Journal_pane_8526191573271827

"THE FIRST LESSON ON VIOLENCE"

As a single and childless woman, I’m aware that it’s not convenient to openly talk about this. However, I can’t just pretend that I don’t see what I have. Lately, more news sound a lot more horrifying than probably your favourite horror / thriller movies. We’ve heard mothers killing their own offsprings, out of exhaustion, sheer depression and lack of emotional and mental support. Most of these women have been the subjects of their husbands (and husbands’ family members’) constant, systematic...

09 November 2019, 03:57 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191572703389

"5 REASONS I CHOOSE NOT TO ARGUE WITH STRANGERS ONLINE THAT MUCH ANYMORE"

Social media is full of people with different opinions. That’s nothing new. Good and bad, stupid or smart, rational or insane, they’re all there. Of course, just line in real life, clashes do happen. We can never really avoid that. Social media simply offers the illusion of being able to speak your mind up freely, in hopes that others will agree with you. I’m not going to lie to you; I used to be one of those too. I used to argue like hell that people hated my guts. Some still do, some just d...

02 November 2019, 02:03 PM
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Journal_pane_8526191572313824

"HIS ALMOST TWIN"

Sometimes God works in peculiar ways. There are times when God simply plays the Universe to direct you where to go. Other times, that happens just to clarify what has been going on in your mind lately. A couple of days before that Saturday, a friend asked you to go to a karaoke night party with her. She said she’d been stressed out lately, so she needed to blow off some steam. You realised you’d been feeling the same way too, so you agreed to go. Hours before the karaoke night, you’d read you...

29 October 2019, 01:50 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191571869730

"ABOUT ALTERNATIVES AND BACKUP PLANS"

Since I was a little girl, I’d already made up my mind: I want to be a writer. I grew up reading a lot of books and writing tons of journals and fictional stories. Enid Blyton, Stephen King, and Agatha Christie have been my earliest inspirations. I remember not really wanting another job, not even a 9-to-5 office kind. I wanted my own space where I could just write all that I liked and whenever I felt like it. I didn’t want to listen to alternatives offered by other people. I wanted and was w...

23 October 2019, 11:29 PM
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Journal_pane_8526191570908922

"HAVING IT ALL?"

“His/her life seems picture-perfect. Good looks, great fortunes, social life, romance – they all seem to fall into place. Many wish to have his/her life...” You’ve already read/heard/watched stories with similar plots like this. The protagonist sounds flawless. Everybody wants to be (like) them. They cause such envy. Is it really true? Is there anyone in the world who really has it all – or is it just our insecurity at its best...or worst? The examples are everywhere. For starters, in some co...

12 October 2019, 08:35 PM
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Journal_pane_8526191570085252

"ANGRY DAYS AHEAD?"

You wish they’d never return. You thought you’d banished them all for good. All you’ve always wanted is a peaceful life. Yet angry days keep returning. These days, it’s hard to escape them. You can feel it in the air, suffocating you, although not as bad as the smoke from the current forest fires. You know where to begin. The world starts feeling like closing in on you again. It’s the same old, familiar feeling – a socially-constructed claustrophobia – out on the open air. So, the cheaters in...

03 October 2019, 07:47 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191569478504

"ARE YOU TRYING TO SILENCE US?"

This is my brutally honest question. In fact, this has been my question all along. I believe I’m not the only one. There have been many wondering the same. I don’t just accept and obey blindly, like some people may expect of me. Some are okay with that; others can’t stand me that way. Probably just like you, they want me to obey without question. I just can’t have it. I won’t. Are you them? Are you the kind who only expect blind followers instead of honest friends? Are you so insecure that a ...

26 September 2019, 07:15 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191569111882

"SIR HABIBIE"

When I was a kid, I learned about you from the social studies and history books in school. You were the Indonesian scientist who could also fluently speak foreign languages, like English and German. Then I found out that you designed aeroplanes and contributed more to science in Indonesia. I realised then that I’d wanted to be like you too. For starters, you are smart, resourceful, and able to speak foreign languages fluently. You also got to travel to and live in foreign countries, and creat...

22 September 2019, 01:24 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191568274189

“THE RED RIBBON: The True Story of An Afghani Survivor”

Sometime last year (2018), I had the privilege to recite Abdul Samad Haidari’s poem called “The Childhood Street” at Salihara, South Jakarta. I didn’t know that the poem would be part of this book later on. Reading “The Red Ribbon” poetry anthology is an eye-opening experience. You have to read this with an open heart and mind – and a strong gut. Allow yourself to be transported back in time and place, where the world around you in in total chaos. That’s when a faint hope and a little love ar...

12 September 2019, 08:43 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191568274186

“THE RED RIBBON: The True Story of An Afghani Survivor”

Sometime last year (2018), I had the privilege to recite Abdul Samad Haidari’s poem called “The Childhood Street” at Salihara, South Jakarta. I didn’t know that the poem would be part of this book later on. Reading “The Red Ribbon” poetry anthology is an eye-opening experience. You have to read this with an open heart and mind – and a strong gut. Allow yourself to be transported back in time and place, where the world around you in in total chaos. That’s when a faint hope and a little love ar...

12 September 2019, 08:43 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191567486780

“THE CLASSIC CASE OF BROKEN (AND REBUILT) BRIDGES”

I remember one of the places I used to work at in the past. No, I’m not going to name any names here. Consider this a mere case sample. There was this new guy at work. Let’s just call him Barry*. He’s younger than me, good-looking, and chatty. He was also very loud and friendly. It didn’t take long for him to have finally won friends...and admirers. (Duh, what else is new?) I liked him too...at first. We’d got along okay. I’d even thanked him personally when he covered for me at work. Then th...

03 September 2019, 05:59 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191567161361

“THE PHANTOMS WHO HAD ENTERED AND LIVED AT HOME”

I don’t need to tell you this. We all know that phantoms are everywhere. Life is full of them. When we were kids, we usually knew what most phantoms looked like. They were shadowy, silently lurking in the darkness. Once they came out into the light, we could see well how scary they looked. Big, with mean-looking expression and sharp teeth. Some even had burnt, fleshy skin that had to be hidden behind a cover. In the real world, they’re far more tricky. A lot of phantoms are much smarter. They...

30 August 2019, 11:36 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191566036669

“FROM EMOTIONALLY-DISTANT TO EMOTIONALLY-DETACHED”

Perhaps you have been at this stage in your life before. Sometime ago, something big happened to you. It had gotten so unbearable, which lead to this familiar decision: Distancing yourself from your own emotions. Denying your feelings, operating on autopilot. Why not? In this patriarchal society, feelings have always been underrated. Of course, you can never lie to yourself. The shield never lasts. You will always have to rebuild the new ones. You are forced to think clearly and sensibly at a...

17 August 2019, 11:11 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191565400870

"THE RARE LOYALTY"

Let’s just face it. This is what happens in this reality: Loyalty’s a rarity. You may say I’m being rather pessimistic these days, but please – read it again. A rarity is not the same as ‘nonexistent’. I’m not saying that loyalty’s completely gone. I know people who still believe in and work hard for it. I know those who don’t, calling it stupidity. I’m also aware that there are people who manipulate one’s loyalty for their benefits. They are the worst. No wonder more people are lacking faith...

10 August 2019, 02:34 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191564851316

"WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM BEING PICKPOCKETED...FOR THE THIRD TIME!"

“On July 30, at around 8:00 pm at Karet-Kuningan Trans-Jakarta Shelter, South Jakarta, somebody behind me had dared unzipped my backpack and taken my phone and wallet away. I'd realised then about 30 minutes later. My phone number is **-***********. Fat chance that I'll ever get any of them back. So I'll be doing a lot of 'first things first' tomorrow, from visiting the police station to the bank to the Trans-Jakarta centre with a police warrant for a permit to watch their cctv records. Whoev...

03 August 2019, 05:55 PM
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Journal_pane_8526191564285961

"THE PROBLEM WITH BAD JOKERS"

The world is full of bad jokers. They’re everywhere, including someone you know. Perhaps you’re also one of them. What’s wrong with joking around? Not really, as long as the jokes are considered appropriate by the current audience around and at the right place and time. What makes a bad joke? The opposite of what I’ve just told you about joking around. So, what makes a bad joker? You have no idea and you’ll be surprised. Look, I get it. You want to impress people. It’s fun to have them think ...

28 July 2019, 04:52 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191563673552

"THE BEST ABOUT BEING AND KEEPING BUSY"

When you go back to being busy, there’s always the good and bad of it. For starters, you may not feel too happy about putting off some of the things you enjoy doing the most. You know, sleeping, writing, and other fun stuff you may call hobbies. Work comes first. Honestly, I miss writing a lot whenever I’m at work. It’s not that I don’t do the same thing here. I miss writing what I really, really love. You see, this is just one of them. Of course, I can still deal with this. First things firs...

21 July 2019, 02:45 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191561799074

"THE EID HOMECOMING"

He returned home this Eid holiday. The hometown still looked the same as always. Not much had changed for the past couple of years. He hesitated at first. Should he go straight home or book a cheap motel room first? He should’ve thought this through. Besides, he wasn’t ready for their reaction. Some people here might also have recognised him. He hadn’t gone away that long. They could surely tell in just a glance. They might call home or not. He didn’t want to risk it. He went to the cheapest ...

29 June 2019, 10:04 AM
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Journal_pane_8526191561386938

"IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU!"

Some people try to deny the fact that they’re actually the real problem. You’ve probably experienced this before. You can sense that there’s something off about them, yet you can’t exactly pinpoint what it is. This is not about those who are openly and rudely against you. In fact, most of them are pretty smooth. Most of the time, they act all polite and nice. Many others hardly notice or suspect anything about them. One of the subtlest signs is from the jokes they make. They can be corny or s...

24 June 2019, 03:35 PM
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Journal_pane_8526191560574841

"I...ALONE..."

Thirty-seven years of my mortal life so far and I don’t think I’m that easily surprised anymore. Maybe I’ve already lowered some of my expectations on many things, including people. That is one way to avoid disappointment, like literally. Is it bitterness – or just the fact that I’ve finally resigned to becoming more at peace, accepting reality as it is? Have I gone too cold and cynical for my own good? The thing is, I haven’t given up on my personal dream just yet. No, I will not do so. I’ve...

15 June 2019, 06:00 AM
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