1 – 21. Making Jamu
Few hours later.
22. Learn from a guy on youtube how to make great Chicken Satay and its peanut butter sauce without Indonesian kecap manis, bring it to your family picnic by the lake in Watkins Glen. Have fun. Celebrate.
These are the lessons I’ve come across since I entered my twenties:
To be certain of things I wanna do by saying no. I don’t know about people, but I’ve taken some time to learn about myself, questioning what I really want. It occurred to me that I got better at turning down a lot of opportunities just to stay in the right track in building my dream. I need swallow the hard truth about all the tradeoffs in life when I had to say no to things. I aim to bring out the best in me, instead of getting trapped in distractions. I’d rather spend more time in the slums and learn about things I wanna solve than showing up at a conference in expensive suits or show up on a national TV not knowing what I’m actually doing with people’s lives. Life could only overwhelm you with choices. I know there are millions of grand opportunities out there for people who grab things and win, but I’m learning to be more careful with what I choose to invest my time in.
Self-defined things. I could only trust myself to define everything in life, from happiness to success. It’s not defined by some quotes made by a billionaire to show how much money you can make out of a business, nor a 10-page CV to show how many corporate jobs you’ve had and top schools you go to, or if you have 2M followers on social media. Maybe I’m too young to say this but the definition of success and happiness, to me, is beyond that. Life is short. I’m not letting myself get trapped in a box created by others.
To help / not to help. I’ve learned that it’s not the wisest of me to help a person when my help is the last thing she wants. I too learn that I’m never in a position to judge or to give a life advice with no experience of walking in the same shoes. To listen is all.
Family first. People I call family are everything to me, they are the people I would stick up for. They can be the person you pick up at a parking lot in a mall at 3am after such a long , long day or a friend who needs your monthly income more than you do. Family cares about you and you will stick up for them whatever the circumstances might be, they are the people who will always have their arms open after you’ve failed for the 10,000th time and could care less about what you’ve done wrong. I’m lucky I have great families and I let them orbit my life.
Surround yourself with the right people means everything. I’ve heard this since I was 12 from my dad. The older I get, I get to see the implied meaning of this overrated advice. It means surround myself with the best people in all kinds of things, the ones who inspire me to move, to chase things for myself and others. Pak Is whose loyalty to his family can never be measured by his income, Ibu Neneng, an ex-sex worker mother who knows the formula of life every day for her children, or Sukinah, a girl I taught at a free school whose eyes can teach me so much about where the future should be. These are only a few of millions of my living reminder that all the privileges I have from physical abilities to opportunities to pursue my dream cannot be taken for granted. It’s easier to look up and see ourselves in that frame of success while sitting next to successful CEOs or the other high-profile folks. Maybe one day we’ll all change, how we choose to perceive this world later in life, I’m afraid, that’s why I’m telling myself again and again about gravity and learn from the skies I’m under. Surrounding myself with the right people doesn’t necessarily mean to build that powerful network with people who only give a shit about you for the tiniest part of you, like your linkedin profile.
I let go more. Let go of the things that held me back from everything I want to achieve from social projects to business to love. I let go. I continued to do what I could, with or without the people I thought mattered more than anything. I’ll keep moving on, whatever that can get in my way.
Thicker skin. Doing everything on my own had prepared me for something I need in everything I will do in the future. I self-trained myself to keep dancing in the rain, to really not give a damn about falling because I get up and get back up again, and I’ll finish to the end of the line, whatever that line means in my life. To some eyes of others, I may be perceived rude for how I choose to present myself to the world, but hell to that, it’s true what the older people said, “you can never please everyone”. By growing thick skin, I have learned that people will learn to accept anyone. Eventually.
Smile it up. I’ve tried to smile more often because it’s a true perfection to everything in life. World’s doomed to some people, and just because there are people fleeing to other countries seeking for asylum, or mothers and fathers busting their asses off after midnight, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate this life. Life is supposed to be messy with sweat and tears, and that’s why it’s beautiful. Stress is real. I have the freedom to choose the currency to deal with it by a little smile. Every goddamn day.
I miss music terribly. What happened in 2009 needs to be continued. A father’s wish for his son to follow what he thinks is right will soon be realized. I’ll try to find time, somewhere in those days, to let music grow stronger in me (no, it’s not like there’ll be CarlosVEVO this weekend haha).
Madly obsessed with multilinguals. Because not everything could be translated properly by Google. I’m obsessed to learn a few other foreign languages now while learning computer languages too. Let’s see how it goes.
This is the last stop. I’m learning. I’m moving on. The runway ahead of me is pretty exciting.
22, let’s resume!