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Exceptionally Exceptions

Exceptionally Exceptions

Have you been considered exceptional?
Or do you think you are an exception?

There’s always an exception in everything. Especially in every big picture of a society.

I am always intrigued by certain findings in polls or surveys. There have been numerous “researches” that indicate, for example, people of my age in the country I live in:
• hardly walk
• hardly read books
• hardly exercise.

Meanwhile, as I look around, or perhaps as I stumble across social media feeds of people I know, I see them running (be it for “status updates”), reading (be it for “status updates”), and exercising (be it for “status updates”, but why wasting sweat for just as such?) in various locations.

Of course it is easy to say that I do walk, read, exercise and not being asked in surveys. But if the surveys and polls indicate that they present great pictures of how a society is and does, then we shall wonder on who were surveyed? How these surveyed people represent people at large? And if we do not see ourselves in the surveys, are we all exceptional exceptions?

Sometimes, I could not help wondering about these ‘anomalies’.
We often tend to see a whole society from these big-picture perception. Or, labels.

I used to think, unfairly, that majority of Colombians must be involved in illegal drug business. I fail to zoom in possibility that there must be artists, literary thespians, professors in the country, and definitely religious professionals not involved in dirty politics.

People often think that Indonesians are not well-versed in literature. I am often amused to see number of books stacked in bookstores in Indonesian, and writers keep coming up to prominence every year.

I used to think that all people in Western countries are sophisticated. That is until I realize that wherever in the world, richness and poverty go together, literacy and illiteracy go together, different choices of life and in life do happen.

Sometimes I also wonder, there must be a fellow cinephile in Zimbabwe, or a fellow avid reader of English books in Papua New Guinea. I have not met them yet.

My wondering sometimes extends to the possibility if these exceptions to the ‘presumptive big picture’ has to live based on the ordinary norm of their present surrounding. Maybe that’s the case here, and everywhere else.

We can only wonder and ponder.

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Posted by on 08/11/2017 in English, Personal

 

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Every Holiday Belongs to Everyone

Every nation and place on earth has their own annual homecoming holiday for us to celebrate. Or to come home to. Be it Eid, Christmas, Thanksgiving, any kind of New Year, we make excuses to celebrate these holidays with our loved ones.

More often than not, it involves coming home, or simply being with family members, either the nuclear or larger ones.

Every year, these holiday seasons become moments to look forward to for those wanting to celebrate, and to anticipate for everyone. We allocate our leave days for those specific dates. We save up so that we can share and spend greatly in preparation for and during the holidays. We book tickets in advance.

We prepare everything in advance.

And yet, there are those who spend the holidays differently.

There are those medical staff, policemen, 24-hour convenience store attendants, delivery clerks, cab drivers, waiters and waitresses, who still work around the clock serving families and people who celebrate the holidays.

There are those whose religions differ, and there are those not opting to have any religions.

There are those who have no house to come home to.

There are those whose freedom is taken away.

There are those enjoying the brief quiet moment of big cities temporarily vacated by its migrant residents.

There are those with broken hearts that leave no place for forgiveness yet.

There are those in solitary solitude.

And for these people, the holiday is also theirs to celebrate.

Each holiday is meant for everyone, regardless any differences. Each one of us takes the holiday’s spirit, and carries it accordingly, as much as we can only take and accept.

For those who bask in the festive atmosphere, this is your holiday.
For those who choose to whisper the celebration in the quietness of the heart, this is your holiday.

And in this holiday season, we may just need to acknowledge the differences to understand each other.

Because only when we realize that we cannot live without each other, we can start to forgive and forget sincerely.

Happy holiday.

 
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Posted by on 06/25/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Let’s talk about investment, shall we?

Ah, yes. I can see you groaning, your yawn and disinterested look you are trying so hard to conceal right now.

What puts you off? The word ‘investment’ itself? Count me in. I did not even fake interest when I heard the word for the first time being shoved on to me. Really. I just left the word immediately, and never wanted to return. Until now.

Now when I feel at least half of my life has passed. Come to think of it. We have lived in the world more than half of our possible lifetime in the world, right? Or maybe not half yet. But we are definitely inching closer to that half-point mark.

And at times like these, I could not help wondering, what have I invested?

If you ask if I questioned ourselves about financial-related investment, the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

“Yes”, because what and how much we save is always more important than what and how much we earn in life.

“No”, because investment also applies to how we live our life.

Do we invest our time in doing the work that makes us happy?
Do we invest our expenses in what we need, rather than what we want?
Do we invest our brain to knowledge, instead of aimless pleasure?
Do we invest our tastebud to culinary, and not snacking?
Do we invest our love to the right people?
Do we invest our life to the right causes?

Do we invest our time well?

Well, who knows?

I cannot answer that for you. And that sucks. It does. You don’t feel pleasant whenever you are forced to look back at the past, only to realize so much, or too much has gone to waste, leaving you at whatever state you are in right now.

I have gained. I have lost. I have earned. I have lost. I have loved. I have lost. I have lived. And will do so until the luxury is taken away from me.

It does not hurt to spare so you can make investment. I cannot say it in a more subdued or subtle manner. Put aside extra time, money, effort, attention, what have you, to invest. See how your investments grow over time.

Or maybe by the time they grow, you won’t be able to see. That’s okay. Others will see, leaving memory of your presence intact. See, investment is preserving yourself. To be immortal. To be lived and remembered forever.

Be afraid not of making bad investments. For you can always do over.

And that’s my birthday note this year to you, dear.

Let’s put some imagination in our investment, shall we?

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Brief Chance

Brief Chance

“I am sorry.”

I put my head down.

“For everything.”

I only nod quietly.

“I truly do.”

I smile.

“Uh … Am.”

“What?”

“I truly am. You said “I truly do”, while it’s supposed to be “I truly am”, because earlier you had said “I am so…rry”, which were you exact words, so …”

A chuckle follows. “You’re still a grammar police after all these years.”

A polite small laughter ensues. “Old habit dies hard.”

“I can see that.”

“What can you see? The way I dress? Well, this is kind of emergency and may not be to your liking …”

“No, no. I don’t mean that. Please.”

“… but I am only kidding.”

“Ha! Yeah. You got me there.”

“Well. Yeah. I got you. There.”

How can a second of awkward silence feels like a century of a lifetime?

“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I was on my way …”

“Oh, that direction?”

“Yeah. You headed to the other side?”

“Yes. They’re waiting for me by now.”

“Oh, if you must go then, I …”

“I think I must.”

And to think how many times I play possible scenarios of how we will meet again, in a different time, in a different place, in different clothes, in different shoes, in different hair, and in different manners. Where’s the angry glance? Where’s the cynical smirk? Where are the tears waiting to fall?

“Yeap. That announcement is my cue.”

“So. Goodbye for now?”

“Yes. Bye.”

We wave. We turn our back. We walk.

I hold my breath. I let it out. I put both hands on my jacket.

Should I turn around? Should I run again? Should I chase just to say everything I’ve wanted to say but I couldn’t?

I keep on walking. I keep on thinking. I reach my phone.

I stop walking. I look ahead.

“Thank you. For everything.”

I smile.

 
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Posted by on 01/17/2017 in Blog, English, Personal

 

Another Birthday Note Again

Another Birthday Note Again

If only we knew all along that getting older is fun. Especially if we realized many benefits that come with ageing. And until now, I still find it hard to believe.

One of those many benefits lies in forgiving. Or could it be ignorance?

Things that seem to bother us in the past, they do not seem to matter anymore at present time. Certainly not in the future.

Things that bug us so much until we lose sleep over them, they do not bug us anymore right now. Hopefully not in the future.

Things that disturb our peace in the past, we already make peace with them.

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As we grow older, we only grow kinder with time. We accept the fact that time has been kind to us. 

Time finally allows us to look back with smile, that whatever happened in the past, they only make us able to live well in the moment, at the present time. And that is the greatest gift our advancing age has ever taught us.

Heartbreaks will be forgotten, heartbreakers will be forgiven.

Love will be rekindled, repeated, or revealed in any ways to keep us alive.

On each birthday, we may not realize that we keep adding the list of things and people that we secretly forgive and forget, because the issues they used to bring, those do not matter anymore.

Thus, I look forward to birthdays.

Because you get to celebrate yourself in overcoming the odds.

Have a happy one.

 

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Posted by on 04/11/2016 in English, Personal

 

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How Do You Deal With Death?

The answer to the question in the title is probably the same as the opposite: how do you deal with living?
You don’t deal with it.
You just do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 03/27/2016 in Blog, English, Personal, Uncategorized

 

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On a Cold Rainy Night

“Are you ready?”

“Ready?”

“This is how it goes …”

“Wait. Ready for what?”

“This. This is what will happen. We meet. Meet cute, maybe. But we meet. We exchange names. We invent nicknames for each other. We text each other every day. We look forward to each of our “morning” and “nitey nite” greetings. We make time to type those messages. We ask each other what we have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, and all meals in between. We ask each other what we do, where we go, what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. Then we finally meet. We see eye to eye. Over lunch. Followed by coffee. Over dinner. Followed by movie. The first lunch. The first coffee. The first movie together. Then comes the night when we part. We have to part. We live in our own house. We say good night. In the next few hours, we say good morning. We make plans. We plan our getaway. Our holiday. We cannot get enough of each other. We are crazy about each other. We think of each other every time. We think of ways to seek help from each other. We think of ways to make each other feel needed and wanted. We try and try … Until we’re tired. We start getting bored of each other. We start questioning our decision to meet and like each other. We make excuses not to meet. We prioritise our work and other activities above each other. We start skipping the greetings. No more “morning” or “nitey nite”. We start asking each other, why you have not asked me things I do. Food I eat. Music I listen to. We take each other for granted. We take each other as a routine. Then strangers come to our lives. Strangers that tickle our excitement. Strangers who ask us the questions we used to ask to each other. Strangers we cannot get enough of. Strangers we wish to spend our time with, instead of being with each other. Strangers, that make us … strangers for each other.”

“Are you done?”

“I’m not. Because I want to ask you, if you’re ever ready …”

“I’m taken.”

“… ready to invite this stranger to try?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

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Posted by on 01/31/2016 in English, Personal

 

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