Now it’s funny

Living in Indonesia means you have to be accustomed to natural disasters and mysterious parking men whom we have to pay money to for their unavailing assistance. Western part of Sumatra island is prone to earthquake, that is where I had most of my earthquake experience when I stayed there for five years since my senior year in high school until I finished college.

I hate earthquake not only because it scares the hell out of me but also because it forces me to make ultra super quick decisions about my life. I am very bad at being spontaneous, even when I navigate a journey with a GPS, if the driver asks me suddenly which way to go, I often say the wrong direction. My brain could not synchronize under pressure.

My first earthquake experience in West Sumatra happened to me in the worst situation anyone would want to be during an earthquake, which is when I was totally naked. I was enjoying my bath like a princess, shampooing my hair like Pantene commercials, life was perfect. Until then all of a sudden I felt my boarding house was moving like waves, I thought my shampoo had caused me drunk, but it’s not possible because I used the shampoo on my hair, not in my mouth. It was the bloody earthquake! OMG, can’t you just wait until I get dressed, earthquake??!!

That’s the first time in my life I had to choose between my self-esteem and my safety. What if I ran out naked and the earthquake stopped after I threw away my dignity–that I actually questioned if I had one. But if I chose to at least get dressed first, what if the earthquake got worse and torn the house apart? Then I could have died while locking my bra, which is not the dead position I want to die in. I waited for some seconds, still naked, but the shaking kept getting harder so I just got out of the bathroom and found something to cover my body with. No bra, underwear nor pants needed, a very simple and cover-it-all clothing, which was a mukena (RED–a praying cloth for muslim women) that was not even mine!

I managed to escape out of the house with my emergency-dignity-saving cloth, my flatmates and landlords were already outside, frightened. Not because of seeing me coming out of the house, but because of the earthquake of course. I saw some of the neighbors were also wearing mukenas, I wondered if they were also naked underneath.

Then my landlord decided to take us all to safer place heading to higher area in the city because we were afraid it had tsunami potentials, so we should move from the downtown area to a more hilly place. So my landlord commanded us to hurrily pack our belongings and valuables. We entered the house with anxiety and fear of following earthquakes. The first thing I did was of course getting dressed, then another earthquake hit when I just finished clothing my self, but again and again I had to make a quick decisions about the things I had to bring for my survival, what are the things I couldnt live without that I had to pack in my pink backpack. I didn’t think much, I just grabbed anything I saw and ran downstairs.

In the car, my flatmates and I were still shocked by our experience. Since now I had more laxness to think and breathe normally, I wanted to check what I had packed inside my backpack, because it felt heavy. And what I found inside made my eyes out!! I just put my school textbooks into my survival kit! WTH was I thinking?? Ironically the textbooks I brought were Math and History. Seriously, of all subjects that Indonesian kids are forced to learn, why did I choose to save my Math book, a subject that I am most allergic to!! History book was still okay, just in case I couldn’t sleep if we had to stay in evacuation place, the book would be useful for my bedtime story. But Math??? It’s the first thing that I said “I hate you” to in my life, I felt haunted by it, like it forced to stay in my life. To make it worse, that goddamn math textbook was fricking thick like 300 pages, meanwhile my history book was only 200 something. For real?? As I can remember math books were just filled with numbers, spaces, brackets, and Xs and Ys, how could it be thicker than my history book?? Whose idea was this?? I needed to kill him/ her.

I looked at my friend’s next to me, I realised that the t-shirt she chose to wear on that scary day had this writing : “Oh, what a wonderful experience!” along with drawings of sunflower, rainbow and butterfly. Really?? Of all her clothes she chose that reality-contradictory tee?? I wondered if what she had in her bag was worse than my choice or not.

From that first experience, I learned that I had to always prepare my survival backpack so that I could easily directly grabbed if earthquake happened again. I promised my self to directly prepare my survival and pack my valuables as soon as we got back.

It’s almost midnight that we reached back home and chose to sleep in our boarding house as the condition was getting calmer. With a strong determination, I walked to my room, ready to pack my valuables. Then I just realised, I was a high school student and hadn’t started earning money, the question was not even “What valuable things in my life that I have to CHOOSE to save?” but “Do I even have anything worth-saving??” What I treated like gold and diamond at that time was my Naruto DVDs collection, that wouldn’t help me if Armageddon came to me. I didn’t have laptop or netbook, just a very old computer inherited from my brother that I would have been so thankful if anything destroyed it. It’s a kind of mixed feelings knowing that everything I had in my life was worthless, but at the same time relieved that I didn’t need to worry about anything but my own life.

I knocked on my flatmate’s door, she was also packing. I saw a teddy bear doll in her survival bag, I asked why she needed a doll for an emergency situation, she said it was from her boyfriend, she’s taking all the gifts from her BF inside her bag, maybe she thought that would be a romantic way to die. That’s a proof that love makes us stupid sometimes. I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t need to save any stupid dolls because I didn’t have any BF to give me any silly furry things, I hadn’t even dated at that age as I was a late blossom. My nothingness was complete. I felt free.

smartselectimage_2017-09-01-13-35-56.png

 

Advertisements

Life illustrated, Doodling my life

I love thinking about life and laugh at it, whether it’s the past, present or the future expectation. Simple little things that are sometimes silly and we’re shy to talk about to people while actually others are doing the same silly things. We can feel connected to others when one can open up through many mediums, it can be words, songs, videos, drawings, etc. I’ve tried some of them, now I’m trying a new one for my own amusement to laugh about my life, maybe people can feel related to it.

Since in school, I’ve been always the type of student who draws anything that happens in her head about the class–and sometimes the teachers–in her friends’ books (not in my books, i liked to keep my own books clean and free from evidence just in case unexpected bad things happened).

My skill in drawing is just so-so or maybe below average, but I have the ability to express myself well, or at least to me my drawings are still understandable. Using my Samsung tablet, I like to draw random things from silly, good, somewhat inspirational, and naughty (wink!) things and send them to people I am close to. A bit out of topic, it’s why I decided to buy my Samsung Tablet that comes with a stylus pen instead of an overpriced Apple Ipad. Though the real reason was because I was too poor to afford one.

I’ve been posting some of them on my Instagram and made it one of the regular contents in my account (beside my self-obsessed selfies). I even tried to manage the display of my account to make my doodles ordered in one line because I am somewhat OCD, but it means have to regularly post one doodle every after 2 posts, otherwise it will hurt those pedantic eyes. I use black background and white ink color only to be my trademark, few times I put more colors, but the black background is a fixed one.

Here are some of my doodles, will be posting more of it here later. Visit and follow my IG for more. Cheers!

 

#Forever25

One day before my 27th birthday

Yesterday I turned 27, two years passed my favorite age and hopefully still far from death.

For me in my own world, my age has stopped counting since two years ago. I want to believe and feel–and look–like I’m forever 25 even though I haven’t been bitten (nor kissed) by a vampire.

25 for me was the best age. People said life begins at 30 or 40, I haven’t been both, for me that couldnt be true unless you’re George Clooney, who still looked like 27 in his 40s. Everybody has different favorite age, for me it’s 25 because during teenage years, even though we have the fitness vitality, we’re still emotionally unstable compared to the mid 20s.

My wake-up call in life occurred at 25, where I totally stop being socially dependent on friends or guys and have become more money-wise compared to when I first started making money. Every year, I always try to do new things in life and improve my self, I am happy that none of my 20s so far has been boring, there’s always new things that I did. But my 25 is special for me. I’ve tried many things at 25 and was not even afraid to fail as for me it’s better to fail at young age than feeling dissatisfied in old age. Also, because I was (and still am) not married yet, I had total freedom and financial asset to try and do things I wanted in order to really discover who I am and what I really want in life, I didn’t need to care nor to share, only when I wanted to (luckily, my parents and family don’t need me to help to support them). At my 25, I’ve stopped caring about others’ opinions towards me and stopped following trends. I’ve become more immune to people’s disagreements as I am the one who’s gonna live my life anyway.

By the way, I found this chart on ages we peak at everything throughout life. According to this chart, I’ve passed the peak age for female attractiveness. This hurts, haha, but hopefully it doesn’t apply to me like it doesnt apply to Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne, seriously those women still look like the first time they appeared in show business!

And after this age, I will be supposedly in the best age for running a marathon! Haha, really? TV series marathon I think… Anyway, I’m still so excited about turning 27, because of my turning-point in my 25, 27 doesn’t feel old at all. Especially because many people still ask whether I am still in college if they first meet me. Lol! I don’t know whether I really look younger or they were just being nice. But if I do, maybe that’s because I keep believing and feeling that I’m 25. Like it or not, I’m forever 25!

25 y.o me

Believing in Talent is a Trap

I used to believe in talent, now I’ve stopped. Believing that we’re born better (in some specific fields) than others is as dangerous as believing that we’re less gifted than others.

It is very human that we like to hear only what we want to hear and what we want to hear is that we’re special and other people are ordinary. One might deny it in words, but believes it in hearts.

In my childhood, I was always compared to my brother’s academic achievements, especially in math. I was actually doing fine, I always got good scores and got into top schools and, but my brother always got the best. He represented the province in national championship in elementary school. Hence I believed that I was less gifted in academics. I wanted to move to different school so that I didn’t have to keep up with teachers’ expectation.

As my revenge, I believed I was more gifted than him in other fields. Besides, actually among my classmates, I did well. I felt that I got lucky many times because I rarely studied but always passed the exams safely and sometimes better than others. It started a coincidence then I kept it as a habit. I didn’t like to work hard, I would be as lazy and laid-back as possible just to see how I could still nail it smoothly without even trying, I was proud of it. I teased my friends who were trying to study. I laughed at my friends who were working hard for their goals. I was not alone. I noticed some of the top students in schools had this similar syndrome; taking everything for granted.

But now at this age, in any fields, it’s not my friends whom I thought were talented that are successful today, it’s they who didn’t stop doing and working hard are. They didn’t start with a mile, they started with small steps. Who’d known that their small steps have almost reached the top? But people who I envy most are people who are living my dream; working in creative fields, growing their names in it. I felt betrayed. Not by other people, but by myself.

I felt like, “It’s supposed to happen to me, not to them! How could this happen? What did I miss?”

And you know what I missed?? I missed thousands of days and nights of practice, learning and working on making it to reality. Days and nights which were supposed to use to focus on things I called passion, I wasted for distractions, I wasted on following what other people told me my life should be. I thought that my dreams would still be handed to me without me chasing it. But the world doesn’t work that way.

I looked at my friend who has published some books. Others represented the country in theater. A colleague that used to be ‘invisible’ now can produce wedding gowns.

I won’t be able to be a fashion designer like I’ve always wanted to be unless I start learning how to sew and fashion design. It can’t happen overnight.

Far too often, we believe that our abilities are innate. In other case, we give up many opportunities just because we believe we don’t have the talent for it. “I wasn’t born with the gift of drawing.” Or “I’m not a born leader. Or “I can’t be a writer, I can’t write.”

Without we realize, it’s the ‘myth’ that holds us back, not our ability. People think that the skills in art are based on talent, if you’re not born an artist, you cant be an artist. If that is true, then why drawing techniques and methods exist? Why Mariah Carey still keeps her singing practice until now?

Talent is overrated. Artists are made, not born.

A Letter to My Best Friend–30 Day Writing Challenge#3

This is a story of me and my best friend, Karina. I met her during school holiday in an English course in our neighborhood when we were 12 y.o. But actually we went to the same kindergarden. She recognized me, I didnt, because I’ve always been occupied with my own world. We are an opposite-attract. She is the quiet, calm, elegant, shy one. I’ve always been the crazy, sarcastic, sadistical one with comical imagination and likes attention.

Despite the different personalities, we also have many things in common. We both like to laugh at anything and cringe at similar things. Karina likes to listen to my silly imagination, and I like audience like her. We met everyday at school and never seemed to run out of conversation topics. After school, it’s 40 mins to our homes. In public transportation (angkot), we talked and talked sometimes we made the driver mad because I was too noisy. I like to make fun of people who might not even know if Karina and I exist. Karina is too kind to make fun of people, it makes her feel guilty. Hence, she likes to listen to me because that’s actually what she also thinks, by only listening to me, she thinks she avoids sins.

These years of friendship means she has tolerated my weirdness and abuse to her. During lessons, I liked to draw, or write short diaries, or just draw my signature, NOT in my books, but hers. I liked to keep my books clean, so I sacrificed hers. I liked to give her my signatures, I never skipped a day giving her my signatures. I told her that I was gonna be famous one day.

Not only to her books, I also liked to do some experiments to her sensitive skin. If she scratches, it lasts longer than normal people like me do. Therefore I liked to pinch her just to see what color it would turn. And I like to press my tip nails to her skin and make patterns out of it. Her arms were my canvass.

Our puberty is full of stalking only without any results. At that time, internet was rare, our crushes were the popular kids that many other kids had crush on. We were just couple of kids whom even Google map couldnt detect. When school bell rang, we automatically met each other to continue the never-ending stalking. Even though I was outspoken, I had weak knees when it came to puberty flings and expressing my feeling. And Karina is worse. She could suddenly transform into the liberty statue with no fire. Literally.

When we’re 13, I introduced her to internet and chatting rooms. For us it’s the cheapest and fun way to learn and practice our english. We never chatted with Indonesians. What funny was that we always used one computer together. I knew what she chatted to everyone, including her first virtual boyfriend because I was her script writer. We were only 13, so we faked our age. MIRC raped our innocence when guys started to send us nude pics. We thought we were talking about pets. We didnt have pets, we just pretended that we had. Didnt understand why the guys (and sometimes girls) interpreted animals with nudity.

In 2007, I left Lampung. We still keep in touch until now by phone and soc-meds, still talking for hours on the phone even though it’s not every day/ week. Talking to her is therapueic as I need to burst out all the weird things in my head.

She’s always there since my first heartbreak.

And when she had her first broken heart, I was her bodyguard.

Karina has been witnessing my love life drama since forever. For her, my life is her entertainment. The longest time I was single was 8 months. That’s nothing compared to her 6 years of being single until now. But I think, she will tie the knot first.

This number is the duration of our friendship to date. And still counting. Stronger and weirder than ever.

A Letter to Little Me—30-Day-Writing Challenge#2

Hi Little Cita,

I miss being you. So young and free, living without burdens. No worries about the future. I miss wanting to grow bigger and older like you do, now, every birthday and new year makes me sweat.

I really like you, your cool nature, boyish style, bravery, straightforwardness, and you are very practical. I envy you because you could be happy by just blowing bubbles or playing hide-and-seek with your friends. I also admire the fact that you’re a late bloomer.

When I miss being you, I read your diaries until your teenage years. They never get old.

I remember when you always tried to find where the rainbow ends, then you lost track of the way home. At that time, GPS was not invented yet. Your mom was very mad. But the next days, you repeated the same thing. Because you wanted to shower with the rainbow lights and slide on the curve like what you saw in cartoon movies.

I remember you entertained bus passengers on the way from Lampung to Padang by mimicking all TV commercials that you easily memorized at 4 years old.

I remember you always make recaps of TV series episodes that were booming at that time and shared it the next morning to your classmates. Nobody asked you to do that, you just loved doing that.

Then you skipped school to go to library or cyber cafes. At that time, people in your country didn’t even know what internet was. You skipped classes selectively because you didn’t like the subjects and you thought internet gives you more knowledge than a 1,5 hours boring lesson.

I remember that since elementary school until college, you always fell asleep during muhasabah (renungan suci) while your friends and every one in the room were crying out loud.

And you wore men’s hair wax on your hair!

You PAID your brother to do your math chores but then afraid if you would get the highest score, so you erased some of the answers.

You even prayed wearing man’s cap instead of woman’s mukena.

When you’re 4, people know you as the girl who asks shocking questions. But two years after that and onwards, they tell you to stop.

There will be times when you believe all the negativity people throw at you on your intelligence, look, achievement, ways of life, points of views. Comparing you with your brother and other girls. You will meet a lot of people that kill your dreams and what you believe, even since the age of 6 years old.

They say you’re not as smart as your brother and not as gentle as how girls should be. They say your tongue is too sharp for a girl. They say you’re not beautiful and they call you a rebel. They tell you how to feel, behave and what to dream. For dozens of years, this will haunt you until finally you get tired of being scared and dictated.

I wish I were there when they made you feel low and insecure. I wish I had told you earlier so that you didn’t need to undertake this insecurity and hold grudges for so long.

Don’t worry that much about math, you’ll get high scores on it from elementary school to high school. By cheating of course. I remember how you hate math so much that you plan to destroy math from the world. At my age, you’ll forgive math because there are so many other things to destroy; ignorance, injustice, stupid stereotypes, and pop culture rubbish.

Don’t complain about the color of your skin, you’ll be proud of it.

Don’t hate your body, you will look good even in yoga pants.

Don’t worry about losing friends, selection is important. In your teenage, when you enter a room of people, you look around and wonder if they like you. At my age, I look around and wonder if I like them.

It’s ok if you cant and don’t want to fit in. The only person you should not lie to is your self.

You will be sad witnessing people come and go in your life, even those who were so close to you. But that’s the only way you learn about life.

You will be betrayed so many times, but that doesn’t make you innocent. You will betray people too. That’s how you learn that everyone deserves a second chance.

Looking at you know, I realized no matter how much I missed being you, I would never be able to do that again. What I can is to learn from you. To have that passion and chill back. There were years I forgot how to do that. I didn’t feel happy.

But I will make us proud. Promise.

Cheers,

The Adult You

An Open-Letter to My Significant Other – 30DOLWC

large

Hey you sweet thing,

To start off, please don’t laugh at this post nor the fact that I am writing this kind of ‘too girly’ or ‘too much sensitivity’ thing. It’s all because of you, because you haven’t shown up in this 26 years of my life.

Where in the world are you right now?

You know what, when someone writes an open letter to future significant other, that means she’s close to hopeless. And you know how bad it is when she asks “Where are you?” instead of “Who are you?”, that means she almost gives up on your existence and is thinking about adopting a cat, but she hates cats.

By calling you my significant other, it means you already know about my self, my principles, my life, ups and downs, dreams and family. Some parts of them are probably hard for you to deal with, but THANK YOU so much for staying in this imperfection, I owe you my life. Thank you for staying here even though it’s not always rainbow. I will give you all I have because nobody ever gave me that before, all the teams I’ve been in collapsed and raised white flags.

Just like you, I have a past. Some of it I wish I could undo. Maybe I fell in love too hastily, maybe I thought one of them could be you, maybe I thought I saw a future with them, maybe I was stupid, maybe I was fragile, maybe things happened for a reason that would lead me to you.

I don’t know when you will be reading this. Maybe you’re one of the people who read this on the day I posted this, maybe days after, maybe weeks and months after, or maybe years. Two years, three, five or ten. Whenever it is going to come for us to meet, I will punch you. What took you so long?? You can punch me back for the same reason, but please, not my face. I like my face.

If you’re someone I haven’t met in person or online, I wish you’re doing well. Surprise me.

If you’re someone I’ve met before somewhere, isn’t life funny?

If you’re someone I’ve crushed on… hmm really?? I thought all of you were already married or engaged.

If you’re someone who ever had a crush on me, I can’t wait to hear your stories.

If you’re someone I dated, it’s very unlikely for me to date exes, but if it’s meant to be, let’s forgive each other. There are two reasons why we’re getting back together:

  1. I’m hot
  2. I’m hot, I know.
  3. We both have come to realize something about people and life.

Oh, it’s three! Yeah, I’m still bad at math.

You could be someone I used to hate, or hated me, I don’t know who you would be. Just take care of your self, drive safe, eat healthy food because I want to spend the longest time I could do with you.

It sucks because it’s easier to find American fried chicken franchise than to find you, even though I’ve put my self on so many social media platforms, along with my phone number (because I sell crafts online).

If now I am looking at you reading this, it means I eventually made it. It may take a while for us to get there, but that’s okay as long as I know you exist and are not an alien.

Let’s get old and wrinkly together. Make fun of other people and each other. Tell me random stories. Have little fights then we apologize to each other. Watch good and lame movies. Raise kids. Do charity. Travel the world. Help each other grow.

This is not the first time I wrote to you, please write me back. If writing is not your thing, please simply show up. Before I am getting a cat.

Kisses, hugs, and punches,

Your 26 y.o Future Partner in Crime