Monthly Archives: January 2012

“If this might be my last day on earth, I would…” [My dream journal, 1st entry]

If the premise “There was a forecast that Armageddon would happen tomorrow and this might be my last day on earth”, according to my dream, I would join a mass wedding with thousands of people marrying my friend’s brother, whom in my dream I regarded as ‘so-so’.

Then we would run away with our friends to find a safe place. On our way to save ourselves, my husband would get into an accident and pass away. The next day when the Armageddon seemed to take a rest for a while, my friend would ran to me expressing her condolences and me with my cold expression saying thank you. Then my friend would point out my another friend’s brother’s body whom she thought it was my husband and I told him no. Weirdly she would be insisting that it was my husband and I’d answer, “Believe me, no. That body is our another friend’s brother’s. Had I married him, I would really remember and be devastated upon his death. He was cute and I had a crush on him when I was still a little kid.”

CONCLUSION: I am a hopeless bitch, according to my dream.

 

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The responsibilities and consequences of “I Love You”

John Steinbeck, a Nobel laureate,  the author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men wrote a letter giving advice to his son who was madly falling in love with a girl.  Below is the letter.

New York

November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa

Source: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/01/12/john-steinbeck-on-love-1958/

What I like the most about his advice is that he didn’t belittle his son’s love “You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love”. He was not protective but he shared his wisdom about love, that when you love someone and you say it, it comes with responsibility that you ought to take – living up to it and taking the other party’s feeling into consideration.

I personally believe “I love you” (I’m referring to ‘romantic love’) is not something that someone can say lightly, for example “I love you but let’s not rush commitment into this”. I think that is b*llshit (pardon my language). Good in paper but does not work in reality. When you say “I love you” to other party, the other party (who happens to reciprocate the feeling) cannot help but expect that there will be a continuation, a relationship that includes commitment and loyalty despite of the refusal to label the relationship. Saying ‘I love you’ means that you are willing to take responsibility of others’ feeling and expectation. If a person, man or woman, cannot bear this responsibility, it is best to say nothing.

“I just want to ‘release’ and say this to you but we cannot go further than this”, I believe, is a selfish act.

“I love you” is the three words that one should really think about before saying it and can only be said when the person means it and is willing to live up to its beauty but also fragility – accepting the probability of losing it too. For, according to my experience and my friends’, the journey of love sometimes is bumpy and we may make it or we may not. Although at that time, we may find it really difficult not to replay our memory trying to find out what’s wrong, toying with ‘what if’s and blame ourselves, I believe or I want to believe that, like a bottle of wine, it gets better with time, that it is a process to prepare myself to be ready for better and better love journey in the future with myself or with different person.

Dedicated to a good friend of mine. Girl, I admire your big heart and is really grateful to be your friend.

Jakarta, 16th January 2012.

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The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study [A book review]

This eight-decade longitudinal study thoroughly tested hypothesis and preconceived notion that we have about how to achieve a long life, e.g.  e.g. ‘is it true that an extrovert carefree person lives a longer life than the introvert and conscientious one?’, ‘is it true that staying single reduces our chance to live a longer life?’, ‘is it true that the way to achieve longer life is to avoid stress?’.

Our society is used to frame longevity issue in a symptom-tackling or checklist manner but this study dug deeper in answering why and exploring the dynamic interplay between many factors, e.g. personality, social environment, family condition, married/single, gender, etc (as the study followed the respondents’ lives since their childhood until they died).

Indeed the result of this study challenged our perception and belief about longevity.

Here’s the interview video with the authors explaining about their book and the trivia about which myths negated by this research .

 

I personally think that there are still a few ‘why’s that are yet to be answered (perhaps due to the limitation of the study) but I believe it is a good starting point for us and our society in framing our strategy and policy to promote health.

Note: this book provides some self-assessment tool to help us map where we are and what we should do to improve our health.

 

For more information, check out the author’s website.

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4 pertanyaan ‘kenapa’ yang paling bikin banyak orang Indonesia penasaran menurut Google

Di sore yang mendung ini, saya iseng ngetik kata ‘kenapa’ di Google Search dan demikianlah yang muncul #mendungsokproduktif.

Grabbed on 7th January 2012

Click to enlarge

Dan saya iseng-iseng (lagi) berhipotesis kenapa pertanyaan ini yang paling banyak di-google orang. Please note bahwa ini saya lagi ngasal-ngasal aja.

1. Kenapa anjing haram

Biasanya kalau sesuatu yang bahaya atau sebaiknya dijauhi bentukannya serem-serem dan bikin kita bergidik, seperti kelabang, ulat bulu, kecoak dan sebagainya. Sedangkan anjing, banyak banget yang lucu-lucuuuuu sehingga orang-orang bertanya-tanya kenapa binatang selucu itu haram, termasuk saya. Walaupun saya takut sama anjing, saya suka ngeliat anjing-anjing lucu apalagi yang masih puppies. Favorit saya Siberian Husky, pengen peyuk-peyukkk (emangnya ada yang nanyaaaa hahaha).

Siberian Husky & Mongrel (lucu kaaaan)

2. Kenapa lutut berbunyi

Kalau pas lagi jongkok, tiba-tiba bunyi krek krek, ada pendapat bahwa, ini karena kurang gerak, sehingga untuk menanggulanginya perlu sering dilatih sendi-sendinya, lebih sering dilatih pergerakannya. Kalau disertai sakit, sebaiknya konsultasi ke dokter. Kalau lututnya mulai bersiul dan bernyanyi… nahhhh baru pusing atau… langsung upload ke youtube! Jangan lupa nge-tweet dan tag para buzzer ya.

3. Kenapa rambut rontok

Kebotakan dini pasti meresahkan baik buat perempuan maupun laki-laki, kegalauan yang memilukan saat melihat rambut berjatuhan saat keramas atau ketakutan tiap kali harus nyisir supaya gak ditanya orang-orang ‘abis kejebur di mana lo?’, ‘lo belom mandi ya?’. Makanya guys, be nice  kalau ada temannya yang rambutnya keruwel-keruwel berantakan, dipeluk yah.

Berpelukannnnn!

4. Kenapa sering masuk angin

Nahhhh ini penyakitnya namanya orang kamseupay (kalau mau tau dan penasaran arti & asal kata ‘kamseupay’, click link ini http://wp.me/p260Fs-Z) yang biasanya pakai AC alam, sok-sok pakai AC mesin (termasuk gue dong?). Kalau terpaksa, ya udah, nasib. Siap-siap baju tebel, balsem dan koyo. Kalau gue, abis ini search “gimana supaya tetep keren walaupun bau balsem dan pakai koyo” apalagi kalau pakai baju minimalis kayak mbak-mbak di bawah ini.

Garing ya? Ya udah deh. Nasib lo yang baca-baca deh. Hahaha.

Biar ga bete, nih ta’ kasih lagu yang asik.

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Me, updated.

Sering dengar orang ngomong, “New Year, New Me?” Orang-orang menginterpretasikan ini misalnya dengan baju baru, potongan rambut baru, tempat kerja baru *eh*, mungkin juga pacar baru dan resolusi tahun baru untuk memperbaharui / update diri sendiri supaya lebih baik.

Dulu-dulu gue lumayan sinis, ngejawab “Apanya yang baru, orangnya masih tetap sama, kelakuan tetap sama walaupun resolusi tahun barunya ingin mengubah kelakuan tertentu.”  Dengan skeptisnya, gue pun gak pernah memaknai resolusi tahun baru dengan sungguh-sungguh. Bayangkan resolusi tahun baru gue untuk tahun 2010: mau foto bareng sama Nicholas Saputra (dan kesampean! ihiy!), sama sekali ga ada hubungannya dengan “New Year, New Me”.

Biar gelap, yang penting terukir dalam hati (ihiy)

Tapi tahun 2011 ini benar-benar jadi tahun pembelajaran buat gue. Banyak hal yang terjadi dan membuat gue mengevaluasi lagi pendapat dan sikap gue.

Seringkali orang-orang, termasuk gue, menilai orang dari luar, dari kata-kata yang digunakan, dari kepercayaan diri (atau kengototan) yang ditunjukkan. Walaupun gue udah tahu konsep ini secara kognitif, tahun ini gue benar-benar mengalami dan belajar bahwa apa yang tampak di luar seringkali tidak sesuai dengan yang sebenarnya.

Orang-orang yang dominan belum tentu lebih brilian daripada orang-orang yang tampak submisif. Orang-orang dengan penampilan alim belum tentu moralitasnya lebih baik daripada orang-orang bertampang preman yang super sangar (gue bertemu sendiri orang-orang yang bertampang atau bereputasi sangar tapi lebih sopan dan menghargai persahabatan daripada orang yang tampangnya alim-alim). Orang-orang dengan resume panjang dan fantastik belum tentu lebih pintar daripada orang-orang yang resumenya kelihatan biasa-biasa aja atau masih seperti anak itik.

Bertemu dengan orang-orang seperti ini membuat gue belajar untuk lebih menghargai diri gue sendiri. Dan ini adalah highlight pembelajaran gue tahun ini:

Walaupun gue muda (atau kata orang, masih keliatan kayak anak umur 13 tahun), gue bisa dan berani beropini dengan kritis, mengambil dan mengekspresikan sikap.

Gue pikir inilah inti dari resolusi. Mengambil pelajaran dari tahun sebelumnya dan mempraktekan pelajaran itu di tahun berikutnya.

Dan di tahun 2012 ini,  gue beresolusi untuk lebih percaya diri untuk beropini dan bersikap kritis. Cuma “sedikit” tapi benar-benar mengena dan bermakna buat gue dan karenanya, akan gue usahakan sebaik-baiknya supaya terwujud.

Selamat tahun baru 2012, semoga tahun ini semakin banyak momen yang kita hargai dan maknai dan kita makin tumbuh (mudah-mudahan jangan ke samping, hiks *menatap nanar celana jeans lama*).

Mudah-mudahan tahun ini gue kesampean punya ini (mudah-mudahan ada kuis berhadiah ini dan gue dimenangin) *tetep murahan*

Nambah musik buat joget-joget ah, biar seru.

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