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 ― November 22, 01:11am

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.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

So Little Time, So Much To Do

Wait, before I start... did I ever used the same title as above here yet? Because, well, what's a better excuse of being MIA from my own blog for―wait, I need to count first―one, two... yap, for about six months.
But in my defence though, it's true that I've been busy for a while. In fact the few past months must've been the busiest I've ever been in my lifetime.
Got a serious job, having a couple of serious personal problems. All that left is me to jump into a serious relationship at last. Then I'll be rolling to the perfect adulthood soon. Uhm... hooray?

It's 11:53 as I type this. Seven minutes to midnight, seven minutes before we enter August, seven minutes until twelve days later I'll be twenty-seven.
Do I feel panic yet? Yeah, right. Not just panic, it's actually scared the hell out of me. I literally can feel my anxiety slowly coming back. And as we all know, anxiety attack is baaaad news.
I guess that's the real reason of why I finally made my way back to this blog: to write my anxiety away. So probably I need to say sorry in advance for my unnecessary rambling here to anyone who accidentally stumbled upon this blog and hi, hello, very nice meeting you.

A brief introduction, my name's Ulfa and...


...well that's pretty much it. I am always under construction.

Why under construction though? Because I still have a lot to figure out. I might be old enough already, but I still have a lot to be done with. Life doesn't stop on twenty-seven, or even seventy-two.
And I want to use my anxiety as a writing tool, instead of letting it to constantly creeping me out.
I have a lot to share and I think it's about time for me to live up to my blog description. You know that little thing I said about me and my I-blog-a-lot-about-lifestyle-silly-whatsits-thought-beauty-recipe-random-review-and-anything-in-between mumbo jumbo. :))

So yeah, this blog will be resurrect from the dead. At last.
I'll see you again by the next post, very soon.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Upon the Challenge

Hello new month, my old friend, we meet again...
Lama sekali ya sejak terakhir gue nongol di dunia maya. Nggak cuma lama nggak blogging, it's been almost three weeks since I cut myself from internet and social media, until finally I made a comeback yesterday (Hahaha... comeback? Lo siapa deh, Ulfa?)
But seriously, as a major introvert, I always need a digital detox every once in a while. Because keep in touch with people and internet is kinda... tiring and it's really worn me out most of the times.
Dan pada dasarnya bulan lalu adalah sungguh bulan yang challenging untuk gue, if not near chaos. Singkat cerita, awal bulan Februari kemarin gue akhirnya memutuskan untuk resign dari pekerjaan gue―in a quite abruptly and quite dramatic manner. So that's that, gue... pengangguran.
See that posts I wrote all along February? No? Because I didn't write anything. Because I don't have the time, and I can't set the blogging mood, and I'm in a major crisis with being an unemployed person.
Tapi sesuai apa kata orang-orang, dibalik kesusahan selalu ada kemudahan. Dan itu yang terjadi pada gue sepanjang bulan lalu. Gue sebenarnya adalah tipe orang yang mudah sekali depresi. My anxiety limit is depressingly low. Dan biasanya kalau gue sudah berkubang dalam anxiety seperti itu I will lost half of my ability to cope and functioning life normally. Tapi bulan lalu adalah pengecualian, gue bahkan lumayan kaget dengan diri gue sendiri. I almost not giving myself time to be depressed, which is so not me. Tanpa mengulur-ngulur waktu gue bergerak cepat, tidak banyak berpikir dan menimbang: I'm job hunting.
I literally was sending my resume everywhere. To the point that I actually lost count and forget what I was applying for and where I was applying at. And I do that every single day without fail, sometimes I sent them twice a day. Yes, gue segigih dan sengotot itu berjuang mencari pekerjaan baru.
Memang sih ya, yang namanya usaha itu tidak pernah mengkhianati. In less than three weeks, gue mendapat lima panggilan dari lima perusahaan yang semuanya lumayan established. Dari lima panggilan; gue ditolak satu perusahaan, menolak dua perusahaan (yang tinggal tanda tangan kontrak banget padahal, by the way), masih dalam tahap interview dengan satu perusahaan, dan diterima oleh satu perusahaan. And with that, I bid a goodbye to my, thankfully, short unemployed era.
Starting next week I will start working my new job and I'm so excited. I am so, so, so excited! I scored the job after being very picky dan bisa dibilang hampir nekat, dua kali menolak kontrak kerja yang sudah disodorin tepat di bawah hidung gue itu bukan keputusan yang bisa diambil seenak jidat kan ya... Yet I choose to stick to my faith, semoga pekerjaan yang gue incar-incar ini adalah yang terbaik.
Jadi ya begitulah, a lot of things happened in a very short time. It's almost dream-like. Dan ini juga menjadi pencapaian baru untuk gue pribadi. Seorang Ulfa yang biasanya mudah sekali drowning under pressure, kali ini gue melewatinya dengan sangat mudah. Hampir tidak ada rasanya. Like I almost have no time to feel when I'm crazily pushing myself to hustle.
And now I have a lot more challenges to tackle coming upon. Diberi kesempatan untuk me-restart hari-hari gue, diberi "alat" yang jauh lebih baik dari sebelumnya juga, I'm so not going to let myself down!
Jadiii... buat siapapun di luar sana yang sedang struggle menentukan pilihan, saran gue cuma satu: just shoot. It may seems scary and very uncertain, and it is. But if you do that for the sake of yourself, to give yourself something you strongly deserve, just go for it.
I prove that to myself, now it's your turn to prove you to you. I can do it, you can do it better.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend. The review!


I found it's hard to pick a sentence to open the review of these two glorious Kevin Kwan's novel. Because it contains a lot of stuff which I really need to rave and I have far too much impression about it.
First of all, I know I'm very late to the party. Kwan's debut novel "Crazy Rich Asians" and its sequel "China Rich Girlfriend" are not exactly new and hot novel on the market. Gue sebenarnya sudah mengantongi novel pertamanya lumayan lama, mungkin sekitar delapan bulan novel itu selalu nangkring di urutan teratas to-read gue. Tapi entah kenapa gue nggak berhasil-berhasil mengumpulan niat untuk mulai membacanya―yang kemudian amat sangat gue sesali sekarang. Gue mulai penasaran pengen baca ketika salah satu penulis favorit gue heboh soal Crazy Rich Asians di Twitter (I guess she's late to the party too. LOL!) dan kehebohan dia sukses ngomporin gue, heboh banget memang kaya apa sih?
So finally ten months after I buy it, I read it. And my oh my...... I'm hooked!
Tidak ada premise berat di dalam novel-novel ini, inti ceritanya biasa saja. Yang luar biasa? The author's narrative, the witty dialogues, and the super smooth plot. Terutama, the super smooth plot.
Bukan pekerjaan yang mudah menulis dengan luwes sebuah cerita dengan jumlah karakter segudang. Dan di novel ini total jumlah karakternya, hats off, adalah terbanyak yang pernah gue baca. Granted, obv, since Kwan open his first chapter of the novel with a mess of extra complicated family tree. Confession time: I failed to understand the family tree at first―and I tried to read it for about four freakin' times.
So yeah, I decided to just leave it at that and dive straight into the story.

The first few pages are as confusing as the family tree. Nama demi nama terus-terusan muncul disana-sini, tanpa keterangan yang jelas itu sebenarnya siapa dan apa kepentingannya dalam cerita. Di tahap itu gue sudah mulai heran, ini kenapa tokohnya banyak amat?? But Kwan's magical narrative doesn't let me to stop reading. Masuk ke chapter berikutnya barulah ceritanya mulai tergambar dengan jelas dalam imajinasi gue.
It is indeed a story of a bunch of crazy rich Asians (most of them are Singaporean, Hongkongers, and Shanghainese―with a touch of extreme allergy towards mainland China peeps) dengan level tajir mereka yang sungguh sulit dinalar dengan akal sehat. Sure enough made me feel like a peasant in an instant.

Rachel Chu, tokoh utama dan pusat dari semua kekacauan di sepanjang novel adalah seorang ABC (American Born Chinese) or so I thought, because she's not. Dan juga adalah salah satu yang kastanya paling rendah dibanding tokoh lainnya... or so I thought, because she's not. I know right, the twist is so damn spot on.
Nicholas Young, tokoh utama lainnya, adalah kekasih dari Rachel Chu. Dua-duanya tinggal di New York, dua-duanya adalah professor. Yang tidak Rachel tahu adalah embel-embel Young di belakang nama Nicholas ternyata akan menjadi biang kerok dari semua kejadian tidak terduga yang akan terjadi dalam hidupnya.
In New York, Nicholas living his life as a typical, humble college professor. Although extremely good looking and well mannered, making Rachel a one lucky girl having him as a boyfriend. But little they know that Rachel Chu actually hit on an ultimate jackpot, not even that kind of jackpot people can have in their wildest dream.
To put it easily, keluarga Nicholas di Singapore adalah klan tertua dan terkaya on the island. Also very secretive, not even Forbes knows a lot about them. If Singapore were a monarch, their family would be the kings and queens. So of course, ketika akhirnya Nicholas membawa Rachel ke Singapore untuk menghadiri pernikahan sahabat dekatnya (whom, no suprises, also come from one of the richest family there) all hell breaks loose, the pandemonium happens. How could a Young descendant be in relationship―let alone getting married with a no-name like Rachel Chu, a commoner?
So there goes Rachel Chu on a sudden roller-coaster ride that is her life. Dari hidup yang tenang dan biasa-biasa saja dengan Nicholas di New York, the minute she stepped in Singapore everything changes. Fancy people, fancy houses, fancy food, fancy cars, fancy party, fancy fashion. All the couture-wearing friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, dads, and moms she had to met are enough to make Rachel said whatthefuckinghellhappeninghere, what kind of circus I'm getting myself into?
And sure enough, Rachel and Nicholas then got their relationship cruelly tested... by the curious comments of so many people―I'm sorry, Rachel who? Also by Nicholas' past, a threesome between best friends, are you crazy? And by a meddlesome mother that is Nicholas' which end up to an exposition of Rachel Chu's original roots.
No, Rachel is not an ABC. Rachel is daughter of a criminal! *Cue the dramatic back sound here*
Or so it is until Kelly (Rachel's mom) come to the rescue by finally opening about her dark past. Tentang ia yang dulu terjebak dalam rumah tangga yang tidak sehat, an impotent and mentally unstable husband―the criminal, yang disebut-sebut sebagai ayah kandung Rachel. Tentang bagaimana seorang laki-laki lainnya menyelamatkan dia dari kekerasan yang dilakukan oleh suaminya. Tentang cerita romantisnya saat ia mulai jatuh cinta pada laki-laki itu, yang kemudian memberikannya satu-satunya harta berharga dalam hidupnya, anak perempuannya. Dan tentang bagaimana ia nekat menyelamatkan Rachel dari tirani keluarga suaminya dan membawa Rachel pergi jauh ke Amerika untuk memulai hidup baru mereka.
I literally buried my head on my pillow and screamed out loud after I read this particular chapter on the novel! THE TWIST. I CAN NOT.
With that, all ends well. Rachel and Nicholas―begrudgingly, with zero care of his family ultimatum about how they'll disinherit him if he still choose Rachel, once again flee to New York, back to their normal life away from the drama and it brought us to the end of Crazy Rich Asians.
Of course, what I write here is not even covered a half of the story. I told you, this novel is a masterpiece of jumbled mess.

On to the next novel, the sequel "China Rich Girlfriend" feels more light and tabloid material compared to its predecessor. Still focusing mostly on Rachel and Nicholas, now engaged and counting the days to their marriage ceremony. But once more, Nicholas' mother strike again. Right now she hijacked the wedding area and bring along another tickling bomb with her; this time is about Rachel's birth father. Of course Rachel Chu is not a commoner, not even a little bit. If anything, her father is actually the biggest political figure in China and naturally, one of the richest too. So that's bring Rachel and Nicholas to Shanghai. Not only for a honeymoon, but also on a mission to meet Rachel's dad, step-mother, and step-brother.
A new drama unfold as Rachel finally meet her brother, Carlton Bao. Hands down my favorite character of the novel, Carlton my love~! Rachel and Carlton, they practically looks twin... so no point to doubt their blood relation whatsoever. The problem is that Carlton's mom refused to acknowledged Rachel as a part of their family, Rachel was not welcomed.
Yet apart from that, what's best on China Rich Girlfriend is the story of Carlton Bao and his paramour, Colette Bing―THE China rich girlfriend. Again, Kwan is toying with our emotion. Colette did not feel like a character we would want to hate with a burning passion. Quite contradictory, she seems to sincerely likes Rachel and loves Carlton. But damn, the table turn when almost at the end the novel realize that Colette is actually the one who try to poisoned Rachel to dead―simply because she's afraid that Carlton inheritance will be gone 50:50 with Rachel in the picture. Now we all can hate Colette with a burning passion in peace.
And with that, again... all ends well. Not. I need closure! We need the next installment of this novel that said will be publish this year, sometimes around May and titled "Rich People Problems" fast! And yes, you can count on my another heartfelt review about it here in my blog later. ;D

Tarik-ulur Kwan di dua novel ini cukup membuat gue bolak-balik gemas dan gregetan. Satu saat gue yakin banget kalau gue bisa memprediksi kelanjutan ceritanya, satu saat gue dibuat sebal karena kayanya prediksi gue salah, tapi di satu saat tidak lama kemudian ternyata gue benar―tapi dengan jalan cerita yang nggak diduga-duga.
Selain plot yang Rachel-and-Nicholas-center, the novels also offer a smaller side story outside them. Cerita tentang Astrid Leong, Nicholas' cousin who's struggling with her marriage is probably the next biggest story in the novel and also as interesting. And other many stories that will bring us into a whirlwind journey about the life of crazy rich Asians.

Sebagai penutup, I only have three words about these novels; GO. READ. IT. It's a solid, excellent four and a half star read. Granted!

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Year in Books

Tadi pagi gue baru saja menyimak sebuah diskusi seru di salah satu group yang gue follow di Goodreads, topiknya adalah topik yang selalu panas dibahas kalangan goodreaders seperti gue di awal tahun: reading challenge.
Untuk gue pribadi sih, reading challenge adalah salah satu fitur favorit gue di Goodreads. Itu dan salah satu tracker lainnya, My Year in Books. Dua-duanya memiliki fungsi dan tujuan serupa, bedanya cuma yang satu melacak apa yang sedang kita baca dan yang satunya lagi melacak apa yang sudah kita baca setahun belakangan.

Hampir setiap awal tahun juga kayanya gue pasti selalu menulis soal Goodreads di blog. Thanks to their tracker, kegiatan membaca adalah salah satu yang paling kelihatan perkembangan maju dan mundurnya dalam hidup gue. While the other aspects on my life are pretty much far too absurd for me to tracked.

Kembali lagi ke soal reading challenge dan kenapa topik itu selalu jadi perdebatan para goodreaders setiap awal tahun, pada dasarnya karena jika berkaitan dengan reading challenge ada dua jenis manusia di Goodreads; yang pertama adalah yang anti dengan reading challenge. Alasannya sederhana dan masuk akal, ikutan reading challenge membuat mereka merasa terikat dan merasa wajib untuk mengejar target bacaan yang mereka buat sendiri, it's kinda stressful they said. Yang kedua adalah mereka yang thoroughly enjoy the reading challenge. What's the harm in setting a particular reading goal after all?
Gue, obviously, adalah golongan penggemar reading challenge. I never feel any pressure about it, not even a little bit.
If anything, gue malah merasa banyak terbantu dan terpacu karena jadi punya gambaran apa yang harus gue tuju di akhir tahun nanti. Mengingatkan diri gue sendiri juga bahwa membaca itu tidak cukup dijadikan hobi dan pengisi waktu luang, tapi harus dijadikan aktivitas. A food for my brain.

Sayangnya tahun lalu bukan tahun yang baik dalam hal membaca buat gue. Gue sangat, sangat, sangat kurang asupan bacaan setahun kemarin. Bukan perkara tidak punya bahan bacaan, I always updating my reading list regularly. Masalah gue adalah I failed miserably in dealing with my time management. Working a full-time jobã…¡sometimes overtime has been really messing up my routines.
Mungkin tahun ini gue harus belajar nggak sok selalu kelelahan setelah pulang kerja dan sok-sokan juga acting drop dead tired tiap malam, ujung-ujungnya lebih memilih tidur-tiduran dibanding mengerjakan sesuatu yang lebih bermanfaat. I know I'm not that tired, I'm just spoiling myself.

According to Goodreads' My Year in Books, this year I read 13 books with 3.717 pages in total. It's a sad record, I know. I can't even fulfilled my goal to read at least 15 books. LOL.


But I did indeed read some great books. Easy to read books, granted... but still great. My most favorites are Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss and Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians.
And this year I raised the bar, my 2017 reading challenge: 25 books! Of course this still a relatively small and sad target comparing to other's. I mean there's someone on my Goodreads dash that give herself a 200 books challenge. Holy-molly, how can you read that many books in a year??? I'm amazed already.

Last but not least, I hope you too will able to read one or two awesome books this year... or just read, read anything. It's good for you! Here's for the next 365 days fill with great books and good reads!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year Obligation Post

I still not quite believe that today we're already hit another January 1st. The new year is here, 2017 is here. And also here I am, feeling obligated to write something to open the yearwith no idea what to write actually.
That's it, 2016 was a year of lacking of ideas for me. It's almost made me sad that somewhat doing something creative became very hard thing to do, while usually I always have one or two things waiting to write. But being myself, of course I refuse to caved... giving up on writing is not something that exist in my dictionary. So for a while, I paused my writing activity, although I do still try to draft something... just because I'm itching to write. Instead, I spend a lot of time relaxing and absorbing new ideas here and there―despite my insane working schedule, of course. I read a lots of great books, I watch many brilliant movies, series, and animes, I listen to countless amazing songs, I even try to connect with people who draw arts and ended up hating myself because OMG I want to be able to draw too, but I can't???

So that's pretty much my 2016 in a nutshell. I go to work 9-5, when I come home I try to do something stimulating for my brain to bait those long lost writing ideas, and by weekends I usually do my chores and/or spending my time with my family and friends and cat. Then without I realize 2017 is suddenly here. I'm actually shook!

Keinginan ambisius gue di tahun baru yang berani gue bicarakan keras-keras disini cuma tiga:
1. I want to be able to write at least two blog posts per month
2. I want to read/watch at least one good stuff per week
3. I want to try to put my life into its right order
Sisanya? Hmm... sisanya adalah keinginan berbentuk doa, yang bisa kejadian atau nggaknya gue tau benar adanya bukan di tangan gue. Semoga tahun 2017 adalah tahun yang sederhana, yang bahagia, dan yang lebih baik dari tahun sebelumnya tentu saja.

And to those who read this post I hope for nothing but the best things to happen to you this upcoming year. I hope your heart will always be happy and content, no less. HAPPY 2017!