6 to 7

2016 I:

-Literally lived alone for six months for the first time in my life.

-Met a few really cool people.

-Continue to believe that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my ship.

-Understood that it doesn’t matter what people think, you do what you think is right.

-Learnt that not everyone is going to treat you the way you treat them but karma is real, so be patient and be kind.

-Got my heart broken.

-Saw Tony Robbins again after 7 years.

-Read 22 books (One of the best things I’ve done all year)

-Started my own business (Again, one of the best decisions I made)

A lot happened this year. Some are great and some are awful but looking back, these are what made me who I am today. I am grateful for everything I have. I am grateful for my family, my friends and the people I just got to know this very year.

In 2017, as said by Tony Robbins, I should have to:

-Be better than I was in 2016.

-Become more patient and understanding.

-Stay positive.

-Lose weight (definitely have to!)

-Read 23 books.

-Build Eleanor into a popular women-empowering fashion retailer in Indonesia.

-Be a better friend.

-Be friendlier.

-Hold my temper.

I can’t think of anything else now. I hope that everyone else has a lovely New Year. Although I’m completely nervous for 2017, I’m also super excited. Yes, I really don’t know how to end this so I’m just going to wish whoever reads this a very Happy New Year!

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What I’ve Learnt from Not Having A Job

About three weeks ago, I just got back from my holiday trip in my hometown. I had lost my position in my part-time job as a waitstaff and ever since, I’ve been trying to look for another job so I can have extra income while studying. I went to interviews, but none of it worked out, mainly because I’m graduating and my visa is ending soon. So for almost a month now, I have been confined in my apartment with nothing to look forward to except classes.

Like almost all college kids, I only have classes three days in a week and the remaining four days, I literally have nothing to do. Well, nothing that I have to do. I used to work in the weekend so I basically had no day off but now, I have four days in a week to fill or I will simply go mental from having nothing to do. So I indulge myself in plenty of watching hours of reading and a bunch of cooking. I’ve been watching Shark Tank every single day now. I didn’t know about this show until last year when one of my lecturers mentioned it in the class. Long story short, it became a portal where I learnt a bunch of stuff about business that I have never got to learn from any of my school or college subjects. Apart from that, I’ve been reading books like Outlier by Malcolm Gladwell and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I figure if I can’t make extra money these few months, then I should use the time to make myself extra better.

Here are 7 things I learnt:

  1. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy thing. It’s going to be a rocky ride. But if you’re willing to work as hard on the project and on yourself and sacrifice as much as it takes, one day you’ll make it. This applies not just to entrepreneurs actually. This applies to everything great.
  2. The only thing in life that you can control is effort. This is actually said by Mark Cuban, one of my favorite Shark Tank sharks. And I agree completely, not because he’s a billionaire, but because it’s just the plain truth. You can’t control your luck, you can’t control what happens most of the time, but you can control your effort in everything you do.
  3. Success is something you attract by the person you become. This is a quote by Jim Rohn. This hit me really hard, because all this while I’ve been thinking of success as something that you’ll get just by working really hard. However, this quote makes me realize that while working really hard externally, you need to work really hard internally too. Invest in yourself before you invest in something else.
  4. Be genuinely interested in people. I am a proud introvert. I don’t really care how people see me as long as they don’t bother me. So when I become friends with someone, I usually declare my introversion in the hope that they understand I need my privacy and that I hate spending too much time with people. Then, as I get older I realize I become more and more self-centered to the point where sometimes I feel socially anxious. I don’t want this to happen and while reading Dale Carnegie’s book, it dawned upon me that people are interesting. They only become uninteresting when you know nothing about them. So from now on, I’m going to still be the introverted me, but I’ll try to listen and be more interested in people than I do now.
  5. Before watching Shark Tank, I didn’t know a lot of things about business. I thought I knew a lot, but then I didn’t. Despite graduating from an advanced diploma in Marketing and studying yet another Marketing course for Bachelor degree, I am completely oblivious to a lot of business terms. After watching Shark Tank, I learnt quite a handful of things, such as cost of customer acquisition, sales per sqft, SEO, sales process and etc. Perhaps, it was because of my ignorance in classes. I am not blaming my college, but rather I blame myself for not being proactive enough to actually go out there and find out.
  6. Walking is probably one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. I’ve always loved walking. I’ll deliberately get off one station earlier than I should so I can walk more. But it was not something that I do regularly until about a week ago. I’ve been waking up at 6AM every single day to walk for an hour and a half or sometimes two and it has been awesome. I have more hours to work on other things simply because I’ve started the day earlier than I usually did and I no longer feel like a potato.
  7. Rice cooker cooks more than just rice. I know this is totally random, but I just can’t not tell people this. Maybe I’m the only who’s new to this concept but really, I am so stoked by this. The stove in my apartment is broken and after days of eating takeouts, I can’t take it anymore. So I decided to experiment. To date, I’ve cooked rice, pasta, glass noodle and even ramen with a rice cooker.

Why Is it Okay When A Woman Hits A Man But Not When A Man Hits A Woman?

I recently came across an article regarding three certain male celebrities who were accused of committing verbal and physical abuse against their so-called fans. There was even a voice recording of the incident that can be easily found on Youtube. The story sort of went like this: These fans had literally been following them for years; even back into their houses and stole their stuff to be sold on the internet. Some even went as far as to send the celebrities letter with blood from their period (yes, period). There was even picture of one of the guys taken by the fans who barged into his house while he was sleeping. These had been happening to them for years and finally at one point, they decided to confront these crazy fans. In the recording, it could be heard clearly that the guys used harsh language and one seemed to be physically violent. Whether or not the recording has been tempered, I have no idea. But that’s not the point of this post.

What I find really hard to grasp here is the idea that “What if this had happened to female celebrities instead?” Would they have been charged for physically abusing their fans as well or would they have been pardoned for their acts and have it considered as defensive acts? To be clear, I am not defending the male celebrities for their actions. I have no rights to judge them for I know nothing about the situation. It is just an example that I use to express my confusion about how messed up the world can be sometimes. I have no answers to these questions that I raised. I can’t say that women should not hit men to defend themselves and I also can’t agree with the fact that men should keep quiet and let it go when hit by a woman. How is this even fair? It’s true that men are generally stronger and bigger in terms of physique. But that doesn’t make it okay for them to be physically abused. Both men and women are human beings. To me, both genders should be treated equally.

Imagine a situation like this: A woman is walking back home from her work and on the way, she bumps into this stranger who follows her back to her house. He barges into her house and tries to touch her face and kiss her (note that I do not use the word rape here, the man simply tries to touch the girl’s face and kiss her). Should she hit him to defend herself?

Now let’s reverse this situation a little: A man is walking back home from his work and on the way, he bumps into this stranger who follows him back to his house. She barges into his house and tries to touch his face and kiss him. Should he hit her to defend himself?

I don’t know about you, but in the first situation my instinctive answer is “Damn right, she should!” However in the second situation, despite my urge to say the same thing, I hesitate a little. I genuinely think that the man should be allowed to defend himself as well, but somehow hitting a girl does not seem to be the right thing to do. See how messed up this is?

I, as a woman, want to be treated equally as my male counterparts. I want to be valued as much as they are valued and I want to be respected as much as they are respected. I believe that most men out there, if not all, also want to be treated fairly. If we can raise our voice to fight against gender equality, then why can’t we try to be more open-minded and accept that men are also as vulnerable as women are despite their attempt to look strong. It is never okay to hit anyone; men or women, child or adult, human or animal.

I still don’t have the answers to the two situations that I brought up earlier. At least, not the answers that I feel are certainly 100% correct. I don’t think it’s okay for anyone to hit anyone regardless of their genders, but I also don’t think that it’s okay to just let people do something to you without defending yourself.

One can argue that the man can push the girl away without hurting her. Well let’s look at it this way. What if despite having pushed her aside and telling her properly to go away, she still doesn’t budge. What if ultimately physical defense is the only way to get out of this? Should a man let himself be touched and kissed by a stranger just for the sake of ‘not-hitting-a-girl’? Vice versa, should a woman let herself be touched and kissed by a stranger just for the sake of ‘not-hitting-anyone’?

I would really love to get people’s opinions regarding this issue for I am confused. What is the best solution or justification that we can come up with for this issue?

Happy Independence Day, Home!

Seventeen years ago, I was just a four year-old girl. I remembered nothing except spending some time of the year overseas. It was 1998 when the riots happened in my country, Indonesia. Truth be told, if you asked me, I have no recollections on what happened that year. However, through extensive research and questioning, I found out that it was a year of complete nightmare to most Indonesians, not only the ethnic Chinese but also the Javanese Indonesians who rebelled for they were burnt to death in a huge fire.

Fast forward to seventeen years later, which is now, my country no longer has to face such massive issue. Racism and discrimination still happen everywhere, but it is happening less than ever. People are bonding despite the difference in their ethnicity and for that, I am grateful. Over and over again, I remind myself of a saying from my mum: People are all born the same. Peel off our skin and you’ll see that we all have the same anatomy. So there’s no point in differentiating whether you’re black, brown, yellow or white. And because of these words from her, I learn to judge people not from their appearances. Indonesia is a diverse country and instead of breaking us apart, that should be the point that makes us strong.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence. My fellow Indonesians are posting videos and greetings on their social networks. I came across this video that greatly opened my perspective. Unfortunately, only a small part of it is actually subtitled. However, in a nutshell, the video tells the story of Jakarta 15 years ago and Jakarta now. 15 years ago, homes were taken away from the poor without any warnings and compensation. One of the victims in the video said that he had 11 kids. The bulldozing happened while they were still in the house. Fortunately no harm happened to the kids. However, he had nowhere to go. The condition of Jakarta back then was terrible. There were plenty of wealthy people, but the poor was often forgotten. 15 years later, with a new President and a new governor for the city, houses were built for the evicted people. Living conditions have greatly improved.

This made me happy because although I know that there are still many more people suffering out there, at least there are a few that have actually received help. It’s still a long way to go, but I believe my country will continue to grow better and better. Proud to say that I am an Indonesian and I am grateful to have been one.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, INDONESIA! MY HOME!

Thank You, Life

I actually planned to only write this post on my next birthday, but I cancelled and decided to write it now because we never know what will happen tomorrow and I believe that when an urge to write about something appears in your mind, you don’t block it. You write it out. So here goes the thought that occurred as I was brushing my hair this morning:

P.S. This isn’t a biography. Or it is if you think it is. To me, it is a confession of a blessed heart. It’s a pretty long read, by the way.

I was born into a wonderful family. An awesome one, I’d say. My Mom and Dad may not be the richest people on Earth, but they have worked very hard every single day to provide me and my sisters with everything that we needed. Good home, good food, good clothing, good education and most of all, great love. Their patience and perseverance have always left me in awe. My family is definitely the best thing that has happened in my life. I have two sisters who could be annoying once in a while without trying, but deep down if given the choice, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else as my sisters.

From Kindergarten up to High School, I have never had a fixed best friend. I used to think that I had this curse where I could never have the same best friend for longer than two years. When I was in Kindergarten I had this one best friend who moved away when we got to Elementary 1 and we lost contact ever since. Same thing happened with my Elementary best friend. Although she didn’t move away, we just got distant. High school went passing by and still, the best friend thing didn’t seem to work out very well with me. Then come college and I finally understand the reason why it wasn’t a curse, it was just a way of the universe saying that I had not met my best friend for life yet. In 2012, I moved from my lovely home in Indonesia to a small condominium in the capital of Malaysia with two of my high school friends, one of their cousins and a stranger that soon became a friend. There, I had to share a bedroom with one of my high school friends. We weren’t that close before, but as time passed by, being roommates, we eventually got closer and she became the only person that I could tell everything to without worrying that I would be judged. My fear, my disappointment, my embarrassing experiences, my silly crushes, my heartbreaks. We’d go about our own life during the day, she her interior design classes and I my fashion merchandising classes. We’d then come back to our condominium at night and told each other about the things that happened that day. We fought, sometimes for useless matters. Quite often but it never got to the next day. Most of the time, it disappeared just like that in less than two hours and we would be back to normal. Yes, there were times when my anxiety would creep back in and make me think all the nasty things about the curse I had with best friends. There were times when I would get so convinced that this friendship was ending very soon just like all the previous ones. But perhaps, it was these thoughts that taught me that in life, when things don’t go well, you don’t leave, you fix it. I am somewhere in Australia as I am typing and she is somewhere in Singapore probably still asleep. I have no idea where we’d be in the next five to ten years, but I genuinely hope that we’d still be best friends by then. I think I have never told her this before, but I am grateful to have met her.

I thought I’d never be able to fit in with my classmates when I first got to my college in KL. Not because I think I’m all that special, but because somehow I am a pretty introverted person at the beginning of every relationship. It’s a rare occurrence for me to strike a conversation first. On top of that, I know I am not the person that people would be interested to be friends with at first. So I assumed that for the next two years of college, it would just be coming to lectures on time, listening to the lecturers talk alone and leaving the classes as soon as they were done. However, I forgot how it happened exactly, but two years went by and in the process, I have met a bunch of incredible friends who never failed to make me feel. Every time I met them, I felt genuinely happy and blessed. Sometimes, I felt furious but at the same time grateful because they taught me how to be patient. Once in a while, I felt disappointed. Disappointed that they were not the way I had expected them to be. But then through them, I learnt that in life, not everyone is going to be the way you want them to be. In fact, no one is ever going to be like that. People are different in their own special way and what we can do as fellow human being, is to accept them for who they are. Unconditionally. Though often, this is very hard to achieve, for me at least.

Fast forward to a few years later, I am where I am right now and have a new roommate. My new roommate has a best friend who sleeps over quite often. Though I was not as welcoming at first, I slowly began to realize that life is all about sharing. They were so different from the housemates I had before. They were untidy, loud and playful. But they were also some of the nicest, most non-judgemental and funniest people I’ve met in life. Though I know in the next five months, there will be moments when I would flip because one of them forgot to wash the dishes or one of them slept on my bed, I am still very happy to have had them as my housemates instead of someone else.

As I grew up, I became exposed to the cruel yet beautiful world called ‘love’. I had plenty of crushes along the way. Some I forgot in a blink of an eye, a few I couldn’t even take off my mind for a minute. I got my heart broken by some of the people I trusted most. I got it crushed by the person I put my highest hope on. And though I would love to be able to say that it was all their faults, I couldn’t. Because being hurt once is a naivety, being hurt twice by the same person is stupidity. I blamed myself for all the misery, but also, I would like to applaud myself for having not given up on love because of them. The same way my best friend appeared, I believe that the right person will come one day, at the right time in the right place.

To my recent crush, I’d like to thank you for making me see what a true gentleman is. I have fallen in love with far too many douchebags that I nearly forgot that good guys existed until you appeared. Though I know for well that things may never go further than now for us two, I still would like to thank you for letting me see what kind of person I want to have as my partner for life. Someone who respects and treats everyone equally. Someone who listens and pays attention to everything I say. Someone who smiles and responds to me when no one else would.

To the world, I’d like to thank you for having me. I hope I can still stay and continue to better myself so that in the process, I can help contribute in bettering others. I know I am not the kindest or the wisest person. I screw up a lot in life. I break people’s hearts as well. And I talked back to my parents too. I still do sometimes. But I am finally beginning to see the beauty of this life and as I am writing this, apart from feeling blessed, I feel terrified. Because this sounds a lot like I am saying my last words, but I have to write this because I don’t want to lose the chance to show people how great life can be if we try to see it from lots of different views. Not just up or down, right or left, try 45 degree or 180 degree. Or even from the northeast point of view. It’s different and it can be breathtaking.

Random Confession

It never fails to amaze me how true the phrase regret always comes the last is. I mean I have always believed in it. In fact, I’ve come upon quite a handful of events in life where I could really relate to it. However, I keep tossing it back into somewhere deep in my brain every time the feeling of regret sort of subsides.

New country, new city, new home and new friends. Not that what I have right now is bad, but it makes me realize what I had was great. It’s just that I didn’t use to think that. I miss being at home. At home with my old housemates when each of us would have our eyes fixed completely on our own laptop screen without talking the entire night when the due date for assignments was the next day. I miss the feeling when the four of us would lazily dress up to get some food in the Arabian restaurant next to our condo. I miss telling each other stories about our day. I miss everything. Even the parts where we would complain about each other.

I miss watching The Mentalist until 3AM in the morning during term break and heading to bedroom with my roommate where we would then continue chattering with the lights off until 5AM before we fell asleep. I miss waking up the at 11AM and getting ready for our day out with the other housemates.

I miss actually being able to see my crush almost every day. I miss being able to talk to him. I miss the feeling of butterflies in my stomach, my palms sweating and my brain poaching.

I miss walking to college half-heartedly only to go home feeling refreshed by all the silly jokes my classmates would pull.

I miss being alone in the gym minding my own business.

I miss playing with the three mushroom-head kids who are adorable beyond words.

I miss buying bread in the convenience store right next to our condo.

I miss refilling in tanks of drinking water in the machine near the swimming pool.

I miss the friendly smiles of the security guards every morning as I headed out to college.

I miss being in an LRT.

I miss screaming at the top of my lungs at the snail-like speed of the wifi at home.

Most of all, I miss the feeling of home I felt there that I hardly feel now.

ALONE

ALONE. The word that hardly crossed my mind before I had to live by myself. Literally.

Less than a week ago, I moved to Melbourne to continue my study. My mom was here with me for a few days and then she went back to Indonesia for she still has two other kids and a husband to take care of. Due to some issue, my roommate will only be here by early August, which means I have to spend around half of a month alone in an apartment in a city I had never been to before in my entire life. This got me a little worried at first. I still am. I mean, I’m used to being alone. I always walked to college alone back when I was in Kuala Lumpur and more often than not, I was alone at home when my housemates were all out. But this time, it felt a little different. The place is too quiet and calm that it makes me panic every few minutes when an unknown sound just came out of nowhere. I wanted to go out and explore, but I tried and it wasn’t that fun. I spent about an hour outside and came back to the apartment. This is the first time in my entire adulthood that I have ever felt so in need of someone to talk to or simply just someone I know to be in the same room with. Call it dependent or clingy, but this is what I genuinely feel. There’s no denying that I now get the saying that human beings, by nature, are social creatures. I used to think that we can survive alone in this world without having anybody at all. It’s halfway true. We can only depend on ourselves when it comes to getting the life we want, but at the same time, we need people to talk to. People to tell us that by the end of the day, we still have a place to come home to.

What makes me feel so uneasy is the fact that when I am alone for too long, I think and think. Sometimes, good thoughts. Thoughts that make me wanna get out of the bed and live life. Sometimes, being a human being, silly thoughts happen and they get pretty scary. So perhaps, it’s not being alone that I’m scared of. It’s what happens to my brain when I am alone too much that I’m terrified of. I know I need to get this fixed because people have their own lives to live and since it’s my choice to move here, I need to deal with whatever the circumstances are.

My Favorite TV Characters

1. Patrick Jane

Awfully smart and enchantingly charming. Jane is the main protagonist in the TV Series The Mentalist who uses his incredible observational skill and intuitive skill to crack crimes. It all began when a mysterious chain murderer, Red John killed his wife and daughter. After one year of nervous breakdown, he later joined the CBI (California Bureau of Investigation) on the mission to avenge his deceased family.

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2. Wilhemina Slater

Mean but incredibly attractive and smart. Wilhelmina Slater is a supermodel turned creative director turned co-editor in chief turned editor-in chief of MODE magazine in the TV Series Ugly Betty. The woman is cunning and manipulative, but she certainly knows and will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Not that all the things she do are good examples to follow, but her determination and perseverance are worth applauding. In the end, she proved to be a particularly nice person deep down. Also, she has impeccable fashion sense.

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3. Harvey Specter

Goddamn hot and impressively smart. In the TV Series Suits, Harvey Specter is the best closer in New York. If you’re looking to win a case, look no further than Harvey. When it comes to eating his bagel, he doesn’t like to share or being interrupted. Harvey doesn’t like to go to court for he thinks it’s expensive and he likes to win before the war begins. Arrogant? Yes, but he has all the reasons to. One of his quotes: “You wanna lose small, I wanna win big.”

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4. Daenerys Targaryen

Mother of Dragon and the unburnt Khaleesi. Daenerys is a leader much loved by her people for the kindness of her heart. Not only is she a just and fair leader, she is also a smart one. She obliterated slavery and conquered the cities. Sold by her brother, lost her beloved husband and unborn child, she stood up in the end stronger than ever. To the liberated slaves, Daenerys is a glimmer of hope in a dark world. To people, she is an incredible ruler.

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5. Cristina Yang

Brilliant and crazy. Dr Cristina Yang is the genius Cardiothoracic Surgical Fellow in the TV Series Grey’s Anatomy. She is competitive, intelligent and ambitious. However, she is also a very good friend when it comes to her person, Meredith Grey. I remember once her husband complimented her for her beauty and she said: “Oh, screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.”

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6. Effy Stonem

Intensely screwed up but incredibly observant. Effy Stonem is a character from UK TV Series Skins. She is quiet and perceptive, but her wit is unquestionable. She usually sports a cold stare or a wry smile, which is known as her trademark. Her Mom once told her friend: “She has got so much love in her heart. But the thought of letting it out, showing her cards, scares her to death.”

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7. Poussey Washington

Rather underrated and charmingly hilarious. In the TV Series Orange is the New Black, Poussey Washington is an inmate who has served for two years and not much is known about her except for the fact that she used to live in Germany while his father was stationed there. She had a relationship with the daughter of his father’s commander who later found out when he walked in on them. The commander told Poussey’s father to get her some help, but his father said that he felt his daughter was fine. When it comes to love, Poussey has a beautiful description for it. She said: “(Love) It’s just chillin’, you know. Kickin’ it with somebody, talking, making mad stupid jokes, and like not even wanting to go to sleep cause, then you might be without them for a minute. And you don’t want that.”

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My Very First Tattoo

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I finally got myself a tattoo about a month and a half ago. I’ve always wanted one and it took me years to make up my mind. Like majority, I was scared of the consequences, terrified of the pain and confused with what and which part to tattoo. After scrupulous thoughts and consideration, I eventually did it and I am happy with my decision.

‘think and thank’ is what it says. At first, I wanted something like ‘wonderwall’ or ‘wanderlust’ but then it didn’t feel right because those words meant nothing to me. So I waited until I found the word/words that mean something. Think, to me, is a vital word because as simple as it may sound, it is something that I do every single day and it is something that I love doing. Thinking keeps me alive and it makes me feel blessed. Thank reminds me of the much needed gratitude. My life has been great. It may not have been perfect all the time, but it has been one hell of a wonderful ride, with many remarkable people in it.

#bornday

It took me years to understand the true meaning of birthday. I used to think that it was a day where I should be showered with gifts and presented with big yummy birthday cake. I sort of expected those things to happen once I opened my eyes on my birthday. But now, after years and years of celebration, it no longer feels that special. If anything, it makes me feel blessed. It reminds me of how great my life has been and how lucky I am to have been able to celebrate this day again. This year’s birthday, I finally realize that it is the day that I should be particularly thankful to my Mom because 21 years ago today, she had to go through so much pain to get me out into this world. In fact, it should be a daily reminder.

My 21 years of life have been nothing but great. I have a wonderful family that is sometimes head-poaching but most of the times, lovely. I have a group of friends that I love and enjoy being with a lot. I have almost everything that I want to have in life. Of course there were times when I felt depressed and wished that I could have changed my life to someone else’s life. I did that a lot, I still do that once in a while. One minute, I’m so happy with everything, the next, I feel like crying my heart out. That is pretty normal to me and I’m used to it. However, despite all that, I am genuinely grateful with my life.