It’s always been there

IMG_1176I was arranging my bookshelves when I stumbled upon my old notebooks and binders. I realised that I used to always keep two kinds of journals; diary and inspiration books. When I wanted to write about my feelings and experience, I poured in my diaries. Inspiration books are where I collaged everything that I liked from printed media, whether it’s quotes, articles, illustration, language learning, and fashion styles.

These are some inspiration books I kept since 2006. At that time internet was expensive and there’s no Pinterest, I couldn’t just pin-and-save all the inspiration I like. I was a magazine addict, I hunted old English teenage magazines because I wanted to learn English (later I found out, English teenage magazines’ content was too ‘mature’ and ‘experienced’ for an ordinary nerdy Indonesian teen like me, seriously they talked about sex and sexual identity at that age, I was like, “Ouch!! Is it porn?”)

I didn’t keep inspiration books anymore since I befriended more intensely with internet. Also after highschool I was distracted with so many silly things. Also, we often listen more to what other people say than to our selves. Now at this age, 10 years later, re-reading those books makes me realized there are some parts of me that’s always been there and haven’t changed. Yet, at some stage, I didn’t know it :

  1. I’ve always been fond of fashion; about 60% of the content is fashion collage. I cut all the looks that I like, they all have similarity, that explains my style. After learning fashion at 27 y.o, I knew that method is called Mood-boarding, that’s what fashion students and designers have to do to design a collection and to find what their styles are. Meaning I have had done it before I even know that’s a part of a curriculum in fashion design study. No wonder now I go back to what I dreamed at 16-17, to be a fashion designer.
  2. I love languages; I collected vocabs and idioms from books and movies. I always watched English movies with notebook and dictionary in my hands. I watched a movie more than once, first to follow the story, second to check the new vocabularies, third time to re-play with new knowledge I got. And not only English, I taught myself Japanese and Spanish ( I still can understand a little Japanese, but Spanish has been gone forever from my brain and muscle memory, haha!). Now, I am a big fan of illegal movie streaming, too many movies and videos to watch, I can’t waste my 6 hours for just one movie!
  3. I like writing; I created fiction, short stories and sometimes poems. But majority of my short stories dont have endings yet, I dont think it’s because I didnt know how to end them, I just hopped to other stories/ things that caught my attention.

I see I made progress in my drawing and writing, language as well. I think these fashion moodboards by far have given me more inspiration than other resources I have now, because it’s already filtered by the old me to define the future me. The present me is stealing from myself in the past. Like Austin Kleon said, “We steal from ourselves; from dreams and memories.”


I drew this when I was a Japanese Manga-lover 16 y.o kid.


Those on the right are from 9 years ago. The green one is the most recent, a month ago.

How about you, what have you stolen from your dreams and memories?


The Most Interesting People

Don’t we all want to be interesting or at least to look interesting?

Well, the definition of ‘interesting’ is subjective. Beauty is in the eyes of the be(er)holder for sure. Some may call other people ‘interesting’ if only either they’re famous, successful, rich, or good looking. For me, what can keep me amazed with a person–who doesn’t need to be famous, could be my friend, or people I just met–is when I can see how much she/ he believes in what she/ he does.

Because, for me personally, if success or wealth is what makes people fascinating, well there are a lot of successful, wealthy people, but still some of them look boring to me. I also don’t think it’s about the kind of job one’s having. Two people can have the same job but one may look more fascinating than the other. Or in other case, a person can have the most boring job, but really, they’ve touched me in some ways.

I see the similarity that these people have, from artists, accountants, writers, pilots, teachers, even a supermarket customer service. They all believe in what the do, a musician like John Lennon who believed in what he sang and created. You can compare the sparks in his eyes when he sang or talked about his music to any other singers who sing just to sing because that’s what they have to do to be famous, who only sing what other people wrote for them. Compare writers who write because and what they believe than writers who write just to make money. Lecturers who teach because they love teaching than lecturers who are doing their job only to support their lives. These fascinating people put their souls into their works, and it shows, then touches others.

I think that’s what interests me most about other people. I love knowing people but I get bored easily if I see he/ she has no interests/ obsessions/ passions in anything. I was amazed with my colleagues in my previous job when I listened to them discussing about types of frogs for one hour. Seriously, I’ve never met people who could talk that long only about frogs and who cares about frogs that much. The topic was not my taste of course but I was amazed that I just kept listening to them. I want to be able to talk like that about something. If I cant talk that passionately about my job, then maybe what I am doing is not the right thing. If I cant talk about what I am doing that long and passionately, means my works won’t be good. Because in the end, the works won’t lie about the artist.

This is for You

**This is actually an old writing from my R.I.P blog that I wrote in the end of 2016. I repost this in favor of someone who said that he often visited my old blog to read this post whenever he felt down. You, you know who you are, this is for you. 🙂

This writing is for you who are in your mid 20’s—and older—but still feel discontent about your life, always feel that you haven’t achieved anything to be proud of.

This is for you who sometimes doubt about chasing your passion but too reluctant to do something that you hate doing.

This is for you who think that life is not as optimistic as you thought it was when you’re seven. You had never thought that you would have landed in your current situation.

This is for you who have decided to leave your comfort zone and now sometimes question whether it was the right decision.

This is for you who have failed and been rejected many times that you just want to give up.

This is for you who feel that every day is just another new low, no matter how hard you try to make things work.

This is for you who think that you could’ve been more than your friends with all your talents and skills, but at the present you don’t. And that hits your self-confidence.

This is for you who feel that anyone lives a much better life than you, including the welcome-girl/boy at the restaurant.

This is for you who feel like the whole universe conspire against you.

This is for you who hold a degree yet believe it’s a mistake.

This is for you who keep comparing yourself with others.

This is for you who feel like your parents and family think of you as directionless. And you sometimes feel that they could be right.

This is for you who feel bothered to tell people about yourself.

This is for you who keep telling people, “I’m okay”, when you’re not because you believe you can’t show people that you’re weak.

You, whoever and wherever you are, you’re not alone.

You are in a transition phase, okay? A transition to somewhere better and greater. This is just a phase. It’s temporary, no matter how long it will be, it’s temporary. It doesn’t define you and your future. Many people have been through this, if you’re never in this situation, it means you have no dreams. The poorest man is not without a cent, but without a dream.

But, only believing that it’s temporary is not enough, YOU have to make it temporary. No change will ever happen if you do not make it happen, if you’re just planning without execution, if you’re just laying on your bed all day, if you’re just hoping for a miracle (because it doesn’t exist!), if you’re just doing things unrelated to your dreams, if you let other things distract you from the big picture, if you just keep your eyes glued on social medias of the lives other people are trying to portray. Because it’s not only what you believe, it’s what you do.

Do not underestimate any little daily goals because they contribute to the big goals. Don’t underestimate yourself, you’ve been brave enough to leave what you believe you don’t want to see yourself in the future. No matter how hard it is now, it will still be better than doing something you don’t like. Youth is not forever, better spend it on something you like to remember.

This is not a matter of age, number or degree. No degree is better than others. You may have a degree in medicine but still fell discontent. Anyone can be in this situation. Because it’s a matter of personal dreams trapped in a phase.

At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.

You don’t need to burden yourself with the thoughts of being successful at such young age. It doesn’t matter if you can’t be a young college-dropped-out billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg. It doesn’t matter if you can’t publish any novels before 20 like Jane Austen. You are you, you are meant to be you. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Breathe, live, love, laugh, and believe, “This is just a phase. I was born to be adorable.”


(For Some People) Life Begins at 26

Hello Blog World! This is my first post on this new blog. Before, I had one on Blogspot that I started in 2009, but I decided to shut it down for good for some reasons:

  1. Some of the early posts were about fashion with useless, embarrassing, shallow narration. Yeah, I’m not proud of my past especially with the hashtags I used at that time.
  2. It’s too pink, both the layout and content. Not the charismatic, elegant pink, it’s Barbie pink, and I’m not a fan of Barbie. I’m Patrick’s fan.
  3. For some of you that already know me in person or have been friends with me on socmeds, you might notice an obvious difference on my look that I had changed publicly in 2015 and I don’t wanna be related to that person anymore. I want to start fresh. For those who don’t know, here’s the clue, I used to be the Pink Power Ranger. Is it a clue?

I’m now 26 y.o. The age where I understand what Britney Spears means by “not a girl, not yet a woman”. Even though I’m not a fan. I’m Patrick’s loyal fan. Just Patrick.


In Indonesia, people get married at young age, some of my friends are already Mrs. Somebody with kids, some are already ex-Mrs, and the rest are settling down with their career that seemingly they will do for a long time or forever.

They seemed settled down and satisfied. From the outside.

In the west, people say that life begins at 30 or 40, because at that age you’re (hopefully) financially stable and have the confidence that makes you shine. You’re in control of your self and life, you have the bargaining power. In Indonesia, things go a bit different; life starts whenever you’re married. Meaning that my friends who are already married are supposedly in one of the happiest states in life.

Anyway, I have never been 30 or married yet, so I don’t know if it’s true. But I know that mine starts at 26. Why? Because renaissance always comes after a crisis. I’ve been through that so-called a quarter-century crisis when I looked around and everyone seems to be doing so much while I am still here wandering around with my flat shoes looking for what was missing but I didn’t know what that was.

When you’re a student, you have structures and conventions to support you. It sounds like you have a life or identity. Then, you have to make grown-up choices after graduation. I got a job right after I graduated. While many people were struggling to get jobs, I booked one easily, so I thought I should enjoy it until other socially-constructed goal is achieved; marriage. The downside of getting a job directly after graduation is that you don’t have time to think whether it’s what you really wanna do. In 25 years of my life, I always had been occupied or distracted by other things that couldn’t make me feel content. Lucky that I haven’t been married yet, otherwise I could’ve been distracted for a longer time.

Actually, this self-discovery process could’ve been shorter if only I have mentors in my environment when I was teenager. But my parents are so simple minded, I can never discuss with them about life, study or passion, I didn’t have anyone directing me the right way, hence I started looking for mentors from outside my family.

At my 25, I stopped working the job after three years, I joined many communities and took various activities; arts, yoga, gym, dance, knitting, education, charity, even a singing course. I ran a culinary business, but short lived. Because the field was not what I am passionate about. Lessons learned: Business is not only about opportunity, it has to be about passion. If you do it without passion, you’ll lose opportunity. But passion pushes hardwork that can create opportunities.

I did this because I wanna see how people who live their passions are, what makes them different, succeed or fail. From what I observed, people who work hard for their passions is more fulfilled emotionally—and most are financially superior—than, let’s say, the modern slaves after 20 years of working. I compared my theater club director, who is an Indonesian renowned playwright, to the lives of my parents. My parents retired after 35 years of dedication, what did the companies do to them after that? Nothing. They’re forgotten and replaced. Meanwhile, on my theater club’s 20th anniversary, I quietly looked at how my director enjoyed his hardwork and dedication to arts and his ideology. Pride, passion, price, and prestige altogether sparked in his eyes. I want to be like that, I want to grow old like that. I don’t want to be like my parents.

Now, when I see other people, I see them differently. I used to see them for what and who they are at the moment, what they have and do. Now, it’s different, I picture them in 30 years later. What we do today is what is going to save and define us in the old age. When I turned on the TV and watched typical slapstick comedians, I felt pity for them.

I doubted before whether 26 is already too late to start. But hey, I said the same thing when I was 22. I said 22 was too late to think about passion, you should just try to accept the flow. Now, I wish I were 22 when I figured this out. But toast can’t never be bread again. The best I can do is not to make the same regret when I am 28.

I have to start from zero, but there’s no instant success that’s long lasting. It’s hard that I have to give up some other things temporarily. It’s the hardest. But give me two years, you’ll see the difference. I have never been as certain about my self as I am now. Hence I am really excited about this year and what it’s going to be.

Some of you might have already figured out things in life earlier than me, some perhaps are still trying to figure out, some could be still in hesitation like I was. Those who already did should help those who haven’t.

Find your passion. Have a faith in it. Do it consistently. Live it. And share with others.