Sunday, November 12, 2017

Going 30: Reorganize & Start Living

So I turn 30.

Today I kiss goodbye to my twenties and embracing a new chapter of my life.

For the past 5 years I’ve been working as a Customer Relation in one of the branches of a leading automotive company in Surabaya. I graduated from university back in 2012 as a Bachelor of Communication, in which I took a mass media major. I worked briefly as a copywriter and research assistant in a branding & design agency before I got accepted in the company.

At first glance, I thought being a Customer Relation was a meager front liner non-managerial occupation. A no-brainer: I had to wear a designated uniform every day, greeting and smiling to the customers while also accepting their complaint reports & inquiries. I was going to be stationed in a new branch, during which it was still under a construction plan. I spent my first year in the company as a fill-in in 4 branches because the Customer Relations in those branches were simultaneously taking a maternal leave. I made new friends & learned about the job during the fill-in period.

Indeed, it is half front liner duty but also half managerial job. My primary roles are to ensure that customers are given services according to the standard operating procedure thru the employees and branch facilities, to maintain a good relationship with our customers, following thru complaint reports and inquiries, and giving insights/trends from the customers’ perspective. The end result will be satisfied customers giving advocates for the company.

My other roles are varied from creating marketing communication tools for my branch, managing my branch’s social media, to arranging schedules, meetings and sometimes itineraries for my branch manager. Also what I do is organizing events, be it regular customer’s events in our branch, as well as monthly gathering event for our company in Surabaya area (There are 9 branches in Surabaya).

What I thought was a meager front liner non-managerial occupation turned out the other way around. At a certain scale, my current position comprises the things I love doing: people, event management, and throwing a little touch of creativity here and there.

And yes, being a part of a big corporation is a hard work. It takes a lot of thinking, time, and off course energy since we work in a tight six-day working schedule (Yes, I work on weekends too). It is no strange that we used to go home late, physically burned out due to lack of exercise and rest. I personally have been hospitalized three times. ;)

But don’t get me wrong, there is also much to love about it.

The people are nice, very intelligent and are willing to teach, guide and share their knowledge to the younger and less experienced colleagues. The relationship among the employees—be it horizontally or vertically—are nice too albeit all the competitions.

When I started working here, the primary thing I wanted was to make my own money and be and independent woman. Yes, I still live with my parents since it is a commonly practiced culture in Indonesia but other than that, Alhamdulillah I am able to fulfill my own needs. Trust me, this appearance may fool you, but I don’t come from a family of wealth. Yes, my parents and families have friends in places but other than that, we just have to work hard on things. Also, there were years where my parents had some financial problems and those years taught me well to grow up to be diligent and financially responsible person.

In a way, working in this company act as a medium for me to accomplish my goals/dreams and I am very grateful for that. Things would have been turned out very differently hadn’t I worked here.

Back then it was all work, much less play and almost no time for doing my hobbies. I was that one friend who were absent from hang outs because I was still busy working and because, financially calculating it, catering to all the hang out invitations would have meant that I got almost nothing to save up. Before, I used to draw sketches, be visually creative, and I used to write. If I’m not mistaken, this blog was the one that got me my first job as a copywriter and research assistant. Now, by the end of the week, I tend to sleep all day exhausted and running out of inspirations for creative ideas.

Therefore, after 5 years, it is time for me to arrange my ducks in a row. 

Reorganize and start living.

It’s time for me to reorganize my priorities and schedule, because as much as I enjoy the busy working, somewhere deep down I feel there are things missing. Things I have not pursued and accomplished yet.

Being a 30 year-old single woman in this culture means that the wedding bells are already ringing hard and loud, literally my parents are pushing me to get married. Oh believe me; I DO want to get married. I DO want to share my life with the love of my life: the idea of us being the complementary of each other just like the sensible lion hearted Booth to the dominant overly logical Brennan, or oddly the sappy Fitz to the hard hearted ambition driven Olivia (minus all the crazy drama but spare me the sex pleaseee).

Yes, I went out with some… but off course none of them worked out. Either the guy was the unfaithful type, the shallow type, or the ones who expected me to only be a housewife and a mother. The way people (my colleagues, friends, families) see it, I am a picky woman, that I am expecting too much of a man. Honestly, the more I think about it, it’s not that I am being picky. It’s just that I haven’t found the one that—when he and I combined—will be complementary to each other.

Yes, I may have fished in the wrong pond, all the way attracting the wrong fishes.

But in other hand, the main reason I deliberately seem to be stalling is deep down I have not yet become the person I want myself to be. I have to be my own person before I can be somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother. And for that, I have to do the reorganize and start living it.

Besides all the working, now I must make time to listen to my calling. I can’t just sit well and be pretty like some people perceive me to be. I want to do things that matter. I want to do what I have deflected myself from: writing again, pursuing some creative ideas projects and causes I believe in, reaching out to my contacts once again, rekindling old friendships, expanding my areas of networking so that I will be able to explore things more and off course meet more people. Finally doing things I am longing to do. Only then I will be able to become my own person: a thriving, intelligent, independent woman who gets her life together. Be many things but ordinary. Be a woman with her own identity and personality who can’t simply be reduced to only be somebody’s wife and somebody’s mother standing in the shadow, looking pretty.

And I hope, somewhere along the way very soon I may find that one person. 
The Booth to my Brennan, the Fitz to my Olivia.

It’s time for me to take back the steering wheel, reorganize, and start living.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

Have you ever really wanted something so bad?
And that your mortal power can do absolutely nothing to ensure you can get that something?

Something that you want so bad it makes you feel powerless and distracted. Unable to think straight. You start to live your days by going through the motions. Your logical pattern of thinking and your accomplished skilled self start to question, what did you do wrong that it seems incredibly hard to get this something that you want?

You look around and you see others seems to have it easier than you.

This longing feeling. This excitement and hopeful thoughts you wake up to each morning.
This expectation and knowing that by not yet having it, means that the story hasn't yet unfold. 

These are the energy that keeps you going. That there are possibilities for outcomes. The positive thoughts that help you to get through the days. 

All of these simply because for this thing, you actually know that you bear absolutely no power to control it. To write the ending, even the story line. Because this time, if this was a film, you are not the director.

You are the actress. 

So, how do you feel now?

Good times for a change.
See, the luck I've had can make a good man turn bad.
So please please please let me, let me, let me let me get what I want this time.
Haven't had a dream in a long time.
See the life I've had can make a good man bad.
So for once in my life let me get what I want.Lord knows it would be the first time
Lord knows it would be the first time
The Smiths - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (1984)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Signals from the Universe

"There is no such thing as objectivity. 
We're all just interpreting signals from the universe and trying to make sense of them. 
Dim, shaky, weak static-y little signals that only hint at the complexity of a universe that we cannot begin to comprehend."

Kutipan dialog di atas merupakan bagian dari dialog sebuah episode dari serial TV favorit saya, Bones. Terinspirasi dari kehidupan nyata Forensic Anthropologist bernama Kathy Reichs, Bones adalah serial bergenre procedural crime mengenai Washington based crime solving partner, seorang agen FBI bernama Seeley Booth (diperankan oleh David Boreanaz) dan seorang Forensic Anthropologist dari institusi swasta Jeffersonian, bernama Temperance Brennan (diperankan oleh Emily Deschanel). Dengan dukungan dari tim forensik dari Jeffersonian serta FBI, Booth dan Brennan memecahkan kasus-kasus kriminal dengan korban yang telah mengalami dekomposisi tubuh.

Istilah Bones sendiri merupakan julukan yang diberikan oleh Booth bagi Brennan, merujuk pada keahliannya mengidentifikasi tulang belulang para korban kriminal yang mereka kerjakan kasusnya. 

So, what's so special about this TV series that differs it from other procedural crime series like NCIS or CSI?
Keunikan dari serial ini adalah penekanannya pada character development and relationship, dialog panjang yang smart dan witty, corresponding plot line, serta resep kuno serial TV yang beresiko tapi sejauh ini berhasil diterapkan, yaitu sexual tension dan will they/won't they relationship antara Booth dan Brennan.

Sejak awal serial Booth dan Brennan digambarkan sebagai polar opposite. Booth, adalah former sniper turned FBI Agent yang emosional dan peka perasaannya. Namun dengan good look dan charm yang dimilikinya, ia mudah memenangkan hati orang lain. Sebaliknya, Brennan adalah Forensic Anthropologist terbaik di Amerika sekaligus New York Times' Best Selling Author yang hiper rasional dan antisosial. Keduanya memiliki latar belakang cukup gelap dan emotional baggage yang kemudian membentuk karakter mereka. Sepanjang serial digambarkan bagaimana keduanya beradaptasi dan berinteraksi dengan satu sama lain hingga mereka mencapai tahap mutual agreement, mampu memahami without even saying a word. Meski demikian, perbedaan yang mereka miliki kerap memancing keduanya untuk berdebat. Bagi saya, akting Boreanaz dan Deschanel mampu mengilustrasikan sexual tension antara Booth dan Brennan through their witty bantering.

Karakter-karakter lain di serial ini, yaitu tim forensik Jeffersonian dan psikolog FBI juga ikut berkembang seiring dengan berjalannya serial ini. Begitu pula dengan hubungan mereka. Ada Cam (bos sekaligus Koroner Jeffersonian), Angela (Forensic Artist sekaligus sahabat Brennan, yang merupakan putri dari Billy Gibbons, rockstar band ZZ TOP), Hodgins (Botanist, Entomologist, Mineralogist, penyandang dana terbesar Jeffersonian, sekaligus suami Angela), para anak magang yang dijuluki squinterns dan beragam kebiasaan aneh mereka, serta Dr. Sweets, psikolog FBI yang awalnya tidak disukai oleh Booth dan Brennan namun lambat laun menjadi protege dari Booth.

Kasus yang ditampilkan pada setiap episode Bones pun tidak serta merta berdiri sendiri. Sebaliknya, kasus yang ada berfungsi sebagai refleksi atau metafora permasalahan yang sedang dihadapi oleh Booth dan Brennan, maupun karakter-karakter lainnya.

Season 6 Episode 9: The Doctor in the Photo
A tree grew through a decomposed body in a seedy neighborhood. Booth dan Brennan ditugaskan memecahkan kasus tersebut. Kasus ini adalah kasus yang emosional bagi Brennan, it almost clouds her objectivity. Profil dari korban yang mereka selidiki mirip sekali dengan profil Brennan: dokter, lajang, ciri fisik yang serupa,  workaholic and detached, the best at her field namun dengan kehidupan sosial yang tak luas. Tak ada seorang pun yang mencarinya ketika ia menghilang.

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust, T.S. Elliot. 
We don't actually fear death. We fear that... 
That no one will notice our absence. 
That we will disappear without a trace."

Penggalan bait puisi sastrawan Inggris T.S. Elliot, merupakan premis dari episode ini. Melalui kasus ini Brennan melihat refleksi kehidupan yang dijalaninya. Termasuk refleksi hubungan personalnya dengan Booth. Secara metafora hal itu digambarkan melalui scene saat Brennan membuka case file korban untuk pertama kali dan mendapati foto dirinya. Ini adalah episode epiphany di mana Brennan mengakui apa yang ia rasakan dan apa yang seharusnya ia lakukan dengan perasaannya itu.

Brennan membuka case file untuk pertama kali dan mendapati foto dirinya.

Adegan-adegan dalam episode ini mengilustrasikan proses internal Brennan melihat dan mencerna refleksi dari kehidupan yang ia jalani. Brennan menunjukkan case file korban pada Booth dan bertanya apakah Booth familiar dengan wajah korban, Booth menjawab tidak. Sembari meneliti tulang belulang korban, Brennan mendengarkan rekaman transkrip korban, yang suaranya benar-benar mirip dengan Brennan sambil berbicara seolah ia sedang mengobrol dengan si korban. 

"... She dealt with the stress in two ways. A, she became logical to the extreme. B, she detached herself [...] Yeah emotionally. She made herself not care. In order for her to stop feeling nothing, she began behaving erratically."-Dr. Sweets

Proses internal Brennan ini juga digambarkan melalui dialog. Dialog-dialog Brennan dengan rekan-rekan kerjanya saat membahas profil korban terdengar layaknya deskripsi diri Brennan. Dialog internal Brennan dengan dirinya sendiri, dalam mencerna dan memahami apa yang sedang ia alami digambarkan melalui dialog Brennan dengan Micah, si penjaga malam Jeffersonian yang selalu muncul tiba-tiba.

"I understand. I missed my chance. My whole world turned upside down.
 I can adjust. I'm fine, alone."-Brennan

There is also this one heartbreaking scene, yang menurut saya adalah langkah besar bagi perkembangan karakter Brennan dan hubungannya dengan Booth. 

Menurut saya, episode Bones yang satu ini adalah episode yang mengesankan. Quoting T.S. Elliot as a way to explain the premise of the episode really hit home. Tidak hanya untuk karakter Brennan yang seluruh kehidupannya berpusat pada karir dan reputasi yang ia bangun, tapi juga bagi penonton. Semua orang pasti ingin dikenang. Diingat keberadaannya.  Eventually when our time is up and we have to go, will people remember us? How will they remember us? What if, nobody misses our absence and life just goes on like we never existed? 

Does somebody love us enough to notice if we disappeared?

"Three days. Three days for the world to turn right side up again."
Temperance Brennan

Thursday, September 20, 2012

love. defined

Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana,
Dengan kata yang tak sempat diucapkan kayu kepada api yang menjadikannya abu
Aku ingin mencintaimu dengan sederhana,
Dengan isyarat yang tak sempat disampaikan awan kepada hujan yang menjadikannya tiada
Aku Ingin, Sapardi Djoko Damono (1989)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom
If this be error and upon me proved
I never writ, nor no man ever loved
Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare (1609)

I like/cherish/favor/love the words in these poem. Subjective definition of love/loving. Thanks for introducing me to literature at such an early age, Mum.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A [quirky] Thought

Karl Lagerfeld should have made the book-smell perfume rumor true. His perfume is going to be a major hit because one day the world will go completely paperless and the only way to smell a book is through his perfume.

That would make a nice branding strategy, wouldn't that?

I mean, Karl is either a vampire or any other kind of immortal being. Unlike us--the mere mortals--he would still be around when the world eventually goes completely paperless.

Think about the millions of people who would want to buy the perfume: the fashion people, any fashion followers who basically would buy anything branded, the socialites and celebrities for the sake of being in-the-now, and most importantly, the entire new generation who has never experienced a thing called "paper" in their life. That would sum up to an enormous sales figure.

... Or maybe Karl has thought about it and he's saving the book-smell perfume plan for another century or two. You know, he is immortal and beside, he is Karl.

"Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books."
Karl Lagerfeld