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What was it like, when Adam and Eve realized that they were naked? Nakedness used to mean nothing for them. But once they found out, everything seem to rotate around it. Quickly grabbed some leaves to veil the nakedness. And keep themselves covered since then. Once awake, things would never be the same.

I know what it’s like. Or sort of.

I didn’t care much about pregnancy, babies, or little children. To me, pregnancy means that you ought to give your seat to any pregnant ladies you meet at the bus or train, because they need it much more than you do. That’s it, no more. Babies mean cute little humans, with adorable innocent eyes. Little children don’t differ much from babies.

Similar to Adam and Eve, things are never the same, once I’m awake.

Now pregnancy means a lot to me. I would do anything to keep my pregnancy and save my baby. But there was nothing I could do, than to let it go. And wait. Prepare myself well. Start all over again.

Suddenly my world is full of pregnant ladies, babies, and little children. It seems that they simply pop out from nowhere!

  1. A dear friend of mine who lives abroad is pregnant ^^
  2. A fellow debater is going to hold a baby shower at a karaoke this Friday (yippie…!!!) ^^ beware guys, for Whitney Charlotte Houston Church is coming!!! ^^
  3. My colleagues’ wives (about 3 or 4 of them) are pregnant ^^
  4. Another dear friend who lives in Semarang is pregnant ^^
  5. A high school roommate I’ve never seen in years is pregnant ^^
  6. The pretty lady I meet at the bus daily is pregnant.
  7. Today’s Kompas Female share some tips on pregnancy.
  8. All the ladies at the obstetrician’s waiting room are pregnant (of course-lah ^^)
  9. Two dear friends of mine had just given birth to healthy babies ^^
  10. A colleague had just have a baby girl ^^
  11. A dear friend’s son is 1 year old today ^^
  12. I saw a friend’s beautiful two year-old girl photo at FB today ^^

Everyday, I would meet beautiful pregnant ladies (they look pretty to my eyes since then). Adorable little babies (would have hugged and kissed them, had their parents let me!). Cute, innocent, happy go-lucky children.

Believe me when I say that this world is full of pregnancies, babies, and children!!! ^^

Oh, how I smile to see them! And then how my heart cries! I want to be like them! I want to be pregnant! I want to have my own babies! My own kids! I want to hold a baby shower! I want to celebrate my kids’ birthdays! Buy them toys and clothes, send them to school!

Yet there are still 2,5 months to go. I have to wait for 40 days + 3 months (started from June 23). Then I’m allowed to be pregnant again.

But oh, the wait! I mind waiting, I really do. But I have to wait for my womb to heal. So that the coming little fetus would have a good place to stay and grow.

I wish I could go to a lonely tropical island, or a serene villa on the mountainous area, to wait there. Read novels, watch TV and movies, sip my coffee, have a long vacation while waiting for the time to pass. To a place where I won’t have to see pregnant ladies, babies, children, or even hear about them.

But ah, no. It’s not meant for me. I’m not running away from challenges! See, I don’t have wings. It means that I’m not a chicken. I’m anything but a coward!!!

Yea, pregnancies, babies and children make me smile as well as cry. To me, they are blessings as well as challenges from God. I have to face them. Challenges from God are to be accepted happily. Maybe He is training me to be a tougher woman. I believe there’s a silver lining behind those challenges.

After believe, comes hope. I have a plenty of hopes and opportunities to be pregnant and have my own babies.

After hope, comes pray. I pray to the Lord to send me healthy babies when the time is right.

After pray… well, I don’t know. I guess I’ll just leave it to God, and… wait.

Another 2,5 months to go ^^

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One day I was going home by transjakarta when rain suddenly poured down from the sky. The rain was so heavy that you’d soon be soaked in water although you had an umbrella. So there was no way for me to ride an ojek as I usually do. The other option was to get a taxi… but the traffic jam was extremely dreadful that you’d be wasting time (and lots of money) anyway.

The last option was to wait at the bus shelter, and that’s what I did. I got there around 7.30 pm, and guess what… the rain didn’t stop pouring until 9 pm…!!! So there I was, standing for 1,5 hours without any book to read or anyone to talk to. When the rain finally stopped at 9 pm, I was so happy as I could be, quickly got myself an ojek, smiling all the way home :p

Then I realized I’ve learned something new. We have the right to pursue our goals, yet God is the one who decides whether we deserve it or not. He also decides the right time for us to get what we are worthy of. No matter how hard we’ve tried, no matter how much we want to make our dreams come true, it can’t always come in an instant.

Keep on working hard… but sometimes we simply have to WAIT. It leaves us two options: waiting happily or unhappily. I believe there are lots of goals we’re not yet to reach… but for me, ever since that day, I’ve decided to wait happily and thank God for everything He’s given to me… It’s not always easy though, but it makes me feel lots better.

What about you…??? :p

* It was written on October 19, 2006, the second writing posted in my friendster blog. Actually I have forgotten the art of waiting happily. That’s why I decided to post this old writing here. To remind myself of my revelation under the rain ^^ *

Now I’m waiting happily to get pregnant again ^^

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Gone Too Soon

The song was written by Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman, and performed by Michael Jackson in his album ‘Dangerous’ (1991). The song was dedicated to the memory of Ryan White.

The lyrics is so beautiful, the melody melancholy, and Jacko sang it with all his heart. Now I dedicate this song to our little one, who had been with us for about 14 weeks only. My husband and I had seen him, and listened to his heartbeat several times (thanks to the USG machine). For several reasons, we believe that our little one is a ‘he’, although we would never know for sure. He is with his Father in heaven now.

Well, we haven’t got the chance to tell him how much we love him. But I guess the song will do.

Gone Too Soon

(Michael Jackson)

Like a comet
Blazing ‘cross the evening sky
Gone too soon

Like a rainbow
Fading in the twinkling of an eye
Gone too soon

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night

Like the loss of sunlight
On a cloudy afternoon
Gone too soon

Like a castle
Built upon a sandy beach
Gone too soon

Like a perfect flower
That is just beyond your reach
Gone too soon

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon
Gone too soon

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This might be the last…

Last Sunday afternoon, I was singing Psalm at church, when a strange thought came across my mind. This might be the last Psalm that you sing, as a single woman, it said. The very thought of it made me shudder a little bit, and suddenly I missed a note! I quickly concentrated back to the Psalm in front of me, and wished that the mistake wasn’t a terrible one.

Ever since that moment, the similar thoughts keeps on coming across my mind. This might be the last gado-gado you have as a single woman. This might be the last novel you read as a single woman. And this very writing might be the last thing I write in this blog, as a single woman!!!

Yeah, my life is about to change. This time it’s gonna be a huge one. I won’t address myself ‘Miss’ anymore. And once the change happens, there is no turning back. It’s a point of no return. Realizing this, I was lucky enough to sing Psalm and Hallelujah till the end, with one or two mistakes only. With these kinds of thoughts, I could’ve stopped singing and ran back home instead!

I never want to call myself Cowardia, Cowardella, or Cowardonetta, but I must admit that I’ve been acting like a coward lately. I’m afraid of big changes!!!

Most of the times, I simply face the fear by ignoring it. Not talking about it. Limiting any thoughts about it. I only said it in my prayers.

That’s what I usually do.

Ignore the fear, let it happen, and see what I can do.

It was like joining a debate competition without case building, without knowing what the motion is, on which side I shall stand, and who I am going to debate against. I only know who my team mates are. If you’re lucky enough to have team mates like Michelle, Aviva, or Lita of Atma Jaya Debating Club (ADC), you would surely jump with them into any fire, without hesitation! You simply trust each other, and have a wonderful debate, no matter what it takes!

I know who my team mate will be. He’s a guy I’ve known for three years. I really hope we can be a great team.

This is the song I was so very, extremely, unbelievably lucky to sing with gorgeous Mr. D on October 10, 2009 (when will I sing with him again? Hehehe…^^)

The melody, I love with all my heart. The lyrics, I pray with all my soul.

Music and lyrics: David Foster and Carol Bayer Sarger

Italian translation: Alberto Testa, Tony Reis

The Prayer

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
La luce che to dai

I pray we’ll find your light
Nel cuore restero
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarchi che
When stars go out each night
L’eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c’e
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita

La forza che ci dai
We ask that life be kind
E’il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amore
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a se
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe
E la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salvera

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Memories

I read a note written by Michelle Dian Lestari Anugrah on Facebook (you’ll find it at the bottom of this page). Suddenly all the memories came flooding back! It was like looking at the mirror, and see myself ten years ago.

In 1999, I sacrificed two weeks of my one-month vacation to attend a debating workshop at campus. The workshop was started with about 20 persons who were crazy enough to attend it. On the second day there were only 15 crazy people left. On the third day there were only 10. And so on and so forth. There were also days when the trainers outnumbered the learners. At the end of the second week, all the crazy people left were told to leave campus and enjoy the rest of the vacation, while the trainers, along with the members of the panel drew their swords, fought and killed each other, to choose 6 crazy people who would represent our campus in IVED (Indonesian Varsities English Debate) 1999.

Of course it was only a figurative writing. The crazy people were actually smart and love challenges, the trainers and members of the panel were actually discussing matters peacefully, in a wise, grown-up manner, accompanied by coffee and cigarettes… ooops…!!! ^^

The two-week workshop really changed my entire life! I spent the following two years debating (which is another way to say ‘enjoying life’). In 2001 it came to a stop (at least for me). Yet, the memories live forever. Yeah, the kind of memories that will fuel my heart to be happy for the rest of my life… ^^

This is what Michelle Dian Lestari Anugrah had written. I love it so much that I decided to put it here for you guys to read!!! It also works as a back up. I mean if someday, somebody attacks and destroys Facebook, we would still be able to read this lovely writing here in wordpress ^^ (please don’t attack wordpress, anyone…peace…!!!)

Reminiscing the Past

by Michelle Dian Lestari Anugrah

Friday, October 2, 2009 at 12:17am

It’s 11.28 PM and I’m still stuck at the 33rd floor of Artha Graha building, working on concept paper for my client’s upcoming event. While the other conceptors were picking on the keyboard, selecting most difficult English words to be pronounced (and there are a lot, since my client’s English is equal to a junior highschooler), I pecked on my keyboard trying to google my name in the net. And, guess, what I’ve found? The following posting from Indodebaters back in 2000. Some of you might remember this, but I totally forgot myself. The thread was followed by Flori and Avie.“Guys,

Let me remind you that BANKS WILL BE CLOSED FOR HOLIDAYS FROM DECEMBER 23
TILL JANUARY 01 NEXT YEAR. All transactions, especially money transfer,
must be done by 11 AM on Dec 23 to have the money delivered on the same day.
Banks will operate again on Monday Jan 02. This is rather tough for you
guys whose university birocracy is complicated and needs at least one week
of ass-licking to have got the money proposal read by the honourable purek
III, not to mention the delay of actually getting our hand on the dough. So,
get a rush guys and good luck…!!!

Michelle

PS: When you get your invitation from ITB, read the Registration Form
carefully. One of the clause says (and I quote) “BAndung in January will be
very cold and wet. Please bring your raincoats, umbrellas and sweaters or
jackets as the committee will no be able to provide enough bodyheat.” Any
comments?

PS for RIVAN: You might want to look again re. eligibility of participants
written in your Registration Form. It says that participants are not
eligible if they have participated 3 times in IVED. I think, the count
starts when the constitution was ratified, means the participation is
counted starting from IVED 2000 at PETRA (iya khan ya?)

Hei….it means that I still can debate…hmm…hmm..wonder if Avie wants to
be my team mate….hmm…hmm…what do you think, Rivan?”

Suddenly, it all came back to me. Those crazy years of debating, my first debating championship that threw me, a newbie, an innocent, pure, loveable, timid me, into an adrenalin pumped, argument craving, fact junkie bitch I am now, the fear and thrill of facing Ade, Agung and Ria in the finals, and lost to them. The headaches, the materials, the coffee craving, the lack of sleep, the drama, the tantrums, the tears, the booze, and most of all, the comradeship that I always experience whenever there was a championship loomed and we had to prepare to our teeth for it.

What have I learned from those years? What have I got from them? What did these years do to my life now? Was it worth it? Is it still in my blood?

First of all, I learned about being me, that I actually loved being me, that I am a significant being. I learned that I was quite awesome, that I had something worth being proud of, that my brain can actually work, that I am someone worth to be feared by someone else, and could actually intimidate someone (admit it Flori, you were intimidated by me, yes?). I was no longer this low esteemed girl who slinked away from any arguments and never peeped any words in a crowd, just because she felt she was not beautiful enough, rich enough, or smart enough to be noticed.

I also learn that there are people who accept you as you are, who admired you not because you were beautiful, rich, nicely dressed, loaded with cash and wore designer goods. My fellow debaters accept the quirky me, because I am one of them, a freak of nature who just love to debate. And I learned to accept other people who were freakos, just like me, and admire their ability to think, rather that they were rich, beautiful, handsome, so on and so forth. I learn to love myself and be proud of myself.

Secondly, I’ve got the ability to put everything that I think into order (not necessarily what I’m doing though. I’m still learning to do that until now). I’ve learned to be competitive when I need to competitive, how to argue effectively, how to talk and who to talk to about intelligent stuff without being thought as a weirdo.

Moreover, debating has changed the course of my life. I used to be content to think that I would work for a certain number of years, got married, have kids, and….that’s it. However, debating has opened my small, insignificant, narrow, tunneled view of life into a wider, more interesting vista. I was introduced to many things that I didn’t know exist before. I used to read newspaper just for the sake of reading, and then turn into the funnies and then left the paper. I even existed for years without reading any newspapers (shudders….the horrors….the dark age). Now, I just have to read newspapers, and I just have to comment on something, analyze some news, ponder on some thoughts, and whenever I have the time (which is now really rare) write something in my blog, journal or in my mind. Debating has turned me into a thinking being, and thus, I started to exist. And starting to exist has made me want to do things, to leave my mark in the world, to do good, to be someone useful to my surroundings. Or, in YB Mangunwijaya’s words, I start to live as a humanized human being, not merely an entity. Plus, I’ve got the skills that enable me to find good paying jobs that are satisfying both to my soul and my pocket.

But the most important thing is, I have found a lot, and I mean a lot, of people that I can consider as my friends, both in needs and in deeds. I’ve found two of the loveliest gems in the world, Lita and Avie, the two bestest friends one can ever have. I have found Nuansa, a great friend with warm heart, Santi, the best team mate you could ever have, who was ready to jump into the fire with me with only five minutes preparation (remember IVED Petra’s Quarter Final, San?). I have found Tedjo, Ijoel, Norman, Plo-plo, Ria, Ade, Agung, Nad-nad, Day-day, Bubu, Budi, Widj, Maryadi and many other friends I could not name one by one, who are there for me and like me for who I am and what I am, not who my parents are and what I’m made from. I have found my birds of the same feathers. And it is the most valuable thing one can get from debating. Friends who are great to talk with, great to be with, and great to make you feel good. And that, my friend, is something worth more than all the gold and diamonds in the world.

So I thought, all those sweat, those tears, those sleepless nights, the stress, the pressure, the pure hard work, the social life and time sacrificed for debating have been worth it. Those were small payments compared to what I’ve got from debating: My self esteem, my existence, my life, and my friends.

The final question, is it still in blood? Oh, hell, yes it is. I was, am and will always be a debater. I learned to think critically and logically, and that stays for now and forever, amen. I learned to value people not from their looks and appearance, and that, my friend, is something that can make you survive in this cruel, cruel world. And most of all, I learned to appreciate what I have and to be sensitive to others, and I’m proud to say, that makes me a better person than I was before.

Finally, I’ve put my mark in the world. The three bitches of Atma Jaya Debating Club, Aviva, Lita and Michelle, with helps from other crazies, have founded the distinguished Atma Jaya Debating Club, surviving for more than nine, yes, nine years, and is still something worth considering in the debating society in Indonesia. Plus, the people of ADC, those who have graduated from Atma Jaya and those who are still in Atma Jaya, are also people of great existence, worth being considered. They are successful, smart and fun at the same time, retaining their craziness and uniqueness in the world full of conformity, daring to do the change and to change the do!! Ain’t that something to be proud of, guys?

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

PS: Younger generations of ADC, I’m proud to be your senior, believe you me!!!

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Have you ever felt confident about your own abilities, yet failure is all you can find while trying to accomplish them?

Well, I have. For many, many times, actually. Quite shameful, you know. But here are some examples:

  1. Every time I hear “The Prayer” sung by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church, I always feel confident that I can sing it the way Miss Church does. I would practice it as soon as I get home. The result is: practice more, work harder, may God have mercy.
  2. Every time I visit my friend Tessa’s blog (kajoemanis) and read all the beautiful poems she had written, I feel confident that I can do the same to my blog. Result: Shakespeare was not my great-great grandpa. His blood doesn’t run through mine. Wake up!!!
  3. I have always admired Enid Blyton’s “The Naughtiest Girl at School” and “Five Find-Outers” series so much, that I once believed, if the series are to be continued, I’ll be the one who write them. Result: I only managed to write one opening paragraph. Don’t want to ruin the characters she had created (sounds like a suitable, honorable reason enough for me to back off, huh?)
  4. I have always admired Gong Li for her talent and beauty. I believe I could act like her, and astonish the world through my movies. Result: every fiber in my body trembled horribly when I acted as an old woman during a theater competition in University of Indonesia. Acting… in the next life, perhaps?
  5. I believe I can speak English well, without any influence from my Javanese accent. I even believed that a two-hour Harry Potter movie had successfully produced a British accent out of me. The result is: I speak Muntlish, you know (Muntilanese English)

Now, let’s work it out the other way around.

Have you ever questioned your own abilities, yet you are able to accomplish them?

Well, I have. It’s not something to be proud of, though. But I’d love to write them here! ^^

  1. I have always prayed to God to give me beautiful voice to sing with. But deep down inside, I realize that I simply wasn’t born with ‘it”. Yet I remember the Chinese 命運 (mingyun: fate and luck). Ming 命 is what you are born with. For example you are born as a girl. You know, something you can’t change. But aside of ming, there is also yun 運 which means luck. It is something we can change! For example, I know I wasn’t born with a beautiful voice, but if a great vocal instructor trained me, and I practice hard enough, I would sing better, for sure! After attending Jakarta Singing School for a year, I underwent a vocal exam. I got a B-. In the following year, I underwent a vocal exam again, and this time, it’s a B+! The result is: Thank God for showing me the way to JSS. Jia you…!!! ^^
  2. I’m not into adults poems like my talented friend, Tessa. But if you check this blog you would find some children poems, like ‘Kepiting‘, it’s one of my favorite. I also thought of some very simple poems in Mandarin. Anyway, if I want to create a poem in Mandarin, it’d better be a simple one, to hinder myself from grammatical mistakes. ^^ Result: Poem is for everyone. Believe me…!!! ^^
  3. Novels or children storybooks are still a very long way for a junior writer like me. I have written stories since my elementary school years, yet I was too shy to show my writings to anyone at all. When I was a kid, two cousins of mine loved to sneak in and grab a book contained of my writings. I would run after them all day long, just to keep them busy enough NOT to read what I’ve written! But you see, now I have my own blog (and busy telling people to visit it), well, at least I’m a blogger (the modern way to say ‘writer’) now…^^. Result: Jia you…!!!
  4. In this life, I could never be an actress-lah… But I do some kind of ‘acting’ all the times. I am trusted to be a presenter of a news-feature program in Da Ai TV. While having a good mood, it’s not difficult to smile at the camera and talk to it as if you were talking to some very close friends. But in the times of bad mood, producing the slightest smile would be unbearably difficult! Yet, I have to do it, for the sake of the audience who has dedicated their time watching our programs. Result: I do love my job! So no matter what, just smile sincerely and talk to the audience through the camera… Isn’t it some kind of ‘acting’? ^^
  5. Once, I was to teach Mandarin to an American citizen. It wasn’t so difficult, since he only wanted to know what Mandarin is like. So I taught him Pinyin, simple sentence structures, basic conversation, and so on. We used English as the media of learning. During the first lesson, he said to me, “Your boyfriend must be an Englishman.” I said no, he’s an Indonesian-born Chinese. Why did you say so? He said, “Well, you speak British English.” Dear God, the Harry Potter movie does work!!! ^^ Result: My English accent is not that bad, actually. If I am to speak English from the very beginning, there wouldn’t be any problem. The most difficult thing is when I speak Indonesian… then suddenly there are some English words. I find it difficult to switch from Indonesian to English within less than a second. Still working on it ’till now.

Isn’t confidence one of the best gifts God has given to us? To survive in this world full of uncertainties?

The main result would be: Failures are OK, as long as you have confidence inside your heart… ^^

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It was sent to me in October/November, 1996. It’s quite big, heavy, yet considered fragile, therefore it wasn’t sent by cargo. A cousin of mine helped carrying it along in his car while traveling from Muntilan to Jakarta. It wasn’t a high-tech instrument, you can’t insert a disk or CD for it wasn’t equipped with such facility. Yet the black-and-white fella was received with joy.

After living for three months without playing music, its presence really brightened up my life. Suddenly, living in a place far away from home was not so difficult anymore. All I had to do was playing it, singing several songs, and suddenly my 3mx3m (boarding house) bedroom felt like home!

I guess the magic lies within the black-and-white fella, and the songs also. The right songs can help you feel like home. For example if you’re used to singing “Desaku Yang Kucinta” in your bathroom at home, try to do the same while moving to a new place. The very song you used to sing would make you feel like home (at least it worked for me ^^).

Sometimes my roommates would gather in my rooms, and we would sing together. Then we found out that our beautiful ‘Nyak’  from Bukittinggi also has a beautiful voice!

When I moved to the second boarding house, my fella and I helped a friend practice singing for a religious music album! I wondered why she didn’t take part in competitions like Indonesian Idol or something. With her voice, supported with her good look, she might win and becomes our idol ^^

When I was about to leave boarding house and move to an apartment in Tanjung Duren in 2006, I thought of sending my fella back home. The apartment was quite small, and my fella definitely needed some space.

I’m glad I didn’t send her back! Not long after moving to Tanjung Duren, I was gifted to have a classic vocal lesson with Renata Lim, one of the best classic vocal instructor in Indonesia! Of course I would always need my fella to practice. Until now.

In its twelfth year, the fella is still in a perfect condition. It never lets me down. It’s a keyboard ^^

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