God Be With You Bang Firman

I was in a taxi on the way to Grand Indonesia to watch UKSU ITB’s performance in Galeri Indonesia Kaya on Saturday when one of my best friends from college, Elsa, who currently works in Malaysia as an employee at Schlumberger sent me a message via Whatsapp. She said she was still shaking because one of the passengers in the missing Malaysia Airlines (MH370) airplane was Firman Chandra Siregar, a friend I’ve known from my second year in college (2010). The message shocked me and I instantly broke into tears.

nama Bang Firman di artikel di AP.org

nama Bang Firman di artikel ‘Behind Jet’s Passenger List is Rich Human Tapestry’ di Associated Press

Bang Firman ini, isn’t just another kakak kelas or senior. Bang Firman itu senior 2 tahun di atas gue, dia jurusan Teknik Tenaga Listrik angkatan 2007 (atau sebutannya anak Power atau Aroes Koeat is how they also call it) sementara gue angkatan 2009. Kita sama-sama bergabung di unit kegiatan UKSU ITB, pas gue masuk sebagai anak baru, Bang Firman ini posisinya sebagai Swasta (istilah anak ITB yang artinya mahasiswa stres tingkat akhir). We share a mutual friend, Bang Rainhard, temen deket dan sejurusan dia yang udah gue kenal sebelumnya dari organisasi lain, ITB Student Orchestra. I knew Bang Firman from him. Bisa dibilang dari semua senior di UKSU, Bang Firman ini adalah salah satu yang paling dekat. Dari jaman-jaman osjur (ospek jurusan di tingkat 2 kuliah, tahun 2010), we exchanged messages almost on a daily basis. Honestly, I actually looked forward to exchanging messages with him because he had a weird way of responding to things. Meski seiring berjalannya waktu frekuensinya menurun dan sempat vakum pas gue tingkat akhir, it rekindled after I graduated although with less frequency. Nevertheless it felt good to be talking to him again because Bang Firman ini orangnya rada random, suka tiba-tiba out of nowhere nanya udah nonton film apa belom, atau ngasih link video cover lagu di Youtube. Nggak pernah nanya the classic dull question ‘lagi apa’. Our conversations were light, casual. He always brought up something weird: entah film, pertunjukan live seorang artis di Superbowl, cover lagu Boyce Avenue, video clip Marry Your Daughter, link video-video sedih, link artikel ‘Ayah Akhirnya Aku Menikah’, nyapa random, Rhoma Irama jadi presiden atau apalah, macem-macem. (He has a great movie taste. Knowing the unyu-unyu romantic comedy movie fan I am compared to his high-rated IMDB movie taste, he gave me a list of movies I should watch.) Despite the casual nature of the conversations, Bang Firman also had a tendency of adding a hint of wisdom here and there. For instance, pernah gue waktu itu curcol ke dia tentang how timing can be so annoying sometimes. Terus dia randomly out of nowhere nanya kapan gue mau nikah, dan gue sok-sokan jawab 2/3 tahun lagi (padahal pasangan aja kagak punya) dan akhirnya ngasi sedikit wejangan ala-ala Bang Firman gitu deh.

monicantik - 1 - fcs

Waktu masa habis lulus gue sempet galau masa depan saat lagi proses persiapan aplikasi graduate school, dia mendukung dan malah suggest gue jadi dosen, malah pernah juga suatu hari dia cerita ke gue kalau dia pengen jadi dosen. Hah jadi dosen? Bang Firman ini udah pernah kerja di perusahaan oilfield services yang lain, dan sempat juga kerja di Abu Dhabi. That’s why gue sedikit kaget ketika tau dia satu batch dengan teman-teman gue yang juga kerja di Schlumberger dan ditempatin di luar negeri (sebutannya IM), ada yang ke Meksiko, Malaysia, dan ke Norway. Bang Firman ini dapetnya di Cina.

cpns-1

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.32.46 AM

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.32.56 AM

Jadi inget, waktu gue lagi proses CPNS, ngapal-ngapal pancasila, dia ngeledek-ledek pas gue lagi belajar dan nanya-nanya hasilnya.

esdmm

Of all the conversations, di bawah ini cuplikan convo yang cukup bermakna buat gue, di mana Bang Firman berpesan gue berdoa dan suggested gue renungan harian setiap pagi.

2

3

4567

8

This is the second time one of my friends have gone missing, setelah sebelumnya sahabat deket gue, Fanka, hilang 2 tahun lalu dan ironically di masa itu Bang Firman juga sempet ngehibur, dan sekarang kenapa malah Bang Firman yang hilang :”( . As simple as our conversations may seem, the weird friendship I had with Bang Firman is one I actually enjoyed and was a pretty significant part in my college life. His presence, his random hello’s, his random gestures of sending songs and videos, were things I’ve grown to get used to. Acknowledging the bitter reality that he is now a victim in perhaps one of the most saddening tragedies in aircraft history is truly heartbreaking. Pilu banget liat orang tua Bang Firman nangis-nangis tadi disiarin di TV. Bang Firman itu anak bungsu, I can’t imagine how deeply saddened his family must be.

Mamanya Bang Firman di-feature oleh Instagram Time Magazine

Mamanya Bang Firman di-feature oleh Instagram Time Magazine

Bang Firman, wherever you are right now, Tuhan besertamu, God be with you. My prayers are with you and your family. Semoga Roh Kudus menerangi jalan lo Bang, semoga segera ditemukan. Lights will guide you home.

2014 So Far

It’s been a while since I blogged. Well here’s how my life has rolled lately.

Moved Out of Bandung….to the Land of Traffic Jams

I have officially moved out from the comfort of my housing room! It was bittersweet, obviously. It took 3 trips,bolak balik and a lot of containers…it wasn’t as emotional as I thought it would be. Perhaps it was because the city has ran out of people. A huge part of what makes Bandung so…Bandung is the people. So since mostly everybody has done their share of moving out, my move out experience was pretty much an errand. So here I am in Jakarta where a 5 minute departure time difference can result in a 1 hour arrival time difference. Even as an original Jakartan that has been away for the last 4 years, moving back needed an adjustment. Di awal-awal manja sih kemana-mana naik taxi. But after doing some serious calculation on how much I can save by humbly taking buses instead of taxies, I finally toughened up and readapted to using the buses. Phew!

Selfie edisi ibukota: pake masker. Gue super nggak tahan sama bau Transjakarta sama bau asep.

Selfie edisi ibukota: pake masker. Gue super nggak tahan sama bau Transjakarta sama bau asep.

Got a Job..and patiently waiting to start

my big announcement

my big announcement

Never have I planned or even imagined that I would make a bold move to enter the public sector directly after graduating. Like, hello? It’s an anti-mainstream move, considering the popular decision of the majority of my fellow ITB fresh grads to enter the private sector, especially in oil and gas and FMCG companies (I was actually in the selection process of both types of companies). Like, kalau ketemu dosen dan ditanya kerja dimana dan gue jawab seadanya, they respond “Oh, PNS?” with a weird chuckle and a look implying all sorts of stuff. This decision has sparked a variety of reactions from my friends and family. Ada yang bilang, ngapain, sayang orang kayak Monik jadi PNS tapi ada juga, bagus Mon, emang butuh orang-orang kayak lo. One of the sweetest responses came from a good friend of mine, Ilham.

unch

unch

So I guess responses like this are confidence boosters. Along the whole entrance process, the farther I proceeded, the more I wanted the position. I am an intuitive person, and I had a hunch that this is it. Ini ladang lo, Mon. So I hope my gut is right again this time (my gut has never mislead me). Sampai sekarang sih belum masuk kerja (padahal udah lebih dari 1 bulan diumumin). So here I am staying at home and becoming a gym rat and avid movie watcher to kill time. As a 22 year old who hasn’t worked a real, serious 9 to 5 job (kerja praktek dan proyekan di kampus doesn’t cut as a serious job to me) I am anxiously anticipating my first day. :-D

Got a Dog

my wiener doggy

my dog, Cappucino

My family never had a dog. Ever. So Cinno is our 1st dog. He’s a dachshund. Gemes banget. Nambah kerjaan sih, ya jelas lah ya tapi karena sayang, jadi nggak berasa beban. Aww. Apalagi kalau liat muke melasnya. Unch, gemesh. I believe Cinno has made a positive contribution of keeping me sane these past few weeks. Nganggur sucks. And ngurusin Cinno has been a nice activity. And yes, that includes scooping his poop. And wiping his butt after he poops with antiseptic wet tissues. And giving him baths. All is good.

Ran My First 5K

Jadi di hari-hari terakhir di Bandung, I picked up a new activity: running. Aslinya….I hate running. Like super duper hate running, apalagi di track lari Saraga karena berasa monoton dan capek. I mean, I can handle an hour on a cardio machine/elliptical trainer, but running on a track? Heck no. One day, temen gue ngajakin ke acara Trail Running yang diadain Outlive di Ujung Kulon. Acaranya menawarkan lari Coast to Coast trail running. It was a cheap getaway, dan komitmen waktunya cukup enak, cuma 2 hari di Sabtu Minggu, ke pantai, dan ketemu orang baru. So, why not? It was fun!! Sejak itu gue juga nyoba trail running sama beberapa temen IndoRunners Bandung di perkebunan teh di area Lembang. Ever since, I started to enjoy running. Not because it was a trend, but a huge part of it was defeating myself. Aside from being a physical exercise, to me it was largely a mental exercise. Sayang sih, gue baru mulai aktivitas itu pas udah mau pindahan dari Bandung. Di Bintaro ada juga komunitas lari, gue udah join (baru di Facebook tapi..) and I plan to run with them soon! So far sih baru lari-lari sendiri aja, sama mencoba event lari….Glow Run Jakarta.

So a real bummer to start off 2014 is not getting a ticket for Color Run Indonesia. Kehabisan coy! Lalu, semesta berkonspirasi. Gue melihat di Path temen ada yang komen bakal diadain Glow Run. My fingers immediately typed Glow Run Jakarta in Google dan voila ternyata Yamaha ngadain lomba lari Glow Run di beberapa kota! Tanpa nyari temen dulu, gue langsung daftar (kapok kehabisan). And to my surprise, harganya cukup murah dibandingkan Color Run yang harganya sekitar 200 ribuan, Glow Run cuma 50 ribu uang registrasinya, udah dapet kaos lengan buntung sama glow stick (tapi nggak dapet medali finisher sih semuanya…terbatas huft). Tadinya rencananya mau pergi sama sepupu (soalnya udah ngepost di grup-grup angkatan, nggak ada yang mau karena jauh ke Summarecon, dan emang bener, gue yang dari Bintaro aja merasa itu jauuuuuh banget), but she bailed so I ended up running on my own (good thing I don’t have any ‘harus ditemenin’ issues). Gue yang Glow Run, nyokap gue yang heboh, ikutan sampai starting point dan foto-fotoin. Di saat rombongan lain fefotoan rame-rame, gue sendirian difotoin Mama tercinta. :3 hahahaha, kayak bocah. Yasudahlah. It was fun! Lokasinya di Summarecon Mall Serpong, jadi larinya sekitar situ. Mayoritas yang ikut Glow Run anak-anak muda ABG (yang lari pake hot pants dan eyeliner….mau rave party apa lari, Mbak?). Di beberapa titik jalur lari ada beberapa yang berkostum hantu dan nakut-nakutin. It was fun! Recommended banget sih buat acara bonding, apalagi buat anak kuliahan.

running in Glow Run Jakarta

running in Glow Run Jakarta

Here’s to 2013: the Most Epic Year Yet

HNMUN, CPDC, RFEC, wisuda Juli, kompre camp, kepergian Ambo Ina dan Mama Tua, secret getaway to Bali, enigma, SB, GRE, menang Scoopy, getting a (temporary) tattoo, are just flashbacks that can give a glimpse of how crazy this one hell of a year has been. I can not help wonder, marvel, and shake my head just reminiscing 2013. This year has been a mix of everything: loss, achievements, joy, blessings, travel, heartbreak, flings, low points, high points, celebrations, funerals, and revelation. It is just startling to see how quick time flies! Here’s my personal review of 2013.

Loss

Tahun ini diawali dengan meninggalnya namboru kesayangan gue (dan kesayangan satu keluarga), Ambo Ina dan selang beberapa minggu diikuti dengan meninggalnya Mama Tua Gorat. Kebetulan, mereka ini tinggalnya di dekat rumah, and what I mean by close, is like a 5 minute walk. Ambo dan Mama Tua ini seperti ibu kedua dan ketiga dan kepergian mereka benar-benar meninggalkan luka mendalam, tidak hanya bagi gue tapi juga buat sekeluarga (pihak bokap) bagi keluarga karena merekalah tokoh-tokoh motor penggerak kumpul-kumpul, yang bikin ramai acara, yang baik hati dan dikerubungi anak-anak sampai dengan yang tua, yang ketawanya paling kenceng, dan disayangi semua orang. Personally, kepergian Ambo dan Mama Tua ini sangat membekas pada diri gue karena merekalah yang mendampingi gue dan orang tua saat tragedi 2012, pada saat gue hampir kehilangan adik gue karena stroke. Mereka ada di dalam mobil ketika adik gue sedang dilarikan ke UGD, padahal pada saat itu Ambo lagi menjalani pengobatan untuk penyakit kankernya. Ketika ayah gue histeris, nyokap gue udah agak-agak nggak nyambung karena overwhelmed, dan gue yang bingung antara harus menenangkan Papa atau memegang kendali, Ambo Ina dan Mama Tua ada di situ untuk menenangkan kami, membantu mengurus urusan, memimpin doa, dan memastikan kami makan dan istirahat. Sekian minggu adik gue di ICU RS Dharmais, mereka begitu rajin memastikan kondisi adik dan memastikan keadaan kami semua. Fase itu merupakan fase sulit tahun 2012, ketika orang tua gue bergantian untuk jaga di RS Dharmais, dan gue harus in charge adik gue yang satu lagi yang di rumah. Ambo Ina dan Mama Tua begitu setia doing whatever they could to help. .

Hustle and Bustle

Semester 8 adalah semester ter-GILA selama di ITB, gue memegang tanggung jawab di berbagai tempat dan di penghujung riwayat akademis pula, but thank God I managed to complete everything dan lulus tepat waktu ;) Memegang jabatan Kepala Divisi di Regional Future Energy Challenge 2013, ikut lomba Chemical Product Design Competition, menjadi delegate di Harvard National Model United Nations 2013, belum lagi TA seperti penelitian, rancang pabrik, dan ujian komprehensif………..CRAZY. Tidur larut malam, bangun pagi langsung balas-balas email, rapat, training, nginep di lab, sakit sampe masuk UGD karena muntah pas sibuk ngerun di lab, nginep di kosan temen kelompok rancang pabrik, kumpul di kosan Jekpot buat bikin laporan CPDC, survey venue RFEC, ngurusin alat penelitian ke bengkel, latihan presentasi seminar penelitian lab MP3 (singkatan untuk Laboratorium Metodika Perancangan dan Pengendalian Proses) di kosan Tyas, nginep 2 minggu di kosan Tyas buat belajar untuk ujian komprehensif (ujian penentu lulus/gagal dengan materi 4 tahun kuliah dan bobot 1 SKS), dan pengumuman ujian komprehensif yang hasilnya 100% lulus………..luar biasa banget semester ini. Seneng banget eksekusi hari-H RFEC sukses besar (at least menurut gue dan respons positif orang-orang), penelitian beres tepat waktu dan dapet nilai A, usaha kompre camp di kosan Tyas nggak sia-sia, dan semester ini beres juga!

Achievements

Winning the 5th Chemical Product Design Competition was definitely a highlight of this year. Mendengarkan ‘Institut Teknologi Bandung dengan produk Ocigum’ ketika diumumkan sebagai 1st Winner and being granted the 3M Student Innovator Award was such a blessing! Padahal pas tahap final, gue cukup jiper melihat produk lain yang menjawab tantangan global seperti pencemaran udara, bukan seperti produk gue (sebenarnya menjawab tantangan global juga sih…….) yang menjawab masalah bau badan. Lagi-lagi, tahun ini bucket list ‘Meraih prestasi signifikan dalam ranah keprofesian teknik kimia’ berhasil dicoret, thank God.

menang

hihi :D

Another ‘achievement’ was winning a motorcycle from LINE. At first I thought it was a hoax, but it was impossible LINE Event will send a hoax message. Pada saat gue mendapat LINE tersebut, pas lagi persiapan ujian komprehensif jadi gue cuma nanya ke official Twitter dan Facebook, nggak dapat jawaban terus yaudah gue biarkan saja. The funny thing is, pengumuman resmi daftar pemenang itu pada hari pengumuman gelar Sarjana, dan gue taunya dari Path, ada kakak kelas gue yang ngescreenshot list pemenang motor Scoopy. Reaksi gue: ketawa. Kok bisa pas banget (jadi berasa hadiah kelulusan S1) dan kenapa random banget hahaha. It was funny and I am really happy, thank you LINE, awesome timing, btw! Pengirimannya pun cepat dan gak ribet, so bravo LINE Indonesia!

Secara random memenangkan motor Scoopy dari LINE Indonesia.

Secara random memenangkan motor Scoopy dari LINE Indonesia.


Graduation

Tahun ini adalah tahun gue dapet gelar S.T. After almost 4 bloody years in engineering school, I freaking graduated baby! Graduation Day was so tiring! The hair and make up, parade, attending graduation parties, throwing dinner parties, but it was all worth it!

Syukuran Wisuda Juli 2013 HIMATEK ITB, temanya Espanola :3

syukwis (syukuran wisuda) Juli, temanya latin-latin gitu (syukwis Himatek emang selalu dress up, terutama wisudawannya). Dari semua syukwis di Himatek, ini syukwis favorit, terlepas dari ini syukwis wisudaan gue, karena emang syukwis didesain dengan apik dan dibuat sangat personal untuk wisudawan.

graduation :)

Dikasih mahkota princess sama sahabat-sahabat unyuk aku, Siska dan Melati :)

I LOVE FLOWERS!

Ketika gue menjadi adik kelas yang menjadi kroco-kroco kakak-kakak wisudawan pas wisudaan, temen gue nyeletuk ‘Kepopuleran seseorang itu bisa dilihat pas wisuda dia dapet banyak bunga/hadiah’. Haha, entah deh itu benar atau tidak. Honestly, I didn’t anticipate getting a lot of flowers (apalah aku ini, remah-remah). And yet I did and I am grateful for everyone’s thoughtfulness. Oh, a little clue. I love flowers.


Opportunities

Tahun ini adalah tahun gue aktif di Indonesia Mengglobal sebagai Campus Representative ITB yang pertama. IM adalah organisasi non-mahasiswa pertama gue. Salah satu highlight di IM adalah membuat idea video IM. Pada saat di awal kepengurusan, gue mengusulkan pembuatan video karena kebetulan pada saat gue menjabat posisi itu, gue melakukan perjalanan ke AS. Ide gue mendapat sambutan baik (which meant nambah kerjaan juga sih, haha) dan gue dihubungkan dengan mahasiswa-mahasiswa Indonesia yang akan menjadi guide dan gue fitur dalam video. Universitas-universitas yang gue liput adalah Harvard, MIT, NYU, Columbia. Seru juga sih bisa kenalan dengan orang-orang itu (I admire people who get accepted in top schools, because it’s something very competitive on a global scale) dan janjian, kenalan, dan ngobrol-ngobrol tentang student life mereka dan kehidupan merantau in general. 

membuat video Indonesia Mengglobal di MIT

membuat video Indonesia Mengglobal di MIT dan diapit anak-anak MIT dari Indonesia: Kevin dan Romy

Opportunity lain adalah ikut HNMUN. Memang selama ini, dari awal masuk ITB (karena lihat spanduk-spanduk di Gerbang Ganesha yang memamerkan orang-orang yang mewakili ITB ke luar negeri entah untuk lomba atau ajang internasional lain) salah satu isi bucket list gue adalah ‘Mewakili ITB dalam ajang internasional‘ dan Puji Tuhan berhasil gue coret tahun ini. Sebenarnya ikut ajang seperti HNMUN ini cukup kontroversial (bahkan ada thread Kaskus yang khusus nge-bash kegiatan ikut MUN internasional) karena dianggap buang-buang duit. Ada anggapan tim HNMUN macam tim gue itu sekumpulan anak-anak orang kaya tukang hura-hura yang bisa bacot bahasa Inggris dan berniat licik untuk nyari sponsor guna jalan-jalan ke luar negeri dengan kedok ikut MUN. Reaksi pertama gue agak kecewa sih ada asumsi serendah itu, but then again ya diomongin yang jelek-jelek itu gak bisa dihindari sih ya, everyone is entitled to their own opinon. Well here’s mine, bagi gue MUN was an amazing learning experience, bahkan dari awal seleksi intra ITB untuk jadi tim delegasi sampai selesai konferensi di Boston. Segala pembelajaran di MUN, trik-trik bernegosiasi, menangani kalau ide dicuri, trik-trik kalau di-backstab, cara smooth memanipulasi untuk meyakinkan orang lain, rasanya agak sulit didapatkan dari dalam kelas, apalagi buat anak teknik yang sehari-harinya di lab atau ngitung laju alir dalam pipa. Bekerja dengan orang-orang social sciences, merasa bedanya orang teknik dan orang social sciences, kerja interdisipliner, dan diekspos dengan karakter dari berbagai dunia, orang-orang super ambisius, orang-orang laid back, delegate yang ampun deh apa banget (bermulut manis tapi ternyata berbisa) dalam kondisi kompetitif itu experience that I greatly learned from. So, to me MUN was not merely the trip abroad. Selain dari MUN-nya sendiri, gue bisa dapet sekumpulan temen yang asik-asik (ada juga yang dapet pacar…..) dan keren-keren prestasinya di luar MUN (banyak banget mapres dari anak GMUN). Lewat MUN gue bisa kenal dan berkesempatan ngobrol dengan orang-orang menginspirasi seperti Veronica Colondam, a generous sponsor to our team and a very moving inspiration booster, dan Mbak Sidrotun Naim, our gracious host in Boston yang menjamu kami dengan begitu hangat (sampai 2 kali loh!), mengisi perut dengan masakan Indonesia dan membekali kami dengan cemilan untuk di jalan.

di suatu taman di Boston, pada hari pertama kita jalan-jalan keliling naik bus

di suatu taman di Boston, pada hari pertama kita jalan-jalan keliling naik bus ditemani Om Hanan, sahabat bokap gue yang saat itu menjadi visiting scholar di Harvard Kennedy School


Travel

This year’s Bali and US trip was simply freaking awesome. Travelling abroad rame-rame sama temen kuliah itu once in a lifetime experience and I am thankful I got that this year! Setelah persiapan selama sekitar 8 bulan untuk Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN), akhirnya kami pun berangkat naik pesawat Etihad jurusan Jakarta-Abu Dhabi-New York City. Sebenarnya aslinya tripnya hanya sekitar 12 hari, tapi karena gue pengen ngunjungin namboru gue di New Jersey sambil liat-liat sekolah, gue extend jadi total-total gue pergi selama 3 minggu.  Oh, and not to mention travelling with friends was fun and crazy. There was a time where the team just knocked my socks off and I actually took off and had a cup of coffee at Au Bon Pain with tears in my eyes and thinking ‘why did I do this’ but at other times they made me feel awesome. Momen pahit ditolak Megabus dan beli tiket bus di detik-detik terakhir, ketinggalan bus yang mau ke Philadelphia. Momen mengunjungi kota tempat kudibesarkan, Troy, New York. Momen staying at my aunt’s place in New Jersey, dibawa shopping ke outlet yang muraah (gue dapat jeans Levi’s Demi Curve seharga 20 dolar saja) dan dibawa ke sushi buffet yang enak pisaan (trust me 3 minggu pisah dari nasi dan ikan itu…..sesuatu). Momen ketemuan sama sahabat yang nggak gue jumpai selama 10 tahun, sahabat semasa kecil di New York, Jasmine Horton. Mengunjungi museum-museum dan galeri seni yang amazing banget (gue tipe orang yang milih museum ketimbang belanja). Ke Statue of Liberty, Georgetown Cupcakes, Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian, dan tempat keren lainnya sungguh sesuatu!

Tengah malam ke Empire State Building (anginnya buset!) terus unyunya ada yang lagi di-propose nikah. AWWW.

Tengah malam ke Empire State Building (anginnya buset!) terus unyunya ada yang lagi di-propose nikah. AWWW.

This year also marks my first solo international flight from New York to Jakarta, which was quite a challenge especially on the long transit in Abu Dhabi (thank God ADIA has free Wi-Fi, unlike JFK :P). Pengalaman duduk dalam flight belasan jam di bangku berdua di sebelah om-om yang kerja di oil and gas yang bersikap sangat aneh dan pengalaman duduk bareng rombongan umroh yang aduh………..bau minyak kayu putih, nyampah di mana-mana (malu banget di ruang tunggu sampah kulit jeruk dan botol kosong ada di beberapa tempat). Huft. Anyway, the trip to USA was overall great.

ITB for HNMUN 2013

ITB for HNMUN 2013

Snowing in Boston!

Snowing in Boston!

mengunjungi Harvard dengan sahabat gue, Santi Sijabat

mengunjungi Harvard dengan sahabat gue, Santi Sijabat

Kumpul-kumpul tim HNMUN ITB dengan alumni ITB yang di Boston :D

Kumpul-kumpul tim HNMUN ITB dengan alumni ITB yang di Boston :D (anak mesin sampe bawa jahim dan bendera himpunan loh….)

Another first in 2013 is my first solo Bali trip which was unplanned, impulsive, and pretty much a secret getaway (only my 3 best friends knew I was going to Bali). I had money saved from winning competitions and working in projects so I thought, what the hell. So there I was, jam 7 malam browsing tiket, tengah malam booking, besok siangnya belanja keperluan, dan sorenya I’m on a flight to Bali, tanpa sepengetahuan siapa pun kecuali beberapa sahabat. Lounge hopping, sipping cocktails by the beach, beach exploring, and indulging in a tranquil me-time at The Mulia was exactly what I needed. Staying at The Mulia pun sesuatu yang tidak direncanakan (and thank God I got a room!). Gue dan The Mulia itu seperti love at first sight and I knew I had to go there, tadinya mau iseng aja buat sunset aja gitu di salah satu cafe rooftopnya, tapi ah sekalian aja ;) Dan senangnya, gue datang di saat yang (lumayan) tepat. Pada saat itu lagi bulan puasa, jadi tiket pesawat murah dan Bali tidak terlalu ramai.

Staying at The Mulia Bali was definitely a highlight of 2013.

Staying at The Mulia Bali was definitely a highlight of 2013.


New Friendships

A thing I truly cherish from 2013 is the birth of new friendships. This year I grew close to a number of people. Misalnya, Tiffany. Tiffany ini partner delegate gue di HNMUN (delegate WHO itu double delegate alias berpasangan, bukan delegate tunggal per negara). Alhasil dari penentuan formasi delegate, gue dipasangkan dengan doi. Waktu itu sih diceritainnya karena gue punya sosok ‘kakak’ jadi bisa mengayomi Tiffy so she can shine to her maximum potential. Gue menerima dengan senang hati and it turned out, gue dan Tiffy bukan saja partner in crime di conference room, kita pun jadi akrab main bareng, sleepover, ngegym bareng, nemenin gue bikin tato (temporary loh ya), dan temen curhat-curhat cimpi-cimpi ceria. Selain Tiffy juga ada contoh-contoh lain, pertemanan yang makin deket tahun ini. Orang-orang yang mungkin tahun lalu gue bahkan nggak kenal, tapi eh tahun ini jadi temenan deket dan bisa ngobrol ngalur ngidul berjam-jam dengan sangat nyaman, sekalipun terpaut jarak ribuan kilometer dan zona waktu.

Tiffany

me and tiffy! partner in crime lasted beyond HNMUN <3


Post Graduation

Lulus Juli dan masih ada di kampus sampai Desember itu bittersweet. Setelah lulus, gue stay di Bandung karena proyekan dengan dosen. Rasa galau move on dari kehidupan kuliah dan move on dari Bandung itu perasaan yang sulit dibendung; and at that time sticking around pas lagi rame was great. Tapi ketika para oktopus (wisudawan Oktober) udah mulai cabut dari Bandung, going to campus wasn’t as great as usual. Muka-muka terlihat asing dan didominasi adik-adik kelas. Di himpunan pun banyakan yang nggak dikenal daripada yang dikenal. Nyari temen makan siang mesti ngiter-ngiter ke lab-lab dulu cari anak proyekan lain atau harus cari di Whatsapp. Untungnya di semester terakhir dan di kehidupan post graduation ada momen-momen angkatan TK09 yang mengeratkan: makrab angkatan yang nginep di Punclut (kalau nggak salah seminggu sebelum gue berangkat ke US) dan pas tradisi 3 tahunan dengan angkatan 2012. Makrab itu momen yang okeeeee banget, karena benar-benar quality time. Bukan sekedar hura-hura barbecuean dan karokean lagu 90an, tapi dengan apiknya sang ketua angkatan, Faris membuat acara dimana kita semua lesehan melingkar dan membagikan rencana dan cita-cita ke depan. Berkat momen itu, eh ketauan siapa yang mau jadi presiden, siapa yang mau jadi ketua Kadin, siapa yang mau jadi pastor, siapa yang mau menikah muda, dan lain-lain. Sungguh keputusan yang bijaksana untuk ngadain momen se-intimate itu sebelum hustle and bustle semester akhir.

hari terakhir kuliah di ITB

hari terakhir kuliah di ITB! Pas hari terakhir kuliah, gue bawa kamera dan banyak foto-foto bareng orang-orang untuk mengabadikannya (unyu kan). Itu yang ngerangkul gue adalah salah satu bapak menteri di kabinet (bukan Indonesia bersatu) KM ITB (semacam BEMnya).

kumpul-kumpul di rumah Marsha Faradina, sang Ganbest yang saat itu lagi berulang tahun

kumpul-kumpul di rumah Marsha Faradina, sang Ganbest yang saat itu lagi berulang tahun! Di tengah sibuk-sibuknya semester 8, kita sempetin ngumpul untuk makan sebelum pada mencar!

Selain drastisnya perubahan kehidupan Bandung, post graduation meant that everyone was going in separate directions. Elsa ke Malaysia, Rea ke India, Ricky, partner labtek gue, ke UK, Bonjay ke Riau, Rony ke Palembang, dan lainnya. Temen main makin menipis dan Bandung….well in one way berkurang keasyikannya. Ke fasa post graduation emang butuh adaptasi and determining your next step itu penting banget….mengenali diri sendiri, apa yang ingin dikejar dalam hidup, nilai-nilai yang penting bagi hidup.

On Romance, and anything else that’s a tad too personal to share here…

I will elaborate privately (password required and limited to particular people, hehe).

it was a usual Saturday night and I impulsively called this guy who can make temp tattoos.

it was a usual Saturday night and I impulsively called this guy who can make temp tattoos. Lalu, gue mendapat julukan Monta (monci tato). Actually, gue emang udah lama sih pengen bikin tato, tapi karena urusan medical check up dan job seeking (not to mention I intend to enter the public sector where the rules are stricter) getting a tattoo is definitely a no-no. Jalan tengahnya: tato temporer yang ilang abis 2 minggu. Keisengan ini juga salah satu bentuk social experiment, gue pengen liat reaksi orang-orang gimana pada cewek dengan buku di tangan kiri dan tato gede di tangan kanan. The results were quite interesting.

So I guess that sums up 2013. No matter how awesome and mind blowing 2013 was, I do not want to dwell on it. Time to move forward and make this year awesome! God bless this year, amen.

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Silent Night

Everyone has their own favorite thing about Christmas. For some it may be presents, Christmas lights, Christmas parties, Christmas decorations, Christmas discounts, Christmas food, or family gatherings. My family and I have always celebrated Christmas simply. No lavish parties/celebrations (I never liked the idea of celebrating Christmas before Christmas or anything too extravagant..I mean that’s a complete deviation from the orginal Christmas itself, right?). No Christmas presents (presents in my family are always merit-based, I remember when I was a kid I only get year-end presents if I was the top of the class). No Christmas shopping. Just mass at church and a  simple family gathering with the whole family where we had a home cooked meal and had a short Christmas service (a couple of readings, prayers, and songs).

grinch - xmas

What’s my favorite thing about Christmas?

It’s when Christmas Eve mass (I’m a Catholic) is about to start, and the church goes completely dark and silent. Candle in hand, my eyes  start looking for a source of light in the dark room and find everyone somehow starting to share their candle light to their left and right. One thing about Christmas is about giving, right? The choir starts singing Silent Night. Tiny yellow flames are everywhere in the church and I see a glimpse of the Pastor and his teammates marching towards the altar.

boston - xmas

In that dark moment of singing Silent Night (acapella, no organ/musical instruments involved) and seeing the candle light slowly spreading in the room is my favorite thing about Christmas.

From darkness turning into light.

The gesture of sharing and spreading candle light to your neighbours.

Silent Night being sung by everyone in unison.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.

I remember a number of times when tears filled my eyes in that moment. Especially after a stressful week of finals, a year of hard work, disappointments, bittersweet moments, sad moments, loss and heartbreak, blessings and achievements, that moment never fails to move me emotionally. Wow, God let me live another year. God let me celebrate another Christmas. This particular Christmas moment effectively represents my very own personal Christmas meaning: Christmas as a source of hope that recharges my soul towards another year of challenges. Christmas is a source of hope that provides the assurance that everything is gonna be OK. 

Who knew a moment that simple (compared to the glitz and glam sides of Christmas) can have so much meaning and be so emotionally moving?

I’m not gonna lie, Christmas decorations are pretty, Christmas songs are heartwarming, watching Christmas movies is always cozy, and Starbucks’ red cups are always a nice touch to the season. Being together with your loved ones is great, after all, pretty much all major holidays bring people together, right? But strip that all away, or maybe even, if you have all the Christmas accessories, food, music, movies and presents you can possibly desire, it’s that one moment of tranquility in complete silence and darkness, and then turning into light that I would always long for every December.

By the way, here’s a really nice acapella of Silent Night by Boyz II Men.

Instead of Condoms, Why Not…

So Indonesia is in the middle of a condom commotion. Just a few days ago, the National AIDS Mitigation Commission and a private condom company launched its 7th National Condom Week (Pekan Kondom Nasional) following the National AIDS day. This week was aimed to raise awareness by providing educational activities regarding HIV/AIDS prevention measures. In this source, it is said that giving away free condoms was once included in the plan. If you ask me, what stands out in this program this year is the big red bus with a huge picture of one of the nation’s notorious sex icons Julia Perez, touring around Jakarta. The bus is actually a mobile classroom filled with educational activities, remember that quote, don’t judge a book by its cover? The bus does not even distribute condoms for free. Actually if you think about it, technically speaking, an educational bus is a smart idea. It’s mobile and practical and it sounds pretty efficient. You can reach a lot of people and deliver plenty of educational material in a relatively short amount of time, not to mention doing those activities in a bus itself is an experience compared to a boring one-day activity in your campus hall.

a chart I took from a Condom Awareness Week infographic

a chart I took from a Condom Awareness Week infographic

Nevertheless, can you imagine the plethora of reactions to this program, especially after the news of the distribution of free condoms (that were neatly slipped into sex education books) in front of one of Indonesia’s prominent public universities? Even if this wasn’t an integral part of the official program, as clarified here, and happened coincidentally with the kick off of the program, things like this are likely to happen. I guess that’s the risk that comes with holding such a tricky campaign even if it has a good cause. There is a possibility that there are disagreeing parties that use sneaky tricks that force you to take the blame or just simply other parties deciding to give away condoms slipped inside of books in conjunction with this week. Ah, I don’t know. Well, the National Condom Week ended up being put to an end due to public reaction. I think that the program was not all that bad, but it is a shame that this program had a few glitches here and there that ended up being contraproductive.

So, I decided to make a list of how I would handle this event had I been the project leader.

Okay so here’s the thing. I’m jumping straight to technicalities (I’ve spent my years in college involved in event organizing so I love this kind of thing). Let’s assume we have unlimited funding and just set aside moral and religious debate here.

1. Not name it National Condom Week.

I personally think that we are not ready and open minded enough to interpret National Condom Week to something positive. Why not make it: National AIDS Prevention Week?

2. Not make a bus with a big-ass picture of a sexy-posed sex icon.

This is Indonesia, not a liberal-secular western country where the society would probably be more thankful (or at least wouldn’t mind that much) seeing a big-ass picture of a curvy sex icon touring around roads in broad daylight. Indonesians? Hahaha. No way, Jose. It’s already a well known fact of how religious and conservative our society is and how delicate anything sexual is here. In a transition from taboo and denial to awareness, a sound public acceptance should be a major concern. And would a huge photo of a typical Indonesian man’s fantasy on a bus make this transition easier? I honestly doubt so.

3. Channel that money into something more sustainable.

Sustainability is always a question with awareness events like this. How can you make sure that the impact will last for the upcoming months? I was thinking, well if the bus was intended to visit spots concentrated with young people such as hangout spots and campuses around Jakarta, well I guess the aim is young people right? Why not, let’s say, put propaganda in public restrooms in universities, malls, and night clubs? Instead of putting it in the form of boring posters you usually see at a hospital, work with young designers with fresh ideas and package it in a funky, trendy, and educational way. Or make a mobile device game and slip in some educational material in it. Well if you’re targeting high risk spots such as harbours, docks, prostitution spots, and truck stopping spots the technicalities should be tailored to the condition of the people there. Perhaps educational propaganda can be displayed in public restrooms and nearby warung shops.

Well I didn’t come up with a lot of ideas, but that’s my 2 cents. Regarding the moral and religious realm of this condom commotion, we can go on and on and honestly, I think it would take more than a condom education to initiate one’s pre-marital sex life. I mean, seriously, condoms are already quite accessible, in terms of price and distribution, noting how immensely dispersed they are in mini markets. If a teenager wants to know how to wear a condom, he/she can simply YouTube it. More emphasis should be put on educating the health risks rather than on the condom itself. The condom is just a tool. Like a quote, it’s not the gun that’ll make you shoot your target successfully, but it’s the man behind the gun. It’s a shame such a good cause had a few overlooked elements here and there that caused it to stop in its tracks. Let’s hope that in the future, programs like this will be more compatible with the nature of our society and thus enlarging its acceptance and impact.

I Know I Should Be Studying

But I decided to make this post instead: a list of things on my mind during this weird transition from student to unemployed fresh graduate. It has been 4 months already and whoa….a lot of things have happened (and a lot I shall keep for myself).

1. My friends are leaving one by one, walking on their own paths.

My college friends are now working for huge companies and earning huge paychecks at the early age of 22. I am proud of them and at the same time questioning: when is my turn?

a little farewell gift and card I made for Elsa

some lady like handkerchiefs and a card I made for Elsa

2. My friends are settling into serious relationships.

Americans might consider the age of 22 too early to consider serious relationships, but hey, it’s what’s happening in my circle of friends. Relationships are set to be potentially long-term. Time is precious and you don’t want to waste it on a relationship that is sure to burn in flames and a bloody heart break. Shit just got serious, Monica.

3. Swimming has never been this peaceful.

8 years ago swimming was a weekly routine and an activity to cool off from the heat of the scorching sun. But now it has transformed as an activity to think and clear my mind. There’s something so peaceful and contemplative about swimming.

A rooftop swimming pool at Park Hotel, Bandung

A rooftop swimming pool at Park Hotel, Bandung

4. Juggling graduate school application and job seeking is…

I don’t know what word can describe: tiring, nerve wracking, confusing, overwhelming, frightening, exciting at the same time.

Thank God I have family and friends cheering me on and a purpose that makes this scary path worth the effort and hopes I have invested.

5. Not understanding men is one thing.

Not understanding men plus not understanding yourself, what you want and what you don’t want, is a whole different story. Gain a holistic understanding of yourself first before even thinking of trying to reach out for that significant other.

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6. Uncertainty is a thing you must learn to embrace.

A few weeks ago I got this question in an interview: ‘How do you handle uncertainty?’ It stumped me. Thinking on my feet, I worked out a  not-so-great-but-not-so-bad (I think) answer that was acceptable by the interviewer. Uncertainty is like entering an unknown territory and well you just have to equip yourself the best way possible, continue to do your best, and just well…let go.

7. The art of moving on is a lot like engineering…

The challenge of doing it efficiently (minimum time spent) and effectively (maximum results both good in quality and long lasting). The speed of moving on is a function of time and distractions. The more distractions you have, the less time it will take for you to successfully move on. Capiche?

8. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Recently I stumbled a post on Tumblr that sort of sounds like this: I didn’t see you when you were around but now that you’re gone I see you everywhere. Woof. Don’t get me wrong, this does not have to be in a love context…this happens a lot (at least to me) in a friendship context. Funny how you get to know more about a person and you communicate more frequently with them with the presence of distance and time zone differences. Is it probably because we take short distance for granted and end up not making an effort to reach out to those who are close to us? I don’t know. Distance or no distance, there’s always a great feeling when you know ‘Omg, I have a new best friend!’ or ‘Wow, I have someone I can actually talk to.’

9. Giving in to Divine Intervention is key to stay sane and emotionally stable.

Taking time to pray and just talk to God as if He is my shrink (well He is in some way) is relieving.

10. It’s okay not to be okay….once in a while.

Life after graduation was not a smooth road for me (and it has only been 4 months for goodness’ sake!). There were times that I entered a dark valley of doubt and just messes that just shut down my productivity. But hey, I bounced back. I was hurt but I was not broken. Recovery probably has something to do with point 9.

11. I wish I lived closer to my gym.

I am a gym rat but it sucks when my activities leave me no time to go to the gym. The distance and time spent on the road are some variables that end up being a hinderance of me having fun and burning calories in the dance studio. I hope my future office will be close to a gym so I can stop by on my way home to do cardio or attend a Zumba class.

12. Just a thought..should I get bangs?

my current hairstyle

My current hairstyle in its natural post-shower state. No I did not go to the salon…I just washed and dried it (no blow dryer involved). I use Dove (no conditioner).

I love love love having long hair. I love how my hair touches my back when I’m wearing nothing but a towel. But I’m kind of bored of getting the same old haircut over and over again. I was thinking of getting bangs, long bangs, not short ones but my mother won’t let me. I am still on the hunt for hair thickening products..it makes me want to cry seeing my hair fall off.

13. Hold on…it’s almost December already?

Wait what? It feels like yesterday I’ve just graduated. Time surely flies.

It’s just one of those days when I am quieter than usual and I have something more important to do but I just have to let off some steam…by writing a post and finding GIFs/pictures to match my points. In terms of content, getting personal is something I brutally do on Tumblr (that’s why I keep it secret), but somehow I wanted my WordPress to contain some bits of my personal side once in a while. Whatever. Toodles.