It’s past midnight and I cannot sleep.

The past few days have been about change(s) for me.

I can finally drive car. It may be irrelevant to some but being able to drive had been my to-do list since a year ago. My parents are very by the book, they didn't let me land my hands on the steering wheel until I turned 17. I actually practiced several times early last year, but I think my poor motor skills and my tendency to panic over small things got in the way then I decided to give it a break. Earlier this year, I set a goal that I needed to be able to drive car by the start of the new term. And I nailed it. I’ve driven to some places although I’m still under my parents’ supervision (because having my driving license issued is one thing and getting my parents’ permission to drive all by myself is another. And the latter is harder.) My driving skills still have lots to polish, but people say practice makes perfect. I cannot wait until I bid goodbye to my dependence toward cabs―so long, Mr. Taxi!

Also, last week I moved in to a rumah kostI don’t know what people call it, a boarding house?nearby campus. It’s not that my house is that far, it normally takes around an hour to get to school; it’s just not the best option to go back and forth (since this satanic Jakartan traffic will take away my time and sanity). The hardest part of it is I’ve always had issues of staying away from home. I don’t have problem living independently, but I do have problem feeling lonely. I miss talking to my parents during dinner, I miss being in the middle of my brother and sister’s stupid fights, I miss my maid knocking on my bedroom door to wake me up, and I miss home-cooked meals. Now the only thing that I look forward to is weekends because that's when I get to finally go home.

I also went through homesickness, literallyrunny nose, sore throat, and a bit of temperature riseduring my first days here. But I’m getting better and starting to settle in just well now. Kuddos to my friends who can endure living alone in this big city and being far away from their family.

And some shameless webcam boredom from my kost room to end this so-called post:

I have to hit the sack now or I will miss my 7 am class tomorrow (or today, technically).

To everyone moving in to a new place, signing up for a gym membership for the first time, planning to get an extremely different haircut, healing from a terrible break up, or undergoing changes in general:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao-Tzu

"Your voice. And your smile. I will probably forget them both."

“You know, talking to you… it’s nice,” katanya tiba-tiba. “Movie talks are always nice,” jawabku santai. Kami memang biasa berbincang soal film dan hal serupa, mungkin karena selera aku dengan dia yang nggak jauh beda. Untung ngobrolnya cuma berdua begini, kalau ada orang lain, terutama teman-teman dekatku yang isengnya bukan main, kami berdua pasti sudah jadi sasaran empuk untuk diolok-olok.

“Eh, bentar ya, Liv,” ujarnya sambil mengambil ponselnya yang bergetar. Ada beberapa detik momen diam di antara kami selagi ia membalas pesan. If it weren’t raining, we wouldn’t be here spending the afternoon while talking about Oscars nominations. Dari dulu, kami berdua memang paling enggan untuk pulang kantor dalam keadaan hujan. Aku lalu meneguk teh manis hangatku sambil menatap ke tetes-tetes air hujan yang menempel di jendela pantry lantai ke-22 ini.

The last thing I want to do during this moment of silence is to revisit the day we decided to part ways. It wasn’t something that we took lightly. That day, we were sure of one thing: it was the best for both of us. We promised to remain friends, and that’s what we do. People keep asking why we don’t go back together or whether we are back together already. But the only question is, why can’t people actually believe that there’s nothing between us anymore? Why can’t people just accept the fact that we can stay friends while moving on? 

I think we can.

“Liv, mau ngomong sesuatu…” lamunanku terbuyarkan.

And I’m sure it’s no longer about movies.

“Ngomong apa, Al?”

“We’re cool, right?” tanyanya tiba-tiba. Ia meletakkan cangkir berisi kopi hitamnya ke tralis jendela. Nadanya tiba-tiba berubah jadi tegas, raut wajahnya menunjukkan hawa serius.

Sure, why shouldn’t we be?” aku bertanya balik.

“Kita akan terus temenan, kan?” ia bertanya lagi.

Well, unless you can give me a reason not to,” aku menjawab sambil tersenyum bercanda.

“I don’t know how this sounds to you, but I feel it’s necessary to tell you that,” ia lalu berdeham, “I’m seeing someone.

See? He can.

Aku terdiam sesaat. Bingung mau menyerapnya, lebih bingung lagi menyikapinya.

“Oke…” balasku ragu. “Jadi, maksud lo gimana?” I’m not sure how to make of that information.

“Ngga ada maksud apapun. Gue cuma mau lo denger langsung dari gue, bukan dari orang lain,” imbuhnya. Aku hanya mengangguk. Wajahnya terlihat tenang, tapi aku tau dia berusaha menyembunyikan kalau dia sebenarnya agak salah tingkah. Aku nggak mengerti kenapa dia masih harus merasa ada tanggung jawab untuk memberiku informasi tentang kehidupan pribadinya, but a heads-up is not a bad thing.

Aku lalu tertawa ringan. “You have my blessing, if that’s what you’re aiming for,” aku menjawab. Suasana hening sesaat.

Shit, kayaknya salah ngomong. Kenapa aku harus bilang aku kasih blessing segala? Geli banget, memangnya aku siapanya dia?

Dia lalu tersenyum agak malu-malu, namun tersirat rasa lega di wajahnya.

I think it’s what he wants after all.

Well,” ujarnya agak kikuk, “thanks, ya, Liv,” ia lalu merangkulku. Rangkulan seorang sahabat. Aku membalas rangkulannya. I can smell scents I’m fond of: the perfume he wears daily and his favorite black coffee.

 I’m staring at his face as he smiles, trying to grasp the last minutes that we share. Maybe it’s one thing that makes him special. The way he talks, the way he smiles, the way he sees things. I truly admire him  as a best friend, as a coworker, but mostly as a person; even for his views on movies and his taste on coffee.

You don’t need to thank me, but you’re welcome,” jawabku sambil tersenyum juga.

Then my smile is slowly fading away as if taken away by the afternoon breeze that’s blowing outside. Aku jadi sadar akan sesuatu. Sometimes what we think, what we feel, what we say are completely against each other, aren’t they?

You know that thing people say about the only reason exes stay friends is either they were never in love or they still are? And this very second, I find the answer. Maybe some parts of me still are.

Unfortunately, I cannot.

What if the reason I can’t convince people that it’s over because it’s not over for me?

And… what if the moment I think I finally moved on was actually the moment I’m falling deeper?

Inspired by:

So this might be similar to things I've written before, but 1) they're totally unrelated, 2) The particular scene above wasn't adapted from real experience, 3) I'm into this kind of plot maybe because, quoting Gotye, "we can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness."



Let me cut to the chase: I really miss writing for pleasure. The weather's been really nice for me, I love rain and it usually gives me things to ponder or write about.. but this time I think I'm undergoing some kind of block? So, during this school break I mostly go on TV show marathon or sleep away the day.

Yesterday I decided to clean up my laptop disk and I found this dusting among the folders: my first ever photo portfolio titled 'Pulang Kampung'. The pictures were taken in my hometown, South Sulawesi, when I had a short visit for a family occasion there last September. My dad's family lives there. It was years since the last time I visited, so I was excited to finally be there again.

Anyway, related to the portfolio, it's actually a project from the photography club that I join at school. It was my first time making this kind of thing and it took a few days to finish, but I had fun throughout the process. I have a thing for envelope or postcard designbecause I like the idea of delivering thoughts, feelings, or just simple greetings through real handwriting to someone else—so I tried corporate that into the whole design concept. I didn't want my portfolio to only consist of plain pictures (especially considering my lack of ability when it comes to taking artsy pictures) and bland captions, so I added stories related to the pictures, just like real postcards. I also inserted a little puzzle, too: if you read carefully, you will know who the writer writes to. 

Click on the picture for full preview (published on my newly made Issuu page):
I used Adobe Photoshop (the only program I'm fond of) for the design and Adobe Lightroom for photo enhancement.

And right now I'm in the mood for something similar: visiting places, taking pictures, drinking in the view, and getting inspired all over again. 

Pink Dreams

The first time I lent my eyes on Girls’ Generation was on my second year in middle school around five or six years ago. My schoolmates were all crazy about them, but I was not that interested because Korean music wasn’t something common back then. At least not to me. But then I gave Gee a shot, and the rest was history. I may not understand their language hence results in my lack of understanding about the song meanings (I have to Google the English translations), but I enjoy their music nonetheless because I think that’s what music is: it crosses boundaries.

And then came the first time I saw Girls’ Generation performing live: SM Town’s Concert back then in 2012. (I reported the concert for a news website and it’s available in this link.)  I went only for them, since I wasn’t familiar of other performers. I promised myself I’d go see them again if they ever toured here. I kept my promise.

Well, despite my disappointment towards the seating arrangement, so many ill-mannered Indonesian fans (sorry not sorry), and absence of the songs I initially expected them to perform; the night was magical. The concert started on the scheduled time and went incredible, the sound and lighting were wonderful, and their costumes were a feast to the eyes. I didn't record any videos or take many pictures because I wanted to be fully invested on the show. During the show, the girls didn't hesitate to act all goofy or laugh freely, and they also attempted to speak simple Indonesian like "Aku cinta padamu" or "Terima kasih." What I loved the most about those two hours was they seemed to have fun throughout the night, just as much as the fans did. (And of course I finally saw their beautiful faces and legs with my bare eyes.)

There were some moments when all the hype reminded me of I Am (especially during their introductions and when all of them talk and stare at the audience with the blinding spotlights above them). Through I Am, the documentary movie of all the artists who belong in SM Entertainment, I was able to witness a small fragment of their sweat and tears to become who they are today. And last Saturday, the pink sea in Mata Elang International Stadium with the echoing screams and chants by Sones, was the tiny part of their dreams that once might seem too far or too grand.

From Into The New World to I Got A Boy, music performers to fashion icons, a Korean girl group to worldwide superstars; they are Girls’ Generation with the same wishes, dreams, and determination. And that’s one of the reasons why I idolize them so much; not only because of the catchy tunes and dances or their beautiful physical appearances. I'm sure everyone has their own idols who pump and inspire them to work harder, that's what Girls' Generation does to me, no matter how cheesy that sounds. They inspire me not only to reach my dream, but also just like them, to live my dream everyday.