#10yearschallenge

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(Source: Canva)

“Ten years challenge” shouldn’t had been just looking for your physical transformation, but also your personality improvement. While people mostly compare their change of their bodies, faces, or maybe status, I try to look for another perspective that should have been observed. Then I question myself “What had I been improving during the last 10 years?”

On January 2009, I guess I was in the last semester of grade X. At the time, I remember myself as someone sensitive, incapable to control my temprament, quiet person (well, I guess), close minded, and… what else? I don’t really remember it clearly because, hey, it was ten years ago.

Regarding to the main topic, I think I didn’t change that much. I’m still sensitive, but at least I can control my feeling (a little) this time. If you see me as a ten years ago of myself, you wouldn’t meet this calmer Metta. It wasn’t my intention to change and it just happened naturally. I think living in Jogja had helped me a lot to overcome that problem. It was a peacefully living and I meet a lot of people who had bunch of patience. Besides, they were really nice. I can say that their way of living affected me very much and it became a habit for me.

Likewise, I’m still a quiet person. I won’t talk if there is no important matter to talk about. Since this trait is my nature, I don’t think I can change it. However, I’m proud to say that I’m not close minded, which like I was used to, anymore.

Living in various places let me to broaden my perspective. That’s why I love traveling and moving around. When I live in a particular place I would try to live just the way the locals do. I would travel with local transportation or just walk, I would try their traditional meals, have a little conversation with the locals and just enjoy the moment. Living in many places leads me to know many people. During the interaction, I learnt about their personality, culture, and habit. And getting to know a lot of people have improved my tolerance. They let me see something I’ve never seen before.

In the previous post, I told you that I had an unpleasant childhood. It caused me to get a bad impression towards wealth and rich people, up until now if I may be honest. Even so, leaving my hometown had guided me to gradually alter my impression and point of view. It’s true that there were still some persons who had money and haughty, but there were lots of people who showed the opposite.

On the other hand, when I moved to Jogja, I’ve gotten another lesson that “something, sometimes, is not what it seems.” I used to be fed some bad opinion about some kind of people, but I pushed away those opinion after I experience social interaction during my stay in Jogja. I have even been friends with them and since then I always see the good side of a person until s(he) proves me wrong about her/himself.

I think that’s all I’ve learnt during the past 10 years, but, of course, I made it from comparing my life in 2009 and 2019. If the question chose another timeline, perhaps I would have a different answer.

So, in my conclusion, nothing much changed in me. I still have the same characters as the 15 years old Metta had. Neverthless, I did learn some lesson during the period. I learnt to control my emotion and it’s quite successful. In addition, I learnt “Ehipassiko” value, which means “come and see, you’ll know,” and to not think negatively about other people.

Well, since I still own some of my old traits, does it mean that I failed the challenge?

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Realistic perspective of “soulmate”

This morning I heard a program in a podcast, which invited Adjie Susantoputro as the speaker. In the podcast, both moderator and the speaker talked about Adjie’s newest book called “Merawat Bahagia.” I generally got a point of this book, which discuss Adjie’s thoughts about happiness. The thing that got my interest was the chapter that talks about love. There was a quote that made me wonder about the one who exactly will be my partner in the future. It is said:

Jodoh itu masih dipahami sebagai orang yang bikin kita bahagia, kita seneng, kita gembira. Malah mungkin sebaliknya.

Soulmate is reflected for someone who makes us happy, but maybe [in reality] it would oppose [the thought].

Jodoh itu salah satu tugas utamanya adalah membikin kita patah hati. Jodoh itu salah satu tugas utamanya adalah mengganjal keinginan kita. Karena hanya seperti itu kita mulai menengok ke dalam diri sendiri. Jadi, orang yang paling kamu cintai adalah orang yang paling akan menyakitimu.

The main role of soulmate is to make your heart broken. The main task is to oppose your dreams, because it’s the only way for you to instrospect. So, the one you love the most is actually the one who hurt you the most.

Soulmate is not someone perfect and is not someone who will always makes you happy. It’s a fairytale dream. S(he) might hurt you, but s(he) also let you become stronger at the same time, and you grow together.

I won’t deny that I hurt some people and, at the same time, they hurt me, too, whether they realized it or didn’t. Although I’ve never been in relationship, I have expereinced the moment that would be similar of having such a special association with some men. I know the feeling of having a strong affection towards someone (I don’t dare to say “love” because it’s such a strong word), I know the feeling of jealousy, and I know how painful it is to let them go.

Once, I was told that I need to taste love in order to get familiar with the pain of your heart broken. And how idiot I would be, which would let me to have a desire to end myself, when my relationship is over. To be honest, I’ve been there and no one knew. If this is kind of the pain the quotes refer, then would my soulmate be the one who hurt me the most in the past? Or would he be someone new who will certainly give me the worst pain?

 

Nggak Usah Jaim Deh – Valeria Verawati

2019-01-13 15.57.00

312 pages
Published: 2005
Publisher: Pt. Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Genre: Teenlit, fiction
Language: Indonesian

Synopsis:

Setiap hari dilalui Rhea dengan wajah manyun.Gimana nggak manyun, coba?
Berangkat dan pulang sekolah bareng Papa. Nilai-nilainya dipantau Papa.
Tingkahnya di sekolah pun diawasi Papa. Soalnya papa Rhea kepala sekolah.
Boro-boro bisa pacaran, cabut ke mal aja nggak bisa?

Makanya, sewaktu Felix ngajak nonton, Rhea bukan main senangnya. First date, bo! Tapi Papa melarang Rhea pacaran sama Felix. Papa malah meminta Nico—teman kakak Rhea—untuk mengajari Rhea. Soalnya nilai-nilai Rhea makin jeblok.
Nico emang pinter sih, dan lumayan keren. Tapi kalo jaimnya selangit, gimana Rhea bisa diajarin sama cowok itu?

My thoughts:

Do you know, this is the very first book I read when I decided to start read a novel back in early 2000s? I had been used to read comics in my childhood, such as Doraemon, Uncle Scrooge (Paman Gober), another Japanese manga, etc. There were some reason why I prefer reading comics than full texted books. Firstly, I loved the images. When I was reading comic I got the the illustration of the plot, characters, backgrounds and another supporting visuals. Secondly, I prefered comics because they were easily understood and, at that moment, I didn’t like reading. So, the images could be a distraction when I felt a little bit tired of reading the texts. I could just see the illustrations then I understand what the author was trying to say.

Then, when I was in junior high school I tried to challenge myself to read a book. At that time, I have a thought that people who read are cool and I want to be one of them. There, I chose this book as a starter. Well, let’s start our discussion.

“Nggak Usah Jaim Deh” (I feel a little bit uncomfortable while I mention this because the tille sounds creepily old and cheesy at the same time to me) tells about Rhea Athena’s life in her first year of high school. The book describes she lived in a happy family, but the matter was her father was very strict it made her life boring. She couldn’t do anything as she wished because her father always watched her. Actually, it was also applied to her older sister. However, since her sister had grown up and was studying in university, her father had let Reva, the sister, take care of herself. Regarding to the conflicts, there were two majors problems here and, due to its genre in teen literature, they were match to send some morale messages to teenagers.

The first was, it let us reflect our attitude towards our parents. As teenagers, we definitely have a desire to explore the world. We want to try the things that trigger our curiosity, we want to know the things we don’t familiar with, and as the ones who are in the stage of in between, we have developed our own mindset. Unfortunately, we still need a guidance. So. we might find that our thoughts totally oppose our parents opinion, but in the end whatever our parents did was for our good.

The second, it let us to be familiar with the love life among teenagers. It was visualized by Rhea’s attraction towards Felix and it was stronger when she started to like Nico. This book showed us the feeling of being in love at the very first time, jealousy, and betrayal. Yeah, sadly, betrayal indeed happened in school even in a real life.

Lastly, I want to tell you the best part of this novel. When you are going to finish, there is a moment when Nico’s father celebrating his birthday. I really love this part because at the time both NIco and Rhea truly showed their affection and it was sweet even for me, who read this again more than 10 years later.

If you ask me whether I would recommend this book, I don’t think I could answer that. I have a personal reason on why I keep adoring this book, but from my perspective of the current teenagers taste, I’m not sure this would match their preference.

Sandra – Agnes Jessica

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382 pages
Publisher: Vania Books
Published: not stated (but firsly published in 2005, according to Goodreads)
Genre: Romance, adult, fiction
Language: Indonesian

Synopsis:

Dari Yogyakarta,Sandra datang ke Jakarta untuk menemukan pembunuh Diana Denita,kakaknya. Ia memulai penyelidikannya dengan terjun langsung ke dunia model yang ia geluti kakaknya semasa hidup,untuk itu ia mengikuti sebuah kontes kecantikan yang diadakan perusahaan tempat kakaknya bekerja. Melalui buku harian diana ia mencurigai pembunuh sang kakak adalah darma yang tak lain adalah kekasih kakaknya. Ketika akhirnya ia menemukan pria itu,ternyata pria itu menaruh hati kepadanya.

Haruskah Sandra memanfaatkan situasi itu untuk menyelidiki Darma? Namun mengapa hatinya juga terpaut pada pria yang diyakininya sebagai pembunuh kakaknya itu? Di bawah temaram Jakarta ia menemukan fakta-fakta yang mengantarnya menemukan sang pembunuh. Tapi…mestikah perasaanya sendiri dikorbankan kali ini?

My thoughts:

This is one of the old books I have. I firstly read Sandra when I was in junior high school, perhaps. I don’t remember it clearly. I pick this book because I don’t think people knew about “Sandra” and I want to share a little information about it.

The story is started where Diana, the main character’s sister, was under stress because she found herself pregnant and her boyfriend looked suspicious in avoiding his responsibility. Then, after several moments of their argument, Diana was found dead. This incident initiate a chaos in Sandra’s family. It is said that after hearing a news of Diana’s death, her father got stroke and it took his life. Meanwhile, her mother went crazy because she’s lost two of her beloved and then soon, she’s gone, too, and leaving Sandra alone. Her life began when she left Yogyakarta for Jakarta with a purpose to find Diana’s murderer.  Then in jakarta, she met many people that soon will be (for me) the main characters, too, in this book because they have their own personal history. Furthermore, each stories of the characters is written with the details of their problems and background, as well as their final fate in this book.

As a younger version of myself, “Sandra” was very fascinating. However, an older version of myself have an opposite opinion about this book. Let me start transforming as a 13 or 14 years old girl who read this. When I read “Sandra” for the first time, I instantly fell in love with it. There were some reasons why I like this book. Firstly, I had gotten a fresh story idea, which there were some aspects that had been included by the author, such as crime, conflicts in adults relationship, a perspective of celebrity life, and so on.  As a teeneger who was used to read teenlit novels, “Sandra” brought a new taste of romance literature. Secondly, I knew Agnes Jessica’s another books and they were nice, too. So, perhaps the first good impression also created a good impression on “Sandra” too.

In contrast, an older me thinks that this book is good, but it has too much information. I have mentioned that “Sandra” has a lot of main characters, while generally there will be 1 or 2 main characters in a story. I see that “Sandra” has Sandra herself, Ryan, Darma, Friska, even Sandra’s friends Hanna and Evita. Then, Agnes wrote his/her personal story of each of them. For me, personally, it has to many conflicts, but at the same time I think it also reflects reality where people around us have histories and they live with their own problems. And sometimes we can’t see it. In addition, I think for some scenes, the way Agnes presents this story is quite plain. Maybe it’s due to my experience of reading some books with different writing techniques.

Finally, I would say that “Sandra” woul be good enough for you who want to take a look on literature reference of early 2000. It might not my cup of tea now, but who knows you like it. By the way, I have noticed one inspiring quote from “Sandra”:

“Maka dari itu jangan banyak berpikir. Bukan hanya kau yang takut, semua orang sama. Aku, walau tak pernah diungkapkan, juga punya rasa takut. Tapi bagaimana kita meyikapinya saja.”

National Library of Indonesia

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Credit: @hartohu

 

The first time I visited National LIbrary in Jakarta was around a month ago, when I was attending Bookish Indonesia workshop. When you are entering the first lobby of this library, you will be greeted by the miniature of a ship, called Perahu Aksara. Other than this object, you will be also presented a brief history of anything related to books and literature, such as the history of aksara (character) in Indonesia and its variation, various types of paper, etc. Ultimately, there was a mini museum in this building.

If you go further, you will meet the new building and you will be greeted by a big and tall bookshelf where many classic books stand. To be honest, I was enchanted by its view. it made my jaw dropped. Other that this view, there are many facilities in this building, for illustrations, canteen, community room, discussion spots, audio visual, etc. Overall, the facility in National Library seem very nice like you can find anything you are looking for, but for me personally, it does not meet my expectation. As the biggest library in Indonesia, I thought I would find a large amount of books here with a great number of genres. However, I only found mostly documentary related books. Maybe the other books were in the floors I didn’t visit.

On the other hand, I am not fond of the access that connected each floor of this building. Unless using the emergency stairs, we can only move from one floor to another by lift. I personally don’t like using lift because it makes me dizzy. So, I used emergency stairs to go to another floor. The problem is, I felt like a thief while using it like I was ‘playing’ hide and seek with police officer. I think it would be really nice if they also provide escalator or common stairs just like in the first four floors.

Despite of the weakness of its facilities, I would say that this library is worth to be visited. Perhaps, due to its new opening the facility is still under improvement. If you want to go there, you don’t need to worry about getting lost. The library is just across South gate of Monument Nasional, Jakarta.

Resign – Almira Bastari [Wattpad]

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288 pages
Published: January 2018
Publisher: Gramedia (originally from Wattpad)
Genre: Young adult, romace comedy
Language: Indonesian

Synopsis:

Kompetisi sengit terjadi di sebuah kantor konsultan di Jakarta. Pesertanya adalah para cungpret, alias kacung kampret. Yang mereka incar bukanlah penghargaan pegawai terbaik, jabatan tertinggi, atau bonus terbesar, melainkan memenangkan taruhan untuk segera resign!

Cungpret #1: Alranita
Pegawai termuda yang tertekan akibat perlakuan sang bos yang semena-mena.

Cungpret #2: Carlo
Pegawai yang baru menikah dan ingin mencari pekerjaan dengan gaji lebih tinggi.

Cungpret #3: Karenina
Pegawai senior yang selalu dianggap tidak becus tapi terus-menerus dijejali proyek baru.

Cungpret #4: Andre
Pegawai senior kesayangan si bos yang berniat resign demi dapat menikmati kehidupan keluarga yang lebih normal dan seimbang.

Sang Bos: Tigran
Pemimpin genius, misterius, dan arogan, tapi sukses dipercaya untuk memimpin timnya sendiri pada usianya yang masih cukup muda.

Resign sebenarnya tidak sulit dilakukan. Namun kalau kamu memiliki bos yang punya radar sangat kuat seperti Tigran, semua usahamu pasti akan terbaca olehnya. Pertanyaannya, siapakah yang akan menang?

My thoughts:

I am rarely enchanted by the story in Wattpad although I’ve read hundreds of them. I must admit that the stories there were interesting and somehow fresh if you coincidentally found a good and unique one. As an example, an Indonesian written story called Resign by Amira Bastari.

Just like its title, this story tells us about an effort of some employees to get out of their current job. The reason is simple, because they were mad of their boss, who was perfectionist and blunt. Neither of them was successful of attending an interview of their prospect job due to the boss’ intervention. However, those moments make this story really great because they were amusing.

Yes, the most entertaining about this book was its humour. Beside the moment I’ve just mentioned above, you will find some other funny moments in the characters’ interaction, gossips, and in the main characters’ romance, too. In addition, at the very first page of each new chapter you will be given such a funny yet (sometimes) sarcastic quotes.

What I like about this story was this is very suitable for young adults who are currently working. It will help you reduce your stress level and for me, personally, it gave me another glance of working environment in a company and I kind of wished that I would meet Carlo, Rara, Andre, Karen, even Tigran in real life. I love their relationship/friendship in the office even though they seem offended each other. On the other hand, I was also fond of the way the author wrote this story. It was easily understood, so if you want to have a “light reading” after a long and shitty days, this could be a choice.

 

 

Cinderella and The Boss – Despersa [Wattpad]

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Writer: @Despersa
Genre: Young adult, romance comedy
Language: Indonesian

Synopsis:

Anzela Cinderella Putri

Menurut dongeng, meski awalnya apes, Cinderella akan mendapatkan keberuntungan dan kebahagiaannya bersama pangeran tampan nan baik. Tapi boro-boro beruntung, yang ada malah buntung! Entah kebetulan atau takdir, bukan pangeran yang dia temui, tapi sosok lelaki yang galak. Untung cakep, jadi Zela bisa legowo.

Revano Altadi Mahendra

Menurut dongeng, Cinderella itu orangnya cantik, kalem dan berbudi luhur. Cantik? Iya sih. Tapi boro-boro kalem dan berbudi luhur, makan aja sebakul, mana genit pula, dikit-dikit mepet, dikit-dikit senggol. Kalau Revano khilaf gimana? Bunting anak orang!

Perhatian: Membaca ini dapat menyebabkan perut sakit, guling-guling ga jelas, mata berair, baper berlebihan, cengengesan tiba-tiba, dan seluruh kemungkinan yang dapat terjadi akibat terlalu sering tertawa.

My Thoughts:

Here is another story from wattpad. It’s been in my wattpad library for quite a long time, but I’ve just started reading this last night because of curiosity. Despite of the title, this story is written in Indonesian.

Cinderella and The Boss tells us a story of a woman named Azela, who was a primadonna in her office. Just like her beautiful name, she was surely had a good look it made all the male individuals fall on their knees. She looked calm, but could be aggressive when she likes a man. There stood Revano who irritated by her aggressive behavior and silly actions. Zela herself didn’t only have to fight Revano’s cold trait to get him, but also her rivals who also had interest in him, and of course, her obsessive admirer, Erik.

The taste of this story is almost similar to Resign, which funny is its weapon. However, unlike Resign, the amusement was very outstanding in the main characters’ self narration. Another thing that should be appreciated in this story is the author presented us the strengths and the weaknesses of the characters instead of the very perfect ones. They are showed through the characters’ interactions and their inner conflicts.

This story is still on going, so I don’t know the ending yet.

Girls in The Dark – Akiyoshi Rikako

2018-11-25 09.10.50283 pages
Published: December 2015. Originally in June 2013 (Japanese ed.)
Publisher: Penerbit Haru (Indonesian)
Genre: Mystery, young adult
Language: Indonesian

Synopsis:

In this Rashomon-style mystery story, each member of a high-school literature club presents her own version of the death of the group’s leader.

At a prestigious girl’s school, a student has died. Itsumi was the most beautiful, charismatic, and popular girl at St. Mary’s Academy for Girls. She was also the president of the exclusive and tight-knit Literature Club. One week after her death, the members of her beloved club gather in her memory. But as they each testify to what happened in the days leading up to the tragic event, their accusations turn shocking—

Why, and how, did Itsumi really die?

In this glittering and gripping murder mystery, everyone has their own motivations and version of the truth. In its portrayal of the alliances, treacheries, and invisible tensions between friends and frenemies, The Dark Maidens keeps readers guessing and shows that what is sweet can just as easily be poisonous. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

My friend, Yudith, was the first person who told me about this book. She said she really wanted to read this because the story was interesting since it tells about a mystery of murder. Fast forward, years later, when I visited her home I borrowed this book from her. While I read the synopsis, it was indeed interesting because I love make an analysis of mystery case while I am reading (as well as watching) a story.

In order to reveal the murder of Itsumi, the author let us wandering through the short story of six students. They contains each students point of views of the people they interacted with, their impressions of each of the bookclub members, personal asumptions of the cause of Itsumi’s death as well as the murder. The things I like about this book is the author let me asuming who do tell lies, deciding whether their statements were true, and it let me sharpening my intutition (yeah, you read it right). I knew have made a right analysis when I was reaching the end of the story. I saw there was one scene that acted as a key of the answer of the mystery.

Unfortunaley, there was a thing I wasn’t fond of this book. I kind of dislike the narrative. For me it was too… i don’t know how to describe it. It’s like that you are communicating with a fake person who is acting nice and you know it, but you have to face her. Perhaps, I was too engulfed with the characters’ fake personalities, too.

Despite of the negative impression, overall, this book is good enough for the ones who adore mystery, especially the ones who love Japanese based story. Lastly, what I’ve got while I was reading this book was we should keep in mind that everything is not what it seems. Well, maybe some of them are, but not each of them.

Long time no see

Hi, it’s been a reaaallyy long time not to see me posting anything in my blog, right? I would like to apologize because many things came and gone, especially I was facing my life crisis, which forcing me to think a lot and it made me lost in the middle of uncertainty.

My mind was diverted into many directions because I was looking for something I really want to live with. I surely have a dream of many things, such as working in multinational company, living abroad, having an important position in my work place, and so on. And these thoughts had driven me to such a complicated self instropection it made my mind literally numb and confused.

Strangely, I’m interested to many things. Right now I’m really into financial and investment management as well as business development strategy, which are the subject I avoided beforehand. They made me want to explore them because it would be a medium to transfer my passion (I guess) to analyze things. On the other hand, I can’t leave my relationship with literature. Reading is my routine and writing is my way to express myself.

So, I decided to live my blog up again. I will start to write books reviews again here, but I also plan to use instagram to put the mini reviews. Maybe it would be like a teaser and I will put the details here.

And as a wrap, I want to thank you for visiting my blog during my vacuum period. I wish I could give what’s best for me, and for you.

The best people of 2017

I’ve never thought of making this post, but my recent activity of making some posts of my 2017 moment made me. So, I spontaneously thought about my best partners, friends, guru, or whatever you might say, of my journey this year.

 

People say that, you can see the true personality of someone while in the lowest level of your life. You can see whether their faces they made was only their mask or not. Your true friends and family will do something, whether they give you advice, motivate you, or even do the most trivial thing – giving you company to release your stress. They will do anything to make you be and feel better.

I’m better, for now. So, thank you although sometimes I acted so childish, foolish, and even selfish, you still willing to be beside me (I don’t know if they have a specific reason behind it).