December 30, 2017

A letter to my 2017 self;

Dear self,

Years ago, you have never thought you'd encounter continuous storm, within a year. You never thought life would be that hard, and you'd ever find another level of lowest point of yours.. you never imagine it would be this difficult.

you lose a significant figure.
but many people take turn to fill the love he used to shower you with.

you saw how caring your aunt and uncle have been, something you hardly realize before this. How they always support you, through your thesis moments, through your unemployment phase, and celebrate whenever you hit another tipping point. They were there to fill in Dad's role to accompany you in your graduation, to have a big family dinner, to take picture with the whole family of yours. Just to ensure that you never felt lonely. They have always been there, since you were born in this world. They said they are your second parents because Allah trusted them with so much blessing that they are more capable than raising children; they helped so many people throughout their lives. 

I learned that most of the times, love speaks no language but sincere action.

Remember how your Grandma would go all the way to your remote house, because you got food-poisoned. She never cares how inconvenient it is to ride public bus. How long it takes to finally see her grandchildren. She just, thoughtfully, carries all the foods she cooked so you could eat properly. She never complains how far your house is, no matter she has no money, she always makes sure you don't miss any dinner/lunch. She has always been there. She didn't speak any word when Dad passed away. when most people telling you to be patient, she just hugged you so tight, believing that you could be tawakkal. 

This year you learned how you had always been a self-centered. You focused a lot in how you felt without caring about others. You poured so much of your sadness to people you never know were suffering. 

you learned about what Dad meant when he wished you to be tawakkal.

You learned that not everything could go according to your plan. You learned how to accept that you made mistakes. Moreover, you learned that you were transforming to a full adult, who got to depend on her own. You had to fix the printer by yourself, finding gojek to the bus stop, you chose not to come too late at night, you learned how to be punctual (eventho you are still struggling, even now). Because he won't be here anymore to fix things for you. To be your knight. 

But you learned that he transcended his abundant love and wisdom through every corner of yourself.
And it becomes your sword.

You become aware why he had always prioritized his family. You understood why as a breadwinner, it is mandatory to live humbly. You, painfully, realized how big of a burden he should bear throughout his lives raising you and your brother. As a family, we had no fancy car, we rarely went to have holiday. But our house always filled with laughter and love. 

dear Mama and Babeh, thank you for showing what true love means.

you learned how to overcome hundred rejections, and strive for that one Yes. 

During the period of completing your thesis, you encountered many no's from your second thesis adviser. you changed the theories 6 times, going back and forth from the most mainstream theory into the most complex one--geostrategy, something that not all people can defend when being tested. You, for the first time ever, became a pushover to all people in charge of those whole thesis and graduation things. But you made it. You felt so lonely on your way coming from internship days to campus--back and forth. Being an intern in 3 places at once--a freelancer at a Consulting firm, a project intern in a consulting firm's client, and a UN body. While at the same time, completing your thesis and managing your overly sensitive emotion. You discovered new friendship along the way, you met your BLP group who would accompany your lonely days in Jakarta thru a phone call up til 1 AM. You learned about their darkest corner, you learned abundant knowledge in mechanical engineering, microbiology, IT and marketing. Something that comes free with their friendliness.

you learned that life is way beyond than having a degree.
it requires a good networking.

you went as far as Cengkareng for an interview. Countless cash went out from your mum's pocket just to pay your cost in seeking for jobs. One day you can be perfectly fine and still an ambitious girl that you are, the next day you could cry river until 11 PM. you were so devastated, but eventually you found yourself again.

through two mere sentences.

Jangan bersedih berlebihan seperti orang yang tak punya Iman.

Memang lebih tenang kalau yakin ada Yang Maha Mengatur dan paham bahwa Yang Maha Mengatur tau yang terbaik untuk kita.

You surrendered to Him. That time, you no longer prayed which institution you wanted so bad. You prayed for strength, and you prayed to be a beneficial person wherever you got accepted. Until two days later you got the Yes you had been waiting for.

you, not only got a yes. you got a yes in your dream institution, with a dream job, and truckloads of idealist reasons behind your jobs.

and finally, you understand why it never works for any other applications.

because He loves you. and He is so kind. and He, always, always, knows what is best for you.

today it is still as lonely as any days after 19th of November. But I have moved on from an inconclusive relationship. The experience I obtained throughout the days in seeking for jobs has humbled me in any way possible. I learned to accept loss and perceive it from other angle.

I know week ago it was another emotional breakdown for me. But I have been taught that Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.

and finally,

I no longer be a pushover even in praying for something. As I recently grow fond of someone, all I could do is to mention his name in every prayer, wishing Allah could let him live the duaa in his name, and always, always, gets him closer to Allah.

I know it won't be any easier.

But Allah gives the hardest battle to His strongest soldier.

I hope I can be one.




November 19, 2017

Persimpangan

Mungkin ia malu, mengaku bahwa ia rindu
Mungkin telah ditimbunnya perasaan merona saat ia salah memahami,
baiknya diri sebagai membuka hati

Mungkin kali ini ia lelah bersembunyi,
mengagumi dalam sunyi,
tenggelam dalam asumsi
Atau mungkin ia berusaha berlari,
mencoba merayu diri,
bahwa rasa itu hanya sebatas memori yang silih berganti

Jika ia berjalan menyusuri malam dengan sinar temaram,
akankah sosoknya menjadi sinar lampu yang menenangkan?
Jika ia berhenti mencari dan percaya akan rahasiaNya,
akankah sosoknya menjadi jawaban dari kehendakNya?
Namun,
Jika ia memutuskan untuk berpaling,
meyakini bahwa ia tak sepadan dengan sosoknya,
akankah ia menyesalinya,
saat ia ragu
di persimpangan?

October 19, 2017

Yang Sulit Diungkapkan

Perasaanmu adalah selembar kertas,
yang terlukis emosi,
kemudian menjadi memori,
membentuk jati diri

Namun, ada kalanya beberapa memori sulit terganti,
meski kertasmu telah berganti,
ia enggan pergi

Apakah mungkin karena terlalu banyak rasa di dalamnya?
ragu yang tak kunjung pergi,
bahagia yang menjadi pahit,
hingga sulit untuk mengenalinya

Ada hal yang sulit diungkapkan,
tak peduli seberapa ingin,
entah ia tertahan oleh rasa kelu,
pada akhirnya ia mengabur,
adakah aku rindu?


October 06, 2017

Lights

Lately I have been confined on the thoughts of how I fail society's expectation towards me. 

They don't believe when I told them I went through a hard time to get a job.
They don't believe me when I told them I didn't do anything remarkable during my unemployment.
They laughed in disbelief, which I saw as amusing to them, and said,
I hope things work out for you.
I thanked them.

I am still that na├»ve Anisa, who, when someone popped me a message asking how I am doing, I considered it as an act of care. And in return, I would answer how I am doing fine and I thanked them for bothering to ask me. 

Phew, that was such a difficult thing to confess, but here I go.

I am currently having mentors, who would send me lots of vacancy through WhatsApp, and would happily schedule a call whenever I need to seek his advice. So let me write on how their presence has repeatedly slapped me. 

I grew up having people around me rooting for my success, well at least to me they look like one. I grew up to their comforting remarks whenever I fail and fell. I grew up with them telling me of how much potentials I have in me and how am I capable to achieve the most unachievable goals I had. That worked, fortunately. But to keep myself inside the loop of people who find it wrong to criticize my deficiencies, to tell me that I need to improve, to tell me that I am nowhere near my goals,

It starts to tear me apart.
Limiting me from expanding my horizon,
That, I should no longer believe in the thought that I was born special.
And I mattered to people.
And I deserved to have big dreams.
Without knowing that I have a lot to catch up.

But my mentor told me a very harsh reality I got to accept as a new normal of reality:

"Nisa, I don't see why people are rooting for you on our last mock  election workshop. You did a good job in delivering your speech though, I wont deny it, but I can see that you are not confident about who you are and what you are saying. Which means, the reason of why they voted for you is because they already know you personally, but to a stranger? I would not trust you to handle my clients had I been them."

"Perhaps it's because I don't see the sparks in yourself whenever you try to express your opinion, everything just seems so dull to you, and it doesn't look like you want to get engaged further in the topic even though I know you can if you want too. How to put it, you seem lost. You are lack of presence."

That hit me hard. No one has ever said that I am lacking of presence. But there I go, I tried to remember of how I am trapped in this Intricate tangle of mystery, for trying to find out what am I doing, what should I do, and what are the things I should pursue. Deep down, I am questioning my worth. Whether I still have the resources to be what I dream to become. Whether dream is still appropriate for me. Have I been building a wrong image of me these whole time? Do I even get any chance left to get up? It is just too complicated.

That's what people say when they avoid answering a question.

But hey at least today, I see a glimpse of light. 

Do I still deserve to have big dreams? Yes only when I invest on the relentless effort to pursue it, and is willing to be patient for whatever comes in between. But, do I have what it takes to be what I dream of becoming? No, at least for now, I have a lot to catch up and need to speed up, because slowing down only means I am giving in.

It does not matter how people perceive me. It does not matter whether I fail their expectation. It does not matter if the whole orchestra turning their back against me. Because the only thing that matters, the thing that I should hold on to is,

to have faith in Him.

That no matter how hard it seems, no matter how impossible it is for me to escape from the catastrophe, this only happens because He gives me the capacity to go through it. To break free from the sadness, which actually, is not that big of a deal compared to what Prophet Yusuf went through. 

Yesterday, someone I just knew said to me,

Lebih tenang memang kalau yakin ada Yang Mengatur, dan paham kalau Yang Mengatur tau yang terbaik untuk kita.

Sometimes, Allah delivers His message through the most unexpected occasion, through someone you did not even imagine of coming.


Belajar memahami maksud Tuhan

Aku ingin memahami maksudNya,
tentang teka-teki di balik kesulitan hidup
tentang jawaban doaNya
tentang rencana indahNya

Aku ingin memahami maksudNya
agar aku menjadi ikhlas ketika kalah
agar aku bisa langsung bangkit berlari kembali
agar aku tau bahwa dalam hidup,
perjuangan tak pernah usai

Tuhan,
tak sampai hatiku untuk mengeluh lelah
ketika banyak sekali dari hambaMu yang berjuang dengan lillah,
ketika sebegitu banyaknya nikmat Kau beri padaku,
namun aku selalu kufur akannya

Tuhan,
kelu lidahku untuk memohon kepadaMu,
karena semakin hari aku semakin merasa tidak pantas atas mimpi-mimpiku,
dan juga diriku

Namun dari setiap kepedihan yang ku telan,
aku tau mengapa masih mampu bertahan,
karena telah kau bentangkan nikmat sehatMu untukku
telah Kau pinjamkan aku kekuatan untuk melaluinya,
hingga pertanyaan selanjutnya,
mampukah aku untuk belajar ikhlas memahami maksudMu?

August 23, 2017

To The Ends

There is this thing for being stripped naked, completely surrendered to our own feelings--to accept that we are vulnerable, and appear so. It is the feeling of ashamed, unease and being in constant denial to our own self. Mel Robbins once said on her TedxSF,

"when you want something, you will never feel like it, that's why you must not listen to your feelings, but understand what you aspire to become."

Often times we took the word Fine for granted. In my case, I am afraid of not being listened to when I surrender by saying I am not fine. I am afraid of being an object of their curiosity instead of subject of attention. I am afraid of appearing fragile, when some of them may expect so much of me. The solid rock Anisa. I am afraid of failing their expectation and knowing their true colors.

I never beg for answers, though. Most of the times when I share my stories all I expect in return is as simple as,

"it's okay when you stumble on a pit, and you found out it's so dark so you ought to depend on yourself, you just need to enjoy the detour on your way to your goals."

In fact, I am exhausted of being expectant that things are gonna get better eventually. It is as if I am in my worst situation and the only way out is to wait for the time. And while on it, I am permitted to feel like a complete garbage because this phase of life is  the downside of me.

How can I accept myself as a whole? that even when things went south I am sill rocking every seconds of it. Because I stay true to myself. Because I believe in myself. In fact, how to actually survive? Does this sound desperate enough? :')

But then again, the road is long, what devastates me the most is in fact, being an addict in comparing myself to other people's achievements, timing, and basically all the good things I happen to see in them. While it is true that people only show what they want to be perceived, I find this very toxic because I am being very subjective. I happen to be too hard on myself, being ignorant to their struggles, I find my life is a complete opposite to theirs, and at any point I am ready to be wrecked. But then what I forgot is, we all are struggling in some ways.

Some people who already got settled financially and personally, might envy the free spirit youths who are carefree and happy to be risk takers and adventurous--because they don't have many things on their plate. But the carefree youths are envy of the teenagers because it is still long until the transition live of theirs to adulthood. And the cycle goes on.

What I'm saying is, while we are pretty much well-informed that timing works differently for everyone, our perception bias does too. I too, need to be objective when seeing other people's achievements, by not being mean to myself. It might seem one night magic to me but it might truly a long hurdles to them. This too, applies when I happen to regret my decision. Had I opted to take the offer from Faculty of Law, the yellow campus gave me, it is not definite that things might work out better for me. It might be harder, or maybe easier. But then I might not learn the same takeaways. I might not be what I am today.

So this is what I am saying,

While it is very stressful to be a slave to timeline and others' gardens, completely ditching our efforts all this time, it might as well be so damn hard to enjoy the things you think should not have happened to you. The I should've been further ahead, It should've been easier for me etc. Don't be a despie who surrender to failure and actually fail your entire capacity just because things are not working well these days. Failure is indeed a joker to our heroic storyline, so how to fight a joker? Being a jackass Batman that we can. When we are stuck, trapped in a dark pit with no shortcut ladders to escape, freaking believe in miracle that God will lend you a wing so you can escape from there. Because, just like how all of our Prophets manage to escape from hardships through their strong faith in Allah, we too, are able to pass the challenge when we have faith in Him.

Do not dwell in negative thoughts.

Because Allah works according to our perceptions towards Him.


July 25, 2017

90.

To think that I did okay during college, is probably the most foolish thought.

I am nowhere near good.

Days before my thesis defense, I got super panicked, anxious, and a little stressed out, all because of a thought that I haven't done enough. I did not give my best during college--in fact, all my life I have never been hardworking enough to escape from my own shortcoming. To cross bridges of my own garden. To overcome my fear of being found out as a fraud. And perhaps that's why I never fancy compliments. It makes me laid back. And I disdain being comfortable--I fancy being worn out in challenges and comments. It grows me. It lets me know that I am nothing.

Oh, how I wish I really grow.

Today I realize I was too comfortable in my own zone--I barely even move forward. In the so called era where a 20-year-old person would've started a start-up on their own, I wasted my college days by thinking I've done enough. Truth is, even though wheels will keep whirling, we hold account on the wheel. At least, if I've had run so hard I no longer feel my thigh, at least if I've had worked so hard and so smart I bleed my nose every night, I would not have questioned my own worth.

Because at least at one point of my life I have worked hard enough to grow.

But regrets always come at last. I do not want to dwell on negative thoughts, because I do not want to exacerbate my emotional condition, but it comes at me before I can even find any shield. It's so frustrating because I can no longer become the 18 year old me who loved to turn something as a scapegoat for her failures. Today, I cannot blame anyone but myself.

They say, you got to burn to shine.

Does the fire in me so far, fail to suffice the amount myself needs to finally shine and not become an ash?

At least I can concede to the fact that I am just a mediocre person who struggles to find any worth left in herself.