Letter to The Youngers

Do not be in a relationship with anyone you would not marry, it wastes your time and takes you off the market.

Do not worry too much about relationships, build friendships; maybe one day you’ll meet your soulmates or perhaps you will realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with your best friend(s).

Your life should not be spent on trying to fall in love or having been worried about a partner. Your life right now should be spent on you, finding yourself.

Go to that party. Study hard. Work. Save up. Go travel somewhere you have never been.

Hangout with the boys, hangout with the girls, because when you get older all those people are gonna be in their own lane, doing their own thing. You are going to look back and regret not enjoying your life, when you were young.

If you have a goal, reach for it. If you don’t, don’t worry about it.

The past is a memory, the future is imagination and the present is a gift.

Make the most of being young because getting older comes fast.

P.S.: I heard this on a guy’s video on TikTok. The sound has been widely used by many creators, but soon I figured out the one who created it, I’ll give the credit.

Tidak Semua Harus Seperti Maumu, Karena “Lha Kowe i Sopo?”

Semakin gede (tua maksudnya), semakin aku sadar kalau pacaran lalu putus itu gapapa. Gapapa banget malah. Sekarang tujuannya pacaran itu buat apa sih? Buat kita pendekatan, saling kenal sebelum nikah, kan? Goal-nya apa? Untuk berkomitmen selanjutnya, bisa jadi menikah. Maka dari itu kalau ga ada niatan untuk berkomitmen (tidak cuma menikah ya, soalnya berkomitmen itu luas banget –punya anak / nyicil property bareng tanpa menikah juga disebut berkomitmen), mendingan ya ga usah macarin anak orang, temen aja cukuplah.

Sayangnya, di budayaku aku dicekokinnya dengan hal-hal seperti ini:

“Pacaran jangan lama-lama, kak, nanti kalau ga keburu diiket bisa putus, lho.”

“Daripada pacaran nanti berzinah, mending segera menikah aja.”

“Jangan mau diajak wira-wiri sana-sini ini-itu kalau belum nikah, keenakan cowonya tuh.”

“Buruan nikah, kak, keburu tua lho, wanita expired date-nya buat bikin anak.”

Dan lain sebagainya. Ada yang mau nambahin?

Pernyataan begitu yang kerap didengar berulang-ulang from our society dan secara ga sadar membentuk mindset kita orang timur untuk segara menikah, menikah, menikah. Jadi ketika pacaran, kadang kita belum terlalu mengenal kepribadian pasangannya seperti apa yang penting nikah dulu, boroknya diterima belakangan (dengan mengeluh). Sehingga, saat kita pacaran dan terpaksa harus berhenti di tengah jalan karena satu dan lain hal, rasanya kita kayak udah rugi banget either karena udah buang waktu, buang tenaga, buang energi, buang dana, dll. Padahal, sekali lagi, itu gapapa. Yang terbuang itu sebenarnya tidak ada apa-apanya dibandingkan penyesalanmu di masa depan.

Aku kasih contoh nih ya. Ga usah jauh-jauh-lah, dari aku sendiri aja. Aku udah kenal seseorang sejak 2013. Kami mulai ada sesuatu tahun 2014 sampai 2022; ups and downs. Hitung sendiri berapa lamanya. Ketika ada sesuatu yang akhirnya tidak bisa aku toleransi lagi dan aku memutuskan untuk berhenti (meskipun awalnya dia yang mutusin karena dia selingkuh –dan dia jujur), taruhlah aku sudah ‘menyia-nyiakan’ 8 tahunku bersama orang itu. Tapi sebenarnya kalau aku kekeuh tetap mau lanjut dan menikah, misalnya aku dikasih Tuhan sampai umur 60 tahun dan aku harus menghabiskan 30 tahun sisa hidupku dengan orang itu dengan drama yang sama, 8 tahun ‘pacaranku’ yang hilang tadi jadi singkat sekali, kan? So, is it equal? Do you really lose something?

Contoh keduanya begini: Yanti sama Yanto pacaran. Lalu Yanti kekeuh harus nikahnya sama Yanto dan menjadikan Yanto miliknya seutuhnya. Di sisi lain, Yanto mulai menemukan ketidak-cocokkan sama Yanti dan minta putus. Yanti masih merajuk, ga mau ditinggal Yanto karena Yanti cinta berat sama Yanto dan Yanti yakin bahwa ialah satu-satunya di dunia ini yang mencintai Yanto sebesar itu. Hal itu justru membuat Yanto tidak bahagia dalam hubungan tersebut. Cinta dan obsesi itu beda tipis. Garis pemisahnya bernama nafsu dan keegoisan. Apakah Yanti cinta beneran datau terobsesi keburu pengen kawin biar bisa mengikat Yanto?

Menurutku, kalau memang benar cinta, ketika yang satu sudah ingin pergi ya sudah lepaskan. Lepaskan dengan damai tanpa konfrontasi. “Silahkan pergi, sayang, kejarlah kebahagiaanmu.” Lagian kamu tetap bisa mencintainya dengan mendoakan kebahagiaannya dan menutup bukumu dengannya dengan tidak mencampuri kehidupannya lagi. Toh, you yourself deserves for a love you gave to other.

Yang ketiga: takut putus karena sudah terlanjur melakukan hubungan seks. Ada ajaran yang bilang begini, “Makanya kalau selama pacaran itu ngobrol, jangan ML aja. Yang kita butuhin di masa depan adalah teman yang enak buat diajak bicara seumur hidup. Kadang-kadang kita belum terlalu mengenal pasangan kita dengan baik, tapi karena terlanjur terikat secara seksual, kita jadi susah melepas walaupun sebenarnya kita tidak cocok.” It makes sense. Tapi di sisi lain aku juga percaya bahwa pernikahan tidak lepas dari urusan ranjang. Kalau kata temanku orang Itali, namanya Laura, dia bilang begini: “We don’t buy a car without test drive the car.” Sex compatibility is also important meskipun umurnya tidak sepanjang kemampuan berkomunikasi. Well, itu terserah masing-masing orang ya. Aku kalau mau setuju dengan yang kedua kok KTP-ku masih ada agamanya. Diem-diem bae. Sssttt.

Jadi karena pacaran sebenarnya ditujukan untuk orang dewasa yang sekiranya sudah mampu memanajemen perasaannya dengan baik, when it comes to breakup, meskipun you udah pernah tidur bareng, ndak usahlah terlalu merasa rugi dan bahkan menyalahkan pihak satunya. Kenapa? Karena having sex itu kan aktifitas yang seharusnya dilakukan orang dewasa, dan once you decided to do that, you are obligated to take responsibility as an adult juga. So, jangan merasa harus stay in a relationship hanya karena kalian sudah pernah berkeringat bersama.

Lalu yang ga enak buat putus karena udah terlanjur deket sama saudara, teman, orang tua dan hewan peliharaannya juga gapapa ya, tenang aja. In the end of the day, rasa sungkan harus good-bye sama mereka ga ada apa-apanya kok dibanding ngampet seumur hidup kalo jadi nikah karena sungkan.

Tapi kan kalau kita nemu yang 100 persen cocok dan sempurna ga bakal pernah ada. Lah siapa yang bilang ada? Mau keliling ke lima benua juga ga bakal nemu. Ga ada yang namanya cocok seratus persen. Tapi paling tidak carilah mana dari sifat dan kebiasaannya yang bisa kalian kompromikan. Padahal sifat asli seseorang baru muncul kalau udah pernah tinggal bareng. Lagi-lagi, aku mau setuju buat tinggal bareng dulu sebelum berkomitmen, tapi kok KTP-ku ada agamanya. Wwkwkwk. Yaudah serah lu aja deh ya.

Tidak semua yang terjadi di dunia ini harus seperti maumu, karena “Lha Kamu Tuh Siapa?”

Semoga kita semua berbahagia.

Bule Hunter #1: Couchsurfing

Bule means white people. Bule hunter is someone who is intentionally seeking or hunting white people for a particular purpose. Some of the ‘hunter’ look for bule for dating because dating white people means ‘wealthy’ since they have –not more money, but only different currency. Some of them are dating white people because white people are considered more good-looking by southeast Asian standards so if they have kids with them, the kids will be looking adorable. Some have other motives when dating bule due to personal preference like sex, value, etc. And the rest, perhaps group of people who hunt bule only because they enjoy being in an international atmosphere or want to improve their language skill.

According to those categories, I would say that I belong to the last. Have I ever intentionally tried to find foreigners? Yes. As an English Department student at that time, I was feeling nervous whenever I met white people because I would like to practice my speaking skill but English words in my mind were suddenly gone. Therefore, I signed up for couchsurfing.org in late 2012, a website that connects travelers around the world to interact and even be hosted by local people. I was confidently offering my place for travelers if they want to stay. In fact, I didn’t only respond to white people, I opened to almost everyone who contacted me; be it fellow Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Dutch, Croatian, French, German, Argentinian, Chinese, etc, both female or male. Well, now I am considered myself a foreigner hunter then, not a bule hunter.

I was glad that my parents were open to them and host them genuinely at our place. As a result, my confidence in speaking English (to foreigners) was improved since I could practice my English more when I hosted or hung out with them. I also invited my friends who wanted to improve their English to hang out with the travelers I hosted (with their permission of course).

Two years after, in 2014, I moved to Bali for working on a company’s CSR project. I was given accommodation in a rural area of Bali where the original Bali civilization is. The place I lived was huge and I had several stoned-wall rooms which were empty. I was still on couchsurfing.org and accepted some travelers who wanted to stay and gave contributions to the kids in the village or helped with the farming work. It was a great experience to know different cultures and meet many kinds of people from different backgrounds that has opened my mind even more.

The friendship didn’t stop on the day we said goodbye at a train or bus station or airport when they had to continue their trip, but it lasts even until now. Some of them turned out as good friends I still meet annually in the other parts of Indonesia 🙂

https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/cinderella.wears.converse

Providence

Almost two weeks ago I had an accident. My scooter was crashed by a car when I was about to cross the road. It’s not clear who made a mistake. I simply couldn’t see the car as it was blocked by another car which turned to my direction. Of course, be it me or the car’s driver, did not want it to happen. However, according to the ‘law’, the bigger should be responsible, in this case, the car.

I was blessed that there was no serious injury. There are several wounds, bruises, swollen calve, two stitches on my feet, and of course post-incident body sore which lasted almost a week. It’s been almost two weeks and I m still struggling to walk properly. I am sure that I can recover and run again every morning, sooner or later. All of hospital and motorbike reparation costs were taken care by the car driver’s family. Thank God and I thank them.

The accident affects to my job. As a freelancer or self employed, I don’t score money when I don’t go to work. My energy is also not ready if I should transform my offline classes to online. All I do is surrender that God is taking care of me.

Few days after the accident, one of my good friends contacted me. He gave me two translation jobs. Praise The Lord. Translation is indeed my side hustle which I can count how many times I do it in a year: not often. Getting two documents to do excites me so much. My leg may hurt, but my brain and fingers are still healthy to do the job.

I finished the job well and got the payment transferred. Few days after the payment, another good friend of mine texted me on WhatsApp. She booked me to translate her papers soon after she finishes it. Praise The Lord, again, again and again.

As I believe, God’s providence is true.

Now I am trying to maximize my spare time to think of my future plans and pray for them. I am also creating an Instagram account to post my design about some simple English learning contents. I hope the contents can help those who read it, otherwise, I am just glad that I have found my playground to hone my amateur design skill as well as my English.

I am just trying to be productive for the chance HE has given to me.

HIS providence, is true.

Prayer

The sky was so bright that morning. I was on my motorbike going to shop for some food orders. I would have several home visit classes after cooking and delivering the food to my loyal customers. It was going to be a long day. On the bike, I spoke to my inner heart, “God, please give a clear sky the whole day today.”

That evening, the sky was not bright at all. The rain fell. I arrived home wet again. My day was still good. God is still good.

“Critical Eleven”

I had just finished reading a novel entitled “Critical Eleven”. Perhaps that was the very first novel I read again after several years I’ve put myself into self development and philosophic or spiritual books. The book was actually addictive (yeah, reading can be addictive too sometimes) that I couldn’t wait to finish it soon to know how the story ends. So, there I was, spending one to two hours every day for couple of days from page one to 300s.

My emotion was involved when reading the novel. It talks about Ale and Anya; two Jakartans who have high class –but actually normal– lifestyle. Apart from the plot of the story, I was interested to dig out more about the characters’ background.

Both of the characters graduated from American universities. That’s something ‘normal’ for those who live in big cities and from a wealthy family. In contrary, it used to be an impressive thing to me back then when I was in university.

The night after I finished reading, I met a friend who –I am sure– she has billions knowledge about books, novels, authors because she herself is a writer. She said that she has read the book. I told her my conclusion about the characters’ wealthy family background. Born in a supportive family, given accesses for after schools extra education, explored to global information since early age, no wonder that they can be whatever they want and afford things what they dream of. They –now– is something normal for me as I see that ‘Ale and Anya’ are on my circles and family, too.

My friend added that almost of the author’s of the Critical Eleven books describes her characters as cliche; the normal ‘Jakartan’s high class’ lifestyle. “Perhaps because she was a banker, then not just a banker who works as front liners, but upper position, at the back office for example. Maybe. Therefore her kind of characters she described based on her knowledge she encounters daily.” I said. I read her biography, too.

The discussion I had with my friend calmed my insecurity little bit of being stuck in my hometown and seem make no progress. I once work in Jakarta few years ago. No, I don’t stay there that long, just few months. I was lucky to be in the middle of the city, cross to main roads and business / office centers. I didn’t see a lot of slums as part of the city, too. My life was okay, I mean, I could be in a shopping mall, spend money on good foods or clothes on the weekend, because that were what I could do. Nothing’s more.

Here in my hometown, I m close with my family. I don’t know until when I still can kiss my mom’s chubby cheeks or seizing a traditional market my dad for buying some herbs for making a herbal drink. I don’t buy that ‘good food’ only for my self to appreciate my hard work the past week. Instead, with the same price of my spending on one -good- meal, I buy a box of fried chicken for the whole family at home, or buy them capcay or bakmi after I work which will be welcomed with my mom’s happy puppy eyes.

If today I were still doing the job back in Jakarta, I m not sure if I could live like Anya. Perhaps I know some great brands, concern with my look more because of my society, but I don’t know if I could afford all of them. Then, I would be still staying at my tiny rented room surrounded by some giant towers. But one thing for sure, I would be stranded there with the fear and anxiety of covid more than here cause I m away from my beloved family.

I m here, for now, and it means to me.

Former Executive

Lelaki Baik (Part 1)

Apakah kamu percaya kalau doa yang kamu panjatkan didengar Tuhan? Saya percaya itu. Jika terlebih dalam kondisi dimana kita benar-benar tidak berdaya lagi.

Tahun 2018 saya patah hati karena diblok seseorang. Betapa mengerikannya peran media sosial saat ini yang mampu memainkan emosi kita. Pasalnya, saya diblok saat saya merasa belum beres dan masih butuh berkomunikasi dengan orang tersebut. Terlebih, dia adalah orang yang sangat berarti untuk saya kala itu.

Di tengah siang saat saya siap-siap untuk menyelam di laut utara Bali, hati saya hancur dan mendadak pikiran kalut. ‘Diputuskan’ sepihak rasanya sangat tidak adil. Saya meminta ijin pada instruktur selam saya untuk bermeditasi sejenak. Saya masuk kamar, berdiam diri, dan mulai berdoa. Pertama saya berdoa meminta ketenangan dan keikhlasan. Kedua untuk keselamatan kami waktu menyelam. Lalu terakhir, saya berdoa untuk dipertemukan dengan lelaki yang baik.

Malamnya, saya berjalan-jalan di Amplapura; pusat kota Kabupaten Karangasem. Kebetulan saat itu sedang ada perayaan HUT Karangasem. Ada panggung hiburan dan banyak sekali tenda-tenda jualan dari makanan, pakaian, souvenir, dll. Saya makan babi panggang lalu membeli alat musik Rindik mini untuk saya bawa pulang ke Solo.

Sesampai di Amed (tempat saya tinggal), saya sudah dalam keadaan mengantuk. Nmaun sebelum tidur, saya sempatkan lagi untuk berdoa. Isinya masih sama seperti doa siang tadi. Hanya nomor dua saya ganti ucapan syukur karena saya masih bisa jalan-jalan. Nomer tiga tetap; saya minta dipertemukan dengan lelaki baik, bukan sebagain rebound guy, namun hanya ingin bukti dari semesta bahwa lelaki baik itu masih ada.

Esok paginya, saya snorkeling di tempat dimana saya menyelam hari sebelumnya. Teman saya memiliki sebuah kapal fast boat (biasa untuk menyeberang ke Gili T) yg sedang parkir, kami akan berenang menuju kapal tersebut dan melompat dari atap dek kapal ke laut. Dasar saya bukan perenang dan pemanjat handal, sudah renangnya lama karena tak biasa melawan ombak, ditambah tak bisa memanjat ke kapal (karena memang kebetulan kapalnya tidak bertangga). Mana dalam proses memanjat ke kapal, kaki-kaki saya terluka oleh barnacles yang menempel di body kapal. Kulit tersayat, darah mengucur dan perih yang melanda ditambah asinnya air laut, saya akhirnya memutuskan untuk kembali ke pantai.

Sesampai di pantai, saya mencoba melihat luka-luka sayatan dari barnacles tadi. Lumayan banyak. Namun, saya sudah sampai Amed. Butuh banyak uang dan waktu luang buat saya sampai ke sini. Kapan lagi saya bisa melihat ikan menari dan terumbu karang yang sangat cantik?

Akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk berenang lagi. Saya sudah tau sedikit tentang spot mana yang bagus terumbu karangnya, Saya berenang ke arah jam 3, lebih jauh daripada rute ke kapal. Kaki memang perih, tapi melihat keindahan bawah laut yang belum tentu saya lihat setiap tahunnya, memberi saya motivasi kuat.

Jpeg
Swam in Amed. The -not so- professional pic taken by Nans in 2014.

Akhirnya saya menyerah. Kaki semakin perih. Saya berenang sejajar arah jam 6 ke pantai (bukan di tempat saya mulai tadi) untuk mempersingkat waktu. Sesampai di pantai, saya membersihkan kaki saya dan memeriksa luka saya lagi. Beberapa menit kemudian ada seorang laki-laki berkacamata hitam mendekat dari sebuah restauran bar di pantai sambil memegang sebotol Bintang. Karena kami sempat saling melihat, maka kemudian kami saling senyum.

“Hi. How’s it there?” Katanya.

“It’s great. But I got my feet injured.” Jawab saya.

“Oh, I m sorry.” Jawabnya.

“Where are you from?” Tanya Saya.

“Australia.”

 

 

— bersambung

Beautiful…

P.A

My male friends told me that marrying a beautiful lady is a must. They think that having beautiful wife next to them when  waking up in the morning is priceless. Beauty, however one of their essential requirements before dating somebody. What kind of beauty is that? Preferences.

As I m growing up and facing several kinds of life dramas, especially when it comes to dating, relationship, and some relatives or friends’ marriage, I am as one of the female creatures, often think that having a loving and caring partner is beyond everything. Somehow, how much ever he would earn from his job, as long he has willingness to work, honest, and love to share even the small, that’s more than enough. Then what about the look? I believe in this then:

You can always put on make up, do treatment or even surgery to an ugly face. But you can’t do anything with ugly heart.

–anonym

And this:

Fall in love with a good heart, and every thing is beautiful.

What do you think? What about you?

Lama Bukan Berarti Gagal

Salah satu judul yang terlintas di beranda youtube saya bertuliskan “Lama Bukan Bearrti Gagal” sedangkan di cover videonya adalah seorang laki-laki berseragam tentara loreng dan terdapat pula semacam teaser tulisan “10 kali mencoba masuk akmil baru diterima”. Saya tidak melihat videonya, namun dari judul dan cover-nya, saya sudah bisa tau gambaran isinya. Menarik.

Dalam hidup ini, mungkin kita pernah merasa bahwa kita belum di level yang sama seperti orang-orang lain seumuran atau bahkan lebih muda dari kita. Bukan hanya perasaan kita saja, karena pemikiran itu didukung oleh ucapan-ucapan orang lain di sekeliling kita. Oh, apa terbalik ya? Jangan-jangan selama ini kita baik-baik saja dengan keadaan diri kita, namun orang di sekeliling kita lah yang kemudian membuat kita merasa buruk?

Lama bukan berarti gagal. Saya mencoba mencerna kalimat tersebut dengan menghubungkan peristiwa-peristiwa yang terjadi dalam hidup saya. Saya menyelesaikan studi S1 saya selama 7 tahun. Waktu yang lama, bukan? Walaupun demikian tidak berarti saya gagal, kan? It’s done.

Ada seorang gadis yang sudah diambang kekhawatiran karena di usianya yang 30an, ia belum juga menemukan seorang pasangan. Ibu serta kakak-kakaknya sudah pasti ikut khawatir dan mencoba mengenalkan dia pada beberapa lelaki yang mereka kenal. Hingga akhirnya, datanglah lelaki itu setelah melalui banyak sakit dan kecewa. Mereka akhirnya menikah, dan saya bisa menyaksikan sampai sekarang bahwa lelaki itu benar-benar menicntai sang gadis serta keluarganya. It takes ages, but it doesn’t mean that it never comes.

Seorang kerabat menunggu momongan selama hampir sembilan tahun. Cobaan ketika sang bayi dalam kandungan pun masih ada saat dokter menyatakan bahwa kondisi bayinya jelek. Namun pada akhirnya sang bayi lahir sesar, sehat dan kini tumbuh menjadi gadis yang sangat cerdas dan taat pada ajaran agamanya. Sembilan tahun itu lama. Pertanyaan orang pasti lalu lalang dan sempat menyakitkan hati. Walaupun demikian, lama bukan berarti gagal.

Di tengah-tengah pandemi virus korona ini, banyak sekali yang dirumahkan atau bahkan kehilangan pekerjaan mereka. Sedangkan, yang sebelumnya sedang menjadi pencari kerja-pun akan semakin lama menunggu pekerjaan tersedia lagi, semakin lama menjadi pengangguran lagi. Kita semua belum tau ending dari pandemi ini akan seperti apa. Bahkan, hari esok pun, beberapa dari kita mungkin juga tidak tau masih bisa makan atau tidak.

Jika lama bukan berarti gagal, maka kita; jika saat ini merasa terpuruk karena belum mampu menghasilkan sesuatu, bukan berarti kita orang gagal. Tapi tetap ada syaratnya ya: coba terus. Tuhan sudah punya rencana baik buat kita nanti di ujung sana.

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