This is supposed to be written a week ago, but essays got in the way. *yes, Z.. blame the essay! :lol:
September is always a special month for me. I love the anticipation of my upcoming birthday at the end of the month. I used to hope that people care for me and send me birthday wishes at midnight. I used to be upset if I only got a few birthday greetings.
…but then, maturity bug bits me.
The excitement of September is still felt, but the anticipation of the birthday has worn off. I am no longer hang my happiness on the numbers of wishes I got; hence, I am no longer a party go lucky girl. I begin to set my birth date as private in all my social media and go on with my life. Thus, I am very content with all the wishes that I got every year. All that wishes matter to me – no more empty wishes because I finally found the needle between the haystack.
Here comes the hardest part. Reflecting on my 31 years on earth.
When I was a little girl, someone in the age of 30ish perceived as very old. Ancient. But now, I am the 30ish woman…. Yeah, old…but not very old. 🙃
On a more serious note… I feel like my whole life has been a quest to find my self. Looking back into my life, I am surprised how much life has transformed me. Some part for the better, the other half is worsened. Nevertheless, I am who I am today because of all the choices I made yesterday. There is no regret in the current direction of my life, but I also need to admit that anxiety is still my best friend. Sometimes it leads me into temporary regression, but in the end, I will always find lights to see those things from a different perspective. Is it work? Yes! By looking from different perspective, we will realise that what we have done is not only bad but also embarrassing :sigh: nonetheless, there is no good in glorifying our mistake in the past. The one that matter is the way you deal with your mistake and own it, then go on with your life. This is what I always do, just go on: bad things will end, and so will good things.
I am an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. People will remember me as a chitty chatty girl with a smile on her face. Those things are exhausted. I feel so tired every time I have to put my happy face and pretend that everything is okay. Make no mistake, I am a cheerful girl, but I am not the always happy girl. However, I am very good at pretending everything is under control. I am good at pretending to be happy and calm. After these 31 years, I finally acknowledge that I am depressed. Yet, I keep it to myself because I know that nobody really wants to know my real story. Nobody really cares about what is going on in my mind. Nobody will believe if I told them that I am not okay. Everybody will say “We believe you can!”. Yes, I can…just not always.
My quest to find my self is not finished. I am not even sure that it will end. Every day in my life has been a rollercoaster of events and moods. I know those are the perks of being human, but sometimes I feel tired and just want a nice nap and cuddle. Lately, I found out that feeling tired and the need of taking a break is normal. We owe ourselves those nice treatments because our mind and our body always work hard to keep with our overtime insanity to keep us sane. Also, I just found out that we can push our limit while at the same time, accelerate our breaking point into infinity (what exactly is this statement supposed to mean?).
I am not good at reflecting. These are not reflections. This is me, trash-talking my self…. and these are things inside my mind every time I have a mental break down. (And it is pretty often).
Here is my summary: I am a 31 years woman who is not in my best point right now. However, I acknowledge it and accept my worst self because I know that I will also have the up moments. This worst stage will eventually pass, and the best is yet to come.
….and also, maybe all this miserable feeling is growing in my mind because I miss Zhafran so much it hurts.
Pst. Once again, it is okay to say that you are not okay. It is also okay that you want to pretend that you are okay, as long as you really believe that you will eventually be okay.
Seek help if you need one. :))
On the eve of 23rd September 2003,
just after dinner,
you were feeling unwell and need to lay down,
because of the cold and the ache in your head,
you were asking for massage,
because you could not feel your hands anymore,
you were asking for guidance to pray,
because you could not control half of your face.
On the eve of 23rd September 2003,
just after you say ‘Allah’,
you were unconscious,
on our way to the emergency room.
On the eve of 23rd September 2003,
just after you lost your consciousness,
you spent the night on the ICU,
with all the medical devices to keep your heart beating,
to keep your lung breathing.
On the eve of 23rd September 2003,
just after you went into the ICU,
you were visited by tons of your friends and colleagues,
to pray for you,
to cheer us for you.
Allah loves you more.
You were gone…
on 24th September 2003.
So long, Ma!
We love you..
5 years ago, with a London Obsession, I applied to LPDP for the first time. MSc in Social Cognition at The University of College London is my desired master program – just because it’s in London and really appealing for continuing my social psychology interest, without any real intention of how to apply the knowledge in my future career or why I have to take the program based on my current job. The trial was a failure; just as anyone expected.
It has taken me aback, because honestly I have never take a dumb step toward my dream before. I am a compulsive human, but this level of ignorance has never yet been reached and still shocked me to find out the ‘sorry’ announcement.
My quest to recalculate my life and my dream began at that moment. I have poured my thoughts and my time to my work: managing human resource while also lecturing Operational Psychology in a college. My love for studying psychology is well known and still growing strong, but after lecturing about how to understand human behaviour in the context of an operation, I found a subject that I need to advance: Security. My biggest concern is that with more than 200 million citizens, Indonesian security policy is not an inclusive policy where the concept of how human behaviour influenced a nation’s security measure is applied appropriately. Indonesian current policy is more of an adaptive concept of other country with a little local touch of the value of Pancasila, while ignoring the bigger issue such as the vast differences between culture in Sabang to culture in Merauke which is implied in the different value of how to behave in certain culture. Policy will be a baseline in analysing any issue and in security, policy will directly applied in how to guard a nation interest without hurting the people throughout the country.
The year of 2017 is my turning point. I have been given an opportunity to visit Australia for a week: Canberra and Sydney to be exact – and I fell in love in Canberra since the first glance (read the story here). I could picture my self taking Zhaf hop around Canberra, enjoying barbecue at the Burley-Griffin, or just sitting under a tree enjoying Ginnindera in Autumn. Surely after that visit, a London vision evolved to be a Canberra mission. Researching programs and university around Australia, I found two program that suit my future career plan: International Security in The University of Sydney and National Security Policy in Australian National University. I applied to both program and got accepted first in Sydney. As the deadline for LPDP was getting closer, I applied with USyd as my chosen university. My desire to be an awardee of LPDP is so big that I couldn’t think straight – and doing Psychological examinations with such obsession turned out to be another disaster for me. I failed to pass a test that I have been studying for four years in my bachelor degree – it broke my dream and my self-esteem. It took a while for me to recover from that failure but Thanks God for my supporting system that stay encouraging me from time to time.
An offer from Australian National University came not long after a phone call from its Program Coordinator which at that time injected a renewed positive feeling and hope for my next step. I also got another chance to visit Canberra, this time for studying English for Academic Purposes in The University of Canberra for a month. A blessing in disguise, because at that time I could only see the ANU from distance while keep praying that one day I got to be an ANU Student. Studying in The UC College is one different experience: challenging while also rewarding. I got to know how a lecture is conducted in Australia and got to feel the Uni’s vibe in Summer which is totally different from Indonesia *p.s. They really are so laid back there in down under.
I felt whole again after I got back home from Canberra and applied to The Australian Award Scholarship. All the documents are uploaded, essays has been written for the application, all things required have been gathered and the application submitted – yet another ‘sorry’ came to my mail right in the evening of Eid. Since I am so used to a failed attempt at this point, the rejection effected me only a little but I still considering to finally rest my case and move on.
‘There is no harm in trying – at least one more time’, said my husband after acknowledging my uninterested gesture while reading news about LPDP 2018 intake. That sentence became my mantra : ‘one more time’ keeps playing in repeat in my mind, accompanying my effort to upload documents and getting through medical check up ‘one more time’. I also force my lazy mind to study for the computer-based test: all that numbers and equations, plus all that logical sentences. Changing my line of study from psychology to security has its own challenge in preparing for the interview. I studied the basic theory in politics and all the security regulations, following news around the world, and expanding my knowledge about contemporary and current issue in national security. While I am familiar with the applied concept of security policy, my mind need to cope with the theory and all the basic concept of those matters.
What happened during the interview session? We were talking about my personal life and my chosen career. Not a single theory have to be told in that session. We were just talking about what I have accomplished, What I plan to accomplish, what my biggest challenge in life up until that moment, What life has given me until I am what I am that day, and how I plan to survive my study years – ah yea we were also discussing radicalization in Indonesia and how Pancasila could survive all the challenges 😆
The interview differed from one person to another but one lesson that I got from that session is: if you know what you have to do to achieve your goal, the panelist will feel that and they will appreciate your effort to be prepared. It felt like I was talking to an old friend and a mentor, I feel encouraged and empowered by their appreciation.
In conclusion, the differences in this ‘one last time’ are: Firstly, I am more relaxed because I have nothing to lose and I already have a plan B to achieve my dream, I have detailed plan in my mind which I kept visualizing from time to time of how to be what I want to be in the future and how a scholarship played a big role in that path, and finally, I know the reason to take my program and I believe that I could use this degree for contributing in advancing Indonesian security policy.
One thing that I kept doing in my silence is praying. Since then until now, I pray that Allah will give what I need and this time: a scholarship is what I really need. Alhamdulillah.
I guess that common saying is actually true : Third time’s a charm!
The Dark Jasmine
Hi there, Kiddo!
This is my annual letter for you, Zhaf – and I have managed to force my lazy fingers to finally write again. As always, I will begin with how much I love you and I know that you know it. This year will be difficult for us, since I have to left country for continuing my study and we will be separate for 6 months. Writing this is not only my way for ensuring my self that everything will be okay, that we will be okay, but also as a reminder for me that everything happen for a reason and I know that when you are old enough you will understand.
Enough about me, let us talk about you.
2019 marks your third birthday. You are a grown baby now! What a fun, yeaaa!
It is time for you to kick ball on the field every afternoon.
It is time for you to play cars any second you want to.
It is time for you to exercise you karate move to me every night before bed.
It is time for you to make me run after you, just because you love to see me catching my breath.
It is time for you to say no to something that you don’t feel like you want it.
It is time for you to recognize your feeling, choosing what make you happy instead of the one that bugs you.
It is time for you to watch Upin Ipin all you want in the weekend.
It is time for you to make your choice of who you want to have pillow talk with – Thanks for always choosing me over your Ayah 😆
This is also a time for you to understand that there is a whole bigger world out there that you need to figure out on your own.
This is also time for you to consider other’s feeling and to see something beyond your own world.
Do you sometime feel so overwhelm by all this stimulations around you? It is okay, dear. It is what world is made for, to overwhelm human. Just so a human could understand that a world is not only made for one person, but it is also for other human and other creatures.
Do you sometime feel so tired hearing me talk nonsense about kindness to other? It is okay, dear. It is why you are gifted with a mind to think and a heart to filter it. Soon enough, you will find all my nonsense are actually make sense and I believe that you can always spread kindness and love.
I believe in you, so you could believe in yourself.
The final of 2018 World Cup was over, but the hype is still on. As a non-fan of football, I -like anyone else- also want to weigh in to the final of World Cup. Married to a football fan, I have the general knowledge of almost all the match, but not in a detail move by move review (although I suspect that my husband tried to explain it to me while my mind was wandering to somewhere else 😆 ). The final match was a surprise for many people because somehow, all their favourite teams are coming home – sorry England, It is -not- coming home.
France VS Croatia. No one really anticipated this match when the World Cup started, but that was the reality now. Much of unanticipated things are currently happening in this world – yes, I am pointing my finger to you: UK, USA, and also Indonesia! (I am sorry for this emotional finger pointing, but yeah, I was rather saddened because of these things which are happening right now). Back to The Final Match. My husband supported France because he was very happy with their performances led to final and I was a #TeamCroatia, simply because It has a Female President. :))
My attention drew to this final after the match has over and France came as the Winner; although, my husband did admit that Croatian Team played a very good game. The narratives surrounding this match are the reason behind this post. When I stated earlier that I simply support Croatia because of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, it was because I always find my self amazed by female fighter in this patriarchal society. I was eager to find out more about her political career; thus, I googled. Madame President was really playing her card well during this 2018 World Cup: traveled to Moscow with commercial economy flights on her personal expenses, only missed one match of her National Team because of NATO Summit, watched mostly in a non-VIP Stand (source). Despite many people said something about her PR for a re-election campaign, as long as it contributed into the much-needed good stories for the world: I’m buying it. While googling about President Grabar-Kitarović, there are things that unsettled my heart. The first few pages of my google search’s results was shocking, but not surprising, because almost all the news headline stated something like “the beautiful president” in describing her and much of the article started with something like “people want to know her age, because she is so beautiful” or “A sexy president”. Her beauty was indeed something that of extraordinary; nevertheless, that is not something that one will use when describing Emmanuel Macron who was also present at the final match. They just appreciate him being there and being a very supportive President like President Grabar-Kitarović: only, without the sexist compliments.
Some people might think that I am overreacting: these things mean no harm to Madame President, or even a statement like “these are compliments and Madame President could benefit from all these publications.” Benefit from these kind of articles? Oh yeah, She could gain more popularity, which is in fact happen to her after World Cup. The thing unsettled me was the fact that these narratives are considered normal and how deep it would affect girls all over the world. It is okay to compliment someone, but it is not okay to spread message that beautiful face or sexiness are considered to be the most important factor in telling a story about a woman. Reactions from people all around the world to this amazing display of affection from a President to her National Team show how wrong we are in measuring actions perform by Woman. This is not the right thing to do in appreciating a successful woman and objectifying, no matter how subtle, is #neverokay.
Now, about the winning team: France. They are the centre of all the attentions in the after party, since they are a perfect symbol of diversity. France National Football Team has non fewer than 15 athletes whom tied to Africa, and about two-thirds of the team members are descendants of immigrants – or even the immigrant themselves. (Source). The best Young player (not coincidentally also my husband’s favourite player) : Kylian Mbappe, is a moslem boy which parents originated from Africa and grew up in a suburb on the outskirt of Paris – Bondy (Source). Mbappe is a living proof of how amazing an immigrant could be, despite all the stereotypes and discriminating act they have received from many sides.
Immigration became the focus of many governments when they are addressing their national security measures. Immigrants often associated by people to bad things; moreover, almost all threats in many countries appraised to be brought by immigrants. We are such in a low state of trust that people need to remind each other often that there are many great immigrants and that many of the immigrants have bigger contribution then the natives in building their country. This is not something we should discussed after a World Cup match, but this is our reality recently: even a sport event could spark big discussion of humanity in the universe.
Between the objectifying of women and better immigration policy around the world, which one is more pressing matter at this moment? Yes, we could not prioritise one above another. It is equally terrifying to realise that we are living in a world where some people lose their privilege only by being born to this world. We are terrified of things that we have no knowledge of, and we treat someone that is different from us as an outsider and keep a primitive way in handling these differences: Us vs Them. We treat them different. We perceived their action and intention differently. Nothing good will come if we keep discriminating each other.
Discrimination is a sole problem of many trouble: discrimination against women, discrimination against immigrants, discrimination against anything that is different from “The biased-normal standard of our society”. Stereotype plays a big part in inducing the discrimination: therefore, we need to start talking to each other to excise society-embed stereotypes. We need to share a positive spin of this event so that the narrative will grow into something useful: understanding each other.
Someone is walking
not a hint of confidence
Another one is also walking
such in a hurry for a time like this
not a glance to the surrounding
nor a hint of care
The other is talking
to a cellphone
pitch is too high
Intonation is too wrong
A man is typing crazy amount of words
blankly dancing his fingers
no hint of needing a rest
nor short of ideas
Two women are discussing
about a psychological journal article
A boy and a girl are so engaged
with each other’s lips
An old man is staring
not in thought, but in the past
Despite them all : stand a peculiar human
not a male
nor a female
long to belong
– The Dark Jasmine
July 13, 2018
The fourth of May has come again – faster than last year, would you believe it? 😀
This one is for you, hopefully one day soon you will find it interesting enough to read in your spare time.
It has been a very long time for me not writing a post about you, maybe I should invest more time to humor you in the future, no? But seriously, many things happened!
I remember that I was starting to worry that you didn’t speak enough words when you were 18 months old, but then your cute little mouth couldn’t stop bubbling when you’ve turned 19 months. I do also remember how broke my heart was when you fell and need 2 stitches in your precious little forehead; nevertheless, you amazed me to see that you were holding yourself better than I did after the tragedy. Not long after that, you chose to wean yourself from breastfeeding – oh boy, the pain in my heart was unimaginable.
Oh no. I need to stop talking about myself and my dramatic emotions. I want this post to be about you, Zhaf. This post has to speak to you and make you dizzy a little. 😆
Your smile! Yes! The smile of yours are precious and addictive. Everyone couldn’t get enough of that, especially when you are planning to do some mischief acts. Wonderful, yet foolish at the same time. I hope you’re not going to be a heart breaker someday.
Hmm.. That gave me an Idea.
Let’s talk about heart breaking, son.
I realize that this world is not turning into a direction that I like, but I know that you could always find something to fight for, something that make your life worth to live, and something that proof your existence is making this universe slightly more livable. No pressure there, buddy! Life is not only about sadness and desperation, it is also about love, laugh, and how to share the love and the laugh.
Love has no boundaries. One day you will find your own way to love this universe and beyond. I wish that you could understand that Allah is the most merciful, thus human is blessed with it. Have mercy, my dear Son, so you could be grateful for all the things you’ve accomplished. Have mercy, not only for others but also for yourself – for you could not love others before you learn to love yourself. I wish that you could understand that Rasulullah is a kind person, thus you could learn to be humble and sincere like him. Be gentle, my dear Son, for this world is not only belong to our kind of people – any kind of people is also living this world (science and conscience told us that they are also human), so please treat them like you want to be treated (as human). And if you encounter something that you don’t like nor agree with; remember the most crucial thing that I always need to remind myself, too: condemn the action, not the actor. I know you will figure the meaning of this soon enough.
Laugh is the best medicine in this world. One day you will find your own way to laugh with others – certainly not to laugh at others. Laugh is what your soul need after a long tiring journey. Laugh is what your mind need along your wonderful journey. Laugh is what your body need to start walking into the journey. If you remember how to laugh, you will remember how to respect others – especially the one that doesn’t respect you. Just remember : Laugh is contagious. 🙂
I think I’ve already take a lot of time from you with this one. Got to keep other words for other occasion so that you won’t be bored. You will never know how much I love you. ❤ u.
Happy Birthday, Zhaf!
So, just like any other year.. 2017 also passed by so quickly. My blogging activity through out the year was not something that I can be proud of. In spite of my effort to keep motivating myself, I couldn’t find enough time and energy to spend in writing post. *sigh*
As my last resort, I will pour my heart and thought in highlighting each month’s theme from my 2017.
Being a citizen of this universe means that I also get sucked to spend my January thinking about, watching in delay, and cringed after the inauguration of Donald Trump as POTUS. “Life must go on” was the only thing that made me keep my sanity afterwards.
After the depressing January, luckily, what I remember from February mostly the good ones. The first time we take Zhaf to Seaworld! He was very excited to see any kind of fish and other underwater creatures there. It was a mesmerizing experience to see a pure joy of my baby.
Zhaf is up and stand in his own for the first time! Yeay! Alhamdulillah. This mark my march in 2017. My baby is all grown up, because not long after he start to stand, he began to take his first step – also in this month.
My parents (both by blood and by law) went to Umrah this month and they were very happy. For Zhaf, this month we went to Bali with him for the first time. The most funny thing happened was to figure out that Zhaf was afraid of the beach (maybe the sand, or the sound of the wave). I still want to make him a beach boy, but got no other chance in 2017, I guess it is time to plan for a trip to the beach in 2018. Yeay!
My Zhaf is turning 1. ONEderful journey with him! I love him to the moon and back. We did celebrate his birthday with our close family, but our timing was wrong – the birthday boy was too sleepy to enjoy his party. *lol* I also have a great experience this month: went to Australia for the first time.. and fall so hard for Canberra.
Ramadhan is coming and we were so eager to observe it with Zhaf has already up and about this year. He woke up to join us having Sahoor in the morning and so happy when we were all gathering to break the fast in the afternoon. I guest he was starting to love this holy month, just for all the gathering (this time).
Become the family of SabangMerauke was my highlight this month – beside our Eid in my hometown, of course. To be part of something so important such as SabangMerauke brings back my spirit to keep going despite all bad things happen around the world. Hope is all over the world if we choose to embrace it!
The thing I remember the most from this month was the night when Zhaf has to get stitches and It broke my heart to see him in such pain. I couldn’t afford to remove the painful images from my mind. Blood and tears everywhere – my heart was never the same after that tragedy.
I was enter the 29th zone of my life, but my highlight was Zhaf is starting to wean himself from breastfeeding. He was refusing to be breastfed and started to drink cow milk. I thought that my broken heart in August was the worst, this one is hundred time disaster in my heart and mind. All is well now, tho.
October – December
Couldn’t separate these 3 months since I was drowned in my work the whole time. Not much happening outside the office since I spend most of my time (including the night) in my office. *sigh* what a sad way to end a year.
Hmm.. so many Zhaf in my highlight. Please bare with my guys, I guess 2018 will also be the same. 🙂
Last Friday couldn’t have been worse, yet better at the same time.
I was waking up to such a spirit that I would attend The SabangMerauke Diversity Dinner in Friday night – been longing to meet SM’s Big Family after months since our farewell dinner. My spirit was not up for too long because just after I arrived at the Office, my schedule was crushed due to a sudden meeting and a client emergency.
Failed to attend the dinner and feeling so miserable scrolling through great photos of that event, I drove home around 8 pm to at least meet my son before he went to bed. The traffic was a disaster and my feeling flunked to the bottom. In line with my bad mood, my car was also begin to show its temper: it had an engine failure in a dark crowded-but-quiet street. Luckily (yes, we Indonesian could always find the positive thing in every desperate situation), I was in the left lane so I didn’t cause a scene or heavier traffic.
Used to be in such situation, I panicked but pretend to be calm (although no one was looking at that time to judge). I called my husband and being told to check the engine so I again pretending to be brave and went out of the car to check the engine, even when I honestly don’t have any idea what my husband was instructing. I focused analyzing with perfect failure when I realized two men were approaching me. Shocked – I couldn’t understand what they were saying to me until they repeated it for (maybe) the fifth time.
Stranger : ‘Is your car having an engine failure?’
Me : ‘huh? oh.. yeah..’
Stranger : ‘Can we check the engine?’
Me : ‘huh? check the engine?’
Stranger : ‘yeah, so that we can find the problem?’
Me : ‘huh? oh yeah..yeah.. the engine.. yes, please.’
Stranger : ‘have you call your mechanic yet?’
Me : ‘no..no.. I haven’t. Let’s take a look…..
…and they looked at my car while I was doing what they instructed me to.
Long story short, they couldn’t find the real problem but they found a way to make the engine work so I could drive back home and didn’t left alone in that dark road.
I got home safe and sound that night, thanks to them.
So, to summarize the story? I’ve had a bad day but also a great day at the same time. I was quiet frightened when they approached me, but they turned out to be very kind and caring gentlemen. May God blesses them and showers them with health and wealth.
Because of those strangers, my faith in humanity