Retrieving My Blog!

It’s been more than a year since the last time I wrote in here.

Back to 2018, I had a lot of happenings. I was pregnant and gave birth to my second child, a cute and super-easy baby girl. I was accepted into Doctoral degree program at QUT and finally, received a full scholarship from the same institution. I resigned from my previous role as the Engagement Manager for QUT International and made the bold move to Brisbane with my family. At last, we have the opportunity to touch base every night and to dwell with everything we have on daily basis.

Before I moved to Brisbane, I had one plan to close and terminated all of my blogs – all three of them. The first one is related to Psychological association in East Java (IPK Indonesia wilayah Jawa Timur), second is about my passion on children and education, and lastly, this platform. I managed to hand over the first one, I closed the premium service for the second one and I lost my connectivity to this platform! I could not retrieve the email that was associated with this blog, nor request a new password. Turned out, I associated this blog to the wrong email and WordPress Happiness Engineer helped me sorted out this issue a few days ago. So now I am back online and terminate the plan to close this blog.

As a graduate student, I have found myself in a different kind of community, both offline and online. I left Facebook for some reasons, I rarely check my Instagram account and somehow, activate my half-dead Twitter and blog again. Aging issue? Maybe. But I could find a lot more support and likeness in those two platforms. Well, you know that the same birds flock together.

I will merge the content from my second blog here and hopefully I can get myself do a nice job to polish this ol’ blog of mine.

Have a good day to you all!

It is good to be back!

Cheers, Cicilia

I was Fearful and I Enjoyed It

I would say that I am blessed (or lucky) to be in my position. I am where I am with my hard work and support from special people in my inner circle.

However, none of my friends nor family know that I have been holding onto fear for so long. I was always fearful and I believed that it should be the way. Until yesterday, I had had enough. I decided to let it go.

So, what is my fear?

People will see me as someone who’s never struggling with academic achievement. They think and perceive that I am so smart and have no struggle along the way. I remember one time when a very smart nun asked me on my final GPA. I told her that my bachelor GPA was only 3.2 / 4.0. She was surprised because I did not get at least 3.5! I also still remember when I told my ex supervisor that I failed on one subject on my current study – back then. She was surprised and asked the inevitable question: “How could you fail?”

I was a failure. I failed a lot in my life, including my academic achievement.

And I unconsciously decided to hold on to that fear for more than 10 years. I kept all of the records of my failing subjects and negative comments on my shelf. I always hesitate when people read my CV aloud. I always feel inferior and believe that I am unable to achieve high – despite all of my current work.

When I finally decluttered my shelf… I felt relieved big time! I could see the empty space in my shelf and I am happy – more than I can imagine, because I know that the empty shelf is meant for my future achievement to be kept.

Here’s to the future!

Avoid the Inevitable?

Is it possible to avoid the inevitable? That’s one question that most of us will answer with a certain No. That’s why the events are called inevitable. The day we born and (upcoming) death are the inevitable for each of us, including all the process in between the two final points.

Scott Peck wrote about problems that we face in our life. He said that problems will never go away on themselves, they will never fixed themselves. As much as we hope that all of our troubles may leave us at peace, it will never happen. When we avoid one problem, it will come back in full force and sometimes, in a different form.

Problems in life are inevitable. We can’t choose not to have problems, but we can choose on how to face the problems. Some can be avoided – somehow, by a good preparation. But not all can be avoided, no matter how hard we try. The only choice is to face them.

I tend to prepare in advanced, because I’m afraid of losing everything in the process. But many times I take it for granted, in which I use the ‘advanced preparation’ as a way to over worried on the upcoming events. I try to avoid the inevitable. And that leads me to frustration and regrets. 

On the other hand, my mother is the master of acceptance and going-with-the-flow kind of person. She always told me to let life goes as it should go and face the problems as they come. There’s no point on avoiding it, because those problems are the inevitable of life.

I guess I shall try to learn from my mother. And I need a lot of prayers.

The Outcast

Have you heard that in every family there’s one or two who act ‘differently’, or being the outcast in the family? I’ve heard that a lot and for some times I’ve been thinking to myself, why.

This morning as I took my breakfast, I got the answer. Every family owns the privilege to live together with the ‘outcast’, ‘culprit’, or the ‘unlovable’ for a reason that’s hard to understand. They are there because God wants the rest of the family to be shaped. To appreciate them as who they are, to trust God’s help and work in our family, to be able to let go and to see their process in ‘the eyes of grace, not perfection’ (got this quote from Instagram earlier today).

Through all the problems, family can express their love toward each other, and also the hatred. But the bond as a family is undeniable. As a sister, I couldn’t get rid of my brothers as much as I dislike their behaviors. As a sister, I couldn’t control them and lead them to where I want them to be. I can only pray for them. And so are you with your family members.

To be able to conclude, it took me several years of denial and let myself be frustrated with the process. But since last night, I decided to let go all the process. The decision to be a better person is not mine to take. It is theirs to take. And all I can do is standing behind them and support them when they need one. I shall not shape them to be perfect, because God wants me to wear the goggle of Grace, not perfection.

It is going to be a long road to take. But this time I’m willing to take the road.

Reflection of Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We wish you all the happiness and joyful season with your loved ones.

I am writing this post as a way to share my reflection regarding Christmas this year. Some facts are: I didn’t go for Christmas mass, I didn’t go for confession and I spent Christmas day mingling around in Bali with my husband.

Looking to those facts, I feel terribly bad. But, let’s talk about the other side of my Christmas this year.

Good news are good news
When we hear good news, we tend to anticipate the upcoming not-so-good news, therefore it is not easy – for some people – to just embrace good news as good news.

About a week ago, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant. That was a good news and worth the effort of sharing. I always believe that the more, the merrier. If there are 10 people hear my good news, then 10 people will pray for me and my baby. Imagine if there are a lot more people know about this good news, then a lot more prayers are sent to Heaven for me and my baby.

Try something new
As we walked and strolled around Kuta on Christmas day, we stumbled into a nice shoe shop. I have definite reason to buy new flat shoes, because I used to wear high and super high heels for work. But now, flat shoes are my new best friends. My thought was buying a normal flat shoes. So, I dragged my husband and asked his opinion. And as I thought earlier, he just kept on saying No – that I look better in heels.

But what surprise me, he took me to visit a nice shoe shop I mentioned before. What I mean with nice is they have different and unique colors and designs. To be honest, not our cup-of-tea. But we just decided to buy those shoes.

image

I believe that by entering this new stage, I need to always be open to new-ness. This new pair of shoes will be a statement for me, that trying new experience will only add new insights for me.

Enjoying every step of the way
While in Bali, we really enjoy every step of the way. Both of us are foreigners and don’t know the road in Bali. While my husband is driving, I am in charge of looking at the GPS. Sometimes we lose the signal, so we go with manual map. Sometimes, the address is wrongly registered, so we canceled our well-planned dinner after driving around for almost an hour. Some other times, I had my calculation wrong – so my husband would take the wrong turns and I push the GPS to reroute quickly.

Despite the linger time on road, the bond between us is stronger. We learn on how to appreciate each other, we share the stories in the midst of traffic jam, we laugh til crying over silly stuff. We just enjoy every moment we have during this Christmas break.

image

And tonight, from Ubud …
We wish you all the same joy that we share here. Happiness is a matter of choice. It is a state of mind – and goes beyond what the eyes can see.

From Our First Month of Marriage

With a blink of an eye, our marriage is now passing the first month. It is new, no doubt. But I’m in awe for every lesson that I’ve leaned within this month.

Communication
From saying greetings, sending text message or understanding the roll of an eye. Communication is about sending the message to your spouse correctly and making sure that your spouse understand the message correctly. It is important for every couple to be able to understand the message between the lines, as much as the obvious ones.

It is important to communicate daily and share everything together. There’s no such thing as half-truth or hiding the truth whatsoever.

Laugh Together
Life is not easy. Marriage is not easy. But when you and your spouse can laugh over your problems, big chances that both of you will be fine. Of course, seriousness is a matter to address, but keep your face straight and send the message of being cold won’t do good in long terms.

image

Regular Date
It is important to keep regular dates with your spouse after the marriage. Remember the giggles and tickles when you were not married yet and how those small memories can light up the dim love? Do that more often now.

Do Daily Tasks (with a lot of love!)
Home cooked food is one way to show love to your spouse. Sometimes routine makes us hard to see through it – we lose for words, we have no reason to smile or even nothing to share any longer. But when you do routine with a joyful heart and add a lot of love, everything is going to be well.

Pray
Nothing can beat the power of a prayer. This is the most important thing to bring down God’s grace for us all.

I guess that’s a lot for the first month of marriage. I hope it can be beneficial for us all.

Love a lot, laugh a lot and be joyful.

Where is Hope?

Being hopeful is never been easy, especially when we see darkness in our surroundings. As a human being, it is typical to believe what our eyes see and what our ears hear. But if we go on with that typicality, we will find ourselves run out of hope soon enough.

We see wars. We hear killings.
We see blood. We hear tears.
We see break up. We hear regret.
Too many sadness and frustration wrap us around. It is like being in the darkness and we see nothing around us.

How can we be hopeful?

Imagine that you are looking out at your window in the middle of the night. You see the dark sky. No clouds, no stars, nor moon. But you know for sure that in the next few hours, the darkness will be gone and you will welcome the sun.

image

No matter how dark your sky at the moment, believe in your heart that the sun will rise soon enough. It is always darkest just before the dawn. If you have been standing in the darkness long enough, remember that the sun will shine on you – soon!

Have a great weekend.
Love a lot and laugh out loud!

This is For You, Dad

July 31st, 2013.

Happy 62nd birthday, Dad!
I wish I could run to you and kiss you first in the morning on your special day. But I won’t be able to do it today – since I’m away from home.

I write this letter to express my gratitude of having you as my Dad.
Thank you for the love that you have for Mom and us – children and grandchildren.
Thank you for your guidance and companionship throughout these years, Dad.

I truly miss our intense discussion on American Idol. How we idolised Simon Cowell and Steve Tyler as the most proper judges of the show.
I remember your comment every year, that you can predict the big 3 since the first 12 finalists came up on stage! That’s so you, Dad!
From Carrie Underwood to David Cook. From Daughtry to Joshua Leddett.
You were truly my sparing partner in discussion – on everything.

Thank you for your advice and guidance on how hard life can be. And how tough a man can be.
Since very young, you dislike every moment if I asked someone else to finish my art work. You would be very angry toward that person and double angry to me. You wanted me to learn to give my best effort in everything that I do. You said, it is better to get 0 for your own work, than to get a 100 after someone else did the work for you. Now, I can do things on my own and I believe in myself that I’m capable of doing many things.

Thanks for all the fights and arguments. Those moments help me to always be prepared in maintaining my position and be reasonable to win it!
You dislike unnecessary arguments or illogical thoughts. You taught me to be ready and prepared before I start the argument.
I still remember the moment when you told me that you hated my first boyfriend during high school year! You said that he was not a good man. You knew it, but you couldn’t win me – because at that time, your argument was unreasonable for me. Later on I realized that you were right! He was not and will never be a suitable partner for me.

Thanks for being there for me, Dad. By just being there, I know that I am loved by you. All those phone calls after dinner time and the silly questions that you asked me – that’s how you show your love for me. Whenever you think of me, you would ring my phone – no matter how far we were separated away.
When I hit the lowest point of my life, you gave me your hands and lifted me up. You didn’t say too much, but you said enough. And that’s what I love about you, Dad.

We might not be able to agree on everything. Like how you couldn’t understand my Jazz taste as much as I couldn’t enjoy your rock music from the 60s. Or when we disagree about which country and culture is the most suitable for you and me. We were definitely went the opposite direction!
But … That’s not the end. We enjoyed the same music too! From Blue to Linkin Park, or Aerosmith to Chris Daughtry. We also enjoy our pizza and action movie date! You know I like Harry Potter and I know how many times you said that you could not understand it.

Despite all of those differences that we have, we spoke the same language. I won’t forget those sparks in your eyes when I handed you two tickets of Eric Clapton’s concert for you and mom. Or your smile when I opened bunch of Snoopy items that you bought for me. That’s how much we love each other, Dad.

Thanks for letting me kiss and hug you whenever and wherever I feel like doing it. That means a lot to me 🙂

Have a lovely birthday, Dad.
No matter what or where I would be, I will always be your little girl. And you will always be my first love. 

God bless you!

Letter to Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have been waiting for a while to get myself altogether and enable myself to write everything down here.

People said that children will never be able to choose their parents and vice versa. I believe that is true. I did not have any options on who my parent would be, when was the time of delivery or how would my parents accept me. Then the lucky couple were the two of you!

Mom, I knew that you were very young when you carry me in your womb. I also knew that Dad was so careless and even planned to abort your pregnancy and killed me altogether. I knew it, Mom. I was crying with you when you felt so desperate and lonely.

But I was just a baby.

When I was born, I wished for nothing but your love – and Dad’s too. But I guess my presence was too much for both of you. I was not your child, because it was always grandma who took care of me. Mom was so busy with her friends, gym and gathering. Dad was busy with his work and clubs. Me? I was busy shooing my sadness away.

I still remember when you told me that you hated my sad face, Mom. No matter what happened before you saw me, you obliged me to show my happy face. Thanks to you because now I know how to show my poker face. It is so natural for me now.

Dad, you were too demanding and not easy to please. You thought it was for my own good – to go through toughness and work hard for what I want. You were right! Now I could do multitasking work and do not know how to stop – not until you tell me to stop. Not until you tell me that you are proud of me.

I thank God that I am alive today. With all my scars and my past. I bet you did not know when your colleagues and friends sexually molested me. You did not know and did not want to know.

I don’t think I told you about my cry at nights. So many nights when the two of you had gone too bed. I cried by myself and wishing to disappear. The next morning I had to rush to go to school. Before you saw me with my swollen eyes and blamed me for being such a weak child. Now I am very good in controlling my tears. I don’t even know how to cry.

Mom and Dad,
I would like to say that I love you. I don’t have any plan to get revenge on you because I believe you love me too. But please, see me as your child. Someone who is broken and need your love – unconditionally. That’s all I want.

I am a grown up with a child inside of me. She is hungry of love and attention. And she will never stop until she gets it.
Regards,
Your daughter.

—–

Inspired by many stories on how negligence can hurt children deeply and cause them to suffer, even until adulthood.

The Warmth of Christmas

Christmas is here!

I used to spend Christmas day with my family back at my hometown. We had an annual visit to a Carmelites monastery about an hour driving from our house. We spent the Christmas eve there as a family and enjoying the abundant grace from the Lord for our family. I learned since very young that Christmas is meant to be a warm and loving season with our loved ones. I believed in Santa Claus, who always gave presents for Christmas day. Well, even though later on I found that the real Santa was my parents, I still believe in the miracle of Christmas day.

This year, I have to be somewhere else. I’ve spent this morning of Dec 24 by watching great Christmas shows by Michael Buble, Lady Antebellum and (now playing) Glee. The show remind me of how important it is to be loved and to be close with your family.

Image I really want to be home right now, but life has given me something else today. I will celebrate the mass with my fiance, with mt new family.

Christmas is not about the decoration, not about the party – but it is about the warmth, togetherness and the joyful feeling of being a family.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! May this season brings lots of love for you and your loved ones.