Saturday, March 19, 2016

About A Fish

There was a tiny fish who used to like to swim inside a tiny little bowl. Not long after, the bowl became too small for her, and she decided to move to a pond for a change.

Once she grew a little bigger, the fish felt tired of the pond. A river seems more interesting, she thought. And although it's a lot more challenging, she eventually learned how to swim through the river.

Until she gets even bigger and it no longer feels right. Why don't I move to the sea, she pondered. She was not the biggest fish in the river, but she was among the big ones.


She found a perfect sea to live in. She loves the fact that she gets to swim with the bigger fish. She also loves how spacious and interesting the sea is. All the other fish are colorful, too. It was so different!

Until she realized that she was one of the smallest fish there. Everyone else was just so gigantic. They all swam faster than her, too. She suddenly felt like a tiny little fish again. She grew bigger, for sure; but not as big as she thought she was.

The fish wondered if she needs to find a way to enlarge herself. Or maybe she needs to find a way to swim faster. She was perplexed. She just wanted to be as good as the big fish, that's all, but she didn't know how.

She then reminded herself that it's unfair to compare herself with the big fish as they have lived in the sea for years and years. She knew that there are also planktons in the sea, who are microscopic yet crucial to the large aquatic organisms. That she does not have to be the biggest ones, as long as she is still valuable to others.

The fish was a little disheartened and did not feel so good about herself, but she knew she should not. She should have felt so proud of herself for making it to the sea! And she should have known that if she can go to it, she definitely can go through it, too, if she believes in herself.

The not-so-tiny fish realized that she needed to always love herself unconditionally. The life at the sea won't be that serene and easy, she was aware of that. But she didn't have to overthink it. She just needed to learn how to persevere for a little while.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

About Time

If there is anything I've learned from the last few years, it's that "Not now" is not a bad thing. It actually means "Hold on, you're getting to the good part." Or "I have something even better planned for you." Or, "I promise you'll get there, but this is important for you to experience."

Just believe that when you look back in a few years, you'll understand why. You will fathom what's so important for you to learn, that your plan needed to wait. And you'll be thankful for it.

Just believe that you'll always get what's best for you. Because no matter how good you are at planning, Allah is still the best planner. Because even though you think you know what's good for you, Allah knows best.

Source: Tumblr

Even when you're getting tired of your life and Allah keeps saying, "Hold on," just keep going and enjoy everything that is bearable, if not good, about it. Try your best to find something that makes your life more exciting and meaningful.

So when He told you, "Not now", just wait for another door to be opened. Be prepared to be amazed. Because He is just that amazing.

So yes, whenever I feel lost, I just have to keep my head up and wait for His surprises. Because He never ceases to surprise me with all the blessings. Because He will always be there for me, as always.

I believe all of that, even though I have to keep reminding myself that I can't control all aspect of my life. And that's completely fine, as that is the job of the Higher-Order who never sleeps nor does his believer any harm.

Because everything is going to work out in the end. Why worry?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

About The New Job and The Work-Life Balance

I know I'm not a company kind of girl, so it never crossed my mind that I might work 9-to-5 (or more like 8 to 7) every day. Yet I have been for a month, and I don't dislike it.

This is a new experience for me. Working directly under the minister (as his delivery unit team) requires me to work fast and well, without any excuse. And the more I read and know about the issue I handle, the more I become even more baffled about how to make the education system in Indonesia better, because everything is just so intricate. 

The perks overcome the drawbacks, though. I learn so much from working for the prominent minister for a month. I learn through the way he treats his subordinates, the way he sets examples, the way he talks with such rhetorics, and the way he thinks outside of the box to solve problems. My family is so annoyed now because now I can't stop talking about him. I'm aware that he's also flawed; I'm just thrilled to know that the future of education is on the hand of someone with high values and integrity. And that I got to be a (small) part of it.

It's not just the minister that is delightful to work with. I have a great team consists of smart, ambitious people who are also passionate about education (or at least, about making Indonesia a better country). I love working with people whom I can learn in abundance from. Our background is so diverse, every discussion becomes fascinating. Through them, I learn a lot about policy making and beyond. I also learn that I need to be more assertive and decisive, especially when dealing with powerful people. And more importantly, that I need to always keep in mind that I cannot please everyone, and I shouldn't even try to.

Some of the people I work with.

The toughest part about this job is actually not the job itself, but the fact that I have to commute every day. The train is always so full of people, I can't even stand on both feet sometimes. Being stuck on a train and in a traffic jam on a daily basis make me a bit grumpy and both physically and mentally exhausted. But hey, if thousands of people can survive it, why can't I?

Despite the fact that I do enjoy working, this is not something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I enjoy working too much, I'm afraid I can't stop and balance my life. A doctor that I visited (yes, I went to the doctor for the first time in three years; within my first month of working) was shocked knowing that I had to go to the office on the day I visited her and on the weekend. That moment, I realized that I have been quite a workaholic - and that's not good if I want to have a balanced, content life.

I do love working at a company and I love myself when I work hard for a cause I care about, but I believe I can do that as a freelancer (in this case, as a psychologist) when I have a family of my own. Because prioritize is not about choosing something I like over something I don't; it's about choosing which one of the things I enjoy doing is more relevant to my aspiration. I admire working moms, though, especially if they have to do it to support the family. It's not easy to juggle between work and family, even as a sister and a daughter, let alone a wife and a mother. So, yeah, hats off to those supermoms who can find the work-family balance!

Still a few more months to go. I hope I have enough strength to survive, if not to thrive.

Don't forget to make time for yourself.


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