Being an adult…

“God, the most merciful, guide me to be a person with a merciful heart”

translated from “Beranjak Dewasa (Grown up)”sang by Sherina Munaf


I always worry to be a very very very bad evil when I grow up… to be an adult…

I am worry to be a heartless person.

I am worry to be a bad daughter

Worry to be a bad sister

Because I know hot it feels when someone treat you bad. And beyond you can imagine, being hurtful is very easy. Very easy…. because you no need to syncronize your logic with your heart for that. 

You can be a very kind and bright person, but you forget to consider sociological and anthropological side of other people, then BOOM! You will mess up their feeling. 

I learn this precious thing while I am waiting for my mom in the hospital. When you really tired you will have no mood to listen other people prejudice and comment to you. 

Sometimes people can’t see and feel how someone already stressful inside. Already emotionally drained. Some people, maybe majority, try to show how strong they are in front off anyone… but you never know what will they do when they close their door… swipe the curtain. Maybe some of them crying.

Some people, don’t want to watch sad movies because they are very sensitive. My brother, a taekwondo and karate athlete. He always lock his room when he watchs Lion King. Inside, he will spent a roll of tissue to wipe his tears when Mufasa died because killed by Oscar. 

People who never know him will tell that he never cry, unsensitive, always kidding for everything.  

Some grown-up people also will compare between him and I. While we are two different people. I love indoor activities, my brother loves to be outdoor. 

And we have 8 years age gap. 

When my mom sick, when my dad passed away, when we fail to do something. Always some people who pointed our nose, “oh you are wrong” 

What people never want to care is we have so many stories behind the scene that no one never know. We tried our best for everything. 

When I leave my country to study, I was so depressed because I hear people opinion about how bad I am to leave my mom, my brother, to jobless. Smart… but heartless. No one care that until I reach that point I also cried so many times. And my brother is the one who support me the best until the end. My mom is the one who let me go “you should be better than me. You should reach what you want” 

Some people, mainly adult, never care how someone reach one point in their life. 

And I keep praying to the God, I don’t want to grown up if I become that kind of adult. 

It is okay to be a person with critical analysis and opinion. But, don’t you think the “added value” of being an adult is maturity? And it means you can positioned yourself, you can deliver your opinion by considering the psycological side of someone… the timing… everything. 

The trickiest part, even if we already try our best for that, we might still fail for this thing. But, at least we try. And later or soon, hopefully, we can control our manner. 

Hopefully, we can be a better person. 

And maybe become an adult is not as scary as some people imagine. Hopefully. 

(For my brother: thank you… ) 

It is never easy to far from home….


It is never easy to far from home… This month, I got many shocking stories. There was my junior in university who started to continue his study. Something happened, God called him a bit earlier than anybody else. 

There also my friend, almost finish her study…. cancelled her marriage plan. 

There is my friend, in so sudden… admitted that he is a gay. 

There is my friend, who decided to stop continue her study because she thought she couldn’t getting well with the class in her university. 

Some people even finding help, telling that they got mental health problem. 

Some just lonely but don’t know what to do. 

Far from home, every person might hide their own pains behind their happy selfie photos on facebook and instagram. 

For years I write my blog, sometimes I got lots of email from my reader. They told me many things. Sometimes there are people who asked me “are you a psycologist” (and trust me I got that kind of message several times). 

To be honest, when someone told me their problems, I can’t solve their problem. Never… I just can understand that everyone have their own “fight”. I can understand that. 

But, just like any other human in this planet. I also have my own war… my own problem… my own secret. But, I have a great family. I have people I really love and I know they want to see me as a great person. Not such a grumpy weak woman. So, every time I want to cry… well, I cry! But then wipe it as soon as possible. 

Today, I got a news… my mom in the hospital. And then I run as fast as possible to the airport. Finding a flight tonight. 

I feel tired, worry, panic, 

But… my brother, ish he must be felt that more than me. 

To be far home is hard… it such a big lie that “distance is never a matter”. Distance obviously a matter. 

So, for all my friends who far from home…. take care. Something might be happen. But God know that you can pass it, then we… in another leap of time, might be a better and stronger person.

Really… take care. For your good, and for all people you love and love you. 

(Haneda Airport, August 2017) 

My Monday notes: Because no one is problem-free and why we (maybe) need to have a cellphone-diet

“The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric; and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will compromised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, make your life yours. And everything-everything-will be on it!” – John Green

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Well! Life without cellphone is somehow so much better. At least I am studying more, and see awesome lecturer videos. Until I saw this awesome John Green video for one crashcourse video. Well, John Green… I think it is always easy for us to like this kind of person. He is one of my favorite (you should check him out if you haven’t know about what he done and even who is he 🙂 ).

As I told you yesterday, I just started my “Cellphone Diet”. Because this small awesome smart phone really convenient and make me addicted… and keep staring on it… and then stressed myself because it is easily accessed any social media and similar… and I keep comparing myself with other people because I felt like “WOW! Why other people is nothing but so much better than me?!” While… maybe not!

So, pfffttt…. enough. I love you my cellphone but sorry… maybe mmmm we need to make a clear distance now.

Yes! I think everyone are also struggling by their own matters, their own “test”, but somehow our “new world” is insist us to always look okay! Look cool! Look “hey, I am more than you!”. If A is success, so I need to show I do better…. if B is having a bad day, so I need to show I am worse. Wait! Oh this is crazy. Life itself, at least for me, is not a competition. Because we have different problems, different starting point, and maybe different finish line. We are just different… our task is to be nice and kind to any other people, support between each other, not goin’ crazy to compare between each other. Huffft! THAT’S TIRING!

So, stop it. And I want to stop it…. I want to quit from this crazy society game, because it becomes more like a psychological games and it feels like Jigsaw asked me “Do you want to play a game?” of course no… not kind of this “game”.

So, I challenge myself that at least within this week, when I go outside my home, I WILL NOT bring my cellphone. But I will always bring my tiny pocket camera to take pics about what I saw. Also, I will write the update every day on this blog.

So, what I got without my cellphone today.
Surprisingly, many things… and it was fun!

The sky is good, some clouds… but today was so hot and it might be one of the highest temperature during this month. Tokyo was 34C and Tsukuba was 32C. But remember, humidity! Pfffttttt…. Japan is very humid during summer and I wonder at least it is one of the main problem of all Japanese during summer. So, the real feel of the temperature were in 35-39C. That’s crazy.

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Indonesia is hot, but when the humidity is high but, at least in my hometown, rainfall also very high. So, it is not really killing. Closer to equator area… of course it is also hot but it is more like “Grilling” you than “steaming” you like in Japan. So, Indonesian are still survive even if they don’t have air conditioner in their house. Mmmm… beside almost all of us also can’t afford the price hehehehe. But, it might be something you not really notice right about Indonesia. Yeah! Come to visit then.

Then, I started to wondering what’s wrong with me… why my productivity is decreased recently!?! WHY! Then I notice that one problem is MY DESK IS SO MESSY
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This is important actually… if you think you become lazier recently, you should check your desk and your home first. If they are messy, it will reduce your mood to do your work.
“But, I always messy… so it might be no problem for me”
Trust me, it is one psychology research. Well… while it is not bad to make everything tidy.
Yes, put your phone for a while and do your desk.

The result, I made up my homework from my Sensei (although I haven’t finish all yet),
I learn about agricultural economics,
I learn about R programming,
Well… that’s not really bad for today.
I wrote a letter for my penpal.

On the lunch break, I took my bicycle and go around. It has been a long time since I am not hunting photos around. I am curious how to take a good photo using a low-end pocket camera. So, let’s get it on!
I took this photo today….
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I think that’s one is so beautiful… I really love it.
I love the bee, the color of the flower.
So many beautiful things around, and it feels like I didn’t notice it before.

Are you feel tired to compare yourself with any other people?
You also welcome to join my diet 😀 hehehe…
I think it will be okay for the world waiting for our text reply a bit longer.

My no cellphone Sunday: good day, good book, good food

So, I decide to stop staring on my cellphone at least start from this week.
I don’t want to depend on my cellphone forever, but I think we agree it makes us addicted. I want to stop for a while, and enjoy my day. I just brought my mini pocket camera, and from now on I will take photo everyday.

I left my cellphone at my home, while I went to Saitama to practice Koto (it kinds of traditional Japanese string instrument). My teacher offered me to start my first concert next April 🙂 finger crossed, and wish me luck. I am so happy, because beside of my research life, I have another artsy life! And well… that’s not really bad I think.

Back to my place, Tsukuba. I decided to  take a walk… and enjoy my Sunday afternoon.
I saw some youth are playing Stand-Up Electric Scooter. It looks so fun! I want one hahahahhaa. But already have one cute bicycle.

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And I realized that Tsukuba center is so beautiful with greens everywhere. I love the scenery.

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I also realized hibiscus are already fully blossomed. You should see them!
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And hmmm… take a bit selfie also not a bad idea! So this is my Sunday afternoon face 😀 hahahhaa
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Why some people are so good in taking selfie?! I couldn’t! And it is sad because I always tried to take a very good photo for others but I can’t to take a good selfie.

Btw, because it was cloudy… I want to 100 yen shop and bought a super bright umbrella with just 200 yen (around 2 USD), but tadaaaaa…. the rain delayed their schedule hahahhahaa. Oh come on! I already have so many umbrella now.
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But I love the color hahahhha… neon color seems rare in Japan.

Good! No rain… so I could ride my bicycle. I parked it in a free bicycle parking, no wonder everyone just park their bicycle here. Almost had no idea where is mine hahhahaha.

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Well, with my ride with me… I will teach you how to explore Japan a bit 🙂

If you are a student with tight budget, but you really love fashion, you can go second hand shop! Second had shop in Japan is veryyyyy gooood. They already clean all the stuff, and grade them based on the quality, brand, and the age of the stuff. So, you can find something cute by match it with your budget. One of the nice place to find second hand fashion stuff in Japan is 2nd Street: Jumble Store. You can find it anywhere around Japan.
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And I was so happy because they also held summer discount! Voila!
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I will show you my choice within this week, I would like to clean them up first and I will show you when I finished 🙂

After shopping, you might hungry, and I really want to eat unagi (うなぎ) or Japanese eel. It is in season now, so I should eat them! And I really love them! So, without thinking I just went to a family restaurant and ordered my favorite unagi! While waiting,  I finished read another Michael Pollan books titled  In Defence of Foods. I think this is the second best book from Pollan after Omnivore Dilemma. I really love Michael Pollan.
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Pollan is someone who really bright and objective when talking about foods. He not forced us to be a vegetarian or become a super loyal consumer of one very very super specific products. He is not! He is a very nice writer and teacher for his reader. He just give us some tips to choose good foods. Something like:
1. Pay more, eat less–> because some high quality foods are a bit more expensive
2. Eat meals
3. Do all your eating at a table
4. Try not to eat alone
5. Eat slowly
6. cook, if you can, plant a garden

and so on… and so on… I will not reveal everything to make you curious 🙂 But really, it is very good book to real and feed your brain 😀

Well! Living without cellphone is not really bad! Don’t you think so? 😀

A story behind the foods: Mom’s love

Recently I interested in foods sustainability, and if you follow my instagram account, I also do a little campaign about sustainable meal which become one of FAO campaign this year. I also share my hobby in gardening.  I also share some books and literature about which books you can read if you interested by local foods. People said that you haven’t officially learn about food science if you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s books, so I complete my library collection with all of his books.

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I even cook! And share the photo to my friend on instagram. I just hate facebook and other social media, so I choose instagram as my fave media. I don’t really like cooking but I am living far away from everywhere! so, I cook. And I challenge myself to use local ingredients around me, and I make a small garden for several vegetables and herbs in order to boost my organic and low carbon veggies. And… I love it!

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If you already friend with me for quite a long time, you will know that I do a research about agriculture. I also food lover… one thing that I really hate is people who leave their foods… and sayin’ “Owch I am on diet” ARGHHHHHHHHHHH…..
you should know that on farm work is nothing but very complicated and tiring works.

From all the books, I learn how to find and choose the best ingredient…
I find how to reduce food waste…
I learn how to cook everything in a good well…
My cooking skill, not to be big headed, is increasing.
But no matter how good the ingredients, no matter how much my progress in cooking, I never be able to duplicate my mom’s foods. You can replicate every recipe, but never your mom’s love.

Every time I cook something, and eat them… enjoy them…. I wondering about what my mom already done for me and a whole family. Choosing the best nutritional intake for her child. She should make sure it is both sufficient both in quantity and quality. Choosing is easy if you have everything, but if we are in lower-middle income condition then we will face financial constraint. So, I wondering… my mom (and I believe, our mom) is not only a good chef, but also a potential financial planner and manager.

Then for me, talking about food now is more philosophical than before. It is not only about the hard work of the farmers, not only about the emission path,not only about how far the foods were transported until reach our dining table, not about awesome research written by Pollan and any other awesome writer and researcher, but also about how great our mom is, how great she is to provide the best thing for us.
Food is another tiny yet precious story about the struggle of a mother.

I wondering, if I never have a good mom like my mom… maybe there will be no today’s me. I remember, when my mom got sick, I become easily to get sick. I have a little problem with my liver and it was because I have no idea how to cook well when my mom was in the hospital. I will become nothing without her.

People said, never tell about your dreams to other people. But well, may I share a bit? Far away from home make me miss my mom so much, and I promise I will cook for her every time I am back home. Later, when I am lucky enough to have my own child… I also will cook for them, and that’s because some love no needs any words.

“We should all be feminist”, should we? 

I am not a feminist, at least I think I am not a strict feminist.
My brother maybe more “feminist” than me… “Kakak, you should be happy! Achieve everything you want to achieve! Go far…”
To be honest, I never think too much about gap equality on salary because I think the most important thing is what I did on the job, and I’ll have time to compare how much my salary compared to the men with same position with me.
I also will have no problem if someday I should have more time to take care my kids, why not…I love kids. I will find the job which quite friendly enough to facilitate my preference.
And if I am an actress, I also have no problem if the categories in Oscar divided into male and female, well… why not… more winner, more happiness… why not!

And I think, maybe most of women think like me (some of course have a broader ‘feminism’ perspective).
The problem is, sometimes men asked more without communicate everything first with the women. At least, that what I got from my personal perspective and also from what I read from “We Should all be feminist” By Chimamanda N. Adichie. Adichie, in my opinion (and I believe you agree with me)is very bright woman. She got some points to capture about gap inequality happening in the world. Arghhh… I like her 🙂

(PS: If you are too lazy to read the book, you can see her speech on youtube)

I remember in one page she talking about marriage. If men too late to get married, our community will see them as men who still fight and focus for their career. Building their brighter future.
While women? In some community (including my country actually), women who pass their middle 20 age are considered as spinster… and maybe (just maybe) it will be hard for them to find man who want to marry her.

Women also will face many obstacles to continue their career, and well… that’s not really bad. The worst thing is if divorce should be happened, the women who continue their career will be blamed more by the community than the men who workaholic and don’t have time for his family.

Maybe the gender inequality is more serious than I noticed… I just lucky because I always surrounded by very nice people around me.

But I am thinking, how far “feminism” should be?

feminism:
1 :  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 :  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

I agree with the definition, but how far the equality should goes?
As a woman, in the future I am okay to take care my family… to educate my kids, to prepare some delicacy for my husband, taking care my family. That’ll be my pleasure. I even don’t have any idea to threat men authority. But I also have lots of potential inside, I still want to be a researcher, a writer, a photographer, play music, I also still love to teach. And I hope my future partner can understand that.

I know that our community sometime more-cruel than our inner circle family. They become a commentator without knowing what really happened inside. I remember when one of my friend told me that she has a friend who made a mean comment about a women who came very late from home by said “Hish… she must be never take care her kids”. Who knows this woman have a serious financial problem in her family, who knows her husband already passed away, who knows the income of his husband is just not enough… who knows? Have we think about that before we judge about other people?

The same question for my self.

Maybe… we no need to be a real-radical feminist.
Maybe just become a wiser and better person is enough to make this world become more comfortable to live in.
Yeah… maybe.

“Smarter Indonesian marry faster”, really?

I don’t understand why but there is always random person who come to me and ask something or just do a random chit-chat. Except to my family and best friends, I am very quiet, so sometimes I am impressed by people who started conversation to me. But, I am not in a mood because I need to prepare my presentation, and as I told before I need to recover my health. I should cook healthy meal, have a healthy lifestyle, and warm my room so I can recover fast.

Tadaaaa… then I got a short chat from someone tonight. About what? About marriage. It is not my first and second time people talking about this thing with me.  So, he shows me a recent study that people in Indonesia, whom more educated, marry faster.
Mmm… so I am not really educated Indonesian because my only boyfriend is my fat fluffy yellow cat in my home (he has obesity problem now, so my brother always bring him to do some exercise :p I still love him). Because I am lazy to write about it so I simply made a comic strip to describe our conversation.

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It is worrisome about Indonesian health condition.
Whenever you go in Indonesia, they will be proud “We are so healthy and strong, although there are lots of street snacks mixed by textile dyes, formalin, borax, etc.”

I remember when my mom entered hospital, there was also foreigner from Japan who entered the ICU after ate meatballs :’D Of course, in Japan everything are clean and hygienic. I am not kidding, you can see me as an example, I feel good but I am sick inside. You should be very careful to choose street snack in Indonesia.

So, are Indonesian healthy and strong? Not really, our life expectancy rate only 65-67 years old. While in developed countries it is already 70-80 years old. Here in Japan, you can see elderly above 80 years old still healthy and do their activity as usual.

I don’t want to debate my nice friend but, I have another two points to criticize:
1. Making conclusion in scientific research is not easy, especially in social science. You need to consider every cause and probability. So, be mind about that.
2. I am not an expert, but marriage…. ah marriage. I think people should marry when they are ready, not because they are lonely, or because they afraid of sickness in the future. You want to make someone happier isn’t it? So, I think if then I decide to marry someone, it might be because he can persuade me that he can make me happier, and in the same time I am ready to make him in better off condition, it is about a long term commitment to be friend forever. I am not sure this “heart” things can be quantify by statistic or any quantitative research.

However, if you already love someone, you ready, kindly marry her/him, be happy. When you really in love sincerely with someone, you will have no reason to leave them 🙂 trust me…