Sunday, March 19, 2017

In between Goals

I got sentimental.

I get sentimental whenever the calendar shows that my birthday is just around the corner. This year was not any different. Two weeks before my birthday, I started getting nervous. This might be silly. But, to be honest I truly felt that. I started to be (over) thinking whether I have achieved the things that should be crossed of from my bucket list before I turned 22. Like: writing novel, starting my own agency, creating a website that can empower women out there and so on. Call me ambitious or whatever it is. But, that’s who I am.

I become like this, not because of I heard the success story of 22 years old #girlboss who own the It multi label store, etc. I am inspired. But, truth to be said, I barely compare myself with others. I do believe that the fair, real & relevant competition is with ourselves. The benchmark is neither your friends nor your idol. The benchmark is yourself.

I wonder since when I became like this. Well, I was raised by parents who would ask why I couldn’t rank 1st whenever I got the 2nd place. I was raised that way, when good enough is not enough. And I am not blaming them for that. I thank them for raising me that way. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have wanted to thrive like this. And maybe because I already got the answer of whom I really want to be and what I want to do in my life. As I realized, the process of know the answer did not take months or one year. It took years. As we seek Him to whisper the answer, He will show us the way through several episodes of our life.

Like a coin that has two sides, bucket list also has its own head or tail. Bucket list reminds us that we have to keep thriving so we won’t settle for less. On the other hand, bucket list sometimes makes us being too hard on ourselves, which often happened to me. My sentimental bar reached its peak few days before my birthday. In life I always have high expectation for myself. I expect myself to be this, to be able to do that. I read again my bucket list, I knew that there are a lot of things which boxes have not been checked. But, at that time it just felt so wrong.
What I often forget is that in between goals we have to stop for a while and be grateful for everything. For every progress, though it’s still lack behind what we expected. For every job that we have right now. For everything that God has given in our life. We set the timeline, do everything whole-heartedly, give the best out of ourselves, but sometimes thing doesn’t work that way. God works in His perfect timing and if what we desire is in line with Him.

There’s a thin line between the desire to thrive for more and the ungrateful feelings. We focus more to thrive for more that we might forget how to be grateful. That’s the thin line that all of us have to find out its boundaries. 

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Will We (ever) Have a Balanced Life?

It was 2 am in the morning. I rechecked the deck that I was preparing, just to make sure it's comprehensive enough to send to my client. I sent the email, clicked the "sleep" button of my laptop after exhaling super long breath.
Before i sleep, this thought often stumbled on my head. I asked myself "Why doi do this?" , "Why doI have to pursue double job?"
My corporate job has already occupied much of my time. It's not 9 to 5 office hours, Monday to Friday. It's beyond that definition. I am not gonna complain much about it, as my job let me do the things that i love: marketing, story telling, content and stuffs. My second job, the job that i do after 10 pm and Saturday is my startup business called FRASA that solves company/ startups' need of copy writing. From company profile, sales deck, website content to content marketing. 

I am a normal human being, a social person that also want to have the so called 'Balanced Life'. The dreamy life where you are great in juggling every area of your life. 
At the same time, i want to achieve my dreams. Lately, I have been struggling about it. I started to ask God whether what I do is right or wrong. I started to doubt my dreams, and my capability. 

He answered my questions right on time. Last Saturday i went to Treasure Women Conference meet up held by a church in Jakarta. The theme is 'balanced'. I had no expectation when i joined the event. 
The preacher opened her sermon with a question

"What's your definition of balanced life?" 

Then she continued "Is it having a job with high salary after graduation, being able to pursue your dreams, being an up to date person, having social life, having a smooth relationship and supporting parents, having strong relationship with God?" 
That's so much alike with my expectation that i thought she could hear the voice inside my heart. 

She asked whose definition of balanced life is that and who did set the standard. She reminded us that we often set unrealistic expectation of our life.

The truth is, there's a season in life. We have to prioritize what we want to do first in this season. We can allocate more of ours to the thing that we prioritize. It helps us to stay focus. Thus, we won't miss what each season has for us. Each season has each struggle that will mold us into a better person. It gives us a piece of puzzles that we can collect. We might not know what this season is about. But, one day we will know once we have gathered all of the puzzles. 

God works in season also. Last year, He has taught me to fully surrender my life on Him, for there's nothing certain in this world except His love. This year, i feel that he teaches me to embrace my place, wherever He places me. 

I guess, the definition of having a balanced life is not having it all at once. Because, everything takes time. And i don't think all aspects of our life demand the same amount of time. 
So, referring back to the title of this post "Will we ever have a balanced life?"  
That's the question that none of us could answer. It depends on our expectation of balanced life itself.

Let's just pray and ask His wisdom, what should we prioritize in this season :) 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Stay (on LDR)

Listening to that same song on weekend. Scrolling through the old pictures. Exchanging virtual kisses through our smartphone every time we get the chance to do face time. Sharing what we've been through today online till we fall asleep. Pretty much those sum up what i do with my Long Distance Relationship (LDR). It seems like, LDR has truly brought my cheesiness level to the next level.

However, as you have already known LDR is not just about those sweet or corny moments. It has so much more to tell. It's definitely difficult. But, i am not going to share you that. Because for me, those difficulties have not exceeded my level of tolerance (as if i have one, lol)

Some of my friends asked me, why do i stay in this kind of relationship, where i barely see him, where i can meet him only every 4 months (now is even worse, 1 year). Some said what's the point of being in a relationship with someone that i could not ask his help if i had an emergency situation. Some people asked whether i feel desperate or lonely in LDR.

I asked my self. Why do I stay in this relationship? Do i feel lonely?

The truth is. Nope, i don't. I don't feel lonely.
Me being in a relationship is not to find someone that can fill my void or accompany me anywhere and anytime.

Though he calls me at 3 or 4 am just to say that he's done with his job and i didn't even remember what we talked about after because i was sleepy, it's okay for me.
Though i cannot spontaneously said what just happened to me, because we have different time zone.
Though i really want to see him in person not just through pictures or face time.

There might be several 'though'; but that's not the point.

With him thousand miles apart, i could still feel that he's doing his best to spare his time for me. And We still manage to provide time for each other.

If the distance doesn't make us love any less, why should i bother the distance and time difference?
If my grateful for this relationship list matters much more than the difficulties, why should i even complain?

Most importantly, despite all of those things, the reason why i stay is because i want to. I want to stay.

What about you? I guess love itself is not enough when you are in LDR. Willingness to do this LDR does matter. Even if we love that person that much, but we don't want to commit in long distance relationship, our relationship won't work. Because, all we'd do are just complaining and whining why we have to be in this kind of relationship.

Do we really want to go through this process? That's the question that only ourselves can answer.

As i am writing this post, i think LDR is not more difficult than others. Distance is just one thing. I do believe that every relationship has its own challenges. And those challenges are there to mold the relationship to be a stronger bond between the lovers. It's the test that couples have to pass before moving to the next stage.

Always remember the reason why you stay.
Keep praying to God what's the best for us and our loved one. If it's meant to be, it will be.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Why Before When

I am writing this not to ride on the Valentine's Day moment, but i just want to express my thoughts. In the past few months, several friends that i know have gotten engaged or even tied the knot already. And last week, I watched a movie entitled "When are you getting married (Kapan Kawin?). The story is about a woman in her mid 30's who has not been married yet, has not gotten herself a boyfriend either. Her family keeps bugging her when she will get married. As always, a discussion about marriage and single woman in that age is a never ending one. Don't you think so?
Few days ago, i chatted with my friend, and she told me the same thing, she's in turmoil when she will get married or even a boyfriend. Then, she asked me "When are you getting married?" 

I was quite stammered answering her question. I was even more surprised by the way i replied that question. Honestly speaking, I was more intrigued with the thought of "Why should I get married (that soon)?

Isn't why should come before when? We should know the reason first, before setting the timeline ,right?
But, why do people ask "When will you marry him/her?" more often than they ask "Why will you marry him/her?"
Truth is people barely ask 'why'. We barely ask 'why' to ourselves too.

source: pinterest

It makes me think that there might be possibilities where those who are getting married don't really know the 'Why' they marry that person. I know that there's a saying that sometimes we just love that person without knowing why. But, in my opinion, it's very important for us to know the 'why', because those reasons are the things that make us hold on to that person and keep fighting for the relationship when it gets harder. 
For example: I want to marry him, because I love being with him, I love praying together with him and I can see myself as the one who supports him. 

Now you can write down the reasons why .....

So whenever you ask yourself "When will i have boyfriend/girlfriend?" ask yourself first "Why should i have one (right now)?"
What's your reason? Perhaps:
" because, i am ready to embark on a new relationship. I have moved on from my ex"
" because, i am ready to share my life with that person. I want to shower my love" 
" because, i want to start a godly relationship" Who knows?

How can we think of when we're going to marry that person, if we haven't figured out why?
I just hope that we can be wiser and not to be swoon away with the excitement of loving and being loved.

And this 'why before when' concept doesn't only suit relationship matter, but also everything in your life, including your dream. 
Do you have a dream list? Or do you write your resolutions? Look at it. 
See, we often write down our dream & target, with the date when we will achieve that. 
But, we do not write why we want to achieve that dream.

For example: I want to write a novel, and have it published by this September. But, i don't know the reason why i want to write a novel. I was stuck in the middle, and I didn't continue writing, because i just didn't have strong reasons why i should finish it. Note that it's just an example.

If we focus on 'when', then when the time comes, we won't be that satisfied or overjoyed because we don't know 'why'. 
And rather than we focus on 'when', sometimes in the future that we don't even know. Let's just pray that we will find a strong reason 'why'. Pray that you'll find strong reasons why you want to marry that person.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Art of Letting Go (Our Dreams)

Letting go hurts. Letting go is not easy. And I am sure it's never meant to be easy. Because, letting go means you accept the fact that something is not going to be yours. And letting go means you have to forget about that something which is very meaningful for you.
As a dreamer (an achiever to be honest), I always make a list of all of those things that I want to achieve. Well, that's how i manage to keep myself sane and work hard all the time, and recently, and you know that the word 'recently' is some period of time that has just happened, like a bread that is freshly baked from the oven, I have to let go of one of my dreams. The dream that I have been dreaming and been praying for years. What makes me even more bitter, heartbroken and sorrowful is the fact that that dream is so close to me, on my reach, but I couldn't even move one step forward to embrace it and cross it out from my dream list.
I have been in a state of denial for more than 2 weeks. I was crying like crazy for the first one week. There was even a time that I woke up at the dawn, cried a river again remembering that I just missed the opportunity to reach my dream ached me more than I could ever imagine.

But, letting go is the only option that I have to survive. No matter how hard it is, all we can do is just to let go and move on, right?

We still have a life to fight for. We still have other dreams to be achieved.

I read somewhere "It is impossible to have a vision that is bigger than God's plans for your life."
God will always have a better plan for us, something that we never expect but will leave us in awe. Truth to be said, it's very hard to truly walk that faith. The humane characteristics in us are somehow very strong that it's difficult to accept that the dream which has longed in our heart since forever has gone with the wind. I was extremely disappointed, like, OMG that dream is right in front of me, but why ???

Now, the question is what we can do to at least, try to letting it go?

1. Start with the mindset
Let's just think that that dream we had to let go might hinder us, or retard our process on reaching the ultimate goal of our life. Maybe, that path to that dream is not necessary to be get through. And we all want to be in the fastest track to achieve our ultimate goal, right?

2. Be still and rest.
Rest here does not mean that we watch Netflix (rewatching the Friends series, in my dictionary) all day long. But, it's more into having a rest for a while from thinking about the thing that we have to achieve. Just take some time to appreciate the things we have right now. Shifting our focus from getting, to be still and wait for what God's giving to us.

3. Embrace our place
Though everyday might feel like a battlefield, but we should try to embrace our place. And the sooner we embrace our place, the sooner God will bring us through it. Level up! He will eventually mark our journey in new place.

For you who is in the midst of letting go, I am wishing you a good luck. Hope we can get over it.
And for you who have passed this chapter of life, feel free to leave some comments and share your tips how you could get over it.
Have a nice day!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Faith & Decisions

"Sometimes it's hard to pick right from wrong. The best thing is just to follow our heart and hope it goes well." - Mac Miller
The thing is how can you be so sure that one thing is more righteous than the others?

What do you usually do when you have to make decision? 
Some people said when making decisions you have to calculate plus and minus of every decisions. Some people said that we have to calculate the risk of choosing A or B. Meaning that if you choose A, you'll lose B. We get some and we lose some
Some people said, do plus and minus analysis and give weight for each point (HAHA!! Sure, it's like a mathematics).
Some people said just follow your heart, pray and choose whatever you are at peace.

You think that there are too many 'some people' words up there? I know, right! But for an indecisive person at least he/she will ask 4 people about this, just to make a single decision. But, it's not about what food to eat or which lipstick color to buy. It's more pivotal than that. 

Then, what faith has to do with you making decisions? 

The other way is to hold on to our faith. Often we think to have faith so that God will whisper to us whether we should go with path A or path B, or even C to Z. We take some moment to pray, fast and ask God so that He will give us the answer, the best path. What's the definition of best then? The thing is, God will always give us the best for sure. It might be full with surprises, but it's truly the best. So, all of those options are 'the best' because wherever we go, whatever we choose, He will always give the best for us. Because giving the best for us is His nature. 

The real test is what's coming after we made our decision. It's when we need our faith even more. It's whether we trust Him with all of our heart that what we chose the best path. There is no turning back!

"Didn't i put all of my faith when I pray, God? But, why it has to be this hard?" We might ask this in the future.

There will be times (hundred times for sure) we question our decision again, though we have prayed about it for long time, cause we are stuck in the middle of our journey. There will be too many 'what if's that doubt our decisions.
But, be bold!

Sometimes, we as a human, usually complacent by the thought that God's way is always great. We associate the word 'great' with 'blessings'. We expect the path to be easy, or at least have a shortcut to our dreams. I remind you again, it won't be the case.

And, when it comes to faith, all of those risk or probability calculation are nothing compares to God's greatness. I know it makes no sense, but i guess it's truly how God works. It's always beyond our calculation. Expect more surprises to come when you put your faith in Him.   

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Baby Step of Dreams

The days after graduation leave us thousand feelings. Those who already known what they always want to be walk with confidence and excitement to realize those dreams. On the other hand, those who haven't known the answers might feel nonchalant to do anything. But hey, there's nothing wrong with it anyway. Our vision of what we really want to be, what we want to achieve or what our life goal is might be blurry. But, don't give up. Keep seeking for that. 

You know yourself better than anyone else. Seek the answers right in your heart. Maybe you have actually got the hint from your heart. But you think your life goal is absurd, too dreamy for other people and too big for yourselves. We all have the chance to write the story of our life once in a lifetime. Only once. Embrace that one and only opportunity to create the story that you always want. 

"What if the dreams are too big?" often we ask ourselves that kind of question.
The good thing of having big dream is that it will takes long time and huge effort to reach it, that you don't have to ask yourself "What is my dream?" again and again. 
Even though you haven't reached there, you seriously are getting there. 

I know that most probably you have read or heard this quote a lot of times (as much as you doubt your big dreams, perhaps :p ) 

"The journey of thousand miles begin with a single step". 

All we need is to start our engine and walk our first baby step. A baby step is still better than nothing at all. 

I have a big dream, an immense life goal and purpose if i might add. I once thought who i am to have that dream. But that dream has been longing in my heart a little bit too long, too late to forget about it. What about you? What are the things that triggers your excitement and you feel there's passion burning whenever you talk about it?

Starting my own agency that focuses on writing & marketing is the baby step of what I truly want in my life (i'll tell you later in another post). Even after the logo and booklet are ready or even three days before I launched it, I doubted my self again. But then, I chose to take that baby step with a big leap of faith. And I am now more excited than ever to make it works and realize all of those wild dreams in my heart. 

I encourage you guys to take that baby step. Work hard & pray hard :)