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

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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

I join the 30-day-writing challenge club

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Hello blog,

Sorry I didn’t post regularly lately. I was so absorbed with my new youtube thing that I kinda neglected you. But I saw you’re doing okay, looking at your stats, you still had enough visitors every day even when I didn’t make new post. Even though we’re not as cool as other famous blogs (yet), I am proud of us.

I saw a lot of bloggers did writing challenge and most of the challenges are to talk about ourselves. To be honest, I am the kind of person who–when I land on Love-Yourself-Writing-Challenge kind of posts, cringe and say, “Why do you think it’s important for people to read about yourself? You’re not Beyonce.” but then I continue reading their whole posts, from day 1 to 30.

I never did a writing challenge before because I thought it was too self-centered. But hey, we’re millenials, self-centered is one of our must-have traits. We’re born and raised with all development of social media that demands us to keep being self-centered.

Now I’ve changed my mind. Writing for me is not for the audience anymore, I should focus on myself first, writing is a therapy for my self, so I don’t need to care to maintain any persona. Besides, my blog doesn’t have a lot of visitors yet, so why bother keeping up an image when nobody actually gives a sh*t about my life. Mark Twain said, “Sing like no one’s listening, dance like no one’s watching.” Hence I will write like no one’s reading. But actually it’s true, no one’s reading my blog. LOL.

So I decided to take a writing challenge from Pinterest. There are a lot of writing challenge ideas, but mostly are about loving yourself. However, I still don’t want to be too self-centered. So I choose one about making open letters for 30 days because it’s about expressing feelings to people or things. Expressing my feelings to people is something I need to work on, especially about love. I am not good at showing how much I respect or love people even though when we barely knew but he/she has given me a life lesson.

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When I saw the top of the list, I was like, crap.. why is the hardest put first! *Sigh!

Anyways, that shouldn’t stop me. So let the challenge commence!

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.”

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(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.

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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.

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