Day 2: Life is about Making a List

Really? Is life truly about making a list? When was the list time you made a list? I normally don’t make a list. List and I are not close friends. I consider list as constricting, limiting. I therefore tend to stay away from making a list, but look at me now.

 

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Image taken from pexels.com

It’s day 2 of the Finding Everyday Inspiration challenges. Don’t ask how many more days, but I sure hope I can reach the end without any stopping. God knows how I’m not good with discipline. Well, I guess this is a test. Can I make it to the finish line with this challenge? We shall see.

Today’s topic is Make a List. The challenge gave me four lists to choose, and the rebellious side of me is itchy to come out because I don’t like any of them! I’m supposed to pick one between Things I Like, Things I’ve Learned, Things I Wish, and Things I’m Good At.  And here’s my pick: Things I’d Like to Learn.

Good enough! Let’s do this. *cracking knuckles*

1. To let go. 

Growing up in a household where everyone had a tendency to control things and difficulty to let things happened on their own, I inevitably learned the same style of approaching life. Being a quick learner by observing others, unfortunately I adapted to that thinking style and carried it throughout my childhood and adult life. Only perhaps in the last one year I slowly unlearned that way of thinking…in a hard way. What I mean by hard way is by making a lot of mistakes and then learning from those mistakes. I fell way too many times in my life, but luckily I got up, even with bruises and wound that have never healed completely. This is something that I’m still learning to do. I am seeing an improvement, though. After a while, it’s just exhausting to keep falling down. No more.

2. To love myself. 

Another tough one. Also, because throughout childhood I never learned it. Nobody taught me that it was such a necessary one to have. I realize now that this is especially an important skill for women, and therefore it needs to be taught early in life. Young girls need to learn this mindset and concept in order to be able to survive in the world that, let’s admit it, run by men.

3. To love, instead of to have or to own. 

This is about loving other people or a special person. I’d like to know how it feels to love a person without not thinking that I own him or that he is mine. I think it’s an incredible kind of love. I know it exists, it can exist, and it takes a lot of understanding, self-growing, big heart to be able to accomplish it. I intend to learn it. And don’t you think that it’s a lot easier too? That to have a love like that is so much lighter, happier? To love without a wish, a want, and perhaps hope. If hope does exist in that kind of love, it is not to be together, but to be just it. To be able to continue to love, to be able to continue to feel the love in my heart and never lose it. I own the feeling, the love, but not the person.

 

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Image taken from pexels.com

While writing the list above, I realized that I have another list I’d like to declare. And I title it Things that I’d Like to Do More Often:

  1. To laugh
  2. To see sunrise
  3. To see sunset
  4. To encourage younger people, especially young children, to read more
  5. To work harder to reach my dream
  6. To give more
  7. To have less, including needs, wants, expectations, and even hope. Keep ’em to a minimum, just the basic ones.
  8. To exercise
  9. To be adventurous
  10. To enjoy music and sing along

 

What a wonderful writing exercise as it turns out. But I think I should stop here. The idea of getting comfortable with making list is a bit too scary.

But I hope you get the message. I guess list is okay, if you use it the right way, which is to get to know yourself more.

Have a joyous journey!

love-myself

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Day 1: Why Do I Write?

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I write because I hear voices…

No, just kidding. My apology if that sounds unkind. Just trying to start my essay with some catchy words.

But putting joke aside, it is to me akin to hearing voices, although not in that sense. I write because I saw, overheard, or read something and then it was as if a voice, an energy, was pulling me toward my laptop (or a piece of paper if I didn’t have my gadget with me) and transferring what I experienced into writing. Sometimes I had to do it right away because if I waited, it would be forgotten later. And when I say it was like an energy, perhaps it was. I wouldn’t feel satisfied or calmed before I wrote it down. In other words, I write because something is pulling me to it. It’s as if I have to. I have to write it down. Just have to share it.

That’s it, share! I write because deep down in my heart, I love sharing. I value sharing, or communication in that matter. Without sharing and communication, this world means nothing or things will not work out well. Of course, we have to be cautious of what we share. Nevertheless, sharing connects people. Sharing is a form of intimacy, and it is healthy, rather than keeping things inside. When I feel afraid or intimidated to share how I feel with someone, it is then that I know I no longer feel close or intimate to that person, let alone trust. Sharing is the fruit of trust.

A friend of mine told me one time about my writing style. She said that sometimes she was amazed at how much sharing I could put into my writing. What a lovely feedback, which appreciated very much. However, the feedback didn’t deter me from continuing my style of writing. I will share a part of me as much as I think it would somehow help others too, but I also believe that every writer has a part of him or herself that will always remain a secret. Writers just know where to draw the line.

True, there was a time when I couldn’t write. I think it was because my attention was distracted and directed onto something else in my life, which now looking back into it, I should have actually still continued writing. Writing and those other things in my life should go hand in hand, instead of those other things taking over my passion in writing. Once I refocused my life, I realize that writing is it. This is the part of my life that I am good at and can be proud of. I’m not an expert in writing, but I’m proud of it. What I have accomplished so far has been self-taught (autodidact). Never took any course, but gulped a ton of books, and that’s how I learned to write. In my previous blog, I challenged myself often to finish writing prompts and poetry challenges. I’m restarting it now. The positive feeling is the reason why I write. I’d like to improve more in my writing skills and produce something.

I am also bilingual — fluent in speaking, reading, and writing in Bahasa Indonesia and English. The bilingual part is both my strength and my weakness, and also another reason why I write. I would like to contribute to the writing world with my bilingual skills. I don’t know yet how I’m going to do it, but I plan to accomplish something in that aspect.

So, these are the reasons why I write. What about you? Why do you write?

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Evanescent

Daily Prompt: WordPress Challenge: Evanescent

Your glow is dimming, ever so gently

taking your glare with you, fading into the abyss

I start to look, for any sign

perhaps some footsteps, left by your shadow

and find hollow instead.

Your existence,

a fleeting moment,

an evanescence.

~~~~~ *** ~~~~~

The pictures below were taken during a precious moment in my life. I didn’t know it yet then that it was a period of change, that my life would forever change because I came to the place shown in these images. The place represents tranquility, peace, a time for contemplation, but it also now holds a grief. The place always reminds me of certain individuals who I keep close to my heart, but I don’t know why I somehow feel that they are drifting away.  I’m afraid that they are slowly…becoming an evanescence.

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Blue sky

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Please tell me that this is just my fear, that my thinking has no ground. Please tell me so.

*****

Infinity

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Tulisan berikut adalah hasil penelusuranku dalam dunia infinity, walaupun untuk sesaat. Aku tidak berencana membuat hasil karya tulisan di bawah ini. Benar-benar kubiarkan pikiran dan jariku berjalan sendiri. Dan inilah hasilnya. Tulisan dibuat di sebuah warung kopi (dengan wifi tentu saja).

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Tidak sulit sebenarnya untuk menghilang secara emosional di tengah orang banyak. Bagiku, cukup dibutuhkan musik, headset, laptop atau buku. Tempat itu tidak perlu sebuah tempat yang sunyi. Bisa sebuah tempat umum, asalkan punya ruangan di mana aku bisa duduk sendirian — mungkin di pojok atau di tengah ruangan, tidak masalah, asalkan tidak ada yang mengganggu. Dan aku bisa melayang ke duniaku sendiri. di mana jari jemariku bebas menari dengan luwesnya di atas keyboard. Atau mataku bisa dengan santainya menelusuri baris per baris dalam sebuah dunia yang ditawarkan oleh buku di depanku. Untuk sementara, aku bisa menghilang ke dunia yang berbeda. Tak ada yang mencari, tak ada yang peduli. Bebas sendirian dengan pemikiran, keinginan, pilihanku. Aku bisa berbincang dengan pikiran apa saja yang muncul — memilah antara mana yang mau kutemani atau tinggalkan.

Seperti yang aku alami, kau pun pasti akan mendengarkan suara-suara lain di sekelilingmu. Bagaikan lebah, mendengung, mendengking, mencekik, seakan berjoget ria di atas kepalamu. Suara-suara yang lain itu…mereka menguntit, mengganggu, ingin masuk ke duniamu, tapi jangan biarkan. Karena duniamu adalah milikmu sendiri. Hari ini, saat ini, duniamu adalah milikmu, batasan antara nyata dan angan, garis ujung antara kewajiban dan kebebasan, pemisah antara dunia penuh beban dan dunia tanpa akhir. Dunia itu, saat ini, sayangnya akan berakhir suatu waktu. Maka nikmatilah saat ini itu, hasil ciptaanmu, sebelum berakhir.

Hanya satu saranku. Sambil menikmati, tetap waspada. Hati-hati untuk tak sampai terjebak terlalu dalam di dunia itu. Semakin dalam engkau melangkah masuk, semakin sulit buatmu untuk kembali. Tetaplah sadar bahwa walaupun melangkah ke dunia itu adalah suatu bentuk kenyamanan, yang di sana itu tidak nyata. Yang nyata adalah yang akan membangunkanmu esok pagi dari tidur yang panjang. Dunia itu memang nyaman, nikmat, AMAN. Hasil kreasi sendiri pasti aman. Tak ada rasa sakit, tak ada kritikan, beban. Tak perlu sampai berlinangan air mata. Indah memang…imaginasi itu. Tapi jangan terlalu terbuai.

Terletak kebebasan yang luar biasa memang dalam situasi itu, tapi juga kesedihan. Yah, sedih. Tidakkah kau lihat bahwa kau sendirian dalam dunia itu? Suara-suara yang lain itu, mereka ingin masuk tapi sebenarnya tidak bisa masuk. Sadarkah engkau bahwa dunia itu milikmu sendiri? Tak ada lain yang bisa masuk. Memang itu milikmu sendiri, engkau bebas ingin melakukan apa pun di situ…tapi sendirian.

Bila engkau siap, kembalilah. Telusuri jalan yang sama yang membawamu masuk ke situ. Kembalilah sebelum duniamu yang di sini, yang menantimu, telah berubah karena engkau pergi terlalu lama. Mereka yang mencintaimu, ada di sini, tak lekang oleh waktu, tetap mencintaimu. Tapi mereka juga punya hak untuk berubah, dan mereka memang telah berubah. Tak ada yang sama. Tak ada yang statis di dunia ini.

Pergi dan kembalilah. Jangan tersesat.

*****

Don’t Chase Illusion in Relationship. Learn How Facing Reality can Cause Harmony.

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Saw an article today. The title: “Don’t Chase Men. Learn How Chasing a Man can Push Him Away.” As anyone can guess, the article talks about relationship between men and women. The article is directed to women, as obvious as it can be.

One word from me about the article: G A R B A G E

If you have something else better to do, then do that other thing. No need to waste time reading it. But then again, some wise dude had said before, as writers, we do have to read garbage once a while…in order NOT to produce one.

Now, let’s get to what I have in mind about why I think it’s garbage and why it bothers me.

What I meant by garbage is not the writing, but the content. And yes, I am writing as a woman, with the perspective of a woman, and not just any woman, but a woman who had gone through a similar experience portrayed in the article. In a short summary of the article, it explains that women should not chase men, but often women does it unconsciously by being “friendly.”  Friendly, by the author, meant calling, texting, initiating contact, making plans, asking the man how he feels, and so on. The list is quite long and with extensive explanation. All of these actions end up pushing men away. And therefore, the message by the author is for women to avoid doing them. Well, my dear readers, I’d like to inform you that while typing this essay, I am in a constant restraining effort to control my emotion from reacting.

I would like to offer my piece of mind, another side of the story, a challenge to the status quo in the society that sees women as needy, demanding, nagging, just because we LOVE big, deep, and fully. Bless us women who feel free to love with no fear. Bless us women who bravely profess and show our love through little things that we do and say. Bless us women who were left behind, neglected, betrayed, cheated, ignored, and even to the point of being treated with violence (not necessarily by the partnering man, but also by other people), but still managed to open our hearts again and again to love other living beings. Bless us women who when showing our love, we are greeted by labels; labels that put us down, saying that we chase men too much, that we lower ourselves, that we are desperate, and so on.

I, myself, have been called needy and nagging. Lucky me! I was told that I asked too many questions. A man in my life had complained once about my casual asking, “Have you eaten?” The question, by the way, was asked in order to open a conversation, as a form of chitchat. Most of the time, I was the one who called first, asked the “how are you, how’s your day” first. Most of the time, I was the one who initiated the open up, the talk, the telling of stories in the conversation with the hope of engaging the two of us. I felt that if I didn’t do them, then there wouldn’t be any conversation, exchange, or communication. Perhaps I was wrong in that thinking, but only those who had tried speaking with someone who doesn’t like to talk much on the phone would understand my thinking. Of course, I did them all by choice. I chose to do them; therefore, I’m responsible for my actions. I made the decision to extend my hand, to reach out.

Now, the question is, was everything that I did wrong? Was it wrong to reach out and call first, to initiate contact, to make suggestion or plan to meet? Well, according to the article above, since I did all of those, I  may as well walk around with a label “needy” printed on my chest. As the article put it:

Everything on this list is the same as putting a sign on your chest that says “Needy.” It smacks of desperation. And, it’s just plain not attractive to him.

Plain not attractive to him? Seriously? *gagging*

Let me say that if a man can’t handle my shower of affection and think that I’m not attractive because of that, then c’est la vie! He is welcomed to find another dull doll or mannequin that will not do all of those things to him, not chase him, not ask him questions, and so on. And for me? I will reserve my energy for other people, whether those are families, friends, or even another special person, who will appreciate my affection. God gave me a gift in the form of abundant affection inside me and I intend to use it right. And let’s not forget the One Almighty who at any given moment deserves my attention. So, if a person thinks that my showering of affection is just plain not attractive and therefore avoids me, I will not hold my breath to wait too long.

Wait, I’m not done yet skinning the bones of the article. I have more to say. The article also has some subliminal messages and they need to be pointed out.

  1. Women is to blame for causing disharmony in relationship. Because of a certain way of thinking in most women, our behaviors are then labeled as those mentioned in the article: needy, desperate. In reality, instead of labeling women with those names, shall we at least try to examine why women behave that way? I believe in every relationship, how the relationship turns out is based on the work of both sides, never only one side. A woman, or a man, may act a certain way in a relationship because of the dynamics of both people in that relationship, plus the influence of the past and family background of both people. Is it the woman’s fault only that she acts that way? Have we ever asked instead why do men have to put distance or become distant in relationship whenever they don’t like “being chased”? Men also has a choice to not become distant. Face the problem, deal with what’s causing the distress, and fix it together. Communicate what is the problem, talk about a solution together, but whatever it is, please do not think that it is the side of the woman that is at fault. We women hear that too often, but trust me, the matter will never be solved with the men also continue to behave the same — running away.
  2. The author describes a relationship as one person doing the chasing and the other one being chased. Why? Why does chasing need to occur? That sounds like a game. Furthermore, there is an advice at the end of the article to encourage women to act certain way, even though that part is untold or hidden in the article. One needs to subscribe to their newsletter to know it. It gives a message again as if there is a game that women can do to attract men. Why does it have to be like that?

I believe that if you like a person, and find out later that you love that person, then commit! Like-love-commit. If there is no like and love anymore, then leave. If love, attention and time are not given, why stay if only to feel pain?  But if choosing commitment, then enter with a full heart so there’s no need for any distancing to happen whenever facing a problem in that relationship. And because there is no distancing, then there’s no need for chasing in the forms of nagging or demanding.

Has anyone thought before perhaps chasing happens because the chased one likes to be chased? If he/she did not enjoy being chased, chasing would never occur. I suspect that some people (men and women) like the idea of being wanted in a game like this, and unfortunately, there are people who also like to do the chasing. Well, love is not a game. Sounds cliche, but true.

You play with fire, you get burn. Damn, more cliche!

*****

Laungan Hati

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Image titled Can You Hear Me… by HA91, from deviantart.com

hitam kelam warnamu terawangi jagadku
memaksa pergi senja indah berjingga — membisu
kokoh, mematung bak gunung berasap di depanmu
hatimu tertutup mendung

ingin, ingin, betapa kehendak sudah bersuara lantang!
telinga ini semakin tuli oleh laungan hati sendiri
senyapmu itu, tinggallah pergi
dan biarkan kumerayap kembali kepada malam

tak ada isak lagi dalam lengang
berserah, ketenangan kuajak berlabuh dalam dada
tapi seriak angan masih bebal berderu di kepala, enggan beranjak
harapanku, tak pernah kubiarkan terenggut oleh sengitnya ombak

Amba oleh Laksmi Pamuntjak: Awal Perkenalan

“Di Pulau Buru, laut seperti seorang ibu: dalam dan menunggu. Embun menyebar seperti kaca yang buyar, dan siang menerangi ladang yang diam. Kemudian malam akan mengungkap apa yang hilang oleh silau.”

Dengan kalimat pembuka seperti itu, siapa yang tidak terpikat untuk secepatnya ingin terjun bebas ke dalam lautan lembaran-lembaran itu? Ini bukan sebuah review, tapi adalah awal dari sebuah perjalanan bersama Amba, oleh Laksmi Pamuntjak. Buku ini awalnya adalah buku yang ditulis dalam bahasa Inggris mengenai keadaan di Indonesia tahun 1965, dan sudah ditulis ulang (bukan diterjemahkan saja) ke dalam bahasa Indonesia dan juga ke dalam bahasa Jerman dan Belanda. Bahkan telah memenangkan penghargaan literatur di Jerman.

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amba 3

Mohon maaf, tidak bisa menulis lebih banyak lagi untuk malam ini dan mungkin beberapa hari ke depan. Begitulah saya kalau bertemu buku yang membuat seperti tangan dan mata sudah gatal dari tadi ingin segera beradu cepat…membuka halaman demi halaman. Adios.

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