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Category Archives: Personal

A Conversation on a Cafe in One Night

“I’m falling in love. It’s nothing new.”

“It is new! Every time you fall in love, it’s always a new experience. Nothing, none of your previous relationships are alike. Well … The objects may be similar, like they are all … what, tall, smart, and beautiful?”

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Posted by on 09/26/2013 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Things We Text On Our Way to Airport

Things We Text On Our Way to Airport

10:15:34 pm

Finally here at the airport.
Rushing for check-in now.

10:16:17 pm

Yay!
Eat something.
Red-eye flights suck.
When r u coming back again?

10:16:40 pm

Thx for telling me that! *rolling eyes*
But thanks for the reminder.
Back in 3 days.
Hey, I haven’t even boarded the plane yet!

10:17:15 pm

So?

10:17:22 pm

Right. So much for the notification alert that made my heart beeped, but immediately sank when I saw just “So?”

10:17:30 pm

Hahaha.
What do u want me to say?
Haven’t I said enough “have a safe flight”s already?

10:17:45 pm

Doesn’t hurt to give one.
Each traveling is a new kind.

10:18:00 pm

Have a safe flight, dear.

10:18:10 pm

Thank you.
You know what?

10:18:13 pm

What?

10:18:20 pm

Strangely, both my most favorite and the saddest part of traveling is when u say “have a nice flight.”

10:18:26 pm

🙂

10:18:33 pm

Glad to have u to come home to.

10:18:40 pm

Glad to have u to look forward to everyday, in person and in texting.

10:18:45 pm

🙂
Low batt now.
Bye, dear.

10:18:52 pm

See?
We never really part, do we?
I’ll see you soon.

 
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Posted by on 09/19/2013 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Some Weddings

Here’s one thing about wedding: it is scary.

Especially if it’s not your own.

Worse, if it’s your best friend’s.

Being a best friend, you are the source of strength, the rock, the one to turn to when the to-be-wed party needs someone to be, simply, present.

You can challenge questions about wedding, but you shall show no doubt.

But what if you have any?

You remain present.
You remain standing next to your best friend before the wedding, during the wedding, and more importantly, throughout the marriage.

Scary? It can be.

But we are not called the best among other friends if we cannot endure the scariest thing.

 
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Posted by on 08/22/2013 in English, Personal

 

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Forgive Ourselves

Before we forgive others, have we forgiven ourselves?

This is the question that always bugs me at a particular time in year, when we bask in joyous celebration to forgive others, and assuming to forget their mistakes, yet we often secretly neglect to forgive one important person: us.

It seems like split of personalities we are talking about here, but as I close my eyes and let a breath of sigh to pass in seconds, I realize that maybe, I need to forgive myself first before willingly forgive others.

It is not easy. It never is.

In the name of pleasing other people, we tend to put the self acknowledgment aside. But today, of all days in a year, let’s start small.

Forgive me, self, for the lack of exercise that now makes me scream “I look fat!” in this new shirt.

Forgive me, self, for behaving badly in the past month.

Forgive me, self, for there are people I cannot help but talking behind their back, condemning them for their lack of cooperation at work, cursing them for their odd behaviors, and simply hating them.

We owe ourselves forgiveness.

Before we forgive others, let’s forgive the person that matters most: us.

Happy Lebaran.

Forgiveness.

 
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Posted by on 08/08/2013 in English, Personal

 

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Eleven Things to Be Grateful This Year

Eleven Things to Be Grateful This Year

Another year, another forced moment to do self-reflection. Try with your darndest effort to ignore your birthday, but chances are, we cannot help but acknowledging OMG-I-am-older-but-am-I-wiser glimpse likely occuring throughout one particular day.

I am having one right now.

Whereas ideally this is supposed to be the right time to come up with inspirational notes, I’d like to step back a bit instead, and list down eleven things I should be grateful this year. Either way, I still come across as a bit of showing off, don’t I?
Well, that is undeniable. It may be true, it may not be. But listed down below are simply reminders that I should be grateful to see another year where some are denied this opportunity. Also, these shall motivate me to come up with a better list in the following years, right?

Right. Nothing left.

So, in no particular order, in the past 12 months, I have been grateful enough to have a home I can call my own the first time. After years of waiting, finally this yet-to-be-financially-wealthy being has a crib of his own, no matter how small it is. Hey, everything starts small, doesn’t it? Even if this home remains as it is, it still is a home, and not just a house.

Speaking of small, a little bundle of joy coming in the form of my niece makes me the first time uncle this year. A biological uncle, to be precise, which fuels excitement of receiving baby pics from my sister and showing them off with pride to colleagues. Oh God. I am one of those annoying parents on Facebook, aren’t I?

Being unable to give birth to children then, I decide to pass that to my sister, and I give birth to another thing: a short film festival. It’s not new, but I’ve never been with a film festival from its inception all this time. Sure, I spent years in one, but the baby we made attracts newnkinds of audiences unlike anything we’ve ever seen in other similar events. Those wide eyed new filmmakers, audiences who flock and support their friends … Truly an enthusiasm I could not ask for more.

Speaking of enthusiasm, or more like it, I have decided to visit this country, my first time visiting this country, on my birthday. In fact, I am writing this while waiting for the plane to bring me there. Ecstatic? You bet. Finally I can tick off one point on my wish list items.
But more excited is to have this trip with company, which is the first time in years, after repeated solo travelings.
Sure, I enjoy doing those me-time in unknown land, but at one point, you could not help feeling alone.
Sometimes we want to have a familiar person to take our pictures, instead of keep asking, “excuse me, could you do me a favor of …” to strangers.
Sometimes we want to have pictures of us and someone else, instead of still objects which we already collect gigabytes of them.
Sometimes we want to share with one person during traveling, not more.

Once a friend tells me, every relationship always feels new. It cannot be more true. Indeed, for the first time (in years) to feel like the first time is something I am thankful for.

Pretty much the same gratitude also goes to the time I traveled across the country late last year. From the furthest point in the West to the capital of the furthest province in the East in a month? Three cities in a week? Apart from making airport a familiar shelter, tired bones felt home as well. But when you get to see this image below, why bother complaining?

I shall not complain that from now on, I am on my own, work-wise, with all exciting projects lining up. And definitely I shall be grateful to be free from physical illness that crippled me with walking sticks last year, and eternally blessed to be constantly surrounded by two favorite F words: friends and family.

But you know what makes me grateful the most here?
That this is the first time I am writing this kind of note.

Have a good day, you.

20130410-201049.jpg

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2013 in Personal

 

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Things We Text On Our Way to Airport

10:15:34 pm

Finally here at the airport. Rushing for check-in now.

10:16:17 pm

Yay! Eat something. Red-eye flights suck. When r u coming back again?

10:16:40 pm

Thanks for telling me that, but thanks for the reminder. Be back in 3 days. Hey, I haven’t even boarded the plane yet!

10:17:15 pm

So?

10:17:22 pm

So much for the notification alert that made my heart beeped, but immediately sank when I saw just “so?”

10:17:30 pm

Hahaha. What do u want me to say? Haven’t I said enough “have a safe flight”s already?

10:17:45 pm

Doesn’t hurt to give one. Each traveling is a new adventure.

10:18:00 pm

Have a safe flight, dear.

10:18:10 pm

Thank you.
You know what?

10:18:13 pm

What?

10:18:20 pm

Strangely, both my most favorite and the saddest part of traveling is when u say “have a nice flight.”

10:18:26 pm

🙂

10:18:33 pm

Glad to have u to come home to.

10:18:40 pm

Glad to have u to look forward to everyday, in person and in texting.

10:18:45 pm

🙂
Low batt now.
Bye, dear.

10:18:52 pm

We never really part, do we? I’ll see you soon.

 
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Posted by on 10/15/2012 in English, Personal

 

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All the Sorrys

What does Eid or Lebaran mean to you?

Many will nod along the religious convention being the most anticipated day after one does fasting for a month, thus calling it a victory day. 
Some others may make use of the day to reunite with family members, especially the distant ones.
But for me, and perhaps a few others, may see the day as the time to revisit the idea of being sorry.

It began a few years ago, when my old time buddy Fay told me, “Why do we have Lebaran? It is because we need a reminder on the importance of forgiving. You know, we don’t need to wait until Lebaran to apologize for our wrongdoings or whatever mistake we make. But there’s gotta be one special day in a year when we acknowledge, and glorify a little, the necessity to say “I am sorry” for all mistakes we’ve made.

Think of it this way: you don’t need Valentine’s Day to love, or to show your affection to someone. But there is one day in a year when we are reminded the importance of love, regardless you celebrate it or not.”

The lengthy explanation sticks with me for good, and as years go by, I find it more relevant each time.  Especially during the said public holiday, in which more often than we’re not, we are forced to say we are sorry to people we are not close to.

In the spirit of festivities, we relent to the habit. But the real, true “I am sorry” takes over time to finally being said with sincerity.
Thus, each celebration feels like a cumulative of all the sorrys we have gathered over days, weeks, months, and years. 

And in the spirit of putting importance to that, perhaps these are some of the confession, statement of apology, or whatever you like to call it, that I have finally realized I haven’t been able to say in person:

– Sorry for not returning your Interview With the Vampire OST cassette I once borrowed;

– Sorry for missing your transit time on your route to married life in Africa, because I overslept;

– Sorry for not being a good son with tons of skeletons in my closet that I have chosen not to open it to you, ever;

– Sorry for having doubt on your relationship, because I refuse to believe I won’t spend the rest of your life with as a friend;

– Sorry for keep forgetting the names of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews;

– Sorry for being a distant brother who never gets to spend much time with each one of you;

– Sorry for not being able to forgive you yet, let alone forget, but acceptance is the key, right?;

– Sorry for not saying “I love you” yet;

– Sorry for saying “I love you” too soon.

Now what are your long delayed sorrys?

 
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Posted by on 08/20/2012 in English, Personal

 

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Post Sunday Dinner Unexpected Talk

X: “Hey!”

Y: “Hey!”

X: “Finally! Haven’t heard from you for a long time.”

Y: “Really? It doesn’t feel that long. Besides, you haven’t really looked for me, have you?”

X: “When one had done the searching at first, then one is entitled to being … searched, or found. No?”

Y: “No, not really. One’s gotta keep looking.”

X: “Is that so? Then what if the object of search has disappeared all of a sudden without a trace?”

Y: “Then one doesn’t search hard enough.”

X: “How do you know if the effort to search is hard enough, or not?”

Y: “No, I don’t know the answer to that, really. Because to me, it doesn’t feel like you look for me or reach out to me. Why? Because I kept thinking about you. I know, it sounds weird, considering we barely meet, but it kinda feels good to think about you in the morning when I’m on my way to work, or sometimes at night when I finish my dinner. Crazy, right?”

X: “And you did not hit the reply button.”

Y: “Yeah, well, I’m sorry. I can’t justify that. Nor I can justify that so-called hard search in one email in every four days. One short email of less than fifty words! But in my defense, a weak defense, having you in mind does not make my days feel long.”

X: “I guess we keep each other in mind differently then.”

Y: “What’s the point of being the same? I don’t love myself that much. I’d rather love someone else completely different from what I am. That’s the point of falling, right?”

X: “And who’s the person then?”

Y: “Why don’t you find out? You’re on the search, aren’t you?”

 
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Posted by on 08/12/2012 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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A Night Conversation

A: “By the way, …”

B: “Yes?”

A: “Is last night’s question still applicable? The one about “what do you want to know about me?”? Does it have an expiry date?”

B: “Depends. What do you want to ask?”

A: “Strangely, I don’t know. You got me tongue tied.”

B: “Is that so? I don’t believe it.”

A: “Neither do I. Unbelievable. It’s like when you have someone in your mind most of the time of the day, and you think this person matters to you most, but at the same time, you feel like, I don’t know, questioning and constantly wondering if the feeling is mutual. What if the other person does not think about you, at all? What if the habit of texting, calling, interrupting meetings just to say “hey, what’s up”, and getting a fast reply of “hey, am on a meeting. TTYL”, before actually a real, long conversation happens afterwards, becomes a nuisance instead of a welcoming, happy intrusion?”

B: “You underestimate yourself.”

(pause)

A: “Do I?”

B: “You do.”

A: “And by underestimating myself …”

B: “You underestimate me.”

(pause)

A: “Do you?”

B: “I do.”

B: “Do you?”

A: “I do.”

(end)

Conversation

 
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Posted by on 07/20/2012 in Personal

 

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A Morning Conversation

Q: “What do you want to know about me?”

A: ” What do I want to know about you? A lot. But do I want to know all? I doubt. Sometimes all I want to know is as simple as what you will be doing today, or how you are going to spend your day today, or sometimes I wonder if I could make you smile today or the opposite. Sometimes that is all I want to know.”

 
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Posted by on 07/19/2012 in Personal

 

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Underrated Romantic Comedies

Last night I tweeted a lot about underrated romantic comedies.

It began when I browsed randomly on DVDs or Blu-rays to buy, as I just got $5 Amazon gift voucher from an online survey. If that sentence alone does not describe how middle-class I am, I don’t know what else does.
Clicking endless “today’s deals”, “unbelievably good bargains” and “price so low you will faint as you buy” sections later, I came across one film called The Truth About Cats and Dogs.
Way before we saw an eerie family film about talking cats and dogs, the title belongs to a little, sweet charmer starring equally sweet Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo and Ben Chaplin. Janeane plays a character who pretends to be Uma to attact Ben’s attention, although in the end it is Janeane’s true genuine personality that wins Ben over.

Now if you talk about movies that change the world or movies that change the savings of studio executives, films like Cats & Dogs above and others do not usually get mentioned.
These are films that grow over time. Some, or even most of them, do not get good critical reception and commercial success upon initial release.

But as years go by, these are the kind of films we stumble upon while we are confused on what to watch on a relaxing Saturday night at home. Or the kind of film that our friends recommend to cure lonely hearts. Or simply the kind of film that you have no idea what it is about, you just pick it randomly in a store, but you’re glad to discover it.
Thus, you remember it for life.

The films that touch our heart are not necessarily the great ones. They are those that can make us believe in love again, convincingly, and unknowingly.

That’s why they are underrated.

I’m not going to write any longer than this. Oh come on, you know that this is long enough already! But I’m going to share with you images from some #underratedromanticcomedy films that you should watch, especially:
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Posted by on 07/14/2012 in Blog, English, Film, Personal

 

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Falling for you

I fall for you like a rustling leaf whispered by the wind, and laid haplessly on the mat outside my porch.
I fall for you like the last drop of condensed milk in a cup of hot tea, the kind I want to serve to you for breakfast someday.
I fall for you like echoes heard in caves repeatedly to the last wave of sound, the ones we will hear in our future travels.

I fall for you for your spontaneous giggles at almost every passing ordinary words coming out of my mouth, unplanned and unprepared.
I fall for you for your obvious awkwardness when you struggle to say your order whenever we dine out.
I fall for you for your honest behavior to sleep during a film I find excited to watch.

I fall for you for no reason except for whatever you are.

I fall for you at every “hey” before long questions.
I fall for you at every “so?” before firm answers.
I fall for you at every “let’s!” before permanent decisions.

I might have fallen for you already, unknowingly, as our hands shook the first time.
I am falling for you at the moment of writing this.
I fall for you every time I am lost for words when you start rambling about things in chaotic orders.

But I will not fall for you in the future.

Because by then I will stay and be with you.

 
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Posted by on 07/07/2012 in English, Personal

 

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Human Connection

I was just sitting down in this coffee shop when I saw a rare sight: across the shop, in a smaller cafe, a man approached a woman. He leaned down, and he kissed her forehead. As he moved a little closer to her, we saw a wedding ring in his finger. The similar ring apparently was seen in the woman’s finger, too.
He chatted with her, sipped her drink a little, and she got up. They walked together, he held her hand, smiled. He didn’t look at her, and neither did she. But his smile showed he responded to whatever she said, perhaps summarizing all the things she went through in a day’s work.

I couldn’t help staring at them. One thing is missing in the couple’s interaction: gadget. Either running out of battery or simply put in their bags, we did not see them.

In comparison, here I am, all alone waiting for my next work meeting, and heavily distracted by the sight I just saw. Immediately I took out my iPad and write about that heavenly view.
On the other hand, on a table next to mine, two students in their uniform look bored with each other other, and they have been sitting in silence, playing with their own gadgets.

The students are still here. Yet what lingers on my mind the most is the sight of that married couple, who effortlessly show affection amidst crazy hectic day, especially this town on a Friday afternoon.

Don’t you just miss genuine human connection?

 
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Posted by on 06/22/2012 in English, Personal

 

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A Wedding, and Its Memories

I am writing this entry as I am still reeling from the atmosphere of my little sister’s somewhat big wedding.

For the past two days, we had nothing but this wedding in our mind.
For some, such as my family and those who help organizing it, the wedding had been on their minds for the past few weeks and months.
For the bride and the groom, the wedding had also been on their minds for the past year when they decided to tie the knot.
For me, the wedding has been lingering on my conscience, meaning that I had been made aware of the wedding for some time. But not only in the past few minutes ago I realize that a wedding like this is a big deal.

Not exactly a fan of big wedding myself, I made my way into it by benefitting from the obvious, natural status as a member of the hosting family. Once stepped in, I felt lost. Everyone was busy, but me. Eventually I was made busy as well, but only to a miniscule portion of what others had done greatly.

The awareness started kicking in when the wedding ceremony happened. I was made to sit next to dad before he gave his daughter to the hand of marriage.
Awkward, yes, but the uncomfortable position also made me realize that a son has to learn being a good guardian to his family in every small step. As I get to witness my sister signed the note of marriage legally from a very close sight, it is clear that she also signs an approval note that part of my duty being a brother to her has now been taken over by someone else.
Someone whom she is expected to spend the rest of this lifetime with. Someone who will be her first immediate contact in any given circumstances.

The adjustment period did not even start yet when we had to prepare for the wedding reception the next day, a day after the ceremony. The aforementioned status as a family member only prompted organizers to point me as one of ushers to bring the newlyweds to the stage, and to welcome guests who came to greet the couple. As guests walked past me, I struggled to recall names and faces from distant relatives, neighbors, old family friends, to which I mostly failed. My other sister helped me to memorize the names to an already forgotten effect by now.

But what I won’t forget is the joyful faces of aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins who cheered the wedding from their smiles.
Coming from different cities and islands, they reunited in this wedding, albeit briefly.

“Your belated aunt must be proud seeing her children gather again today, unexpectedly,” my other aunt pointed out. I could not agree more.

When we posed for a group photo, my mind flew briefly to big Lebaran gatherings we always did years ago, back when the elders were still around. As one by one departed, the tradition slowly fades out, but apparently, the memory is not.

The price for embracing the nostalgia is the intrusion of privacy we often get. But then the more I thought about it, the more I realize that it may take a while for both our ability to convey our choice, and for them to accept what we have chosen.

Then again, this note is made as I am still reeling from the euphoria of a wedding.
It may not make me wanting to do the same for myself, but it is the exuberant joy of seeing our present family members, both close and extended ones, that make such event sticks to our mind as long as we live.

 
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Posted by on 06/18/2012 in English, Personal

 

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Step Back, Step Forward

Once in a while, you find someone you are crazily attracted to. Someone you are dying to be with every minute of the day.
Someone you have a huge crush on, so huge that you overwhelm yourself with ideas and thoughts far beyond your wildest dreams.
Someone you are mad about.
Someone you crave to have.

When you find that someone, step back.
Don’t move forward, but take a step backward.

Once the euphoria dies down, you begin to see what once was flawless is now flawed.
You begin to see what once was tolerable is now intolerable.
You begin to see what once was lovely is now condemned.
You begin to see what once was compatible is now in doubt.

Everything that looks rosy now looks rotten.

When you find the time to realize that, step forward.
Don’t be hesitant, just take a bold step to the front line.

Truth comes when infatuation dies down.

We shall not cheat ourselves by becoming what the other person is like, because eventually we make him or her do things we do.
We confuse ourselves with the idea of liking someone for being like us, which is far from likeable.

Reality comes when we know the differences, and willingness to try to understand them.
Reality comes upon seeing real attitudes undisguised behind distant words.
Reality comes by the time we accept to embrace changes, and finally give in.

After all, love is reality, not just a dream.

Once in a while, we find that someone who is willing to wait together for love to bloom, instead of prolonged maddening crush.

When you find that someone, stay.
Now, you can step forward together.

 
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Posted by on 06/13/2012 in Personal