Perda Nyepi Di Bali vs Perda Ramadhan

Ada banyak suara mendengungkan mengenai Nyepi di Bali ketika membahas Perda intoleran yang akan dihapus Jokowi seiringan dengan mencuatnya berita tentang Ibu Eni di Serang Banten yang warungnya dirazia, barang dagangannya disita oleh petugas pemda Serang, diantaranya ada perempuan berjilbab loh! Tega sekali ya.

Saya memang pendukung Jokowi sejak awal. Meski begitu, tidak semua keputusan beliau saya amini. Namun kali ini, keputusan beliau untuk menghapus perda intoleran ini saya dukung penuh. Karena saya muak lihat penganut agama mayoritas memaksakan keyakinannya pada umat lain, belum lagi yang melarang umat lain beribadah karena alasan yang sama sekali tidak masuk akal. Seakan-akan negeri ini milik mereka sendiri. Seolah-olah ini negara Islami. Padahal tindakan mereka sendiri jauh dari norma-norma Islam.

Di saat negara lain sudah sibuk dengan penemuan-penemuan ilmiah dan mencapai kemajuan dalam peradaban, ekonomi dan sosial budaya. Di Indonesia, setiap tahun, yang dibahas selalu.. kalau tidak mengenai warung tutup atau buka selama Ramadhan, boleh atau tidak mengucapkan selamat hari natal, dan masalah sepele lainnya.

Situasi ini mencerminkan satu hal, yaitu ketidakdewasaan masyarakat Indonesia dalam menjalankan agamanya. Dari seluruh penganut agama mayoritas (baca: islam) kalau ditanya mengenai agama atau dalil yang dipakai mengenai tindakan dan pendapatnya hampir pasti jawabannya: “kalau soal dalil, tanya saja sama ustadz!” Dalam kata lain, sebagian besar dari pemeluk Islam di Indonesia itu beriman buta. Alias, beriman tapi tidak tahu dasar ilmunya. Contoh kecil, kata-kata dalam bahasa Arab apapun maknanya, pasti diamini karena terdengar seperti do’a. Padahal bahasa Arab itu bisa bermakna apa saja, termasuk sumpah serapah. Sedih kan?

Sangat disayangkan memang. Karena sejatinya, ajaran Islam sendiri adalah ajaran yang baik, bersih dan sangat toleran. Ilmu yang disuguhkan dalam ajaran Islam itu luar biasa banyaknya. Dari ilmu fiqih sampai ilmu tauhid dan ilmu tafsir. Saking dalam dan luasnya tidak akan habis dipelajari secara mendalam meskipun dilakukan seumur hidup!

Bulan Ramadhan biasanya adalah waktu yang tepat untuk melakukan ibadah sebab orang Islam percaya pahalanya dilipat gandakan beratus kali lipat dibanding dengan aktifitas ibadah di bulan lain. Seharusnya umat Islam sibuk mengkaji kitab sucinya, mendalami maknanya dan memahami betul setiap ayat yang dilafadzkannya. Sebab Al-Quran itu bukan sekedar buku mantra yang hanya dibaca berulang-ulang tanpa mengetahui maknanya. Al-Quran juga jauh lebih mulia dari pada sekedar dijadikan alat mencari nafkah bagi para ustadz karbitan yang melafadzkan ayat seenak jidat di televisi. Padahal tajwidnya saja kadang-kadang salah.

Lalu kembali ke masalah perda di Bali setiap hari raya Nyepi yang di sandingkan dengan perda Ramadhan ini.

Saya tinggal di Bali sudah hampir 3 tahun. Dan sudah dua kali mengalami hari Nyepi di Bali. Pada saat nyepi, semua orang tidak boleh keluar rumah. Tidak boleh membuat kebisingan, dan tidak boleh menyalakan lampu. Umat Hindu Bali yang taat, akan menjalani hari raya nyepi dengan meditasi, dan puasa dan tidak berbicara. Itu kenapa disebut nyepi. Karena Bali betul-betul sepi total! Bandara ditutup, jalanan sepi dari kendaraan. Hanya ada pecalang banjar setempat yang boleh berkeliaran di luar untuk menertibkan warga yang tidak mematuhi aturan.

Sebagian dari turis ada yang melewatkan nyepi di hotel dengan penerangan minimum dan himbauan untuk tidak membuat kebisingan. Ada juga yang mengalami nyepi di villa atau rumah masing-masing. Pasar swalayan akan sangat sibuk, terutaman dua hari sebelum nyepi. Orang akan menimbun makanan untuk dikonsumsi selama nyepi. Lalu apakah kami, masyarakat non Hindu, pemilik usaha dan turis merasa terganggu dengan adanya perda ini?

Tidak sama sekali.

Sebaliknya, kami malah merasa antusias untuk menjalankan aturan saat nyepi ini. Bagi kami, ini pengalaman unik. Saya pribadi berandai-andai kalau ritual semacam nyepi ini bisa dilaksanakan di seluruh Indonesia setiap satu tahun sekali. Sebab dampaknya baik untuk lingkungan dan untuk batin kita yang sepanjang tahun disibukkan dengan detil duniawi.

Alasan lain kami merasa tidak terganggu dengan adanya ritual nyepi ini adalah, sepanjang tahun selain hari nyepi, masyarakat Hindu Bali sangat toleran terhadap kami para pendatang. Mereka tidak rewel ketika adzan harus berkumandang 5 kali sehari dari mesjid. Sebelum memberikan hantaran, tuan rumah saya akan bertanya apakah saya mengkonsumsi babi. Pada waktu shalat tarawih, pecalang akan membantu membersihkan halaman restoran padang tempat diadakannya shalat tarawih.

Bukankah itu semua terdengar indah?

Jadi kalau ada orang membandingkan perda ramadhan dengan perda nyepi di Bali, menurut saya itu bukan perbandingan yang sepadan. Untuk membandingkan satu perda dan perda lain butuh pemahaman yang menyeluruh menganai kenapa perda itu dibentuk.

Nah kaitannya mengenai perda ramadhan dimana penduduk muslim adalah mayoritas, apakah di bulan lain selain ramadhan, penduduk mayoritas itu sudah memberikan toleransi yang wajar untuk pemeluk agama lain? Apakah pemeluk agama lain sudah merasa aman dan nyaman dalam menjalankan ibadah mereka sehari-hari?

Saya pesimis soal Serang. Terakhir kali saya mendengar kata Serang adalah di tahun 2008. Ketika umat Ahmadiyah dibantai selayaknya hewan. Dan saya yakin pelaku pembantaian itu masih berkeliaran dengan bebas di kota itu.

Sudah tentu, situasinya jauh dari situasi penuh toleransi. Dan itu yang ingin diubah Jokowi. Mendidik warganya agar mengerti arti toleransi dan berhenti menebar kebencian atas dasar perbedaan agama dan keyakinan. Dan nyatanya, penduduk yang intoleran itu memang penganut agama mayoritas yang inginnya masuk surga tapi mencipta neraka di lingkungan sendiri.

I Call Her, Mother.

The first time I saw the relationship between Claire Underwood and her mother, I felt relieved. She is a fictional character but that kind of relationship between mother and daughter, it does exist. I have that kind of relationship with my mother. Where our functions for each other are only on practical matters, when I couldn’t earn money, I will ask for her help -as the last resort. As long as my closest friends could help, I won’t ask for her help. And since I earn for myself, she talks to me when she needs help. Just like I did.

I can’t remember when was the last time we had a deep conversation about our lives and our problems. I don’t think we ever had it. I never seek for her advice nor her insight. I minimised the story I shared with her. This happens for a reason. Her first approach has always been blaming me for the problem I brought to the surface. Never comforting, always confronting. That’s what she is. We are just totally different. I can understand her but I don’t think she understands me. She never trust me that I could handle my problems, even though in the last 15 years, I survived without her support.

Well, I clearly don’t trust her either. Even to handle my future child when I have it later, if ever. Not that I think she would be a bad grandmother. It’s just that, I don’t want my child to feel what I feel when I am near my mother.

Living in the country where motherhood is being praised as a noble job, it goes with the saying that heaven is under the mothers’ feet.

I rolled my eyes on that.

That point of view gives every mother the sense of entitlement, they think they have the right to shape their child as they like. Hence, the child never asked to be born from her, and the children are their own self.

Let’s just be clear that not every mother is an angel. Some mothers are assholes. Some mothers don’t deserve their children’s love simply because they don’t earn it.

My mother is one of those mothers who think she deserve all the prizes in the world no matter what she does. All she knows, being a mother is a noble job. And that is what’s torturing her to this day, her expectations over me and my brothers, well, especially me, as I am the only child who live far away from her. Being an Indonesian woman born in a strict moslem family, living far away from parents before get married is forbidden. Forbid me to do something without a good reason, I would do just that. 

My generation is the generation who live in between millenials and post-Soekarno generation. My generation have a better understanding in psychology, multi cultural relationship, and mostly are open minded over many things compared to the generation before us.

My mother was born three years before Soekarno’s regime had fallen. Her mother was a housewife, she was a nurse before she married my grandfather and my grandfather was a veteran. My mother’s parents are pretty much wealthy back in Soekarno’s era, until the big crisis hit the country which also hit my grandfather’s business. My mother is the eighth child from nine children. When my grandmother gave birth to her, their assets and wealth weren’t as much as before.

Long story short, my mother’s childhood wasn’t easy. She had to spare her money to buy the shoes that she wants, she had to share everything with her siblings. She never had enough privacy nor room for herself. She was raised in a military parenting style, I don’t know why.. but I guess, my grandparents are as clueless as many parents these days. Nine children, limited source of income and no internet? It must be tough, right?

That kind of childhood and many other stuff that had happened in my mother’s life made her the worst critic to me. I think she is simply not happy with herself and she projects her unhappiness onto me. Which is not okay in a way. But of course I understood her. It took me years to understand this. I think, if she cannot understand me, at least I can understand her and maybe someohow later in the future she will try to understand me eventually.

She applied that military parenting style that she learned from her parents to me and my little brothers. Non-affectionate and tough. Just like when she sent me to the boarding school without my consent. She brought me there, and dropped me there, she didn’t give me any chance to choose the school that I wanted to be in. She thought sending her daughter to the boarding school will change me to be the person she wants me to become. Little did she know I was planning to flee from the house since then. That was when I completely losing my trust on her.

I know she didn’t mean to do any harm. And in a way, I am grateful she sent me to the boarding school. Now I have a better understanding on my parent’s religion. And if she never sent me there, I won’t make a paper about parenting by model for my last assignment. Which gave me a lot of insight and understanding about the relationship between me and my mother.

As much as I am trying to understand her, I came to the conclusion that I could never be myself when I am with her. It took me years to realise that she will never accept me as I am, so for the peace of mind, I would be the person she wants me to become for at least once a year, during Idul Fitri (moslem holiday). For no more than three days, or a week, that is the longest I can fake myself in front of her.

It was necessary to do all that. As she will criticise me for every single thing, from the way I dress, the way I talk, to the way I fart! And don’t even start with the way I think. It will completely driving her crazy.

This parenting style I got from my parents made me grew up to be a girl who struggled with low self-esteem problem until my mid 20s. Until I was twenty six, I never know how being accepted feels like. Of course it affects my relationships with men as well, which only started when I was twenty-three.

But being a very introspective person helps me to get a better understanding about myself. As for many things that happened in my life, I will go deep to analyse and find the root of the problems.

Just like when I went through an abusive relationship.

I realised, strong people with solid relationship with themselves won’t be involved in an abusive relationship. I hated myself so much for not being a normal person as my mother told me. So I learned to forgive myself and accept myself, I looked for the core of my problen, it turns out I needed to forgive myself for every flaw and every mistake that I did in the past. And since I realised that, I team up with myself and will always maintain this solid relationship until my last breath. This helped me to see my worth and have a stronger self-esteem.

I grew up in the street. Not Bronx kind of street, but I literally picked up advices, insights and wisdom from people outside of home, from the book, from the movies, from comics, from a friend’s story and from my own experience. From those sources, I learned, you can’t choose how you were born or from whom you were born, but you can always choose how to live your life and I chose to be who I am today.

I might picture my mother really bad here. But you must know, despite everything I mentioned above, I also learned a lot from her. She is an independent woman. She won’t admit that she is pro egalitarianism, but what she does in her marriage with my father, is so much it. They support each other through thick and thin. She didn’t mind when she earned more than my father when the national crisis hits Indonesia’s economy in 1997, which also crushed my father’s business. She was the breadwinner for our family for quite a while.

She is a strong woman, I admire her resilience through every problem and difficulty in her life since she was a child. I heard a lot about her childhood story, not only from her, but also from the people who witnessed it.

Those two qualities that she has, I absorbed that in me. But not the toxic behaviors I can’t really mention here. There used to be a huge flaming anger inside me everytime I learned that I adopted her toxic behavior, that anger makes me want to be a different woman than her. Which I finaly do.

I didn’t get married in my 20s. I react differently than her toward any problem I encountered. I speak differently, I live a different lifestyle, I have a different perspective toward religion and life. I took other women as my role model. I minimise her role in my life, especially in the last eight years.

***

Back to the relationship between Claire Underwood and her mother, does she loves her mother? Yes she does. Just like I do love my mother.

Over all differences and the wounds she left in me as she raised me, I forgave her for that. She is a human after all. And knowing her childhood, I understand how she became herself now. She might never know who I really am and what sort of a woman her only daughter is, but I accepted her as she is.

Later when she dies, I will shed a tears as I regret that she never had a chance to get to know me better. But that is life, nothing is perfect. The word perfect itself should not existed.

image

Ubud: The Memento

It is my third year living in Bali. And I guess, I am leaving soon… Therefore, I feel the need to write a small note about the place I call home in the last three years.

It’s still fresh to my mind the first time I arrived in Ubud to visit my friend, Azhar, as he played his drone on the second floor of his friend’s house in Jalan Gootama. It was a short reunion after almost 4 years we didn’t meet each other, due to… Eh, long story short, his (thankfully) now-ex-wife wasn’t feeling secure that I hang out with her husband, just for the record, Azhar and I are totally platonic from the beginning.

It was 4pm, the traffic was crowded, I went here with Blue Bird Taxi. The only reliable taxi with a fair price I could get back then. There was no Go-Jek, nor Uber, nor Grab Taxi (although the last two services are banned by the local drivers community now).

I remember I saw Betelnut in front of Museum Puri Lukisan and told myself, ‘this must be a popular place here’. And then I saw Starbucks on the left side of the road. It’s a bizarre contrast to see Starbucks located in a Balinese building. But I could imagine myself ordering peanut butter panini and non-sugar raspberry frappe for breakfast there. (Yes, I was such a city girl trapped in a lifestyle created by those genius marketers. :p)

Now, I just figured it out that I came from Sayan through Tjampuhan to reach Ubud back then. Pura Gunung Lebah wasn’t as breathtaking as it is now, they haven’t done any restoration. I was more lured into the restaurant called Bridge. I could imagine having a dinner in there. ‘Oh my! I like this place already!’ so I told myself. And then I went through the Ubud Palace. This place is chaotically beautiful, I said. The kind of traffic I can bear every day.

Let’s take a note that this place is nowhere near the place I imagined before: a small town with rice fields and jungle all over. Hence, I saw international brand like Pandora, Nike, and Ralph Laurent open their shops here.

Oh, and I said I can bear the traffic, right?

Well, being someone who lived in Jakarta for too long, my patience was running thin as I reached Oops restaurant. I told the driver that I want to stop there and continue on foot to Jalan Gootama. I miss walking anyway, after a week staying in Kuta, I never had a chance to walk, it was too hot there. I spent most of my time in air-conditioned rooms (read: malls and indoor cafes, restaurants and my friend’s apartment).

I walked pretty fast, I arrived in Azhar’s friend place less than 10 minutes and got irritated to see people walk in slow motion, but then after I realised this is Bali, people are on their holidays. Yeah, it rings the bell… aight.

I happen to like Jalan Goutama, it’s a unique small road with small shops and small food parlor on both sides of the road. I spotted Balinese small temples with beautiful offerings on top of them, it pleases my eyes, them colors are beautiful. I can imagine myself walking around there in a flowy long dress and thong sandals, big earrings. (Well, it wasn’t what I wore back then. I wore turquoise tank top, with khaki shorts and flip-flops).

Fast forward to the first evening, Kelly (Azhar’s new girlfriend) took me to Betelnut, exactly the place I mentioned before, and I was right. It’s a cool place where people do movie screening, doing a show, or hold a cool event like Pecha Kucha Night, the one I attended that night.

Kelly and Azhar lived in the outskirt of Ubud, in Payogan. The air there is colder (tropical kind of cold) compared to Ubud center. I stayed there for a night. Then I went back to Kuta to pack my stuff and move to Ubud.

I was sold. I want to live in this town. Especially after Kelly offered me a job in the company where she worked. It’s a combo!

A week later, I worked as a copywriter. I started to write in English constantly since then, with basic knowledge of English grammar and syntax. Well, with me it’s always: just go for it, do it now! You will know how to fix problems later when you have it. It works like wonder so far.😉

To sum it up, basically, I left Jakarta to get a dream job, started to write in English, learned how to write a screen script, and learned how to do basic digital marketing. And oh yes,  in that office, I met Danny who’s then became my boyfriend, my writing mentor, my family, for two years. Nowhere near to Eat Pray Love kind of relationship, but I learned a lot from it.

During my first year in Bali, I didn’t drive a motorbike. Those fellow drivers on the road scared me to death! They are like the apes on the motorcycle, they don’t understand traffic rules. Frugal drivers who shouldn’t get a driving license, hence they don’t even have it!

Holy cheesus crust…

For that reason, I drove a push bike for a week until the bike got stolen when I stayed in Kuta over the weekend. Sucks, right? It made me being a motorbike hitchhiker with a personal helmet. There were Okta, Kelly, Ignat and Danny who generously gave me a lift every time I needed it. Well yes, it wasn’t a problem, until I moved to Penestanan, 15 minutes drive from Ubud center and 20 minutes to the office.

Not long after I moved to Penestanan, Kelly forced me to bring her motorbike from the office as she drove another bike… to her house. I had to drove through the most chaotic traffic in Ubud with random people across my way, they took my line, ugh! Basically, they are just being assholes on the road. I spent a year long of my cursing quota in that 15 minutes drive. But I do not regret it that I said yes to Kelly’s idea. It was an important milestone. Now I drive like a frugal Balinese, being one of those assholes I cursed back then, had one accident (and not looking forward to more) when someone took my line on a muddy road. Well, they say, “one does not simply drive around in Bali without having an accident or two.”

***

I am getting an intense nostalgia as I write this.

It’s amazing to remember how much experience I have had during my stay in Ubud. I am no longer the same person who met Azhar in Jalan Gootama. Obviously, I managed to transform myself to be someone I always wanted to become. Through pain, doubts, questions, heartbreaks, and many things else I can not mention here.

But, one thing that everyone who knows me might have noticed, I was an extremely angry person back then. If my eyes could tell you how I saw the world, it will mention fire, ruins, dark sky, tears, blood, and weaponry. I was angry over every-single-thing and as an expressive person, I expressed my anger in many ways except killing. I can’t even kill an ant in purpose. Some of the new friends back then, they took a few step backs and sort of blacklisted me from invitation list to hang out session. You know why.

Not that I didn’t have any good reason to be angry. I had all the good reasons, I enjoyed  being angry. Until I couldn’t stand myself and decided to tame my personal demons, let go of the grudge, turn on the light in my eyes, and change my perspective. Wasn’t as easy as it might sound. But I made it happens.

Which is good.

Maybe it is true what people say about Ubud, that this town is a place to heal. Yes, I didn’t come here to find asylum. I came here “for a change”, to celibate, to stay away from whatever happened in my life. Little did I know it was my subconscious mind who pulled me here. I am glad I agreed to it and made it happen. Now when I look back, I understand why all those things had to be there, why I had to get through all that. Why those puzzles came in place. Not everything happens for a reason, but, when there is a reason, it must be the good one, despite how much pain you got as you are on it.

Healing is a lifetime process, I think. You can’t force it. You just need to go with it and endure it as it goes. And for sure Ubud’s still giving me its series of an interesting lesson to learn until this day. But in a deeper level, I regret nothing. I forgave myself for making mistakes, I accept the fact that I am on a continuous journey to be a better version of myself. I accept the fact that I can never be perfect, but I will always be enough for whatever circumstance I encounter.

I am looking forward to the new adventure ahead of me. In a new place with new people. It’s always nice to breathe deeply during the dawn, as we wait for the sunrise. Ignore the cold.

12819427_10153474002623479_2746526494179815117_o

5 Things You Must Do Before Ending Long-term Relationship

Edwin and Sara have been living together for four years. They have been dating for half a year before Sara moved in. She decided to move to make the relationship works, it’s easier for her to move to Edwin’s place than the other way around.

Time goes by, they lived as a happy couple until last year. Edwin has to work in another country to work on his startup for three months and as expected, the problems arise before they know it. Every single thing they have been ignored all along came up to the surface.

Of course, Sara understands that the startup is very important for Edwin as much as it is important for her to see Edwin doing good in his career. At least for once, she wants to see him being successful. It is the first time for Sara to see Edwin wanting to achieve something -as Edwin could be anything, but an over-achiever.

All in all, three months felt like hell for her, it was a real struggle to gather the crumbs of her feelings toward Edwin. After hundreds of devastating fights, the color of her love finally washed out. The voice in the back of her head who says: “you are in for an endless pain if you continue this..” gets louder as she ignores it.

Nobody knows when this feeling-apocalypse has started. She has no clue, nor Edwin. Well, for Edwin, it’s more because she hides this from him, this sounds cliché, but she really wants him to focus on his startup. She thinks this is something that she needs to work on on her own. All Edwin needs to know is, she is waiting for him at home. For her, it was the right thing to do at that moment. Little did she know it was a bad decision to make.

Three months have passed, turned out, Edwin has to stay longer, this time… for another six months. She was exploded in silence as she maintained good communications with him. He visited twice during those six months, she appeared happy during those days when he was home. She replied “I miss you too” to Edwin’s affectionate texts, calls, video calls… she made everything looks normal, until he proposed to her, to which she replied, “let’s see in a year..” not “I do” nor “Yess!”

Two weeks after the proposal, she told him she wants to live in Nordic country, in other words, she wants to fly away from him and he noticed that. Then, two months after the proposal, they decided to talk it out. Edwin came back home, then she revealed everything.

Finally, after almost a year, she told him every single pain she had, which are a thousand stabs on his chest as he listened to her. She told him that she has failed to gather the feeling that has long gone. She thinks it’s time to let him go, so he can be with a better woman, who can treat him better, who can love him better than she did, someone who fits better for him. But of course, for him, at that moment, she was the only woman who’s perfect for him.

For her, she was saving them both from future misery. For him, she killed his hope and the future he has planned. That’s the end of the story.

***

Now, back to the title. Let’s do not do what Sara did to Edwin. Although she did right on some points, should we learn from what she did wrong and not do that to our (future) partner.

1. A couple should be able to talk about every-single-thing in any kind of situation.

Before you start a relationship with someone, you should make sure that you can reveal every single thing to him / her, you have to feel comfortable enough to talk openly to him / her, from petty-mundane stuff to the darkest secret, if you have any.

Once you feel comfortable enough to openly talk about everything, then you can consider him / her as a potential partner. Ignore those butterfly in your stomach for a moment, think of having something eating you up from the inside (just because you can not talk about everything with your partner) after years of dating, it feels a like hell, I tell you.

But then if you are in the same situation like Sara’s, you really should talk it out with your partner, as soon as possible, no matter how impossible the situation between you two. If the relationship meant to be broken, it will be broken no matter what.

Love and trust in a relationship are like oreo. Once it’s crumbling on the floor, it is not possible to assemble it, nor eat it.

By the time you are trying to mend it, you have wasted yours and their time to meet someone new, someone who fits better for you, or simply to be happy. You are not doing anyone a favor by living a life that is not making you happy, aren’t you?

2. Find at least 3 essential reasons why it’s better for you two to split up.

Long term relationship is like a marriage without legal stuff getting on your way when you want to split up. But even though it’s as easy as it might sound to you, make sure you can mention 3 essential reasons. The reason should be something you can no longer improve (like trying to feel the love that has long gone), something you can not fix (his or her characters), something you can not change (anything beyond your reach and beyond your capacity).

You know the saying: “if you can not fix it, let it go…”

3. It makes two parties to make mistakes in a relationship.

I am sorry to say that this is not a one-man show. “No matter how wronged you are, if you the two of you are arguing, you are part of what’s creating that argument. Even if she or he is acting crazy, your reaction to that is not helping. This argument, all arguments, are as much about you being in the wrong as about her being in the wrong. Until you accept that, you will never find a mutually satisfactory outcome.”

Enough said.

4. Remember how it feels like being single.

It is easier for introverts to think about being single. It will be so much liberating, you don’t have to think of another party and involve them (nor anyone) in a decision-making process. It feels like riding a car as fast as you want, without having anyone screaming on the passenger seat asking you to slow down or go faster. All those good stuff.

But if you think it’s the other way around, meaning you think you still want her / him in your life as long as they can, then there must be something you can actually improve. No?

5. Treat him / her the way you want to be treated.

Isn’t it a basic courtesy?

Well.. Not really after years of living together. Sometimes we forgot the right way to treat our partner. Do not do this, kids.

Give her / him some respect they deserve. Talk to them gently, cool-headed, calmly. Don’t yell at them, nor saying things that might hurt them even worse. Fulfill their wishes to be left alone, if they ask you to do so. It’s an adult relationship, end it like those grown-ups do.

Tracks

No More Wasted Year

Have you ever sit down  and think how many minutes you have wasted today? How many hours have you spent on something meaningful, hence impactful? Either for yourself or for people around you?

I had this awakening moment last year on November, on that exact Tuesday morning when I felt the need to achieve everything I have been wanting to achieve but somehow I didn’t do anything about it. My pride bleeds as I write this…

I used to call myself a hard worker and an overachiever person. But at that exact moment, I felt that I was nowhere near the person I used to think I am. It kills me to realize that. I needed to find a way to get out of that situation. I don’t want to waste more years… Not that I am gonna get any younger, am I? It scares me to the bone to realize that this time I have been wasting is going to end at some point and will never comes back, obviously.

This can not go on forever.

This has to change… So I told myself.

A wise man ever told me, to reach the summit, the first thing I need to do is to take a thousand repetitive steps to the right direction.

So first, I set my goals = the summit I want to achieve. Then, I break down the steps I am going to take and being mindful as I take each one of them. In this case, let’s call it: maximizing time management.

I did my quick research in order to copy what those successful people do during their 24 hours. Google leads me to Tom Ford, yes, that Tom Ford, the man behind YSL and James Bond’s impeccably-sleek suites.

Tom Ford

This handsome legend, Tom Ford.

He revealed his morning routine to Harpers Bazaar. I am so so grateful that he revealed his morning schedule. It’s definitely not the easiest thing to do as he starts his day at 4.30am in the morning, so I gave myself some time to adjust.

It took me two months to finally being able to wake up that early. I started with waking up earlier than my biological alarm which usually makes me wake up at 5.30am to 6am every morning. I tried to wake up at 5am then gradually, I start waking up at 4.30 every morning.

Yes, I weigh myself as I woke up, just to remind me that I have to do that goddamn exercise. Then I make myself an iced coffee in a tall glass, the volume is 500ml including the ice. Similar to Tom Ford, I don’t like hot / warm coffee. And I swear, sipping iced black coffee as you dip yourself in a hot bath is the best way to wake up. I let my mind wander as it wants as I lay my body in the bathtub, it feels very much meditative. Somehow it makes me feel great about myself.

I do that for half an hour. Then I will start my morning exercise. 20 minutes of intense training then followed by 30 minutes of moderate or casual training. Sometimes I like doing it at the gym, sometimes I like doing it at home. I prefer the later most of the time, as it is not time-consuming, plus the fact that I don’t have to wear anything except my sport bra, it’s a bonus. I’d spent at least 20 minutes to go back and forth between the gym and home. That precious 20 minutes… I could have used it to prepare my breakfast.

I would finished the exercise around 6am. By that time, the air in my terrace still so fresh, I will breath it in deeply and exhale slowly and stretch my body like a cat. I would see Komang sweeps those dry leaves at the yard in front of my room, I would say hi to her, she will smile back at me, then I get back inside my room, cutting fruits, prepare my breakfast as I listen to my favorite podcast channel. Those duo: Chuck and Josh are my favorite.

12968732_10153567923218479_640465449_n

No podcast in the morning is a wasted morning.

I will not read anything until I finished listen to the podcast. One podcast from The Nerdist usually lasts for 60 minutes. I make the bed as I listen to it, make breakfast, eat breakfast and cleaning up the room also packing up for all day activity. There is something zen as I do all that in the morning.

I believe a peaceful morning makes a great day.

12900162_10153556723808479_278976217_n

That is the last view I want to see before I close the door.

I will be finished doing all those above around 8am. By then, I will get the hot shower, use my favorite scented shower gel: vanilla raspberry, or jasmine, or red musk. Then take a shower like James Bond. Mr. Bond uses hot water in the beginning of rinsing the soap then cold water afterward. It is important to feel like a badass when you start your day. Well, it works for me big time.

After getting ready to work, I will hit the road at 9am to start my day.

I have a daily theme for my days. I set mandatory tasks for each day. It helps me to stay navigated during the week and helps me to make sure that I get done all of those mandatory tasks.

On the side notes, it’s pretty much irritating when I miss one action in a day or when things don’t go as planned. Like unproductive meeting, someone coming late to an appoinment, and many other irresponsible and disrespectful acts. But then, thanks to Google Calendar, it helps me to keep on the track and stay navigated to reach my destination by the end of the week.

In a perfect world…

I will be finished working at 5pm then hang out with friends or simply have time to watch my favorite tv series or the movies I have downloaded, or talk to my loving boyfriend who resides on the other side of the globe.

But this is a flawed world, the summit I want to reach makes me working on 5 jobs (soon will be six). So I will finish working around 8pm or 11pm. Sometimes at 2am. So, just so you can understand, when I am willing to show up, meaning I respect you that much.

As I called it a day, it would be my time to have a quality time with my loved one. Then go to sleep at least at 2am. So yes, I sleep 180 minutes to 300 minutes a day. Sometimes with power nap after lunch for around 20 minutes, when I can.

Is it enough for me? Will it help me to achieve my goals?

Let’s see in a year.:)

Quentin Tarantino: Blown Heads, Racism, and Psychotic Women

I just watched The Hateful Eight recently. Just like any other Tarantino’s movie, it left my soul crumbled on the floor and I had to pick it up until I watch something else that is as light as a feather and as comforting as a wool blanket during winter.

The first thought that came to mind after I watched that movie was, “why does he really like to show a blown head? With guns or whatever weapon that can make the head exploded, literally and figuratively…” and he likes bloody blood spread all over the place… a lot. To the level he makes me see it as a human’s property that painlessly withdrawn if not flowing from their body, he made it fun to watch people bleeding and died for no reason. He made me a psychopath for some period of time as I watch his movie.

Remember Inglourious Basterds? Or the more recent one, Django Unchained? Let’s take these three movies as incomplete samples for this content.

The other similarity amongst those movies, other than being human’s-body-parts-rain show is, it’s all emphasized the clash between human races back in the days. And he made the defeated parties (in reality, based on history) to be the winner. He basically made an alternative reality for us to see. Those intense, often sarcastically funny, and beyond witty dialogues clearly depicted utopic situations in the movie. And again, those intense brutalities are just some spices to make the movies colorful. The best part of the movies are always the dialogues, no matter how dark the jokes can get.

Does anyone ever observe the female characters? I did. And I think female characters in Tarantino’s movies are either psychotic (Daisy Domergue) or naive, weak and unworthy (Cora, Broomhilda).

The only female character who got a fair image is Shosanna Dreyfus (on the side note: oh my god! She is drop-dead gorgeous isn’t she?), which is also my lifetime favorite character. She was allowed to be vengeful, yet powerful at the same time. (Well, revenge gives you power).

Shosanna Dreyfus

Sweet lord, Mimieux! (Source)

Apart from unfitting female characters in his movies, I get it that he erased the boundary between women and men stereotyping by treating women like inferior men. That’s how I see it when John Ruth beats Daisy repeatedly just to shut her up. Not so manly in terms of common mannerism. But then Daisy is the mother of the crazies.

daisy

“When you get to hell, tell them Daisy sent you..” (Source)

 

25 Marriage Rule of Thumb

First of all, before you read anything, I’d like to warn you, don’t take advice about marriage from a single person.

I am not married, I am as single as a banana, never married and not planning to get married unless someone like Vipertongue wants to marry me and please take a bold note that we are mutually not interested in matrimony. So, you see what I mean.

And over the years, I have been surrounded by people whose cohabitation and or marriage life don’t work as smooth as they planned before (nobody plans for chaos, isn’t it?). And I figured it’s happening everywhere, thus, this note might be useful for some people.

Marriage is a total bitch. It’s clearly not for everyone. But, if you are inclined to weather ‘live happily ever after’, ’till die do us apart’ or have a short memory and an abundant amount of sense of humor. Then, you might want to read further.

25. The honeymoon phase will be over eventually. Be it in six months, or after a year, or after five years, the person you fell hard for will show you their whole quality. They don’t change, they are still themselves, you just didn’t know them enough to see that part. Or, you ignored those red flags for some reasons. And don’t worry, it is common to happen when you fall in love.

Some people can prolong this honeymoon phase by showing more affection and being a perfect match for each other. Nurture the love every day together and earn more love from their partners. But, just in case this honeymoon wears off, the first move you should take is stay as long as you can and do whatever you could to keep the fire alive.

24. Preserve the privacy of yours and your partners’. I get that feeling when you see your partner goes tell-it-all in public, posting passive aggressive stuff which they can actually tell you in person and talk it out like an emotionally stable person. Be it on social media or on magazines. Well.. you can’t do anything about it, it’s their choice.The last thing you could do is doing the same thing and tell people the story from your side. Other than that, stay classy, and keep it for yourself, your closest friends and your lawyer.

Let me tell you something everybody knows, no matter how heavy the problem you have, nobody on social media gives a fuck. Nobody in public care.

It’s either they are being cynical about it.. or, laugh at your problems. Those cats’and dogs’ pictures are way more valuable than the sad story of your marriage with the beau you call perfect in the first three months of your relationship.

So, stop posting those passive-aggressive post on facebook. Especially the ones that similar to “Sebagai istri harus selalu ikhlas dan sabar..“, do you hear that sound of my eyes got stuck in the back of its sockets after I rolled it too hard?  I learned my lesson, and I think it’s not a cool thing to do.

It’s marriage, it’s an adult stuff, treat problems in your marriage like an adult. Have some dignity to not reveal it in public.

23. Always forgive and forget… until it’s no longer worthy. Forgiveness sets you free. It’s not about the other party you forgave, it’s about letting go of things that hurt you. Holding onto grudge won’t make you a better person, nor makes you happy. And erasing something from your memory is not something you can really do. Especially when it’s related to something essential.

In short, when it comes to something essential and the situation requires you to forgive and forget, that is a loud reminder to forgive and leave.

22. Be a good teammate. Life can come at you hard. One of the nice things about marriage is being able to have someone else in the bunker when you’re getting shelled. When problems come at you two, focus on solution, panicking over something won’t help, let alone being fussy about the small stuff around the problem.

Remind your partner to stay focus, then give yourself a time to process the whole stuff. When you are ready with solution and talk it out, give them a sign that you are ready. ALWAYS talk about problem when you both completely composed and calm.

21. Grow and adapt. Things are changing, (most) people don’t. But if you want a rewarding relationship, please make sure you and your partner are encouraging each other to be the better version of yourselves.

Please make sure you are a different individual compare to the person who said “yes” to that marriage proposal -in a good way. Make sure you are more successful in your career, you are a happier person, and you are a better you day by day in your marriage. Because if you don’t think you need all that, they do, and that is the moment when you two are not on the same page, then, one of you will have to catch up in order to preserve the balance. Balance and structure are essentials in many fields.

20. Own your compass. Be it moral compass or mental compass, marriage is for people with a strong sense of belief. Moral compass helps you to be your own voice of reason. You know where you are heading, and you know what to expect from your partner and your marriage.  Moral compass won’t let you manipulate and lie to your partner, it keeps you honest and trustworthy. While mental compass, is the quality of your relationship with yourself. It helps you to be in touch with reality and sustain a healthy mind. With a healthy mind, you can decide and process problems then find the right fix for it.

19. Travel together or travel alone. It is great if you can travel together most of the time. Since I know how it feels like when you want your significant other to see how beautiful the view that you see, or when you want to share the excitement you had when you did that dirt bike racing with your friends and wish your partner can experience the same adrenaline rush as you did.

But sometimes, he wants to go to Bora-bora and you want to do a trek to Galdhøpiggen in Norway. Well, go for it, see him / her in a week and share your stories over potato gratin and spicy meatballs you cooked together.

Life is not always about being together all the time. We gotta do what we gotta do. That’s how we grow together, and contribute to the relationship, by broadening our worldview. Thus, it can change the way we value our relationship.

18. Develop your own interests. Have passion on something, the thing that makes you feel happy when you do it, something that makes you want to excel on it.

Be it singing, cooking, do modern dance, watch movie, play video games, videography, make clothing design, writing, or whatever science related hobby. Have your own interest, the thing that makes you want to spend your time doing it -just for the sake of it, and produce a useful result, at least for your own happiness.

By having your own interest and develop it from time to time, it helps you to grow, meet and connect with new people, it keeps your mind healthy. You will always have something to share with your partner. Happy people make a healthy relationship.

Or just in case you don’t know what to learn, first, maybe you can learn to be self-sufficient. Learn to do your own laundry. Know how to cook a meal; how to navigate the grocery store; how to make an online purchase; how to turn off the water to the house; how to erect a camping tent; how to unclog a toilet. So at least, you know how to do all that.

17. Cultivate a wide, diverse circle of friends. I personally like to keep my inner circle narrow. Although, I don’t close it for new people to get into it altogether. New perspective is always refreshing. That is why meeting interesting people is one of the greatest joys of living. You will get to hear new story, new perspective, new personality to understand and new stuff to learn.

When you are in a healthy relationship, the more people you know, the more you can appreciate your partner and strengthen your relationship with them.

16. Take care of your health and your shape. Yes, your partner loves you for who you are, despite the size of your wardrobes. But, good shape is not always about the look, it’s more about how good you maintain your health. You owe it to each other to be in the best physical health possible. Exercise is also beneficial for your mental health.

Take pride in your appearance. Your marriage license doesn’t give you a free pass to always wear sweat pants and T-shirts. Those batik pants, fedora hats, 3/4 shorts, beach shirt, gym shorts… please take it off. Except you need a contraception to wear, well, go ahead. Other than that, please maintain good hygiene. Could your armpit odor make someone who stands behind you, faints? Could your breath shrivel the whole field? Take care of that, please.

15. Practice self-awareness. Be mindful of what you say and do. Before you say anything, take a deeper look at what you want to say, before you do anything, make sure the things that you want to do is not counterproductive.Take frequent looks in the mirror. Reflect on who you are and the contributions you are making to your relationship. Are you being judgmental? Unfair? Nitpicking? Verbally abusive?

14. Admit that you’re wrong (even, on occasion, when you aren’t). No excuse, no one else to blame, own up your mistake, then don’t repeat. It is easier to forgive someone who owns up their mistake and does some effort to make the situation better. This simple gesture will pay immeasurable dividends; it will help you grow and it’s just the right thing to do.

13. Surprise one another. Fill up the gas in her vehicle, buy him some bacon, buy her a bucket of white roses on the day she accomplished something at work, buy him Sagami 0.01 and put it next to his dessert plate. Give your partners a small pleasant surprise.

12. It’s the good little things, it’s the bad little things. The simplest act and almost effortless gestures like holding the door, bring the shopping bag for her, push the trolley for her at the grocery, suggesting a movie night, rubbing his back, paying attention when she talks, wipe his spoon before he uses it.. can be so much rewarding, the reward is greater than the sum of the parts.

While the little bad things does the contrary, drops of urine on the toilet seat, forgot to buy something important your partner asked you to buy, cancel the plan in last minute, forgetting the promise you made last month, spitting in public, insensitive jokes. These are death by a thousand cuts to your relationship.

11. The bathroom session is private. If you think it’s an old-fashioned to brush your teeth while I use the toilet, you’ll change your mind about that eventually. We spent the whole night sleeping next to each other, give me some space in the morning, especially when I want to say goodbye to the food I ate yesterday before I flush it. And, the only voice I want to hear in the morning is my morning music or, my favorite podcast, or the voice similar to Obama’s.. Other than that, please do it some other time.

10. Don’t make sex a taboo subject. Not right after or right before you do it. But you can do it, say, during dinner or at the grocery store when the isle is pretty much quiet. Sex is an important part of any marriage or cohabitating life. But for some reason couples don’t want to discuss it unless they are in the throes of passion.

9. It’s okay to have secrets. Be open since the beginning that you will want your secret garden secluded and untouched. It’s not that you want to hide someone else in your life, or you (still) want to do something he doesn’t like on his back. But a secret room is something everyone needs. We don’t have to know all things that are not essential about someone.

But over everything, please make sure that you don’t have a Poison Ivy in your secret garden.

8. Avoid subtext. This is a cowardly way to communicate. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hint about it. Hints are for dummies.

7. Put it down. His cellphone, her cell phone. Period. It’s an invasive behavior. Normal people will ask their partner what they want to know and their partner will answer the question. If you don’t feel secure enough in your relationship to the level that you think you need to check his or her cellphone, you need to see a therapist.

6. Don’t over-romanticize past (or future) relationships. I know that for some couples, pre-wed pictures are the only evidence for a couple that they were once a happy couple. It is tempting to repost it on Facebook after 5 years of marriage.

And I know that for some couples, updating their relationship situation on Facebook to get the impression that they are TOTALLY happy with their relationship is cool. Of course, you do it with the hope that your union will be as perfect as you want it to be.

Let me tell you something, you weren’t that great and she isn’t that hot. Keep your feet on the ground, stop longing for someone they aren’t, stop thinking they will change eventually to be the person you wish them to be.

5. You are equals. It doesn’t matter which one of you makes the most money. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the better collection of Marvel Comics vintage edition. It doesn’t matter which one of you has the cutest ass. It doesn’t even matter which one of you can run faster or fart louder than the other. You are in this together.

4. Respect each other’s friends. You know his friend Fredy is loud mouthed. And you know her friend Cathy thinks you are not as reliable as her ex. In this case, know when to keep your mouth shut. No list would be complete without the “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” lesson.

3. Respect space and time. Have we not evolved as a species or watched enough Dr. Phil to realize our mate does not want to answer the question “How was your day?” the minute he/she walks in the door?

2. Be responsible with money. No one lives on love. You need money. If you earned it, you will almost certainly respect it. If you didn’t earn it, you must respect it even more. When it comes to money, everyone being extra sensitive and will take it very seriously. Basic manner and respect will help you to survive this subject.

1. Adapting beats abandoning. There will be moments when you want to quit, walk out, give up, fly away. You can do that. You certainy can. But you will probably be doing so without giving due consideration to the new life that awaits you.

When the problem gets too heavy on your chest, take a helicopter view. Will this worth the effort of adapting? Will it worth the wait? How will you feel about this problem 10 days from now? Will you feel better off in 10 months? 10 years? You know the answers to those questions. If you think you don’t, remove your fear.

couple_annoyed.jpg