Happiness Commandments : the prolog.

After laying down two big posts about happiness and a dare to change, I am enticed to have a go myself. There’s this urge to take the challenges, and to actually write some more, toning up my writing muscle (and my eyes’ muscles, since I tend to write till dawn).

so, Happiness Commandments.

The background story is the one of the blogs that I regularly visit nowadays; Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Every day Gretchen will have an article or a video that touches on the subject of happiness, to then be explored from different perspectives. From my mini manifesto about happiness, I am intrigued to come up with my own list of happiness commandments.

What I have in mind is, by having the list of things or suggestions on how to be happy, I will have to at least learn to know about myself. What makes me happy, what makes me sad, or annoyed, etc. Sometimes we have to be asked the right questions that in order to answer them, we’ve got to really think and open up who we really are. To be brave and be not ashamed of what matters to us and what doesn’t. And by committing to this list, hopefully, I will have an exciting journey of rediscovering myself and, fingers crossed, be a better person.

Gretchen, in her page on how to start your own happiness project, wrote that the first step is to write your own version of happiness commandments. These commandments can easily end up like a to-do-list, because we might identify where our problem is (e.g. I shall wash my plates right after I’m done with my food), and drop the pin like the ones on your GPS, and work excessively just on that one bit. We will end up with pages of lists if that’s how we’re doing it. We need to broaden up our target, and that one resolution may fall under a larger self-command, like “clean while you cook“, or “unclutter is cool”, for example. The process of constructing the commandments will take time, I’m sure, because I will have to identify what areas that I am more sensitive with compared to the others.

Anyway.

I don’t know why I’d need 400 words to start writing up my commandments. I guess I’m buying time, again, because I’m so NERVOUS!! *cold, sweaty palms*

Okay, my number one is pretty easy and straight-forward and it’s because first of all, I took it from Gretchen’s list. Hee.

Be Yuko.

As in, be myself. Easy, straight-forward, a tad too cliche perhaps, but at times proved to be a heck of a challenge.

You know what, I think I’m going to do what Gretchen’s done in her website. I’ll set up a widget somewhere on my blog site, list down my commandments, and link each of them to separate posts where I will explain myself why I choose to do or have that point in my list. Oh, and I also need to work out on naming the list. It’s gotta be catchy, you see. It’ll be easier to remember whenever I need some ‘help’ out there. So, my next post will be a “Be Yuko” post and why.

Alright! Enough for now. Have to get ready to go to church soon! We’ve got Om Djohan in the house tonight, for our Joint FA 😀

Change the world : OneWord 365

How do you change the world?

As Google is everyone’s best friend, I typed in “How to Change the World”, and it blurted out around 159,000,000 results in .12 second. Not even one whole second spent, and I’ve got more than enough sources on how I bring change to the world. There are organizations, songs, poems, videos on YouTube, Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, movements, new age religions, indie and Hollywood movies and so many other platforms presenting their ideas on how we can make a difference to this crumbling world that we live in.

I’m not too good at multi-tasking. So now, being information overloaded, I asked myself, “where should I start?”. Moreover, I’ve never been one to be overly ambitious on asking myself how I can change the world. What can one small girl, um, woman, do that can be considered as vital enough to contribute to the better of the world?

I came across many encouraging blog sites while doing my research. One of them is OneWord 365, by Alece Ronzino, a Christian blogger. Started last year, OneWord 365 is basically a movement that believes that one word can change everything. It doesn’t need any complicated process to choose the right word. Just pick one word that “… sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve…”, Ronzino encouraged. The deal is to focus on that one word for 365 days, or 366 since this year is Leap year, and to incorporate the word into your life as a guidance and a daily challenge for you. Many have jumped in on the wagon in 2011, and claimed that not only the project is exciting, it is encouraging them to be a better self. Some had Hope, Fearless, Humility, Listen, and other positive words. But some don’t seem to make sense, like Messy. The same blogger chose Vulnerable for her OneWord 2012. It might not seem to work for others, but it definitely worked for her, since it was the word that she needs for her to change her world.

One word, for one world. And when every one of us is working on our one word, do you reckon we can change the world?

And old phrase written by an Unknown, who enlightens us on where to begin our mission.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. 
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. 
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. 

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

When the task of changing what’s around us become too overwhelming, we can always look in the mirror and say,

“we can start with you”.

So, what’s your word? 🙂

…only up to its cover. And no more.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will measured to you [Matthew 7:1-2]

Why do we judge?

If we are bold, or humble enough to admit, it is not rare for us to comment on others, especially when it comes to things that don’t suit our perspectives. “He’s so stupid to do that to her..” “Why would she do that?” “What was he thinking??” “I wouldn’t do that if I were her..”, and on, and on, and on. Even when we don’t utter those words verbally, often they cross our minds before we can stop them. 

And why is that so? Because we think we know better, and we want them to think like us. Being an idealist, so to speak, only psychologically. We comment, we judge, because we feel that we know what should be done, but we just don’t bother to make that happen. We’re just spectators, booing a runner or a cyclist from the sideline. Like Pharisees. 

Another reason why we judge is because we feel victimized by what’s been done. “It is okay for me to think this way, because you made me so! Because you give me reasons to do so!” It is soo easy to fall into traps of idealism and self-righteousness when we think that we are the victims. We pity ourselves, we demand people to cater for our self-worth deficiency like it’s some kind of famine, not knowing that by doing this we slowly degrade ourselves. We binge on other’s words and encouragements and soon we’re filled and bloated by empty ‘calories’. We’re fat and unhealthy, and unhappy, eventually. 

I judged someone today, publicly. Well, electronically publicly. And I regretted what I did. I should’ve kept my mouth shut, and should’ve closed my thoughts around that sensitive topic. I should’ve stopped being a mother hen, at least for this person. A popular quote, “don’t judge the book by its cover” hits me on the face, because I just shouldn’t and wouldn’t have anything to do with ‘opening the book and looking inside’ anymore. All that I could do, and comment on was, about the cover. Which was extremely unfair. 

But what’s done is done. I am very sorry. I said that you haven’t changed at all, and that makes the two of us. 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” [Matthew 7:3-5]. 

And the irony thing was I did sin against the Lord this morning. I’ve got a plank stuck in my eye and I still dare to comment on the sprinkles in your eye? Why?

I only saw you up to your cover. I’m sorry. I have no intention to look deeper anymore, and that’s worth a double apology. 

And this entry is not about you, I’m not cornering you here. It’s entirely about me. About the lesson God was kind enough to bash me with. In his Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren said that “we are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity. If a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we’re really stubborn, He uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes” (chap 25,page 196). The last line sent a shudder through my spine when I read it this afternoon, and I think I experienced that first hand right afterwards. 

I am humbled by His love, and how He is willing to teach me to walk with Him according to His routes and His pace, and today He took me to a small walk through you 🙂 And that’s because He loves you, too 🙂 

Thank You, Lord. I got a feeling I wouldn’t be able to sleep before I do something about what happened today, and I’m glad I wrote this little confession. I can only pray that You will continue to stir up my heart to write and write and write, even though that means humiliations and transparency over my integrity. Just keep chipping off my rough edges, my Magnificent Potter, I shall be ready. 

Good night.

To whom..

To whom I used to belong,

I know that these words won’t do anything to us,
they won’t heal our wounds, they won’t wipe our tears away
and they won’t give back all that had been missing between us,
that had been taken away from us.

But if only they could, they would speak to you,
that I am so sorry.

I’m sorry for all the things that I’ve put you through,
I’m sorry for the hardship and the inability to overcome them.

I loved you,
I did. Please don’t question me about that.

If you asked me did I want to make things work, I’d say yes.
If you asked me did I dream about us, together, I’d say yes.
If anyone asked whether I did everything to save us, I’d say yes. And you knew it.

Sometimes no matter how desperate we want someone to be in our lives,
it’s just not meant to be. ?
No matter how hard we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for things that we think are good for us,
it’s not just meant to be.?
Because good is not always right. And you know it.

I don’t have the right to say, “let’s just be friends”?
because I know how impossible that is for us. ?
We can’t go back to 8 years ago, when we were so innocent,?
so full of hope that things would come out alright.

So, if I may, I’d say,?
Let’s just be thankful, and not regretful.
For what we’ve had, for what we’ve been through?
For I am not who I am today without you, and so are you.

And when the time has come,
let’s not be afraid.
Let’s just open our hearts, and let in someone new.
Someone who can complete us,
who deserves our trust and love.
Let us not repeat our mistakes,
because we deserve a second chance,
the chance to make us a better creation in Christ.

The journey doesn’t stop here, my dear.
The road is still long and wide, for you and me.
I wish you well, and I know you will do the same for me.
Thank you, for everything.
For having me, for being you.

Thank you.
*******************************************************************************************

“Think of all the things we’ve shared and seen,
don’t think about the way things might have been..”
~Christine, of Phantom of the Opera~ 

..a repost.

I was browsing thru Febe‘s gorgeous blog when I stumbled into this entry. The words touched my heart, I can’t help myself to not repost it. Fe, I hope you don’t mind 🙂  It is wonderful to know that people are not giving up on love, however discouraging or disappointing their love stories could be. Love heals, love restores, love gives hope. 

So yes, here we go.. 

I’m asking you to do something.
I’m asking all of you that have HIM…

the one who sold his car for a least expensive one,
so he could buy you a ring…
the one who drove many miles through rain, snow, or shine
just to see you…
the one who brought you soup when you were sick
the one who came to see you in your show more than once
the one who changed schools and moved to a completely different city,
so he could be closer to you
the one who patiently taught you how to drive a manual transmission…
the one who went out early and scraped the ice/snow off your car…
the one who fixed your car…
the one who drove all the way back home to get you a sweater because you were cold…

the one who holds you when you cry…
the one who supports your dreams, no matter how unrealistic they are…
the one who jumps on beds, swings on swings, and skips with you…
the one who watches chick flicks with you and secretly likes them…
the one who cleans out the shower drain…
the one who takes out the garbage…
the one who works two jobs so he can support you…
the one who carries you up to bed
after you have fallen asleep watching a movie…
the one who kills spiders/bugs for you

the one who stuck around after things got hard…
the one who no matter what curve balls you threw at him
is still by your side…
the one who tells you are the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen…
the one who loves your more than anything else in his world…

because you are worth everything to him…
i bet he would even swim the ocean for you…

he gets it.
he gets that you are a divine woman.
and he really does love you.

hug him a little bit longer today…
kiss him a little bit harder today…
take in his smell and savor it…
look into his eyes and say, ‘thank you for choosing me.’
my dear friendsyou are blessed
to have HIM…

***********************************************************************

I had someone in mind when I read this. I mean, apart from my boyfriend. *Yes, I am blessed :)*

I truly hope that one day she’ll have that revelation on how wonderful you have been, dear friend. How sweet, caring and gentleman you are to her. How your life is orbiting around her, and how she is such a lucky woman to be loved by you. That first paragraph did ring a bell to me, and I wish you the better and the best. 

I do wish that she’ll hug you and kiss you and say that she is blessed to have had you in her life.

And for you who haven’t found your “HIM”, don’t give up yet.
When life says ‘yes’, it gives you what you want, when life says ‘no’ it gives you something better. But when life says ‘wait‘, it gives you the best.

*blow kisses to you all*


the ‘unreasonable’ dreads

I dread.. 
taking naps, cos it feels unproductive and lazy
while I waste my time on Facebook and Stumbleupon when I don’t 

I dread..
eating too much rice, cos I don’t want to get fat just as I was 5 years ago
but not enough rice in my  system means getting light-headed and lethargic

I dread..
getting diabetes, cos I feed myself with unreasonable amount of sugar
but not enough sugar in my system means crankiness and moodiness

I dread.. 
going out of my apartment to throw the garbage in the garbage chute, less than 20 metres from my door,
I’ve locked myself three times for the past four years

I dread..
driving alone at night on unfamiliar roads, especially highways,
cos I’m afraid I won’t get to my destination

I dread.. 
ironing at home around this time, cos it emphasizes how alone I am at home
I have to blast my iTunes to the max to accompany me

I dread..
disappointing my dad, cos he’s hoping so much from me 
when I don’t think I do have anything to make him proud

I dread..
not knowing what I want, and wanting so much at the same time
and not having the courage to pursue any of them

I dread..
goodbyes, moving out from the places I’m familiar with, and painful changes
even if I know those little things help me grow

I dread..
not being the girl that my boyfriend expects me to be, after all I’ve done to him 
after all the aches and the painful times that I can’t help but keep coming back to them

I dread..
not being able to hear God’s soothing voice and His loving touch when I pray
because I am such a lousy daughter  

Above all these unreasonable dreads I have inside me, 
I dread the most the inability to be myself and tell you what’s in my heart,
as it creeps in and kills away my consciences.  

Above all, I dread myself.

little envy

I’ve been struck by a pang of jealousy for tens of times today, from looking at couples. Couples walking hand in hand, couples laughing and looking happy, couples sitting in City Circle Tram and gazing into each other’s eyes. Love can be so perfect at times. 

I hate being bitter. I hate being envious over other’s happiness. It’s not that I don’t want them to be happy – I don’t even know them – it’s just that I want to be one of that happy couple. Is there any perfect love ? 

People go through tears and sadness to recognize laughters and joy. Does it also apply to love, that you should go through rejection and disappointment to grasp what love feels like ? Will people appreciate more of love once they’ve tasted the pain and sorrow of losing ? 

I want to scream “WHY? WHY? please, not again..”. But aren’t love about giving, and forgiving? About learning, and accepting? If you don’t give and forgive, learn and accepting, then would people believe that you’re loving ? Would you yourself believe so ?  

If this is the journey that I have to walk through, then I won’t run away. Besides, you have to go through the rain if you want to see the rainbow. And it’s been freakin’ long to see that rainbow of mine. I should definitely find a way on not to feel or turn hostile on those poor, happy couples on the street.

Oh I’m such a freak. I think I need some sweets.

*squirm*

The second earthquake within 11 days. I was working on Pop Music weekly task when I felt dizzy but not quite. Then I realized that my table was shaking, and the ceiling made a cracking sound. Alarmed, but I couldn’t move my legs to see what’s going on as I was very tense, waiting for what might happen next. The shaking lasted about 5-6 seconds, and it was stronger than the first one we had on the evening of March 6 when me and my FA buddies were sitting in my living room. 

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS CITY ??!! T__________T

Only two days ago I learned that I could be happier if I could give thanks and give praise to God over trivial things. For example, I was wasted on Monday because I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t feel I’ve ever got enough hour. Bad time management. Kicking up my heels, I prepared myself for a half-running walk along La Trobe. But then the City Circle tram was approaching its stop on Queen st, and I thanked God for that. After 2 consecutive hours of lectures, I had to go to ATO office on Spring st, and I didn’t want to walk. And there it was, a shiningly green City Circle stopping right in front of me as if it intentionally came just to take me down to the corner of La Trobe and Spring. Tuhan baik ! 

I almost missed the City Circle tram on the way back from ATO office, but the tram driver saw us (there was another girl running for the tram, as well), and he WAITED! What a lovely man, and what a lovely God. These simple things reminded me about what KD taught us last Sunday. God takes care of our needs, no matter how trivial or stupid they are. So there’s no reason to worry, because being worried will only quench your happiness and distract your focus towards life. 

But I am extremely worried now. Seriously. 

I was just reminded of one particular song, that the last verse stated, 

Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, and know You are GOD.  

“Be still”, He said. When our mind is filled with “what’s happening? are we going to be okay? what should we do now?”, I can bet my whole collection of bags and purses that there’s no space in our brain for God and His goodness. But when we are still, stop thinking frantically about our next steps and our ambitions for just a moment, then He can help us, guide us, tell us what to do. After all, we are able to hear His voice when we are turning down the volume of our surroundings, including our minds. And don’t we depend on His voice and guidance to go through this life ?

Lord, I’m still worried, but I know You are my Prince of Peace. And Your strong arms is holding me. I will not be scared, You have everything under control. Amen.  

until then ..

An hour ago
I saw you for the last time in person, before I’m gone 
Back to where we’ve been maintaining our relationship
A physically and mentally tiring long-distance relationship  
For these five years

I hate saying good-bye
I hate seeing that agony and fear and pain
flickering in your eyes, though you tried to cover it up
I hoped my tears could hinder me from seeing them 

I hate saying that the wait won’t be long 
It’ll be over you won’t even realize it
When it is damn long,
Every single one of them have been

Is it worth it, I asked you 
Does the wait worth it ?
Does all the tears and sweat, the money and phone calls, the hardship,
worth your time and energy, and love ?

And you said, 
that it’s not about worth, or not,
You don’t even care about it
What you do know is that you love me. That’s it. 

And that’s more than enough for me.

Maybe, if you love someone so much,
you can grow stronger
You can bear difficult times,
and indulge in lovely times. 

That’s what I see in you
You who grow stronger every year, waiting.  
For me.

You are a brave man, my darling.
And I am so honoured to be your girlfriend, again and again
When many have said that they despise this kind of relationship
because as I do, they won’t be able to have that quality time, together.
You keep on striving, for me.

And I am so delighted to say that 
your wait will come to an end. 
That there will be no major separation anymore,
because I am coming home. To you. 

Until then .. 
I’ll try to behave like a good girl,
and please do so with yourself  
Spend this separation time the best we can
And when we are back together, we’ll have a whole load of memories
of what we’ve been doing  

We will cherish the hard works we’ve spent 
We will laugh at our stupidity
We will learn from our mistakes 
We will make a plan on our wedding day (haha ..)

But,
until then ..

to you, Daniel Chandra.
I love you.

oh.mygosh.

I don’t know how many times I have refreshed the page. I’ve grunted in disbelief for the unchanging layout after 45 minutes. Would you start already ?! I can’t even stare at the shining red typo ‘not avalilable’ anymore. Just get me in. NOW!

It’s 1.59am, and I realize the uploading is getting a bit slower. Okay this is it. THIS is IT.

not.  >=(

I jump from the robotic voice “It’s two o’clock” from the laptop. Thanks, I know that. Isn’t that inhuman. 

It’s 2.04am. And I’ve lost the battle on one subject. Gah. Way shorter Monday, and as a compensation, a way longer Tuesday. Six hours at school without a break. Hmm, why not.

As it has happened before (this is my third time ‘fighting’ the lot to ‘reap’ the best timetable, none of them went perfectly as I planned them. Of course.), the RMIT Student Timetabling System and the infamously dodgy server once again successfully sent me to the sensation of stomach-churning and heart-throbbing event. As always, I grumbled and wished that I got everything as I planned them, cos that would be sooo nicee. But after all the excitements and worry have dispersed, I started to see that the timetable is not too bad at all. It looks even; a short day to start the week, one long day, followed by a day-off, another short one, and finished off by a rather short day with two-hour break before heading to glorious weekend. 

Quite happy =) 

Father, thank You for giving me the best. I know You always do. Thank You for Your kindness and faithfullness. 

And thanks to Papa and Kentir who stayed late to wake me up =D Thank you, everything went quite well. 

Arggh I can’t believe I only have 4 days left before flying back to Melbourne. Lovely city, I miss her. This torn feeling every time I’m about to head home to Surabaya or the other way around, it’s so complicated yet very nostalgic. That’s why I am always super nervous whenever I’m about to travel far, especially when I love the places both.

Five more months before I’m going back to Indonesia for good. And I can’t imagine how I will react to that. HALAH, let’s just focus on the new semester, shall we. Have to shop for food and notebooks (to write, that is, not the laptops) once I arrive, because this time I am a bit bonek to actually fly back only a day before the school starts. 

But all in all, can’t wait! >D