Thursday, May 21, 2015

Redefining Love, Happiness, and Determination

I did not use to write much about love. As a matter of fact, I did not use to write much about happiness. Love has been nothing but a source of tension, uneasy feelings and challenges for honesty. Perhaps indeed, it was not love which I experienced in the past. I spoke about love, yet did not immerse myself in its wonderfully colorful taste. I convinced myself that it was all about love, but failed to understand its considerable complexity, trapped in its mere illusion without logic. Who cares, nonetheless. Not a creature in this universe possesses the ability to define what love entails or should entail. No one should, in fact, because introducing definitions is comparable to creating boxes and drawing lines among these fluid forms of realities.

But I am still one of those victims and winners of love. The pessimistic side of my brain repeatedly warns me about the risks of love, the collateral damage of love, the danger of love, the pain and the tears and the blood. However, I have in fact been very satisfied with what I have experienced in the past two and a half years; I have been very delightful, thankful, and confident. I no longer face troubles with honesty and intimacy; I trust and I comprehend. In a nutshell, I simply treat love as something practical that demands pragmatism in order to remain sustainable. I am liberated from the old, mystical concept of love associated with sacrifice, goodness, and unnecessary pain. Although not knowing the key to fight infinite randomness of reality, I am certain that I am happy, and wanting nothing more than spending the rest of my life with the person who has ameliorated this concept of love in my head, who has rescued me from the sea of hopelessness.

Perhaps my recent feeling of happiness in regard with love has been what prevents me from producing many intensely emotional, poetic paragraphs. I have been distracted from psychologically torturing myself into thinking about a set of negative scenarios having the likelihood to occur the following day, into staring emptily into the ceilings while being tickled by the aggressively sounding clock, into staying up late and deliberately driving myself sick. My recent experience with love has been great, warm, and comfortable. Certainly I would still break down now and then, still being haunted by the difficulties and obstacles to recover and obtain serenity. Nevertheless, I am no longer in the dark; I am no longer ashamed about being afraid and weak and asking for company; I am no longer forced to alienate myself from pleasure and individuality. That's all; together with that person I have constructed a fresh yet subtle notion of love, referring to a state of reality in which one is naturally and honestly happy, in which one is no longer troubled with loneliness, in which one no longer needs to hide the truth in order to fulfill societal expectations.

As lucky as I am in being part of a comfortable relationship and in enjoying the state of physical, economic, and psychological stability, I have to acknowledge the difficulty of liberating those still obsessed with the mere emphasis of conservatism, the importance of kin, and the glorification of superstition. Certainly I may appear overly confident in pointing my finger to those who either consciously or subconsciously choose to believe in the aforementioned matters. Yet how could one be truly happy by having to continuously appease her families, friends, and eventually societies, while possessing neither the will nor the capacity whatsoever to stand up for the importance of skepticism and - to borrow a term in International Relations - 'self-determination'?

Perhaps the post-modernists are right in suggesting the invalidity of the ancient and particularly the Platonic idea of truth, not only because Plato asserts that the so called truth exists, but also due to the fact that the so called truth, in reality, is socially-constructed and therefore differs depending on time, geography (both are also socially-constructed), and other (uncountable) circumstances, thus preventing us as intellectual creatures to agree on certain collections of thoughts and convictions in regard with things such as - but not limited to - love, happiness and determination. To me, getting to the point of understanding this piece of reality had given me such epiphanic feelings, and more importantly the ability to question those with leverage over defining the truth and disseminating those definitions among societies. If I think carefully, this similarly applies to my new notion of love. Love is no longer something transcendent which only those with strong senses of ideal truths can truly experience and understand, as it should not involve superstition and spirituality. Love should yield a subtle form of empowerment which provides one the liberty to be an individual, to demand and rely on rationality, and lastly - to simply question the various notions of truth.

No matter how rational one can be, he will never be liberated from his emotions; maybe that explains why he experiences and exercises love, and sometimes gets lost and subconsciously drowns himself in it. That has happened to me, and who knows if I will ever encounter that awful experience once more, who knows if I will ever be trapped in the illusion once more, who knows if I will ever be back to the state of loneliness and despair. The uncertainty of life could indeed be infuriating; it, on the other hand, allows one to design his own definitions and parameters in life, but of course he has no absolute autonomy over these decisions, as he possesses no absolute, personal free will - again referring back to the social-constructivist argument. However, at this very moment, knowing that I am aware of all these issues, knowing that I have the limited yet sufficient capability and resources for self-determination, and most importantly knowing the reasons why I am happily in love, is what provides me an enormous amount of relief. Who knows what's going to happen in the following two seconds, five minutes, forty three minutes, five days, five years, and so on - but I do not care, as being aware of this reality calms me more than immortality.

Friday, May 31, 2013


I have found myself back. It has been ten months or so since I (thought I) lost everything in life. I had never thought that life could be this pleasant. I used to always hate cheesy movies but now I pretty much enjoy it sometimes. My new environment offers me a wide array of surprisingly exciting stuff, while it also throws a set of responsibilities to my face. I have gained some weight and changed a lot physically. I eat more and drink more, not only vegetables and milk but also red meat and alcohol. I have heard my laughter so much more, I have found some (kind of) life.

I was wrapped by some kind of paper full of cultural excrement. I had always been quite comfortable with it, although sometimes I realized that it had caused breathing trouble during my sleep. I was surrounded by angels and haunted by devils. I prayed rosary and dreamt about hell. I told nobody, nonetheless. What should I have said anyway? I still remember that running beat I could hear clearly from my heart every time I started build a little question in my head. The air whispered that I was not right. The wind pushed me to swallow back that little question down my throat then flushed it with lime juice.

I used to consider being with the people around me as relatively fun. I talked a lot to my mother, teachers, and some friends. We discussed about stuff, but never drew any conclusion. We discovered new paradigms, but did not find any chance to learn them. We were taught to ask questions to teachers but not questions beyond their beliefs. We were told to be productive in society but were not allowed to go to protests and demonstrations. We learned in class about nurturing the nature, but were not allowed to go to the mountains. We were made amazed of the word "freedom" but were never allowed to enjoy it. We were trapped in a jail of shame and hypocrisy.

Nevertheless I still felt amazing that those questions just eventually grew inside me. It had not been that bad after all, not as bad as the worst scenario I had pictured clearly in my head.

Finally there was a point where I found the opportunity to let all those questions out of myself. It was the point where I could just ask anything to anyone without being inferior to whom. It was also the moment when I knew I that I had some power. It was just simply the point where I suddenly knew that I could just fuck everyone I meet without having anyone being judgmental about that, where nobody gives a shit. I was liberated.

Sometimes I dream about that wrapping paper brought by the angels who used to sing me lullaby. Sometimes I dream about those angels singing me lullaby, then wrapping me back with that paper. Sometimes I dream about myself being wrapped by that paper, sometimes I just cannot breathe.

Never mind. I have met Mary Jane.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Milyaran poin dalam hidup yang membuat kita bahagia. Bahagia dalam arti luas, tak terbatas, dan dapat berlaku untuk siapa saja, dalam keadaan apapun juga. Namun bagi saya, sumber kebahagiaan itu sebenarnya tumbuh dari satu akar, yang berkembang, berdaun, berbunga, dan berbuah. Sesederhana itu, layaknya pohon beringin yang berawal dari akar, yang semakin tua semakin rimbun dengan daun-daun serta akar gantungnya.

Di balik itu, cukup banyak hal yang pasti membuat seseorang khawatir, sedih, dan merasa tidak bahagia lagi. Marilah kita simpan poin-poin itu sejenak, melupakannya dan menguburnya dalam-dalam, membiarkan semua hal itu terperangkap di suatu tempat yang kita sendiri pun akan lupa letak tepatnya.

Saya bertemu banyak orang baik di dunia ini. Ya, tidak usah jauh-jauh membicarakan seluruh dunia. Begitu banyak jumlah orang baik di dunia ini, yang saya yakin sangat jauh jumlahnya dengan orang-orang yang tidak baik (bukan orang yang jahat). Sederhana. Mereka membuat saya bahagia, membuat saya meredakan pemikiran negatif yang berperang di dalam otak saya, serta memusnahkan kekhawatiran yang terkadang membuat saya mengerang kesakitan di malam hari.

Mulai dari keluarga, teman-teman sekitar, teman-teman baru di kampus, pacar, beberapa orang yang saya temui di jalan, beberapa orang yang saya tanyai mengenai jalan menuju stasiun, siapapun itu. Sesederhana itu. Bertemu dan berinteraksi dengan mereka memberi saya ketenangan dan kelegaan tersendiri yang mendorong saya untuk semakin bersemangat dalam menjalani hari-hari saya.

Begitu sulit bagi saya untuk memberi penjelasan tentang hal ini kepada orang lain. Mungkin menulis adalah cara yang sangat tepat.

Friday, August 3, 2012

One of the Highlights

After Delhi, Rishikesh, and Dehradun (only for one night to chill out, didn't do much there), we finally arrived here, in Dharamsala. A place where we didn't even have the heart to bargain the things we wish to buy, just because the sellers were mostly the Tibetan refugees.

As we all know, Dharamsala is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhism spiritual leader. To be precise, the place is actually called McLeod Ganj.

Staying in a Tibetan guesthouse. Good to have a room near the balcony overlooking the mountains. Birds chirping every morning.

One morning, me and Paroma went out for a walk. Stopped by an old church, and were followed by cute stray dogs.

It's understandable why Lonely Planet puts McLeod Ganj as one of the highlights of India. This upper part of Dharamsala has shown me everything. From a very nice weather in the middle of summer, to a wide range of delicious breakfast. From meeting some friendly Tibetan monks on the street, to getting amused by the peacefulness of the temple.

The picture below shows how these people were very nice. They gave each of us some food for free, expressing their gratitude for our visit.
Watching little kids running along the street with their tiny backpacks, singing and creating noise everywhere. They may not have known what's going on for real, and they may not have understood how clashes and conflicts horribly happened in the past, causing millions of sufferings and deaths.

Some old monks taking some rest around the temple. They're so sweet and friendly.

In the temple itself, there are lots of people coming to bring their prayers. Nonetheless, it's still open for any visitor wishing to know how great this temple is.

One of the friendly monks me and Paroma met when we were out for a walk in the morning


And I'll come back for everything.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Leaving These Rice Fields


I'll be leaving in less than a month. Three weeks, precisely.

I'm flying to one of my favorite countries in the world, to one of those famous countries in Europe.

I am leaving.

It's sad. It's always hard to leave things behind for something new in life. It's never been easy for anyone to simply start a new thing in life. Nevertheless, starting a university life abroad is still remarkably interesting for me.

But I am leaving.
I am leaving my hometown, my family, my best friends, my boyfriend, my dog..

However, I've had my decision. I've chosen The Netherlands as my next destination to study, to dig for new lessons, and to try new things in life.
Some people might ask me why. Some people might tell me to stay, and tell me about things my country has already had, then keep telling me that going abroad wasn't even necessary.

But I've had my decision.

And I am a person who knows how to act according to my words.