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