Pindah “Rumah”

“Congratulations ya! Seneng ya pasti”

“Selamat ya atas rumah barunya!”

Hampir semua orang yang tahu bahwa saya akan pindah rumah mengekspresikan hal yang serupa. Mereka mengemukakan turut senang atas rumah saya yang baru. Herannya, perasaan saya nggak sesenang itu.

Setelah lima belas tahun tinggal di Komplek Perumahan Bank Mandiri di daerah Pondok Pinang, akhir tahun ini saya dan adik-adik akan pindah ke daerah Serpong, tepatnya Kelurahan Cisauk. Iya, saya tahu sebagian besar dari kalian pasti nggak tahu itu di mana. Tenang, ada di peta kok. Meskipun kalau berangkat ke kantor saya harus menempuh jarak 30 KM setiap harinya (kalau pulang pergi jadinya 60 KM), saya nggak perlu pergi naik roket dan berangkat 3 hari lebih awal untuk sampai ke tujuan.

Pindah rumah sebetulnya merupakan rencana yang sudah lama dibicarakan. Bahkan pindah rumah menjadi salah satu resolusi saya di tahun 2014 ini, selain bisa menyetir dan jalan-jalan ke luar Indonesia. Kepindahan kami sebenarnya juga lebih kepada sebuah “kewajiban” dibandingkan keinginan. Rumah Pondok Pinang, yang kami tempati sejak kami masih duduk di Sekolah Dasar, adalah rumah dinas yang dipinjamkan kepada alm. Bapak selama masa baktinya di Bank Mandiri. Artinya, setelah Bapak pensiun, kami memang tidak lagi berhak untuk tinggal di situ.

Meskipun sudah memiliki rumah di daerah Serpong, dan wacana pindah rumah sudah sering dibicarakan sejak dua tahun yang lalu, setidaknya sampai bulan Agustus tahun ini kami masih belum tahu pasti kapan kami benar-benar akan pindah. Sampai pertengahan tahun kemarin, sepertinya benar-benar tidak terbayang kalau kami harus tinggal di tempat selain rumah Pondok Pinang.

Kami akan pindah dalam minggu ini, dan sampai hari ini perasaan saya campur aduk sekali.

Saya tahu pasti bahwa langkah yang saya ambil adalah langkah yang paling tepat, karena toh cepat atau lambat harus dilakukan. Meskipun lokasinya jauh dan ukuran rumahnya jauh lebih kecil, rumah ini adalah milik kami sendiri, bukan mengontrak dan bukan kos (meskipun masih menyicil dengan KPR). Apabila mau dianggap sebagai investasi pun sebenarnya prediksi terhadap return-nya cukup baik, karena sejak saya beli di akhir tahun 2012, harga rumahnya sudah naik 100%. Renovasi rumahnya secara umum sudah selesai, “tinggal” diisi furniture saja.

Sebenarnya kalau dilihat-lihat saya bergerak ke arah yang lebih positif kan?

Mungkin memang ini ‘penyakit’nya manusia ya, sulit sekali untuk berubah dan takut terhadap hal baru yang belum pasti. Rasanya beberapa hari terakhir ini saya jadi melankolis memikirkan kenangan dengan Bapak dan Ibu yang sudah terukir di rumah itu. Belum lagi kami harus melepaskan banyak barang-barang yang memiliki nilai sejarah tinggi (dalam kehidupan keluarga kami). Memikirkan akan meninggalkan lokasi rumah yang strategis dan dekat dari kantor maupun tempat nongkrong ibukota pun berat sekali. Duh, rasanya kok perih-perih gimana gitu.

Demikian juga kalau memikirkan bahwa nanti di tempat baru kami harus banyak adaptasi lagi. Mau belanja keperluan masak sehari-hari, mesti cari tahu tempat barunya di mana. Mau ke salon mesti tahu di mana. Rute berangkat ke kantor juga jadi berlipat kali lebih jauh. Mesti belajar cari-cari rute jalan yang paling nyaman kalau mau kemana-mana. Kayaknya semakin dipikirin semakin menakutkan.

Oh well.

People say letting go and moving on is never easy to do. Because we have this great human reluctance over change. Even change for the better is still change. It’s uncomfortable because then we need to face the new and uncertain, while we are creatures of habit and of inertia. Letting go often forces us up against our three strongest emotional drivers : love, fear, and rage. 

Meskipun sulit sekali, saya rasa kalau mau bertumbuh ya harus bisa belajar untuk melepaskan. Melepaskan hal-hal yang paling dekat dengan diri kita sekalipun. Bahkan kenangan yang kita genggam paling erat sekalipun. Entah bagaimana caranya, saya pun harus belajar memaknai kenangan atas pengalaman-pengalaman saya dengan cara yang berbeda. Saya harus belajar memandang keterikatan-keterikatan yang pernah ada dalam bentuk yang berbeda.

Saat  itu lah saya baru bisa benar-benar menemukan “rumah” yang lain, tempat saya untuk pulang. Untuk melanjutkan hidup saya, dan mungkin mendapatkan kehidupan yang lebih baik pula.

Mohon doanya.

(foto rumahnya menyusul ya)

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I’m in Love with You.

I’m not a fan of John Green, I haven’t even read any of his book. Hell, I even decided not to watch The Fault in Our Stars because of well, I’m afraid of any emotional movie that includes cancer in its main story plot. I know I’ll get overly sentimental due to some personal reasons. 

However, as sentimental as I can get, I just can’t help myself from re-posting this quote from Augustus character by John Green :

I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust , and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.

 

 

How The Internet Turned Us Into Rude Human Beings

(This piece was edited and published on  Boomee.co)

Online comment is probably one of the perks that we get to enjoy in this highly connected world. Being able to comment online made it possible for us to reach out to the world to express our thoughts and feelings towards almost everything and everyone within a single click.

In a way, it is our new way of being heard.

One additional point of commenting online is that as a commenter, we are often virtually anonymous. Even if we put our real name in our online accounts, people would still have very little to know about us, apart from what we tell them online.

By being anonymous, we tend to loosen up and able to express ourselves more openly.

However, the effect of “anonymity” has also changed how we express ourselves online.

While some of us still manage to keep our manners intact, apparently, some online comments posted on the internet were filled with harsh criticism and words that people wouldn’t ordinarily say in the real world.

Celebrities and public figures  seemed to be an easy prey for such comments. But sometimes, we do it to each other too, if we found that others are doing or posting is something that does not fit quite well with ourselves.

Well, of course it is unwise to judge that what we are truly what we posted online. Some of us are entirely harmless and nice in real life, but at times, our online comments said otherwise.

How could we get so rude online?

John Suler, a clinical psychologist who’s focusing his works on the behavior of people online call the phenomenon where anonymity leads to freedom in expressing oneself as the “Online Disinhibition Effect“. According to Suler, there are six factors that could combine to change people’s behavior online.

 

1. “These people don’t know me”

Most people we encounter in the internet can’t easily tell who we are.

When we have the opportunity to separate our action from our real world and identity, we feel less vulnerable about opening up. Whatever we say or do in the internet can’t be directly linked to the rest of our lives, so we don’t have to acknowledge it within the full context of who we “really” are.

However, this also means that when acting out hostile feelings, we feel like don’t have to take responsibility for those actions.

So, sometimes, we probably think that it is OK to comment harshly on some public figures or celebrities because we know that they would never find out who we are (or even remotely interested to find out).

 

2. “Nobody can tell what I look like, or judge my tone”

In many online environments, other people cannot see us. As we browse through websites, message boards, and even some chat-rooms, people may not even know we are there at all.

The opportunity to be physically invisible amplifies the feeling that we don’t have to worry about how others will look or sound when we say something.

In real life, seeing a frown, a sigh, a bored expression and many other subtle (and not so subtle) signs of disapproval or indifference can slam the breaks on what people are willing to express.

However, by posting it online in a form of a text, we get to take advantage of being ambiguous, especially if sarcasm is in our strong skill set.

By masking our intented harsh comment in sarcasm, we feel like we could let ourselves off the hook by saying that “well, it was meant to be a joke” or “no, i think you read it the wrong way”.

 

3. “My actions do not occur in real-time”

Most of the time, online interaction happens not in real time.

We often take minutes, hours, days or even months to reply to something online. This also means that we don’t have to deal with others immediate reaction.

Without having to deal with people’s immediate reaction, it becomes possible for us to “run away” after posting a message that is emotional or hostile.

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For some of us, our online comments are a series of hit-and-run. We posted our thoughts or how we felt about something, without any censorship whatsoever, because if we choose to, we can just not come back to see if it caused any damage.

It feels safe putting it “out there” where it can be left behind.

 

 

4.“I can’t see these people, I have to guess at who they are and their intention”

In online interaction, most of the time we don’t really know how those people we interact with will think and respond to us. We can only infer those information by imagining the conversation is all taking place within our heads.

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It’s as if the typed-text conversation is a dialogue between us and this character in our imagination.

In our imagination, where it’s safe, we feel free to say and do all sorts of things that we wouldn’t in reality. At that moment, reality is our imagination.

Therefore we could say all sorts of things that we wouldn’t say to others if it’s in the real world.

We could easily accuse someone as being a homewrecker, and then someone else will accuse us of being nosy and couldn’t keep to ourselves.

And then someone else will jump into the conversation saying other equally nasty things.

And the vicious cycle will continue without any of us really knew the intention behind each others’ words.

 

5. “This is not the real world, these are not real people”

The cyberspace can make us feel that the “character” we created online exist in a different space.

It’s as if that our username, profile and our other online images live only in a make-believe dimension along with others we meet online. We tend to split online ‘fiction’ from offline fact and separated the online world from the responsibilities of the real world.

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Some of us who commented to this video probably think that the person within is a “character” we would never meet in person, along with all the other people within the comment section.

So it might feel fine to type “GROSS!” or “you retard!” to a persona who we thought is just a face on the internet –without a real person behind it, with exactly the same set of feelings that we have.

All the interaction happened in the page seems to only exist in a different world, the cyberspace, so we could write any kind of comment and go back to the “real life” afterwards without feeling guilty or worry about what we said online.

 

6.“There are no authority figures here, I can act freely”

While online, our status in the face-to-face world may not be known to others and it may not have as much impact as it does in the real  world.

Even if people do know something about our offline status and power, it may have little bearing on our online presence and influence.

The internet is engineered with no centralized control. What mostly determines our influence on others in the internet is our skill in communicating (mostly in writing), the quality of our ideas, and our technical know-how.

It looks like, even people like the First Lady is not immune from this effect, people seem to ‘ignore’ her real-life status when it comes to online comments.

Imagine saying what we commented online straight to her face. Her line of bodyguards might have stopped us even before we get to finish our first syllable.

But saying it online? That is a whole different story.

On Being Lost (?)

“Not all those who wander are lost”

(J.R.R. Tolkien)

Lately I’ve been wondering if I had lost my way in life.

I have been through a lot of different things and feelings in the past few years. I have been juggling with sadness, fears, grief, heartbreaks, doubts, regrets, suffering and angers, in the essence that my life is no different with anyone else in this world. Hence, I know that everyone is trying to find their own ways around this crazy world as well.

Yes, life frustrated me at times. And although sometime it feels rather discouraging, I have to admit that I was never one who is so sure about myself either. But for as long as I can remember, I was always been this girl who knew how to regulate my coping skills through all kinds of storm. I was so used to rationalized things and understood my emotions before I  sucked things up and keep moving towards my goal.

But, it seems like I had lost the compass that I carried in my pocket in order to direct the course of my life journey. Especially regarding ‘career’ decision.

In the past 2 years, I have changed job 3 times, within 2 different industries. I have been dealing with a wide range of different tasks, from compiling job candidates CVs, recruiting, delivering training programs, doing research, teaching, writing for an online media until negotiating rental price with property agents.

I don’t really know what I’m pursuing anymore.

I know life is trying to tell me that I was too young to figure things out, and I’m too young to settle. That I have to keep moving, to keep searching. I have to keep working on things in order to sort them out, slowly, one by one.

I know that life is trying to tell me to accept things the way they are and stop complaining. It tried to tell me how to be patient. Life is trying to tell me to go immerse myself within works and learn a thing or two. To solve one or two problems.

Well, I’m worried that recently the search doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

And I’m so scared of the thought.

I’m so scared to see that the place where hopes and dreams were once the fuels that drive me forward are long gone. I’m so scared that one day I have to admit that life doesn’t fascinate me enough anymore for me to keep going.

I hope that day will never come. 

I hope this is just me being a little tired of things around. Maybe this is just me who is momentarily longing for the state of content. Of not worrying too many things at once. I hope this is just a phase where I simply missed the feelings when I had things good, when I felt like I belonged to somewhere safe–a phase that I will get over with.

I hope all of this are temporary. 

And that I’m not lost, I just have to wander and take it slow.

 

 

 

January 2014

Hi.

I did not write anything in 2013.

It was a tough year for me. One hell of a year I might say.

I lost my dad from a stroke which followed by a heart attack in 2013.

He was my best friend, my guidance, the one I always look up to and everything to me. I love him dearly, and I lost a big part of myself the day he left. I had never known before that grieve could feel this way. I cried every single day for the next 3 months. I didn’t know what I should be feeling. There was a stream of wide ranging intense emotions flowing inside me, in a way that I could not understand. Guilt, anger, sadness, void, relieved and everything else. Everything was so confusing as if the ground had been falling apart under my feet.

It was like falling into an endless hole without any grip where all I could see was darkness. Dark and cold; and lonely. There were bad days (trust me, they were really bad) when I didn’t feel like going out of my house or doing anything anymore. I started to hate everything and (almost) everyone. Everything seemed to be failed and broken, including me.

That time, I know exactly that life must go on—I just don’t know why.

It was depression that caught me in my worst condition last year and it was surprising—even to myself—that depression did not exactly feel the same way as what it’s been described in textbooks. Nor it was like what people complained on their social media. It was something different.

The whole experience was excruciatingly painful and immensely frightening.

It still is.

I constantly miss my dad and I miss my mom.

My bereavement is an on-going process and I might write about it more someday later. However, I’d like to share how it changed myself as a person and the way I see life, probably through some posts. As life has surprised and enlightened me in one of the most mentally exhausting way.

Since my dad died, I have become even more curious towards life. It’s captivating how life and death is interdependent towards one another where the death of one living being may give life to another. Even to some extent, we literally need to take the life of other living being to prolong ours.  It’s also weird to see our life as something that represented merely by strings of attachment between us and everybody/everything else that we have built and nurtured during our course of life. We always constantly need to be attached with something or someone, as if that something defines on who we are. And then our fragile reality could have easily gone awry soon after something unexpected happened to the attachments we have developed.

It reminds me of how vulnerable and bleak our life is.

I feel like I’m being awakened by all of these intense emotion I have been dealing with regarding death. Probably Jim Morrison was right, pain is meant to wake us up; while most of the time we choose to avoid pain and the experience of it. We choose to be numb.

It gives me sense of clarity in a frustrating way (I don’t even know such thing could happen). We are so small and everything is momentary. We all will grow old and one day everyone and everything on this earth will eventually grow old and gone. It’s also frightening to realize that I will only live here briefly. It then brought me to another question of who I am and what I should be doing to my brief life since now I lost both my parents.

Well here I am, in the beginning of a new year with a lot of things to do and a lot of things to think of. Trying to be able to identify the “what is” instead of succumbing myself to ponder on the “what if”, before I could finally figure out the “how to”. Struggling with myself to find out what people really mean when they told me to embrace the unknown and living life to the fullest.

So, happy New Year, I guess :)