When the last of the raindrops smothered the wailing earth that day, she thought everything had been lost. No, not in a bad way. In fact, she was content. There was no better day to celebrate—yes, she decided to celebrate it rather than grieving over it—her loss than today. After all, she had come all this way and lost too many things to even count with her mind.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of being a valedictorian. You know; standing in front of people, delivering a speech that will hopefully change the world—or simply waste a few minutes of people’s lives.
The very foundation of using your own words and voice to instill a drop of water in the bucket we call “our generation” is a peculiarly foreign thing to me, and thus, fascinating.
Unfortunately, even though I believe I have the passion to deliver these words, I did not have the qualifications to do so in my graduation ceremony. That day, I sat in the middle row of the great hall with shame and listened halfheartedly to the valedictorian’s speech.
I must say, the speech itself felt so fabricated with all those subliminal advertisements of our university it even made me sick. But the person who spoke in front of us seemed like your typical good kid. I even wondered seriously whether this person we call the valedictorian actually enjoyed his campus life.
Judging that he had less fun experience during university just because he was smarter than everyone else was, of course, not a fair thing to do. But as I sat there and pondered about all these explosive train of thoughts, I began to truly wonder whether this person, this valedictorian, at the very least, really wanted to deliver the speech. Continue reading
Maka berkatalah bulan
kepada bintang yang berpulang;
merajut serabut malam
di langit yang kelam: Continue reading
Once, after receiving my very first job offer letter, I went to the nearest Starbucks, bought a venti-sized beverage, and contemplated for hours whether I should take the job or not.
I remember the interview went quite well. The CEO especially showed a great interest in recruiting me as soon as possible. I recall trying to tell him that I hadn’t even received a confirmation letter from the university to state that I have graduated, but he insisted for me to give him a prompt response for the offer he made.
I should have been thrilled to get the job. I mean, the company might be new, but the team looked solid and friendly. The industry sounded promising. The office location was reachable by Transjakarta. The company was funded by one of the biggest conglomerates in Indonesia—basically, there was no apparent reason for me to refuse at the time.
And yet, it took me hours before I made up my mind and took the job, simply because I was afraid I would be making the wrong decision. Continue reading
I used to work in a startup company.
It wasn’t a big company per se, but we did have a big dream. It is no secret that in this modern era, founding and nurturing a startup company that will eventually go boom in the market is like a proverbial rat race everyone should participate in. It was almost like the norm, even.
I still remember the day when I first set my foot inside the office, back in March 2014. I was still a total newbie and wet behind the ears. The office only occupied one medium-sized room inside a two stories office building in the heart of Jakarta. Having previously interned in a more “prestigious” office that perches on the 28th floor of a rather modern skyscraper, I had clearly thought that this company was a total joke.
It had been awhile since I broke up with my ex.
The thing is, we never actually separated on a sour note. Sure, there were some things that didn’t click between us, and we ended up having more differences than we could reconcile. But when we decided to break up and go on with our separate lives, we never actually hated each other.
I still remember the day when we broke up, clear as day. He was sitting right in front of me, in a dimly lit bar in Central Jakarta. He was fidgeting, I recall, and didn’t even have a sip of his beer—or even talk. Realizing that there were something he wanted to say, I decided to stay put and observe the waft of smoke from one of the nearby guests like it was the most interesting thing ever.
“So tell me, are you travelling solo?”
Inside a cheap, red-painted walls of a traveller’s hostel in Osaka, this man, who was most likely in his mid 30s, asked me once.
It didn’t take me long to answer that.
“No,” I replied. “Not yet, at least. But I will be in a few days.”
I often wonder how does it feel like to become a wind turbine. There is just something about its constant movement and spin that fascinates me. And I didn’t mean those power generating wind turbines. Even the run-of-the-mill electric fans people place in their houses in place of more modern aircons, they all give off the same effect.
Whenever I see one of those electric fans, I don’t just stand in front of it, gaping my mouth while trying to sound robotic. Well, I did, but it was in the distant past, when I couldn’t quite distinguish the difference between sugar and salt crystals. Now, I actually see the philosophy of those moving turbines in a different perspective.
Don’t you wonder why those turbines always spin, but they never actually move?
They spin fervently because it is the only thing it can do best, but they never actually get anywhere. And to be perfectly honest, it is just the way it is.
You don’t expect the turbines to actually move when they spin. Otherwise they won’t produce wind in one constant position, and the electric fan would lose its function. This isn’t the best illustration to describe it, but in a way, it is the same with how people are.
You might feel like everything around you is moving so fast that you just have to catch up with them. You might think that the only thing that can help you from feeling so restless is if you move your body, your mind, and your soul in the same direction as everyone else. But is it really the case, now?
What if everyone else is just like the spinning turbines? You can see them spinning, but they don’t actually move away. What if we never truly move away from anything? Perhaps that’s how we have been living our lives; spinning and spinning like a spinning top, and gaining the equilibrium in the process?
Please give it a thought the next time you see one of those cheap electric fans. There is really more to it than how the majority of people see it.