About Me

Mengenai aku dan sebuah perpisahan

Ketika kita diberikan kesempatan untuk bertemu dan mengenal seseorang, dan menjadikannya bagian dari hidup kita, kita juga harus mempersiapkan diri kita untuk kehilangan dia. Sama seperti ketika aku belajar bahwa jika kita mencintai seseorang, kita juga membuka diri kita kesempatan untuk terluka.

Belakangan ini aku di kelilingi oleh beberapa orang di sekitarku yang kehilangan orang-orang yang mereka kasihi. Maksudku “kehilangan” adalah mereka dipanggil pulang oleh Yang Maha Kuasa. Dan dua hari yang lalu aku mendapat kabar bahwa salah satu sahabatku kehilangan keluarga terdekatnya. Kebingungan harus menyampaikan kata duka semacam apa untuk melegakan hatinya (walaupun aku tahu dia dan keluarganya pasti dikuasai oleh suasana duka), aku mengungkapkannya dengan “terlibat” dalam beberapa aktifitas urus-mengurus acara pemakaman melalui pertanyaan-pertanyaan sederhana “sedang apa sekarang?” atau “bagaimana rencana selanjutnya?”.

Ketika aku dihadapkan oleh sebuah ungkapan “tidak ada yang abadi di dunia ini”, aku mengacu pada bagaimana semua pertemuan pada akhirnya akan tiba pada perhentian terakhir di “sebuah perpisahan”. Hanya ironis saja jika kita sebagai manusia yang “memisahkan” sebuah pertemuan yang tidak boleh dipisahkan sebelum Tuhan berkata: “aku panggil salah satu ya?”. Itu sudah berbicara mengenai hal lain lagi tentunya, yang tidak akan aku bahas dalam tulisanku kali ini.

Pada usiaku menginjak usia dewasa muda, aku menemukan diriku tidak merespon baik pada sebuah perpisahan. Aku ingat aku tidak pernah kesulitan melontarkan kata-kata yang membangun jika seseorang datang padaku dan meminta saran akan beberapa pendapat yang mereka lontarkan padaku. Tapi ketika seseorang datang dengan tangis, berduka, aku menemukan diriku membisu karena aku tidak tahu apa yang harus aku katakan. Karena bahasa kasihku adalah “quality time”, jadi yang bisa aku berikan kepadanya hanyalah keberadaanku di sisinya walau tidak bersirat banyak kata. Sama hal nya dengan perpisahan. Aku akan menemukan diriku bagaikan tersesat, kebingungan tidak tahu harus bersedih atau berbahagia karena seseorang yang berpisah dariku berada di tempat yang lebih baik (entah dia pulang ke rumah Bapa di surga atau pun berpindah tempat). Jadi aku menemukan satu bahasa “diam”, untuk mengungkapkan kebingungan hatiku.

Mungkin karena itu kedukaanku tidak akan kuungkapkan dari bagaimana aku bersikap. Aku akan tetap menjadi aku dari luar, namun di balik layar panggung dunia, aku akan mendapati diriku mencari sudut tersepi dan merenungi memori-memori yang aku pernah punya dengan seseorang yang dimana aku kehilangannya.

Aku jadi teringat ketika GranMa Tuhan panggil pulang. Aku tidak menangis. Aku tidak menunjukkan kesedihanku seperti bagaimana Ma menunjukkannya. Aku ingat, aku hanya berdiri terpaku, diam seribu bahasa.

Tapi aku tidak pernah lupa bagaimana GranMa menghembuskan nafasnya yang terakhir di depan mataku, dipeluk Ma, di kamarnya di sudut rumahku di Bandung. Mulai dari detik-detik ketika aku pertama mengenal siapa dia, menghabiskan ratusan juta menit bersama dia, dan detik-detik akhir hidupnya – kenangan akan dirinya selalu melekat dalam hatiku.

Bahkan mungkin banyak orang akan memandangku tidak kehilangan GranMa, atau tidak sedih ketika dia sudah tidak ada, karena sebenarnya kami terlalu banyak bersitegang karena perbedaan sudut pandang yang terlalu jauh karena dipisahkan oleh umur. Tapi pada kenyataannya adalah aku tidak pernah melupakannya hingga detik ini. Setiap sudut rumah, setiap barang-barang kesayangan GranMa, di benakku selalu tersirat: “it’s her favourite” atau “it’s her corner”.

I don’t know how to behave, because I’m just not good with farewells.

Berusaha menunjukkan pada dunia bahwa aku kuat tanpa siapa-siapa – “I’m okay”.

But I’m just not good with farewells.

Begitu pula ketika aku kehilangan teman-teman terdekatku. Seperti yang aku pernah tulis di beberapa post sebelumnya bahwa ketika aku memutuskan untuk mencintai seseorang (as lover, or as best friends, or as friends), aku akan memberikan sepenuh hatiku untuknya. Jadi perpisahan tentunya akan menghancurkan hatiku. Sebagian duniaku akan kuberikan padanya, akan kuajak dia, mereka, untuk mengenal seperti apa duniaku. Aku belajar bahwa mencintai seseorang itu merupakan sebuah keputusan. Aku memutuskan mencintai dia sebagai kekasihku, aku memutuskan mencintai mereka sebagai sahabat-sahabatku, aku memutuskan mencintai mereka sebagai teman-teman baikku.

But because I’m not good with farewells …

… ketika satu per satu “mengkhianati” keputusanku pada masa mudaku, duniaku pun dibawanya oleh mereka. Dan perlahan lampu pijarku redup. Aku pikir, lebih baik aku sendiri karena melalui kesendirian tidak ada rasa sakit yang akan aku rasakan dari sebuah perpisahan. Jadi ketika aku beranjak dewasa, aku belajar menikmati diriku dengan kesendirian. Aku belajar mengatasi kesepianku dan terlena olehnya.

Tapi itu berarti aku menyangkal kenyataan bahwa people come and go..

Aku harus belajar menerima bahwa perpisahan adalah bagian dari hidup kita, dan tidak ada seorang pun yang benar-benar tinggal – melainkan mereka yang tinggal, akan tinggal di hati kita.

Seiring berjalannya waktu, aku melihat bahwa seseorang akan selalu hadir dan pergi dalam hidup kita. Ketika seseorang hilang dari lembaran cerita buku hidup kita, Tuhan kirimkan seseorang lain yang akan memiliki arti lain dalam hidup kita. Dan ketika seseorang dikirimkan dalam hidup kita, kita sendiri bertumbuh menjadi pribadi yang lebih baru lagi hari demi hari melalui interaksi kita dengannya, dengan mereka yang baru hadir.

My brother once said when I asked him “why do people leave so soon?”: “waktunya dalam hidupmu hanya sampai pada batas waktu dimana dia harus pergi dari hidupmu”. And he’s right.

Ada kawan yang hadir dalam hidup kita hanya untuk menambah daftar kenalan dalam hidup kita. Ada juga kawan yang hadir dalam hidup kita untuk kita lebih mengenal diri kita sendiri, dan Tuhan punya tujuan mengapa kita saling dipertemukan, dipersatukan dalam satu ikatan persahabatan. Mereka hadir bagaikan cermin yang dimana ketika kita melihat mereka kita akan melihat dan menyadari kekurangan kita – so we can grow more, dan kelebihan kita – bring us to our best.

Jadi aku belajar untuk lebih menghargai sebuah perpisahan daripada sebuah pertemuan. Karena kita semakin mengerti seberapa penting seseorang untuk kita ketika dia sudah tidak ada di sisi kita.

I’m not good with farewells, because that means “changes”.

Dibalik sebuah pertemuan ada rasa takut bergema dalam hatiku jika suatu hari aku berpisah dengannya dan hatiku akan merasa sangat kehilangan, aku tidak tahu bagaimana aku bisa mengungkapkan kehilangan tersebut. Dan ungkapan terpendam tersebut akan hadir dalam hatiku sebagai bentuk ketidaknyamanan jika mengunjungi sudut-sudut kenangan antara aku dan siapa pun dia.

Because I’m just not good with farewells, moving on will be a very long journey.

Aku melihat diriku dari bagaimana aku mengatasi diriku dari perpisahanku dengan kekasih-kekasihku terdahulu. Perjalanan yang sangat panjang dan lama. Tapi pada akhirnya memang Sang Waktu itu sendiri yang akan memberikan kita kesempatan untuk pulih. “Time heals”, it indeed is. Jadi jika aku harus dikuasai oleh perasaan sedih oleh karena perpisahan, aku harus belajar menanti bahwa hanya waktulah yang akan memulihkan.

But that’s okay, because there is a time for everything – my most favorite Bible verse “Ecclesiastes 3”.

And I learned when people get into my life, I must treasured every moments with them – treasure them when they are around. Because we never know when will they leave.

Setidaknya sudah ada banyak – dan bukan hanya satu atau dua – kisah dan kenangan yang melekat di satu ruang lubuk batinku, tempat bagi mereka yang berarti bagi kehidupanku.

Jadi jika aku membisu, jangan kuatir ya? Karena diam merupakan salah satu bahasa aku, untuk mengungkapkan yang tak terungkap: perpisahan.

Because I’m just not good with farewells..

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Blessings in Disguise · IN · Life Lesson

The Christmas Eve

Tengah malam. Aku diberikan kesempatan untuk melihat kumpulan orang-orang dari atas. Atas panggung. Memandang satu per satu jemaat yang hadir malam itu. Ya. Aku berdiri di atas panggung sebagai bagian dari salah satu penyanyi paduan suara masa aku di Bandung dahulu.

Malam Natal.

Dan ibadah malam Natal di gerejaku di Bandung selalu dilaksanakan pada jam 23.00 malam, dan berakhir setelah hari berganti tanggal.

Karena aku mempunyai kesempatan demikian, aku jadi mulai memandang satu per satu jemaat yang terduduk dengan manis menunggu ibadah di mulai. Wajah mereka terlihat ceria. Masih terlihat segar. Sudah banyak orang yang tiba 60 hingga 45 menit sebelum ibadah di mulai, berharap kursi yang mereka akan duduki mendapat titik terbaik untuk dapat menikmati acara.

Kemudian aku mulai tersenyum pada satu per satu orang yang datang dan duduk pada kursi yang telah mereka pilih. “Ah, sudah lama sekali aku tidak bertemu dengan mereka”, pikirku. Sudah lama sekali bahkan aku tidak berdiri dari atas panggung untuk menjadi pelayan penyanyi di gereja ini.

Ketika si pemimpin paduan suara menawarkan untuk ikut terlibat dalam acara malam Natal, awalnya aku menerima tawarannya karena memang aku akan pulang ke kampung halamanku Bandung menjelang Natal. Tapi menjelang hari, aku sempat membatalkannya karena tidak sempatnya aku mengikuti detik-detik latihan terakhir mereka. Singkat cerita, satu per satu bertemu denganku dan memintaku untuk ikut terlibat, dan aku kembali pada rencana awalku untuk terlibat.

Kesempatan ini membuat aku untuk terpaksa menulis. “Terpaksa”, maksudku. Karena dari penglihatan dan pengalamanku dari depan panggung ini memberikan aku kesempatan untuk merenungkan banyak hal dan menyumbangkan begitu banyak ide akan kata-kata yang harus dilimpahkan melalui tulisan ini.

1. Hatiku tersenyum kecil ketika melihat beberapa orang di kursi jemaat mulai tertidur sambil bernyanyi. Aku juga mengantuk, jam 23.00 sudah jauh melewati batas jam tidurku biasanya. Tapi berada di depan panggung memaksa aku untuk tetap terjaga. Pemandangan ini membuatku berpikir bagaimana mereka membuat diri mereka untuk hadir di kebaktian malam Natal tengah malam walau mereka tahu kantuk akan mengetuk dan mengunjungi mereka. Tapi tidak menghalangi mereka hadir karena mereka tahu siapa yang akan mereka temui. Mereka tahu “ulang tahun” siapa yang akan mereka rayakan. Mereka ingin menjadi yang pertama untuk mengucapkan: Happy Birthday, Jesus. Aku juga 🙂

2. Ketika aku berada di depan panggung, pikiranku tidak luput dari tujuan aku memberanikan diriku bernyanyi tanpa dilengkapi dengan latihan yang rutin. Saat aku ditawarkan untuk terlibat dalam acara malam Natal tersebut, tentu saja aku memikirkannya berulang kali karena aku tahu bahwa aku tidak dapat berkomitmen untuk datang ke Bandung dan mengikuti jadwal latihan yang sudah ditentukan. Tapi ketika aku memegang partitur dan bernyanyi mengikuti alunan lembut piano di samping kananku. Aku hampir lupa bahwa aku mencintai musik lebih dari aku mencintai lari atau olahraga lainnya. Dan aku bersyukur aku dapat menjadi bagian dari grup nyanyi mana pun: JPCC Choir, Cantate Domino, atau yang lainnya. Pertemuanku dengan Tuhan adalah melalui musik dan nyanyian.

3. Seorang calon pendeta muda berdiri dari barisan kursi paling depan. Dengan mic headset yang melekat pada sisi sebelah kanan wajahnya, dia mulai berdialog. “Setiap Natal aku selalu merayakannya dengan baju baru, kue-kue lezat, hiasan Natal yang indah. Begitu manis rasanya di hati. Tapi mengapa rasanya ada yang kurang?”. Seorang pendeta yang lebih senior menghampirinya, dan menepuk bahunya: “Bro, Natal bukan hanya sekedar kemewahan seperti yang kau jabarkan”. Melalui dua pendeta yang berdialog pesan Natal disampaikan. Sederhana saja. Bahwa Tuhan hadir di tempat yang begitu sederhana, tapi yang teristimewa adalah bahwa Tuhan hadir di dalam hati kita. Dia rela menjadikan diriNya begitu sederhana, supaya kita menjadi kaya di dalam Dia: kaya akan perasaan damai, kaya akan perasaan sukacita, kaya akan sebuah harapan, kaya akan perasaan kasih kita terhadap orang-orang sekeliling kita.

Berbicara mengenai damai, dan sukacita. Sudah berapa tahun ya aku tidak merasakan kedamaian dan sukacita di hari Natal. Tapi mengingat begitu banyak berkat dan perubahan dalam hidupku setahun kebelakang, aku begitu bersyukur di tahun 2016 ini akhirnya aku terlahir kembali menjadi pribadi yang baru – bersambung di tulisanku menjelang tahun baru ya? 🙂 . Perayaan kelahiran Tuhan di tahun ini adalah wujud bahwa aku telah lahir kembali: the peace, the joy, the hope, the love.

Walau aku terbentuk dari begitu banyaknya pikiran-pikiran yang seringkali memaksaku untuk jatuh dan berduka, tapi kehadiran Tuhan lebih nyata dari semua masalah yang aku hadapi, yang kamu hadapi, Readers..

1:30am, I went back home, driving by myself and thinking: just simple thoughts when I was on stage that night. But so much peace I received, so much joy I felt 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone.. May this Christmas brings you peace and joy just as I experienced..

PS: picture of moments during stage trial

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And with the ladies 😀

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IN · Journey of Love · Literature · Poem

Arti pagi dan malam

Pagi membuatku jatuh cinta pada dunia.

Tapi malam membuatku jatuh cinta padamu.

Pagi mengijinkan aku bertemu dengan diriku sendiri ketika sinar matahari menyinari aku.

Tapi malam mengijinkan aku berbincang dengan diriku sendiri dalam kesunyian dunia, untuk mengenal hatiku.

Pagi menjadikan aku seseorang yang kuat untuk melawan rasa malas.

Tapi malam memberikan aku kekuatan ketika aku bertemu dengan kegelapan yang mengerikan, menghadapi aku dan hatiku.

Pertemuan pertamaku denganmu terjadi di pagi hari.

Tapi pengenalan pertamaku akan dirimu terjadi di malam hari.

Pada pagi hari aku memandang dunia dan diberikannya aku kesempatan untuk tersenyum bersamamu.

Tapi pada malam hari aku memandang dunia alam bawah sadarku dan memberikan aku kesempatan untuk mengerti arti kebahagiaanku ketika aku bersama denganmu di pagi hari.

Aku mengerti dari bisikan sang matahari pagi,

bahwa senyum dan tawa yang tergambar di wajahku adalah karena aku memandang wajahmu.

Aku mengenal hatiku dari bisikan sang rembulan,

bahwa hati ini hidup oleh karena keberadaanmu di hidupku.

Maka doaku adalah agar matahari tidak pernah melupakanku,

dan rembulan tidak pernah meninggalkanku..

“Sadarkah kau indah bagiku? Aku tidak akan pernah peduli jika dunia meninggalkan aku, asalkan kau mencintaku. Kar’na kaulah duniaku” – Dunia. Andi Rianto

About Me · IN · Life Lesson

And that’s okay, that’s okay..

7:30 PM. Aku tiba di lokasi tepat pada jam dimana acara hendak dimulai. Malam itu adalah malam perayaan JPCC Worship Christmas Celebration, dimana semua pelayan panggung berkumpul untuk merayakan Natal bersama. Diawali dengan acara makan-makan prasmanan yang terpampang di lobby depan ruangan acara, aku tiba satu jam setelah rekan-rekan sepelayanan menyantap makanan yang telah disediakan oleh para panitia. Begitu aku menapakkan kakiku pada anak tangga terakhir di lobby ruangan acara, aku terkejut. Begitu banyak orang duduk “melantai” di seputaran dinding ruangan lobby, sehingga aku pun kesulitan untuk berjalan melewati mereka untuk menghampiri meja makanan, mencari sesuatu yang bisa kusantap (unfortunately it had finished :p)

Kebingungan aku harus bagaimana, naluriku berbicara untuk mencari sudut tersepi. Tapi tidak ada sudut tanpa manusia yang sedang berbincang dengan tawa. Segera aku mencari pertolongan pertama dengan berkumpul dengan kawanan Choir satu suaraku (Alto). Aku mendapati diriku kepanikan.

Dengan canggung aku menepuk satu-satu bahu mereka sambil menyapa sederhana sebuah kata “hi”, dan aku duduk berdampingan di sudut barisan mereka duduk.

Masih dengan canggung, aku menggenggam Sean (btw, Sean is the name of my phone :p) dan mengalihkan perasaan canggungku kepadanya. Kemudian aku berpikir, haruskah selalu seperti ini? Haruskah aku selalu merasa canggung jika aku berada pada satu grup besar, seperti yang kualami malam itu, 150 – 200 orang berada pada satu ruangan? Haruskah aku merasakan kepanikan akan apa yang aku buat jika aku berada pada kumpulan banyak orang, kuatir mereka akan menghakimi gerak-gerikku yang aneh?

Aku tidak belajar untuk menjadi percaya diri malam itu. Aku belajar untuk menerima diriku. Aku belajar membongkar dinding yang ada di sekitarku.

“Hey. I am an introvert, and that’s okay. That’s okay if I feel awkward or uncomfortable being around that bunch of strangers or new people. That’s okay, that’s okay, Irene. Because I am more comfortable being around myself or couples best friends, and that is not my weakness. That is my strength, because I am an introvert. That’s what introverts do at best”.

Kemudian aku meletakkan Sean ke dalam tas punggungku, dan berusaha menjadikan diriku sebagai penyimak diantara kumpulan 20 orang teman-teman Choirku. Tidak apa jika aku tidak bisa mengikuti pembicaraan mereka, aku berada di sana untuk menjadi pendengar, dan seharusnya itu sudah cukup.

Sudah cukup karena yang aku perlukan adalah merasa nyaman dengan diriku sendiri,

Sudah cukup karena yang aku perlukan adalah merasa aman dengan diriku sendiri,

Sudah cukup karena yang aku perlukan adalah menjadi diriku sendiri,

Aku adalah aku dengan duniaku sendiri, dan tidak ada yang salah dengannya.

Aku hanya perlu menerima diriku sendiri yang mudah canggung dan kebingungan berada dalam kumpulan besar agar aku merasa nyaman dan aman dalam dunianya orang lain.

And that’s okay. That’s okay..

Kemudian pada akhir acara, aku menemukan diriku merasa lebih nyaman dan aman membawa diriku pulang menuruni 10 lantai tangga. Kakiku bagaikan menari kegirangan, jantungku berdegup gempita, dan hatiku ceria, tanpa rasa takut jika aku berhadapan dengan kebanyakan mereka yang extrovert.

Tapi terlebih dari semuanya, I am blessed to be the part of the team 🙂

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About Me · Blessings in Disguise · EN · Irin Active Journey · Life Lesson

A Hero to MySelf

It was the night when me and my brother met for simple coffee and dinner. Talked about lessons in life and what we learned from them. We moved from place to place, and meal to meal and arrived at the end of our conversation session to find out that I must write about this. He suggested that I need to write this. I’ll call this: “A Hero” to myself. A story where I transform myself from being wimp to be brave.

29 February 2016, when I got my own first road-bike and I named him “Aaron” which has meaning “mountain of strength, in the purpose that I hoped to gain more strength and increase my endurance level in sports when I train with him. That was why I named him “Aaron”.

I was into Triathlon sports for about two years now since I followed Teri Hatcher in the media. I admire her body shape, and I found out that in daily life she trains herself to be a Triathlete. Few months before she turned 50, she did her first Sprint Distance Triathlon at Malibu. Making her as my idol, I started running in November 2014, and thank God I had conquered water long time ago so swimming is not an issue for me. I searched for a bike but couldn’t find any match until I met with few friends who has same interest in Triathlon, consulted with them, and found him (Aaron) at the end of February 2016.

My cycling journey has never been easy, because I never touch a road-bike before. I chose to train by myself and bond with Aaron, understanding his each parts of the function. And as a beginner, cycling is definitely become my biggest disability.

Woke up at 4.00 am or 4.30 am to get on the road and ride with Aaron three times a week at 5.00 AM. Alone. My weekday route is just around my place: Senayan – Kota Tua – Monas, and I would spend my Saturday with a long ride to Halim. No, I don’t do speed, but I focus on the distance. From 30k, to 50k, to 70k, to 80k, to 100k in eight months, I gradually increase my distance. But this is not about how long I ride, or how fast I ride. But how the progress I made in eight months has taught me to conquer my fears. I encountered many obstacles, from bike handling, traffic awareness, to experiencing an accident, witnessing a major accident, witnessing someone dead in front of me. I traumatized from some experiences, but they taught me to be someone who brave enough to conquer the road and the tough surroundings when we ride with heavy traffic around.

It was 5.15 am in the morning, I was heading to Monas before I met some of my friends who planned to go for a bike tour to Kota. I planned to get the distance, that was why I took a bit of detour. There was an area near Sarinah which is under a MRT construction and the pavement is coated with some kind of metal. Since the area is very dusty, the construction worker watered it and made the coating slippery. Not only that, there was a big truck parked there at the side of the road. I was so surprised because from afar I did not see the truck (or maybe I did not pay any attention), and I spontaneously diverted the handlebar to the metal area, which caused Aaron to get stuck in between the gap and made me fall thrown about two meters from Aaron. My head was hitting the pavement hard. The construction workers were rushing to helped me stand up before any cars hit me from behind. I was covered in bruises and bleeding wounds. “Are you okay?”, asked the construction workers. I nodded while the fact that I was in shock. There was a bit of shame, I was rushing myself to ride back home in pain (I was scared as well because the construction workers were all guys, and I was the only girl around). Aaron was okay, just a bit of scratch. I canceled the plan to join the bike tour with my friends because I couldn’t bear the headache caused by hitting the pavement that hard (that’s what helmet is made for, to protect your head). Long story short, I was okay, there were nothing serious beside few wounds in my body, but my courage fell far short. I did not want to see or to touch Aaron for two weeks. I did not ride him at all. I did not turn on my alarm to wake up early in the morning and working out because darkness terrified me. Just about I get used to ride Aaron, I had an accident. So after two weeks, I braved myself to see Aaron, touch him, and ride again. I keep telling myself: “the only way out, is to get through it”. It felt awkward at the beginning, but I slowly came back from where I left of.

Not only that I came back, but I realized that I developed sensitivity and awareness towards the traffic. I learned how to control my movement in the middle of traffic, because I realized that I cannot let fear feeds me. When people say: “if you had fallen once, you’ll come back braver and stronger than you were before” is a true fact. I bond with Aaron even more.

But still, cycling is still become my weakest part. I have to keep going. I have to.

Few months after the accident, I no longer fear to ride during the pitch-dark hours. I came out in Saturday morning at 5.00 am to ride long. Made an u-turn at Bundaran Senayan, I headed Bundaran HI, and there I witnessed a major accident. I did not want to elaborate how the accident happened in here, but in conclusion,  I saw the cyclist was dead in place. Saw so many blood and his shape was no longer a “normal-human-shape”. I went back traumatized and left Aaron for another two weeks because I was too afraid to ride him as the accident kept coming back vividly in my mind. But again, I came back. Much more stronger, and braver to conquer not only the road, but the traffic in peak hours.

From that day until today, I always came out when the sun has shown his light, no more riding in the pitch-dark hours again. Too risky, I have to be wise in this if I want to ride by myself. I see that two events as how God was trying to warn me the dangerous of underestimating riding on road by yourself during the dawn.

1. I learned to obey Him. No more practice at dawn. Be wise.

And then God allowed injury got into my running journey. I took two months resting and to maintain the endurance level I had built, I added more days to practice cycling, from three days a week, to five days a week. My heart was broken when I found out that I need to rest my feet. But Aaron had cheered me up ( :p ) and he accompanying me to blend with the wind.

2. There’s nothing in the world happens without God’s will. There’s a greater purpose behind everything that happens.

One fine morning, I saw my watch when I was riding Aaron towards Bundaran Senayan. Somehow I felt the wind was so strong, so I took a peek on the speed. It was about 30-ish. I normally ride with 20-ish speed along Jalan Sudirman street until Bundaran Senayan. But that morning I was faster than before. And then the next morning, and then another morning, and then few more mornings, I managed to maintain the average speed of 25 – 26 -ish during the long ride (my average speed was 20 – 22 -ish top before) – I made a progress within six months of having Aaron. Again, I’m not emphasizing the speed here, but to tell you, Readers, that I conquer my weakness, my fears, and came out as stronger person few months after few uncomfortable incidents.

The only person who can help yourself is yourself – A Hero to MySelf, and you are a hero to yourself.

And last weekend I unlocked the opportunity to be titled as a second place in one of the cycling race.

It was a great experience.

To some people, that kind of achievement might be normal. There are also some other people who are much faster than me for sure. But when last night me and my brother discussing about “things we had won in life” and told him the analogy of “the fallen” and “the risen” me, the ups and downs during my cycling journey, and brought us to the conclusion that some people or some incidents came into our lives for us to grow to be much more stronger, and much better in coping with many kind of circumstances or uncertain situations, and to be braver to go out from the cave and face any kind of possibilities (the good and the bad).

3. God wants to stretch our capability.

We might think that we are not that strong. We might say that we are weak, or we can’t do this and that, or it is impossible, but God wants us to see that the story is not about us and our surroundings, but it is about ourselves and God Himself, so we can say that we are strong, we are able to do this and that, and everything is possible.

4. Because God so loved His children and wants us to grow to be extraordinary people. To be the light of the world.

Like when our parents scold us, or punish us, they do that because they love us and want us to grow. The rough, painful, traumatized incidents will form us to be the individual He has planned for us in the very first beginning. Learning is a continuous journey that will never stop until we grow old, until we pass away.

The traumatized incidents I experience in the past has been a blessing in disguise. We often say: “why would You let this happening to me?”. But few years afterwards, we tend to look back and all those things we experienced in the past were intended to be something wonderful in the future.

5. And I learned, instead of questioning God why bad things happened to me, I turn the question: “what do You want me to learn from this?”.

“We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it” – The Time himself (from Alice Through The Looking Glass).

Blessings in Disguise · EN · Irin Active Journey · Life Lesson

When God intervened

I used to be very tired (or sleepy) every time I finished a race (or morning workouts). But today, I guess I’m just having that kind of extra energy to keep myself remain intact for the whole day.

Reached home one hour past lunch time, I knew what I was going to do next. Took a quick shower and lunch, I was rushing getting myself prepared to go. I planned myself to go to the train station to get my train ticket schedule change and since the train station is very near to my office, I planned to attend Christmas celebration at the office. Never been to it, and I think there’s nothing wrong to spare my time and go there.

When I was about going, it was heavily rain outside. Should I stay on my schedule? Or should I stay and relaxing at home?

But there’s something inside of me tells me to go.

So I went to the train station first, and got myself stuck because the rain got heavier. I don’t really like taking a taxi if the distance I am going to is only a few kilometers away. But I ended up taking a taxi and reached office lobby safely. And dry.

There was nothing really special about the celebration, but I got the message. I think God wanted me to go there and listen to what is the Preacher is going to deliver. It was about “being grateful”.

Basically the Preacher performs a ministry to abandon Children (and families), and he showed us few pictures of what he had witnessed in the rural areas. How hard they live, how difficult their situation to get basic and proper needs.

And in the middle of his message, just about it was about to end, he said: “you should be very grateful of your life, no matter how hard you are today”.

I recalled myself writing about “things to be grateful of” and post it in blog each of the days when I found myself complaining to God about few things. Those complaints were overwhelmed me and I started to focus on how big the problems are instead of how big our God is. I reflect on myself because I honestly did not continue it. It only lasts for two weeks, then I was too tired to write few lines of “blessing of the day”. I wrote it right before I go to bed, and most of those time, I was already sleepy or exhausted and I skip it for few days, and then few weeks, and now it stopped. But I remember that I changed. I did not complain to God anymore. It healed me.

I guess I need to start again to keep myself and God’s way in line, focusing on what God wants in my life instead of why God is giving me this and that..

But God is indeed good.

I got second place in the Individual Open Female 25-35 years old category in the race this morning. I never intended to seek for a podium achievement, but this morning when I got the prize, it tells me that God never let me troubled. He always bless me, He never forget that there are some nights I ask Him for a way out yet He answers my prayers in little things that most of the time I don’t see, He knows what I need.

When I was kinda “losing” that amount of money, He replaced exactly the same amount from the achievement I got today.

What else could I ever asked to God? He stays faithful to me. I should be.

Teach me to be more sensitive and stay close to you, God. That’s all I need.

Anyway. I unlocked podium badge at the last race of 2016. More adventures (and new experiences) are coming in 2017! 😀

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Blessings in Disguise · EN · Life Lesson

Friendship

This morning I wake up too early from the alarm scheduled, and the candle I always lighted out to accompany my sleep were still burning. Sat on the edge of the bed, I tried to awaken from the dream that looked so real. I almost cannot distinguish the dream and the reality. Then I tried to recall my night. I survived the night from having quality dinner plus drinks with few close friends. I kinda forgot my night as I suffered from the dizziness having four glasses of wine – where everybody stayed sober. But I felt safe being around them while revealing my true form when I’m almost drunk.

This is the end of the year, and everybody is chasing me down for the tight deadlines as office will be closed early for Christmas and New Year’s festive. I’m so overwhelmed by the people who forced me to do things I already have done because they are coming from external parties and they do not know that I already had done it without them asking or telling. A little runaway would help a lot. But what else do I have beside what I have today?

“You don’t have to worry if you get drunk with us. You’ll be safe”, said one of them while the other two nodded their heads showing an agreement. Them. I have them.

Few days ago I got a private message from one of my Facebook friends. I don’t really know him (or as long as I could remember), but we are friends in Facebook. “Thank you for your writings. I have been struggle with the issue you raised, questioning God this and that. I am blessed. Keep writing”. This is not the first or second or third time I got that kind of message from either unknown friends or friends themselves. But I had gotten many similar feedback, thanking me of what I shared through my writings.

Thinking of what I had written in my blog and how they bless other people, I revisit the past posts. I also got the chance to visit the one I had in blogger.com, but that blog was more about a diary rather than lessons I wish to share to the world, rather than “the me” I wish the world to know. I re-read some of them while I was heading to the office. There are so much lonesome I bestowed upon writing. Such sorrows. When I moved abroad, when I moved back and and found out that I lose my high school mates, and then I moved abroad again seeing my college friends as strangers, and few years later I came back and start my first real job, when I was mentally abused in that workplace, and then decided to move just to found out that I got no friends in any places like church, office, as well as the city I lived for the very first time. And I cried for years, ask God to give me companionship. I was so focused in getting a partner, while throughout the years I realized that I need to make peace with myself. I need to make peace with the loneliness. And then there was a point where I found myself so comfortable by being alone. I built the wall around me, the thick one, so anybody would see me as a “super-independent” individual that none could ever break. But behind the “strong-ass”, lies a very sensitive person because I did not let myself be sharpened by interacting with other people (Proverbs 27:17).

I did not stop praying. I kept asking God for giving me a community where I can grow. Family is distant and we rarely see each other. I realized I need someone, friends to keep me sane. Someone I can trust with. People who can build me and be my best.

His kindness brings abundant blessings.

At the beginning of the year God granted me people who turned out to have an impact on my life. I was never comfortable being around new people. I’ll feel awkward. I thought that they will be just acquaintances, so I could greet them whenever I ran into them. I never thought that they will fill my days (even weekends) and I will not feel bored seein them that often. My whatsapp group started from zero to dozens, from leaving the phone in 15 minutes with no message until hundreds messages and get me no time to read everything. From bunch of people I meet, became close with some of them, and their names embedded in my heart. They become a part of my life, so I won’t feel lonely anymore because I realize that every time I step out, I knew I’ll be seeing them, meeting them, talk with them and share a lot of things, laugh and smile with them, fall and rise with them, cry with them.

My friends from across the countries, the cities, came to me and say: “you’ve got a lot of friends now. And you look happy!”. And if someone comes and ask me whether I am adjusting well, I’ll say I don’t want to leave this situation. I wake up every morning to watch myself get excited to meet people in my office (beside doing what I do). Compare with my previous workplace, the burden I brought was always about the negative atmosphere I encounter with abusive people, that days, I hoped I could escape. But the pain I felt for 15 months paid off with patience dealing with difficult people. That did not stop until there, difficult people are everywhere, and I encountered few of them in the new workplace. But I had developed greater patience and attitude to face a more complicated situations. And when one of them approached me, gave me insight, and opened my mind wider, I did not need to take extra effort to change. Bad things happened for a greater purpose in the future, and we will not understand what it’s all about yet, but the journey won’t stop. The pain we experienced might be a blessing in disguise.

And just as I feel comfortable with today’s situation, one of them will be leaving soon, leaving three of us to stay, but I wish to and I believe that the circle will never be broken. He’s gone too soon..

I learned that best friends does not mean that you need to be near around you. Best friends stay in each other’s hearts. I learned more and more to accept that. Because I had experienced many events of parting, and I promised myself that I will not get attached to anyone if they don’t meant to stay. But life is all about meeting and parting. Each other will contribute their own portions to leave a mark in our hearts.

The wine night was one of the best night when I was with three of my best friends. I thank God I have them. While I was under alcohol influence, I was thinking, each of us fills each other’s lives in unique ways. And they might not stay forever. I might too to them.

I don’t like change, because it confuses me, the little girl inside of me who is longing for deep connection with someone (or people) I can trust. The grown-up me will keep soothes her that everyone will leave eventually, but we only have ourselves to survive tougher life journey. We have God who understands our needs, my needs when I told Him that I am independent from the outside, but so dependent in the inside.

I remember how my brother keeps telling me, for six years continuously, and never gets tired: cherish the moment. I was, during our togetherness, during the past lunches and dinners. I am. All the process we gone through for the past six months, I cherish each of it.

Knowing that God letting me to meet them for me to experience healing in certain aspects of life by looking at their lives, how they had passed difficulties, how they live their current lives, is allowing me to be grateful of what I have in front of me. Knowing that I am not alone. And God heard my cry when I was alone few months back, all by myself when I thought that He was late, but He never late. In His time He sent me them, wonderful people for me to add more joy, to escape from the exhausting year-end deadlines, to refreshed from the workload emotions.

2014 is about letting go. 2015 is about Faith. 2016 is about acceptance.

And I see how each of you see me of the person who is difficult to accept, and yet, you keep telling me how I need to accept.

Accepting myself, accepting my feelings, accepting my thoughts, so I can accept other people: the conflicts, their mistakes, their coming, their leaving, their needs, their longings.

Things might change in 2017. For you who leaves, we’re gonna be here to make our time to see you in some time (no pressure, no rush, just take your time to adjust). For you who stays, our journeys are still going long, and I cannot wait to walk it wih you.

Most importantly.. I thank God I have you guys 🙂

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