Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reading Challenge

Helloooo!
Been a while since the last time I'm chit-chatting about something here, huh? Maybe around two weeks since the last time or so.
But today I suddenly want to blog about books and reading and books and reading. Just because lately I've been so obsessed with taking care of my Goodreads account—mostly since I joined the famous Emma Watson's feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. I just can't get my hand off of the Goodreads mobile app.

This is definitely not a paid post by Goodreads, this is all me and how I feel that Goodreads is a genuinely good social media, if not one of the best I've been using for so many years.

One of my favorite feature from Goodreads is the 'Reading Challenge'. It's basically a tracker for your reading progress. How it works is pretty simple, in the beginning of the year Goodreads gonna offer if you willing to joined a pledge about how many books you want to finish before the year end... and that's it. After that, every book changed from your 'currently reading' to 'read' list will be count along as a progress.

For this year, although I'm a little bit embarrassed, I only pledge 15 books to read throughout 2016.


And hey, look at that, it's only January and I already fell behind schedule. Seriously, Ulfa, try harder.

Well as you can see in my sidebar column, I'm currently re-reading Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series—for about 116 times. Already on the fifth book now, The Princess in Pink. You know, the one with Mia and friends go to prom.
I'm also currently reading Henry Manampiring's The Alpha Girl's Guide. Manampiring is an up and comer writer in Indonesia right now if you don't know about him yet. And my only reason for buying and reading his book is because I'm curious about how a guy writing a self-help book for a young adult girl, although I'm no longer a young adult anymore. Unless me being a young adult at heart is counted. :p

So I'm thinking to update this Reading Challenge to blog from time to time, maybe along with some book review too. It's sounds like a good idea.

I'll see you on next update then, Loves!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dream Board


It’s 4:59 PM waktu kantor gue and I already finished all my work for today, so I have some time to spare before my office hours end… let’s talking about something fun, then. How about, we talk—I mean, I write and you read—about dream board.
Mumpung masih hangat di awal tahun nih ya, gue rasa topik soal resolusi, wish list, dan dream board masih super relevan buat diobrolin.
Seingat gue, di posting yang lalu-lalu gue agaknya sempat membahas soal resolusi tahun baru and how I’m not going to do that this year. Terus kenapa tau-tau bikin posting soal dream board? Karena di agenda 2016 yang gue beli (bonus dari majalah sih lebih tepatnya, LOL) ada satu page yang bertuliskan MY 2016 DREAMBOARD. Dan gak seru kan kalau bagian situ gue kosongin begitu saja sementara halaman lainnya penuh dengan segala macam coretan dan tulisan gue. Jadi itulah asal-muasal tulisan soal dream board kali ini.

First thing first, I’m so sorry about the bad quality of the pictures. Karena gue mengambil foto-foto ini dengan kamera ponsel, diedit dengan aplikasi instan di ponsel pula, and my office don’t really have enough light to brighten the photos.



So anyway, for the sake of filling out my new agenda’s page gue akhirnya mengisi awan-awan di halaman itu dengan hal-hal yang kurang-lebih bisa dianggap sebagai ekspetasi, harapan, dan tujuan gue tahun ini.

More love, less drama
Di akhir tahun lalu, gue membuat perjanjian dengan diri sendiri. Janji kalau gue nggak akan terus-terusan maksa jadi orang dewasa yang sok keren, sok mandiri, dan sok kuat. Karena dibalik semua sok-sokan itu, jadi apa adanya tetaplah yang paling baik... not to mention, paling masuk akal. It's not like we have a lot of time to do drama anymore now. Jadi tertawa ketika senang, menangis ketika sedih, bersandar ketika lelah baru gue sadari bukanlah hal yang memalukan untuk dilakukan.

Score a better job
It's not that I hate my current job, hanya saja gue cukup percaya diri kalau gue bisa mengerjakan sesuatu yang lebih besar dari pekerjaan gue sekarang. So yeah, I really wish I eventually can score myself a better job this year.

Keep up the blogs
Tahun lalu, gue merasa cukup berhasil mengurus Le Retenoire ini dengan baik. But in the other hand, I badly failed in taken care of Girls With Tales. Jadi tahun ini, I'm gonna force myself to fill both blogs as perfect as I can. Wish me luck, folks! I'm already in such a good start now anyway and I want to keep it that way forever and ever.

Balance my saving account
Since I started to work last year, punya tabungan segudang adalah cita-cita utama gue. And this year, I'm gonna make it happen! Also, to be honest menabung is not my thing... I'm such a big and reckless spender. So this is definitely gonna be a huge challenge for me.

Buy at least one thing from my want-to-buy list
I have two kinds of to-buy list. Short term and long term. The short term one berisi barang-barang yang relatif terjangkau dan bisa segera dibeli dalam waktu dekat. While the long term list consist mostly more pricey stuff, yang gue harus menabung cukup lama untuk akhirnya bisa kesampain membeli salah satu barang dari list tersebut... and this year, I'm going to.

Be more dicipline
Gue termasuk golongan orang yang gemar berencana but sucks in doing it. Jadi tahun ini, dengan segala macam dan sekian banyak rencana... I really do hope to be able to be dicipline enough to at least able to (start) execute them.

Having fun!
This is my last and probably the most important goal for this year. Apapun kesempatan yang akan dunia berikan untuk gue, I want to seize it dan I want to have fun in the process of seizing it.


So... Darlings, how about you? What do you write on your 2016 dream board?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Blogging Plan

Awal tahun 2007, saat itu blog adalah salah satu fenomena yang baru musim di Indonesia. Di tahun itu kayanya nggak ada orang yang memiliki kemewahan akses internet yang nggak punya blog, lepas dari benar-benar bisa mengisi blog mereka dengan baik dan benar atau nggak. It’s somewhat become a new trend, having an online diary where you share your private life to the whole internet world (before the era of instant social media kicked in, of course.)
Gue adalah salah satu yang bisa dibilang terlambat ikut-ikutan terkena demam blogging. Baru di sekitar pertengahan 2008 gue membuka blog page, my very own blog page yang gue ingat waktu itu gue lakukan atas dasar bosan di pertengahan libur panjang setelah kelulusan SMA menuju hari mulai kuliah yang sangat ditunggu-tunggu. Daripada nggak ada kegiatan, I have plenty of time to kill dan juga punya sinyal internet yang selama ini cuma dipakai untuk browsing ini-itu saja—which is still absurd for me, to realize that I survived life before a rapid internet grow.
Dan setelah membuka blog pribadi gue untuk pertama kalinya, I found a new world… dunia yang nggak gue sangka-sangka akan menjadi passion gue. Di awal masa blogging, kebanyakan yang gue posting adalah curahan hati yang setelah gue pikir-pikir dan rasa-rasa sekarang, agaknya sangat kurang di-filter. LOL.
Untuk kebanyakan orang, blog cepat kehilangan keseruannya karena cenderung sulit di-manage. True, that. Pertama, untuk bisa efektif nge-blog kita harus bisa menulis, itu harga mati… blog tidak sama dengan social media sejenis Facebook atau Twitter yang cukup diisi dengan sepatah, dua patah kalimat saja. Selain itu, keterampilan mengolah gambar dan foto juga penting, because most people need a visual aid to enchant them. Hal lain yang menambah ribetnya blogging adalah perkara membuat layout blog page kita menjadi menarik, so it’ll cost most blogger at least a minimum knowledge about HTML and stuff. Dan yang paling penting, konten.
Yang terakhir ini gue, jujur saja, bahkan setelah hampir delapan tahun berkutat dengan blogging, masih belum juga menguasai ilmunya.
Masalah gue cuma satu, produktivitas blogging bergantung pada mood… dan mood tersebut kadang datangnya sebulan sekali, kadang dengan extreme-nya malah berbulan-bulan sekali.
But then again, pembelaan gue selalu sama, meh… I’m not even a professional blogger, kenapa juga harus ngotot update blogger regularly? Jadi dengan modal cuek bebek begitu, tanpa terasa bertahun-tahun berlalu dan gue masih saja terobsesi dengan blogging—meskipun jarang-jarang.
What I love the most about blogging is the idea of how simple it is for us to afford our personal space in this big, big internet universe. It’s free, even. Dan satu alasan sederhana lainnya, gue suka menulis. Gue nggak pernah menyebut diri gue penulis sih, hanya seseorang yang kebetulan suka dan bisa menulis saja… gue bahkan nggak cukup percaya diri menyebut diri gue blogger, considering my obvious slackness in blogging a new post. Instead I use my own term, a blah-ger. Because that’s what I do in my blog, just rambling about whatever I want, blah-blah-blah.
But it’s fun… even after years passing by, it’s still fun.

Dulu, gue sempat memindahkan rumah blog gue ke blog handle sebelah… ya, di awal-awal mulai menekuni blog memang gue semacam blogger nomaden yang tukang pindah-pindah alamat blog. Sampai enam tahun yang lalu gue settle di satu alamat blog, yang kemudian, shockingly and unexpectedly mengundang banyak pembaca. Hanya saja, to the certain situation yang nggak perlu dibahas, gue akhirnya (dengan sangat berat hati) menutup blog kebanggaan gue tersebut.
Setelah itu gue sempat ogah nge-blog lagi, semacam semangatnya sudah hilang separuh… dan juga, saat itu blogging bukan lagi sesuatu yang hits, memulai dari awal pasti akan susah sekali, begitu pikir gue.
But then again, setelah sekian bulan hiatus dari dunia blogging, I started to miss it. Kangen rasanya bisa cerita panjang lebar di blog, bisa berbagi isi kepala gue dengan seisi internet. So I start weighing the pros and cons of creating a brand new blog—with new address, new layout, new contain, and new writing style. Long story short, akhirnya lahirlah Le Retenoire tepat tanggal tiga kemarin, tiga tahun yang lalu.

Well, this blog is no hot-shot kind of blog seperti blog gue yang sebelumnya. But I love writing it anyway, the process of curating what’s inside my brain into a good flow of paragraphs soothe me… I don’t care if no one reading my blog, as long as I can write here, I’m happy.
For many people, drawing, listening to music, doing yoga, or even shopping are their therapies. For me, writing is… Le Retenoire has become my own Pensieve. Like how Professor Dumbledore pours out his mind into the Pensieve, then this is my Pensieve; the place where I can save all the thoughts and memories that crammed my mind, so someday in the future I can read it and remember. I even already passed the phase where I feel kind of ashamed for sharing so many personal stuff here… now? What the hell, this is my blog, as long as I manage to curate it pleasantly, why should I hide my feeling from the world?

So, happy birthday Le Retenoire… I know you’re actually just a tiny part of the World Wide Web, but for me, you’re a very big part of my world. Wait, do I look like an insane moron having a one-way conversation with my blog? But yeah, thank you for become my faithful listener and thank you for making me feel cool, having you as my blog.


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"Each word I write drops a little more of me onto the page.
In time, I will be the book, the book will be me, and the story
will be told."
Very Short Story

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hola, 2016!


Sooo… it’s the time of the year again, 1st January 2016 is finally here.
Sebenarnya gue nggak berniat menulis special new year post tahun ini. Simply because I don’t really know what to write. But then again, since 2008—the year I started blogging, I never missed a new year post. I think it’s somewhat already become a tradition for me, so yeah, I might as well write something too this year.

Tahun ini bisa dibilang adalah salah satu tahun terberat dalam 25 tahun hidup gue. Of course, my worst year was the year when my parents got a divorce, but it’s all in the past now. And I survived.
And then came 2015, tahun dimana gue menginjak usia 25 tahun dan tahun yang awalnya gue kira akan menjadi tahun yang sangat baik. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong… 2015 is an insanely harsh year; it’s the year where I fight a lot with my dad, it’s the year where I’m unable to land successfully on any job interview, it’s the year where I got lost contact with my mom once again, it’s the year when my laptop got broken and I lost all my important files for eternity, it’s the year I grew apart to one of my—supposedly—best friend, and it’s the year of a quarter life crisis where I experienced my very first (and I hope the last) extreme panic attack.
I know, it’s an unimaginably BAD year.
But you know what? Today I finally can say the same thing I always say every time I face a bad time: it’s all in the past now and I survived. Even better, I grow up.
From now on I really don’t want to think about the past, or about people who took me for granted, or about my dreams that haven’t come true yet. It’s a new year, it’s the perfect time to start over everything.
Restart button, pushed.
And my resolution for 2016? To live. Tahun ini nggak ada rencana, apalagi wish list yang sampai berlembar-lembar lengkap dengan checkbox yang rasanya ingin cepat-cepat dicentang satu demi satu tapi ujung-ujungnya cuma jadi sekedar wacana. Instead… I just want to live comfortably, I just want to keep fighting for the best things that I deserve, and I just want to be able to let go the things that didn’t meant for me. And that’s it.
Also, I don’t mean to jinx anything but I feel—and slightly hoping that this year is gonna be a good one. At least better than the previous year. Then again, maybe it’s just a matter of preference, seburuk-buruknya kejadian yang menimpa kita sebenarnya kalau kita cukup bisa melihat semua hal dengan fair, selalu ada sisi buruk dan baik dalam segalanya. Hanya saja, kita, as a mere human being, terkadang lupa soal sisi buruk dan baik itu.
So I guess, we better just brace ourselves towards everything that might happen this year—good or bad, sesuai perkiraan atau diluar perkiraan. Let’s try for the best and hope for the best. We’re gonna come a long way and we're going to be fine, we will survive life.

Then… see you in the other side of the tunnel and cheers for 2016!