Reflection Time Day 1

Image from Pinterest.

Hi, it’s a cold evening, just like usual. Nothing special but… empty feelings — since yesterday.

Been asking so many things… about life.

It’s too long since the first time I decided to stand by myself without knowing other's life’s updates. Pretend to not care about friends and colleagues by removing every single person I know from social media. Tried to delete every good/bad memory and compressed the size to zero, and hid it in the unknown folder. But still… I could find it. Sucks.

I was looking deeply at the road. Thinking about how others could live their lives. Buses I saw on the road have their track, their destiny. Private cars, motorcycles, bikes, they’re moving fastly to get home early. Traffic is not the reason to stay longer in the places they’re standing.

They wish home.

Their purpose is to go back home.

And I cried a little. And… questioning why. about. everything.

First, about my dream.

***

Since I realized that I am so much in love with many things. It’s quite hard for me to define what I really want to do… for living.

Let’s mention them.

(1)

When I was in elementary school, I do love writing. So. Much. I learned how to write from the movie: “Buku Harian Nayla”. I learned how to make a script… like…

Kinda. Hhh reminiscing the goldie old days… on how I started writing feels like.. amazing yet depressing.

Since then, I wrote a diary every day and made the new stories of life… mostly teenager’s love tragedies — based on my true stories, of course, but sometimes just my imagination.

I dreamt to be a writer, then. I will make novels, biography of myself, or any kind of book, and it would appear on Gramedia with the tag “best seller” on the shelves.

I wrote many things. Novels (Mostly) and poems. As I became older, I got a new interest: Psychology and Adult life (gender, sexuality, marriage, etc), I even did research on those “sensitive” topics and made an opinion about it.

I kept writing..

Until..

The day I felt disappointed.

My thoughts keep telling me that no one loves my pieces of word. No one likes what I’ve created. No one appreciates me by saying how amazing my words were. Because I have no skills in writing. Because it’s… just a word without meaning. Because I’m bad at it.

I don’t have confidence anymore.

It was when I sent my two/three lines wording (I couldn’t even remember) to one of Line app's official account wishing they would repost it and everybody would see it.

I sent about three different simple lines of words, and none of them appeared in their account.

And I saw my friend’s name on their account. They reposted her words. It became viral until today. It was her masterpiece.

How words could change a person. And yet it doesn’t work for me. Still.

I stop. I started again. Stop, and started again.

(2)

I’m not really sure whether I read or I write first…

We knew words first before we were able to read them right? And to know word by word, we need to write it down. Isn’t it correct?

Reading and writing..

Both fill me in the same way. Together they’ve completed me.

While I could finish my new book within two days, I could do it while I write also. I felt the energy boost my spirit to write moreover and faster after I read a book.

I spent my entire day reading and making notes, imagining the words coming out of my mind, and correcting word by word so it will looks good and pretty.

I learned many vocabularies in sentences I read and put them into new possible sentences. Mostly it’s relate, sometimes… just words.

Books always makes me feel different. I imagine episodes by episodes, watching it like movies… just from words.

Sometimes it makes me blush, laugh, cry, and so many emotions. How words could affect our feelings.

I remember when I was little, every weekend my dad always took the family to a mall, and my favorite place is: the bookstore — Gramedia.

I loved to read folklore in the kid’s story spot. I read there, looked at the illustration, and took a new one to bring it home.

When I get older, I’d love to read comics and teenage novels. I will ask my dad to buy me one or two every time we went to the mall, and he will always say yes.

My dad is also a regular client of newspapers and magazines company. Every week, at least, I will get three new reading materials. I would collect it, arrange it, and I often made a scrapbook by combine the materials.

How lovely….

There’s a magazine I’d love so much to read: Kartini. What I read there was mostly about the zodiac part and short story ‘based on a real story (18+)’.

They often share merch, extra papers, and special editions also.

There was two special editions I’d love so much: fashion and Ramadhan edition. Those special editions contains so many pictures and recipe of tasty food.

From there I learned to copy the design of the clothes. I drew it on a simple note. Put small color on it. Cut it and applied it to my paper doll. It was so cool, actually.

I made some barbie clothes also. From my old clothes. I learned how to stitch from my mom. At that time, she attended a sewing course in the town. She bought so many materials: a sewing machine, needles, yarns, anything. Then I took it and do my own barbie clothes manually.

From reading, I could have a new hobby, a new thing to do. I tried and learned so many things through a book.

My happiness related to books wasn’t staying for so long. In 2007 my family and I moved to the new town. A small town — yes, village. I couldn’t find any malls, I couldn’t find any Gramedia — my favorite place.

And the bad things happened: my mom threw every book I had. Without my permission. She didn’t bring any of my books behind.

She just bring two of her magazines (Kartini), which I loved so much. And a little not so likable books of mine (re: textbook).

I wasn’t prepared for anything. I didn’t even plan to bring my stuffs — they never asked me if I want to bring any of my stuffs.

In specific: they never tell me why we moved, so I couldn’t accept everything.

I denied.

I was in pain.

Since I do like collect books, I felt disappointed and mad at them. Even till today, perhaps. Sometimes.

Not only about books. But friends… live…

I leave every dream I had there, and.. became a new person.

I didn’t like to study — like before, I didn’t want to read and write anymore. I didn’t make friends, didn’t hang out… I was busy crying all day.

I was in pain.

About a year nearly two years after, I found myself back 40%, because of what I had found in my school’s library.

Yes! I found many books!

The first book I read there, if I’m not mistaken, it was a novel by Asma Nadia, with the title: “Istana Kedua”. I was about 13 or 14 and I read it guys.

And I had found my other favorite genre ever: metro pop novels, by Agnes Jessica. I read about 5 or more novels by her. And I also found my favorite fantasy novel ever: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

Since then I read novels again and found a little of my soul back.

I went to a small bookstore near traditional market in the village, and bought books and scraps materials. Yes, I do love scraping also.

The next year after— in the last two semesters in junior high school when I met some friends, showed myself off, and made a group with them, they’re completed me 100% as a teenager.

We had things in common. We shared things together. Mostly we just go outside to feel a spark of nature. We went to each other's houses by turns. I think we did it like… every day. We are just… being happy together.

Then the day had come…

When I entered senior high school.

My SHS has a bigger library. You’ll find many books there, and of course… I found my favorite space: novel’s corner.

From there I knew NH Dini, Ika Natassa, Andrea Hirata, Dee Lestari, Orizuka, Christian Simamora, and many more.

Yes! I will be collecting books again!

And yes, I did.

(3)

My dad is a singer. In his own ballroom — a.k.a bathroom. He loves to sing. Old songs. I knew some of them.

“Jarum-jarum setan bissa mencabut nyawwaaa! Billa kau tak berhenti memakainyaa…”

If you’re singing now, means… you know what I mean.

I remember when he got a new smartphone — his first smartphone, he requested me to download so many songs — years later I introduced him to Spotify.

He made a list with the song’s title and the singers. How cute my dad was.

He showed me the list when I came back home on holiday, cause I only get back home two times a year.

He loves it. He plays the songs every day. With maximum volume. Mom, brother, and I were mad at him, and he just laughed with glory in his hand.

This is funny.

I’d love to sing also. It’s so similar. We do love to sing. And also…

We don’t know how to sing. We just singing. Basically.

I know karaoke since I was so small. My mom and dad have a radio which they like to put cassette on it and.. sing along. I grew up with their songs.

As time goes by, They’ve upgraded the stuff, bought a new DVD player, speaker… and bought.. I don’t know how many microphones they’ve broken.

They made their concert at night.

I made my own concert also, as the one and only singer… in my room.

I played instrumental music on Youtube, and I’ll sing like a pro, with messy technique.

I never really learn how to sing. When I was in the area, with my friends and I was singing, I’d like to exaggerate the way I sing. They will laugh and made a joke about it.

I follow them and laughed to myself. Inside, I felt damn poor of skills.

I entered choir when I was in college and still I can’t sing. I didn’t know the reasons why I entered it. My friend told me to follow her to their booth and register to be a member. I told their member then if I couldn’t sing, and they said, “It’s OK we’ll learn together here.”

Ok, then.

Months later, when we were practicing for our first concert (as a new batch), I finally knew the real meaning of “learning together”.

That’s not what I imagined at first — it’s harder than I thought, but I had fun. Sometimes, a little. You know the feeling when you’re in a group but you’re not really in a group because… you had no skill on what the group did so much. Yes. Singing.

Then…

When we’re sit in a group and had a test for the annual concert… There was so much pressure, and I couldn’t pass the test.

At the hearing session, I really want to forget it. Hhh… It's shameful when people laughed at you like you’re a fool.

Yeah… the test is open for everyone there. I made an ass of myself.

Our coach will play random not on the piano and we will replay the not.. with soul and mouth, correctly.

Friends of mine in the same group (which made me there) got about 6–8 notes easily, while I only get 3 repeated notes and people laughed at me — even the coach.

Yikes.

I cried. I called my dad when I arrived my boarding house, telling him what just happened to me. I felt so small, I felt bad.

I felt so close to my dad at the time. I said clearly that “I want to have vocal lessons”. I want to be a singer. If I could’t be fit in Choir, then I will do it my self. I will make my own songs, and perform it in front of thousand people… like “Raisa”.

Day after, I went to Bandung to enter my first class, alone, by myself. I was so nervous. And I passed my first day gratefully because I could get my spirit back.

But…

I only entered 2 from 8 schedules caused of my college activities — which are more important for my study. And I decided to not come to Choir activities anymore.

Years after… like today, I regret it.

The day I went home, Jakarta-Bekasi.

May 27th, 2022.

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