alive, so far

Ini adalah perjalanan untuk mengenal diri seseorang yang berlindung di balik nama Lina.

It is around 4 pm already. Instead of working, now I am betraying myself for I have this unnerved feeling which suddenly just come and strongly make me a bit discourage for whatever reasons. At least, as I was saying in my last post, I want to appreciate myself sometimes.

I have been so impressed with they who can make their life lighter and happier. Alas, I have been trying so hard to tackle down my own feelings these past weeks. Me being very anxious that next week I am going to start my last semester and still not sure about my thesis also contribute to this anxiety. However that is okay, I am perfectly understand that whatever paths I choose must help me to grow, so I never expect that my choices would be easy.

I am also having this unsettling senses whenever I have to socialize with people. I know this is not good, both for my career and for my own self sometimes. Anyway I am just born with it, and the fact that I still care on how people see me becomes a proof that there is this feeling that I want to be accepted, or should I say this is a sign to start building a new one? In the pasts, there were these times when I forced myself so hard only trying to be a part of group, which is in the end, I always lost. Even though I got what I want, I ruined my self.

But don’t worry. By writing this I learned something. I want to wide my own circles and learn more from new people. I understand, a part of me being socially anxious is indeed one of the many weakness I have. However I realize, because I know they are my weakness, it is also my wole to overcome them. After all, only the one that has the same frequency can be synced.

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

on reflection

Dear readers,

I am an introvert. I do not talk a lot, nor reveal myself just to anyone. Most of the times, I am juggling between the rights and the wrongs, about the decisions I have made, about my attitude in responding to certain situations, about the prejudice I have given to someone I am working and interacting with, and many more. I know that even as a being I have damages for I think I have made so many mistakes, moreover some of them are consciously done.

Long time ago, there is this quite painful word that someone had ever said to me and sadly, it affected me that much. I even could not even stop remembering the twinged feelings I experienced. The word is rusak–broken. I was agreeing to that someone said, even though that specific person was actually never knew me that deep, never he/she became someone so important to me like a family for being friendly did not mean I was allowing he/she to be a part of me.

There are times when I was so consumed by what society think. But then again, there are the more times I think and reflect, that the hurt may mean something,  signaling paths that I have chose so my mind will grow. It takes time to finally I realize that I am not an inanimate object, yet a living being. I do have so many shortcomings, weakness and other things which I could learn for my own goodness. And the most important part is, again, I am a living being so the word ‘broken’ is never for me.

That pretty much realization happens only after I was getting hurt.

This makes me wondering why during Ramadan, a holy month of Islam, people are easier to conduct good deeds such going to pray in Mosque on time, saving more money to give to those in needs, even willing to do Tarawih–evening prayers in congregation for a full month. However in the same time, for 30 full days during the day we are fasting. Could anyone guarantee that we will do the pretty much same thing even though we are not fasting? or are we only calculation beings who are doing good deeds only at certain months? The answers, to me, are on how we are used to pleasure ourselves. To be spiritually strong, ones need to be ready with travelling thorny paths, to not easily hate someone disagreed from us.

Now, why we should make time for reflection even if we hate doing it. The above examples may be too personal and seemingly cannot be generalized. I am moving my topic about reflection on professional levels.

Working in a corporate, I realize that with the hustle and bustle of the works makes me less to reflect about my own self. Thus, I sometimes need one medium to accommodate me reflecting in more visible and comfortable way. Expressing myself naturally not only becomes a catharsis to relinquish the hidden emotion accumulated through anxieties and tensions, but also becomes reflection I could see as a third person reading complex feelings which often have been poured out in a messy way. Reflection is about careful thought so the most useful reflection will involve conscious consideration and analysis of beliefs and actions in order to learn.

There is this interesting research that employees who manage their time to reflect for 15 minutes at the end of working day will performed 23% better after 10 days than those who don’t. As an introvert, reflection seems pretty much natural until I realize that there are actually not many people who understand the process. Chances are, maybe my families, my friends and even coworkers are way better at rating some parts of my personality that I am. Reality is this, I am the only person on Earth who have direct access of my every feeling, experience, and thoughts. The only person who know best about me should also be me.

As we actually may realize, the busiest person in company should be the C-level employees. One of CEO half jokingly said that his real job is answering 2000 email per day or the other spend for tons of meetings, meaning making time for only reflection will be a total waste. Being slow down when we are already getting busier will not even help productivity.  However now let us learn from great fortune 500 leaders about how they are making time for reflection to support their productivity. Many of those leaders, even though they are extremely busy, have set at least an hour a day during their entire career with activities classified deliberate learning. They are, from what this article said, often take into three forms like extensive reading, safeguarding time for reflection, and diligently experimenting for new stimulus and perspectives.

A daily self-reflection practice will improves leadership performance. Reflection requires honesty. Often times in social media, people are more eager to share positive sides of their working life, carefully not to mention the hardships behind those positive results. So to me, reflecting through social media, including blog, Twitter, Instagram, etc., is not for everyone.

I am now thinking and try to reshape reasons why people often times neglecting reflection. First, maybe they just never set aside their time only for reflecting. It is like setting a side for regular exercise, to become a great leader one should manage their time to reflect. Outside, we tend to look ourselves more desirable and capable to our surrounding so pretty naturally we tend to only show the positives of our daily life.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckenberg, Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey have this 5-hour rule which also contains time to reflect. CEO of Linkedin, Jeff Weiner schedules his 2-hour time per day in order to think. He was saying that scheduling for nothing improves his productivity.

I, in other hand, usually take time for thinking and writing during my commute. It usually takes about 3-6 hours of commuting and either I spent my time for sleeping, I sometimes use the time during commute by reading, thinking, and writing. This turned out to be one of the most effective way to be productive. Based on research published by BBC here, there are more to do in commuting, so lest assure, even if reflection are not your forte, this articles will give you ideas on what to do in long commute.

Second, some of us must be scared of the reflection results. Being honest will help my decision-making, learning, and even communication to become more effective. The more I practice, the more it is to be easier. When I was getting hurt, there is this fact that deep down, I did not accept to be treated that certain way. Maybe my ego was hurt by those treatment, maybe I was in denial about some things, and etc. By setting aside who is the right and the wrong, I could slowly understand myself and the people treating me badly.

Denial has become one of the most destructive practices in leaderhsip. Reading at this article, it tells how Henry Ford, the owner of Ford Motor Company, was constantly at denial about one of Its Line Product, T Model. History already shows that the declining of company was affected by denial leadership. Through history, Ford believed that the company knew best about their customers even though there were clear statistics showing the declining number of T Model market share. In his vision, the declining numbers were just a manipulaion of his competitive company and even fired one of his top executives for against his ideas.

Third, they might still wonder the best way to reflect. I have told you before that I usually use my commute to reflect.  However, people are different. Beside doing it during my commute, I ask and talk about questions I have found to those who are capable at. This also becomes one alternative on reflection.

Think of the most possible way that we can be really honest on answering questions. Personally, I have this ‘honest moment’ everyday. The time are random, but me being honest is a must. No matter how hateful I am toward just anyone, how bad my attitude and decision, I will state it and some people may read or see them that really depends on when and how I am expressing it.

PHOTO BY ANDY K4øGL ON UNSPLASH

a home

To the people I have been finding strength in, I hope you find your own peace.

I have a place to be called as home. Even though all the things in our life are only temporary, know that once you have bring someone ease and comfort when life is being unkind and far from gentle. Those times, you have naturally become someone else home, even though again, only temporary. You have already become a home to so many people without you really realizing it. More importantly, you are a home to yourself.

As I get older day by day, I become more mindful to the things matter most to me. I love my family and I somehow love my own self. I have learned to embrace both the bads and the goods in me. Some people do not have such privileges it shows. Loving yourself is an option one can choose. And even after making that choice, one should continuously learn how to tackle every corners and every baggage they have inside. Or the bombs thrown from outside.

If I might divide things in my life into three,  they might be the things which are necessary, important, and trivial. They are necessary only if my life would be absolutely  miserable without them. They become important for I can still survive, but having them making my life much better and wholesome. I am trying to avoid something trivial for without them I am perfectly not affected and okay without them. By then, I can be more focus on things which are necessary to my life and never waste my time on the trivial.

To me, family, closed friends and even myself are necessary.  I keep my closed relationship small, but I am open to any circles around me. I realize I sometimes become a home to somebody else in needs. I do not know when and how I have become a part of their homes but I feel blessed whenever I am able to give such care and kindness to just anyone. I undeniable become a home to my family, to the love and care people nourish around me. The most important thing is, I am a home to myself, to the passion and hard work I nurture, and also to the battles I might never win or never lost.

 

Nyekar

Almost every year since i was little, I’d go to visit my grandfather and my grandmother’s grave. In our culture, this is called nyekar, literally putting the flowers, some people also even include incense, on the graves of the ancestors. Sometimes, we do nyekar when we want to ask for blessing of the heavy duty and responsibility to the ancestors, but mostly, traditionally this is done before Ramadan. I personally do not know why do people start doing nyekar before Ramadan, but as I remember, there is a tradition of Ruwahan. 

Ruwahan is carried out starting in the middle of Ruwah monththe 8th month in the Javanese Calendar, or concurrently with the Sya’ban in the Hijri Calendar. During Ruwahan, there are usually obligatory foods such as kolak, kue apem, and ketan. There to be said that each food has its meaning. Kolak will remind us the existence of our God, the creator of us. Apem will remind us to always ask forgiveness and the last, ketan, remind us about the cleanness of the heart and we need to close with our fellow human being.

Nyekar is a part of Ruwahan tradition. In recent years, as people have become more and more modern, many no longer see the value of nyekar. After all, why do we need to spend more money to visit grave outside the city, moreover, why would you spend money for the dead?

However, I’d like to argue about this matter at once, nyekar is just invaluable, probably losing it would be disastrous. I think when we celebrate the dead, we are celebrating the living. In Javanese culture, praying for the late parents, grandparents, and the ancestors is a form of respect. While cleaning the tomb is a form of attention, as well as an evidence that the late ancestors will never be forgotten. Beside, every year when I visit the graves, I am always faced with the question of life. I, too, will be buried in the ground, wishing and hoping that one day at the future after my dead, even to my grand children, will keep praying for me even tho at the time I will be but a name with a single picture.

In these past weeks, I’ve been writing many times about the dead, about my late grandfather, my late late grandfather, and so on. By this writing, I wonder that perhaps living is about refusing to forget.

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

on choosing the path

dear readers,

The truth is if someone ask me who I am going to be in the next five years, I won’t be able to answer that certain question very clearly. The reason is simple, up till now I just do not know what I really want to be. If choosing the future means are based on issues or any other activities I like, then I give up. I like many and I am not someone who can easily focus on one thing for any long term goal. My seven years working experience teach me that in life one has to deal with the massive amount of uncertainty. So basically, we are all the sailors sailing while trying to figure this whole thing called life and future out. Nobody knows how deep or vast the ocean is, nobody knows where the nearest island and how to get the place, nobody is exactly mastering the know-how and able to arrive at the safest place alive. Without a clear direction, we constantly are living in frustrating circumstances. After all, this is the life we are living in, the life I choose to believe that I am in in order to position myself as one of the sailors.

So, what’s next after positioning myself as the hesitant sailor?

I need to constantly learn so that I will always be ready of any possibilities ahead. When things get really tight, my safety net is to go check the data. I need to learn my surroundings, sometimes even in details. But how I catch the phenomena around me are also something else. Sometimes, it is easy for us to get overwhelmed with anything surround, meaning I need to understand how to filter all information so I will only take what I need most in order to make a decision. Still, in the circumstance full of uncertainty, which kind of data you need most? That I position myself as a curious sailor. I will not stop learning for without it, how could I survive?

Now I am not only a hesitant, but also a curious sailor. Things are now getting more confusing, yet in the same time, very much interesting.

Even the smartest ideas will worth nothing if I could not even implement and make my surrounding work for me. The idea will stay untouchable and mean nothing. It is no secret that all of us have very good ideas and argumentation, but, are the ideas worth to try? Are they measurable and feasible enough to be achieved? I am still not sure, I will always need to figure everything out. I need to constantly make efforts on how I am going to work with any given sources around me.

Long story short, my life is still undecided and unclear. This year I am turning 27, single, and still not sure about my life in the future for I really do not know how my life will turn out to be. My constantly changing paths do have their own reasons and melodrama. With all the realization, I am even expecting more to come. I believe we can not avoid this fact, but don’t worry, we just need to manage them. So then, am I ambitious enough as a woman? I am not that certain being who choose her path in order to gain any recognition nor to be someone who want to help as many beings as possible. My learning paths are still changing, they are not even static. The path I choose is mainly for my own survival and protection. I am learning a lot mainly for my own self and so I could survive in the ocean called uncertainty as a lone sailor.

PHOTO IS TAKEN FROM HERE

at one moment

Life seems a little blurry, very much representing my heart right now for I am currently oscillating between acceptance and letting go. So I, like a very determined task master, set my brain upon teaching my ever so fragile heart and mind to behave and embrace practical decisions which were made without much melodrama. To some extent, it seems to have succeed, or so it is my mind which would like to think. However, there are also moments when my heart is caught unawares on a sharp-jawed shredder. But then, there are still hopes that the heart does grow back. So now, I could not wait for how my heart and my mind would grow after being so broken.

If I am to be allowed, I want to have this ability to arrange my own heart, suiting my circumstances and desires. I have tried so hard to rack my brain in order to trick and persuade the given heart, yet she was apparently so sensitive and did not even budge. Fortunately through all kinds of supports, even though they actually did not behave as I have expected, I could still accept the way they looked at my confused heart. And if there was no such thing as hope, I did not know how long I’d be able to endure the temptation after temptation I am currently facing.