Life is Beautiful

I first heard and understood the word ‘aesthetics‘ when I was an undergraduate. There was one subject called Aesthetics and I remember that I was in my fourth semester when I took a subject for students in sixth semester. It was only the two of us, my friend and I.

We were taught a lot about the history, the philosophical background, from western to eastern perspectives. And I was so amazed how everything is so…’tergantung perspektif’.

And I remember that nearing the end of the semester we had tonwatch the movie, Life is Beautiful. It was about a father, a man, trying to keep his family together and to fulfill what he’s meant to do in this life.

From the class I learned that if we change the way we see things, we can get different impression. I remember I was asked to tell the class about an aesthetical moment I have had in my life. And I told the class about the day when the bus that took 20 other students and I got into an accident and we had to wait for hours on the streets for the replacing bus. We were tired from 3 nights gymboree and starving and cold. But we take the guitar, empty bottles, and we sing a song. We sing along until the sun is up and the bus came. For a split second I remember that I feel like I’m home, I feel happy despite all the bad mood. I told the class that that split second was my aesthetical experience.

The movie life is beautiful reminds me of that event. The upside of life gives me joy and brings happiness. The downside of life helps me grow even taller to be a better person. And when I go back to the upside cycle, I become  more humble and I appreciate all the little things that make life worth living even more.

I guess, the two-up and down-complete each other and without one presence, we can lose the balance.

via Daily Prompt: Aesthetic

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An Invitation To Go Home

I remember when I was a kid, on sixth grade if i’m not mistakenly remember, I got a birthday party invitation from a friend. The address was: APT Gandaria. My cousin, he’s about 10 years older, drove me to the party. We were unable to find the location as the phrase APT was such a mystery. After three times got lost into the wrong neighborhood, we finally solved the mystery–APT stands for Apartment. Back then apartments were not as many as today, so we were not aware/familiar with the acronym. That was an invitation that was like a mystery.
After attending more birthday parties during my pubescent age, I learned that there are other kinds of invitation-work interview. My first work interview was in 2009, I was an undergrad, looking for extra money so I applied to a study center on campus to be a secretary. I remember I was nervous, so briefed myself about possible questions and what the best answers were. I was a bit stammered in the beginning but then got my confidence. I ended up working there for two years. That was an invitation that was like a life lesson.
I got so good at working interviews, as time goes by. I’m almost always able to steal the interviewer’s heart and they end up recruting me. But, there were times when I failed as well. And these times were the best lessons:sometimes it’s not because you’re not good, it’s just because you’re not meant to be there. After trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life, I work my way through, and still am. And you know how time flies, right? How you got so deep in your own little circle, building a life you think was righy for you. Until one day, everything you have done to create your own life and happiness just collapsed in front of you. Yep. Just like that.

And here comes a new invitation. A call for going ‘home’. In your exhaustion, your desperation, you need someone there to tell you everything’s going to OK. Someone who hug you, who lifts you up. And when you get older this circle of friends is getting smaller. And your bestest friend is just so far away from you.

I pray. I realize that it’s just not possible for me to handle all things by myself. That it’s just impossible to understand why good, hard working, honest and caring people will still end up falling apart and ‘losing’. I choose to believe that there’s this greater power that control chain of events and all I can do is to just surrender. So I pray. I go back home, collecting the pieces of my broken heart, finding myself, accepting the bitter truth that I just… have to start all over again. It’s not easy. But being grounded, finding the center of your life again is truly a blessing. And it’s just come to my understanding, which is probably hypothetical or even a paradox, that no matter what your problems are, they’re just temporary. They’re just reminders of what other important, more urgent matters you need to do. And then, sooner than you had expected, you’ll get back to normal. Things starting to change and it all comes back to you.

This is an invitation to realize what is truly essential in life.

via Daily Prompt: Invitation

Clinging on The Cracked Foundation

 

There are times in life when things don’t go as planned and are so unexpected. At times like this, I often blame myself and get angry at myself, sometimes even at the uncontrolled situation. Lately, I even want to run away and trade this life with something new. After an investment gone wrong last July, now I may have been a victim of a fraud. I was so desperate to get extra job, so I made an agreement with a person in Mali who wanted to hire me to translate her book. But then things got weird, such as I need to pay for a deposit of guarantee-this is they (the bank in Mali) said as a guarantee that the fund transferred to my account is not for money laundering or pay for terrorist activities-and a tax certificate. I double checked with the lady hiring me, who, at that time, was in Morocco attending her sick son, and she said to do what the bank’s said (after she herself swearing at the complication of the process and apologized for that matter) and sent me a scanned passport of hers. I have to tell you that she is a respectable person in her country-she was a former Minister and former leader of United Nation’s organization. After a few weeks, there was no transfer from Mali and when I checked, they said they have problems with the currency conversion. And I had to make another payment to solve the problem. I did not want to make any more payments for things that clearly are not my responsibilities. Unfortunately, the lady who hired me is ‘inconsolable’-quoting the bank-as her sick son passed away, hence, she cannot be reached and won’t give any response. The bank said that if I refuse to pay, the payments I’ve made earlier will be gone. Non-refundable. So, I asked the bank to give me proof/receipt of the transfer that they claimed to have done, but of course, they did not response.

So here I am, writing a post sharing bitter experience and I just hope that probably the readers learn from my mistakes or even give advice to me about what to do next.

I guess, despite all the efforts we take to make things better, we also need to be extra careful on determining that efforts. I learned that I need to have calm and careful approach in finding solutions. I was angry at the situation, at the universe, because all I wanted to do-with the investments, with the job in Mali-is to save extra money so I can pursue higher education. I cannot only rely on scholarships. And most of all, the thing that makes me even more angry is that I am a hard worker, I do good, I volunteer.

So this, my friends, is my turning point. Life is unfair, I know it, you know it. With all of this problems, all I know is to keep moving forward. Even though it’s so hard to get out of bed, to look at myself in the mirror, to go to work and face the day, but this too, shall pass. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but surely my foundation cracked to pieces and I can only cling there hoping it won’t get any worse than this.

 

Recovering from Over-thinking

what does it feel like when you’ve always been telling your friends, “hey, stop overthinking or you’ll stressed out,” and it turns out that you are an overthinker?

i was shocked.

seven months ago, my world almost collapsed from its center and I don’t know what to do. first, denial. then, slowly I get to accept the bitter truth.

So, I’m an overthinker. now what?

I was fortunate enough my psychologist, though hundreds miles away from me, she’s been supportive and sent me links and suggestions how to manage my thoughts.

The yoga sessions I have had contributed a lot to help me minimise the crazy thoughts. I somehow gain the availability to be a spectator of my own mind swirling in chaos. I don’t usually able to stay in this state for a long time, but enough to see what it’s like. And it’s… dark. so dark, I can’t even begin to imagine how I’ve lived until now with such darkness inside of me.

During the first weeks, I was busy figuring out how to stop. But then I figured, it’s almost impossible to stop completely, as my brain is wired that way. But I don’t want to give in and justify this negative thoughts controlling my life.

So this is what I learned. Surrender.

I know. it may sound like I’m giving in, right? But actually, surrender in this context is first and foremost, accept that I have an issue. I have a problem, I have this huge flaw I have never known in my life before. And then, as I said earlier, it’s so hard to completely stop, so I identify what mood, what events, what situations that may trigger my overthinking. Once I managed that, I know how to handle and react or even prevent that from happening. One of the causes is uncomfortable feeling especially when things don’t go as planned. I usually, almost instantly, fall into the trap of thinking, “why fate does not favor me? why am I the one to sacrifice things? why should I be feeling disappointed all the time?” and the thoughts go on and on and on… endless, harmful. So when that situation occur, I try to surrender. not to the negative thoughts, but to the flow and the following chain of events. I’m letting the universe work, rather than controlling the universe. What will be, will be. And I keep telling myself, it’s not my fault, it’s not because I was unfortunate, it’s not the determination that I won’t be able to get the opportunities, it doesn’t mean I’m a loser. It’s just not meant to be at that time, for that occasion.

Once I cut the chain of reactions of the negative thoughts, and this is also combined by awareness breathing, I start to feel okay. Everything’s fine, it’s not the end of the world. And then I start to smile. Smile is good. Smile is healthy. Happy thoughts slowly pops in my head. and then I laugh and just like that, I don’t overthink.

I still need a lot of practise, but this proves that it’s possible. I can control this.

After a while I realise that the complexity of how my mind works can be beneficial as well. I like plans, this helps me to organize all my ideas and thoughts and I am able to have a bit of control over the consequences. And this mind of mine works amazingly when it comes to detail. So this is another homework for me: channeling thoughts into positive ideas, positive work, and creating creative ideas from this complex web.

Be happy.

always.

 

 

F.E.A.R

A a beautiful post from Nikita Pandya about fear really struck me in the heart and inspired me to compose this writing.

I always imagine myself as courageous woman. I always have this image of myself being able to stand up for every one in need, defending those whose rights have been abused. But I guess, that’s just an illusion. I was not brave at all.

The point where I finally got the nerve to stand up was when I confronted my angry father, who had his fist clenched and punched it to the wall right next to my left ear. I did not blink and I certainly did not try to avoid that fist. I looked him in the eye, and challenged him. I said, ‘Go on, do what you want to do with me. I am not afraid.’ After that we had an endless and pointless argument for about an hour.

I went back to my room and suddenly I started crying. I called my husband, at the time still my boyfriend, and couldn’t say a word. I just cried. He listened to me crying until when I was finally able to control my breathing, I said, “Dad tried to hit me again,” and he said, “Okay. Now what do you want me to do?” and I replied, “Nothing. I’m going to hang up the phone. I love you.”

I think it was the bravest moment in my life that I have ever experienced. When I was a kid, when my father would swing his arm to hit me in the face or wherever he can land his hand upon me, I would not dare to even look him in the eye.

I guess growing up makes me stronger. I guess moving away from the family gave me a different perspective and suddenly I am not a child anymore.

But I am still not fearless. I’m still afraid of things unknown and uncertain. I certainly still afraid of failure. And, oddly enough, I don’t want to lose that feeling. Fear has made me stronger. I’ve known fear for almost my entire childhood. We’re sort of best friends. Without fear, I wouldn’t be able to prepare the worse case scenarios. And therefore, I wouldn’t be able to strategize my steps forward. Fear makes me human.

 

I walk side by side with fear

I acknowledge her being there

Watching me, taunting me

 

It gives me goose bumps

It makes my voice tremble

It discourages my faith

 

Sometime I got beaten

Most of the times I won

 

Fear is not the enemy

Fear is the motivation,

The drive,

To keep on moving forward,

And to dare

Always.

 

The COME BACK!

I know it’s been a while since I last write

It has been a tough year for me

Especially the last few months

I feel like I want to tell you everything

But I realize it’s pointless

It is also an excuse for not writing

I have been writing, but never thought that they’re worth to publish

And I’ve written various topics as well, I didn’t know where to start

There’s this piece about over-thinking

About the struggle in finding what’s best for you and your family

About the loneliness that sometimes crawling in the most vulnerable moments in our lives

About the new movie series trend

About the anger of not capable to do about the things getting out of our control

About marriage-whether to marry the devil you know or with a new devil

And there is about the difference between working for yourself and for other people

I have no idea where to start.

While I was away from the blogging world, I notice that there are a lot of things going on here as well. And I must admit, that I really like the current system of the blogging university. And I just registered to join the “Branding and Growth Course”. I hope I can get insights and at the same time contribute a little of my experience in the group.

Share your thoughts in the comment on things I should write first. Or better yet, if you can tell me how to organize those pieces into one big piece of writing.

 

Cheers!

Happy International Woman’s Day

I have met a lot of inspiring women in my life. I have worked with one of them, as well. My father thought maybe I should be borned as a boy, because of my boyish look and my lack of feminine features-soft spoken, not too critical, over-independent, and not wearing make ups, etc. But I have never regret it. 

Growing up, I am told that being a true woman I should do this and that, talk in certain way, think in certain way, should oblige the men, should show respect for the men, should not eat much, should look lean, should not get high education so I don’t scare the men and I would get husband quicker, should be able to cook, manage all domestic chores, and I could go on until tomorrow… But I am tired with all that ‘requirements’. Why should I respect anyone-not just men-who simply doesn’t deserve any respect? Why should I just oblige to whatever people say, just because they have more authority upon me? Besides, who has power over a person but that person itself? There are people living in the same roof, so why only women who should bear responsibilities for domestic chores? Why should I walk with my legs tight together and spread apart? Why should I not eat what I want to, when I want to? Why should I not exercise and build muscle if I want to? Why should I have certain physical requirements just to be called ‘beautiful’? Those questions bother me since I was a teenager and woke the rebel part of me. I hate stereotyping. It belittles human. 

So I chose not to follow the ‘rules’. I chose to be happy for who I am. I chose to embrace me. 

You should too. 

To all women.

Cheers

Weekend Highlights: Education and Terror

There are two major things happened in my life this week. The first, is that I’m taking an online course on Caring for Vulnerable Children that was held by futurelearn. This is my first time ever to try distant learning like this and I am so excited, as I have great concern for children, especially street children. This course by far has helped me to understand about risk and vulnerability, and how to manage them. I also have new acquaintances from around the world, who share great insights for me in this field.

However, there was a great incident occurred in my beloved country. A terrorist attack in Jakarta on last Thursday. It was the first major attack since 2009. You probably have watched it on the news or read it on the newspaper. Despite the fact that Indonesian people were not ‘terrorized’ by the incident, and the hashtag KamiTidakTakut (means we are not afraid) are trending in social media, I am scared. I was hundreds of kilometers away from Jakarta but I am scared. Not the kind of paranoia scared, but afraid that this might turn into even something bigger.

I do hope that my fellow citizens keep their courage to fight against terrorism, and ALSO be SMART in dealing with this kind of situation. Although we are not afraid but there are people who are currently dealing with the trauma from the incident. Although we claim to have won the battle, but they also have won by having at least 7 people killed and a dozen injured. I hope my fellow citizens would remain vigilant yet calm, have more empathy for the victims and not just creating funny meme to mock the terrorists.

For a couple of days I mourn for the victims. For my country. And then today, I continue my lesson in gardening. As I planted the seed this afternoon, deep in my heart I wish that it was the seed of peace and love. And that it will grow big and deep in human hearts; the root so big and strong, it’ll spread everywhere and build a firm yet gentle foundation inside the human soul.

This week I was torn apart. Literally. Both happy and sad. I tried to find a silver lining in all these incidents. I tried– and I am– grateful that my mom, who was just 300 meters away from the site is safe, and my sister-in-law who works just across the incident site, is safe. Another silver lining is that, as I learned from the course, vulnerable people especially youth are more exposed to risk. And the extremists might be recruiting these vulnerable people who are susceptible to violence, radical materials, etc. This somehow encourage me to learn and even more committed to work around vulnerable children, to minimize any possibilities that they might turn into offenders-of any kind.

My friend said that there is no such thing as coincidences. So I surrender into the greater will. I cannot control the future, but I can control the present.

In this present time, I want to create and spread positive vibes as many as possible. Starting from learning new things and then pass the knowledge to other people, paying forward all the kindness and blessings I received. The song Imagine by John Lennon constantly plays over and over in my head as I am writing this. It’s not just an imagination that we can all live in peace together. I can contribute in creating peace start from myself.

We all can.

 

My commitments in 2016

In relation to my previous Post here is a list of my commitments for this year:

1. Produce writing minimum 10 per month

2. Produce two short stories in a year

3. Exercise regularly at least 3 times per week throughout the year.

4. Get a bicycle.

5. Master swimming techniques

6. Take a class on something new

7. Be happy. Spread more positive vibes 

What’s yours? Share in the comment 😊

When We Are Tied To Commitments

Commitment binds us. It is unavoidable. Just name it, relationships, debts, work, study, even your passion demands your commitment and thus bind you to it.
While some of us may see commitment burdening, some of us see it as a learning process to grow. You may have different feelings about it, as well.

My first encounter with commitment was when I was very little. My parents taught me that if I want something, I have to work my way to get it. I have to set out some plans, be committed and focus. As an adult now I have extra commitments. To pay the bills, to excel in my job, to be a good wife and partner, and what-not.

And it’s not a joke when my parents said that I have to work my way to get what I want. From saving money even though that would mean I won’t have lunch to work double job here and there to save enough so I could live the next day. I felt I was under a lot of pressure and I had to crawl my way up through college and finally establish myself as professional translator&interpreter. It was one of the hardest times in my life.

So yeah, commitment sounds sucks. Why should we bind ourselves to the never ending consequences? We should be free, live happy, right? We should be able to enjoy what we earned and let’s not care about the people surrounding us. Let’s not buy our parents something nice, or give some clothes for the poor, or provide some of our time to serve others in need. I work hard, I did my part, so should everybody else. We all should do whatever we want. Right?

Wrong. Continue reading “When We Are Tied To Commitments”