{Short Story} Selfish

Sometimes when I say “I’m okay”, I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight, and say, “I know you’re not.”

It was one fine night, but I still couldn’t sleep. I kept flipping right and left on my bed, tried to shake the fear and sadness away, but I just couldn’t.

I glanced towards my cellphone. It was almost 1 am. My whole family was asleep. My sister who shared a room with me had slept since hours ago. She must be really tired after the whole extra classes for her final exams.

But.. my tears were on the verge of falling down. And I knew I was going to cry soon.

I reached my phone. I knew who was I going to call, who I wanted to call. But I wasn’t sure that he’s still up. So still, I kept flipping to right and left, unsure what to do.

And finally, when I knew I was going to break down, I dialed his number. One, two, three.. still, no one picked it up. What was I doing? I was going to disturb people who are sleeping.. what was I doing?

And then, someone picked up.

“Hello?”
“….”
“Hello?”
“Hello…”
“Hey, what are you doing? Still up?”
“Yeah.. I was just…”

I couldn’t.

“.. actually, never mind. I was just thinking about something. But it’s okay. It can wait.”

He didn’t answer for a while.

“So, see you tomorrow?” I filled the silence.
“Are you really okay?”

For a split second, I couldn’t answer. And when I finally got my voice back, I said, “Yeah, I am okay.”

He fell silent again. And then, “I know you are not.”

And again, I lost my voice.

“Listen, if you want to talk, just talk. If you want me to listen to you, just say it. You don’t have to worry that you will trouble me. Just, don’t tell me you’re okay when you’re not…”

“….”

I wiped my tears. It just felt right at that time. I knew everything was going to be okay.

Jakarta 2019

Bismillah,

Secara tidak sengaja judul postnya mirip-mirip judul film yang memunculkan shipper Iqbaal-Vanesha bak jamur wkwk~

Buat yang ngefollow IG saya (ciyee berasa femes) mungkin aware kalau 3 minggu yang lalu saya dan keluarga sedang liburan aka mudik ke Jakarta (Bekasi deng). Anak-anak sedang Sommerferien (trans: liburan musim panas) dan kami sudah 1.5 tahun tidak mudik — jadi ya sekalian saja 🌴

Rasanya baru sebentar kami tinggalkan Jakarta tapi begitu kami mendarat di Soekarno Hatta dua minggu yang lalu, waaa sudah banyak yang berubah ya? Terminal 3 sudah rampung dan waktu kami mendarat disana, kelihatan tidak jauh beda dengan Changi (minus karpet, alat pijat dan toko-toko branded). Eh mungkin masih jauh but it was definitely an improvement.

Kami juga sempat mencoba terminal bus di Soetta dan puas dengan kenyamanan yang ada 🚍 – walaupun jadwal kedatangan bus masih bisa ditingkatkan tapi yaa mengingat lalu lintas ibukota yang tidak bisa ditebak, kami pun maklum.

Pulang ke Jakarta setelah lebih dari 1 tahun ternyata juga lumayan membuat kami terkaget-kaget dengan tren yang ada di Indonesia sekarang. Some are good, some are…making us scratching our head. Tapi ada juga hal-hal yang masih sama dan tetap membuat kami merasa kalau kami pulang ke rumah.

Continue reading “Jakarta 2019”

Family Schedules

Bismillah,

GOOD MORNING FROM JAKARTA!

(yes, I am on mudik mode now, so please excuse a might-be-too-friendly cheery greeting lol)

Anyway, no. Not going to talk about our traveling experience (yet) because it was nothing but tiring. So there — it should sum it up nicely. Let me just write about something that has been sitting in my drafts for God knows how long.

I was struggling to find a good title and decided to just heck it and used whatever title came to my mind first — apologize for a very uninspiring one.

So ever since we settled on our routine after our youngest is done with his Eingewohnung in the KiTa, life has been going on pretty much as per usual. We have a schedule that works with us for most of the day, and we thought it will be beneficial to share!

Continue reading “Family Schedules”

All the snuggles in the world

Being a mother of two is tough – and sometimes challenging. Most of my days are spent on being a referee and deciding what words I can say that will make everything’s fair for everyone. Some of those days were easy and smooth-sailing while the others were .. difficult and I needed to calm my head down before even spoke to two of them.

I admit, being the eldest sibling has shaped my expectation towards my own eldest – Z. I expect him to be the one who guided his younger brother. I instill towards him every day, that he’s the older brother, that there are boundaries and lines that he should follow. That no matter what M does, Z must be there to guide him.

I know what a burden it is for him – but I keep pressing on although sometimes it can break my heart.

I had spent countless nights worrying if I spoke too harsh to Z or if there’s anything that I can do to make the situation better for him. To let him know that I still love him the same. To let him know that I love him even more whenever I see him trying to be a better brother for M.

***

Our sleeping arrangement hasn’t changed since M was born. Z sleeps with his Papa and I sleep with M – mainly because M is still nursing to sleep and weaning him has been unsuccessful. I don’t want to wean him by force or trick so there’s that.

Last night, Z was so tired so he was laying on my bed while waiting for his Papa to finish Isya. M was still busy with brushing his teeth so I figured I would snuggle with Z – something that we rarely do these days.

I put a blanket over him and told him, “Do you want to snuggle with Mama?”

Sleepily, he said yes. I reached out for his head and hugged him slowly.

Before drifting to sleep, he asked me in low voice, “Mama, why didn’t we do this sooner?”

And my tears fell down. My boy – my baby.

“Anytime you want a snuggle, you can always ask me, Abang. All the snuggles in the world for you.”

He nodded before finally closing his eyes.

I hoped he knows – not only snuggles that I would give for him. All my love – all my life.

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.
– Barney Stinson, HIMYM

{Nostalgia} You’ve Got Magazines!

Bismillah,

Nggak terasa tiba-tiba udah bulan April – dan udah sebulan juga bolos nulis blog, hehehe. Ga ada alasan lain selain it was some sort of a March Madness. Masa-masa penutupan kuarter pertama berarti saya berpacu dengan waktu untuk menyelesaikan projects baik di kantor ataupun personal.

Anyway, now that that’s over, dan saya bisa bernapas sejenak sebelum memulai kuarter baru – kebetulan #1m1c bikin minggu tema yang so close to my heart. Sekalian bernostalgia, haha.

Continue reading “{Nostalgia} You’ve Got Magazines!”

At 4 AM

Bismillah,

I woke up – at 4 am.

I looked at your face and I smiled in the dark.

Your peaceful smile, your steady breath, your curly hair, and your full lips.

I caressed your cheeks, feeling like my tears were going to drop.

It has been a wonderful journey. And my baby, my prince, you are worth every step of it.

Isn’t this romantic, I asked myself.

There was only silence. And I sneaked out to the bathroom.

I took my wudhu, feeling the water splashed onto my face. It made me awake.

Then I took my sajadah and my praying attire.

The moment my head touched the ground, I felt so close with Him.

When I was finished, I recited the duas. And when I closed my eyes, it felt like the universe was gone.

Isn’t this romantic, again I asked myself.

**

The sun started to rise – and soon the roads were bustling with the sounds of cars and people started their morning activities.

As I opened the window, the cold breeze of the last days of winter hit my face.

This is going to be another day to feel blessed.

Beginning of spring in Berlin,

Hello, 2019.

Bismillah,

I have a habit of doing a yearly review on the last day of the year but somehow I missed it last year – perhaps due to the anxiety and unknowns of moving to a new country. Alhamdulillah, it’s getting better this year. It’s time for me to sit and jot down the reviews.

What did 2018 bring?

Adjusting well to my current job

Coincidentally, I joined my current company in the first week of 2018 so this month marks my first year since then. I struggled a bit when I started simply because I wasn’t familiar with replying to customers directly. With my previous company, everything was communicated internally first due to the size of our clients and their heavy marketing budget. Working in a start-up definitely has its perks. You gotta define your own set of rules and you have a chance to shape how your team works (at least). It has been challenging so far but I enjoy it. The work-life balance has been great and my boss has been supportive with each one of us in her team I can’t complain.

Kids are adapting well at the childcare

This is another feat, alhamdulillah. My biggest fear of moving to Germany is actually how I could leave my kids under the care of an institution for the whole day. When we were in Singapore, they were taken care of my helper so basically, they only had one person that’s taking care of them for the whole day while we were at the office. The trust they had with my helper is just like trusting a family member. Well, Z had 2-3 hours of schools every day, but it’s just a school, not a full daycare.

In Germany, there’s no way we can afford a live-in helper and the thought of getting another live-in helper frightens me. Our previous helper was great but it took me months to fully accepted her into our family.

We were lucky to get spots for both boys at the same childcare in two months while the situation in Berlin is beyond bad. The adjustment period for Z was short since he was bigger and he’s social by nature. M, on the other hand, took more time. He started his adjustment period in August and it took him two whole months until he can finally stay in the childcare full time. Now that both of them settled well in the childcare and trust their caretakers, we can finally have a working schedule as a family.

Transitioning to taking care of the house by ourselves

Oof.

I knew that it was going to be challenging to maintain the whole household while being a full time working mom – but I didn’t realize that it was going to be THAT challenging to the point that I needed a strategy – if that’s what you want to call it haha.

I wrote more on that in another post – so I am just gonna leave it there. I am glad to say that the order in this house has been maintained well.

Read more: Supaya Tetap “Waras” Menjadi Working Mom

A trip to Paris and Hamburg

I won’t lie – one of the reasons (or benefits?) of moving to Europe is to be able to see European countries with our own eyes.

Read more: Why you should move to Berlin

Bringing two kids under 5 traveling with us has been a challenge but that’s not impossible. Of course, a backpacking trip is out of question hence why we could only manage two trips last year. They were fulfilling though – they provided good breaks in between our busy schedules.

Bullet journaling

I started bullet journaling back in September 2017. At that time it was thanks to Synta and her Instagram accounts. Her bullet journal is so clean and inspiring. Soon I discovered Amanda Rach Lee and other bullet journalists – mainly from Instagram. It was intimidating at first since I have no art background at all – but by trial and error, I think I finally found joy in bullet journaling. I wrote a lot when I was a kid because that’s my main outlet when I was happy or sad and all – and now I am doing this on my journal as well along with other things such as my tasks and to-do lists.

Shameless plug – I have an Instagram account that is dedicated to my journaling journey – if you are interested 📖

Reading Challenge 2018 achieved

I set a target of 20 books at the beginning of 2018. I admit I cheated a bit by re-reading all 7 Harry Potter books (and I finished them all in one month) – and some of the rest of the books is really short, but hey, a target is still a target right? I am glad that I found comfort in reading again – just like what I had when I was a kid.

If anyone is interested, here’s my Goodreads account – it has been very very useful to track my progress and more importantly, to get a book recommendation from others. I admit that I am still very much deciding my to-be-read list on ratings, but hey, baby steps 🐾

What’s in store for 2019?

Passed JLPT

This has been on my list EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2015 – but I never got around to complete it. Not even attempting it. It’s gonna be even more challenging to take a test in Germany because I will need to travel outside Berlin. Luckily this summer’s JLPT will (hopefully) fall at the same week with our holiday in Jakarta. I am planning to sneak one day to get into the test. But first, of course, I need to study hard.

Getting at least one degree from Udacity

I registered for one of their nanodegree programs last year – and I haven’t even finished that one yet. Their courses are quite demanding in terms of projects and I am still struggling to find times to do them. I am aiming to get at least one degree from Udacity this year – wish me luck 🍀

More traveling

It’s more because we have school holidays lined up in April, July, October, and December this year. So far we already have trips planned for April and July. Let’s see what we can afford for October and December – our holiday budget seems to be running out fast 💸

More reading

Since I managed to finish my 2018 Reading Challenge, I am setting up a new challenge for me this year – 25 books, yay! By the time this post is published, I had finished one book. It’s a super popular book and truly a page-turner. I am planning to do a book review on this blog as well. We’ll see how that one goes since I can barely maintain a weekly post 😶

Oh – and this is actually also a good resource for reading recommendations. Recently I followed an Instagram account focused on motivating mothers to read more – it’s a brainchild of my lovely friend, Puty. If you are interested, you can follow the account and see recommendations from others too. I found it to be really encouraging and I love the book recommendations that are in Indonesian as well – I am building a list of books to be bought when we are going home for holiday this summer!

Networking

This sounds so professional, but actually.. it’s not. For the past year, I have been holing up in the house. In my defense, there is so many to be done over the weekend. Laundry, groceries, ironing, etc. Until I realized that I hadn’t made any real human connection and it kinda dampens my spirit. I will be the first one to admit that I am totally an introvert – interacting with other human beings requires great effort and energy for me. But I still need them on regular basis and nothing will change if I don’t make the first move.

For a start, I am planning to come to the mosque more often and perhaps I will be able to meet more people there. I have been neglecting that for the past year – maybe it’s a good time to start coming there again.

Connected to Him

It’s related to the point before. I felt like losing my connection to Him – to be honest, this has been plaguing me for more than a year and I hadn’t made any real effort to revive this. Thousand of excuses, I admit. I still don’t know how can I achieve this. But this is definitely one of my important goals. ☪️

**

To close this post, I wanted to say Alhamdulillah for a blessed 2018. Hopefully, 2019 will bring us greater things and most importantly, getting us closer to whatever gives you comfort.

Chilly Berlin,