Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Surat Untuk Mamaku (A Letter For My Mom)

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, 

Semoga Mama selalu dalam penjagaan Allah. 

Suatu hari pada tahun 2014, setelah kakak kembali ke rumah selama dua tahun, kakak meledak. Betul kakak mengatakan, “Kakak enggak bahagia sama Mama!” Lalu Mama menampar kakak, dan mendorong kakak ke pintu kamar belakang. Luka fisik, jika ada, dapat disembuhkan dengan mudah. Namun luka batin, tertinggal di sana, menganga semakin dan semakin lebar setiap harinya. 

Momentum itu menjadi titik balik dalam kehidupan kakak, karena kakak bisa menerima ketika Mama memukuli kakak waktu kakak masih kecil (kakak nakal, kakak perlu pelajaran kedisiplinan, baiklah). Tapi ketika kakak sudah merasa cukup umur, dan ternyata perasaan kakak tidak layak untuk dipedulikan, kakak bingung harus berbuat apa. 

Lagi, mengambil jarak dari Mama menjadi solusi "instan". Kakak berpikir, mungkin beberapa tahun ke depan kita berdua akan berubah. Kakak bisa legawa dalam menghadapi Mama, pun sebaliknya. 

Kajian agama, buku-buku tentang hubungan orangtua dan anak ataupun percintaan, konsultasi dengan psikolog maupun psikiater sudah kakak telusuri. Ada satu kesimpulan yang kakak ambil, bahwa barangkali pada tahun 2014 itu, bukannya kakak tidak bahagia sama Mama, tapi kakak tidak bahagia karena merasa tidak mampu membuat mama bahagia. 

Sejak Mama menikah lagi dengan papanya adik dan ditinggalkan, kakak mengamati bahwa ada kekosongan di hati Mama. Dan sebagai seorang anak sulung yang dititipi berkat nama “Maha Pengasih”, tanpa sadar kakak mengambil kebahagiaan mama sebagai misi hidup kakak. Kakak mencerna semua kritik dari Mama, ketidakpuasan Mama terhadap diri kakak — atau bahkan orang lain, sebagai kegagalan kakak pribadi. 

Tahun demi tahun, kakak mencobai berbagai jalan agar Mama merasa lebih bahagia, lebih sehat, lebih peduli terhadap diri sendiri (dan adik)… Mama masih terus membuat keputusan-keputusan tanpa pertimbangan matang dalam menyelesaikan tantangan hidup, yang mana ternyata kebanyakan, bukan pilihan yang lebih mudah. Pun bukan dengan cara yang lebih elegan, terutama jika melihat bagaimana Mama memperlakukan beberapa orang yang telah berupaya membantu Mama. 

Maret lalu, ketika kakak tahu Mama memilih untuk kembali ke rumah PS 2, akhirnya kakak menyerah. Tidak akan ada yang bisa kakak lakukan untuk mengubah situasi. Kakak  telah tiba pada titik terendah perasaan kegagalan membahagiakan Mama. Kakak pasrahkan kepada Allah, karena persoalan ini sudah benar-benar di luar kemampuan kakak.

Kamis, 9 Juli 2020, kakak membaca sebuah kalimat dalam buku, “Pada akhirnya aku yakin, jika aku cukup baik, jika aku cukup mencintainya, jika aku cukup berbuat, aku akan bisa memenangkan hatinya dan dia akan mencintaiku. Rasanya seperti berusaha melelehkan gunung es dengan sebatang lilin.”

Friday, April 10, 2020

5 Things I Have Took for Granted Before Coronavirus (Part 2)

For "5 Things I Have Took for Granted Before Coronavirus (Part 1)", read here.

3. Sex Education
I am sure I am not the only person who browsed, “is it safe to have sex during this Coronavirus times?”’ Hahahahaha. I was there in a restaurant, waiting for my takeaway food while I saw a couple smooched passionately in front of me. It actually made me cautious not only because I have been officially single for nine years (cough cough), but more of... I am not sure if this is the right thing to do in this situation. 

However, as I wrote on my Instagram post, exactly at times like this, we need more love and compassion. Most of us have been in touch with family and friends more frequently than ever, because we want to know how they are doing. ‘Good morning’ and ‘how are you’ are not just for courtesy but we really mean it. Long distance relationship and marriage gets harder yet we believe that we still have a hope. 

For sex, it is a bit different case. If two people do it for pleasure, the Coronavirus bring more consciousness between them because there might be a chance to get infected… and if something worse happened, it could be too late to blame anyone. If two people do it for reproduction, will it be a wise decision as there are too many concerning things ahead? True that we cannot predict the future, but now we know that sex education should taught far more than just vagina and penis. Let’s examine all the consequences, as well as the risks. 

4. Sanitation
Image credit.

Grew up in one of the most humid cities in the world (I am exaggerating here), my frequency of taking shower was simply above normal people. This habit is carried away until now, and recently I smiled a bit when I read the suggestion from government to bath after going somewhere. 

My best friend who has been always bring hand sanitizer and wipes everywhere long before this pandemic, were like, “where have you been, people?” 

For some people, clean flowing water and anti-bacterial soap are common parts of life. Some others have to accept the reddish rusty-smell water because the nearest water source is hidden below the coal mining mountain. I was once experienced it in my dad’s working site in South Kalimantan, which could only be reached by ten hours riding the four-wheel drive car from the closest airport. After eight days there, I became okay to flush my pee with some yellowish muddy water at a transit hotel in the middle of the jungle. So I think you can imagine how I reacted when we arrived at the capital city. I felt like soaking in a bathtub full of dollars like Uncle Scrooge McDuck (or as we Indonesians know as 'Paman Gober). :))

5 Things I Have Took for Granted Before Coronavirus (Part 1)

“But actually, you don’t really get affected by this Coronavirus, right?” 

My writing mentor asked me in a video call on Tuesday evening, as she would give me some suggestions on what to do during this pandemic times. I am thinking for a few seconds, and I nodded in doubt. 

I am currently working as a Personal Assistant. While my boss’ business is basically not operating in this moment (she has some ventures in tourism field), she still asks me to come whenever possible, then we will arrange work matters for 4-5 hours a day. Being a businesswoman for years, she is trying to be in the regular busy state even if our movement is a lot limited these days. 

So why do myself feel like tired all the time, even when my working hours has been cut to almost half - and supposedly allow me to rest more? 

One of the main reasons is, I hate uncertainty.

I hate not knowing what I am facing, yet when I read more about the things that going on, I still hate it because I still don’t know when it will be quit.

When I was on Tinder last year, I was totally fine if I met a jerk. I know for sure things won’t be continued even if it’s just a friendship. However, when I found myself spending time with a “nice” guy who treated me like a princess but then suddenly ghosted me or blocked me, I feel suffocated. 

“What did I do wrong? What should I do to make things get better?”

And I could never find the answer.

When the news about Coronavirus blown up in Indonesia in early March (we are always late, as usual), I was being grumpy for some days. Since February, I have imagined that I will spend Good Friday holiday shopping at Chatuchak Market, cruising on the Chaophraya river, and riding the train for a day trip to Ayutthaya... I have planned the journey as a gift to myself because I have finished my novel draft. But all of the sudden, I decided to not going to the mall again, canceled my gym membership, and ended up crying in a weekend. 

Fast forward to Silence Day which was extended, I prepared myself with pile of books, as well as loads of snacks and fruits. It was my first time celebrating Silence Day in Bali, and  despite the fact that I was indeed amazed by the sky full of bright stars (my friend captured the milky way as you can see here), I couldn’t even brace myself to stay in a hotel where there are too many people I don’t know.

And after two days completely not going anywhere, I was glad that I still sane. 

“Prima, it was just two days! We’ve been in lockdown for more than ten days!”

Relax, my European fellas. I cannot pretend that I know how you feel because I don’t. But, look. Since I decided to write this book in the second week of January, I have been particularly spending almost ninety percent of my spare time in my room. I have been so fed up with my day pyjamas and my home-working space, I even hate seeing my pantry until I bought some lavenders in the pot to spice it up a bit. It doesn’t work, the lavenders is now crawling to death as it complies my mental breakdown.

Only on one of those days (we start to forget the days and dates I assume), when I tried to water my lavenders at my room terrace, I finally realised that there are some things I took for granted during the normal days. Correction, so many! And among those many, I chose five that, for me, most essentials. Let’s see if we have same thoughts about these things below:

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