Keluar dari zona nyaman

Akhirnya masa ini datang. Masa yang saya idam-idamkan sejak SMA: menjadi pelajar di belahan dunia yang lain, di dunia Barat, dimana semua modernisasi dimulai dan ilmu pengetahuan berkembang dengan pesat. Tidak sabar rasanya memulai kelas Senin depan. Meski dengan sedikit (banyak) rasa takut, saya tidak sabar bertukar pikiran dan menyerap ilmu dari orang-orang baru dengan budaya yang tidak saya kenal dan profesi yang mengagumkan.

Namun, excitement ini tidak berhasil mengalahkan kegundahan hati saya berada 16,500 km dari rumah. Dan ini bukan hanya masalah jarak. Ini tentang melangkah keluar dari zona nyaman saya, yang ternyata memang teramat nyaman. Bagaimana tidak? Saya dikelilingi orang-orang yang begitu mengasihi saya dan selalu menegakkan punggung saya ketika dunia saya berputar terlalu kencang, saya juga memiliki pekerjaan stabil yang memberikan saya kemewahan hidup di ibukota – kemana-mana naik taxi/uber, makan hampir selalu di luar, dan hey, seasing-asingnya seseorang, mereka tetap orang Indonesia yang sama-sama makan nasi dan akan memberi bantuan ketika melihat ada orang kesulitan. Tiga hal yang dalam 5 hari saja sudah saya rindukan.

Tidak banyak mahasiswa Indonesia di sini, di Charlottesville. Semua hidup mandiri dan sendiri, layaknya masyarakat negara adidaya. Sempat juga merasa iri melihat teman-teman di kota atau benua lain yang masih sering kumpul. Tidak nyaman, tapi ini konsekuensi yang saya ambil. Toh salah satu yang ingin saya dapatkan selama kuliah adalah kemandirian. Satu hal yang selalu bikin mama gregetan sama saya.

Sebetulnya, ini bukan pertama kali saya tinggal di luar negeri. Pada tahun 2011, saya pernah tinggal selama dua bulan di Argentina. Tapi waktu itu berbeda, bukan karena durasinya, tapi karena status saya saat itu. Ketika itu saya pergi untuk urusan pekerjaan, dimana semua fasilitas adalah fasilitas bisnis – penerbangan terbaik, hotel berbintang (ya, selama dua bulan), sangu hampir $100 sehari, gaji bulanan tetap masuk. Kali ini saya pergi sebagai pelajar dengan beasiswa pemerintah. Semua ditanggung, tapi jangan harap kemewahan. Juga jangan harap uang beasiswa datang tepat waktu. Tidak ada lagi pendapatan stabil dari perusahaan swasta. Saya harus berhemat, sehemat-hematnya. Kata yang juga tidak begitu saya kenal dengan baik.

Betapa terkejutnya saya saat kemarin berbelanja kebutuhan sehari-hari yang hanya terdiri dari ayam, ikan, kentang, susu, mentega, sereal, adonan pancake, panci, piring, pembalut, dan kaus kaki mengharuskan saya membayar $66 atau sekitar Rp 900,000. Saya bayangkan kalau belanja di Superindo Pancoran hanya akan menghabiskan Rp 500,000. Jadi menyesal tidak mendengar Mama untuk bawa alat masak dari Indonesia saja.

Bukan itu saja, grocery store tempat saya berbelanja itu jaraknya 30 menit jalan kaki (mungkin sekitar 2.5 km) dari apartemen saya (tolong jangan bayangkan apartemen mewah di Jakarta). Oh ya, karena saya tidak bisa nyetir dan tidak punya spare uang untuk beli mobil, saya kemana-mana jalan kaki. Taxi? Lupain aja. Jarak 2km aja biayanya $10. Argo kuda kalau kata orang Indonesia. Saya, si anak manja ini, jalan kaki bawa-bawa belanjaan yang lebih berat dari beban latihan TRX. Alhasil perjalanan 30 menit jadi hampir satu jam karena saya harus berhenti setiap beberapa ratus meter. Dalam situasi seperti ini di Indonesia, saya cukup beruntung karena ada saja yang menolong. Tapi tidak di sini. Sesampainya di rumah, saya rasanya enggak sanggup ngapa-ngapain lagi, bahkan membatalkan niat memasak dan langsung tidur saja.

Sebagai seseorang dengan level insecurity dan ke-tidak-pede-an yang cukup mengkhawatirkan, bertemu dengan bangsa yang secara global dikenal lebih maju berlangkah-langkap dari negara saya juga menjadi momok tertentu. Takut salah bicara, takut salah bertindak, takut terlihat bodoh. Kali ini, saya harus menjadi tidak nyaman dan mengambil risiko untuk salah bicara, salah bertindak, dan semoga tidak terlihat begitu bodoh.

Ternyata, keluar dari zona nyaman itu lebih sulit dilakukan dibandingkan diucapkan. Betul-betul tidak nyaman, betul-betul menantang. Doakan saya berhasil melewatinya dengan gemilang!

Charlottesville, 22 Agustus 2016.

Ditulis di sela-sela mengerjakan tugas pertama kuliah (bahkan sebelum kuliah dimulai – hidup pelajar MBA sudah dimulai!)

 

 

Bukan Menanti (repost from my other blog)

 

Sayang, saya tahu kamu sedang berjalan kemari. Mungkin sambil menikmati wangi hujan yang baru saja reda.

Saya tahu kamu sedang mencari-cari papan petunjuk arah. Mungkin sambil mengagumi cantiknya kota.

Saya tahu kamu akan segera sampai. Mungkin sambil membawa sekantong ubi hangat.

Dan, Sayang, saya juga sedang berjalan, Sambil bersenandung lagu riang, meresapi semilir angin, dan dengan sebotol limun dingin di tangan saya.

— bumped into this outdated post from my other blog (that holds greater insecurity, mostly on romantic relationship). I can’t remember how I ended up writing these. I can’t even believe my choice of words. Sekantong ubi hangat?? Hahaha. But well, I do like ubi THAT much.

Taci at Carrefour – 100 Days of Happiness and Gratitude – Day #70

It was an extremely exhausting day today.

  • Had the usual pain of first day of the period: cramp, sore around my back, leg, and arm, and anemia.
  • Announcing that the team overall reached February target, I reach target (in overall numbers), but two of my channels don’t  (means, I actually didn’t set my target right and actually didn’t reach my target in grooming and managing my people).
  • Setting the new target for the channels (yes, target setting is crazy exhausting!).
  • Sharing session with the non-performing team.
  • Sharing session with my lifeline in the team, who is rotating to other team and is not being replaced with a person at her level – no, not even close.
  • Being mandated a new channel to handle but is losing people. It’s kind of more complicated than that, but my brain has stopped working and decided to not giving a damn of what I am writing.
  • Waiting in pain for my mom’s health condition update – this is mentally exhausting, I almost wiped five times today because of this.

Thanks thanks thanks God my mother is fine and had only minor infection in her digestive. The doctor told her to control her diet for good because bad diet can really be harmful for her digestive system – good that she heard it from the doctor.

Also, I went grocery shopping with my brother today – using his 100K Carrefour voucher! YEAY! Me love vouchers (Yes, I have become that person who value free valuable stuffs hehe)! Besides, I love grocery shopping with my brother cause it is something that we do with our mom. However, I was so exhausted that I sighed multiple times and barely smile.

Until I went picking some eggs (my brother loves scrambled eggs). I was about to pick them bare-handed when a senior Taci (address for senior woman with Indonesian-Chinese ethnicity) suddenly stopped me and said, “Hey, use this (plastic bag) as a glove, don’t pick the eggs bare-handed. It is very dirty,” while handing me her used plastic bag.

Although I am not a big fan of plastic bag exploitation, the fact that a stranger actually cared about me and bothered admonishing me for this very little thing is extremely heart-warming. In this world of ignorance and solitude, there are still people that cares that much. This might sound crazy, but I felt loved. And I think that is the feeling that everyone must bring to other people – whichever way we chose to bring that feeling.

What this Taci did somehow also reminded me of few of the dearest persons in my life who would do exactly the same thing with her. Caring and loving through the little things. Afterall, it is probably the little things that make our life matter.

Good night, everyone.

 

 

Recess

Halo. It’s me again. Moaning.

Kamu pernah gak ngerasa capek dengan semua yang dikerjain, semua yang dikejar bertahun-tahun, semua yang ingin dibuktikan? Rasanya ingin lepas dari segala kepentingan yang setelah dipikir-pikir ga penting-penting amat.

Kalau kata temanku, “You overthink things. Don’t think. Just do it.” But dude..I am no running shoes.

Kalau kata ustadz dari kajian semalam, “Luruskan niat. Lakukan semua karena Allah, maka hatimu akan tenang.” I am going that direction, sadly I am still so far far far from that destination.

Ingin istirahat tanpa beban pikiran. I need my recess.

That very song…

Halo! Been a long long time since I write here. SO MANY stories to tell, but lately writing has become a big burden and I have become very resistant to think and reflect…simply because it kinda hurt to remember most of the stories.

It’s also been a while since I listen to music. Thanks to broken iPhone, broken iPod shuffle, and overwhelming life situation.

Yet, somehow today I really wanted to listen some easy tunes that I used to really like. A song from one of my favorite male singers: Tulus. Have always loved his music and his poem. I might be biased for the music part cause my cousin is actually Tulus’ music producer. But the poem…is always lovely. I even follow  his tumblr: palawija.tumblr.com.

Back to the easy tunes I wanted to hear. It was one of his song that he never released for God knows what reason. A pretty song that tells how awkward falling in love could be. Well, at least for a person like me.

In case you are kepo: no, I am not in love with anyone right now (In fact, it’s been a while since I actually love anyone). It’s just – for a thinker like me – feelings and emotions linger… And whenever I hear this song, I can always relate back to that beautiful fluffy (yet so sucky sometimes) emotions and feelings I had when I was in love. And that’s why I think this song is pretty.

So here it is…

Mengagumimu Dari Jauh, by TULUS.

Kisahmu harimu ku tau semua
Tanpa kau berujar aku selami
Gerakmu guraumu kemasan raga
Tanpa kau sadari aku pahami

Biarkanku memelukmu tanpa memelukmu
mengagumimu dari jauh
Aku menjagamu tanpa menjagamu
menyayangimu dari jauh

Current mood: Landslide, a Stacey Kent cover

I took my love and took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too

Good poet, good song, is one that could be interpreted in different ways, I’ve heard. This Fleetwood Mac’s song is one of them. I could interpret the song at least in three ways.

It is about my biggest fear of not being able to go for an MBA cause of my silly past academic record (college students, work hard and prioritization begins since college, else your punishment is lifetime) and cause of the overwhelmingly expensive education cost. It is about my fear of being forever alone when friends and relatives are married or gone. It is about my fear of leaving (simply anything). It is about my fear of facing the (already) complicated and uncertain life that somehow lately is full of daunting intimidation and competition. And obviously…it is about my broken hearts.

But well.. Time makes you bolder, even children get older, and I’m getting older too.

Start with Bismillah

God works in his very own way. Again.

Some time ago, somehow, I talked a lot with this one person who had just went through a hurtful broken heart. Yet, he wanted marriage so badly, for one main reason: as a form of ibadah or worship to Allah The Almighty. The first time he told me his broken heart story, he was also making up his mind about asking his bestfriend to marry him. The lady had a boyfriend back then… But he said, “I know.. But I’ll just start with Bismillah.. And let’s see..”

Honestly, I thought he was a weirdo. Hehehe. I was not the kind of person who started everything with Bismillah, for I do not know what reason. It just felt weird.

Another time, he needed some advise on how to talk effectively to the lady – his future wife (he proposed and she said yes!). Unfortunately, I was heading to my GMAT class and couldn’t meet him. And he told me, “go study. Start with Bismillah… So your study will be counted as ibadah…” I have never thought of that before… But well, there must be a reason why school started with prayer when I was a kid.

Very recently, cause of some silly misscommunication, I challenged him on his wedding plan (yea, I am sometimes a pain in the ass when it comes to truly supporting my good friends), and he told me, “I have faith in this. I feel at peace. And I start with Bismillah…”

Just another conversation involving Bismillah, I thought to myself… But this time was kinda huge…

Few days ago, I was telling him that I couldn’t attend his talk next Thursday and blabbing about revising my essay and running to my GMAT class. And again, he told me, “Don’t forget to start with Bismillah… So all those that you do count as Ibadah..”

I didn’t start my GMAT class with Bismillah that day. But in the middle of the class, I had difficulties concentrating and somehow my mind wandered to that conversations about starting things with Bismillah. So, I said it.

I felt a little warm inside.

Yesterday, I had a rough day, nearly blacking out for no reason. So, I spent the whole day resting on my bed. This morning I reached the office feeling so energized and fully charged. I started writing my “to do” as soon as I got to my desk. But somehow my mind wandered to those Bismillah conversation again. So… I finally reached out to my stationary box and wrote this..

IMG_3116.JPG

And yes, I did start with Bismillah today.. And now that I have sticked a reminder on my desk, at eye-level too… I kinda said it more often. Funny that my eyes keep bumping to the post it everytime I am feeling like I am doing such a nonsense job or like I am going to face difficulties. Hoho, difficulties remain and my job is probably still nonsense. But umm.. I don’t know.. It just feels right saying the word.. And warm.. And light.. So.. Yea, I think I’ll begin more things with Bismillah..

I know You always work on Your very own way. And um… Thank You for keeping a big patience for me.🙂