you moved on into the next chapter of your life, high school. Another new friends. Another new things to learn. You learned to spend most of your days in school. You learned derivation, integral, sine-cosine (haha!). You learned to fall in love, learned how to understand people, learned to be disappointed sometimes, to be rejected sometimes.

And all those had to finish as well, because you needed to move on into next chapter of your life. University. Another bigger groups of friends. Another bigger new things to learn. You learned about responsibility. You learned about commitment. You learned about time management. You learned about building relationships and networks, about looking for opportunities. You learned about having a plan for your future. You learned about dealing with difficult people. Various and many of them. You learned about self-actualization, and sometimes you learn about yourself here.

And after that, you need to move on again. Because another new chapter of life must begin. A great book is the one that you can read chapter after chapter without losing the excitement. Every new chapter is getting more and more complex than the previous one, but surely there will be more and more new things that are worth reading. And so is our lives. Everytime, it becomes more and more complex, there are times it become tougher. But surely there will be more and more new things that are worth learning. Everytime we become richer on the inside than before, and everytime we become more complete.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, May 4, 2009


I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.

- Pablo Neruda (100 Love Sonnets/ Cien Sonetos De Amor)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Prisoner vs Free Man

How many years -or decades, or centuries, have we, human race, been struggling on the subject of freedom? Just mention the Magna Carta in 1215, or the Bill of Rights in 1700s, or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by UN in 1948. I wonder why do we need to have a law, or a written declaration that we human have a right to be free? While human were created from the very beginning to have a free will indeed? We are free men.

Ah, jadi inget. Cuma intermezzo. Lihat countdown hari yang saya pasang di samping? I am just one day and few hours away from The Day I Finish My Bachelor of Engineering! Sebentar lagi saya bebas. Tapi, ngomong-ngomong soal kebebasan, ada beberapa hal yang saya dapetin beberapa waktu ini.

I learnt recently that freedom is not when you have all the things that you need or you want. Rather, freedom for me is when you have nothing more left to lose.

I learnt recently that freedom is not when you don't have any responsibilities. Rather for me, freedom comes when you are given so many choices in your life, but you can choose to do something out of your conscience and be responsible in your own way.

I learnt recently that freedom is not when you don't have any problems and challenges. Rather for me, freedom is when you are faced with obstacles, but you still can have a right attitude to go through it -happily, joyfully.

I learnt recently that freedom is not when nobody treat you badly or disapppoint you. Freedom does not depend on what the world do or do not do to you, because freedom is simply your state of mind. That you will not let anything imprison you -not a disappointment, not a demand or opinion others have on you, not even a history. Such an irony if we are being a prisoner of our own self.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Suka Suka Gue. Capek!

I am nothing. Why do I have to be something others want me to be? Why do I have to have an opinion about everything anyway? Or why do others have to have an opinion about me? Or why do I have to care?

Look at me
You may think you see who I really am
But you never know me
Everyday, it's as if I play apart
Now I see if I wear a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool my heart

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside

I am now in the world
where I have to hide my heart
And what I believe in
But somehow I will show the world
What's inside my heart
And be loved for who I am

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me
Why is my reflection someone I don't know
Must I pretend that I'm someone else
for all time
When will my reflection show who I am inside

There's a heart that must be free to fly
That burns with a need to know the reason why

Why must we all conceal
What we think, how we feel
Must there be a secret me I force to hide
I won't pretend that I'm someone else
for all time
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside
- Reflection

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Call It: Falling in Love

When you feel so happy everytime he calls your name
Or feel so excited that you don't bother the shame

When you feel like home whenever he is around
Or find he's so comforting even though there is no sound

When you can spot him quickly in the midst of hundreds of people
And everything he does can only make your heart more crippled

If when you cannot find him and suddenly you feel lost
And you don't know how to be fine because you know you are just not

When you can't explain it just right like this
Or when you try to say it but they are all messed up, and you're frustrated

Mmm.. what do you call that? I almost forget the feeling.

You call that FALLING IN LOVE.

"Can't a girl miss a guy?"
"Yes, she can, but I just don't really have time for the pain."
- Definitely, Maybe

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sebuah Refleksi yang Butuh Tindakan

Anak-anak kolong jembatan. Topik yang klise, tapi pernahkah terpikir oleh kita, seperti apa sebenarnya hidup mereka? Saya baru saja menonton Slumdog Millionaire, dan saya trenyuh melihat hidup rakyat tidak mampu yang hidup di daerah-daerah kumuh yang tidak layak ditinggali. Rumah yang hanya sepetak, berdempetan satu sama lain, yang bahkan lewat jendela, kita bisa tahu apa yang sedang dikerjakan oleh tetangga seberang. Mencuci, mandi, buang air, semuanya dilakukan di satu sarana serbaguna: sungai. Ironisnya lagi, sungai ini juga yang menjadi tempat hiburan anak-anak, di mana mereka bisa bermain air. Mungkin ada satu tempat buang air yang lebih manusiawi, di mana mereka membangun kotak-kotak seperti WC umum di tengah-tengah ladang. Saluran pembuangannya pun sangat alami dan tidak perlu teknologi tinggi: langsung nyemplung ke tanah.

Saya kurang tahu, apakah Indonesia lebih baik dari India di film itu. Tapi, di Indonesia juga, saya melihat bagaimana seorang ibu menidurkan bayinya di atas trotoar hanya dengan beralaskan kertas koran. Bagaimana anak-anak usia sekolah berkeliaran di lampu merah dan meminta-minta. Untuk berapa banyaknya uang, sih mereka berpanas-panas seperti itu? Kalau ada yang cukup peduli, paling-paling 500 perak sekali buka kaca mobil. Hey, mereka itu, seharusnya sekolah! Menikmati masa kecil, bermain, belajar. Belum lagi anak-anak yang sudah tidak punya ayah atau ibu. Tidak punya rumah, kecil-kecil harus hidup bergantung sama diri sendiri. Kebanyakan, mereka sudah tidak tahu lagi ke mana harus melangkah. Yang ada, mereka jadi terpaksa mengikuti bagaimana arus kehidupan membawa mereka.

Sedihnya, kalau masih ada orang-orang yang kepikiran memanfaatkan nasib mereka. Anak-anak ini - mereka tidak tahu dan tidak pernah diajarkan, bagaimana harus membedakan orang yang benar-benar tulus membantu mereka, dan mana yang hanya ingin memanfaatkan mereka. Tidak ada pilihan lain, tawaran apapun jadi tawaran terbaik. Segalanya diiyakan saja. Mati, ya mati.

Hasilnya, seringkali kita lihat di tengah jalan, anak-anak atau ibu-ibu dengan bayi mereka dijadikan pengamen atau peminta-minta. Gadis-gadis dijadikan pelacur dan penghibur pria. Untuk kemudian menghasilkan uang buat mereka. Kenapa? Tidak adakah hal lain yang bisa kita lakukan untuk mereka? Are they good for nothing except to get few amounts of money by doing all that? Seakan-akan, the least they can do is begging for money or selling their own bodies. Hanya karena mereka tidak pernah sekolah atau mendapatkan pendidikan, tidak berarti mereka bisa digunakan seenaknya. Jadi, kalau kita pernah merasa anak-anak jalanan ini menyebalkan, suka berbuat yang aneh-aneh, atau berbahaya - mereka hanyalah produk dari apa yang diajarkan kekerasan kehidupan kepada mereka. Atau lebih ironis lagi, kalau itu merupakan produk dari apa yang kita - sesama manusia lakukan kepada mereka.

Mungkin kita berpikir bahwa ide 'self-actualization' atau mengejar mimpi, hanya mungkin dilakukan oleh kita orang-orang terpelajar. Dan bahwa semua itu jauh sekali dari pikiran dan kehidupan mereka. Tapi apa perlu, kita meremehkan mimpi mereka? Waktu kemudian mereka bisa meraihnya, apa perlu kita mengidentikkannya dengan permainan curang, kebetulan, dan segala macam pikiran negatif yang ada? Serendah itu ya, mereka? Sebegitu tidak layaknyakah mereka untuk punya kualitas hidup seperti layaknya kita, manusia?

Mereka memang jauh di bawah sana. Kita mungkin hidup jauh dengan nyamannya di atas sini. Tapi bukankah seharusnya kita mengangkat mereka? Bukannya menempatkan mereka di sebuah kasta berbeda dari kita, di sebuah sistem sosial yang berbeda, mengecap mereka sebagai orang-orang yang tidak masuk hitungan dan selayaknya tetap berada di sana. Saya hanya teringat sekali lagi, bahwa kita hidup di dunia yang sama yang Tuhan ciptakan: buat kita, dan juga buat mereka. Hak mereka, tidak lebih dan tidak kurang dari kita.

Kita seringkali bilang, bahwa anak-anak jalanan itu berbuat tindak kejahatan atau hal-hal aneh lainnya karena mereka tidak punya pilihan. Kemudian kita dengan mudahnya bilang, bahwa 'tidak punya pilihan' adalah sebuah alasan yang klise, yang dibuat-buat. Bahwa mereka, kan tetap bisa membuat pilihan yang benar. 'Kayak engga ada jalan lain aja..' begitu kira-kira kita sering bilang. Saya baru sadar sekarang: pernahkah kita berpikir, bahwa mungkin memang tidak ada jalan lain terbuka bagi mereka? Bahwa mereka mungkin memang tidak punya pilihan. Apa hak kita untuk bilang bahwa mereka harusnya bisa membuat pilihan yang benar, sementara di sisi lain, kita bahkan tidak pernah memberikan pilihan apa-apa untuk mereka. Menengok dan peduli saja tidak cukup, mereka butuh tindakan.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Worth Pursuing

Sebenarnya, saya mau sesekali nge-post dalam bahasa Indonesia. Eh, tapi setelah dipikir-pikir, jadi mau lagi, mau lagi. Dan, saya berharap yang kali ini bisa lebih jelas maknanya.

Belum lama ini, ada seorang teman bertanya sama saya, "Tau engga, Susan Boyle?"
Ehmm. Berhubung saya memang kayaknya kurang gaul, saya bertanya balik, "Engga. Kenapa emangnya Susan Boyle?"
Terus dia ketawa. "Cari Susan Boyle, deh di internet, terus dengerin. Lagi heboh banget tuh jadi pembicaraan."

Dan saya, dengar yang heboh-heboh, langsung jadi penasaran. Buka situs tempat search video terkonvensional tapi tercepat - youtube, saya langsung cari Susan Boyle.

  • Oh, ternyata salah satu kontestan Britain's Got Talent toh.

Kemudian, saya klik saja salah satu videonya asal-asalan. Cuma penasaran mau tahu, kaya apa sih dia memangnya. Kok bisa heboh begitu.

  • Ya, ampun. Pantesan heboh. Mungkin orang heboh ngomongin dia, karena dia salah satu dari orang-orang engga tahu malu yang coba-coba ikutan kontes sejenisnya - seperti American Idol, padahal engga bisa apa-apa. 47 tahun, dan aneh-aneh pula gayanya. Biasa, lah, ini mah.

Dengan kesinisan seperti saya itu pun, ratusan audience dan juri bersikap sinis sama penampilan si Susan Boyle. But, wait until you see what she's got in the following few minutes.

Saya speechless. Stunned. Terpesona. Sekaligus menyesal karena sudah sinis sama dia. Padahal, kalau mau dibilang secara terus terang: There she is on that stage, realizing her long-lost dream since she was 12 despite cynical thoughts of hundreds of people before her. And at about the same time, here I am, struggling with what I call as 'not my dream at all', while my long-lost dreams were still buried somewhere deep down in my drawer. And even intending to keep burying some of them because they just seem too impossible. Ironis. Dan saya masih berani bilang dia aneh.

Saya kemudian jadi teringat sama sebuah tokoh di film Benjamin Button. Seorang perenang di masa mudanya, tokoh ini punya mimpi untuk memecahkan rekor - melintasi sebuah selat dengan berenang, dalam masa hidupnya. Tapi kemudian, di tengah perjalanan dalam membuat mimpinya jadi kenyataan, ia berhadapan dengan sebuah badai. Takut untuk terus berenang -padahal dengan beberapa orang dari tim first-aid yang terus mengikutinya dengan sebuah kapal, ia menyerah. Beberapa tahun sesudahnya, ia membagi penyesalan hidupnya kepada seorang teman:

"Until a point I felt like I couldn't go anywhere, I stopped. When people asked me whether I would want to try again next time, I said 'Why wouldn't I?' But I have never tried again. As a matter of fact, I've never done anything with my life since then."

Namun akhirnya, teman ini punya kesempatan juga untuk melihat di sebuah berita di kemudian hari: seorang perenang-yang tidak lain tidak bukan adalah temannya yang tadi saya ceritakan, mencoba kembali untuk melintasi sebuah selat di usianya yang sudah cukup berumur, dan berhasil.

Ini membuat saya sadar lagi untuk yang kesekian kalinya. Bahwa sebenarnya, apapun mimpi kita -sekalipun kita (atau orang lain) menganggapnya engga penting, engga mungkin, atau engga masuk akal, they are all worth pursuing. Let this happen to us as it happened to Susan Boyle or the role I was talking about in Benjamin Button: that at one point of our life in the future, we will be able to say, 'I was born for such a time like this!' Then we will be able to look back and regret nothing from our lives, because we have at least made our dreams come true in this lifetime.

Our dreams - they are all worth thinking about once again, worth dreaming of once again, worth picking up once again, worth pursuing once again. So let us open our drawer, search all the dreams that we have buried for all these while, because it's never too late to start all over again.

- Oh no. Post saya kali ini, sangat kacau dalam hal bahasa. Jadi campur-campur akhirnya. Maaf, maaf.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ab. Father. Dad.

The word 'father,' in Hebrew is the word 'Ab.' It means 'the source; the one who strengthens the family.' That explains why a father is the one who marks the formation of a family. And it is undeniable, that without a father, there would never be you, and there would never be me, because a father is the source. Everything in the family should have come from him, and started by him.

* * *

To Dad.

Just now I had a chat with my friend. And at this moment if you could just know what is going on in my mind and my heart, or if you could ever for a reason read what I wrote here, I just want to say this. At those times when we hoped that there was somebody that would stand for us, would even be willing to lay down his life for us, when we hoped that there would be someone who could be our strong tower in the midst of great storm, the one we could depend on. Where were you when we needed you the most? Did we even have to 'hope' for something from you? After all, you are the father. Ab, as they may say in other language, the source-so as to say. But you chose to ignore anyway.

In your mind, you might think that when we asked you for help, it was because we could do nothing without you. Then you might think that our lives will no longer be complete without you being here in the midst of us. You might think that our lives will be ruined and we do not have any directions in life the day you left home. That we would be lonely when you went away. Actually, even if that was the case, what's the problem with us thinking that we could do nothing without you? After all, you are the father. Ab, as they may say in other language, the source-so as to say. But you chose to leave anyway.

And now if I have to say, perhaps you are wrong. We are still alive, we live happily, healthily.

But if I ever had the chance to say what I have to say honestly, I just want you to know what I really felt deep inside. You might think that we could never be what we're supposed to be without you. We might say that you are wrong. That we could just live as if we'd never had you in our lives. That without you we could still be normal. But ironically, I hate to say that you are right. The fact is, things will never be what they were supposed to be without you here. Because as they say, a father is the source. And you should be the one who makes our family a family. You have started it and you can't leave it, can you? And when we could go through it all for all these times, it was not because we could do it without you. We just need to go on. And we need to live on. So if you would want to ever come back home, please come back home.

Where'd you go
I miss you so
Seems like it's been forever
That you've been gone
Please come back home
- Where'd You Go, Fort Minor