Random old photos to laugh at

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When I was in Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia for a holiday a week ago, I barely had internet access because the place was so remote and untouched. Even though we stayed in a super nice resort, we only had internet from 4 pm to 12 am, the internet was soo poor. For other people who can swim and dive, of course it doesn’t matter. They mostly were in the water up to three times a day. But for me who still swim and snorkel with a floaty around my chest, I certainly had a lot of time being not in the water and reminiscing my life without internet. FYI, I’m an internet addict, though my addiction is still healthy and positive, a life without internet is like an Armageddon to me. To kill time waiting for 4 pm, I decided to clean my laptop files, delete all the junk files and photos I’d hoarded for years. My Gosh, I ended up deleting 10,000 photos from 2010 up to 2018!! No the zeros are not a typo. I literally had more 10,000 photos, and that’s was after I lost my previous laptop and lost most of my photos, imagine how many photos in total.

large (4)There’s a phase in my life when I was so obsessed with experimenting styles in front of camera with self-timer. If you know me just recently, you’re lucky. Because if we had met 10 years ago, I probably could kill people with the number of cringe I produced. Of those 10,000 photos, they’re mostly from 2010 to early 2014. I was the girl who bought a lot of stupid props like dysfunctional cute analog camera, rabbit-head-shaped eye mask, hello kitty lunch box, etc which I never practically used beside taking pictures or what people call nowadays as “content creation”. I was a die-hard fan of Japanese’s lolita subculture. It’s a fashion in which we dress like living dolls, with a lot of pink, bows, unicorns, uncomfortable layers of clothes. And I wore hijab at that time, so I proclaimed myself as the hijab lolita, LOL!! But when I decided to take my hijab off and made it public, I withdrew myself from any social media, deleted thousands of my FB ‘friends’ and had a hiatus for months, also I deleted my IG account, and photos of me in hijab from all social media I had.

Even though I’ve tried to delete all the photos of me in hijab, I think many are still on the internet because of sites like Pinterest and alike but they’re not under my name nor from my real accounts. Some photos I admit are actually cool in its own weirdness, but I won’t put any hijab photos of me in any of my personal accounts (too bad coz there are tons of photos to laugh at from that phase of my life). Anyway, these photos can describe enough how the big picture was. Haha!

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The above photo explains a lot. It was still the era of Blackberry phones and as I was a fan of flip phones, I chose the one on the left because it was the only flip model of the brand. I was also obsessed with Motorola V3 that I bought another one after the first one I bought was broken. Until now I still keep my Motorola, it’s such an antique and it was the time when Gossip Girls TV series was the reference for fashion. And look at my Blackberry phone, seemingly I never kept anything I bought in its original look that I couldn’t help myself from Cihud-nizing everything.

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19 y.o Me showing off my cheap ring that I was so proud of

It was a decal stickers that I glued on the phone’s body. The rings in the photo are just two of my 50 crazy-looking ring collection. Everyday I wore different rings (sometimes on both hands). I loved gigantic rings, these ones were the normal ones compared to others which had crazy and colorful shapes like, cheesecake, a bowl of spaghetti, analog camera, cars, etc. At that time for me, university was like a joy because in Indonesia we have to wear uniforms since kindergarten to high school. So everyday of uni I enjoyed as a costume party and I had to take an OOTD photo before going to class to document my style. If you google “Cihud hijab” you can still find a few of my looks that’s not from my own accounts. I found some fake accounts using my name/ nickname that they even added me on Facebook.

These photos are from a Halloween party at my faculty, everyone was dressing up in costume, I was just dressing up as my self, that’s how I literally dressed up in uni. Look at those signature pink shoes that I custom ordered far away from Jakarta!

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largeMy bedrooms (in my house and every time I moved to different dorm rooms) were always like a kindergarten classroom. Every side of the wall had different theme because I used it as background for taking photos. All of my friends always set my bedroom as their photo studio too that I had friends used my room(s) to do photoshoot for their new FB profile pics. Not only walls, even inside of my wardrobe was also a photoshoot property that I ‘cihud-nized’. I literally had photos of me in such fashion inside my closet! My goal at that time was for my dorm room(s) to appear in Pinterest dorm room inspiration boards!

Even though I wore hijab at that time, I always kept my hair super long. I actually looked like a ghost rather than Princess Rapunzel. One bow was not enough, I had to wear at least two! In the photo on the right (below), I had a big bow hair clip on the back of my head. I wanted to look like a Christmas gift from every angle; front, back, and side. Haha!

If you’re not from Indonesia, you probably don’t know that contact lenses are a big thing in Indonesia. Young girls feel the pressure to have big eye pupils like you see in anime and preferably in contrast color from our original eye color, like blue, purple, grey, green. Too bad my eyes are so sensitive that I can’t handle wearing contact lenses for more than 2 hours and it takes me more that half an hour to put them into my eyes because I always have teary eyes easily. So I wore contact lenses only when I wanted to take pictures. Look at this photo below how hard I tried to widen my eyes as big as possible, yes I looked like a cartoon character, the Tweety bird.

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When I started working in an international conservation organization which is a men-dominated field, I suddenly brought something these guys had never seen in real life to the office. My office had only 6 women out of 70 employees and other women were older than me and tomboyish. And then I walked in with all my pinkish stationery to cihud-nize my work cubicle.

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I gave the office telephone and LCD monitor some pink bows using a double-tape.

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Then already started reduce the degree of my alien style when I went to office, I no longer wore cheap crazy-shaped rings. I started to buy real jewelries with my own money. This photo on the right was just me showing off my jewelries and the expensive Guess purse I just purchased. Since then I can’t lower my standard anymore, no more cheap accessories I want to be in my hands and on my whole body, I threw away all of my Harajuku-themed ring collection because they feel cheap! LOL, what a snob!! Even when I’m poor and broke, I still keep my standards! Haha!

There are still many photos that I actually already selected but they will make this post super long, so I’ll post them later someday in some other posts. It’s also good to not bombard my audience with too much cringe in one single post. Haha!

 

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Uke helps the imposter child in me

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Impostor Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which a person always feels and believes that she/ he is inadequate and an incompetent failure despite his/ her achievements. This syndrome is common in a high-achiever personality, even Maya Angelou and Albert Einstein had it. It can affect not only the talented and intelligent people, but anyone, anyone can have factors in their backgrounds why they have it, for example, what happened to them in their childhood, did the parents always doubt them, compare them to other kids, etc.

I think I am one of the imposters, I’ve known it for so long that I have the tendency to feel that I’m always not good enough and always far from what I want to become, and always feel that if I achieve something, it’s because of luck, not because I have the ability to deserve it. But I didn’t know that it has a psychological term.

This also stems from my childhood and by the way I was treated by people close to me (adults) at that time. For example, when I won some competitions (from English speech contest, drawing, scholarships, academic achievements, etc), I was always told to be grateful because all of them happened because of the help of other people or coincidence–whether it’s God’s help, or my brother’s help, or that I competed in a low-level competition, etc–instead of acknowledging my ability and hard work for it. My parents perhaps did this without negative intention, it’s because they didn’t want me to be an arrogant and cocky person. So they always told me to thank other parties for my achievements, because without them I would never be able to do that.

It may seem tricky from the surface because people wouldn’t guess people like me–who put herself out to the world in so many platforms–are actually doubting ourselves. If you’re doubtful of yourself, then why you’re so confident to put yourself out there?

Well, in my case,  this ‘confidence’ wall is myself fighting against myself. One part of me is the somewhat destructive imposter that always makes me want to hold back my ideas, works and creations, and just throw them away or hide them. This side of me is the one who’s always pushing the standards for me to achieve which sometimes can be good, but also harmful when I let it in total control. I remember when I was in school, I tended to avoid teachers’ attention by never speaking up about my opinions. I always told other kids first, and then others would claim that the ideas/ works were theirs. I was just the invisible student, people knew me just because I was funny, not because I could think or make something.

The other part of me is the one who realizes that this should not let to happen all the time, this part of me is the one who realizes that it was the reason why I felt unhappy about myself and she has to do something about it. The first part of me always waits for perfection, the second is the one who will just launch something without waiting for it to be perfect. Both sides have their own plus points for me.

The second always protects me from self-hating by asking me to do something different from what I always do. Especially when I really like something/ someone so much, I tend to feel I’m not good enough. So the second personality will take over and say, “Let’s take a break from it for a moment and do other stuff.” Blogging and other kinds of documentation of my life are examples of it.

That was the reason why I started blogging in 2009, it was not for other people’s amusement, it’s for myself to look back and to counter from the feeling of  haven’t achieved anything. This time it’s playing ukelele.

A few weeks ago I bought an ukelele, well I actually got it for free by redeeming my points on an online marketplace, I only paid for the shipping. I could have chosen something else among the options, but I thought that I dont have musical skills at all and my brain is very bad at multitasking (that’s why I found it very hard to play musical instrument), so I want to train my brain. And it’s not something that I’m obsessed with, if I fail, it doesnt matter because it’s not my passion. I have no goals to achieve in it. And if I can play it, then it’s good, it’s just a bonus from a side activity. No pressure to achieve anything.

So I was very happy the first time I was able to play the first song I learned, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. At first, I didnt even know which hand to play the chords and which one to strum the strings. Then I progress to develop a muscle memory to coordinate my hands but still couldn’t sing along while playing. Then I finally can sing along while I play. From one song, then I learned other songs to add to my library. (Watch me play ukulele in my IG‘s highlighted stories)

This maybe is just a simple little thing, but for me it has helped me to feel good because I’d never thought I would be able to play any instrument in my life. Maybe also because I set no expectation.

I know many people have impostor syndrome as well, and my advice is to take a break and have a getaway with something you set no expectation of. Just do it.

No White Flag Yet

For the last two weeks, I’ve been wrestling with digital drawing software, Adobe Illustrator. Two weeks prior, I focused on studying only the basic theory of graphic design (well, I procrastinated a lot during my PMS) because I didn’t want to just jump to tools without knowing what’s the fundamentals of something, when I learn something or am interested in something, I’ll be a nerd for it, I like to study what people are bored of studying.

This year I’ve learned fashion design skill and how to construct the garment and everything. And the second thing I am learning now is graphic design focusing on illustration. I started with learning for fashion technical drawing only which is not complex but when it comes to illustration, it’s like hundreds stairs up. Especially there are so many styles of illustration with different techniques, even for two things that look almost similar.

These two weeks, I almost lost my patience, I really hated myself because I couldnt learn things as fast as I wanted to. I almost snapped at my Macbook then I realized I’m poor and wouldn’t be able to afford a new one right now, so I hit my bed and pillow and slept.

And that one thing is like the very basic thing to acquire if I want to be able to go to the next step, which is the coloring technique in Adobe Illustrator. This sounds trivial right? No it’s not as easy, to just put a color in a shape is easy, but to find the right process formula for the whole drawing is hard.

I can say that I’ve watched and rewatched for so many times almost all Adobe Illustration classes on Skillshare and let alone YouTube, just to learn each artist’s workflow. That’s my learning style, I would dig a lot for the basics, learning from as many people (because every one has different knowledge), because if I dont find the right way about the basics, I’ll risk my time and energy in the future. And everyone’s creative process is different, one thing may work for him/ her but doesnt feel comfortable for others. I followed each of them, I followed along their step-by-steps and workflow, and found out there’s always flaws in the formula/ steps. It does the job but not the way I wanted it, there must be a time-efficient way to do it, the way that’s more efficient when you have to edit some parts of the drawing, I just need to find what and how it is.

I took 4-5 hours a day just to finish one simple drawing for almost two weeks, and they’re all sooo ugly. The ideas are cool, but I lacked the technique to make them, it always fell far from my first plan/ imagination. After collecting, trying and mixing each teacher’s and youtuber’s knowledge and skill, I finally found it, just today, after drawing and re-drawing the same thing 6 times–because I always got stuck in some steps and had to start from the beginning. And that’s my days had been these two weeks.

I was feeling so down, because some people just got so good at things so easily and instantly and it takes me 10 times harder work and longer time. I’m not smart like my brother who can easily master everything so fast. I felt so worthless and useless for being not good at something I like doing, something that I should do better than other people. I whined, why can’t I be smart like other people, talented like other artists, why I only have strong wills and hard work. I wish I had a superpower to learn everything in one week.

But anyway, I’m glad that today I found it, but already too tired to draw tonight. I’ll start again tomorrow, and I’ll be posting more digital illustration soon on my IG as I’m collecting my portofolio. Wish me luck!

Tech Wish List 2019

I rarely buy electronics because I dont follow tech trends and I don’t need to have the latest products if I don’t need to. When I buy one, it will last for years. I used my first netbook for over seven years before I bought my Macbook Pro. And it’s because somebody stole it, not because I wanted it. So when I finally have to buy new ones, I have to buy many things almost at the same time, because they’re broken at the same time as I’d been using them for a long time.

Nowadays, I’ve been wanting and eyeing some electronics to ease my life, this may sound like an excuse but I think they will be an investment for me and my work. Here they are that I wish I can have in 2019 or soon.

1. A Portofolio Website

Well it’s not necessarily an electronic product, but still related in a techie world and the one I will need ASAP, at least by end of October. In order to look more professional, I need a professional portofolio website that’s independent from my journal, travelling stories or random rants (like this blog) to showcase just my works and skills. This will help me a lot for many things, especially to build relations with long-term and future clients. It’s also a long-term investment in case I want to expand the website to sell my products, because depending only on international marketplaces (like Amazon, Etsy, etc) has risks of my shops getting suspended or shut down for any reasons anytime and will lose all the details and track records (like what happened to me two weeks ago). Also, they charge for every listing, transaction and promotion. So I think it’s better to self-hosting for my shops and if I’m gonna run online classes or something like that in the future.

But now I’m still deciding and calculating budget for that, WordPress is the cheapest but it’s so hard to modify and not many template options for portofolio needs. It will take longer time for me to design the layout to my wish compared to other site-builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. But they’re much more expensive. But I think will be worth it. I will not extend my subscription for my craft blog this year because now I have to prioritize to my portofolio. I’ll subscribe again when my finance is not as tight. Especially now USD has been surging and many currencies including mine are affected negatively, so it becomes more expensive for me to subscribe to a website builder.

2. A 4GB-RAM Smartphone with A Good Camera

The last time I bought a smartphone was in 2016, that’s because my iphone 4s was broken (that I had used for 3 years). Six months later, I lost my new iphone 5s, so I had to repair my iphone 4s again because I couldnt afford to buy a new one. Now I’ve been using an okay-level Samsung phone for over a year. I’ve never had a phone with good camera. I want a smartphone with good camera so that I can directly post photos to my blog without transferring and editing them to my laptop and without me bringing my big DSLR camera every time I travel. I used to be an Iphone believer, but no more this time. Not only because of the price, but also I prefer dual simcard phones. I really want a Samsung J7 Plus, because I will use it for a long time, but maybe Xiaomi phones are more suitable for my budget.

3. Two Camera Tripods

I have a good tripod but my brother lost the plate to attach the camera to it, therefore I made a DIY-tripod plate which can do the job but not really safe, especially if I have to position the camera looking down. The tripod is a good one, but for now I dont need that quality because I only use it indoor. Unfortunately the cheap ones are not as tall, I need at least 140 cm expanded height. I dont care about the brand as long as it can hold a 2 kg camera and I need not only one but two–of similar brand–because to make my tutorial videos, I have to go back to back to the crafting table and sewing machine, it takes a lot of time to take the camera off and re-setting the tripod over and over again.

4. External HD

I used to have two, then my bro took one of mine and the other one is broken. I dont like to keep many things in my laptop because it can slow down its processing time. I have a big capacity memory card, but it takes sooo long to transfer and open files (in a laptop, not when used for cellphone. Hence I use it for my phone instead) and because it’s a memory card, it’s easier to lose it. I want to buy the same one like the one I gave to my brother, it’s a WD My Passport 1TB External Hard Disk.

5. A New Macbook Pro 13′ Charger

I really love my MacBook, especially for designers, the color and screen are soo good. Also, believe it or not, my graphic designer friends said that if you come to a client with a MacBook, they are likely willing to pay a more expensive price. But Apple is not a good cable maker, my charger’s cable is dying. And the annoying thing about having Apple products is that every accessory is expensive, a new charger is enough to buy a new smartphone! Or at least I have to find somewhere to repair it more permanently.

5. Ipad Pro + Apple Pencil

This is the craziest and most expensive thing in my list but I cant lie how I’m totally amazed by the greatness of these products especially for designers and illustrators that you can do your work easily from there (not all but most). I had an Ipad mini before but then I gave to my brother (again) when he’s leaving to Australia. Every time I passed an Apple store, I always took time to play with the display Ipad Pro and pencil, they’re like no other tablet I’ve tried!! Soo good, the screen is unbeatable and the feeling like working on paper. I have a Samsung Tablet that comes with a Stylus Pen and a Wacom Bamboo to be connected to my laptop. My Samsung tablet is too small for drawing there are many weaknesses that make it uncomfortable to draw, like the lagging, palm sensitivity, limited apps, etc. For Wacom, it’s been great too but mostly for working with paths on Adobe Illustrator/ photoshop, but not for handdrawing, also because it has to be connected to a laptop, meaning I can’t draw unless I turn on my laptop. This product is not for all graphic designers, a logo designer for example would not find it very useful.

Price don’t lie, the pencil is the best I’ve ever tried (well, I’ve never tried Wacom Cintiq. I think it’s like the dream tool for every creative people, but the price is crazy, you can buy a secondhand car for that price in Indonesia!). I want to be mad at the Ipad’s price, they’re so fricking expensive and not sold in bundle, you have to buy the Ipad and the pencil separatedly. Hiks!!

This one seems like the totally unrealistic point in this list, I dont think I will be able to have it even by the end of next year, especially because Apple product’s price hardly goes down, probably I will never be able to purchase such expensive thing in the next two years. The most expensive purchase I’ve spent in my 28 years is not more expensive than IDR 20 million, but that was before my rock bottom occurred. But well, that’s not long ago (though it feels like been forever), and if I ever was able to reach that life at that time, then I will have to be able to at least be there again someday. And I’m optimistic with my design career coz my skill is not only in fashion design, but also graphic design, I use them to back up each other. It will take time, but I’ve always managed to checklist most of my wish-list from time to time. 😀

From the whole list, only the last point is I think more like an excuse for me to have a fancy thing, haha. Because actually I’m doing just fine so far with my Wacom which has helped me a lot. Ipad is only if I want to level up my work, but of course I have to wait and work until I think myself deserves a gift from me, not for now. Just like when I bought my DSLR camera, it took me three years to finally bought it. When it comes to fancy electronics, I think it’s like love, you can’t hurry.

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30 Days in One Post

I was Pinteresting and this was recommended to me.

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Another 30-Day Writing Challenge, I failed the one I started before last year, that’s when I knew I have a commitment issue. But this seems interesting. Looking back at my failure to be committed for 30 days, I’ll just complete this in one post. So, I’ll answer each question briefly and try to make them meaningful, educative, informative, intelligent, and all the good adjectives in English.

  1. My blog’s name: It’s my name, the reason why I name it after mine is because I’m a competitive person. If you google my name, “Citra Ayu Wardani”, you’ll find so many people that has the same name. So I wanna be the only one Citra Ayu Wardani that stands out of all Citra Ayu Wardanis. It’s like me competing with myself that’s not myself.

2. 20 facts about me: That’s already answered by my whole blog. Just read some of my posts, you’ll get more than 20 facts. #MarketingStrategy

3. My favorite quote: “Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect.”

4. My dream job: Everything that has the word ‘designer’ in it. Well, my top is fashion designer who is also a graphic designer/ illustrator and teaches yoga in some days in a week, who is also an author, and interviews people on her show/ channel/ podcast and occasionally takes photos and acts on stage. I don’t wanna be only one thing.

5. My proudest moment: When I made my first dress and saw how it was worn by other people.

6. What I’m afraid of: My mom’s missed calls in my phone.

7. 5 favorite songs: I’m very bad at limiting my self into favorite lists, I have so many. But mostly songs by The Beatles and an Indonesian jazz band, Mocca.

8. 5 current goals:

  1. Mastering digital technical drawing for fashion
  2. Mastering graphic design (both theory and softwares)
  3. Build professional online portofolio
  4. Networking with people in the industry
  5. Be more consistent to post videos on my youtube channel and do yoga by myself

9. What’s in my bag: My purse, tablet, small Hermes perfume, nude-shade lip cream, earphones, and a sachet of Fisherman’s Friend.

10. Best trip of my life: Almost every trip is special for me, if I already chose one, it means I would not need to travel anymore. Now is too soon to pick, ask me again when I’m 70 (if I’m still alive).

11. 10 Favorite foods: The unhealthy ones. Especially ice cream.

12. My favorite childhood books: “Three Little Pigs” (Tiga Babi Kecil). That’s the first book my mom ever bought me and I cant forget how I was excited to read it because I just learned how to read, I read literally from the first pages (publisher’s name, copyright etc) which was in English, it’s so hard to read, I sweat like in a sauna just thought, “Why this story book doesnt make any sense??”. And my own diaries, since I was a kid, I liked to write diary and then  I laughed at my own writings. Reading them again at 28, I don’t understand how my brain worked 22 years ago.

13. What’s inside my fridge: I dont have any, it’s my mom’s. So it’s a typical mom’s fridge with typical mom’s stuff.

14. Three healthy habits: waking-up early, yoga, my whole skincare routine.

15. Where I will be in 5 years: Either in Bali or somewhere abroad, has established myself in creative fields, working freelance still running my fashion business on the side, having online courses as passive income and still looking for more sources, and hopefully already married and have kid(s) or preggo with first baby, I hope with the same person I have in mind right now. (Yeah, you’re right, it’s Liam Hemsworth. LOL). And I hope that my future kids get only my look, not my personality, I can’t stand other hyperactive person in the house.

16. Thoughts on education: more important than religion.

17. Favorite blog: mine

18. A photograph of myself: 

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19. Favorite movies: Girl, Interrupted“, “Lion“, “The Act of Killing“, “The Look of Silence“, “Cin(t)a“, “Radit & Jani“, “500 Days of Summer“.

20. What makes me happy: knowing that something that I made is useful for other people. And ice cream.

21. What makes me sad: my bank account after travelling, electricity black-out, my procrastination, discrimination.

22. Your worst habit: procrastination.

23. If I won the lottery: depends on how much I win but first I will keep quiet because I dont wanna attract attention and become a crime target. I’ll suddenly disappear and go somewhere quiet and safe for planning what to do with the money. 15% person of it I will probably use for travelling, buying gifts for my loved ones, 5% for study/ course, personal development and the rest I will put on some different investments (maybe property, or other business) so that for the next years I can live from the interest at least, but first I need to consult someone I trust (my brother) and a financial advisor for that.

24. What attracts me (in love): I’m not gonna lie, looks matter, at least for me he’s attractive. Then whether he can get my jokes or not and vice versa. And how passionate he is with what he’s doing. Also, the most important thing is his willingness to make the relationship work. The older I am, the more I realize admiration is not enough.

25. My biggest regret: being a good daughter by following my parents’ requests in many things that I actually was not happy about.

26. My hidden talent: I don’t know, it’s so hidden that I myself cant find what it is.

27. What’s in my closet: clothes and underwear. What else do you think people have in their closet, a knife?? Well, I’m not a pscyho.

28. Most embarrassing moment: So many, I cant pick one. Here’s one that I can remember at this moment; when I was around 12-14 y.o, I was picking my nose in front of someone’s car window in a basement parking lot. I thought nobody saw me because the car window is mirror-like, then the driver opened the window down from inside the car and said, “Yo, keep digging, girl!”

29. A confession: My answer for point no. 28 really happened.

30. My hopes for my blog: it can help me the way my previous blog had helped me to get opportunities, career and friends.

If You Can, You Should

I’ve been wanting to write about this for months since a tragic incident that shook many people worldwide. This post is not about me (well, the intro is related to me), but we can learn from what happened to them and what they’ve taught to us.

Back to my last weeks in Bali, I went to Canggu a lot. For you who dont know what Canggu is like, it is the trending area now in Bali. It has the youth relaxed vibe, not too party, not too lazy, and it’s the home for digital nomads from all over the world. It’s the Must-Visit place for content creators, so it’s not rare that you bumped into an influencer in a cafe or coworking place. You might not know about them, but they’re famous in their home countries or in their fields of work.

I remember there’s a face I saw, not often, but easily attached to mind. He’s good looking but that’s not the reason. It’s more about his vibe in his presence, the kind of person that makes you want to approach him/ her and get to know or make friends with when you see them in crowds. He was with his goofy friends, later I knew one of them was his long-time girlfriend. I really wanted to ask for his name and be friends with him and his friends. But I held my self and never made the move until I left Bali.

Months after I left Bali, I was scrolling my Facebook timeline and a news from an international media popped out with a photo of a face that’s familiar to me. That was his face, the mysterious guy I saw in Bali. I was like, “Hey, I know this face. He made an international news, who is he??”. So I clicked on the news without reading the headline first.

Took a few seconds to load the page, and I was waiting to find out about his name and what he did. Once it’s loaded, I was shocked by the headline in which I found what his name is, it’s a news about his death! WHATTT…

The tittle reads, “YouTuber Ryker Gamble and two friends plunge to death at Canada Waterfall”. So now I got his name. Now I know what he did for a living. And I knew he was a Canadian. But now he’s not in this world anymore. It’s a tragic way to know a person’s name.

Turned out he was one of a travel vlogging team called ‘High on Life’ with his best friends from Canada, some of them are his childhood best friends. Travelling the world and working with people in tourism business was his job and his passion. They were just ordinary youths with passion for adventuring the world and story telling in videos. They’re not rich, they’ve been like us, they struggled to reach what their legacy now. At first, they made videos just for documenting what they’ve experienced, something to look at when they’re old. Slowly many people started to follow their channel and enjoyed to watch their stories and perspectives. Their channel is not like other travel vlogging videos where the YouTubers just wanna show off and make people jealous of their lives meanwhile they actually spent on their parents’ money. These High on Life guys, they’re different. That’s why High on Life has one of the most loyal fan base because they’re relatable. And the fact that they have a strong friendship, it makes you  feel that you want to have a friend like that, or you feel like you’re their friends just by watching their videos.

In the beginning of July 2018, they went back to Canada. Ryker and his friends (who were also High on Life team) were travelling to Shannon Falls. His friend’s girlfriend slipped while trying to take a footage and the boyfriend tried to help her. Ryker tried to help them but in the end the three lost their lives.

I’ve never watched their videos before Ryker’s death (of course, I just found out his name). If you just cherrypick and watch one video footage of their back flips, maybe you’ll think that these people were looking for death and finally got one, like some people badmouthed about them. Yes I do admit they had done crazy backflip stunts, but that’s just one bit tiny part of what their content is about. If you really watch their videos and journeys without malice and jealousy, you’ll see how these people had lived to the fullest, even in that short life.

Their videos are inspiring and the fact they worked hard to build the company, to be able to live their passion. What really touched me is their message to believe in your passion (whatever it is) and start taking steps and putting steps in place. That often times we’re too afraid to do what we want to do while in fact we are able to do, we’re just full of doubts and fears. One of the sentences that Ryker wrote and narrated in his video which really resonates to me is, “Stop looking for reasons why you can’t. Start looking for reasons why you can. And if you can, you should.” DAANGGG… it hits my spot so bad!!

Then, my attention came to his long-time girlfriend, Alissa Hansen, who followed him travelling and been together for years, been through many things, the uglies, beautiful, failures, success, etc. She never expected this to happen for her at the age of 28. All the life she thought she knew, the future she thought she could read, all of the sudden just gone. I can never imagine myself in her position, I’ve never been in that kind of relationship with a man. I thought my ex dumping me after a one-year-long relationship was already sad, because I thought that would never happen to me and didn’t think that I would lose something I was familiar with. But that’s nothing compared to Alissa’s loss, mine was a LDR, while she was with him most of the times, she lived with him, they’re like a husband and wife already. It’s like she has to start and rebuild her life again, but must be hard to start, to know from where she has to. I can’t imagine if that happened to me, I’d not know how to ever fall in love again, whether I would ever find someone who could make me feel the way he did before. Gosh, that’s so tragic!

But in the end in life, we all are gonna lose someone and something that’s dear to our hearts. It’s a fact of life that we can’t avoid. Some had it earlier than others. Like my friends who already lost their parents they were young, I still have both of my parents and sometimes it makes me worried and scared when my time will come. Or what if I die first?

Death and love are the two things we can’t control and predict. All we can do is just to make our life count while we have it. How?? I choose to agree with Ryker’s words, just stop looking for reasons why I can’t and start looking for reasons why I can. And if I can, I should. What a time to be alive!

R.I.P Ryker Gamble, Alexy Lyakh and Megan Scraper. #HOLinspired

How to Get the Most Out of Scribd’s One-Month Free Trial

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Scribd is a free social sharing and publishing service you can use to get your various documents out to the world, and as a reader, you can download so many great docs with an exchange of uploading another document or with monthly subscription to access unlimited files ranging from books, docs, texts, audiobooks, newspaper articles. It has been one of my major sources to get the books I need to read in my journey to study both fashion design and graphic design for free.

I think, compared to other online libraries, Scribd’s service is the most generous of all. I limit myself to subscribe to many sites or platform unless I really need to, like online courses (I’m now subscribing to Skillshare with 2-month free and member-get-member free months, haha I’m so cheap!). And I know how annoying it is when you’re searching for a document/ book then to access it you  have to register to a questionable site, giving access to your credit card and then it’s complicated to cancel subscription.

However, I need the documents, especially right now. With Scribd, I can get the documents but I have to upload something that’s worth reading if I don’t pay for membership, and I’ve come to the points where I got tired of browsing my whole folders to find something to upload, meanwhile so many design books I wanna get from the site. And if you’re not a member, you get access to documents only, not for books and audiobooks. Meanwhile with paid membership of $8.99/ month, you get unlimited access, no need to upload docs anymore, instant download and easy user interface.

So I decided to register, this is my first time signing up to an online library because I saw that Scribd has a good credibility of not sucking your money without your permission. As a first-time member, I got one month free trial and can cancel anytime.  So I was thinking that I would download as many as possible then cancel when it’s close to one-month end. You probably think that it could be a waste, what if you dont have time during the month and other considerations, so here’s my tips how to make the most out of your one-month free-trial:

  1. Know what you’re looking for and make the list

I decided to register because right now I’m studying graphic design so I’ve collected book recommendations from Youtube and googling, what books I need to read for the study. Then I started downloading everything from the list which I found 85% of them from Scribd. When you’re gonna read them?? Doesnt matter when, you dont need to wait until you finish one book, just download everything while you still have time. Sometimes I also got good book recommendations from Scribd from its “You Might Also Like” section.

2. AUDIO BOOKS

YASS!! This is the best that I love so much about Scribd, it has audiobooks too! Learning and sitting in front of my laptop all day can make my eyes dry and tired, so I need to rest my eyes but also need to make the most of my time. Or sometimes I just feel like I wanna read but I dont wanna/ cant focus attention to books/ ebooks. I’ve finished many books in a week compared to if I have to read by myself, I might have to take longer time to finish just one book. I’ve listened to Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup”, Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Act of Not Giving A Fuck”, biography of Elon Musk, and some other memoirs and start-up related that I haven’t finished (saved for later).

3. Pause Subscription

I wish I knew about this before it’s close to the end of my one-month free trial that we can actually pause our subscription up to 12 weeks, so Scribd won’t charge us during those time. And we can resume anytime. For example, I paid for August but after looking at my schedule, I realized I wouldn’t have time to read for the 2nd and 3rd week. So I can set pause it until the 4th week to resume and Scribd doesnt count those two weeks. This is so cool and I wish other online services will follow this too!

4. Set your alarm

Bad reviews sometimes come from people who can take the blame for themselves when they’re the only one who forgot to cancel before the due date and get annoyed that they don’t get notification closer to the free trial end date. I mean, come on, they already give you one-month free access, and you want them to set the alarm for you too? Cant  you just remind yourself to cancel before it starts to charge?? Unless the site makes it complicated to cancel the plan, then it’s their fault. So set a reminder a week earlier, just in case it’s gonna take some time to process the cancellation.

5. Share the membership with other people you trust (family and friends)

One account for many, like your kids, friends, and family. Isn’t it nice if your little kids start listening to audiobooks too?

I guess the key to any subscription (whether it’s gym membership, online course, etc) is to really know what you’re looking for and to be sure whether you’re gonna have time to use it or not. The only one who can answer those questions is you. And in my opinion, I don’t mind paying $8.99 when I can read these many books (of course I have to finish in a month if I dont want to pay more for the subs). It’s much cheaper if compared to buying each book and nobody reads it for me. Hehe.