Sunday, September 11, 2016

Higher Power


Lagi-lagi kegiatan kami menyewakan kamar kepada para wisatawan membawa sebuah pengalaman berharga. Beberapa bulan lalu B&B kami kembali kedatangan sepasang tamu dari sebuah negara adidaya yang seringkali manusia-manusia yang tinggal di dalamnya dapat dikategorikan sebagai manusia yang arogan--menurut saya. Yang ini pun tak terkecuali. 

Sangat bersahabat dan sopan. Semua baik. Hanya saja cukup kental persepsi "I can conquor everything". Bersikap tidak butuh orang lain. Sama sekali tidak pernah bertanya pendapat ataupun saran dari orang lain. Ketika berbicara, mereka hanya menyampaikan apa yang ingin dilakukannya (sudah diputuskan). Walaupun ada beberapa keputusan yang menurut saya kurang tepat, yah saya biarkan saja. Saya hanya akan berpendapat kalau mereka meminta pendapat saya. Ada tipe orang tertentu yang (walaupun tidak secara eksplisit meminta pendapat), tapi mereka terlihat terbuka untuk masukan. They're just not that kind of people. . 

Setelah pulang setelah seharian pergi-pulang ke Bandung di hari Sabtu (inilah salah satu keputusan yang kurang tepat menurut saya), sang perempuan secara tidak sengaja meninggalkan dompetnya di mobil. Sang supir yang sadar dan menemukan dompet tersebut hingga akhirnya mengantarkan kembali ke tempat kami. Tidak setiap hari kejadian semacam itu terjadi, bukan? 

Saya dan ayah saya kemudian membahas kejadian tersebut. Intinya, kami berharap mereka mendapat tilikan bahwa kita tidak selamanya bisa hidup sendiri. Ada kalanya ada hal-hal "di luar" diri kita yang "berbuat" untuk kita--bukan sebaliknya. Bahwa ada kalanya sesuatu berada di luar kendali kita dan satu-satunya cara adalah berharap sesuatu/seseorang "di luar" sana melakukan kebaikannya. Oleh karena itu, saya sangat menantikan obrolan saat sarapan di keesokan paginya. Saya ingin tahu bagaimana persepsi mereka terhadap kejadian tersebut. 

Ternyata saya harus kecewa. Setelah menceritakan fakta bahwa supir tersebut menemukan dompet dan mengantarkannya kembali kepada mereka, cerita tersebut tidak diakhiri dengan pernyataan bahwa "supir itu baik" atau "kami beruntung". Yang ada adalah pernyataan "tapi kami memang bersikap baik pada dia". "We treat him well during the trip." Dengan tidak lupa menyertakan berbagai contoh bagaimana mereka bersikap sopan dan segera melunaskan pembayaran (catat, bukan memberikan bonus), dll. Semua itu menurut mereka menjadi alasan mengapa pria itu melakukan kebaikan tersebut. Saya bengong. Saya terlalu yakin bahwa mereka menangkap pesan dari kejadian tersebut. 

Mungkin saya berlebihan kalau berharap mereka belajar sesuatu. Tapi yang jelas saya kecewa. Mereka terlalu percaya bahwa semua yang terjadi adalah hasil jerih payah mereka. 

"Orang baik pada saya karena saya juga baik pada mereka." 
"Jualan saya sukses karena memang saya pandai mengemas dan memasarkan produk saya."
"Saya sukses karena memang saya bekerja keras."
"Saya sehat karena saya memang rajin berolahraga dan menjaga gaya hidup sehat."
"Saya kurus karena saya memang menjaga pola makan."
"Saya berprestasi karena saya memang rajin belajar."
Tentunya hal ini bisa menjadi positif kalau hal ini dijadikan sebagai pendorong untuk kebiasaan-kebiasaan yang baik. Namun seringkali kata "saya" di sana kemudian berubah menjadi "dia" ataupun "mereka". Lama kelamaan hal tersebut dianggap menjadi sebuah ilmu pasti dan menjadi modal pengotak-kotakan sesamanya. 

Pada akhirnya, mereka yang biasanya mengklaim berkat-berkat tersebut MURNI sebagai hasil jerih payah mereka, biasanya akan lebih mudah menghakimi orang-orang yang berada di kondisi sebaliknya. Menilai bahwa jerih payah orang-orang tersebut tidak sebesar mereka. Ah, seandainya saja rumusnya sesederhana itu. Hidup mungkin bisa lebih sederhana. Karena faktanya, ada (bahkan sangat banyak) hal-hal yang kita punya tapi tidak dimiliki orang lain, dan itu jelas bukan ada karena hasil jerih payah kita. Genetics, talent, personality, trait, environment, life-span, etc. 

But too bad. Some people believe in themselves too much that sometimes they forget there's a greater power working upon them. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Quiet Rendezvous

Serenity, sometimes that's all we need. Unfortunately, you might scarcely find it, especially when you live in an approximately 20 millions populated city. Here I share some of my precious "happy place", my quiet rendezvous. They might be also the place you might also enjoy, especially to my fellow introverts. 

These are 10 cafes or restaurants that I found best to recharge myself. They usually meets the same characteristic, and those don't include the food quality--since I could do any glass of juice as a reason to sit there for an hour or two. :D
  • They usually have small spaces. A big space usually means more tables. More tables would possibly bring more "noise" to the sanctuary.
  • More corners are better than a big square room. 
  • Enough space between tables--because that means more personal space for you as well.  
  • Affordable price.
  • Definitely no live music--nor backsound music if possibly.
  • No malls (eventhough we have 117 of them in town, with pricy parking lot).
  • Preferably with AC, wifi, and electric plug.
  • They might not be the place called "a great place to hang out". Most visitors most likely be a single person with a laptop, a book, or any gadgets. 
  • They're not a hip place (and I really hope they wouldn't be *selfish* :p).
So, here are those places.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

72 Movies that Get You Going

One of the reason why people watch movie is to be able to see, to know, to feel, and to experience things can't be found in the daily. That's why we find it very relaxing. Sometimes that's one of the best getaway during a week. To have our mind and emotions being flown far away.

Sometimes those 'places' we went to while watching those movies were not 'too far' away : places around the globe. There are movies that beautifully provide us images of places. That even the end of the credit title would not be able to stop desire to see, to know, to feel, and to experience them by ourselves. It would still going for hours, for days, for months, for years, or even forever, until we fulfill them.

Here are some movies I've seen that inspire me to pack my bag and go to some places I've never seen before. Most of these movies might not be a travel movie themselves, but I still found them inspiring--travel-wise. It could be the whole movie, the story, the beauty of one place, the culture, the traditional music, or simply just a few minutes scene that could capture the luring 'aura' of those places. 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 Highlights

Another year gone by, with all its ups and downs. Sometimes things are not getting easier, but how we see our life matters more instead. Here are some of the highlights of my 2013 episode. My biggest achievements are being able to travel to 6 provinces in Indonesia, getting back to graduate school, and quality times with my family. It's simply because they're the things that I love most that would bring more joy into my life. Happy New Year 2014!
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JANUARY
Openned the year by an impulsive traveling with a new friend. It's so hard to find any travel buddy since me and all my friends are working on different schedules. Having no travel companion on a 2 weeks empty schedule was quite depressing. Decided to go on, tried to find somebody on a traveling community. Then I met John, an American guy with quite similar itinerary. A week after our first meeting, we're on our way to Gili Trawangan, Lombok. So interesting how two barely-known-each-other introverts spending 8 days together on a small island. We spent wonderful times together and apart; relaxing on a beautiful bungalow, chilling at the bar, riding bicycles around the island, reading books, watching the sunset up on the hill, getting lost in the middle of nowhere, dancing till drop, pushing ourselves to get new friends--quite a hard work for introverts, having fun. While the beautiful beaches harmonizing the duets.
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MARCH
Two of my good friend were getting married; Nicky and Ido. Both of them has been a very good friend of mine for so many years, over a decade. Watching them walking down the aisle, a mix of happiness and sadness at the same time. They felt like a piece of mere were taken away--the good thing is that they departed with the best girls they would ever had. Those memories we've had together were sweetly popping out of my mind. My bestfriends' wedding were definitely a walk down through the memory lane. Here's the blogpost dedicated to our friendship. 
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APRIL
Cantilena Singers Concert at Medan
One of the best month! Traveled to Medan for the 4th concert of Cantilena Singers. Full time dedication for music for the first 6 days; rehearsing 4 sessions per day, do every details of the song and the vocal technique. Wonderful experiences, though in the other hand, for the first time in my life, I lost my voice--I even can't do the simple lalala-singalong to the song on the radio. Still hardly can sing on the D-day. Well, sometimes you wouldn't know how precious it is until you lose it. It finally recovers after few weeks after.

A Quick Dip before Lunch
at Ketambe Jungle, Aceh
Well, the next agenda after the concert was the more interesting part. Backpacking around North Sumatera for 8 days with my new friends from Netherlands. We met through the travelling community (Couchsurfing) and after numerous of emails and messages to set up our itinerary, we did our first meeting an hour before our journey started. We spent 1 night in Pematang Siantar--did a short visit to my old grandpa house--, 2 nights in Toba Lake which happens to be the biggest lake in Indonesia, 1 night in Kabanjahe, and 3 nights in Kutacane, Southeast Aceh--including 2 days staying in the jungle. One of the best traveling I've ever done! Perfect travel companion, Hanna and Aiske, lots of new experiences, and perfect budgeting. Can you imagine that I spent less than 2 million IDR (around USD 200) to travel to 6 cities for two weeks? Ha!
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MAY
Classmates 2013
I'm officially a graduate student! Welcoming the 2,5 years of hard works! Many people think that I continue my study in music. Hmm, in fact, I'm going back to my formal education was: Psychology. Taking both the master and professional education. It feels good to be able to pass the tests, since many people are not. Means I got the potential to be a clinician! :) Well, it's not so easy, choosing your own path while the other was widely open for you. What you're passionate about it might not be the easiest thing to reach. But, hey, life is short! We have the right to enjoy everything we do, not just let ourselves following where our society leads us to. 
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JUNE
This month our family trip finally came true. It's almost 19 years since our last family trip together--we used to have many, before me and my late brother went to college. There's a bitter-sweet feeling on this journey. There used to be my dad, my mom, my brother, and me. This time, it's my dad, my mom, me, and my brother's daughter. No more family trip with my brother. But no whining, no sadness. We all enjoyed our week in Belitung. It was so beautiful and relaxing. We embraced those moments of togetherness, new beautiful memories to be remembered for the rest of our lives. Our time together might end, but may all the memories last forever. 
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JULY
This is when the family gathering from my mom's side were happening. Quite short, but it worked. Getting more attached to (especially) my cousins. It's used to be very hard for me to get along with them, since my mom is the youngest daughter out of 7. There's a big age-gab between me and my cousins. But, as we're getting older, those gab are getting less and less significant. Definitely expecting more gatherings in the future! 
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AUGUST
What a productive holiday season! 
1. For about 50 pieces of clothing have already moved my closet to the hands of the people who needs them more than I do.  
2. For about 60 kg of unused stuff has gone out of my room, some went to the trash, and some to families in the neighborhood. 
3. Around 20 bags have been moved.
4. Redecorating my room, a room with plenty of empty shelves and drawers!
Have been trying to detach to things (and people) that we independently find our happiness through one self. Trying to hard to control things, to keep memories last forever, worrying that the memories will fade away as the time goes by, the desire to posses too many things that we could handle, are the type of mental faith that would only burden ourselves. Too many things that you could barely carry in your backpack. 
So, letting go all of those were definitely lighten my steps. Feeling energized! 
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SEPTEMBER
Did my first trip with PS Gabungan HKBP Menteng. Spent 2 nights in Yogyakarta. They did an amazing job organizing a free public health service in Gunung Kidul, that around almost 200 people from the villages around the area got the chance to meet the doctor and received some free medicine. On the fun side, I almost fulfilled my desire to watch the Borobudur sunrise. But, too bad, the very tight schedule forbid us to go. Hopefully one day it will happen.
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OCTOBER
Batik Day! :)
Finally, I got the idea how a music therapy would work, with an art therapy and psychodrama as a bonus. Decicded to join a Music Therapy Seminar and Workshop with Dr. Joseph Moreno for 3 days. I tought it's gonna be all about music--whilst I wasn't so interested in the beginning. After the workshop I found that it's nothing more than "just" a psychology therapy, with music as the media. So excited to learn more about it!

There are also more gathering around those weeks: 
Baby Shower with Ani-ani!
Playdate for the Kids. Reunion with My Old Schoolmates (Elementary School)
Jossie with Rajagukguk Cousins
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NOVEMBER
November has always been magical to me. This is my born month, but according to my national church agenda, this is the commemoration of the death month as well. So, it's definitely a celebration of life! 
As the commemoration of the death--in Bataknesse language it's called Parningotan ni na Monding--one of the choir I direct were singing the "It is Well with My Soul" in Bataknesse language, "Sonang Do". As we all might have known the story behind the song, I personally were emotionally attached to it. This is the last song I presented before my brother were sent to the grave, before his coffin were closed eternally, as a farewell to my only partner I have in my family. 


After spending a solemn birthday on an island last year, this year I decided to celebrate and share the happiness with few close people I have. I took a day off from work--not so easy as Christmas came nearer, invited some closest classmates to hang out after class for a karaoke, as well as some good old friends. It's so true that the more we share, the more we get. I blew more candles than before because more people put more effort to surprise me with some birthday cakes. Oh my, I'm blown away with love. 
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DECEMBER
The Light of My Life
As usual, December always become the busiest month of the year for my choir activities. Did some Christmas preparation with the GBI Choir, GBKP Choir, and HKBP Choir. Did a small concert with PS Gabungan HKBP Menteng, presenting 3 songs with different styles: John Rutter's "Angels' Carol", Joseph Haydn's "Awake the Harp", and a beautifully arranged negro spiritual by Rutter "When the Saints Go Marching In". Not a perfect performance, but it's satisfying though. 
On Jossie's 4th birthday, we did a little celebration as always. But this time, extra special. Thanking God for being able to see those happy smile, and promise myself to make it lasts forever. For the new year, for the first time in our life, we decided to do something special to celebrate the moment. We spent few days out of town and let ourselves to be happy and thankful for the beautiful year we've been through. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Geographical Life Mapping : 11, 962

Just doing the math and trying to see whether any interesting conclusions could be made.

JAKARTA  :  11, 157 DAYS

OTHER INDONESIAN PARTS  :  607 DAYS
West Java  :  30 days
Cetral Java  :  15 days
East Java  :  38 days
Madura  :  1 day
Lombok  :  8 days
Bali  :  10 days
Belitung  :  4 days
Lampung  :  2 day
South Sumatera  :  4 days
Jambi  :  2 days
West Sumatera  :  2 days
North Sumatera  :  45 days
Aceh  :  3 days
North Sulawesi  :  3 days
East Kalimantan   :  8 days
NTT  :  10 days
Papua  :  18 days

OTHER EASTERN  :  66 DAYS
Japan  :  8 days
Thailand  :  15 days
Malaysia  :  10 days
Macao  :  8 days
Hong Kong  :  10 days
Singapore  :  15 days

WESTERN  :  132 DAYS
USA  :  60 days
Switzerland  :  7 days
Germany  :  17 days
Italy  :  7 days
France  :  6 days
Spain  :  6 days
Bulgaria  :  5 days
Austria  :  10 days
Czech Republic  :  4 days
Hungary  :  2 days
Slovenia  :  5 days
Turkey  :  3 days

Friday, August 02, 2013

8 km

Pagi kembali datang. Kali ini lebih riuh dibanding hari-hari sebelumnya. Suara gelak tawa si kecil berpadu dengan kicau burung gereja di balik jendela. Rupanya hari ini ia merekah lebih awal. Keceriaannya dengan mudahnya menularkan tawa dan senyum di wajah pagiku yang biasanya kurang bersahabat.

Namun kebahagiaan pagi itu harus terhenti ketika aku melihat jam di dinding. Segera aku beralih dan menyambar handuk untuk ke kamar mandi. Tangannya masih menggenggam bola-bola hijau itu ketika dengan dahi berkerut ia bertanya "Bouu, mau ke mana?"
"Bou mau sekolah, Sayang..." jawabku setelah mengambil waktu untuk menarik napas dan melapangkan tenggorokanku yang nyaris tercekak. "Nanti kita main lagi, ya."
"Yahh..." sembari pundaknya berangsur turun, kehilangan semangatnya.
Keceriaan pagi itu memudarlah.

Nanti. Sebuah kata yang berat untuk diucapkan --walaupun telah diucapkan. Sebuah janji sekaligus harapan. Sebuah kata yang menanti menjadi aksi. Sebuah penantian. Yang aku sendiri tak yakin kapan dapat memenuhinya, walaupun betapa kuatnya tekad dalam diri.

Kutinggalkan sepetak tanah itu dengan sebuah pengharapan menanti di dalamnya. Menuju sebuah cita-cita dan impian di luar sana. Hidup memanglah harus memilih. Pilihan-pilihan dengan cita rasanya sendiri, baik manis dan pahit. Sebuah tindakan yang tidak pernah selesai dipelajari, betapapun seringnya kita lakukan dalam setiap persimpangan kehidupan. Tiga sosok yang kukasihi itu pun harus mengalah. Kutahan keinginan mendampingi sepasang langkah berlari dan menuntun dua pasang langkah yang semakin melambat.

Maafkan aku karena berpaling sejenak dari kalian. Terima kasih telah beri aku waktu meraih mimpi, menyiapkan masa depan. Masa depan kita semua. Sabarlah menunggu, hingga waktunya kita menempuh jalan itu bersama-sama.

Setetes demi setes air mataku mengalir, hingga akhirnya berderai tanpa terkendali. Hari ini baru hari ketiga aku kembali menghabiskan waktu sekitar 12-15 jam di luar rumah, setelah 2 tahun penuh melekatkan diri menghadapi gempuran cobaan. Tiga hari dari ratusan hari yang akan mengikutinya. Kekhawatiranku menjadi kenyataan. Rindu datang terlalu dini. Rindu yang terasa begitu menyekik. Tak bisakah kau datang sebentar lagi, ketika langkahku telah berpijak pasti?

8 km.
Sebuah tempat di mana rindu bersemayam.
Sebuah jarak pendek penuh kerinduan.
Sebuah penantian singkat bak tiada akhir.
Sebuah langkah meraih impian.

8 km.
Di sanalah masa laluku berada.
Di sanalah masa depanku berada.
Di sanalah hatiku berada.

8 km, tunggulah aku kembali...

Friday, June 07, 2013

Quotes from Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie"

Morrie Schwartz was declared having the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's disease, a brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system. Morrie's doctors guessed he had two years left. He had made a profound decision that he would make death his final project, the center point of his days. Since everyone was g
oing to die, he could be of great value. He could be research. A human textbook. "Study me in my slow and patient demise. Watch what happens to me. Learn with me."

The last class of the old professor's life had only one student. Mitch Albom was the student.

Here's some quotes from the final paper of the class. A single page blog that would make it easier to recall and to be a reminder in daily.


Saturday, June 01, 2013

6 Cara Menghindari Penyebaran Identitas Pribadi

Akhir-akhir ini telemarketing sedang berkembang pesat. Dalam satu hari tak terhitung jumlah telepon dan SMS dari orang tak dikenal kepada kita. Telepon-telepon tersebut dapat mengatasnamakan berbagai macam jenis perusahaan, mulai dari berbagai produk kartu kredit, bank, asuransi, hingga pusat-pusat kebugaran.

Hal yang lebih menarik lagi, serbuan telepon dan SMS tersebut tidak lagi hanya berupa kontak 'random', melainkan kontak yang jelas-jelas ditujukan kepada kita pribadi (nama lengkap dll). Lebih dari itu, telepon tersebut seringkali menggunakan klarifikasi keanggotaan pada produk tertentu, seperti "Selamat siang, Ibu 'Anu'. Menurut data kami, Ibu merupakan pengguna aktif Kartu Kredit 'Anu'..." dan percakapan selanjutnya yang ternyata tidak ada hubungannya dengan Kartu Kredit 'Anu'.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Early(-er) Childhood Education

I watched the Biography Channel on TV last night about Early Childhood Education (ECE). They showed the activities of some pre-schools, and how they take it very seriously (sometimes too seriously). Then I realized that this trend on ECE is an international issue.

When you browse about this stuff, it would be easier to find the business-related websites rather than education-related websites that might possibly help you to understand what the issue is about, how to do it, and other guidance. No one would deny how important those domains of childhood development : physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive during childhood, but less and less people tell you that it's possible to be done at home, rather than spending so much money just to have someone to do it on behalf of the parents.

It's so amazing how people would spend so much for this 'newfound' need -- I believe they usually do it later in childhood a decade ago. In Jakarta, many pre-schools are even more expensive than universities. Funny how they make Jean Piaget sounds very commercial. It's definitely not easy to find an affordable pre-schools around. Not surprising yet disappointing fact.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Invisible

The loudest cry would not simply indicate the greatest pain.
The biggest laugh would not simply indicate the greatest joy.
The strongest words would not simply indicate the truest mind.
The sweetest tounge would not simply indicate the purest feeling.
The most beautiful prayer would not simply indicate the most faithful spirit.
The most beautiful look would not simply indicate the greatest soul.
The most charming behavior would not simply indicate the most enchanting heart.
The brightest skin would not simply indicate the most brilliant psyche.
The most fancy clothes would not simply indicate the most incredible well-being.

Sometimes things are not as they seem.
Let's see beyond our eyes.
Let's hear beyond our ears.
Let the truth reveals itself.

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