Hello 29!

   
Picture 1: I like how my colleagues put the product I managed as my last name on a birthday cake. And oh, picture was taken by my boss. 

Picture 2: I like how my Indian girls says “Ika, in Indian culture we need to feed you the first bite of our cake, it’s a symbol that we share the sweetness of life” — after that one by one people were putting their spoon on my face. I’m opening my mouth sincerely. 🍰 

Picture 3: I like how my SF besties were calling me at 11.45, in the middle of my 1:1 meeting with ma boss. Then buzz me with picture “we’re on our way. Go PP. now!” They were having back to back meeting. And in the middle of their super busy Wednesday, they would drive jakarta’s road for having a quick lunch with me. 

Picture 4: it was the second meeting of the day. My colleague took a pict of me, candidly. I was giving directions to the new telesales team, sharing them bullets to go to the cloud war ☁️ He posted that on our MS-love-to-eat-gengs. 

Picture 5: another colleague sent me a happy birthday line with the link of my fav band’s latest tunes. Later at night I found their gig sched on a weekend. How the universe conspires to greet me “Happy Birthday” :) 

Picture 6: blew the candle. Came home so tired. And all peeps at home were waiting for me to had dinner together ((heartmelt)). It was almost 10 PM — Jakarta traffic’s not really nice tonight. We had nasi kuning ayam bakar together. 

I thank you for all the prayers and wishes. I want you to know that I read every words carefully, wholeheartedly. So happy to acknowledge that soooo many of you were thinking about me. Gave a time to pause from your busy routines — just to threw me a greet, wish, even questions like “how was your birthday?”, “you had a blast?”. Once more, I thank you all. 

I thank You. For all greatness and challenges I got. For presents that never fails to amaze me. For hope and faith, to face what awaits. 

Welcome, 29! ✨


A great year within

 

This is the time, when almost everyone are making the reflection. Page 365 of 365. December 31st just couple hours before a new calendar will be hanged.

Just like everyone, I’m taking a bit of me time. At the corner of a good cafe gallery. Near my Yoga class will be held in 55 mins. I leave a bit early from my fancy office. Have a bite of choco-lava cake. And remember all the sweets that I had within a year. Here are couple things I should grateful of this year.

 

Great playground to learn.

I spend more than 8 hours a day on the most popular office building in the city. Challenge myself to give ma best performance to an IT company. This industry isn’t slow at all. There are always new things to absorb — sometimes in super fast period of time. So lucky I work with great teams. Most of them have a-can-do-atittude, as well as willingness to learn and to collaborate. Can’t imagine to run these kind of business without those mindsets. As a newb in an office life, I can say Imma lucky bastard.

Work has helped me a lot in learning a rhythm. To put things that I need in the future at  a good sequence. To get prepared for any unpredictable things that could’ve happened. To manage the unmanaged. They’re not easy. Couple of times I smiled when leaving a meeting room, couple of times I cried too. But, you know, it’s a playground. It’s suppose to makes you happy while playing. sometime’s you fell from a swing, or getting hit by a bad friend, but you still come to the same playground the next day. You try another vehicle. You make friends with a new comer. See if you can still find the fun you wanna get on there.

Great friends along the way.

Not saying that I have a perfect non-office life. I lose friends, get (even better) ones too. They come and go within a year, teaching life lessons. One of good lesson is: don’t get too attached. We never have any of these things at the first place anyway, so always knew that there will be a time to lose them. We just don’t know how and when. Experience the joy as well as hurts they may put. Life won’t be balanced without those.

Great family and home. 

Redefining the word “family” and “home” are not as simple as packed your things into cases and move to a new place (The second one is not easy too, btw). This year, I can say that this is the most difficult challenge that I need to face. This is how I survived:  I ask this question everytime: “Think, Ika: what would you do differently to make this better?”, then I’ll do it, and repeat. “Better things” that I could think of at that time, might not “better enough” — you know, I’m not that smart. But I knew that I took a tiny step towards a light.

After all, every definition in life will eventually change anyway. Not only the definition of Home and Family.

I called Bandung a home in 2013, San Francisco at 2014, and now Jakarta for 2015. Changes will grow you. That’s what I believe.

Bali

So, do I survive?

2015 is not an easy year at all. Hustles. Tears. Fear. Scars. All were there. But there were also joy, contentment, and compassion stopped by. A month before new year, and I start thinking already about excited things thay I wanna get next year. Take deep breaths, close eyes, and picture sweet moments that will come.

Will do more travel. Will pray harder. sleep better. Exercise more often. Eat nice fruits. Put bigger smile. And most of all, live happier.

Happy new year, readers! I do hope you had a great year as mine. See you on 2016!

 

Ps: Pics are from our last 3200KM road trip, ended in Bali. We celebrated 30th annivs of Mom and Dad. Saw nice places. And got bonded for sure.


Wear Sunscreen

Just one other day in the office where I tune up the radio for chillout music, accompanying me to catch some errands. Then this song came out. Which is pretty interesting and.. lovely.

Here’s a bit a bout the lyrics:

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young“, commonly known by the title “Wear Sunscreen“,[1] is an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, originally published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune. The essay, giving various pieces of advice on how to live a happier life and avoid common frustrations, spread massively via viral email, often erroneously described as a commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut at MIT.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Sore di Jakarta

Ada banyak cerita di tiap sore kota Jakarta. And it is interesting for me to see every details, especially when I’m on the bus. 

Ada suara Taylor Swift yang bocor dari earphone. 

Ada halaman al matsurat yang diterangi sinar seadanya. 

Ada sticker line kecup bibir yang membuat pembacanya tersenyum. 

Ada genjreng gitar yang ditemani suara (yang entah kenapa hampir selalu) mirip iwan fals. 

Tepukan abang kenek yang mengingatkan penumpang yang tak update tarif baru.  

Pesan terkirim berisi pemberitahuan “sudah dekat ya” pada penjemput setia. 

Aroma soto yang dibungkus untuk makan nanti di rumah.. Dan banyak cerita lainnya yang terlihat kasat mata. 

Cerita yang tak terlihat, mungkin lebih seru. 

Mungkin ada rasa kangen pada peluk dan sapa dari anak perempuan di rumah. 

Ada lapar yang ditahan karena tak sempat pergi makan siang. 

Ada resah karena ayah yang tak kunjung sembuh di rumah. 

Ada rasa enggan pulang karena tengkar yang belum reda bersama kekasih. 

Ada rindu pada dia yang kembali terselip saat sibuk kantor sudah lewat. 

Ada luka yang sakitnya masih perih di hati. 

Ada bangga akan “terimakasih” yang terlontar dari pemimpin di kantor. 

Ada.. 

Ada banyak lagi cerita, ada yang terlihat,  ada yang tidak. I don’t need an HBO to make me stay and watch these moments. This somehow gives me a routine me-time. To just sit, see, and eventually feel grateful about the day I just had. 

When I had a bad day, I knew I’m not the only one who have one. These strong people would still try to have a better day, tomorrow. And I should do the same, even try better. When I had a superb day,.. Well I like to throw smiles to random people. Just to pass a good energy that I have. I start to enjoy the rhythm. Seeing these moments is wayyyy better than driving alone, or texting on a cab. 

Ps: someone really cool made an amazing Jakarta playlist. Easy listening dengan suara gitar akustik yang simple dan gak banyak efek macem-macem. Ringan. Cocok didengerin sore-sore di atas bis. Suka banget.   

  


A weekend

is a time I use to reflect what I’ve done and gotten 5 days before, and plan another excitement 5 days after. 

Is a time when I can spend sometime with mom, lil bro, and dad. 

Is a time when I can sleep and wake up a lil bit late.

—– 

  
Anyway, I enjoyed my weekend! 

On Saturday, I had enough sleeps, breakfast with mom, coffee with baes, drove parents to a party and ate good stuffs there. 

On Sunday I watched Tom Cruise in MI5, saloon time with mom (and now having a super good smell on my hair), had a good sandwich while preparing work for Monday and enjoyed Tohpati songs on my way home. 

Oh I got succha good one. Alhamdulillah. Nggak cuma weekend-nya. Weekday-nya pun banyak hal penuh lessons, fun reminders and excitement. And between those lessons, here’s my fav:

“If you wanna get something you’ve never got before, do things you’ve never done before”

Kalo lagi hitung-hitung berkah gini, berasa deh kalo Allah sayang banget sama diriku. 🙏🏻


The Importance of Repetition

“Jangan lupa set rhythm-nya ya, Ika”, begitu kata Mas Aries, my direct supervisor at the office. He is an amazing person. He gives me lotsa lessons. And one of them is: the importance of doing things repetitively.

By writing this post, I wanna remind myself that having a rhythmic life is essential. Memiliki sebuah keteraturan, keberulangan yang disiplin, adalah penting. 

Marbot masjid akan selalu menjalankan tugasnya untuk azan ketika matahari terbit. 

Matahari, secara disiplin akan terbit pada waktu yang hampir berulang setiap tahunnya. 

Keberaturan. Adalah yang membuat hidup ini menjadi cantik. Menciptakan sebuah pola. Sehingga memudahkan orang-orang seperti saya untuk belajar. Saya jadi lebih menerima saat tubuh dan emosi jadi ringkih setiap bulannya, ada ritme 25 hari yang membuat saya tidak bisa mengelak dari bekerjanya hormon di tubuh ini. 

Dari pola. Saya belajar banyak hal. Saya jadi tau, bahwa teratur dalam belajar, membuat pintar. Teratur merokok, membahayakan paru. Teratur beribadah, menyehatkan jiwa. Saya jadi mengerti, pola.. adalah titik-titik kecil. Yang ketika dirangkai, akan membentuk garis, ataupun gambar, apapun itu — a bigger picture. A bigger purpose. 

Saya jadi ingat filosofi batik. It always starts from a dot. Satu bentuk, berulang, dengan rupa dan jarak yang (diusahakan) sama. Do we really have a perfect pattern? No we won’t. Bahkan pembatik terampil sekalipun mungkin menitikkan malam di luar pola. Mungkin saat itu dia lelah, kurang konsentrasi. Dia tetap mencoba menjalankan rutinitas saat sedang sedih melihat anaknya yang tidak kunjung mendengar nasihat. Mungkin. Saat titik keluar pola, maka terjadilah perubahan. 

Change, darling. Is inevitable. 

Namun pembatik yang teguh akan sadar dengan segera saat dia membuat kesalahan. Menghirup nafas sejenak, melihat kain batik dari kejauhan — untuk memeriksa sudah sejauh mana pola-pola itu tersusun. Mengukur dampak kesalahan kepada hasil akhir batik nantinya. Lalu berstrategi, untuk melanjutkan ritme kembali, menyelesaikan kain batik hingga akhir. 

Batik tulis tak akan luput dari alfa. Namun itulah yang membuatnya bernilai. Memiliki jiwa. Dan cerita. 

Ritme. Membentuk degup. Merangkai nafas. Memberikan rasa pada setiap inci proses yang kita lalui. Kita boleh senang saat nanti kain batik sudah rampung dibuat. Tapi ada yang manis untuk dikenang, saat melihat lagi titik-titik yang keluar pola. Mengingat momen di baliknya. Ada yang manis untuk dikenang, ketika ingat masa lelah itu. Saat kita memutuskan berhenti. Menyimpan kainnya. Lalu menemukan semangat untuk membuka kembali. Mengulang ritme dari nol — dan sungguh berat mengumpulkan lagi semangat menitikkan malam berulang-ulang. 

Ketika ritme berhenti. Maka hukum Newton berlaku. Ada percepatan yang harus dihadirkan. Untuk menggeser massa. Agar dia tidak diam. 

Ada percepatan yang harus dihadirkan. Untuk menggerakkan kembali tangan ini, membentuk titik-titik, untuk merampungkan pola pada kain batik. Nilai percepatan, tidak nol adanya. Dia mungkin bernilai besar, mungkin saat mengingat sang anak akan mengenakan kain ini saat wisuda nanti. Atau membayangi bahwa kain ini akan menemani cucunya tidur setiap malam. She may even have a really good mood while working on the pattern, so everything seems just.. Easy and enjoyable.  

Mungkin saja, pola besarnya tidak tergambar sejak awal. Sang pembatik, hanya tau membuat titik dengan jarak dan bentuk yang sama. Tapi di satu hari, saat batik itu rampung dikerjakan, saya yakin dia tetap bernilai tinggi, dan sesuatu yang bernilai, pasti cantik dikenakan. 

I like how Coelho puts repetition as a lethal way of life. It indeed kills. 

  
 

 


Layangan Putus

  
I took a cab just now. And the driver, was just hilarious! 

Obrolan dimulai saat lewat pasar tradisional. Which is only around 10 mins from my house. 

Driver (D): wah ini pasarnya rame ya kalo malam. 

Ika (I): Kalau siang lebih heboh lagi pak. Biasanya saya lewat komplek gamprit, tapi banyak polisi tidur sih. 

D: biarin aja tidur, jangan dibangunin 

I: hahahahahahahahaha. Iya pak. 

D: orang kalo jatuh cinta, jauh lho mbak dari penyakit! 

I: *eh kok ini obrolannya gak nyambung* 

oh ya pak? Hahahahaha 

*ketawa sopan. Biar terlihat menyimak. Padahal udah khawatir ini bakal diajak ngomong nggak juntrung ngalor ngidul* 

D: iya mbak, demam-demam gitu pasti hilang. 

I: emangnya bapak lagi jatuh cinta? 

D: wah, saya mah selalu sedang jatuh cinta mbak. Aneh ya. 

I: wahhh. Hebat banget. Sama istrinya kan? 

D: iya dong. Sama istri saya. Dia itu hebat mbak. Selalu bisa bikin saya jatuh cinta. 

I: waaaaw. Apa rahasianya? 

D: nyebelin dan suka ngomel. 

I: hah? Tapi bikin bapak terus jatuh cinta? 

D: lha iya. Hebat lho. Saya selalu bisa kangen sama dia. Ya sama omelannya. Nyebelin. Tapi kangen. 

Namanya juga pernikahan ya. Nggak romantis terus. Tapi ya itu anehnya. Orang ini bisa bikin saya jatuh cintaaaaaaa terus. Bahkan dengan omelannya. Aneh kan. Saya juga sebel kenapa bisa gini. Tapi seneng juga. Ya kayak jatuh cinta tiap saat aja. Hidup rasanya enteng, demam-demam hilang. 

I: hahahahaha bisa gitu ya pak. 

D: ya bisa. Saya sadar kok. Orang kayak saya ini nggak banyak. Terlalu banyak orang di luar sana kayak layangan putus. Kesana-kemari, nggak jelas apa yang dicari. Kok bisa ya. Saya itu, kalo udah malem gini ya kangen. Pengen pulang. Bukannya saya nggak suka cewek cantik. Ya tapi, itu lho. Udah kebanyakan layangan putus di dunia. Dan dilalah saya selalu kangen kok sama yg nyebelin di rumah itu. 

I: waaaawww hahahaha. Hebat pak. Bapak udah lama nikahnya? Udah punya putra/putri berapa pak? 

D: sudah tua saya iniiiii. Sudah aki-aki. Istri saya juga sudah nenek-nenek. Anaknya jangan kaget ya. Banyak. Ada lima. 

Maaf nih ya. Kalo di ranjang, istri saya tuh selalu bisa memuaskanku, mbak. Nggak pernah nggak puas. Makanya anaknya banyak. 

I: hebat yaa istri bapak! Bapak juga hebat sih. Nggak banyak orang yg dikasih rejeki skill kaya gitu lho pak. 

——–

It was a very short conversation, but it gave me laughters and lessons. 

  1. Feeling abundant. Duh. Bapak ini, skill bersyukurnya luar biasa. 
  2. Istrinya!!!! Kok bisa sekeren itu? Sounds like she could manage and balance everything. She indeed deserves a man like this. Dan selalu bisa muasin di ranjang? Wawwwww. That’s really a skill. 

Berdoa dalam hati semoga bisa punya keluarga kaya gini suatu hari. Suami yang pandai bersyukur, dan gue bisa jadi istri yang gak pernah lelah berusaha lebih baik. Amin!

Ramadhan 2015 hari kedua. Got lots of rizqi already. Alhamdulillah.