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.


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.



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.

(for girls) types of guys and how to deal with them

**Disclaimer: I’m not a real pro when it comes to dealing with guys; I’m just sharing my experience here.**

As I’ve told you in my previous post, I was single for 3 years before I finally decided to settle down with my boyfriend. During those 3 years, I had met some guys from different background and hence different ways of approach.

  1. The geek. Working in an engineering company, by default I meet this type the most. Say it the guys who are ‘trapped’ in engineering world that they will sporadically approach any girls around them, to the ones who are so consumed in their own worlds. Basically, the geeks are nice guys, regardless of whether they have weird sense of humor or simply weird habits. Most geek guys are shy, so it is highly likely that they will just be your secret admirers and help you in any way they could. Some girls might find geeks beneficial in the way and even ‘use’ their kindness.
  2. The nervous. I separate this category with no 1 because geeks are not necessarily nervous when facing girls. Sometimes the nervous are just them who are not used to be friends with girls. The most noticeable sign of the nervous is the stumbling they make when they speak or act.
  3. The stalker. You might not realize this type exists, but they might know everything about you. They know when and where you came to school/work everyday, where you have lunch, where you hang out after work, etc. etc. Sound creepy? It’s a yes for me. Most stalkers are nice guys, though. They will not hesitate to send you flowers if they find out you like them, or give you things you need most in time. Be careful with the aggressive ones, still.
  4. The initiator. Or the aggressive, I can say. This type initiates most of the things you’ve been through together. They will be the ones introducing themselves to the girls they like, asking us out on dates, and contacting us frequently to make sure they are within our radar. (P.S: I was mostly attracted to the initiator – only after then I realize that I need constant attention.)
  5. The humorist. They are the type of guys who will cast out jokes or do stupid things to make the girls laugh. Consequently, they will highly likely become the guys girls closest to and feel comfortable with. The downside of the humorist is they’re often trapped in the friend zone.

Whichever type of guys you’re facing, the most important thing to remember is to instantly make a distance and tell them when you’re not interested as to not give them false hope. Never take their kindness for granted.

[in Bahasa Indonesia] Penerapan Sekolah 5 Hari

Setelah ditelusuri, ternyata opini untuk menerapkan sekolah 5 hari dengan durasi belajar 40 jam seminggu/8 jam sehari mulai tahun ajaran 2017-2018 sudah lumayan lama juga ya keluar, dan saya baru dengar beritanya tadi pagi di radio saat perjalanan ke kantor. Memang keterlaluan anak satu ini, mentang-mentang sudah lulus dari sekolah jadi tidak care lagi dengan perkembangan dunia pendidikan. *lebay*

Mau ga mau saya jadi bernostalgia soal jam sekolah saya jaman dulu. Kebetulan di Indonesia ini tiap ganti menteri pendidikan (tiap kabinet namanya ganti-ganti, mulai dari mendikbud, mendiknas, sampe balik lagi mendikbud), kurikulum sekolah juga pasti ganti. Otomatis, kebijakan soal cara penilaian siswa sampe buku pelajaran yang dipake pasti ganti (dan sayangnya lagi, jarak umur antara saya dan adik saya pas 5 tahun, jadi orangtua kami ga bisa berhemat secara buku yang saya pake ga bisa dipake lagi sama adik saya).

Masa sekolah paling bahagia itu tentunya TK. Sekolahnya sih memang Senin-Sabtu, tapi sistemnya pagi-siang (tiap bulan ganti), sekolah Senin-Jumat 2 jam 15 menit sehari dan Sabtu 1 jam 30 menit saja. Lanjut SD (yang menurut saya kelamaan, sampe-sampe pas kelas 5 saya udah mulai nanya ke nyokap: kapan lulus ya, lama amat sekolahnya?), kelas 1-2 masih sistem pagi-siang dengan durasi yang lebih lama, Senin-Sabtu 2 jam 30 menit sehari, dan kelas 3-6 sekolah seharian (awal-awal kelas 3 rasanya sekolah itu lamaaaaa banget), Senin-Jumat jam 7.00-12.10 dan Sabtu jam 7.00-11.00. Lulus SD, saya sebenernya pengen lanjut ke SMP di negeri sebelah (alias SMP lain, karena TK-SD saya di sekolah yang sama, jadi bosen ketemu lingkungan dan teman-teman yang itu-itu aja), tapi apa daya kepentok ijin. Waktu itu bokap merasa saya masih terlalu kecil untuk dilepas ke sekolah yang jauh, jadi terpaksa saya lanjut lagi di SMP yang sama. Jam sekolahnya Senin-Jumat jam 7.00-13.30 dan Sabtu jam 7.00-11.00, dengan tambahan ekskul dan bimbingan 1-2 kali seminggu jadi pulang jam 4 sore (saya ga pernah ikut ekskul yang ga wajib karena males pulang sore). Tidak ada kendala yang berarti selama SMP, selain masalah psikologis masa puber yang bikin saya dan teman-teman galau ganjen norak nakal (kalau dilihat dari kacamata saat ini).

Lulus SMP, akhirnya saya diijinkan masuk ke SMA yang saya mau, dengan pertimbangan SMA yang bagus menentukan universitas yang bisa ditembus. Jam sekolah masih sama seperti waktu SMP, juga dengan komposisi ekskul dan bimbingan yang sama. Yang paling berkesan dari masa SMA adalah ternyata SMA saya termasuk SMA unggulan, ga cuma di Jakarta tapi di Indonesia, sampe-sampe kepilih jadi SMA percontohan si kurikulum baru (saat itu, tahun 2002), Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi (KBK). Yang paling berubah dari KBK ini adalah sistem penilaian (dan libur) yang tadinya per caturwulan (cawu)/4 bulanan, jadi kaya anak-anak kuliahan, per semester/6 bulanan, dan nilai di raport tidak boleh dibawah 7,5 (saat kelas 1-2) dan 8 (kelas 12). Ya, sistem kelas pun berubah saat naik dari kelas 2 ke kelas 3, karena saat saya kelas 3, KBK mulai diterapkan di semua sekolah lain di Indonesia (atau baru Jakarta ya?), dan sistem penomoran kelas yang tadinya 1-6 SD – 1-3 SMP – 1-3 SMA, diubah jadi kelas 1-12.

Saya inget banget, saat saya SMA itu, saya tiap hari Senin-Jumat pulang jam 13.30 (KBK ini emang sekolahnya cuma 5 hari seminggu) dan hari Sabtu diisi ekskul, sementara temen-temen di sekolah lain rata-rata pulangnya jam 15.30 dan sebagian hari Sabtu masih belajar juga, dan sebagian besar mereka bilang saya enak banget bisa pulang cepet. Saya sih cuma ketawa aja waktu itu, sambil dalam hati setengah menggerutu: apa enaknya?! Loe enak pulang sekolah sore masih sempet main-main, sementara gue begitu sampe rumah harus buru-buru buka PR dan belajar untuk ulangan. Yes, sekolah saya se-nggak santai itu. Disiplinnya amit-amit, pelajarannya intens banget sampe-sampe mau ijin sakit aja mikir 1000 kali (ga masuk 1 hari = ketinggalan pelajaran jauh banget), jadwal ulangan umumnya selalu lebih cepet seminggu dari sekolah lain dan saat anak sekolah lain sibuk ulangan umum, kami pun sibuk dengan pelatihan-pelatihan yang dirancang sama sekolah buat siswinya (mulai dari pelatihan jurnalistik sampe narkoba udah pernah dijabanin deh), dan pelit banget buat ngasih libur (trust me, even jaman-jaman force majeure macam banjir ato demo gede-gedean pun teteeeepp guru-guru rajin kasih tugas buat dikerjain di rumah.. baru saat itu saya ngerasain ‘belajar di rumah’ as in bener-bener belajar dan ga libur).

Jadi menurut saya, diterapkan atau tidaknya aturan sekolah 5 hari seminggu ini betul-betul tergantung dari sekolah masing-masing. Tujuan utamanya kan katanya biar baik guru maupun murid bisa benar-benar memanfaatkan waktu libur akhir pekan untuk keluarga, tapi ya semua tergantung kebijakan sekolah juga. Kalau sudah ditetapkan 5 hari seminggu 8 jam sehari sekolah, harus dipikirkan juga gimana biar anak-anak ga tertekan, apalagi kalau guru-guru masih membebani dengan PR dan ulangan. Yang ada nanti kualitas pendidikan ga membaik, waktu kualitas dengan orangtua juga ga tercapai, ditambah lagi muridnya stress.

*Semoga kualitas pendidikan Indonesia bisa semakin ditingkatkan lagi, terutama dalam era globalisasi ini, agar para pendidik juga bisa memberikan pandangan yang luas kepada para murid sambil mendorong agar murid mau ikut berpartisipasi aktif dalam mengemukakan pendapat di depan umum.

*Bersyukurlah anak-anak jaman sekarang karena populasi guru killer sudah menurun drastis dibanding jaman saya sekolah dulu.

*Setelah hampir 3 tahun ga nge-blog pake bahasa Indonesia, ternyata kangen juga dan lumayan bisa mengalir lancar tulisannya.

about surviving life

I’m someone who believes that life is given to us free, but it will be taken back after we spend a lot of cost. Life itself is a gift from God – we are born to this world unconsciously, simply because God wants us to be part of the world. How we spend our lifetime is our gift to God.

Life is never easy for those who dream, they said. I cannot agree more to that. Dream is a never ending process that everyone has to go through as long as they live. As you’re growing, you’re getting older and experiencing more, you dream even more but with some other considerations. Your dream will always push you to survive all stages of life. That’s why they always tell you to dream big.

Big question comes when you’re dying. What else to be dreamed about?

Religious would dream to have God save them, that He would give the best for them, that whatever their sickness leads to, it’s for their own best.

Realists would dream to find the diagnosis of their symptoms, that after they find out the cause, doctors and scientists would be able to cure them and bring them back to life. Even if they end up die, they’ve at least found out scientific explanation to the why’s.

Optimists would dream to get back their health soon, no matter how. They would definitely try all their best to find out how.

In order to survive life, one has to possess at least 1 of the above mentioned dreams. Strong will and faith are the most important things to survive life. I’ve seen some people from my family survived life several times before finally deceased, and some just couldn’t bear the pain and decided to give up. Whichever one you choose is totally your preference, as you are the master of your life (even though no one ever knows his own age). As the ones who are left alive, we as the family can only pray for the best for your soul and for us to be strong and continue our lives as we have to. To survive our own lives.

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace

Goodbye, Ie.. you were the best auntie I ever had and I believe you are in a better place now. God loves you more than we do. We will never forget that smile of yours. 🙂

about time

If you’re thinking that I’m going to promote the last movie by Rachel McAdams, then you’re wrong because I haven’t watched the movie at all.

I thank God that I was given a chance to date a guy whose principle is “timing is everything“. During our relationship, we had this habit to always be honest and tell the truth to each other, at the right time. What does “the right time” mean? (Done with the past tense.) It means we have to see the situation of others before telling them the truth. Situation here includes, but not limited to, one’s mood, place and activities.

ImageI had this discussion with a friend last week regarding time (somehow I always have this absurd conversation with this friend but we enjoy it a lot 😛 and yes, he’s the same person with whom I talked “about the one“). At the end of discussion, we agreed that time is God’s game where we human play our roles. Our roles here mostly are active, meaning every little act and decision we make might shift the timing for every chained reaction related to our actions. However, there are things that might happen or might not if we decide to be passive.

ImageA good example here is my relationship case. I’ve written before about my parents’ disapproval of my plan to marry my then boyfriend. In approximately 5-6 months after we broke up, he decided to date another girl, and in approximately 2 months after, my parents changed their minds seeing me broken and sad. Now if only he hadn’t decided to commit into another relationship so quickly, maybe we’d been back into our initial plan of getting married. With the decision he’s made, we’re forced to have our own visions, to go our own ways. Time is a game. And our decisions determine our future. (And again I thank God for making him made the decision.)