Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dear Diary // 22 March '18, 10:46pm ― What To Expect When You're Least Expecting

Life have funny (and weird, and scary, and extremely unexpected) ways to make things happen. To completely caught us off guard.

3 bulan sudah berlalu di tahun ini. Serasa berlalu dalam kecepatan cahaya sih kalau gue boleh berlebihan. Sejujurnya ekspetasi gue untuk 2018 adalah no expectation at all. Anggapan gue, tahun ini akan berlalu begitu saja dan soon kita akan memasuki 2019, lalu tanpa terasa akan menyambut 2020. And here I am, waiting in the corner of life dreading yet in the same time waiting excitedly for my big three-o.
But then again, it's rare that universe is ever really gonna give us what we want. If anything universe is often the kind of pals who give us what we deserve. And little that I know ternyata tahun 2018 yang gue harap berjalan biasa-biasa saja already bring me a plate of surprise on its second month of the year. What kind of surprise, oh it's a terrifying surprise alright. I'll save that story for another day.

My 28th years on earth is not destined to be a peaceful year after all. Yang ada malah sepertinya tahun ini akan menjadi salah satu tahun paling challenging yang akan gue hadapi. Seriously though, from where I sit right now I literally can't see any other probabilities except challenge upon challenge upon challenge.

Should I be afraid? I should, I guess. No, scratch that, I AM afraid. Tapi terkadang rasa takut itu memang perlu ya kan? Rasa takut akan membuat kita waspada, membuat kita memastikan semua langkah yang kita ambil adalah langkah yang tepat, membuat kita terpacu untuk melakukan segala hal sebaik mungkin. Kalau dilihat dari perspective itu rasa takut gue kemudian sedikit tergantikan dengan rasa syukur. Mungkin perubahan demi perubahan yang akan gue jalani adalah bentuk kenaikan level hidup. Bukankah dulu ketika sekolah kita "dipaksa" ikut ujian supaya bisa naik kelas?
Yet still, by the end of the day, until this very second I still have no idea what to expect of what's coming and boy... the anxiety attack (come and goes, thank God -- but it's there) did not helping.
I can only hope, and I hope with all my heart, that whatever coming upon me is good and I'll be able to get through it.

I know things going to be scary. But I also know things going to be fine. At the end of the day, all will be fall into its place. Perfectly fine.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018, say what?

Wow, this one must've been the lamest post I've written yet.
A lame post that definitely lost all of its timing. Far too late for an obligation new year post and also so late for a Retenoire's anniversary celebration post (this sad blog turned 5 years last January 3rd! What??) 🎉🎉

But frankly speaking, for the first time in 5 years this year will be a no-blogging-year for me. Not that I eventually not going to write at all, I will... occasionally, I guess. But I don't have any blog post plan lining up as I usually always had this past 4 yearsーand more.
Because lately I feel like I lost my touch and my eagerness for writing. I always excitedly start a draft but then in the middle of it I'll grow restless and feeling that my writing have no basic and bad, just bad. For a couple times I feel that my writing has been lost its quality, if I can't even consider what I write is up to my own standard how can I possibly publish it in my blog for other people to read?

In the end I decided to release all expectation, my own mostly.
And I also thought about this long and hard, maybe my writing quality turned sour because I've been not educate myself enough; I lack on my reading material, I keep watching the same movies and series over and over again, It also been a while since I stop feeding my brain with high quality articles and news. Thus cause a downgrade on my writing ability.

And if you go down on my several last blog postーit'll be fast, it's not manyーyou'll see that most of the post is contain nothing but my doubt and uncertainty about this blog. I keep going back and forth about how I want to push myself to keep going with the blogging but I always end up failing to do so.

 So yeah, that's that.

I'm giving myself time to get my groove back. I'll be looking around for new excitement, ideas, and more excitement for writing all around. Not gonna stop, though. Never gonna stop. Because I know blogging is a passion, a hobby, and a creative outlet for me. Sometime in near future I'll back on full force and back on curating Retenoire as good as I was few years back. That's a promise. 💛💜 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Girl Who Writes

"You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You'll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She's the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That's the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She's the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she's kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author's making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce's Ulysses she's just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It's easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand the words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she's going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understand syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to an end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she's sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn't burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you're better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

― Rosemarie Urquico

Dear Diary // 22 November '17, 01:28pm ― A Hard Day

Some days are just harder than the other days.
It's been quite a while that I've been feeling weirdly down, and with no reason apparently. I know this is normal, that everyone bound to have a bad day and that it's only a bad day not a bad life. Still, this kind of mood is confusing and I don't like the feeling at all. I hate to feel lost, I hate questioning myself about my purpose.

I am a very content person, normally.
So to feel like hitting a rock bottom is very burdening. Oh... and hello anxiety. Yes, it's back. On a day like this, it's always back. I've been unable to sleep for three days, thankyouverymuch.

No, not writing this here to ask for advise. I'm very well aware this is just one of the day that not as good as my usual day and I will get past this eventually. Maybe tomorrow everything will be back to normal, or maybe next week. Or maybe I just need some decent sleep.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Social Media: The Illusion

How many hours a day that you spend aimlessly scrolling your social media feed?
One hour and that's it? Or once every one hour?

Well, I'm not here to give lectures about how spending too much time on social media is bad for us.
As a matter of fact, I do too spend A LOT of my time on social media. I love it, I'm practically addicted to it. Even while at work, I somehow still manage to keep checking on my Instagram and Twitter feed. And most of the time I do it mindlessly, it's already becomes a habitsomething that I just unconsciously do all the time, like drinking water.
I know that it's not a good habit neither a habit I supposedly be proud of. But it happens.

Truth be told, gue sebenarnya sirik sama orang-orang yang memilih (dan bisa) hidup jauh dari media sosial. In my case, kalau gue tiba-tiba menghilang dari media sosial sebabnya cuma ada dua:
1. I've been crazy busy that I don't even have time to touch my phone, let alone to check on my social media.
2. I'm currently avoiding something or someone. 

And that's pretty much it.

Di era smart phone seperti sekarang dan di saat semuanya sudah going digital, having an online life is unavoidable. We have to... or else how we ever gonna keep up? Cek rekening tabungan sudah tinggal klik, beli tiket bioskop sudah tinggal klik, mau panggil ojek pun sudah tinggal klik. Everything now is literally only one click away.

Lalu apa hubungannya digital life dengan media sosialpunya smart phone kan nggak harus punya Facebook? Jawabannya mudah sih ya, it's the temptation, man.
Tell me that you're not curious about the things going on around the world. Impossible, no?

It's a human nature to be social. Even the most introverted person still need someone to talk with, at some point. And trust me, I've been through with my gloomy-introvert-extra-emo phase and it has zero effect with my need of social media. If anything, because I came to hate real people (and whole world, oh so emo) at that phase, social media was the thing that helped my social meter stable without me actually had to talk or wear a decent clothes and go out at all. Thanks, Tumblr!

And another good and awesome point of social media? Is that because news travel fast. And even faster on internet. Something that happen on the other side of the world could pop out on your Twitter feed like a minute after. That's crazy fast! It can't be any faster than that, can it?
Remember how we have to wait for our morning paper to catch up on news lately? No? Because thanks to internet and social media we don't have to.
I'm not saying that social media is perfectly good. Because it have a fatal flaws that can lead to nothing but a nightmare waiting to happen.
Cyber-bullying, misguiding hoax, over-sharing personal life are the examples of the dark side of social media, just to name a few. There were people that actually killed themselves because of bad sides of the internet.

Now come the point that I've been wanting to discuss on the blog for a really long time: the illusions of social media.
Here's the thing, not everybody are willing to share their honest bad day on their Instagram. If anything, what we ended up sharing was usually something that seems like already been tempered with at least three layers of filter, figuratively speaking.

I'm not gonna announce the world that I've just had a big fight with my boyfriend, but I will share it on Instagram if he buy me a box of chocolate and surprisingly had it delivered to my office.
I'm not gonna share anything if it regarding how my best friend cried her eyes out because her mom just fell sick, but I will happily tweet our hilarious conversation about an awesome movie we watched.
I also won't tell anyone about how my boss just went ballistic on me because I was repeatedly making a same mistake at work, but I'll snap a video of me and my co-workers having a wonderful Friday night out at karaoke together.

See what happened there? That perfect life that I carefully curated on my social media. Because people will share what they want to share, it's everyone's prerogative.

The underline is: do not ever totally believe what you see on your friends' feed.
Most of the time things are never as perfect as it appears to be. Doesn't mean that it's a fake, though. It's just not all of their life. We never know what really happens offline, away from social media.

So in that sense, we need to stop judging too...
How can you accused someone as a crazy spender because it looks like all they share on their social media is them shopping around. Hey, they don't have to tell you how hard they work to afford that lifestyle that you've been dreaming of forever. Be fair.
Do not let their Instagram feed blind you about the real person behind the account.
Apalagi kalau itu adalah sosok yang bisa lo ajak ngobrol beneran di dunia nyata, like your co-worker or a friend that the last time you guys talk has been like five years ago. Get to know them. Only then, kalau memang orangnya bikin ingin marah beneran... I'll be hating them along with you.

And you know, the less we're fussing about other person (and their social media) the more chance for us to lead a calm and stress-free life.
Nothing is more stressful than constantly comparing ourselves with everybody, right?

Just keep scrolling their feed, enjoy the "show" and the perfectly curated life people offer on their social media.
Because it's not only them who do it. You do it too. We all do.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can"
– Nicholas Sparks

A Quick Visit

Ingin mulai blogging lagi level: banget.
Kalimat itu yang barusan saja gue posted di Instastory gue. Karena begitulah, gue asli-beneran-serius-sangat-amat rindu menulis.
Dan dalam dunia gue, satu-satunya kegiatan tulis-menulis yang gue percaya diri ngelakuinnya ya cuma nulis nggak penting ala gue di blog yang jarang terjamah ini.

Kan sedih, Sis.. masa kegiatan menulis gue tiap hari cuma menulis email. Email kerjaan pula. Cih!

Lalu kenapa nggak pernah berusaha menulis kalau memang kangen?
Ya karena intinya gue nggak pernah sukses menata hari-hari gue dengan baik dan benar sih. Boro-boro mau rajin nulis... alarm tiap pagi dan jadwal makan sehari-hari saja lebih sering gue langgar daripada gue ikuti dengan baik. Bukan kebiasaan yang bisa dibanggakan yaa. 😕

Sempat terpikir apakah gue harus mendeklarasikan another 30 days challenge lagi. Mengingat dulu gue pernah sukses memenuhi challenge satu hari satu blog post untuk 30 hari berturut-turut.
I gotta say, that's so tempting.
But I don't trust myself enough. Damn, Ulfa... please learn how to be committed, you.

Padahal menulis di blog ini gampang banget, loh. Ya karena siapa juga yang sebenernya peduli dengan apa yang gue tulis disini. This blog is 100% a personal space for me. An online diary, you may say.
Dan point paling minus adalah, gue nampaknya lupa bagaimana susah payahnya usaha gue membuat dan menghidupkan blog ini. Sampai pada tahap seorang Ulfa mendadak niat banget belajar HTML dari Google (asli otodidak, nggak ada yang ngajarin) demi mempercantik blog yang bertahun-tahun kemudian dicolek saja nggak ini. Sedih kaaaan..

It's not that I don't have anything to talk about. I have plenty.
Walaupun nggak semua ide menulis datang dari pikiran gue sendiri, but yeah.. I have plenty to tell. Because I'm so impulsive, satu kalimat yang gue nggak sengaja baca pun bisa dan pasti akan berbuntut panjang. Mau dibahas ke arah mana saja bisa kayanya. My brain need to learn to be quite.

boom mind blown GIF

But then again, in my case.. berniat saja nggak pernah cukup. Niat doang kalau kemudian nggak ngapa-ngapain apa lah gunanya, mending nggak usah sekalian kan ya? 😅
The easiest thing to do is probably for me to learn to spare my (precious?) time to get my ass off and actually really write something. And pretty sure that's all it take to keep this blog alive and well. And to stop me whining about how I miss blogging but not do anything on that.

I guess starting (or restarting) somewhere is the only answer.
For this blog, and for most questions we had in life.