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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pelajaran di Kapal Pesiar



Kemarin saya 'pulang kampung'. Resminya sih tur di kapal pesiar, tapi berhubung banyak banget kru kapal pesiarnya orang Indonesia, berasa seperti di Indonesia hahaha. Bedanya hanya saya nggak diliatin saat pakai bikini dan ganjen kanan kiri. Paling nggak sampai mereka lihat nama di kartu kamar saya. Ups.

Waktu saya di Indonesia dulu, kru kapal pesiar identik dengan uang cepat dan kelakuan yang syalala. Konotasinya kadang suka jelek, apalagi untuk yang perempuan. Berapa kali ditawari teman untuk kenalan dengan kru kapal pesiar, saya yang malas.

Tapi di pesiar ini pandangan saya berubah. Para kru ini ramah dan baik banget sama saya. Nggak tahu apa karena saya kebetulan tamu, atau karena pada syok saya dengan manis menyapa mereka kanan-kiri dengan Bahasa Indonesia. Orang rumah, gitu. Jadi bikin kangen rumah.

Apapun alasannya, untuk pertama kalinya saya sadar bahwa pekerjaan mereka sangat berat. Jam kerja yang panjang, tempat kerja yang sempit dan terbatasi, belum lagi tamu yang kadang minta dijitak. Pengalaman cruise/pesiar saya nyaris tak bercela, yang berarti para kru ini bekerja semaksimal mungkin.

Hebat kan? Saya beruntung bisa punya kesempatan untuk mengamati mereka seperti itu. Tapi bukan hanya mereka. Coba anda pikir, semua lapangan pekerjaan apapun mungkin terlihat berbeda bilamana anda mau membuka hati dan pikiran anda. Melihat apa yang mereka capai dan mampu lakukan.

Di Bali akan segera Galungan dan Kuningan. Umat Muslim pun segera menyambut Lebaran. Saat kita duduk bertemu sanak saudara dari berbagai lapangan pekerjaan, terutama yang bekerja jauh dan/atau yang berkelebihan, apa yang kita pikirkan? Atau yang pekerjaannya menurut kita nggak banget?

Pada akhirnya, apa yang kita lakukan adalah cerminan diri kita sendiri. Apakah kita akan melihatnya sebagai dompet berjalan, apakah kita akan melihatnya sebagai orang rendahan, itu semua cerminan diri kita. Dan di hari raya ini, nggak ada saat yang lebih tepat untuk merenungkan hal ini. 

Bukan berarti orang-orang ini nggak mungkin brengsek ya. Semua orang pada dasarnya brengsek. Percaya deh, saya 100% sadar kalau saya mondar-mandir di Indonesia tanpa kesebut 'tinggal di Los Angeles' kebanyakan orang nggak akan peduli sama saya. Padahal menurut saya saya lumayan keren lho.

Begitu pula orang-orang ini. Mereka nggak keren karena mendadak bisa beli mobil atau mentraktir sekampung ke bar. Mereka nggak nista juga karena bukan bekerja sebagai teller/kasir wangi di bank atau kerja kantoran lainnya. Mereka berani mengambil kesempatan yang ada, dan itu saja sudah luar biasa lho.

Mungkin kita perlu belajar melihat orang dari apa yang ia capai, dari perjalanan yang ia lalui, dari siapa dia. Biar Tuhan yang menilai salah-benar atau suci-tidaknya seseorang, dan ingat apa yang ia miliki sebenarnya pinjaman dari Nasib yang bisa diambil kapan saja. Kita cukup melihat mereka sebagai sesama manusia.

Tahun ini saya mungkin belum bisa pulang ke Indonesia, tapi saya sudah mendapatkan sepotong Indonesia di perjalanan saya. Dan saya bahagia. Makasih ya para kru kapal pesiar. Di hari raya ini, mari berusaha untuk menjadi lebih manusiawi. Karena kita memang hanya manusia. Salam rindu dari Los Angeles.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Empty Chair



The ship magician gestured to the empty chair in front of me. "I made him disappear," I said mischievously. "Pouff... Just like that." He looked confuse for a moment, and then he laughed.

I have always hated being alone. My solitariness is usually done out of necessity: nobody wants to hang with me. Or that I feel it's too much effort to get people to hang with me. Or when insecurity kicks in and I feel people merely felt obliged to take me in.

Yet last night, as I gazed on the empty chair, I found peace. My group was dining in the other dining area, but I choose to sit there by myself. It's lonely. It's quiet. It's an anomaly in a ship filled with thousands of people. At the same time, it's comforting.

That night on the ship's dining room I realized I have been gravitating away from my group almost right away. We started as a 36 people group, but I found myself hovering up and down the deck alone the very next day. A little lost soul floating around. And I loved it.

Being content is a dangerous thing. It's highly addicting. I wanted love and companion for sure. I will be lying if I said I wasn't trying to get lucky the whole trip. Or that I didn't feel a pang when I saw my ex-crush's post on Instagram. But I also want that empty chair.

I am content with myself. A great achievement, I might add. I finally loved myself enough to enjoy my own company. The empty chair can stay empty, I am not missing anything. I savor the experiences I have. Every single one of them is wholesome already.

The empty chair might not be empty one day, but it's not going to be an easy feat. It is not going to be mere physical attraction, it will be the dance of the dragons: synchronizing each other's minds and movements, welding each other's goals and passion.

That night a squad of girls walked by, the lead was wearing a sash that says "Bride to Be". A couple can be seen kissing each other on the other table. Insecurity came and climbed on the empty chair, and started to sob hysterically, "Why am I not good enough?"

Abigail, my innocent-looking attendant from Philippine, came and put down the appetizer in front of me. "Enjoy," she said warmly. I looked at the salmon cake. I looked at Insecurity, still bawling its eyes out. "Get lost," I said with a cold, dead smile. "That chair is taken."

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Itty Bitty Earthquake of Love



I have been blasting Rita Ora's "Your Song" for days now. The song made me realize: I was in love. And I am darn happy about it.

I know, I know I sound like a psychopath. The flow of my articles doesn't make sense. But listen, I lost my eyeglasses at the beach on Sunday. FYI, I am blind as a bat, and I lost it while just sitting around. Un-effing-believable.

Then I had to run home sobbing all the way from the theatre because a scene from a play reminded me of how the minority in Indonesia are treated. Those two showed how distracted I was about the Surabaya bombings.

F- yeah I'm gonna write about love instead.

And why not? When was the last time you were happy? The ideal answer would be you can't remember because it's just the norm to be happy, not because it has been far too long. Life shouldn't be that painful.

The thing is, we hold on to our pain and misery, yet not so much on our happiness. Which makes sense. Holding on to our pain allows us to be careful, to prevent ourselves from being hurt again.

Happiness, on the other hand, only make us feel more inadequate, especially when we can't be as happy as we were before. To say "I want to be happy again" takes balls, because happiness is not an easy feat.

But it is so rewarding.

I don't want to be stuck on how he's not in my life anymore. I want to remember the kisses we shared by the waterways. I want to remember his gentle breathing when he fell asleep in my arms. I want to remember his smiles and laughter.

I don't want to be stuck thinking I should have known better. I did. Yet I took the plunge. The big grin on my face when he texted me was worth it. The many things we did together was worth it. Falling asleep next to him on the couch was worth it.

I know I'm totally Taylor Swift-ing right now. Always. Because I don't want to forget. I want to remember the grief because it helped me to move forward. But I also want to remember the happiness, the excitement, the love.

Yes. It was love. Just like an itty bitty earthquake is still called an earthquake, I don't see why love has to be earth-shattering to be called love. Nor does it owe any explanation "I love that person because..."

Sometimes you ended up in love with a person, even when you tried not to [Ahem. Guilty as charged]. It's okay. Even when it fell through, you still get to taste Love. And that's awesome. Love is amazing and to experience it is always a privilege.

In this world full of pain and misery, let love flows like a steady stream. Walk towards it to find salvation, to drink from its endless flow. When you can't find any, keep looking. When you found it, carry some for your fellow travelers.

I have been blessed with love. The tokens of love I give and receive are everywhere around me. How does it make me feel? Grateful. Strong. Hopeful. For I have seen the best in human, and I know we can achieve so much more.

So go out there and fall in love. Enjoy the first kisses, the weakened knees, the butterflies in your stomach. Enjoy the feeling of how heavenly and fitting everything seemed. Enjoy the greatest gift humans are bestowed with: Love.

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