Sunday, September 20, 2020

My Prayer Has Been Answered

A  couple weeks ago, I changed my afternoon walking route and strolled through an area which I never passed before. Let me tell you this, what I get to love about Sanur is I have never shared it with anyone -- I mean, a guy. I did once had dinner with a date in Sanur (which ended with he left me on the street so I had to take GoJek home), but the beach is all for me and myself (well, for me and some good friends). 

But specifically that day, what I saw amazed me. My favorite part of Sanur used to be in the front of the Hyatt/Pizzeria restaurant because there is a vast clean yellowish sand area, a small part of it covered with shady trees, but as many stray dogs make it as their territory, not too many people like to sit there. I love it, I love dogs anyway, and once in a while I feed them. However, this part close to the Prama and Puri Santrian hotel is a lot wider and quieter. The water is so blue and the wave is so calm..... I have no idea why young foreign tourists or so-called 'digital nomads' don't like Sanur. Man, it's so beautiful, much more than Kuta or *uhuk uhuk* Canggu. As I barely see people there at around 4-6 PM, I would love to lay there and read books, but I don't know why I haven't done it yet...

At that moment, the thought of taking someone special: we will sit side by side, hold each other's hand, talk about our days and stuffs; crossed my mind. Look, I have been single for nine years, and as much as I embrace my singleness, I wouldn't saying that I could pass everyday smoothly. Some days are truly, madly, deeply hard. I am good at keeping the sad news to myself, but when something good happened to me and I have no one to share with (or I have to wait for my friends), I became a bit wrecked. As if I wake up in the morning and listen to Bruno Mars singing "Same bed but it feels just a little bit bigger now", only I had never shared my bed with anyone. "My heart breaks a little", and the good news is no longer good news anymore. 


Earlier this year, I wrote a status on Facebook: 

"Dear God, for this year's birthday may I please have someone to come home to, or someone who will come home to me? 10 October is still 8,5 months away. Thank You."

Some days ago, I got a call from a friend who works in a publisher, and we talked about my new book ideas. She encouraged me to write 'this one' and so, hopefully I will publish at least two nonfiction books next year, and another fiction which is translated into English. I was like...

"Allah, what did I ask you? Why more and more personal project? Excuse me, I prefer a 'collaborative' project, I am sure you know what I mean."

Then this morning I contemplated while doing my morning walk (just me being a normal Prima), tried to evaluate my efforts in acquiring a husband, one by one, what I have done, what I haven't done, what works -- obviously many didn't work...

But I have to start thinking about my new book, so I scrolled TED videos, typed "failure" on the search box (because I am going to write about it), and I stumbled upon this video below:


You will think that it's simply a coincidence that Elizabeth Gilbert' home is writing -- just exactly what I feel about writing.  I am nowhere close to Elizabeth, I am a mediocre writer: I have two books which was and will be published by myself, not by a major publishing. The sales of my first book was saddening, it could not even pay those bobas I drank while making the book came true. I am a slow columnist and blogger, I only produce very few pieces in a year. But. I. Have. Never. Stopped. And. Not. Yet. Plan. To. 

My point is that I’m writing another one now, and I’ll write another book after that and another and another and another and many of them will fail, and some of them might succeed, but I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.

So then, I realized that Allah has answered my prayer. 

I have been home all along.

He granted it even before I asked.

And now I am content.  

Monday, August 31, 2020

A Letter to My Daughter (Surat untuk Anakku (4))

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

My dearest daughter who is still in the heaven,

How are things there? 

Everything is much better there than here on Earth, I supposed…

Ibu* knows you must be mad because you have been waiting for my letter (“Ibu, I want ONE letter every two years is that too much to ask for?” — Yes, yes I can hear you would say that), but still I had a wish that I don’t need to write you a letter, so I waited until the last day of August…

…and as I — we — only have four months left in this year, we can be sure that we will not meet this year. 

When someone broke Ibu’ heart early last year, Aunty Kiki wondering, “On your wedding day, I will tell it to your husband’ face: “Where have you been? Prima has been waiting for you along her life.”” But I told her, even myself has no clue who he is, where he is right now, and what he is doing until it takes him so much time to pick me up.

Oh, Allah must have whispered to you his name? Can you whisper it to Ibu as well? I promise we will keep it as our secret until the day is coming. ;)

My lovely daughter, the reason I still wake up in the morning and do the things I am doing…

Two years have passed since my last letter, thus I have sent you three letters, and some days are truly hard. 

Ibu wouldn’t lie that sometimes Ibu feels like we will not meet at all. I know my time is limited to have you. I thought I will have you when I was… 24 years old? And this year I will be 32… but I don’t want to give up. Yet. 

You might see me hitting the rock bottom last year, but eventually I rise up, and you might also see… I turned the table in just five months. 

When the world seems like stopped because of the deadly virus called Corona, Ibu signed deals with some parties for Ibu’ second book; started the writing consultancy services with two clients: an exciting book project about traveling, and one of the Fast Company’ Most Innovative Companies 2020; also planning three social projects; all while maintaining performance at the office. On some nights, Ibu cried because Ibu is so exhausted — but in the next morning, Ibu wakes up too early because Ibu is very excited to start the day. 

Yes, you gotta be ready that you will inherit this endless energy from Ibu. :))

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.”

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