My Engagement Day

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

To sum 2014 in one word, I would choose the word commitments. A word that to some people might sound scary, but could be exciting for the rest. For me, it was not a walk in the park, but it made me learn many things about growing up and adulthood.

The beginning of the year was marked by the establishment of a home business with my best friends, Amame Ice Cream Therapy. It was not a smooth year for us, I can guarantee, but all of us got to learn so many things in the span of 12 months  (especially about making ice creams :D).

At work, I began the year by being assigned into a role that I very much was very interested in. Today, a year later, I am still in the same role, being grateful that I have rolled out brand activations that brought exciting results.

In terms of love life, 2014 gave us a roller coaster ride. It was a rather stable journey for me career-wise, but for my partner, it was the year for him to chase his dreams. It turned out that chasing dreams could come in a package full not only of passion, but also meltdowns and heartbreaks. (By the end of the year, he finally got to achieve his dream, though).

Little that I know that one week after my book Travel Young was launched, he was going to propose.

It was a Saturday, December 27. Because our relationship anniversary falls on the 27th of April, on the date of 27 every month, we always spare our time to hang out, may it be to go to the movies, enjoy some street food, or go DVD-shopping. That day, we went to get our hair cut, then he took me to my favourite restaurant in Darmawangsa.

We talked about so many things over dinner. When our plates were finished, he held my hand, gave a “review” about our relationship in the past one and a half year… The things he liked, and the things he hope us would never have to go through again. At the end of his, sort of speech, he suddenly popped the question.

I was surprised because I had not guessed it would have happened this fast, especially knowing the fact that one week later he was going to fly to Melbourne to pursue his Masters degree for two years. But there he was, asking me if I want to marry him or not, having prepared everything for us to have an engagement ceremony before he leaves.

And, predictably, I said yes. :)

We drove home afterwards and he brought himself to meet my parents and ask them about his intention on asking my hand in marriage, as well as his family’s plan to come on the following Tuesday to formally propose to my family. I was not sure if it would be possible for us to organise an engagement ceremony in such a short notice, nor my parents! However, that did not stop us from pursuing the plan.

Upon hearing the news, my extended family and friends were very surprised, but at the same time excited, knowing that my partner has proposed.  They were really keen on helping out.

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We made it happen.

Our engagement ceremony was held on Tuesday, 30 December, quite modestly. My aunts lent me their kebaya (which magically fits), kain, and accessories. I went to a salon in my neighbourhood to do my hair, and my best friend put my make up on. Because it was going to be an intimate reception, no catering vendor agreed to serve the food of my choice for only 50 pax. So we ordered Soto Kudus Kauman for dinner, and the guests loved it!

It was nothing like what you see on wedding websites – or perhaps Pinterest! – but for me it still felt really special, which made myself sure that the commitment my partner and I made mattered much more than any kind of ceremony.

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I’m grateful that we could make it happen this far, and I’m very excited about what’s coming our way, for me and Adit. Wish us luck.

I hope all of us would have a wonderful 2015!


A Quarter-Life Crisis, Perhaps

Reading time: 4 – 7 minutes

I have refrained myself from labeling this as a quarter-life crisis not only because I am still two years short, but also in the wake of my disbelief to such sights. I had always believed that things like pre-menstrual syndromes are simply excuses made up by men who did not want to compromise to their women in arguments, as much as quarter-life crises are made up by young adults who cannot figure out what they want to do in their life.

In spite of that, I had come into realisation that a quarter-life crisis is perhaps what I am going through at the moment – or perhaps not.

Last year, I graduated from the university and signed off to become a full-time employee in a giant multinational company based in Jakarta. A lot of people asked me why I took the decision, which seemed strange to them. “I had always thought you were going to work in the UN or an NGO!” is something I had gotten used to hearing every single day in my first months of being employed, at least from the mouths of youngsters who are stuck in the same circles with mine. To be frank, the job that I possess is a job that could be enviable to some, not to mention the company I work for is a company that I really admire. However, I still could not keep that question from being thrown onto my face. Maybe because people already have expectations on what I should do in life.

I basically took the decision to work full-time because I have seen too many young ‘activists‘ or self-proclaimed pseudo-entrepreneurs trying to change the world without having a sense of reality and what really happens on the ground. I wanted to know how it would feel like to meet people in remote areas, to witness how they maintain a certain perspective towards current issues, and how they run their lives. I also practically had never been led by someone else, let alone having a boss. I thought that would have been an essential experience to be possessed, also to prevent myself from turning into a Ms. Know-It-All.

Long story short, I have managed working in a company for over a year now, something I had never thought I would ever successfully go through. Now here comes the trouble. By this point, most of my friends from certain circles have already graduated, or at least, signed up for graduate school. Other have started award-winning entrepreneurial pursuits, or successfully soared as talented ‘self-employed’ artists, writers, or film-makers. Yet, here I am, working in a company on a 9-to-6 job (no, it’s not an 8-to-5). Yearning for my pay day to come sooner, or for a day to run more quickly.

Sometimes it makes me ask myself, “What have I been doing in the past one year?”

It’s something that I constantly talk about to my significant other, someone whom I seek to console myself with. He has always been a hard worker, one of his qualities that makes look up to him. He’s started working part-time in high school to do the same thing until he’s finished university, to earn money to pay for his living costs and tuition fees. He then worked on two jobs simultaneously for a couple of years. Quoting on what he often says to me, “Be grateful of the job you have. I used to come home at 3 am only to find myself working again 4 to 5 hours later, to make ends meet.”

This evening, I re-told him the same story, that sometimes I feel like I have not been doing much, I have not been doing great things for my future like what my friends are doing. I have not been contributing to the country as much as I could, and as much as I should. I haven’t been…

This is what he told me,

“I think what you are doing: creating activations at work, writing books, selling ice creams, have tangible results. I could see you doing it. It is not something that could be gone through the thin air. It is not something conceptual anymore. I think, by doing so, you have been creating an impact in people’s lives, an impact that could be witnessed, which is not something that many people could do these days.”

And that got me thinking.

In IYC, we have always believed on the principle that anyone, any young person, should be able to positively contribute towards the development of Indonesia through his/her passion and interests — no matter what they might be. That the contribution should not be limited to activities in the field of politics and education, but also creative industry and economy. That whatever you like to do could be transformed into something useful for the community, only if you know how to do it, and how to see it.

I could not believe that I, myself, could forget to apply this principle in my own life. I have not done much, yes, but I could keep on pursuing anytime I wish to. Perhaps the way could be different with how my friends are doing it. Perhaps I do not go to Ivy League schools, or volunteer in political campaigns, but it can never mean that I am not allowed to go my own ways in creating my own version of “contribution” towards the betterment of Indonesia, can it?

But hey, perhaps this is just one of a useless ramblings of a recently-legal girl having both quarter-life crisis and pre-menstrual syndrome at the same time.

Or perhaps not.

Dreamers Gathering 2014

Reading time: < 1 minute

Akhir tahun 2014 ini, saya (akhirnya) akan menerbitkan buku baru. Bukunya berupa sebuah memoar perjalanan yang berjudul “Travel Young”.

Kamu bisa menjadi salah satu pembaca pertama buku “Travel Young” ini dengan menghadiri acara Dreamers Gathering: Traveling Selagi Muda.

Acaranya akan diselenggarakan besok – hari Sabtu, 28 November 2014 di Promenade, Pejaten. Dengan biaya Rp75.000, kita bisa ngobrol-ngobrol soal melakukan perjalanan selagi muda, ditemani Mbak Windy Ariestanty juga. Selain itu, kamu juga akan mendapatkan buku “Travel Young” lebih dulu dibanding pembaca lainnya, dan mendapatkan merchandise “Travel Young”.

Segera daftarkan diri kamu ya!

Pampering Myself at SAMPAR

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by SAMPAR to try their facial treatment in their flagship store in Kota Kasablanka. SAMPAR is a skin care product from Paris, which is specifically formulated for women living in urban areas. I was hesitant at first. I definitely am not a fan of facial treatments because most of them usually hurt, but then the Therapist advised that SAMPAR’s kind of facial treatment would not hurt at all. So I gave it a try!

I have a quite acne prone skin, especially when my face is not thoroughly cleansed or when I am having a PMS. I was recommended to try the Pure Perfection facial treatment, which usually treats acne prone skin well. Other than this treatment, SAMPAR also provides treatment for ageing skin and normal skin.

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11Facial treatment area

During the treatment, SAMPAR products were applied to my face, from the cleansing products to moisturising products.  It felt awesome because not only my face was treated, but also my neck and feet which got massaged by the Therapist. It was truly such a relaxing experience. What a great way to sum my day up after a long day at work.

SAMPAR’s facial treatment lasts for around 45 to 60 minutes, with costs ranging around from IDR 350,000 to IDR 450,000 based on the type of facial treatment you are referring to. For more information, go to their Instagram @sampar_ind and they will be happy to answer your questions about the treatments and products!