the unusually extrovert post about my past relationships

As I scrolled through my own blog (yes, I’m that narcissistic), I just realized that it’s been very long since my last post sharing my experience (like it matters).

As I’m preparing for my wedding, my thoughts would go to the past. (Yes, only thoughts, no text messages or meet ups with the exes.) One thing that I shared a couple of times on my social media but have not yet explained is this quote I received from a friend who also shared her friend’s post. Hence, the origin is unknown, really.

During my school days, I was not a regular girl. I was always the easily-angry-to-boys kind of girl back in junior high, so I didn’t really have a lot of boy friends back then. It was even worse in high school, since I went to an all-girls school. Then I went to engineering school, where most friends are boys and no girl in engineering school is considered a girl by those boys. Especially because I was a tomboy. So there goes my teenage and early adult years with no boyfriend. Of course, as a normal girl, I liked a couple of junior high seniors and a few college friends, but I was never really in a relationship with anyone. (Well, technically, I was in a relationship, for a few days, and it was back in junior high school when no relationship really matters – except for those couples who managed to maintain the relationship up to their adult ages, which are very rarely found.)

Here goes the list:

  1. My first boyfriend was my best friend in uni (or so I thought). Back in uni, we went through an inseparable phase. We would’ve spent the whole day together; we studied and hung out together. Oh, we even went on a holiday together (to clarify, the holiday happened before our relationship started and we went together with 7 other friends). It was really sad when the relationship ended only after the count of months. Apparently, we were in better state as friends than as a couple and I regret the relationship not for the spent time, but for the loss of a good friend.
  2. My second boyfriend was by far the longest relationship I ever had (by the time I’m writing this post). Learning from my first relationship, I was a bit traumatized by same-aged guys. So I got myself involved with this older guy. He was so perfect: mature, smart, caring, spoiling, emotionally stable.. we even survived long distance relationship. I was so sure he was the right guy for me, until his imperfection started to show, one by one. From here, I learned that nobody is perfect.
  3. My third boyfriend, who I’m about to marry, was found after a long 3-year of singledom. After the second break up, I went through all the desperate times up to the moment that I was actually enjoying myself and thought I wouldn’t need anyone else to be happy (and so maybe I wouldn’t need to marry ever). Just as I felt so full of myself, this guy came into the picture, slowly but surely presenting himself in my life to the point I got used to his presence and was afraid of losing him. What’s so different to the previous relationships is the fact that everything is so easy with this guy, even from the start. He’s a total opposite of both my exes, so at first I thought things would never go as smooth as I wanted it to, but it turns out that this is the easiest relationship I’ve been in. We are so much alike, we understand each other easily, and we keep being 2 separate individuals, ourselves, instead of getting co-dependent on each other.
  • So here I am now, thinking that I’ve finally grown up, having fallen in love with 3 different guys, each with a different background and story. I cannot really relate to the few last sentences, not yet, but I know now that in the end, everyone will get the love that s/he deserves, and until the time comes, the best thing one can do is to prepare to be the best version of himself. Every life story will be beautiful in its own time.
  • To my exes, if any of you is reading this: thank you for sharing your past with me. Life goes on, let’s not look back to ‘what if’s and ‘how it was’. Be grateful for what’s happened, move on and accept the fact that we can never go back to the way we were before the relationships happened, no matter whatever words we exchanged when we broke up. 🙂 Let’s face it: we are all happy with our lives now, and that’s all that matters.
  • *I reckon this is the better way of sharing my message rather than directly messaging people as this media is a one-way communication.
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    [in Bahasa Indonesia] Penjara Wanita itu Bernama SMA Santa Ursula

    Ini jelas bukan pertama kalinya gue nulis tentang SMA gue yang: Katolik, cewe semua, dan disiplin tinggi. Dan ga pernah bosen-bosennya gue sharing tentang SMA gue ini. Terutama karena Sabtu lalu gue baru aja ke sana lagi untuk ngambil race pack. Weekend ini akan ada event berjudul: Sanur Run For Teachers. Jalan-jalan lagi di sekolah itu otomatis bikin gue balik terkenang masa-masa dulu gue di sana, kaya flashback cepet gitu.

    Related image

    Belakangan ini, makin banyak sekolah standar internasional di Jakarta ini, dan otomatis sekolah model old school kaya Sanur (yes, we call SMA Santa Ursula ‘Sanur’) makin tenggelam pamornya. Lebih-lebih lagi karena karakter anak jaman sekarang yang cenderung ga mau banget didisiplinkan, sehingga banyak ortu dan anak-anak yang ‘gemetar’ duluan begitu mendengar gimana Sanur di luaran sana.

    Gue sendiri bukannya cinta mati sama sekolah gue itu. Really, 3 tahun di sana (untungnya cuma 3 taun, ga kebayang yang udah dari SD ato SMP di sana :P), gue ngalamin segala macem hal yang belakangan ini gue simpulkan sebagai love-hate relationship.

    Tahun pertama di sana itu tahun super-shock. Gue yang pas SMP termasuk golongan top 10 di angkatan gue (sombong abis.. maafkan), tiba-tiba aja nyemplung ke sekolah unggulan yang anak-anaknya jauh lebih pinter-pinter daripada gue sehingga gue jadi tergolong biasa-biasa aja. Bahasa Inggris yang gue bangga-banggakan selama SMP, begitu masuk Sanur langsung gue termasuk yang nilainya jongkok karena temen-temen gue pada cas-cis-cus banget ngomongnya. Ulangan harian yang jaman SMP palingan sehari cuma 2 dan PR pun manageable, tiba-tiba aja di Sanur bisa ada 3-4, belum lagi PR-nya yang segunung. On top of that, peraturan sekolah soal seragam juga ketat banget (sering dirazia): blus ga boleh ketat, pake badge Serviam, rok 10 cm dibawah lutut, kaos kaki putih selutut, dan sepatu seragam hitam model pantofel.

    Seolah cobaannya belum cukup berat, sekolah gue terpilih jadi salah satu sekolah percobaan kurikulum baru: Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi (KBK) yang penilaian murid-muridnya ada 3 kriteria: kognitif, afektif, dan psikomotorik. Kognitif itu penilaian kurikulum konvensional yang cuma menilai kemampuan siswa dari kompetensi akademisnya alias seberapa paham dia akan teori-teori yang diajarkan selama sekolah (dari ujian-ujian), afektif menilai sikap siswa terhadap yang diajarkan, dan psikomotorik menilai seberapa aktif siswa bisa berpartisipasi dalam pembelajaran di kelas. Yang paling berat dari semuanya itu adalah….. syarat nilainya yang ga boleh dibawah 7,5 (dan pas naik kelas 2, syaratnya naik juga jadi 8). Maaann!! Sanur udah cukup berat tanpa syarat nilai, ini pula ditambah. Hello remedial!

    Tahun kedua itu tahun hoki karena gue bisa masuk IPA. (Siapa lagi orang gila yang bilang masuk IPA itu hoki? Nilai pelajaran IPS gue pas ambil rapor kenaikan kelas merah, jadi dijamin gue bakal desperate banget kalo sampe gue kecemplung ke IPS.) Yang ga hokinya karena gue ketemu yang namanya pelajaran biologi yang bisa bikin gue gila, dan pelajaran matematika yang gurunya terkenal killer di seluruh jagat raya persanuran (serius, ini guru legendaris banget karena jaman gue SMA udah ngajar di situ 20 tahunan lebih, jadi banyak temen-temen gue yang nyokapnya diajar sama dia juga). Dimulailah tahun penuh air mata gue di Sanur, dimana setiap siang pulang sekolah gue nangis-nangis karena ga sanggup lagi sekolah di sana.

    Tahun ketiga, meski masih penuh air mata, tapi gue udah mulai woles. Terutama karena di awal tahun ajaran, guru-guru udah ngumumin bahwa semester kedua cuma bakal dipake buat ‘refresh‘ semua pelajaran yang udah didapet dari kelas 1. Fiuhhh.. semester 1 dikebut abis, tapi begitu masuk semester 2 jadi agak nyantai (you wish! Ulangannya malah makin menggila yang ada). Pas akhirnya lulus ujian akhir itu rasanya legaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa banget. (Pengennya sih lebih panjang lagi a-nya.)

    Image result for santa ursula

    Ga tau sih, semua alumni ngerasain hal yang sama apa nggak, tapi inilah hal-hal yang berkesan dan gue syukuri dari sekolah di Sanur:

    • Tiap pagi lari-lari di lorong masuk yang berasa panjang banget karena tas bawaan yang ga pernah santai beratnya, terutama kalo udah kesiangan, soalnya bel masuknya bunyi jam 06.50, bukan jam 7 kaya sekolah lainnya. (Sekarang mungkin udah ga berlaku karena beberapa sekolah masuk jam 06.30.) Trus kalo lari-lari di lorong lantai 2 (SMA letaknya di lantai 2), bakal ditegor guru, jadi terpaksa cuma bisa jalan cepat dengan resiko telat masuk kelas.
    • What I like and affected me the most, dan gue rasa ga semua sekolah ngajarin ini ke murid-muridnya: kepedulian terhadap sekitar. Despite kesupersibukan murid-muridnya, kepsek dan guru-guru selalu ngingetin kami untuk peduli sama sekitar. Kalo ada temen kesusahan, dengan kesadaran sendiri bantu; buang sampah di tempatnya biar ga bikin susah tukang bersih-bersih, hargai sesama makhluk hidup terutama yang lebih lemah daripada kita, consider others sebelum bertindak, even untuk hal-hal kecil, aware sama yang terjadi di sekitar, dan sebisa mungkin jadi yang pertama tau sesuatu langsung dari sumber resminya (papan pengumuman).. hal-hal yang keliatannya kecil tapi sangat bermanfaat buat kehidupan mandiri gue berikutnya.
    • Live-in. Usut punya usut, program live-in ini di-initiate sama Sr. Francesco yang pernah jadi kepala SMA Sanur lumayan lama. Selama seminggu, remaja-remaja kota ini disuruh tinggal di pedesaan buat ‘belajar hidup’. Banyak yang lucu-lucu. Ada yang baru pertama kali liat anak ayam, ketakutan pergi ke kamar mandi sendiri malem-malem (karena rata-rata kamar mandinya kepisah dari bangunan rumah), pertama kali tidur ga pake AC, dan kalo buat gue: pertama kali motong rumput pake arit di ladang, pertama kali panen jagung, pertama kali liat kambing melahirkan, dan pertama kali bersihin sisik ikan. Asli, meski program ini buat gue banyak ga enaknya, tapi sekarang kalo dipikir-pikir banyak juga gunanya.
    • A woman can do anything. Ga ada cowo di sekolah, siapa takut?! Tiap tahun ada acara unggulan OSIS dan gue hobi ikutan jadi panitia. Pas persiapan acara, karena ga ada cowo ya udah ngangkut-ngangkut sendiri, apa-apa sendiri, dan acaranya sukses-sukses aja. Ini pembelajaran jadi mandiri, makanya banyak banget anak Sanur yang berani padahal kami cewe.
    • Time management. Karena jadwal PR dan ulangannya sadis banget, tiap pulang sekolah gue harus langsung nyicil ngerjain PR dan belajar kalo ga mau begadang. Belum lagi kalo pas ada les (untungnya nyokap gue ga akan ngasih anaknya les kecuali emang bener-bener butuh), makin harus pinter bagi waktu deh. Beneran kaya training di camp militer yang segala sesuatunya harus dikerjain seefektif dan seefisien mungkin.
    • Penjara wanita. Ini becandaan yang kayanya emang kenyataan. Sekolahnya full dikerangkeng, terletak di ring 1 RI, (sialnya) ga pernah banjir even musim banjir (karena pawang hujan dari Istana yang konon efeknya sampe ke sekolah) sehingga sekolah ga pernah diliburkan, belajarnya serius banget tapi mainnya lebih serius lagi, paling pelit libur dan paling duluan (ulangan umum selalu mendului sekolah lain tapi liburnya belakangan), dan yang paling penting: isinya cewe semua.
    • Ngajarin cuek. Selain peduli sama sekitar, sekeliling cewe semua juga bikin jadi cuek. Cuek dalam hal penampilan luar ya.. ga gitu peduli penampilan, sikap duduk seenaknya (emangnya kalian kira kenapa cewe Sanur ga pernah bisa duduk dengan lutut rapat meski lagi pake rok?), ngomong ceplas ceplos, dan berani tampil (bermula dari keharusan tampil depan kelas untuk setiap mata pelajaran).
    • Speak up so you’re heard. Pertama kali masuk Sanur, gue masih kebawa sikap selama SMP yaitu diem-diem aja apapun yang terjadi. Dikelilingin cewe-cewe, akhirnya gue pun luluh dan ikutan sikap: ngomong lah kalo ada apa-apa. Ini kebawa sampe sekarang sih, yang kalo ada hal ga beres, gue bakal langsung ngomong dengan gamblang.
    • Pelajarannya susah, tapi jadinya gue nyantai banget pas kuliah semester 1. Ada guru yang juga alumni Sanur dulu bilang: kalian kalo bolos di Sanur rugiii.. soalnya di sini bolos 1 hari sama aja kaya ketinggalan pelajaran 1 minggu di sekolah lain. Ada benernya sih. I’ve tried. Mabok banget pas abis ga masuk sehari. Tapi ya itu, karena pelajarannya susah, jadi pas kuliah gue nyantai abis. FYI, kuliah semester 1 gue itu semuanya ngulang pelajaran SMA (kalkulus, fisika, kimia) dan gue jadi super santai pas temen-temen gue kebat-kebit ngikutinnya.

    Buat adik-adik (caelahhh) yang masih galau mau masuk SMA Sanur apa nggak, my advice is take the chance. Ga semua orang berkesempatan masuk Sanur karena emang hanya yang terpilih aja yang bisa masuk (penilaiannya ga cuma dari nilai pelajaran, tapi juga dari nilai psikotest), dan bakal banyak banget pengalaman ga terlupakan selama sekolah di sana. It is indeed a ‘jail’ yang bakal dibenci banget pas ngejalanin dan dikangenin banget setelah lulus.

    to teenage and young adult girls: be independent

    Growing up and living in Indonesia for 28+ years have opened my eyes to 2 things: 1. The older generation, especially from some culture groups, still puts women in lower level than men; 2. On the other side, the younger generation (now the late 30s – early 40s) has been more open minded and supports feminism/emancipation. However, living in eastern/Asian culture where we are taught to always respect the elder has somehow brought the younger generation to finally agree to put men in higher class than women (even though in practice, I see that more young families treat women as equal to men – which is good).

    There’s a saying: you are who you think you are, which is true. With the paradigm that women are on lower level than men, some people, especially from the lower education background, really put women as the lower group with less access to higher education and career. Thank God my parents are within the group of people who think of men and women as equals. They put me and my sister in good schools, teach us to be independent (with very less chance of getting spoiled), and support us to get decent career.

    Dear Lovely Girls,

    I know that most of you are feeling insecure about your physical appearance and love life a lot at the moment – I’ve been there, but it shouldn’t prevent you from preparing yourself for the future, to be independent. Most people (especially guys) misinterpret ‘independent women’ as the kind of women who can stand for themselves and don’t need men. This is not entirely wrong; we need to be able to stand for ourselves, regardless of whether we have men by our sides.

    The best advice I can give you to be independent:

    • You can do anything if you believe you can.Image result for independent woman
    • Nobody can tell you that you can’t do something. (Just like the quote from ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’)Image result for the pursuit of happiness quotes
    • Never wait for others – when you want to do something, do it.
    • Study hard for what you want. Until today, I still believe that education is the most important and priceless thing someone can get. You can buy certificates, but you cannot buy the education experiences and the values you get from it.
    • Speak up and be bold.
    • Do things that you want to do, but listen to your parents. They might not know what you want, but they can tell you what you need if you open up to them. Anyway, they’ve lived longer than you.
    • Stand up for the things you believe in.
    • The best revenge (to the people who hurt you) is by being the best version of you. When you’re at your best, you will be happier than ever. When you’re happy, those who hate or hurt you will hate you even more, but you won’t have time to care.

    If any of you ever worry that being an independent woman is going to push guys away, then don’t. When you’re independent, a guy that is meant for you will not run away – instead, he will stand by your side proudly.

    Be independent.

    XOXO

    Self-claimed independent woman

    on platonic friendship

    Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. If a guy and a girl hang out all the time but aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend, they’d describe their friendship as platonic.

    (Quoted from: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/platonic)

    Having spent most of my early teenage years being friends with only girls, it was really shocking for me when I first befriended some guys and actually enjoyed it. Some big reasons of why I enjoyed being friends with guys in the first place are:

    • I can care less about what I wear and how I look. As long as I feel comfortable with what I’m in, then I’ll be good to go. (The downside of this is I tended to dress up the way I wanted to; this is a bit improved today.)
    • I can speak what I want to without having to worry too much. Guys are not as sensitive as girls, so as long as you don’t say things that might hurt their ego, you’re good to go. (The downside of this is when you do too much heart-to-heart conversation with them, they don’t know that the topic is sensitive for them not to talk about it to others.)
    • They are my voices of reasons. I don’t have older brothers and my dad just sometimes can’t understand the problems I’m facing. It was not so pleasant at first (especially during their early 20s, remembering that guys mature up later than girls), but soon in their 25s, they finally become more mature and logical about stuff.

    I now have several guy friends with whom I have no physical nor sexual desire, and we meet up regularly. Not as much as when I was single, but we still hang out and chat at times. I don’t know if these friendships will still be there after I’m married and busy with my own life, but I hope things will work out well for us all. 🙂

    on ‘who I am’

    I have been so much unconfident for the past 2 years – I feel like I’m stuck with my career that every time someone asks me about my job, I would be flustered and speechless. This is proof that I’ve let my job define who I am, which is not supposed to happen.

    When I was younger, I would be so proud telling everyone who I was – I focused more on the personal traits rather than what my class ranking was or what I had created for school expos.

    Now that I meet more people from professional relations than those of personal, our conversations will automatically be focused on careers and jobs. Where you work and what you do matter. Hence, when you’re not satisfied with them, you will feel embarrassed.

    Some time ago (can’t exactly remember when), I joined a short course themed ‘personal leadership’, where we were told to lead ourselves before we lead others. The most important thing in leading ourselves is to know ourselves – that is, to be able to define ‘who I am’ as a person instead of as whatever role you have in your job.

    iamwhoiam

    After the course, I have just realized that who I am matters. Not everyone you meet cares about what you do for a living and how much you earn, but s/he cares a lot about what you do and how you make them feel. So, the next time I need to introduce myself, I will confidently reply:

    I’m Inez, a unique woman who would normally feel insecure at times but always try to see the positive sides of things. … (Other things are not going to be shared here.)

    daddy’s little princess (another post for girls)

    Dear Ladies,

    I’m writing to let you know that every woman will always be her daddy’s little princess, no matter how old she is.

    I am now 30, still live with my parents (in Indonesia, a child would normally live with his/her parents until s/he’s married unless there are special conditions, e.g. working in different city or having bad relationship with parents), hence have curfew. It was a big problem at first (read: when I first moved back in to my parents’ house), having most of my colleagues coming from outside Jakarta (they don’t live with their parents), but as I’m getting older, I instead use it as an excuse to run away from office’s ‘social events’. It is almost always, by the time I’m first invited to those ‘social events’, people would look at me strangely, wondering my parents’ curfew. They would sometimes ask me how old I am that I still live by the curfew. (To which I would just smile and replied: their house, their rules.)

    The frequently asked questions are then:

    Q: Does the same rule (curfew) apply to your sister?

    A: Yes, and even worse sometimes. There are times when my parents would have looked for my sister when she’s not home at 7 PM. (They would start looking for me when they don’t listen from me until 8 PM.)

    Q: Aren’t you disturbed by the rule, given the fact that it disables you from joining events?

    A: The fact that the rule exists will of course disturb me the most, but I always try to see things from my parents’ views. They just want to make sure their girls don’t fall into false ‘friendships’ (in their world, the word means: Jakarta’s night life).

    Q: If you are that much disturbed, then why didn’t you do something?

    A: I tried asking my parents if they would allow me to stay over at a friend’s house so they won’t need to be worried with me coming home late, but their answer was also big NO. Instead, they make the curfew flexible at times (with notes: I go out with friends they know, to certain events e.g. music concert/friend’s birthday celebration/company event, and will arrive home in the safe hands, i.e. either dropped by a friend or by a trustworthy taxi) to make sure I come home afterwards.

    The turning point for me was when a friend’s daughter was just born. After a year or so, he told me that as his daughter grows older, he naturally becomes more possessive of her that he’s thinking of sending someone out to tail her by the time she asks his permission for dates. LOL. Of course, he hasn’t gone through what my father and I have, but for sure that’s what my dad would have thought when he just had me. And my sister, of course. I’d then realized that whatever my dad does, he’d always think of me as the little princess I once was, and I will always be one for him.

    All in all, my dad’s sure become a role model for me – he’d successfully been the kind of guy I want to marry (with some improvements here and there), and I wish my future husband can also be the kind of guy my future daughter(s) would want to marry. He cares about me more than any guy in this world ever does, and will still be. Your father might not say his feelings out loud, but his actions scream it in the greatest way.

    Love you, dad.

    XOXO

     

    what I wish I knew when I was 20

    True, I lived alone in a lodging when I was 20 years old. I was in my 3rd year of undergrad and felt like I knew a lot of things. Truth is, I knew nothing back then. Now I wish I knew these things:

    1. A relationship can either be toxic or healthy. Yes, I was never in a relationship when I was 20. And I’ve been in 3 in the past 10 years. And yes, I have been in both the toxic and healthy ones. To put it simply, healthy relationship will make you a better individual, while the healthy one the opposite.
    2. Your career is determined by your first job. Well, how could I have known it? I was just a 3rd year student, still more than one year away from having to think about working. I didn’t even think much about graduating. LOL. Thank God I have my mom who guided me well during the job offer selection. (Otherwise I might have been trapped into working a job I will regret later.)
    3. Your family will be the part of your life that you appreciate most. Everything in your life starts with your family. Now that there are many sad stories about broken home families I heard, I’m feeling even more grateful for the family I was born into. It is true that you cannot choose which family you’re born into, but in most cases, they are the persons who will love you unconditionally.
    4. Who your family is or where you went to school doesn’t matter in life – who you are does. During school years, most students are dependent to their parents. That’s why most children will feel that family and school are important. The opposite will happen after you’re becoming an adult – who you are matters.
    5. Getting a job that pays you decently is hard, but managing to collect money is even harder. I was a fresh graduate when I worked for my first job, with lower salary than most of my male college friends. I’d then continued to Master’s, where after graduating, my first job also paid me lower than most of my male friends. According to research, women tend to get lower pay due to lower self esteem and easier to be negotiated. This is because women have the duty of taking care of their families more than guys do, making them less productive and work less hours. I think I should just live with the fact and stop living a fancy lifestyle, no? ‘No’ would be my answer then, still tempted to eat at fancy restaurants, have coffee at fancy cafes and go on holidays now and then. 😀 Those, for me, are money well spent – an even better investment than bank deposits.
    6. Your friends are not gonna be with you forever – they get lost with time. Research proved that friendships that last more than 7 years are going to last forever. From my experience, only a few high school and college friends are still in contact with me. And even fewer that I still regularly meet. Sometimes I think my parents are right – no friendship lasts forever.