At The End of The Day, We All Need Company 

I met one young little girl just a while ago. She looked fierce and I could see it from the way she rolled her eyes in front of me. Fortunately, she did not refuse when I escorted her to my counseling room and within a few minutes, the wall was down completely. She told me implicitly that she chose the way to look (and to be seen) as a mean girl because she felt lonely. A lot of her friends would call her a liar and keep her out of the circle, just because she has no branded school bags and shoes. I was speechless. 

She was only 9 years old and somehow she had to deal with such issues – the importance of being rich, in order to load oneself with branded stuff. She lost her so-called friends, because she is different. 

I love to be alone and have the time to myself. But I also enjoy good company by good friends. In my line of work and personal life, I path crosses with numerous people and some of them are sticking around with me, as my friends. We see no brands nor level of richness, we only see the importance of being together as a friend to each other.  

Like these two friends of mine from Jawa Pos media – @ashfaisal and @arthurrusli. I started to meet these guys and work together as a part of my role with QUT, Brisbane. However, in one of those good days – I realized that we are now not only colleagues, but we are friends. 

It was all started when QUT was sponsoring two journalists to Brisbane for a week. One of them was @ashfaisal. He posted a picture of Toby’s coffee in Brisbane. 

I was in the mood of missing Brisbane and its coffee. So, out of the blue, I posted on my Instagram one photo of my favorite cuppa from Starbuck and told @ashfaisal that he needed to mend my jealousy. 

At this point, @arthurrusli was joining in. He posted a picture of his cuppa!  This guy is definitely into Indonesian coffee. 

I was so happy and delighted with the fact that we were having fun out of something silly. I had to admit that I am no fan for silly things – movie, songs, drama or books. I don’t like to spend my energy and time enjoying something silly. But then, it was not true at all. Sometimes, being silly with good friends is a good thing to do.  

At the end of the day, I am more than honored to call them both as my friends. And I am sincerely wishing that the little girl at my counseling room will be able to mend her broken heart and meet with good friends of her own. 

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In Between Marriage and Funeral

Last week, I heard a bad news about my old friend. Her mom suddenly passed away in the morning when she was about to feed her pet at the back of the house. She died just after she arrived at the hospital. She’s been diagnosed with a heart problem since young and diabetes, but for the past two years her condition was stable. Until last Tuesday morning …

I came to the last service before the funeral. And that was when I met my old friend. We went to the same school since Primary school and became close during high school years. We didn’t really hang out a lot during college years, because we went to different college in different cities.

Before this meeting, I came to her wedding last year.

That fact reminded me of important issues on human relationship: how much I value personal relationship? How much I value face-to-face relationship – over virtual communication? How much time that I’m willing to spend outside wedding and funeral?

In this story, after I attended her wedding, I didn’t manage time to meet my friend directly. Even if we live at the same town, we didn’t really see the importance of catching up. I know her update through Facebook or social media and virtual chatting – and nothing more. She knows of my where being from my update in Facebook as well. I thought it was normal, until the morning when I came for her mother’s funeral service.

I was so overwhelmed with the feeling of loss. I was so closed to her and the entire family. Her mom was the one who drove the car to school – and they picked me up at my house every morning. The memory of closeness and our relationship was too much. And I realized that I haven’t really appreciate everything – until that morning when I saw my friend’s mom for the last time.

I understand that I couldn’t wish for more – but, I can do more in the future. I can manage to maintain the relationships that I have – or used to have. A simple phone call or text message will do good.

So, have you say greetings to your old friends or family today?
Do it now – you might not have the chance tomorrow.

The Lohan Perception

I had a chat with my old friend a few nights ago. He was commenting on my latest photo. He said that I look good in my hair – but it will be better if I could cut my hair in Lohan style. Within second, my thought was full of Lindsay Lohan and her hair. I tried to picture her hair, the layers, the bangs and so on.

While I was thinking, my friend kept on going with his review – you should cut your hair in layers, give Lohan’s bang and you’ll be gorgeous.

In the midst of my search of Lohan’s picture, I said yes to him. But then I remember that Lindsay Lohan had a long bang on her forehead. I am not a good person to take of long bang – because I’m easily mess my hair. So, I said no to him – as a revision for my first statement.

I told him that Lindsay Lohan’s hairstyle will look bad on me.

Then he replied to me: I was talking about Lohan fish!!!! Grow your bang, long enough to tie it up on the back and make Lohan’s style!

I was laughing out loud and couldn’t believe that we’ve been discussing different Lohan!

That chat reminded me of how we perceive single event differently. Each and everyone of us has our own perception on certain things – name, label, brand, colour, fragrance and many more. So when we have to deal with those things, we tend to interpret them according to our perception. When these difference don’t get a chance to be confirmed by every party, that’s when misunderstanding occurs.

Let’s count how many hours we spend in our lives to perceive one single event differently and end up in non-sense arguments?

I think we can use our time effectively to help others – instead of having the Lohan argumentation!
PS: thanks Sam – for the Lohan insight!

Dedication for Jehan Safitri

Jehan Safitri is one of my closest friends for the past two years. Despite our differences in religion, race or belief, we made a good friendship and we truly shared a lot!

Last Wednesday, she gave birth to her first son, Wildan. She was so excited with the process – the whole process actually. I still remember, when she went to the hospital for the first time, to check on her pregnancy, she was with us – Edwin, Afif and me. Her husband was not around, because he was working in Jakarta. So, we were the lucky ones to receive the good news from her doctor.

Unfortunately, Wildan – her baby – was able to enjoy this world for 4 hours only. He passed away because his organs were not completely formed yet. Sad but true …

We all wish you and your family a prayer, that you may be able to make peace with this situation and believe that Wildan is now happy without a chance to suffer in this world.

We love you, Jeje!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

The Colours of My Friends

Today, I had a long conversation with my mother and sister-in-law during our lunch time. I started the opening by telling them stories of my best friends who are gay and lesbian, about how hard is it for them to fight against the stream and keep on living their daily life. The story went on as my mom and sister-in-law asked me questions on how do they strive for living, what do they do to themselves and how do their family accept them at last.

Then, my sister-in-law said something that makes me realize how rich I am as a person. She said that since she got married to my brother and stayed at the same house, she started to know the reality of human lives (do I sound too much?). She started to learn that human have their own colors and sometimes they want to show it off. I have numbers of friends who failed in their relationships and ended it just a moment before their wedding day. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. To make the list longer, my sister-in-law took no time to mention them out.

with my friends - Singapore 2009

After having my lunch, I was thinking to myself and it made me realized of how rich I am as a person. I have so many friends from so many different backgrounds. I’ve met so many people with their own dreams, stories, hope and tears. I’ve talked to so many people who can’t wait to share their happiness, sorrow and tragedy.

A good friend just told me her story of aborting her baby because she couldn’t help to raise another baby. She has two young children to be taken care of and also, she has to think of her unfaithful husband. At the same time, another good friend cracked open his hidden identity as a gay (I have another gay friend). Another good friend of mine, who is happen to be a brother at one monastery also had a problem. His superior (whatever you named it) asked him to leave outside the monastery while still holding onto his eternal vow. At last, he will be able to decide whether he will still be a priest, or he will live as a layman.

I think I have to be thankful to meet those extraordinary people, who enrich me through their stories and share their wisdom to me. Even though they have their own tragic stories and unhappy ending, they still the colours of my life!

On A Spontaneous Day

A friend of mine suggested me to be spontaneous and enjoying my time without my diary. Well, I am not a strict person, who always write down every single thing into my diary, but I am trying to do so, because it will give some free space for my brain to think of something else (that’s what I learned from ‘Time Management’ lesson from Randy Pausch).

Today is a spontaneous day for me…

At 7.30am I should had my session with the caregivers of an orphanage, in which I just had my internship. I had to give tips on how to take care of the young children. But, at 6.45am, the Sister in that orphanage cancelled the session and asked me to come tomorrow morning. Without hesitation, I said ‘yes’. Then, after I hung up, I grabbed my blanket and off to my bed.

At 9.15am, a best friend sent me sms and asked me whether I want to have breakfast with him and another friend. Again, wihout hesitation, I said ‘yes’. I took 30 mins to take shower and getting ready.

Then again, after spending 1.5 hours at my campus, my friend asked me if I could accompany her to spend a few hours together, because she couldn’t go back to her boarding house, due to the repairment. I offered her to go to the mall and have some chat together. We found ourselves sitting in a fast food restaurant and having ice cream, then we went to a bookstore and search for interesting books and we also went into couple of shoe shops! We were going to buy high-heels shoes, because we thought we look good in it. LOL!

During the evening, I sent a message to my friend from Perth (she’s in Surabaya at the moment) that I have vouchers to eat sushi. She replied and asked me on when we can have sushi together. I was thinking for a while, then I asked her if we can make it tonight. She agreed and we had a long chat during 3 sets of sushi, 2 cups of ice creams and 1 set of beef BBQ. It was a great time to spend with her (along with cheap price after discount).

——

I think having a day off of schedules and my diary worth a try. I definitely had a great time with my friends and able to bring fresh air to my packed days. Well, I believe that lives must be varied by different colors, or else you will have a boring lives.

Thank you guys, for cheering up my spontaneous day!

Asking Credit from Others

I just had this phone call with a friend. He asked me why other people around him are so ignorant. He tried to offer some help and being nice to those people, but they never give him any credits to whatever he had done. His statement tickled my mind…

Credit is a way that we use to count something. It can be the credit in our savings or the credit in our lives, as my friend asked me about. When I was listening to him, suddenly my mind brought me back to many events when my deeds were not appreciated by others. Or when what-so-called best friends or lover went away without a word. I was complaining at that moments, asking around on why they did not appreciate my effort to help them, to be nice to them and do soemthing good for them. I counted the credits that they supposed to give back to me…

But by the time, I realized that counting those credits were useless. Nothing thatI could do to make them appreciate my good deeds for them. Since then, I made my decision … I will still help those who need my help, but then I will be firmed that no credit can be taken from them. That decision brings me to a peaceful of mind. I have to admit that sometimes I am still complaining. I ask myself on why people never say thank you or even smile back, but that’s just how they live their lives. None is my problems, actually.

Well, I hope my friend will feel better after knowing that he’s not meant to take care of all the people around him. He can pray for them, because he is a good Christian.

Way to go, dear friend … Keep on doing good deeds, but stop asking for credits. Even Jesus never asked for credits from us…

Cake with No Flour

Imagine if you are going to bake a cake or make homemade bread, and suddenly you realize that you have no flour! You won’t be able to bake your cake, because there won’t be any cake without flour…

The idea of this reflection came across my mind when I drove home from the orphanage today. I thought to myself that flour, eggs, sugar and other ingredients are not useful when they stand for themselves. They can blend together to make cake or bread, but no single ingredient can be so useful that way. I’m missing my friends a lot, especially during these hard times of doing internship and preparing my next steps for the future.

I’ve made friends with so many people. From kindergarten to high school. From Malang to Aceh and other Eastern regions in Indonesia. From Asia to Australia and even Africa. It’s always lots of fun of having friends, wherever you  go.

They call me an icy girl

They call me an icy girl

I also learned an important lesson, that I can be who I am now, because my friends (and family) gave their impact on me, someway. They were there to lend their hands when I couldn;t stand up by myself. They were there to be my ears, when I need someone to listen to me. Even my Masters friends now, they are here to make me a sensitive person, because due to their observations, I am such a cold-blooded woman. Well, I never kill someone, but they think that I am emotionally disturbed!

I know that they just make jokes about me. I know that they care for me. I think because I have left my sensitive and romantic life for a few years. I love what I am doing, but according to them, my life will be complete if I can put that pieces back into myself. I wonder…

Anyway, whatever they are saying about me … I do love them as part of me! They are the flours to my cake … (does it sound like a song?)

Peeking Out to The World from My Bed

So, these past two days were awful. It was started on Monday (8/6) when my right eye got infection and it made me went to the eye hospital at 9pm! Then yesterday, all I did was laying on bed and most of the time, closing my eyes. It was hard to open my eyes and got out of my bed. I stayed at my boarding house and decided not to come home, because my sickness was contagious.

While I was in my bed, my thought was wandering around. Mostly, I was thinking about my family, what they did and how they were passing the day. Then, I also thought about my friends, those who had troubles and facing their giants at the moments. I also got many phone calls and sms. Some of them asked about my condition, some were calling to have simple chat, one of them talked about our internship and one phone call gave me a job in Australian fair next August. I guess being a lazy bump for a day did not make me unproductive (my self-defense). I also got food delivery from my Aunty. She always concerns about other people! Thanks to you …

My cousin called me yesterday and she talked about the moving world around us. How my old friend finally signed up on facebook and started to have chat around. She used to be my best friend and we had our time together. We were like triplets (with another girl) because nothing would separate us, what so ever. But then, she decided to get married with a stranger and left her hometown after meeting that guy for 3 months. Now, she is living in another island and never contacted me. I knew that she went home a few weeks ago, for she had photo studio shoots at my best friend’s studio. But she did not contact me at all, even though she was in town for almost 10 days. Well, I guess the world changed a lot since her wedding day. Now, she’s on Facebook, maybe I could ‘peek’ into her life and say Hello every now and then.

Another story came from my classmate. She wants to get married at her young age and she is going to have that dream comes true. We are all happy to hear this good news and at the same time, worry. We are not worrying about her capacity to be a good housewife, but my friend and I were worry about her condition. What she will be after she’s getting married. Well, maybe my friend and I were worrying too much on her. Or maybe my friend and I had previous experiences that drive us to who we are at the moments… But all I know, concern about other people, especially those who are close to you, is a good thing. As long as you don’t fit your shoes to their feet.

Anyway, this is all about my story of peeking out to the world from my bed. The world has changed a lot, in which we can keep in touch with the world, without a need to wake up from our bed.

The Meaning of Friendship

I’ve been through lots of separation with my best friends and families. Let’s say, when I went back to Indonesia, while they were still in Australia. Many of my best friends got married and moved into somewhere else and many more. And now, I have another friend who is going to leave Surabaya and me and others too. She’s been the closest girlfriend in the class during first semester of my Masters program. At the end of last semester, we had two more friends who came along with us…

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We are quite close and started to know each other well. We spend these past 6 months together and that emotional bond is formed, quite tight actually. So, when she decided to end her degree, we felt sad. And that’s for true. She had to leave for personal reason and we really wish her all the best.

Fighting over salmon sushi

Fighting over salmon sushi

Sometimes, we have to let go off someone that we love suddenly. They could be best friends, girl/boyfriends, fiancee, or even husband/wife. They may leave us without prior notice. They just go with the wind… I know what it feels like to lose someone that we love. I know how it feels to be alone again, after few years of being together with the same persons. But they go for a reason. It may be unknown now, but we will discover the meaning of that separation one day.

I will always believe in the goodness of friendship, because I know the meaning of friendship. If today I have to say goodbye again to my best friend, I will figure out the reasons why … one day!

PS: Don’t forget ‘that’s my leg!’ statement …

Lunch at Bentoya

Lunch at Bentoya