From Card Getting Declined, to Hyper-Social.

Let’s just begin gently from how ecstatic I am to finally jam on this keyboard on Sunday morning, minding my own business, just penning shit from my head to this public, personal blog. I mean who else is blogging these days leaving messy digital footprint for their future partner, employer, investor? donor? school? The answer would start with – this guy.

A few days back, and some other sappy days, my card was declined at a mall to afford basic necessities like food or coffee. Took me a few minutes to recover from the embarrassment until a friend quickly wired me cash. By definition, I have probably gone beyond poor that evening and it certainly hurts like a bitch to not be able to rely on yourself at times, needing to ask for help from anyone, at possibly anytime. Even for someone who has thick skin like me, it haunts me to think what my closest circle might perceive my misfortunes and the idea that I am trying to push my narrative of ‘oh someone ran away with hundreds of million because I was too dumb so please help me‘ because you’re my friend. Yea it kinda has come to that. And the self-hate or reject and every other irreversible damage you get can be a little traumatising for self, when not managed properly, or intermezzoed with fun jokes.

HOW-fucking-EVER, the way I operate in uncharted waters, emotionally, I opt to not process the emotions yet and instead focus on my recovery plan (paying back all these with everything I can do in life to generate money) working myself to the bone, until one day I am able to cross this off of my list and get the fuck out to go on a long, self-pity journey and rebuild everything from the ground up. Better watch.

Anyway….thought I’d share to you here on what’s up w my life:

  1. Working life. I quit Fuse and crossed industry from insurtech to the ever-evolving proptech startup, Pinhome. There is a number of push and pull factors around the why. The bottom line though: startups of all sizes are fun when given the right room to grow both for the company AND the individuals who run the engine. I think I am in the middle of that all, even after taking a pause for about 2 years. The difference now is all the amazing things u get to learn from the inside and how proving urself wrong on plenty of things on work life and startup and how the know-it-all fades out as you grow better.
  2. Coworking space and Motogp. As for Tiang, my baby whom my partners and I gave birth to seems to struggle to find herself in the midst of me, my partner who is now completing her studies in France somewhat still optimistic but getting cold feet, and another who is constantly hovering at the option to flee and move overseas, that after he left Sydney to join forces building this Tiang dream. It’s extremely tough to land at a firm decision when you’ve spent over a billion to build and gamble in a commercial area relying on foreign visitors in the midst of pandemic, despite the overly hyped Motogp that’s around the corner.
  3. Runcing Foundation. This front I’m quite relieved and happy about. We are now focusing on expanding to Papua, NTT, and other parts. It could get extremely exhausting to run especially when you only have around 5-10 spare hours to spend a week on this probono, but given my incredible team who is spread across NYC, SG, HK, Lombok, Bali, Jkt, we have been able to always find the workarounds.
  4. The trying to be content creator and modelling. Yea I do that now. I’ve ditched all my stereotypes about this type of work and begin to understand the art from the inside. Things sort of took off a bit and I have been getting a few offers I could say yes to from modelling to endorsements. It is…..nice. But the juggling can be as difficult as putting one OPPO airpod on my left ear for a live photoshoot and my airpod on my right ear that is connected to an ongoing meeting. Yes it gets to that level of multitasking sometimes.
  5. The after-effect of it all is obviously getting the mini-fame situations, even when going to a small cafe not many people go to, someone sends a photo of you from afar in your DM, or getting a bit drunk at a bar and someone comes to you saying how much they love your content. I am honestly loving the admiration and love coming my way, but it sure is a bit intense, especially for someone without that sizable audience like me. If I were someone with > 100k followers maybe it’d make a whole lot more sense but mine….it’s weird.
  6. Inspira the mentorship platform we intended to start again this year may need to wait a bit longer. Still searching for the bandwidth to pursue all this again, especially for someone a hundred times busier than I am, like….superstar Maudy.
  7. With everything I’ve been doing, I feel that all these have forced my hyper social-self out of me in order to make things…..work. I can endure longer conversations now, even in person. To the extent I no longer get to recharge as much (now that I am not in Lombok for instance) or my weekends are often used up to do the other work I cannot do on weekdays (due to draining and time).
  8. Lastly, probably chasing Perempuan Lihai a.ka. Sista. I tried searching for her in Denpasar last month but to no avail. And personally, I stopped talking about it because it numbed me and talking to the wrong people gets you the unfavorable reactions when stories are half-told and you just don’t have the energy to explain everything. might as well be used for money-making activities so I can one day pay it all off and live my actual life. It has been 15 months or so since the tragedy. I have paid parts and numbed myself and held back from the impulses of actually buying primary needs for myself because spending around 20mio-ish a month can hurt a little fucking much. And seeking help from a number of lawyers or authorities had led me to a big fuck-all. Anyway….the sky is blue.
  9. Constantly denying you’re in depressed mode and re-shift the focus to…..anything seemingly more productive.

So that’s what’s up and If I had the extra time and money, the first I’d love to see myself doing is stuff like reminiscing the times spent alone here and there, doing all the crazy stupid fun wise things I can. Or working towards doing all that again before life officially enters its boring stage and I start talking down on younger folks thinking we know everything. More to write from me soon. Love!

Nailing the Summit.

I have not had the chance to trek anymore. The last time I did it was circa 2013 to Rinjani, which was closer to home for a beginner. And nothing major ever since, just a little hike here and there when I felt like it, and a few plans to embark on adventures in Nepal or India (but never had the chance to due to…all things).

I cannot put the memories back together tonight in the greatest details but I do remember these: it was in March (it kinda rained pretty damn hard and cold, the one that could get you soaked and hate your life but kinda had to make it anyways), squeezing the supposedly 3N4D trip to 2N2D to both the lake and the summit, zombied our way 10-12 hours a day from one post to another, and pushing through the finish line because someone had to fly the next day and the constant urge to like give up but amazed at the beautiful wilderness you’re surrounded with. To give you context, think about having not water-showered in the past two days, having only 1 headlamp working, 1 flashlight from a 9% charged phone, 4 of you, one-fifth of bottled water left, the guide kept saying 1km left since 8pm and it was midnight, through the jungle of the jungle in its most literal meaning that you didn’t dare looking elsewhere but your feet especially what you might see above your head or your side. All that beautiful pain until around 3am. SO it’s a bunch of mixed feelings. We cheered ourselves by talking about getting a nice massage tomorrow and revenge sleep in the city.

I cannot NOT go on, despite my broken legs and thirst and the toxic thoughts ‘it’s gonna be over soon’ for…..hours. I’m reliving those moments of weakness to kindly remind myself that it is the only way I’ve learned how to survive. In my present life, taking up 3-4 jobs at once, not taking a penny for yourself, paying off hundreds of million you never used as a cost to keep the already established trust among you and people, drained basically on most days but trying not look like one when talking and lending my ears to friends who’s bitching about the everyday life that we all have to endure anyways.

Right now in a life with stakes that could only go up, I could only learn to build and rebuild myself each day, armed with resilience. I’m not so good at self-pity knowing how incredibly privileged I am and so much to give. I may have lost what felt like everything, but I sure know how to fight. Fucking hard. Either that or I got comfortable being thrown against the wall and stand back the fuck up somehow.

We never really got the massage like we dreamed of doing that horrible dark hours. Perhaps the same way we overpromised ourselves the many things we no longer wanted after arriving at a certain age. I realised I no longer had all the time in the world to be stupid and do everything unplanned anymore. I have been a nice dude in the workforce now, do a lot of things by the book, putting aside my entrepreneurial dreams for a bit until things are under control. Do I miss my life being reckless and wildly optimistic? Or afford being irresponsible young adult? Yes and no.

Ah to be young and glorify the misperceived ideas of ourselves. I’ve reached the age of giving a fuck a lot more for the small list of things I care about, and waste less energy on bitching abt the little things, or explain myself. Anyway, thanks for stopping by in this no-context writing. To sum up, I’m happy to be where I am today can’t complain. And I hope that you are too, to find joy wherever you may find it today, and tomorrow, or the day after.

JB After Midnight.

One in the morning and JB Sentral was buzzing still with returning Malaysians from the Lion City. Me, however, was left starving with probably 60 RM in cash and the three ATMs I tried couldn’t dispense the damn money. Ugh was I not bummed out waiting for my next train from JB to KL to depart, which was in 7 hours (which ticket I also had not bought btw) and the only socket to be found was this dirty corner behind a vending machine. So there I sat my worries and thinkable fears next to my brown dora the explorer-sized bag.

Not a long time after my epiphany, this old man emerged from I forgot where, Southeast Asian-Chinese looking, walked towards me and we began exchanging words. Long story short, he’s a stranded Minang in Malaysia looking to return to Padang since months ago. I can’t recall perfectly the exact reason he fled Indonesia but having lost a lot of things from his loved ones to money recently, he struggled to return. All he had was his passport, an old address in Bukit Tinggi and like a sketch of his address, and….an ounce of hope for someone to help him return to Indonesia. That hope was this broke dude, unfortunately.

My leftover cash was then used on a plate of Indian meal that was open near the station. I was grateful he seemed beyond happy and for the first time after a long week I felt somehow content. After hearing plenty of his stories, in thick Malay accent speaking Indonesian, he then proceeded to ask me if I was willing to trust this Minang grandpa and spare him some bucks to go back home. God I hated how JB Sentral didn’t have a proper wifi so I could simply move money to my other bank acc that night or that the ATMs there worked with my card – the universe either hated me or my humanity was sincerely tested. That was inconvenient. So my problem multiplied from surviving the night with a starving tummy and purchasing my ticket to Butterworth and Bangkok, to now helping him to return on a good faith. I chose the latter.

The dawn had arrived and my back was screaming from another night spent on hard-ass, freezing floor near toilet. Malaysians were starting to flock into Woodlands and the shops are starting to open. All I wanted to do was run there to ask for a personal hotspot and help me this poor man. I worked my charm fast and I got it, so I rang my friend in KL to book my train ticket coz…..he kinda owed me back in Jogja months before so yeah. Ticked resolved. The old man was fed. Now some money from my other bank account – also resolved. I made sure I transferred enough for him to return to Bukittinggi. He insisted I left him my phone number. And that we grabbed our last meal of Nasi Lemak there before I departed.

I hopped on my train and was seated next to an old Chinese-Singaporean couple heading to KL only to….pray at this church I forgot. We spoke about their kids and bits about me. My train from KL – Butterworth had engine problems on the way there and that we had to stop and walked in the middle of nowhere in West Malaysia to the rescue train – but this was another drama to share. All I cared about that time was that the old Minang grandpa made his way back to Padang, Indonesia (don’t I sound like a saint here?).

A few weeks after, I settled back into my normal working student lifestyle in Jakarta. I noticed a text from an unknown contact saying thank you for helping him and that he sent money back to my account (though I’m still not sure to date how he got my acc but he did). Anyways, morals of the story:

  • It could have been my parents, my grandpa, or my friends, or me in a foreign country
  • Have the balls to ask for help in every opportunity.
  • An opportunity to help doesn’t always present itself, when it does, be sure to lend all the hands we have.
  • I miss travelling it hurts.
  • I should have captured the moment when I could but I was too tired.

K adios now. Sampai jumpa 🙂

28 Days on Tiktok.

Tiktok and I somehow became these great bestfriends in the past few months, so I decided one day to just fuck it and post whatever I made 28 days ago. Ever since, I’ve been showered with positive feedback. One or two posts I got lucky it went somewhat viral, which led me to the rise of followers on my IG swipe up and let’s face it, the expected creepy DMs that I have not seen in the many years I had been keeping my profile private. So, yay and phew.

I realised that such growth is doable for pretty much anyone, gifted with good look, or an interesting personality that could match whatever the bored audience of tiktok is looking for. With all this, I still often think after midnight of my close friends with the blue stickers who charge the equivalent of starting salary of corporate salary in Jakarta for a story and stuff like that. Anyway.

This constant effort trying to be…sigh…likeable enough so I could start growing a small audience has not left me an ample room to be whatever form of myself I thought was acceptable (despite however loud I preach about being weird and yada yada yada). Real talk. The top cons of never going in to this trend was me giving up my perfectly-sealed life of privacy and the bitter vibes that I unintentionally give off to people who do not know me personally, or know me – what (?)

Now, just trying to enjoy the wave and god knows. Will try to do that, continue making vids on Youtube, and being a secretly ambitious twat who brags about work-life balance but always trying to do a hundred things at once, and fucking excel at every single one of them. Yea coz why the fuck not. Life’s short and I’m realtively young (?) And trying to pay off the remaining debts I still have from the chronicles of fucking Sista who’s now hiding in her Bali nest. Stay tuned 😉

I will still keep this online home as a place to return to write good memories and learnable stuff. I have certainly missed writing a lot. My writing list is like a lot my fingers get excited to write though my head is like dead by 7pm these days.

See you and stay safe.

Silent dinners.

Come home to me. Make love to me.

One more time.

We sat, across from each other, eyes finding their ways to not meet the other pair. Here we were drowning in these alternate realities of our own. These realities never emerged well in some evenings and god I fucking wish I could pinpoint where you were that night, where your emotions and feelings were. Where are you even now. Do you even still think of me I often wonder.

All for I am exhausted, trying so hard to read you, and failed, again, the one I thought I once knew. To be walking the extra miles when you’re not looking and not seldom I swear I could die sinking, feeling so patronised standing near you. I wish you’d said a word and not make me hate myself more than I already had that night.

Where are you? Come home to me this time.

Our minds are now running in parallel and never to meet. My romantically orchestrated moves are often mistranslated. I could kill for a show to be the best bf in the world for you. It’s not jealousy because I thought I would have mastered you by now but I proved myself wrong, again. And all this was messing up with how I felt about my worth. But hey, you haven’t articulated something my brain could at least comprehend.

I liked this love, a tough love, which many may envy. I’ve tried to keep that spark alive but I’m tired dancing like a clown alone. Please say something, nod, or bring me into that world of yours I couldn’t seem to access no matter how close I sat.

We both may have changed in one way or another but this is really all I ever was, someone you came across years ago. Among the many things that have evolved in me, my love to you has not. Wish you had talked to me.

Isn’t this shit we call love amazing, even at 26? What it does to people like us who tricked the world he’s got all he’s ever needed to do what he wants, the confidence and all. But you’ve somehow pulled that trick and made me doubt myself again.

The food is good but ffs can we stop this dinner.

I loved the food. Appreciated the people in the kitchen. The people around us seemed happy. We could have done better that time. Or the other evening. Or just, the many other evenings I probably lost count. Thanks for shaking me up and tearing apart my ego a bit too much, or unintentionally breaking my heart open. But believe this: there’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love, even if someone tried to murder it.

All you needed to do was, break this silence. And swim upwards to the surface with me.

From this, to this.

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From this in 2013…..

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Our stellar scholarship recipients.

to this (March 2021).

My heart is full knowing that I get to do what I’ve always dreamed of doing since I was little – trying to help others in the tiniest ways I know how. 

Not a big fan of sugar-coating stories, but it’s worth mentioning that these incredible girls and boys have continued to amaze their parents and teachers.

I may come from Lombok, but my parents certainly did not share the same struggles that many are still facing in many areas when it comes to “ok what’s next after completing 6th grade in this so-called free education?”. Like a few lucky others, I get to be where I am today in life because some people have opened doors of opportunities for me. I want to pay it forward. 

At Runcing Foundation, our definition of improving access has expanded not only to focus on infrastructure, but also to invest heavily in, well, these remarkable students or families. We have piloted a scholarship model and partnered up with an amazing private school in West Mataram, Pesantren Sayang Ibu, whose curriculum has allowed our students not only to excel in classes but also in nature. There’s a lot we’ve learned and how we can do better to keep more and more remarkable students in school.  Thanks to Share for Care for consistently pushing the envelope 🙂

Read more on www.runcing.org about the program, or ping me!

On surprising yourself more.

“It seems that Jakarta to me ends in this Pasar Palmerah and I could never imagine living or hanging farther off.” I actually went to uni 2km off that imaginary border and have somehow continued to work here. And liking the area more!

“Gah fucking dumb people trying to look great online. Pretentious.” Now I am leading a life shaped a lot more like that.

“Drop the fucking English when speaking. Don’t mix it. It’s stupid.” I comfortably speak exactly like this, mincing all the languages I know into chewable sentences.

“Why are these gym rats keeping this extreme diet and not do some real sports instead.” I have been actively hitting the gym now and learn to feel comfortable lifting weights and all that.

“For fuck’s sake, I would never make my online profile public and allow everyone to follow all bits of my digital footprint.” Now you kinda google me and can probably see my shitposting my most embarrassing stuff quite very easily.

“Why would anyone work a 9-5 job when you could create your own dream company and make more at the end?” I put my ‘working for myself’ thing on a complete pause now to start working a semi-corporate job and I am loving it so far, not just benefitting financially but the effectiveness of doing things when managed properly.

“I cannot stand people who actually spend minutes of their lives choosing what the fuck to wear when they can do a one-for-all kinda outfit.” Funny how I now take more time to consider what to actually wear, even when it’s just a flip-flop / pajamas day. It surely is funny how this world works.

“Why would these lame bitches stay in a nice hotel when you could save it and spend for other activities when you’re travelling this young?!” Now I am horribly picky on my room and bathroom preference whenever staying outside my own house because I now prioritise comfort and my peace of mind over everything.

etc…etc…

These are a few I can think of right now, of how much I have changed as a person who thrives to be better at any given time. I’ve learned to open up myself more to this gigantic horizon of opportunities and since have constantly proven myself wrong, a mistake I’m glad to have made of course.

And I cannot wait to surprise myself more with more and more layers of myself I’m yet to find. Cheers to surprises 🙂

Being liked and maintaining loyalty.

Think it’s obvious how I’ve been forewarned of the many blessings I have been gifted, that I am luckier than most in some departments of my life, economically, physically, academically, or that I am a male, a lot of which have brought me better odds of succeeding in many things life and work. Obviously hard work matters, but these are just privileges I constantly make myself aware of. In this post, I’m trying to recount one or two.

These things that started from as simple as having a pretty face to being able to ace tough things in an academic environment, they come at a heavy price. For the most part, you’re often perceived as someone likeable, charming, to even becoming a person somebody else really looks up to.

A perfect instance would be: at such an early age of primary school, I already had the experience of girls from other classes/school calling our landline phone. Then it evolved quickly, and a little more aggressively in grade 7-9, when girls, or even boys I had no idea about, randomly calling or screaming my name while driving at 90kmph past my house. For some reason, it was perceived as ok to flirt anyhow. To my unsurprisingly surprise, I even had friendster and facebook fan pages made, or fake accounts already back then. Fair to say I had a sense of what it’s like to be known by strangers for something, even for things you cannot see yourself.

With time, such mini scale of fame grew, but more qualitatively this time, to moments like someone always coming to your show, listen to your radio session, getting star-stuck in person,

I for one never thought I had that in me.

Now whenever I get to cross path with someone new whose friend has already heard about me, I get goose bump still, on their impression about me, which is often much less accurate than how I publicly present myself to the world 🙂

I have a really short list of people whom I truly look up to in terms of how I’d like to carve out this life of mine.

I have also parted ways with some of the closest people in my circle. This is due to multiple reasons, either I’ve grown into an asshole or I just can’t stand people turning into something they are not.

In a life where circles could only get smaller and better each day, one should prove their loyalty, put their money where their mouth is and not stirred when other external variables start kicking in.

Any type of relationship is difficult to cultivate, let alone fucking maintain. If you can’t seem to prove your loyalty or worth, better to move the fuck on and let this life lead us to finer things and people.

So yea my lovely readers, may we find the happier, finer things in life wherever we can find it, even if it means getting rid of the good old ones.

Fast-forward 2020.

Started off from Gili T. Sober, rainy morning at the usual cafe with plenty of bules fleeing the island to Europe, Australia and China.

Then Jan in, thinking of joining a trip I arrange to SG or not. With the virus effect started kicking in.

Feb in BKK and broke down in KL on the way back to Lombok.

Mar by the beach, but mind elsewhere. Selong belanak days.

Apr stranded at home. Covid finally caught up at home.

May struggling to navigate through what I just realised as a big mess.

Jun busy repatriating students and people from Warsaw and Berlin.

Jul I lost my head here.

Aug trying to recover. also built a water project helping 200 families accessing water in north lombok – wow!

Sept moved to Big Durian because I need $ to save my ass and of course because I found my passion……in insurtech startup 🙂

Oct settling down paying back shit i dont owe.

Nov busy tiang space lombok jogja.

Dec recovering from covid.