Kebahagiaan itu tak ada di Pulau Dewata

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Lautan aku seberangi

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Norma dan adat istiadat ku langkahi

Namun kebahagiaan sejati
masih enggan untuk memunculkan rona jingganya

Ia menyimpan semua kesejukannya
dalam sebuah kotak tanpa nama
dan menutupnya rapat-rapat.

Lalu aku mulai mempertanyakan
Bentuk apa yang sesungguhnya akan ia ambil
ketika ia memutuskan untuk menjumpaiku
yang telah mencarinya
bahkan sampai ke ujung dunia.

Apa yang akan kudapati
ketika ku kecap keberadaannya dalam ruang dan waktuku.

Yakinkah bahwa ia akan terasa begitu manis
atau akankah ia datang dengan sedikit taburan kegetiran
yang membuatnya terasa begitu berharga.

written in Denpasar on April 29th, 2018.

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The Coffee Shop Analogy

I am writing to you from the brighter end of the horizon.

Today, my life isn’t so bad. Had you asked me yesterday, I would have served you a very different answer.

But in this moment, I am in my perfect element.
Sitting in a coffee shop.
It is not too busy, but not dead either. Most of the seats are occupied by people who are on their personal computers. There are three guys to my left who are seating as a group, but they’re all on their laptops and are wearing huge headphones. I caught a glimpse of their screens and it seemed like they were working on editing a picture.
“Must have been a group of photographers”, I thought.

Some other people on the other tables are having a light conversation. About their salaries and their love lives, but they are not being too loud. I love it, they are sensible.

This coffee shop is almost fully decorated with wooden panels, the warm yellow lighting really just sets the atmosphere.
But it is located inside a department store, so there are quite bright lights coming in, but it doesn’t interfere with the atmosphere in the room.
It’s almost like this joint is in its own little bubble, in the middle of a brightly-lit department store.

Oh, I just noticed, on my far right, there are three Japanese men sitting in a group. They are dressed quite formally, with pants and long-sleeved shirts. Their grey hair told me that they must have been above the age of fifty.
They are conversing quietly, but not in a secretive manner, and laughing in unison here and there. It sounds so pleasant in my ears, like I could feel the subtle cheer in their conversation. I could feel it, I could hear it. Although I could not understand it.

As for me,
I am sitting in a set of tables and chairs meant for four people. So I have quite a space between me and the person on the next table. He is sitting alone, just like me, but instead of a laptop, he had not took his eyes off his phone, from the minute I sat down.

Oh wait, remember the Japanese men I was telling you about? behind them, sits a lady.
She does not look very comfortable. She is sitting alone on a table for three. Her makeup looks very up-to-date, her slim legs looked longer because of the sky high wooden clogs she is wearing. Hair straight and long, huge hoops and a tight cotton dress adorned her figure. She is sitting uncomfortably and keep looking left and right.

I don’t want to talk about her anymore, it somehow makes me feel a bit uneasy and weirdly, anxious.
Her demeanour just screams anxious to me.

I took another spoon of the cake I ordered. It’s a lovely and luscious boston cream cake. Boston cream is one of my favourite things, put it in a donut, cronut, or cake, I’d eat them all.

I like to plan out my food and drink sometimes, I think about them too much. Since my cake would be sweet, I ordered a Vanilla Sweet Cream cold brew. I was sure the strong coffee taste would balance out the decadence of the cake.

I am in my perfect element.
My surrounding is filled with people, but I am alone. I am plugged into my earphones and doing my own thing. So is everybody else.

I am in my perfect element. My laptop is on 68 percent brightness, just the way I like it. My dress is made of corduroy material, which is perfect for the temperature of the coffee shop.

I am in my perfect element.
I am aware that life is not always going to be smooth-sailing, but I know that I want to be someone who can make a contribution in making the world just a bit more comfortable for everyone, like this coffee shop. Anxious or happy, alone or in a group, everyone can feel okay in this coffee shop.

I know I want to be someone who will be remembered for the contribution I made, no matter how big or small. I want to be remembered and celebrated as the women who is able to create her own element, regardless of the condition she is being put under.

So, this is me. Writing to you from the brighter, happier end of the horizon.
Some days are better than others, some days are worse.
When I come back to this tranquil place, you will know.

Perfect Element
written on April 17, 2018.

 

Adulting

It is one of the scariest, most confusing phases in life that I have ever had to go through. So far, anyways.

All of a sudden, 24 hours in a day can never seem to be enough.
It became harder and harder for me to manage time between work responsibilities, family time, social demands, searching for higher opportunities and of course, as an acute introvert, a huge chunk of quality time with my self.
Surely, this is something anyone in their mid-twenties are dealing with, and I would like to shy away from the mundane stuff that everyone talks about, for a second.
Everyone knows that time management became difficult, finishing chores and mundane responsibilities became rewards in and of themselves.

But there is one huge thing that caught me off guard and almost threw me off completely in this entire process.

Transitioning from child-like behaviour into a more adult mindset is just as tough as the other stuff, if not more.

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For example, up until I was 20 years old and graduating from University, I was very much used to having people telling me what to do.
Education systems sort of have that common setting that dictate what you’re suppose to do, and in what way. Although in my case, education did promoted free and critical thinking, but I was at least told what to think about.

It then brought me to a year and a half of pursuing a Masters degree. On one side, yes, I had become somewhat passionate about education, but on the other side, I knew it was a safe option. I could at least buy my self another year or two before I have to throw my self into the so-called real world.

Now, in terms of the technical stuff, I would say that I have handled ‘adulting’ pretty well so far, but in terms of the way my brain works, believe me, I still have long ways to go.
I was raised as an independent child, yet still, it doesn’t make it easier for me to go through the transition and shifts in my world, and my brain is definitely not cruising smoothly through it all.

It could be very overwhelming at times, and some other time, it just felt like I have such huge burdens being imposed on me without me agreeing upon it, and I just felt like I didn’t deserve it or it was not my responsibility.

Given the conditions that I have, it could be challenging at times to maintain positivity, but what I have learned is that we should all let the negativity pass through.

Although we shouldn’t let it stay with us forever, it is also not the best idea to repress and deny the fact that we are struggling and that we are having a hard time adjusting to a completely distinct point of view and objectives we had a couple of years back.

After all, I believe that one of the things that makes us more of an adult than we were yesterday, is our ability to stand through tough challenges and our resilience in facing problems.

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So, I am not sure where or how to end this post. I wish I could tell you some ways I cope with adulting, but, alas, I am still struggling and exploring my ways, too.

I will, though, leave you with this.

Accept changes. Try as much as you can, not to repress things. If you are like me, who simply cannot open up to someone else, find a healthy and enjoyable way to channel whatever emotions you’re feeling. For me, writing does the job just fine, but there are always unexplored options out there for you to discover.

Falling over is not a taboo thing. In fact, it is one of the things that makes us human. Just make sure to rise wiser and hopefully, more of an ‘adult’.

 

written on April 5, 2018.

You Have Lost (Not an April Fools Joke)

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

The mac n cheese does not bring you warmth anymore,
working out now feels like a chore,
and coffee only seem to agitate you more.

Everything seems out of place,
yet they feel like they are meant to be.

You can no longer distinguish between the right and the wrong.

Every pleasure brings you guilt,
Every sin tasted so sweet.

And so you go out of your way to put the blame on somebody else,
“Everyone sucks”, you yell.

So you decided to lock yourself up in a little sanctuary you call your bedroom.

First you try sitting on the desk,
but those pile of papers only bring you stress.

So you scooched over to the vanity,
playing with lavish cosmetics only reminded you of who you used to be.

The bed it is.
Two pillows under your head, a blanket over your body except your face and your tippy toes. Just the way you like it. Wait, liked it.
Doesn’t seem so pleasant anymore.

The sound from the TV was now too loud. You turned the volume down. Still too loud, so you turned the TV off altogether. Too silent.

You become restless.
No longer knowing what would bring you comfort anymore.

Anywhere you sit, lay or stand just don’t feel natural.

Dragging your numb feet to function, when everything inside had combusted simultaneously.

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

Defeated

written on April 2, 2018.

Between these lines, you shall read

To the souls who constantly face internal battles,

I hear you.
Not the voice you make when you speak,
not the silent cry you let out once every late night,
but the voices trying to take you down every minute of every day,
every version of you.

There are days when you struggle to even remember your name,
who you are,
and what you are here for,
like an inconsistent amnesia that keep coming and going.

When the blue moon comes around,
your head get all cloudy.
Like everything couldn’t get any worse,
but yet they just keep taking you deeper and deeper,
to the dark pit they wanted you to be buried in.

And when the green vapour took its turn to occupy you,
you face every direction with the spirit of a warrior.
Invincible, indestructible.

I know you feel sick.
You hate the way you’re feeling,
despise the lack of control you have,
and wishing for a different universe inside your head,
a still and quiet one.

I have learned, time and time again,
that wishing would not really do much around here.

So, rise above.
Help yourself by lending a hand to others.

It always seemed to be easier to carry someone else’s burden,
rather than our own.

In the middle of it all, you would find yourself in a balanced point,
and in that moment, even if it lasted for just half a second,
remind yourself of who you truly are,
what ground you’re standing on.

It’s a struggle, to keep playing guerrilla with a being you share a home with,
but I believe, that nirvana awaits.
After all the battle, paradise will always be at the end of the tunnel.
In this life, or another.

On International Bipolar Disorder Day

written on March 30th, 2018.

 

It’s called ‘Overthinking’, they said

Stories are made of association.
A simple matter that used to have no meaning at all, could gain a certain relevance in the story of someone’s life when they come to an encounter with it, thus giving such matter, meaning and existence.

New meanings could also be gained through experiences, good or bad, they are more likely to stick around longer and more vibrantly, as such change could make the relevance even more noticeable.

Writing was just a part of daily life, part of the basic education system, until it became a platform of social criticism, a tool to express creativity and frustration, a way out of a crippling depression.

Religion was always a belief, a guiding light and pathway of carrying out mortal life and afterlife, until it became the one thing that parted two lovers, until it was turned into shields for selfish human agendas, until it became a reminder of past and present sins and guilt.

There are not really ways to avoid gaining new meanings to existing items in life, nor there is a loophole to avoid gaining new relevances for previously undiscovered things.

It is now a matter of controlling such meaning, whether us, mortal, flawed human beings, are capable of doing so.

False Positives

written on March 30th, 2018.

Kan Ku Bawa Rumahku Pulang

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 18.24.57

Dari waktu ke waktu,
bumi ini terasa begitu terang,
begitu angkuh,
begitu bising,
hingga sulit bagiku untuk mendengar suaraku sendiri.

Terlalu banyak suara-suara yang menyatu menjadi celoteh kerumunan tak berarti.
Semestinya keramaian berhenti sampai pintu gerbang depan otakku,
sebagai latar belakang yang turut menghidupkan suasana,
tanpa mengganggu apa-apa yang terjadi di ruangan utama.

Namun mereka begitu bersikukuh, menghalalkan segala cara untuk masuk dan menduduki singgasana,
tempat yang seharusnya dikuasai oleh aku seorang saja.

Acap kali aku hendak menyerah,
yang harus kulakukan hanyalah melangkah.
Biarkan saja mereka ambil alih kendali pikiran dan tubuhku,
buat aku lakukan apapun yang mereka mau.

Kutarik nafas dalam dan urungkan niatku,
“Ini rumahku”.

Bagi mereka, ini hanyalah tambahan suaka,
yang dapat mereka jajah sekehendaknya.
Tempat ini tiada berarti apa-apa.

Tapi alam sadarku adalah tempat suci,
tempat perlindungan sekaligus pusat kendali.
Disini aku bisa bermeditasi, bahkan berkontemplasi.
Hidupku 20 tahun kedepan, sudah terealisasi disini.

Segera aku putuskan,
hati dan otakku harus bergerak bersamaan,
demi mengusir keluar suara-suara yang datang tanpa diperkenankan.

Sampai tiba aku di suatu tempat,
begitu cerah,
begitu ramai.
Sesaat akupun sadari,
suara-suara yang begitu kisruh itu sudah tiada.
Bukan kesunyian yang menggantinya,
namun debur lembut ombak yang begitu sejukkan rasa.

Sinar putih yang pedihkan mata,
telah berubah menjadi semburat cahaya jingga.
Sungguh benderang, seakan Ia dapat hangatkan asa,
yang tiada lagi bernyawa.

Disini,
dan hanya disini,
aku bisa berdamai dengan ramainya suara.

Disini,
dan hanya disini,
aku bisa menaruh telinga, tepat di hadapan jiwa,
bersimpuh dan mendengar,
apa yang sesungguhnya hendak Ia utarakan.

 

Suara Jiwa

written on March 14th, 2018.

Ketika Semesta Bersabda

Kau dan Aku
Ada satu hal yang tak kita miliki
Kemampuan untuk menjanjikan esok bagi satu sama lain

Diantara kita
Hanya ada satu otak yang sempurna

Dan diantara kita
Ada ribuan perbedaan,
Seolah menentang jalan untuk kita bersama

Diantara kita
Puluhan orang berbaris rapi
Layaknya rentetan balok-balok kecil domino
Siap untuk menghadang
Ketika kita hendak berlari pulang

Namun ada satu
Yang hanya dimiliki
oleh kau dan aku

Walau tak tersentuh bentuknya,
Kita berdua punya rasa

Rasa yang jauh diluar akal sehat manusia.
Mereka tak mengerti nyata nya rasa,
mereka bilang kita harus kembali memijak dunia

Namun kita tak perlu nasihat
atau sumpah serapah dan tipu muslihat

Karena menggenggam jemari dan menatap mata,
cukup menjelaskan bagi kita,
gemuruh rasa yang nyata adanya.

Runtuhnya dunia yang terserak
melebur menjadi satu semesta
hanya kau dan aku yang punya.

Rasa

Written on March 6th, 2018.

In time, my dear

Time. It’s a funny thing, don’t you think?
We never seem to get enough of it.
It always runs out so gosh-darn quickly, every time we need it most.

When we’re working to a deadline, for example.
If we could only have that extra 47 minutes,
we could probably check our grammar more thoroughly,
or choose a better design for that presentation.

Or when we’re cuddling up to the person we adore.
We’d wish for the sun to be late, just this once.
For it not to raise just minutes after we finally fell asleep,
we spent all night staring into each other’s eyes, for god’s sake.

Then I started thinking that time is not meant to be on our side,
as there are also moments when I wish it would just speed up.
Fast forward, in a blink of an eye.

When I’m sitting in the dentist’s office,
I cannot, for the life of me, bear the tension,
thinking of what he was going to do next,
if it was going to hurt more than it did the last time I went 6 months ago.

When my anxiety kicks in mid-flight. Oh, do I hate this one.
I knew that turbulences are normal in flights, okay,
but when my mind starts its free fall, good God.
You wouldn’t want to know the pictures it starts to play in my head.
Like snippets of the world’s most low-budget horror movie you would ever see,
but still frightening nevertheless.

Time.

It might just be some kind of a concept, created by humans,
so that they can comprehend things that are unfathomable.
Yet still, time found a loophole,
and work in such ways we can never make sense of.

Like that evening you applied for a job without really thinking about it,
you’d never thought that it would take you places,
and give you experiences you could never imagine.
Meeting new people, gaining unexplored knowledge,
and most importantly, travel like a nomad.

or that first day you stepped into the gym,
and ended up discovering this whole new world of exercising.
Now you’ve been doing it for years and you’ve realized that
not only is it a way to maintain your physical well being,
but it also serves as a platform to channel excess energy
(and emotions).
Boxing is great to let out aggression once in a while,
and you could always use Yoga for some inner peace. (Namasté)

To me,
time is a funny thing.
It just seems to always put me at the place
just exactly where it wanted me to be,
even when I think it is completely wrong.

Then I got to thinking,
maybe there isn’t ‘a right time’ for anything.
I will be put in a place just exactly when I’m supposed to be.
A little less cuddling, so I could live through the unbearable feeling of missing the person I just wanted to be next to, making our next encounter all the more cherished.

Doesn’t matter how long it takes,
it always end up revealing a bigger truth.
In time…

 

The Works of Time

written on March 10th, 2018.

An Anxious Warrior

The curls at the ends of her hair are perfectly shaped
the half ponytail was parted on both sides of her hair straight, tied with a colour that complimented her hair’s.

It looked as if
she had spent hours doing, undoing and doing it.

As if she was never happy with the results that came out of her own two hands.

It seemed to me like she would manage the move of every strand of hair,
she would watch her hair over her shoulder like she was watching for an enemy who would come for her from behind.

She is beautiful
and it is her sorrow that made her breath taking.

 

written at Museum Affandi, Jogjakarta

on August 23rd, 2017.