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

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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.

2016: Lessons I’ve Learnt

The year 2017 is right in front of our eyes. Other people may be in their way arranging their best new year’s resolution, but I’ve stopped doing that since last year. It is not that I don’t believe that resolutions exists; I have come to an understanding which makes me realize that my resolutions are quite the same from one year to another. I realize that I don’t need new resolutions every year, because all I have to do is just to constantly aim new targets every once in a while. Therefore, instead of sharing my newest targets, I’d like to share things that I’ve learnt in this year.

1. NEVER, EVER, EVER, say “Yes” to something you’re not interested in.

I’ve gone through a not-so-delightful experience this year just because I say “Yes” to something I’m not interested in. You see, taking chances and risks are good ways to improve ourselves, to push ourselves beyond our limit. However, when you accept something just because you pity it (not 100% due to your fondness of the thing), you tend to lose focus and loyalty to that thing. After you start feeling bored of that thing, you’ll start feeling under pressure. You’ll feel like you’re forced to do those things. That kind of feeling will lead you to stress and even physical pain. And all of that is just because you don’t have the heart to say “No” at the first place. Trust me, it’s better to bear the guilt of rejecting someone or something than having to endure mental and physical pain over a period of time.

However..

2. ALWAYS say “Yes” to the things that give you more experience.

Giving a shot to something new and challenging will always lead us to a good thing. There are two possibilities of what that good thing will be: 1) a real beneficial good thing or 2) a bittersweet life lesson.

In 2016, I’ve said “yes” to two economics essay writing competition, a quite random high school quiz held by the government, a high school wall magazine competition, and an essay writing and debate competition about food technology. I may not rank the first on those competition, but from those competition I became to know my abilities. I became to know which topic I excel better than the others. The most important thing from all of that is that I became to know that anyone can be anything they want just by hard work and prayers.

3. Everyone has their own field.

Nobody is meant to be perfect. Nobody is sentenced to master all things. So, it’s okay if someone is better than you in something. What’s not okay is if you don’t try exploring your hobbies, talents, or interests.

4. It’s not about who is the sharpest; it is about who is the one with more effort.

A lazy genius will slowly having his or her mind blunt if he or she barely exercises. However, a diligent average person will start having keen mind if he or she constantly exercises to reach his or her goal.

Last but not least, here are two videos of Casey Neistat I really like for the wisdom in it. Casey Neistat is a New York-based filmmaker who has been vlogging for these past years. I started subscribing his channel this year and I have been inspired by his videos all these months. His way of life and his principles about success show me different perspectives in life. Watch these videos and I hope they do to you too. Arrivederci!

 

Resensi Buku – Malam-Malam Terang

Tasniem, siswi kelas 9 SMP Negeri 5 Yogyakarta, merasa seakan dunianya hancur ketika mengetahui nilai ujian nasionalnya. Pasalnya, nilai ujian nasionalnya tidak mencukupi syarat minimal SMA idamannya, SMA Negeri 3 Yogyakarta. Siswi yang kerap sekali menduduki peringkat atas merasa terpuruk, merasa malu tidak mampu mendapatkan yang terbaik sesuai usahanya. Ia merasa bahwa kehidupan tidak adil ketika masa depannya hanya bergantung pada angka desimal yang ia usahakan selama ujian nasional berlangsung.

Setelah berhari-hari mengurung diri di kamar, Tasniem mencoba mengobati kegalauan hatinya. Ia pergi mengunjungi neneknya di Solo. Dalam perjalanannya, ada satu kata yang sering Tasniem temui: Singapura! Pada awalnya, Tasniem merasa tidak yakin terhadap seluruh pertanda itu, hingga perkataan neneknya membuatnya tersadar bahwa Singapura adalah pemberhentian selanjutnya.

Berbekal kemampuan bahasa Inggris yang apa adanya dan semangat untuk ‘mengambil apa yang seharusnya miliknya’, Tasniem lantas bertolah menuju Singapura untuk menuntut ilmu. Ia bersekolah di GC (Global College), sekolah internasional dengan siswa dari seluruh penjuru dunia. Di sana, Tasniem berteman dengan ketiga roommates-nya: Angelina dari Indonesia, Cecilia dari Cina, dan Aarin dari India.

Kehidupan di GC tidaklah mudah. Tasniem merindukan keluarganya, kehidupannya di Indonesia. Tasniem yang perlu mengejar ketertinggalannya dalam berbahasa Inggris juga merasa terpukul ketika mendapat nilai yang jelek di pelajaran komputer. Tasniem ingin berhenti berusaha dan kembali ke pangkuan kedua orangtuanya di Indonesia.

Suatu malam, ayah Tasniem yang saat itu sangat sibuk menjadi pegawai tinggi negara menelpon Tasniem-suatu kejadian yang bisa dibilang langka. Mendengar lantunan ayat Al-Quran dan beberapa pepatah bijak ayahnya malam itu membuat rindu Tasniem terhadap rumah terbayarkan dan semangat Tasniem kembali berkobar.

Di tanah rantau, Tasniem berusaha mendapat pengalaman sebanyak mungkin. Semua kejadian yang menimpanya sebisa mungkin ia cari sisi positifinya. Ia jalani kehidupannya dengan doa dan usaha supaya suatu saat nanti ia dapat membuat kedua orangtuanya bangga.

Sepintas, kurasa “Every cloud has a silver lining adalah kalimat yang tepat untuk seluruh kejadian dalam novel karya Tasniem Rais dan Ridho Rahmadi ini. Pada kali pertama aku membaca sinopsis novel ini, aku langsung tahu bahwa novel ini begitu cocok untuk membangkitkan semangat para pemimpi yang telah dijauhkan dari mimpinya.

Ketika aku membuka novel ini untuk yang pertamakalinya, aku merasakan aura yang familier. Novel ini berlatar di tempat-tempat yang terasa tidak asing bagiku berkat penggambaran-penggambarannya yang begitu ‘nyata’. Novel ini terasa begitu ‘dekat’ berkat pilot chapter-nya yang menggambarkan kejadian yang sering terjadi di sekitar pelajar: NEM yang terlalu rendah untuk masuk ke SMA idaman. Plot awalnya memang merupakan suatu kejadian yang biasa, tetapi every student can relate to that point of story.

Setelah membalik beberapa puluh halaman, aku berasa membaca kembali novel-novel favoritku: trilogi Negeri 5 Menara dan tetralogi Laskar Pelangi. Ya, menurutku, novel ini memiliki semangat yang sama dengan trilogi Negeri 5 Menara dan tetralogi Laskar Pelangi. Persamaannya adalah karakter Tasniem yang sebelas-duabelas dengan karakter Alif dan Ikal yang pantang menyerah. Novel ini seakan terletak di antara trilogi dan tetralogi besar itu; tidak sereligius Negeri 5 Menara (religius karena berlatar di pondok pesantren) dan tidak seutopis Laskar Pelangi (utopis karena menurutku semua tokoh mendapat akhir yang bahagia). Malam-Malam Terang berada di titik kesetimbangan.

Menurutku, Malam-Malam Terang adalah ‘camilan’ baru bagi para pecinta novel-novel petualangan penuh inspirasi. Aku suka cara Tasniem Rais dan Ridho Rahmadi membuat usaha tokoh Tasniem untuk berprestasi tampak menonjol pada cerita itu. Cara belajar Tasniem yang jitu digambarkan dengan detail, mengakibatkan cerita itu terkesan seperti tips dan trik bagi para pelajar. Bagian cerita yang menggambarkan Tasniem ketika berdoa dan bermunajat kepada Tuhan membuatku sebagai pembaca tersadar bahwa setiap usaha itu perlu disertai dengan doa. Selain itu, aku suka cara Tasniem Rais dan Ridho Rahmadi menggambarkan Tasniem yang selalu berpikiran positif. Pikiran positif Tasniem terletak dimana-mana dan tidak menggurui; pikiran positif Tasniem bisa ‘mendoktrin’ pembaca dengan mudah (tentunya dalam hal-hal yang baik).

Meskipun begitu, menurutku ada beberapa hal yang membuatku berpikir “Sedikit lagi dan novel ini akan menjadi petualangan yang sangat tak terlupakan.”

Pertama, kurangnya dialog pada beberapa bagian membuat urutan-urutan kejadian dalam cerita ini kurang dapat tervisualisasi dengan jelas. Meskipun latar ceritanya digambarkan dengan penggambaran yang begitu ‘nyata’, kurangnya dialog dalam cerita membuat beberapa bagian di cerita ini kurang nge-feel.

Kedua, masih ada beberapa salah ketik yang kurasa cukup mengganggu kenyamanan pembaca. Beberapa kata yang seharusnya ditulis dengan huruf kapital justru ditulis dengan huruf kecil. Sangat disayangkan!

Terakhir, aku masih merasa digantungkan ketika membaca bab terakhir dalam buku itu. Aku merasa bingung; sebenarnya apa, sih, inti dari novel tersebut? Apakah inti dari novel tersebut adalah perjuangan Tasniem melupakan sakit hatinya karena tidak diterima di SMA idamannya? Apakah inti dari novel tersebut adalah pengalaman Tasniem ketika bersekolah di SMA dan hendak kuliah? Apakah inti dari novel tersebut adalah upaya Tasniem untuk mendapat beasiswa kuliah di Jepang? Atau apakah inti dari novel tersebut adalah kisah Tasniem untuk pada akhirnya bersama dengan Edo?

Menurutku, novel ini berisikan kepingan-kepingan kisah Tasniem yang antarkepingannya tidak begitu berhubungan. Seperti misal, pada bab awal hingga beberapa bab sebelum bab terakhir, novel ini memang terfokus pada cerita Tasniem bersekolah di GC. Namun, beberapa bab terakhirnya membahas mengenai kegiatan Tasniem di Indonesia ketika mencari beasiswa ke Jepang. Kemudian, dua bab terakhirnya membahas mengenai Tasniem yang akan ‘ditunggu’ oleh Edo dan mengenai Tasniem yang sudah sampai di Bandara Fukuoka, Jepang. Aku merasa novelnya menjadi sedikit antiklimaks karena kurasa klimaks dari cerita tersebut adalah ketika Tasniem diwisuda (adegan itu benar-benar membuatku merinding!), bukan ketika Tasniem memperoleh beasiswa ke Jepang (bersekolah di Jepang tidak menjadi fokus cerita ini dari awal). Alangkah lebih nge-feel apabila novel itu hanya sampai pada adegan Tasniem diwisuda dan adegan-adegan selanjutnya dilanjutkan di novel selanjutnya (aku benar-benar berharap ada sekuelnya yang menceritakan petualangan Tasniem di Jepang hingga pulang dan ‘bersatu’ dengan Edo, hehe).

Akan tetapi, secara keseluruhan, menurutku novel ini merupakan novel a must-read! Ada banyak sekali adegan yang ‘mencerahkan’ dan adegan-adegan yang menyentuh hati. Aku tak sabar untuk membaca sekuelnya (kalau memang ada)!

Tambahan, berikut ini beberapa kutipan yang aku suka dari novel ini, hehe:

“Memenangkan proses itu sendiri lebih dahsyat daripada memenangkan skor pertandingan.”

“Kesepian adalah kutukan bagi seorang petualang.”

“Carilah suami yang pandai membaca Al-Quran. Kalau dia pandai membaca ayat-ayat Tuhan, membacamu sebagai istri adalah perkara yang mudah.”

Judul: Malam-Malam Terang
Penulis: Tasniem Rais dan Ridho Rahmadi
Penerbit: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama

Tasniem Rais dan Ridho Rahmadi - Malam-Malam Terang

2015: Another Chance

Ciao!
Tonight is new year’s eve in the country I live in and fireworks are already on to greet the so-called new year. In the last minutes of 2014, I’d like to note lessons I’ve learnt and deeds I’ve done this year. I guess having a little recall about the year we’ve just passed and muse about it on new year’s eve is a good thing to do. We always need to evaluate ourselves and new year just seems to be another perfect moment for change.

Before I write my 2015 resolution, here’s a look to my 2014 resolution:

Cut Alima’s 2014 Resolutions:
1. Try harder to be close to God.
2. Study hard, focus on my future, and put my spiritual and mental needs in my top priority.
3. Be selfless, kind, brave, honest, and smart. Also, be more alive and young.
4. Face my life whatever it takes and always be grateful.
5. Live happily!
6. Be smart like my junior high school senior,X (oh God, I believe he will be an important people in Indonesia later, maybe he will be a president).

This 2014, I gladly say that I’m progressing on my 2014 resolution. I feel younger and more alive than I was back in 2013. I enrolled to my dream school and -thank’s God!- got accepted. I met new friends and experienced many rare things which are precious. Well.. I did manage to live happier. Praise to God for all of that :’)

And what have I learnt from 2014?
1. Never rush things. Live every moment, every minute, every second you live. You can never go back to change things, so, live every moment so you won’t have to regret anything.
2. Never be ‘the best person according to people’s opinion’, but be the best version of you. It’s your life and no one ever have the right to tell you who you are. However, be opened for people’s opinion, they might help you to change into a better person.
3. Have a leap of faith on everything you’re afraid of. Try things, you might succeed.
4. Never think that tomorrow will come. Do everything as soon as possible or you might loose the chance.
5. Sometimes when we failed getting what we want after giving our best effort on it, we just have to pause. Maybe it’s not our turn.. maybe our turn is tomorrow or next year. We should be patiently waiting, move closer to God, keep thinking positively.
6. Karma does exist.

Now that I’ve learnt a lot of things in 2014, I just hope that I won’t forget it and carry them with me when 2015 come.

To be honest, I have also done bad things back in 2014. I regret things I’ve done and things I haven’t done and I guess there’s no way to come back and change it. So, I’m just thinking.. I think I should give my self another chance on the upcoming year. Another chance to be better, another chance to be happier. And I think you should, too.

To greet 2015, I decided to edit my 2014 year resolution and turn it to be my 2015 resolution. I wasn’t able to check every point on the list and so did on my 2013 resolution. Now I start thinking that we can never feel enough, moreover when it comes to uncountable things such as happiness or intelligence. So, checking points on new year resolution doesn’t really matter anymore; progressing is what matters.

And so, I hereby present you my 2015 resolution:

Cut Alima’s 2015 Resolutions:
1. Be closer to God and obey God’s rules the best I can. 
2. Study hard and focus on my future.
3. Put my spiritual and mental needs in my top priority.

4. Be selfless, kind, brave, honest, and smart. Not to forget, be more aliveyoung, and ladylike. Be a better person!
5. Face my life bravely, always be grateful, and always live happily!
6. Be a full-of-knowledge person.

So, now, let’s step back and have a toast for ourselves, for good deeds we’ve done. I guess all of us deserves a hug. Nevertheless, let’s say goodbye to those nasty deeds we’ve done, to those heartbreaks. Say goodbye to all traumas and to those fake smiles. Tomorrow we’ll be in 2015 and though it’s just another day another year, let’s vow to be a better person on the days ahead. Let’s give another chance to ourselves and other people.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May God be with us. *cheers

Arrivederci, Readers 😉
May our upcoming days full of happiness. Again, happy new year 🙂
-CA

I am still learning. –Michelangelo

Welcomed | Happy Eid Mubarak!

Happy Eid Mubarak, my fellow Moslem from all over the world!
Taqaballahu minna waminkum, shiyamana wa shiyamakum.
May all of us live in peace and happiness for the rest of our lives, aamiin yaa rabbal alamin.

As we all know, on July 28, all Moslem celebrated Aidilfitri, the holy day. Why does that day is called as ‘the holy day’? This year’s July 28 happened to be as the exact day of Syawal 1. Syawal is the month after Ramadhan on the Islamic calendar. On 30 days of Ramadhan, we are fasting to ‘fight against lust in general’. And then when Ramadhan ends and Syawal comes, we celebrate our winning against lust by having an Aidilfitri prayer (sholat) on the 1st day of Syawal.

I’m not going to utter about Aidilfitri in this post. Today I’d like to share a story about my warm-hearted high school seniors.

As an Indonesian, we have the tradition to say “Happy Eid Mubarak, taqaballahu minna waminkum,” kind of stuffs to our family and fellow friends. People also sometimes write a beautiful full-of-rhyme poem just to say ‘Happy Eid Mubarak’. Instead of only saying those words mouth-to-mouth, we sometimes broadcast the message to every people in our phone contact book (though honestly I rarely do that because I always get awkward while writing those formal texts).

This year, this exact month, is my first year and my first month as a high school student. I’ve known some people and I’ve known some of my seniors. To be honest, the school I attend, SMA N 1 Teladan Yogyakarta (1 State Senior High School), has a really unique culture compared to other high school. It is kinda religious and the bond between seniors and juniors feels so tight. Though I’ve known some of the students and the activities there, I still haven’t attend a single class in high school. So that means that I haven’t feel like a real high school student.

Today, I recieved two Aidilfitri messages from my seniors. Those messages are from Mbak Amel and Mbak Lala (the word ‘mbak’ is the Indonesian translation for ‘big sis’). I have only met them twice and both of our meetings were less than an hour. We haven’t really know each other so well but they still greeted me a Happy Eid Mubarak. They wish we can still gather on next year’s Ramadhan and they wish me a happy holiday. Mbak Lala even asked me, “Are you ready for becoming a better person?”.

27-ScreenCapture WA Mbak Amel Teladan 57 28-ScreenCapture SMS Mbak Lala

And then I felt.. wut? We barely know each other yet they still care about us, their junior they barely know. Though today is not the first time I received warm messages from my high school senior, I’m still amazed by the way my high school seniors show their affections toward their juniors. They make us feel welcomed by treating us like a part of their family.

And I thought.. what if everyone have this kind of acceptance to new people around them? What if everyone give warm welcome to outsiders among them? I assure you that receiving those kind of warm welcomes made me feel like coming home. And I guess this kind of tradition -welcoming people warmly- is worth to be preserved.

The attention my high school seniors give to us implicitly taught me one thing: share positive vibes everywhere, every time, and to everyone. And as long as we’re alive, why not?

I guess that’s all I want to say. I’m not going to make a long-poetic closure for this post as it’s midnight here and I should go to bed.
So, I guess.. arrivederci! 🙂

Love, CA.

How Every Street Campaign Should Have Been

There was a spectacular street campaign on Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on June 24, 2014. As the presidential election is going to be held on July 9, 2014, the supporters of both candidates (Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla and Prabowo-Hatta Rajasa) have started the street campaign.

In Indonesia, every street campaign is brutal. The supporters of a candidate are roaming around the city with their made-up noisy motorcycles. And sometimes, the street campaign triggers a street fight between two sides who have the slightest mutuality. I really don’t get it why the supporters do that, the fight and made-up noises. I suppose those things tend to make people hate them more, isn’t it?

Just yesterday, I went to Malioboro and found a LOT of people gathered on the Malioboro Street to do a silent campaign. Well, not really silent, but it’s way more quiet and polite. Those people are non-party people around Malioboro who supports Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla. They held a parade around Malioboro. I’m not sure where did the parade started and ended, but I’m pretty sure the parade went through Malioboro and Kraton Yogyakarta.

What makes me think that the parade was how every street campaign should have been like is how effective, polite, and bewitching it is. They didn’t do any anarchy gestures, instead they smiled. They didn’t make useless loud noises, instead they sing a song about Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla accompanied by our traditional instruments (gamelan). Though it is one of the political strategies to win the election, it’s entertaining and not nauseating. I’m not talking about politics nor a candidate here, and by writing this doesn’t mean that I support a particular candidate (I’m still too young to understand politic), but what I really want to say is that I hope every street campaign is like this, or maybe better than this. I hope that every street campaign is educating, entertaining, and true.

Here, I’ll show you some pictures I got yesterday:

DSCN0105 DSCN0096 DSCN0103 DSCN0137 DSCN0106 DSCN0114 DSCN0109 DSCN0113 DSCN0104