The Horcruxes We Made

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for Shafa and Atika: both of you are actually still here in the city
and for London, the city where I hide one of my Horcrux

Summer. It should be sunny. The dry wind should travel around, delivering light touches to some people’s exposed skin. As it is summer, those who used to be lazy has their spirit magically turned on. They go out to see some friends, have some nice barbecue, or crash someone’s party by the sea. Somewhere, in summer, laugh must’ve been the highlight of someone’s day.

But sometimes, to remind those people to stick to the ground, universe intervenes.

Once in a blue moon, a day in summer might have lost its summer. The sun has left its 7 billion fans and let sheets of grey clouds replace it. To people’s disappointment, it also starts to rain. Some might have been driven mad, and some might have been driven sad. The joy of summer is gone.

“So, this is it?” Aislinn dropped her best friend’s duffel bag next to the yellow line drawn along the platform.

“This is it.” Tanya said with a sigh. She didn’t sound regretful; it’s a kind of sigh to welcome a new chapter of her life.

“After all those silly things we’ve done, you’re still going to leave me?”

Another sigh, the kind of let-me-go sigh. “Please, don’t put it that way. You’re just making me feel more guilty. I’m off to chase my future, don’t you want me to succeed?”

“Of course I do. That question is so rhetorical.”

“And I hope your understanding is also a sign of your blessing.”

A frown. “Huh, such a trickster you are.”

“You still love me no matter what.”

“Ha! Sure.” She rolled her eyes. “Silly me.”

“Oh, come on, it is not that I’d be gone forever. I’m coming back.”

Come back? Why would she? Aislinn thought. Tanya was going to have everything. Starting tomorrow, she would be sitting next to a window with Eiffel Tower as its main view. She would study in one of the world’s most prestigious university, accompanied by her life-long companion, Tyler, who also happened to had a project to finish in Paris. She has no reason to come back to this monotonous city, NYC.

“What? You seem like you don’t want me to.”

“No, sure I want you back here. However… if I were you, I won’t come back. I mean, you’re going to a more promising place. You can have a life there! You will more likely have a future.”

“But that place… that place is just not home.”

“Don’t be silly! You once said that home is wherever love is… and there you go, you bring Tyler with you! You’re taking your home with you and it makes you have no reason to come back!”

Seeing her most independent yet somehow most needy best friend almost cry, Tanya rushed forward and gave Aislinn a last hug. She didn’t want Aislinn to know that her eyes started to go blurry too. “Don’t cry, please. You’ll be fine, no, we’ll be fine.” Just like what Tanya believed, when one is weak, the other should stay strong.

“Aislinn, think of me as Voldemort,” said Tanya.

Aislinn pulled herself from Tanya’s hug. She seemed confused. “And why should I imagine you as a nose-less monster when you’re about to leave the country?”

“Oh, come on! I thought you’re great at analogies!” shouted Tanya a little louder than she planned. When other waiting passengers turned their heads to check on them, Tanya nodded a little and mouthed “Sorry.”

“So?”

“So… I’m Voldemort. I created Horcruxes as I live, and so are you and other people if you notice. I left a little part of my soul at everything that makes me feel like I’m home. You, our cramped apartment, and New York are just three of my Horcruxes that I left here. I do bring my other Horcrux, Tyler, with me, but I also left other Horcruxes here. I left pieces of my soul here, Aislinn, of course I’ll come back.”

Aislinn went blank for a while as if electricity on her head’s circuit board were jammed somewhere. A moment later, she oooooh-ed, and give Tanya a hopeful look, “I’m one of your Horcrux?”

“Sure. I left a little part of my soul at someone who always cook me dinner these last few years, at someone who is always ready to hear my whines.”

Aislinn smiled. Somewhere, deep down, she felt warm. She never thought that her simple acts of caring would actually make her win someone’s heart. She never thought that she would be someone’s reason to come back. It had never occurred at her mind before that distance means nothing when two person cared so much at each other.

And so they both said goodbye. Aislinn and Tanya shared one last hug and exchanged promises they solemnly swear to fulfill. A few minutes later, Tanya jumped on the next train that brought her to the airport. Soon, she’ll be reunited with Tyler who had been waiting for her in Paris and she’ll start a new chapter of her life.

Being left had never been easy for Aislinn, but as time went by, it was getting easier for Aislinn to face it. From afar, Aislinn whispered, “I’ll stay here and be the reason for you to come home. I want you to succeed and be happy. Go.

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Teladan-ku Sayang, Teladan-ku Malang: Sebuah “Frequently Asked Questions”

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Dalam satu  minggu ini, aku bertemu dengan banyak teman baru berkat ospek kampus. Seperti pada umumnya, kami berkenalan. Pertanyaan perkenalan yang dilontarkan cukup pasaran: namamu siapa, prodimu apa, asalmu dari mana, dan SMA-mu dulu di mana. Pertanyaan terakhir selalu kujawab dengan penuh syukur: “SMA (Negeri) 1 ‘Teladan’ Yogyakarta”.

Teman-temanku yang berasal dari luar kota biasanya cuma membalasnya dengan “Ooo” yang singkat, padat, dan jelas. Informasi yang kamu berikan cukup, Alima, kini aku sudah tahu. Terima kasih. Kurang lebih begitu maknanya. Akan tetapi, mayoritas teman-temanku yang berasal dari Yogyakarta membalasnya dengan “Ooooooooh pantesan”, dilantunkan dengan nada yang menyiratkan sudah kutebak!

Reaksi mereka memantik suatu rasa ingin tahu dalam diriku: menurut mereka, anak Teladan itu kayak apa, sih? Mereka nggak bisa menjawab ketika aku bertanya, “Apa yang membuat kalian berpikir kalau aku anak Teladan?”, tetapi mereka bisa dengan lugas menjawab ketika aku meminta pendapat mereka, “Lha, memang menurutmu Teladan itu seperti apa?”

Jawaban mereka cukup beragam, tetapi memiliki benang merah yang relatif sama. Sehingga, pada postingan ini, aku akan merangkum jawaban mereka serta mengklarifikasinya. Demi kamu, Teladan-ku sayang, Teladan-ku malang.

“Kalau aku sih milih di SMA lain daripada di Teladan. Teladan isinya banyak Muslim-nya, kan? Aku nggak mau terkucilkan di sana.”

Klarifikasi pertama: Teladan bukan sekolah Islami; Teladan adalah sekolah agamis.

Teladan tidak memaksa siapapun dalam beragama. Teladan hanya mengarahkan.
Pada hari-hari tertentu, ada kegiatan keagamaan di pagi hari. Yang Muslim mengaji di kelas, yang beragama lain beribadah di ruang agama masing-masing.

Tenang aja, semua agama dihormati dengan setara, kok, di sini! Teman-temanku yang beragama Kristen dan Katolik sering mengadakan retreat di Kaliurang dan mengadakan doa bersama di ruang multimedia. Mereka juga punya ruang agama yang teramat sangat layak (re: sekarang malah ada AC-nya).

Memang, jumlah siswa yang beragama Islam lebih banyak dibandingkan dengan jumlah siswa yang beragama Kristen, Katolik, maupun Hindu. Akan tetapi, itu hal yang wajar, kan, ketika kamu bersekolah di sekolah yang terletak di Indonesia, yang mayoritas penduduknya beragama Islam? Jadi, bottom line, semua agama terfasilitasi kebutuhannya.

“Teladan itu isinya orang-orang yang ekstrem dalam beragama, ya? Isinya anak-anak yang Islam-nya radikal, kan?”

Kalau boleh jujur, aku pengen ketawa kalau dengar ini. Ketawanya ketawa geli sekaligus sedih. Ya Allah, sekolah dengan lingkungan (terbaik, menurutku) kayak kamu kok bisa dituduh kayak gini, sih?

Pertanyaan itu biasanya berasal dari beberapa fakta:
1. Anak Teladan kalau pakai kerudung biasanya lebar-lebar.
2. Anak Teladan biasanya celananya cingkrang (dipakai di atas tumit).

Klarifikasi kedua: Nggak semuanya seperti itu; itu bukan kewajiban; itu hanya kepercayaan masing-masing pribadi.

Kenapa kerudung siswi Muslim di Teladan lebih lebar dari teman-teman SMA lain?
Peraturan MPK Teladan mengimbau kami untuk memakai kerudung hingga ujungnya menyentuh sabuk, tetapi tidak sampai menutupi seluruh lengan (biar masih kelihatan kalau pakai seragam). Selebihnya, kalau ada yang lebih panjang dari batas sabuk, itu sejatinya murni keinginan dan kepercayaan tiap siswi. Barangkali mereka memercayai dan mengamalkan QS. Al-Ahzab: 59 (lengkapnya bisa dipelajari di sini).

Kenapa beberapa siswa Muslim di Teladan memakai celana cingkrang?
Mereka nggak lagi kebanjiran, kok. Tidak ada alasan lain selain mereka memercayai dan mengamalkan sunnah Rasulullah SAW (lengkapnya bisa dipelajari di sini).

Ada pula rumor tidak sedap terkait Teladan yang kerap beredar:
1. Anak Teladan diajarin bikin bom.
2. Tangga di Teladan dipisah bagi yang putra dan yang putri.

Klarifikasi ketiga: anak Teladan nggak ada yang bisa buat bom.

Terus terang, kimia adalah mata pelajaran yang paling tidak diminati di sini dibandingkan dengan fisika dan biologi. Jadi, gimana kami mau buat bom kalo kami aja masih bingung membedakan alkana, alkena, alkuna?

Klarifikasi keempat: cuma ada dua tangga yang dispesifikkan peruntukannya.

Tangga apa itu? Dua tangga menuju lantai 2.
Teladan punya delapan tangga: dua di gedung induk, dua di lobi baru, dua di dekat perpus, satu Tangga Hijau Al-Uswah, dan satu di Aussie. Yang dipisah yang mana? Tangga Hijau Al-Uswah (menuju lantai 2) diperuntukkan bagi perempuan karena dia mengarah langsung ke pintu masuk Masjid Al-Uswah area perempuan dan tempat wudhu perempuan. Sementara itu, di dekatnya juga ada tangga yang diperuntukkan bagi yang laki-laki untuk naik ke lantai 2. Ya kali yang laki-laki mau lewat tangga yang mengarah ke area masjid untuk perempuan?

Terus, kenapa kalau ada acara apa gitu di Teladan kadang tangganya dipisah? Kayak waktu TUC gitu? Ini adalah cara Teladan menghormati perempuan dan laki-laki yang ada. Ketika massa yang menapaki lorong Teladan begitu banyak, Teladan mengantisipasi terjadinya dempet-dempetan dan tabrakan yang tidak diinginkan.

“Aku takut masuk Teladan. Lha isinya anak-anak yang kutu buku semua, e. Aku nggak kuat belajar terus.”

Percayalah, anak-anak Teladan malah cenderung lebih sibuk berkegiatan daripada belajar. Kegiatan eksternal kami memang tidak banyak dan tidak begitu terlihat apabila dibandingkan dengan kegiatan SMA lain. Akan tetapi, kami memiliki banyak sekali kegiatan internal. Kegiatan internal ini menguatkan relasi dengan teman-teman seangkatan maupun lintas angkatan. Hal ini lah yang membuat anak Teladan tidak ragu untuk saling sapa ketika tidak sengaja bertemu di temat umum meskipun mereka tidak begitu saling mengenal.

***

Jadi, ya, begitu. Tidak ada hal aneh yang diajarkan di Teladan, insyaallah. Kalau Teladan dituduh mengajarkan suatu hal yang tidak wajar untuk diajarkan di SMA negeri yang lain, aku akan setuju kalau hal itu adalah berproses menjadi lebih baik.

Teladan? Jayamahe!
Teladan? Jayamahe!
Teladan? Jayamahe!

The Question Only Time Can Answer

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What’s your plan for the next 20 years?

That is the question I must answer as a consequence of being a newly registered medical student (not really, never in a million years I’ll be entitled as a doctor). As someone who entered med school for the knowledge it provides and not for the curing license it gives, I have no plan at all. Therefore, this question haunts me day and night as the deadline of the task is not getting any longer.

Wherever and whenever I try to arrange the plans I’ll provide as an answer to that one particular question, I have flashbacks of a quite enlightening conversation I had with some friends. We  were sitting in my class on a one fine afternoon after school. Out of nowhere, someone asked me why I consider choosing health nutrition as the major I wanted to excel in although I had a greater passion in something else (communication). Long story short, I told them that I chose it because I believe it is the most logical thing to do; it is the all-in-one package of things I want to study.

In the university I enrolled in, the health nutrition major demands us to study diverse topics (which I’m interested in): communication, management, psychology, and philosophy. I’ve seen other majors’ curriculum and none of those are as diverse as health nutrition’s. Since I’m totally aware that college is expensive and it is more likely to be a chance of a lifetime, I try my best to pick the major that gives the greatest reliever for my thirst of knowledge.

At that time, I shared my worries to those who were there. I told them that I was in a dilemma: should I follow my heart (which will more likely lead me to the thing I’m really passionate about) or should I follow my brain (which decided to think logically)? At that time, my inner self rooted for my brain as it has more pros instead of cons. However, never had I before imagined my self being a nutritionist, telling people to live healthy while I myself prefer greasy lamb chop than carrots and broccoli.

Probably pitying me for drowning in my own worries, a free-spirited friend of mine spilled his opinions out, “You cannot decide who you want to be from what undergraduate major you choose. Undergraduate studies only carve the way you think. What you’ll be is decided once you study in postgraduate school.”

You see, he and I are nothing alike. All my life, I used to have a life-long plan. I had always known what school I want to study in, I had always discovered what I wanted to do in life. But him? He is some kind of a free-spirited artist. He never really thinks his life through, but somehow he managed to keep himself afloat in this deadly current named life. He enjoys his life to its fullest while I focus on the present deeds I must do in order to secure my upcoming happiness in the future. Although I understand his principles, I always find it hard to imagine my self having those as mine.

However, that time, I kinda trust his words. Maybe I found it true, or maybe I was too desperate looking for words that can soothe me. From that day on, I change my perspective. I won’t let my major steers my future; I’ll use my major as a vehicle to reach my future.

So, right now, by the time I write this, I don’t have any detailed plan or grand ambition when it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud (I haven’t even had a single class!). When it comes to my life as a health nutrition stud, I just want to start college, learn new things about a particular thing I’m interested into, and see whether it works for me or not. If it works, sure, I’ll try my best to excel in it. If it doesn’t, maybe I’ll try other things. As Rumi said:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

However, I still have lots of ambitions outside my life as a health nutrition stud. Since I’m aware that I’m a little bit derailed, I’m not going to rush to make things happen. I’m not going to take it hard on my self, too. From now on, I’ll try figure out how my vehicle works out before using it on a journey in an alien terrain en route to my ambition. Yet, it is still possible that someday I’ll grow an ambition in the “health nutrition land”.. who knows?

This time, I’m a little bit relaxed because I used to be in some kind of competition (competing to get the best junior high and high school in town) and now I’m not. College doesn’t work that way. In college, I believe success is no longer defined as “accepted in the school of your dream” or “stand out among others”; to me, the definition of success has transformed into “live happily and be the kind person you want to be“.

Well, maybe this is just a rambling from someone who entered a major due to logical reasons instead of any magical callings from the inside, but I’ve witnessed lots of friends who half-heartedly choose to stay in a major he or she doesn’t like because of harsh reality and I hope this helps (although, praise the Lord, I don’t stand on their shoe, so maybe this is not too accurate)(plus, I consciously choose my major as the vehicle of my choice).

So, to answer that haunting question, can I say that I can’t? I have never been a 38-year-old woman and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m at that age. The age 38 is still 20 years away from me; for an 18-year-old girl, that age feels indistinct. And.. within those 20 years, anything can happen. Life requires people to open doors that lead to lots of opportunity; life is full of plot twists and surprises. Sometimes we can go straight to our destination, but sometimes we need to take a detour just for the sake of life lessons. That question can only be answered by time with the help of sudden inspiration.. and I cannot be forced to answer it right away. So, instead of planning it down to every details, why don’t we just focus on walking down the road?

oh how I want to write this on my paper

Parts of Me Were Made by You

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“Hey, what are you thinking?” said the girl who wore long white dress with laces.

“Oh. Um… hey?” answered the girl who wore long black velvet dress. “Right before you came, I was thinking about how gorgeous this dress fits me.”

“You look so beautiful in that dress. I’ve always known that you would be beautiful if you made time to take care of yourself, but I’ve never thought that you will be this beautiful.”

The girl who wore long black velvet dress shrugged. Her palms were sweaty. “Thank you, I guess. Well, I won’t be this beautiful if you hadn’t give me this dress of yours. So, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, sister,” she said with her sweet signature smile. Not too broad, but enough to comfort the disturbed hearts of those who get the chance to witness it.

“I was also thinking about you, you know? I wasn’t expecting to receive this dress this soon. I wasn’t expecting at all.”

“Well, life is full of surprises, I think you already know.”

“Yeah, I do.” But this bitter surprise? I hate it.

“Besides about this dress-and my other fashion items that no longer suits me-I gave you, what thing about me are you thinking of?”

“I was also thinking about your profession. I believe that you’re going to be one hell of a human’s-mind-and-heart healer. You’re so kind and sincere, I believe lots of people will be delighted to have someone like you to talk to.”

“That’s very nice of you to say,” she blushed. “I’ve never known that you’re such a romantic person.”

“We don’t really know each other well, do we? I didn’t really recognize your age until today, I don’t know your future plans, I don’t know whether you have someone on your mind or not. I didn’t even know that you left home for that final test for months!”

“Fair, then,” she said with a nod of agreement. “But you know why I chose to devote my self in the field I studied, right?”

“Sure! I know your reason. I also know the reason why your blog’s background is black, and the origin of your blog’s name. Believe it or not, I still remember that you once want to live in Paris, Marseille, and Lyon.”

Her eyes brightened. “You do know me, after all!”

“Although we barely speak heart-to-heart, I’m your little sister, after all,” she let a downcast smile slipped through her lips.

“You are, and you will always be.”

They stared at each other for a moment. Both drowned in their own waves of emotion; joy, excitement, sorrow… all mixed in one and couldn’t be distinguished. Those emotions blended together and one couldn’t show up alone without bringing the others. They became a new kind of emotion nobody ever named.

The girl who wore long black velvet dress broke the silence. “I love you, you know. I adore you. I admire you. I’m grateful for having a great sister like you.” She started sobbing. “And I’m sorry that we rarely speak to each other, mostly because we rarely make time to meet each other. Sorry for being so distant. Sorry for taking you for granted all these years.”

“Why do you tell me all these now?”

“It’s better late than never. I know that this is very late, but I just wanted you to know.”

“Without you being this blue today, I already know. Thank you for giving me things I need instead of giving me things I want,” she said as she was about to leave. “Just promise me one thing, will you? Take care of yourself. Be bold. Say ‘I love you’ although it makes things awkward. I don’t want you to have this kind of conversation with other people. Let me be the last person you have this kind of conversation with.”

A pause. The girl who wore long black velvet dress couldn’t think of a proper goodbye since they had never had say a proper hello to each other. She hadn’t finished saying hello. And, so, she closed her eyes. She imagined reaching her sister in her arms, hugging her for the first and last time. I will, I promise. Thank you, I love you, and see you later, she whispered in her sister’s ear. She still hold her for another minute and when she was ready, she opened her eyes. Her sister had gone from her sight.

But never from her heart.

in memoriam, seven months later
so that it won’t happen again

and for those who I often talks to
I hope you all realize that I adore you
without me having to tell you

Separate Ways

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“Hey! Long time no see!” he shouted. From afar, I saw him waving and quick-walking toward me.

“Hey! Oh my God, how long have it been?” I said, still surprised. He seemed different. His hair had grown longer, his smile was broader than the last time I saw him. However, he was still the same person as the one I met three years ago. The same quirky funny tall guy.

“Umm.. was it… wait… umm… oh God, I can’t remember! It must’ve been such a long time ago, wasn’t it?” He sounded a little apologetic, probably for not remembering that tiny detail. However, I wasn’t even mad; I did forget too.

“Yeah, it was.” I know, I’m terrible at small talks.

Both of us still stood in the middle of the crowd, watching the star of the show as it entertained those party-goers.

Suddenly, with a cup of whatever he had in his hand, he turned toward me and said, “Anyway, from now on, it will be longer, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“Us. All of us. We won’t meet in a very long time, are we? We’ll be going on our separate ways.”

And that’s all it takes to break my inner layer of walls down. He’s right. That day might be the last day I saw him for a very long time. That day might be the last day I saw anyone, forever. Who knows.

“I’m going to quote Charles Dickens: is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?” Kinda rhetorical, I just wanted to know how he react to it.

“Sometimes it is better to be lonely since the beginning than to be lonely twice. But… I don’t know. Hadn’t I have the chance to be a part of this, whatever this is-life maybe?-, I wouldn’t have met her, the love of my life, my wive,” he pointed her, the gorgeous and perky soon-to-be-ex roommate of mine. “So, maybe this is not too bad?”

I shrugged, “I think it is better to be lonely since the beginning. Being left alone sucks, you know? I love leaving waaay better than being left.”

“Hey, I know you’re upset to have her moving out to move in with me and I know you hate this kind of goodbye-apartment shindig, but let me tell you this: people will always come and go, you can’t have control on it. However, people with great distance between them can still keep in touch as long as they care for each other. The deal is not to go on an extra mile in keeping touch with everybody; the deal is to get some people who will also reach to you,” he said, lecturing me in the middle of this crowd, “And… we will always reach to you, you know that. The awful feeling of being left sometimes worth the experience.”

His answer still couldn’t comfort me as I know that people will also change as time goes by. Soon they will forget me and I will forget them too. Human relationship is nothing more than about having people to talk to for a while and then loosing them for the rest of our lives.

But maybe he had a point. Maybe all of this is worth the experience.

“Thank you, Tyler. Love Tanya for me, will you?”

“Sure, Aislinn, I will. See you later?”

“See you later, someday.”

Dear Childhood Dreams

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Dear Teacher, Chef, Journalist, Vlogger, Scriptwriter, Director, Diplomat, and Writer.

I’m truly sorry for abandoning you these last eight years. These last eight years were kinda rough. I learned so many things till I was unable to make time for pampering you.

These past eight years, I learned things that had never crossed my mind before. I started realizing that paying bills cannot be done in a blink of an eye. I started acknowledging that food and rent are two essential things that don’t come cheap. I started counting my daily, monthly, and annual needs. Then I started thinking, how in Earth I could possibly afford it? And then, gradually, I started believing that I need a secure job to secure my future.

Ah, yes. I’m truly sorry for not believing you. I’m sorry for questioning you.
Yes, people spoiled me. They told me that you can’t give me a decent living. They told me that all of you are not reliable. They told me to start looking for another dream; a dream that have a respectable place in this world. A dream that is highly valued by society. “Ever consider being a doctor?” they said, as if being a doctor can be done as easy as lying.
Moreover, they pushed me to consider a still-fictional thing: family. “What about your child if you’re a movie director? You’re gonna leave them behind, aren’t you?” said their facial expression when I told them about one of you. “What about your husband if you’re assigned to stay in another country for five years? Don’t you think that the job ‘diplomat’ doesn’t suit you?” others said.

But, I’m not going to blame other people. It is me who is too naive to believe. It’s me who believe their shallow thoughts. I must have had believed that things like that doesn’t matter. A decent living can be pursued by any kind of livelihood as long as I enjoy what I do. I should realize sooner that my happiness is my priority and that my happiness can be seized by being what I want to be.

However, I guess it’s too late. I’m already poisoned by those thoughts. I’ve already seen them as some logical reasons. Maybe this is what people call as ‘growing up’. But if this is really is ‘growing up’, I guess growing up also means the death of childhood dreams.

So, if all of you are what used to be some precious seeds, I’m sorry for not giving any fertilizer to you. I’m sorry for not watering you these past eight years. I’m sorry to let you get crippled and forgotten over the years.

But, there’s one thing I want to say.
I really hope that I haven’t killed you all; I hope you’re just staying dormant. I wish that one day you can grow well and healthy. I wish that one day you can be a proof that people are wrong condescending you.

Sincerely,
The girl who pledged to encourage other children to look after their precious seeds.

Bukan Konsumsi Seorang Gadis

20(Disclaimer: this post is written in Indonesian because my target audience is any Indonesian, especially Indonesian parents)

Apabila kita menilik sejarah, Indonesia sudah sejak lama menganut sistem patriarki, sistem sosial yang menempatkan laki-laki sebagai sosok otoritas utama yang sentral dalam organisasi sosial. Laki-laki dinilai lebih kuat dan lebih tangguh daripada perempuan. Oleh karena itu, laki-laki berperan sebagai tulang punggung keluarga sementara perempuan lebih berperan sebagai penunjang kesuksesan laki-laki.

Sistem patriarki mungkin saja tumbuh di Indonesia berkat pengaruh berbagai pihak. Bisa saja sistem tersebut merupakan peninggalan budaya kerajaan-kerajaan masa lalu di Indonesia. Bisa juga sistem tersebut merupakan pengaruh agama tertentu yang memberikan pengajaran bahwa sejatinya mencari nafkah adalah tugas laki-laki sementara mengurus rumah tangga adalah tugas perempuan.

Budaya tetaplah budaya, suatu cara hidup yang berkembang dan dimiliki bersama oleh sekelompok orang yang diturunkan dari generasi ke generasi selanjutnya. Apabila sistem patriarki sejauh ini masih cocok dengan ideologi mayoritas masyarakat Indonesia, maka tak mengapalah sistem tersebut masih dilangsungkan. Apabila sekelompok masyarakat Indonesia masih sepaham dengan sistem ini, maka biarkanlah saja mereka meneruskan paham tersebut ke anak turun mereka. Apabila sekelompok masyarakat sudah tidak sepaham dengan sistem ini, maka biarkanlah saja pula mereka. Menurunkan suatu tradisi dari generasi ke generasi lain adalah kebebasan setiap individu, jadi tak perlulah ada perdebatan sengit di antara individu yang saling mencemooh ideologi masing-masing. Akan tetapi ada satu hal yang perlu diperhatikan ketika hendak menurunkan suatu paham, termasuk paham patriarki, kepada generasi selanjutnya: kesiapan generasi tersebut.

Sebelum kita membahas mengapa kesiapan suatu generasi perlu diperhatikan sebelum dipaparkan terhadap suatu paham, terutama paham patriarki, mari kita mengingat kembali kisah RA Kartini, pahlawan nasional pejuang kesetaraan hak bagi perempuan. RA Kartini terlahir pada 21 April 1879 di keluarga priyayi (kaum bangsawan Jawa). Pada usia 12 tahun, RA Kartini dipingit, yakni dilarang ke luar rumah. Adat pingit membatasi RA Kartini (dan ribuan perempuan lainnya pada zaman itu) dari berbagai hal, seperti menuntut ilmu di bangku sekolah. RA Kartini dipingit sampai beliau menikah dengan KRM Adipati Ario Singgih Djojo Adhiningrat yang bahkan tidak beliau kenal sebelumnya.

Sistem patriarki zaman sekarang memang hadir dalam wujud yang berbeda apabila dibandingkan dengan sistem patriarki yang ada pada zaman RA Kartini. Pada zaman sekarang, adat pingit memang sudah hampir tidak ada. Akan tetapi inti dari pemikiran sistem patriarki masih ada: bahwa laki-laki adalah tulang punggung keluarga dan perempuan berada di dapur saja.

Saya bukan seorang feminis pun seorang feminazi. Saya hanya merasa prihatin terhadap gadis-gadis Indonesia di luar sana yang masih menerima ungkapan “Kamu itu perempuan. Buat apa kamu berkarier? Perempuan berada di dapur saja.” Terlebih apalagi apabila gadis-gadis itu diperdengarkan dengan kalimat semacam “Buat apa kamu bersekolah tinggi apabila pada akhirnya kamu bertugas mengurus rumah tangga?”

Perlu orang-orang perhatikan bahwa seringan apapun perkataan yang terucap, apabila perkataan tersebut memiliki maksud untuk mempengaruhi seorang gadis untuk percaya bahwa takdirnya berada di dapur, gadis tersebut lama-kelamaan akan terpengaruhi. Lama-lama akan tertanam di benaknya bahwa apapun yang ia lakukan, ia akan menikah dan mengurusi keluarga. Karena gadis itu sudah terdoktrin, gadis tersebut tidak lagi akan serius dengan studinya. Ia tidak lagi memiliki cita-cita sebagai seorang individu. Cita-citanya beralih pada satu hal: membangun keluarga yang bahagia.

Membangun keluarga yang bahagia tentu adalah cita-cita yang mulia. Namun apabila hal itu merupakan satu-satunya cita-cita seorang gadis (yang tentunya belum menikah), yang benar saja?! Tidak ada yang bisa menjamin bahwa seorang gadis akan mendapatkan pasangan begitu ia lulus dari sekolah. Pun tidak ada yang bisa menjamin bahwa kebutuhan seorang gadis dapat dipenuhi oleh orang tuanya hingga gadis tersebut dipinang.

Seorang gadis harus memiliki ilmu yang tinggi. Ia harus dapat mandiri karena ketidakpastian itu selalu ada. Tidak ada yang menjamin bahwa pernikahan bisa memenuhi semua kebutuhan perempuan. Jika ternyata laki-laki tidak dapat memenuhi perempuan yang menjadi istrinya, perempuan tersebut bisa membantu sang laki-laki mencari nafkah. Pada dasarnya, menjadi seorang istri atau tidak, seorang perempuan harus berpendidikan tinggi. Toh generasi penerus bangsa pun memerlukan ibu yang cerdas sebagai ‘sekolah pertama’-nya apabila generasi penerus bangsa tersebut diharapkan membawa kebaikan.

Oleh karena itu, apabila seseorang hendak meneruskan paham patriarki dengan menasihati seorang perempuan mengenai prioritasnya (karier atau keluarga), lakukanlah kepada perempuan yang sudah siap, perempuan yang sekiranya sudah dapat berdiri di atas kakinya sendiri. Jangan katakan hal itu kepada seorang gadis yang masih belajar dan masih memperjuangkan cita-citanya. Jangan rusak cita-cita seorang gadis dengan visi yang belum pasti kapan akan terjadi.