28 Things in 28 Years

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Yesterday I just turned 28, so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME..!

My 27 was so great, and some checklists were accomplished but the journey is still long. I feel fulfilled most of it because I started doing what I love, less stress, met interesting people and had new experiences. I am establishing my fashion brand, RAYU, which I’ve never thought I could be as I didn’t have a good support system in my closest surrounding when I was growing up.

Here are the 28 things I’ve learned in my 28 years wandering in this planet. Doesn’t mean they should be applied to other people’s lives, I’m just sharing these values and principles I hold.

  1. Everything happens for a reason.

There’s nothing such as coincidence, there must be reasons for everything. There are reasons why I wrote this, why you’re reading this, why we met and haven’t met somebody, etc. Most of the time we don’t find the reason right away, it takes time, sometimes an hour, a week, a year, 10 years. But whatever happened, they happened for the best.

2. I can’t control everything.

As much as I want everything to be under my control, I can’t and will never be able to do it. Especially when it involves other people’s feeling, but I am in control of my own feeling and how I should react to everything. And I should not worry over things I know I can’t control, for some things, I have no choice but just letting they go with the flow. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

3. Nothing is permanent, everything is temporary.

Whether it’s good or bad, things are not gonna last forever. So, when good things happen, enjoy while they last. When bad things happen, don’t worry, they shall pass.

4. Life is short.

I saw people I know passed away or dying or being depressed. I realized how short life is and in this one short life I don’t wanna do and be something I don’t like. Life is too short to be spent in one place, to be someone I am not, to read only one book, to have only one dream.

5. Invest on yourself and experience.

I guess many of us made mistakes in the first time we start earning money, we spent it on luxury. Now I’d rather invest on developing myself, improving skills and gaining experience. Because when I am old and my hair is grey, I will not remember the specification of iphone or gadgets I bought, I’m gonna remember moment. Memory is what we’ll have in the end. And my skills are can take me places.

6. Take a good care of yourself.

Like it or not, we cant expect much from people no matter how close we are to them. I am in my 20s is gonna be the one who takes care of me in my 50s, not my husband, not my kids.

7. Don’t hold grudges.

Life is too short to be mad at others and at yourself. I need to have the ability to forgive or at least forget, because I only have one heart. I should not make grudge a drive to do something. For example, trying to prove to parents because of what they did/ didn’t do. That means I am doing something out of grudges, instead of love. The only reason why I wanna do something must be love and should not be any other drives. Because when you do something because you love it, you don’t need to prove to anyone.

8. People can’t really change.

One’s personality can’t really change permanently. Maybe they change for a temporary, but not forever. So I don’t want to waste my time with people whose characters are soo in contrast to mine. I only have two choices, either to leave or to accept them as they are. If I choose to leave, I should not regret. If I choose to stay, I should not complain.

9. If I do nothing, nothing happens.

The truth is that everything worth having doesn’t come easily, even if you’re born as Paris Hilton. If I say I want to have something but I don’t do anything related to achieving it, I shouldn’t expect it’s gonna be served on my plate because life doesn’t work that way. If I say I wanna be a writer, then I have to at least write a paragraph daily. And I have to react fast to change my own situation. If bad things happen, do something to fix it. If good things happen, do something to maintain and improve it. If nothing happens, do something to make it happen.

10. In life, we need mentors.

Most of the questions we ask have been asked and answered by people before us, so I have to reduce my ego and learn from as many as possible. I was so stubborn before to do everything self-taught, which is not totally bad, but it would have been more time-efficient if I had had mentors, time is soo expensive that no stores sell it once you wasted it.

11. Don’t mind other people’s opinion.

Sometimes being stubborn is good. I can’t please everyone, there’s always gonna be people who disagree or simply don’t understand my choices. But that’s okay, I don’t owe explanation nor happiness to anyone but myself.

12. Stop depending happiness on other people.

I’ve had felt down and really sad many times and I got tired of it, I always evaluated from each failure to find why I could feel that sad. I thought the answer was because of other people who did me wrong. Maybe they did, but it’s not 100% their fault, it’s mine too who had depended my happiness 100% on them, so when they left or broke my heart, I ended up feeling worthless. Until in a meditation class, the teacher told us that most of the people choose to create and rely on unstable happiness, which means the happiness from outside the mind. We feel happy or sad because of what others did to us, that’s why it’s unstable. It’s called ‘outsourcing’ happiness. Meanwhile happiness is the state of mind, so everything that makes the mind happy should come from the mind itself. Hence, the ability to manage how we react to things is very important. I’m learning and meditation helps a lot.

13. Everybody has a different clock.

When we’re still in school, almost everyone go through similar stage at the same time. But after school, everything changes. We go our ways, the roads we are on to some destinations may be in different length compared to our friends’. I shall not compare myself to others. Happiness and success are not a competition anyway.

14. I can’t do everything by myself, I still need other people.

Being independent is good, but knowing how to work smart is better. I sometimes push myself too much and try to do everything by myself. Just because I can do it by myself doesn’t mean that I have to do it by myself. I have to learn how to either drop it, add value to it or delegate it to other people.

15. Look for myself first before I start looking for others.

In life, especially for women, we’ve been taught by fears of not getting something. Therefore, we’re always told to find jobs, or husband/wife instead of discovering who we are first. Seriously, this is so wrong and the consequence is high because you risk your TIME. If being in a wrong job or a relationship just risk money, it still can be repaid. But if I lose time, where should I go to get it back?

16. The opposite of love is fear, not hate.

Money is not the root of all evils, it’s fear. Fears that transform to other names, it becomes jealousy, hate, greediness, grudge, etc. And we fear to admit that it’s fear.

17. Hard work never betrays.

I don’t know how many times I feel down during learning process. I get bored and not rarely I fail. Slowly I see things getting together as long as I do things consistently. Sacrifice needs to be made, but someday this will pay off. Work until I know better, and when I know better, do better.

18. There’s no shortcut to success.

Patience is not one of my best capabilities, I always wanted to get things fast when I want it. That’s why I always tried to find shortcuts, in the end they cost me more in price, time, and energy. From this I learned to be more patient and love the process. Like it or not, not everyone is born a superman, so we need to go through process in order to achieve success.

19. My vibe attracts my tribe

I should not complain about the people in my circumstance because the reason why my circumstance doesn’t change is because I haven’t change myself into the energy I want to attract. So if I want to be surrounded or approached by positive people, I have to reflect it first.

20. Accept change and make friends with it.

Changes are not always scary. Comfort zone is not always good just because it’s familiar.

21. Everything has consequences.

Every decision I make today will result in my tomorrow.

22. What I tolerate makes me worried.

Sometimes being selfish is good, meaning I have to put myself first and learn to dare to say ‘NO’ to people or things that actually make me feel uncomfortable before they mount up. Be brave to leave things or people if it means for the better. It may sound heartless, but we only live once.

23. Niche down.Β 

Took me years to learn that small circle is better than big one that’s loose and shallow. Growing up, I tried to attract as many people as possible to like me, but that limited who I wanted myself to be. Now my circle has been smaller and smaller and I’m loving it. It also can be applied in business, that I should find my niche rather than targeting everyone into my market.

24. Don’t stop questioning.

Always stay a beginner.

25. Growing up doesn’t mean I have to stop having fun.

I’m not gonna be a boring person. Every child is born creative, I choose to remain creative. I don’t wanna see life as burden, I wanna see it as a playground or a blank canvas a painter would play with colors on. I wanna paint a picture I want to remember, because my name, Citra Ayu, means ‘a beautiful picture’.

26. There’s no such a thing like a ‘collective destiny’.

Just because I was born a female then I have to be and behave certain ways that an area believes in. Just because something didn’t happen to other people, it doesn’t mean it’s not gonna happen to me either.

27. Happiness and beauty are not competition.

I used to think that being an employee for years is lame, but it’s actually not. Just because something is not my cup of tea, it doesn’t mean it should be the same for other people. Just because I wanna be an entrepreneur, it doesnt mean that those who work in institution or housewives have boring lives, they have their own concept of happiness, so do I. And I am happy for other’s happiness.

28. Age is just a number!

I don’t grow old, I choose to grow gOLDen!

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taken on the day I officially turn 28

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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!