Goodbye 2014, Thank You…

Last year, I said I’m going to continue pursue my 2012’s resolution, that’s not working well during 2013, yet even more this year most of it scattered. And after two year, I started to think, is it the time to ditch those list?

Not because the list are bad, or I failed everything. It’s just because maybe, It’s quite okay if some of the thing succeed and some other failed. Not everything is supposed to be perfect anyway.

Anyway, readers, you might see that this post is the only post I wrote this year, but actually it was not. I wrote something early this year around the time of Chinese New Year, especially since this year is the year of the horse, my Chinese zodiac. But I lost that post when my friend Mr. A, the one who pay the domain and hosting, lost his credit card, and was unable to renew the hosting on time.

Luckily, I keep a backup of my blog, so most of the past post can be recovered. But unfortunately, the backup hasn’t included the last post, which is the one I wrote early this year.

After the lost, I decided to get a new hosting for my blog, restructuring stuff, and wishing to start writing again soon. However, It never happened.

It’s been a wonderful year.

Despite my inability to continue writing in this blog, I have to tell you that this year is a wonderful year indeed.

During the Chinese New Year, we have a big family reunion. Most of the descendants of my great grandfather from my mom’s side gather together at my mom’s hometown, Salatiga. I get to meet several uncles, aunts, and second cousins I had never met before, and also for the very first time in my life, I get more than 10 angpao1, where normally I only get 3 at max from my parents, my grandparents, and sometimes from my aunt2.

Then, at the end of February, My father got a heart attack, yet after 10 days of hospitalization, he’s now healthy and back to work again, and start getting more clients, and even more awesome prospective clients then before.

Mid this year, I invested my money on small modified printer so I can start selling custom printed T-shirt and pillowcase. Around the same time, my mom also open her first batik clothes shop at our garage. Both of us starting our own venture, it’s something I never expect, but yes, it happens.

We spend the rest of the year growing our business and learning more about it, while also witnessing how my father trying to make use of his ‘second life’ even better than before.

Even though there is ups and downs happen during this year, I am thankful for everything. I am glad to be able to experience one more, where a lot of unexpected things happen to my family, my friends, and I.

I hope for better year, next year.

Just like every other person in this world wishing for a better future, I do wished the same, although I never know how it will fulfilled, as I don’t have a solid ideals.

I wish I my scholarship application and other program applications get approve, and also my business keep growing so I could start hiring employees. I wish I could be a better person, more discipline, more well-organized.

Although I have all those wishes, I believe that God knows me the best, and knows when is the right time for certain things to happen to me. So I believe that my entire wish that need to be fulfilled will come true, and I’ll be fine when some of my wish won’t come true next year.

Other than wishes for myself, In the following year I also wish that all people who recently lost the loved one, Including but not limited to those remaining family and friends of the victim of recent Air Asia accident, could still be strong and have faith in their life.

Hmm, I think that’s all for this year. Thank you 2014. I’ll write again next year.


1the red envelope filled with money given by the elders to children or in some cases unmarried young adults

2Chinese related celebration was restricted until about 1999, when our president at the time decided that it’s time to let Chinese descendants to embrace their own culture publicly. Because of that, during my childhood or teenage years, I have very little experience with Chinese culture.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

To be honest, I’m not at the right mood to write this post. But since today is one year anniversary of my blog, I just don’t want to miss it. So even it will not be perfect, I’ll do it anyway.

As I probably repeat several times in this blog, this blog is a birthday present from my best friend, and I was hesitating for two months before finally write in this blog at the age 22 years + 2 months. I was hesitating a lot because at that time I want to sort of planned it out carefully. Choosing the template, tweaking the design, planning what kind of post I should write, even planning some tiny details about how should I hide people’s name by only writing their initials.

In the end, I started anyway, without being perfectly ready, I wrote post by post.. and thats how this blog today, and the same thing happen to the way I live most of my life today.

Today is around 1,5 years since my graduation, and I’m 23 + 2 months old. If i look back, it would be a lie if I said I have no regret. I do have things that I regret, probably a lot. Quitting my job few month before graduation, not looking for a new job slightly before and after graduation, not selling my design to a national company, not apply for a job in the capital, not yet having the courage to publish my own game design, not getting a full time paid job like my friends did, not finish writing my first book, doing fatal mistakes when designing, are only several thing that I regretted.

Having regretted lots of thing, I realized that in our life we’re going to regret something anyway. As humans, its our nature to ask : WHAT IF?

What if I do this instead of that, what if I didn’t do this but do that instead. The more I asked myself, the more I realize. That I don’t know what happen to me if i don’t live my life today as it is. I don’t know how my life today will feel like or look like if i don’t do things as I did in my past. My life can be better, can be worse. No other humans know. Maybe God know, but He aren’t going to tell us anyway. So no one ever know.

No one can be sure that I will be more successful than I am today. Unless if success have really specific criteria, which if we haven’t met that specific criteria, we are a complete failure. Unless success and failure was determined by some narrow standard, maybe by money only, by popularity only or by other common determinant.

But what I learn from my life in a year time. Success, and failure is unique in each person case. What in the beginning seems like a big failure, seems like a big mistake, or something that going to be failed. Can lead into something big, something powerful, something enlightening.

My decision to try start my own business, or work by my own, at my hometown, a medium sized town, instead of working in established company, somewhere in the big cities,  leave me in an almost (if not truly ) unemployed condition for more than 6 months, continued by another months of extremely underemployed condition, with only one or two freelance project, which I managed to finish only after prolonged time (but still make mistakes in the end). Until one day, I was getting a call in a random morning, simply to help dealing with an urgent design matter, which somehow lead to unexpectedly awesome experience designing signage, arranging space, organizing factory visit and mini museum for a local company, plus packaging project, and other design related project from the same company.

In a year full of stress, tears, than what I ever have in the past 21-almost-22 years of my life before, I experienced walking in the road less travelled. I ride in the bumpy road with a lot of uncertainties along the way. Instead of doing and getting things exactly as I planned. I experienced failure and pain along the way, but at the other side getting chances and privileges which mostly not common things for 23 year old, young Indonesian designer like me.

In a year time, I tried to trained myself, even though very slowly, changing my working style. From the strict idealist and perfectionist, who only willing to deliver a perfect design, which in the end delivered very late in the name of perfection, although most of the case acute procrastination strike and delay the completion of project. Transform slowly but sure,into someone who tries to start working even when not feeling ready yet, and polish it along the way. While keep trying to deliver a high quality design, my definition of perfect work do shifted a bit. While in the past I only care mostly about the design itself, during this year time experience, I learned that an awesome design is not only determined by the design itself, but also the time of delivering, compatibility with the implementation, and other aspect of the real world.

In a year time I meet more kinds of people I never met before, or maybe I’ve met before but never know their kind really exist. I met a 24 y.o. girl who leave her job in order to travel around Europe, despite never travelled abroad before. I met 20 y.o. boy who is afraid to make imperfect drawing, because his professor wont like it, even though he know 100% that the professor will never see that drawing. I met 24 y.o. boy recent graduate, yet already having years of experience in non profits, and now starting a social entrepreneurship project. I met another guy in his 50s, a fatherlike figure who initiated a youth organization, and agree to be a mentor for my project. I met many more kinds of people, and keep finding another.

At some of them I saw some traits that we share, but another factors in our life makes our life end up completely different. Sometimes I met someone seems completely different from me but turns out have something similar happens in life.

In a year time, I learned that things that I thought, I already prepared perfectly can go wrong. Despite through preparation in most case helpful, unexpected things might happen.

I also learned that, unexpected things sometimes (if not most times) are not a bad thing. Try to do something when we’re not in the most comfortable state, try working on a project we have no or less experience doing, suddenly decide to apply for a thing and get accepted, join competitions and eventually win some prizes.

Uncertainty and unexpected, is the keyword of this past year, and I believe still apply in my future.

Despite all the regret, failure, mistakes,and postponements, I am thankful for this year. For each small little chances who end up being unexpectedly big experience. For an awkward beginning who end up being close partnership and friendship. For small baby steps that sometimes will transform into small little jumps.

Thanks to the Lord that give me faith, strength, patience, passion, and determination. To stay alive and contribute better. To continue, despite any skepticism that occur.

Even though I haven’t or may not achieve things as I planned. I am thankful of my life as it is, because in a year time, I learned a lot!

You’ll Never Be Old and Wise If You Weren’t Young and Crazy – anonymous



Winnie Tjahjana

Quick Post : Random? What?

My friend Audrey Tangonan from Philipines have been asked me to update my blog since last month. She keep asking me to write something that she called “random motivation”.

I finally push myself to write as quick as possible my feeling and thoughts about the news I’ve just realized few minutes ago.

So here we are today…

Random things as random as it can be!

Sometime last week a random typhoon hit some islands in Philippines. Although the typhoon have a name and have a predicted path. I would say that it still a random disaster since we never know which individual will be affected.

if you want to know more about the disaster check this link

As for today, lots of people already lost their home and families. They currently don’t have enough food supply to survive.

However, the good news is … food supply and more volunteer is about to come. One of them is “not-so-random-person”, the only filipino I ever know personally, my  friend Audrey.

Random Messages!

So, my dear friend Audrey, here is the some messy thought that I left for you, your fellow volunteer, the survivors, (and readers).


For audrey and the volunteers, I am relieved that you are unharmed. But above that, I’m so proud of you because you care.


I feel sorry those who become victim and lose everything, but above that I am grateful that you guys still survive. I am so proud that you still alive and please keep alive


I wish someone remember to play with the kids, maybe showing some puppet show or do something fun . Since the kids need something to do while waiting for meals. This disaster may leave scar in this kids life, but I wish that something fun can shallow the depth.


In this kind of situation I don’t think that my kind of consolation word or whatever word is the most appropriate things to do. I know that it seems easy for me to say things when I’m somehow away. Not feeling the pain, and unable to contribute. I have to admit that at the moment, I’m not yet able to contribute concretely to help you guys, but I want you to know that my prayer will be with you. In the mean time I will keep finding out how could I help you


More Random Things!

My brain at the moment is currently as messy as this quick post. But in this messy moment, my messy brain keep remembering these sentences over and over again.

Your place or mine? The world is one.

Why these sentences? I’m not so sure… is it remind you of something?

malaikat copy

Open Letter for C:F Summit 2013 Participants

I’m not sure if this post could be counted as a letter, but I write and post it anyway.

Despite my limited language skill, grammatical mistakes, typos, jumbled flow or any other possible mistake, I have to warn you in advance that this post can be very long. So…

keep calmand scroll down


Imagination vs Reality, Impressions (and Secrets?)

Lets talk about the most important thing during the whole summit, the people.

The first bunch of people I met in Istanbul airport are Dharmesh, Hardik, and Hitesh(is that you?). I saw the summit program on Dharmesh lap, and immediately talk to them. Soon after that, Taj joins us, an Indian guy in a bright yellow jumper.  I already suspect that the other 2 Africans in that waiting room  are Alice and Francis, but I’m not so sure yet. So I waited until we arrived at Ljubljana.

My short talks with Taj while waiting for my suitcase being spitted out from the harsh ‘luggage belt‘ machine in Ljubljana airport, reveal that this Indian guy with Santa Claus beard is only a year older than me, yet he already traveled to more than 30 countries in just 4 years. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to learn what’s the secret behind it.

Once we arrived in Maribor, I started to meet more and more people until I can’t explain in sequence anymore how and when I met them.

I think I ever read Jatin‘s name somewhere but have no idea how he looks like, I don’t even know that he’s from India, yet among the other YOC members I met him first. But even that time I don’t even think that we would have a chance to spend one of the our nights in Bled to talk about a glimpse of our business, eating noodle with Faisal and having some midnight discussion with Iulia. After that I remember calling out “JATIIIN!” countless times during summit. Hey, Jats, don’t forget our business deals ! Hehe!

“FAISAAAAL!” is the second guy I remember calling out countless times too. That night, during Faisal’s birthday when he actually waited for Iulia in the kitchen, but she failed to showed up (gossips?), I remember eating a weird tasted instant noodle, which the taste I started to miss (I wish I eat more that day!).  Before the summit, Faisal sent me email once, and I remember replying, “ Dear Mr Faisak Imtiaz..” (yes, with a typo!). Back then I thought this guy is a slender tall Arab looking guy (this is based on pure imagination). Yet in reality I met a chubby guy with coke bottle glasses. Among other summit participants I guess I tease this guy a lot, spreading gossips  (Oops!).

And then there are Iulia and Iuliia. The one with more ‘i’ in her name is my roommate, we have short talks before sleep, and without her I probably came late to the session. Iuliia said to me that she was one among those who get the lasts chance to attend the summit, and indeed, I just checked her CF profile that she just joined the sites recently. Whoaa, I guess our room in Bled is reserved for the luckiest girls, since we got chosen for the summit while we don’t really expect it, since we’re both newcomers in CF!

While Iulia, with less ‘i’ is the one who always acts as the bad guy during teamwork. With her and Jatin, I spent one of my nights in Bled exchanging our thoughts and stories. Iulia told me that she was once asked for help naming a restaurant, and she spent weeks (or months) arguing with the owner. She reminds me about the quote ‘if two people always agree one of them is useless’. From that moment on I know that I could discuss a lot of things with her without always agree on everything.

Nindy, the girl in red jacket, is the one that surprised me a lot, when I saw her photo, I imagined a super serious super mature young woman. Yet what I found in reality is a very bubbly girl, clinging to her huge ‘teddy bear’ Michael . With her I could talks in my own language, and I’m quite sure beside us, and possibly Melanie, Amrullah and Lai Hock, everybody else is having a puzzled looks on us when we talk with each other. The same looks I have when I was listening to the Indian guys talk in their language.

Amrullah, my secret keeper, any secret to share? Hehe yours is save with me, although I cant help twisting and teasing about it sometimes, but its save, trust me! Hopefully mine is still save too  . In the beginning I really don’t know how old he is, it turns out that he’s only a year (or even less) younger than me, but the national service and his short breaks makes him way behind in terms of university class. Hope you find a wife soon and have many kids. (an absurd talks, eh?)

Melanie, the girl next door, I haven’t got a chance to really talks or play around with you, but thanks for dancing with me on the last day   . Well we probably meet again soon, but first I have to start saving some money for my ticket to Singapore. Ah, Melanie be careful, don’t let Audrey ‘poisson’ you again.

Audreeeeeeey…my future adventure partner. It is true that at some point I suddenly forgot Audrey’s name and then five minute later I suddenly remember again without asking anyone else. It is weird indeed, but happens. We’re almost always in sync in terms of suddenly stopped and taking photos, a quality that’s quite rare, but very crucial when choosing a travel partner. Hopefully we could collect enough money (any sponsor?  ) to fulfill our dreams, traveling around South East Asia together!

Lai Hock, the daddy of CF Summit participants. Lai Hock is actually around the age of my parents or at least my uncles. That explains why some summit participants cling to him like little chicks cling to mommy hen. I am thankful for a lot of thing that he said or asked, since it reminds me of lots of important things in life. Thanks for agreeing to become mentor for my project, although right now Lai Hock is still somewhere out of Singapore and I’m not yet having any contact with him since the end of the summit.

The last guy representing Singapore (and India), Mr President, Sid, the smiley guy, everybody’s good friend (and idol?) you’ve been spending years in Singapore, I have a question for you, “Do you understand Malay now?”

Damjan the cartoon guy, the first time I saw Damjan I thought I’ve just seen some cartoon character coming out from comic book. His looks and even the way he moves is so cartoony. Other than that I thought the name Edgar suits him too, maybe he should consider changing his name? Thanks for being awesome mentor, and believing in us! 

Umm, since we already talks about edgar, lets talk about my super awesome teammates.

Alice from Uganda, is one among the earliest friend I got during summit. It is true that it was hard to understand each other’s accent in the beginning, but then we managed to overcome that problem. What I like the most about Alice is the colour she wears, the rainbow shawl, the shoes, the outfit that she designs by herself. Thanks for taking care of me during the hectic minutes before our pitches. I remembered her slightly puzzled look when I asked for black coffee, no sugar no milk, and she give me two mini chocolate cake (muffin?) which is end up eaten by Damjan later that night.

Simon the serious guy, it’s a good thing that we end up agree on the mix of your serous pitch with my funny looking slides. It turns out that the mix brings us to the final and eventually win the challenge. Also thanks for the diagram you make to explain about the community systems, it was a breakthrough indeed! Keep rocking!

Chourouq, the girl who agree to disagree, we are always together in every competition, although we are on the same team in one and on different team in other. I remember staring at your eyes and remember actually thinking, “whoaaa very long lashes..” haha! This serious finance graduate sometimes argue with me about lots of things since we might have different point of view. But one thing we have in common, both of us started Make.It.Work project while actually being unemployed ourselves. 

Sanaa, the one who I always called 언니 (eonni = Korean word for older sister). It is a good thing that you have Korean boyfriend and able to speak Korean. I’ve been longing for someone talk to me in Korean for almost 3 years. Yet your existence, talk to me in Korean heal that ‘chronic longing’ feeling of mine. Although I always talk to you in banmal (the most impolite level of speeches in Korean) like a little kid. Gonna miss you a lot eonni! Don’t forget to send me your wedding invitation, I really wish I will have enough money to attend it! Or you could borrow Jatin’s idea   3-day wedding, followed by 3-day summit so we could get some sponsorship.

Back to the YOC members, Dan actually send me emails about my competition’s brief, so he’s among the group of people that I only know the names but I don’t know the looks. My pure imagination thought that this guy is someone serious (possibly fat guy?). It turns out that in reality this guy is a true entertainer, and together with Hayley, he perform the coolest act ever!

Hayley, also the true entertainer, awesome speaker, “Why are you missing from our table so often?” Well, I know that you are busy preparing a lot of awesome things for us, thanks Hayley!  I will always remember your smile and your thumbs up for my silly answer on the car study case.

Who else in the YOC whom I know? Bistra! I remember always wrote to “Dear Ms Bistra” on my email to her, but I the moment I met her in person I forgot about all those formalities  . We exchange so many email (yes, many, it was so much until it becomes uncountable) but we don’t talk to each other much in Slovenia. But that’s okay. We have to share our time with everyone else, right? Hugs from Indonesia!

Next is Denis, the shouting guy, I’m sorry I was always somewhat behind when it comes to walking between places  , I want to enjoy lots of thing that I saw on the road especially during our walks in your city, Maribor. I wish one day I have a chance to come again to Maribor, and walks slowly (again!). Thanks for being patient with a girl who walks slowly and stopped often to capture the scenery, and sometimes walks in the wrong side of the road. Thanks for always being my ‘almost private’ guide. You are my savior!

Whoa, I wrote quite a lot already. I’m sorry I can’t write in equal length about each participant, since I know only some participant anyway (we are 80++ people).

So, short note about some others.

Andreja, Nadya, Metka, Matjas, and others, the ‘ancesstors’, the fathers and mothers of, thanks for the awesome chance you give to others, and me. Thanks for the awesome speeches, session, and works behind the screen. Thanks for remembering me. 

Lucian, trust me I’ll remember you as yourself not as Dan’s brother (oops!). 

Pacifique, I still remember our talks in the bus, although not all of them. I will re-watch hotel Rwanda, soon. Meanwhile you should start saving money to visit me and then we could go to pacific ocean together. Hehe!

Vesna, you’re the only person who gave me a postcard during the summit … (putting it inside my postcard album)

Ding Ding, I should start learning Chinese so I could speak in Chinese to you later.

Aimee, If I got the AusAid scholarship, I definitely visit you during one of my holiday. Show me around Brisbane, ok?

Udoka, the tweety girl, you know I want to write at length about you but since we tweet to each other quite often  I’m sure that the sum of all those tweet will be equal to (or more than) those lengthy paragraph. 

Silviya, Jovanna, Nesli, Tatiana, Marusa, Stefan, Apiane, Ayodeji, Dzemal, Mila, Abigail, Uros, Sandra and all the other that I can’t mention one by one. I want you to know that, you are as special as the other, my inability to wrote personally about you is not because you guys are less special, its just that we all have limited time with each other, which is very normal thing to happen. We can’t grasp everything and know everyone during that short week. But still, you can add me on facebook, follow me on twitter, drop me mails and start knowing each other more after the summit.



Winnie Tjahjana


(next: C:F summit 2013, My favorite moment)

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C:F Summit 2013, The Beginning

Sometime earlier this year, ordinary evening, I was sitting on my desk, with laptop in the front, browsing around, looking for any competition / residency opportunities / scholarship.

Few clicks on



Challenge:Future Competitions 2013 (right click! open in a new tab!)

and the rest is…








a bumpy ride!


Long story short, my team failed to pass the first round of My dream Job, but barely managed to pass the first round of Make.It.Work. So, we continue our journey through the semifinal, and on May 20th, 2013, I waited for the announcement. I’m ready to ditch my idea, forever! Left it somewhere dusty in the cloud.

Yet on that evening, a message popped out in my inbox.


That moment, I really thought it was a prank from Bistra, and few minutes after that there will be a new email said , “Sorry, we made a mistake..”

But yeah, fortunately, that didn’t happen. Fyuuuh~

After that, I bugged Bistra with a lot of email, ranged from important reply, panic messages, worried questions, ask for more travel budget, reporting that my partner quits, flight details, visa matters, whatever emails I can’t even remember anymore.

So, four months after that unbelievable moment, on September 18th, 2013, I embark on my first journey alone, to Slovenia, a place most of my family and friends never heard before, to meet a bunch of unknown people.

By unknown, I mean I’m totally clueless. Other than Bistra and Metka, I have no idea how the others look like. Some send me emails, some I just know their names. I saw some people pictures on facebook, but can’t remember any. I even just know that there is other girl from Indonesia coming to the summit just 3 days before my departure.

I came to the summit with a lot of uncertainty. Yet during the summit slowly but sure lots of the mysteries unfold.


(next : open letter to all C:F Summit 2013 Participants)

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On my way to C:F Summit 2013

From my very first experience traveling alone to Slovenia, on my way to CF: Summit 2013.

Part 1 : Miracle happens from the very beginning.

As I write this blog post now I am sitting in the food court, somewhere in Ataturk airport, Istanbul, Turkey, without Internet access.   Earlier this day at Soekarno Hatta airport, I wondered how my journey will look like. What if I get lost? What if the suitcase never reaches my destination? What if I can’t get a seat by the window? Will I miss my chance to see the cloud above Slovenia? I am worrying about all those tiny little thing.

Yet miracle happens from the very beginning. Earlier this day  (18/09/13) I went to the check-in desk and asking for any seat by the window, at the beginning they said, they don’t have any, but suddenly another guy came and give me a seat that I wanted. It turns out the person who sits next to me at this 14 hour flight from Jakarta to Istanbul change her team members sitting arrangement, just a moment before I came in.(^o^)/ horraaayyy!

The other fun things that happen is that later on, I spent half of my journey talking with this lady next to me. She’s an adventurer to, love to go on an unpredictable trip, and she works in a ceramic factory and now going to set up a stall for her company at a ceramic expo in Bologna, Italy. One other special thing about her is she have a 2 years old kid. So I’m looking forward to send any of my toy to her.

So this thing that supposed to be 14 hours of boring flight, turns out to be 14 hours of lively talks and discussion with delicious meal and beautiful light below, and another unknown opportunity awaits at the end of journey.

Part 2 : A lesson to learn, always check before departure.

I am somewhat a fool for not checking about this Ataturk Airport in Istanbul before my departure, as I assume that a big airport supposed to have free wi-fi internet access, just like in Soekarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta and Changi Airport, Singapore, my transit place last night.

What I not oversee is that even though this airport have wi-fi internet access, it is not free. I have to register and pay using a credit card, which is unfortunately I never had. It’s not a common thing for a 22 y.o. Indonesian youth to have credit card, unless, his/ her family is quite wealthy.   Luckily, my charger connects perfectly with the plug, as they use European standard plug, the one that is also used at my home country. So I still have a chance to record what I see and what I feel here, and type it down using my laptop.

Being on my first trip alone halfway across the world, I am quite overwhelmed. Seeing a sea of people with different skin color different hair color, speak another language, bringing different kind of suitcase, backpack, gadgets. But they all come here for one same reason, to depart.

All these people, wearing different kind of suits, yet they all have one thing in common, they only stayed here for a while. Although a while seems more relative, instead of absolute, as my  ‘a while’ will be 4 to 6 hours.

So lets go, looking around.

Part 3: I don’t know what to do in this airport.

With no one to talk, this 6 hour of transit thingy feel like forever.  With a little amount of pocket money, I want to bought something for my growling stomach. Yet, being in Turkey for the first time, I have no idea how the food will taste. Should I just waited for my in-flight meal?

Five minute…

Thirty minutes…

Two Hour…


My Stomach can’t take it anymore.


So I settled for a Turkish Coffee and Kolem Börek Kiymali (a special pastry with minced meat)

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Thanks God, I’m Alive!

Its been a long time since the last time I write in this blog.

I should have been writing my second post about my Penang adventure, but I keep postponing it.

It’s my own fault. So whatever the reason behind it, whether its exam, jobs, competition or whatever it is I will not seek any justification.

But today, I finally brave myself to make a new post to say how thankful I am  for every single day that I’ve been through.

My live was colorful, exciting, and i’m feeling alive, because God gives me the greatest give of all. What is that? Its a thankful heart. A heart who knows how to enjoy life when life itself try to ping-pong-ed  me. A heart who know that God loves me, and he got an amazing plan for me, even though this life doesn’t works the way I wanted.

He, the God Almighty who owns my life, may let me suffer, let me have pains, let me feel some confusion in life. But He showed me that I should not give up. He show me a way to surrender. To accept His plan while keep working hard to achieve it.

He, My God, teach me that a fake peace is fake and temporary, and may bring chaos in the future. Sometimes the real truth may bring disruption, but then it leads to the real peace at heart. So I am thankful for Him to make my heart feel crumbled sometimes when I found the truth.

He, showed me that He’s the only source of love, He’s the only and ultimate source of love.But, if you wondering what method He use to show me His love, its not through the light who suddenly comes through the sky, like the one we normally saw in the movies. Its not that magical spectacular supra-natural. At least not in my case. Because, It doesn’t have to be like that, it doesn’t need to be like that.

Love is a simple thing, why should us make it complicated? Love is a smile from a stranger across the street, a wise word from a friend, a warning from your parents, a warm shake hand from a colleague. Love is not limited for romantic purposes only.

When people said that love its the most important thing in this world, I would say that is true. Its only that I have my own definition of love.. love that is not narrow-minded.


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13 : 4-7

This kind of love, keeps me alive, keep my heart warm at the coldest situation. Keep me humble, and keep me strong. The kind of love that God give to me…

Thanks God, I’m alive…because You always love me.

lovekiss copy

PP : Pursuit Penang

Guess what? At the very same moment as now, the time I write this post, two weeks ago, I was laying on a hammock at Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia. Simply enjoy a breeze of fresh air from the fan, while listening to my Cousin A talks with an Italian guy, and two other Koreans.

I was on vacation!


But! before I told you about my first day in Malaysia, let’s start from the day before.

I was at my aunt’s, trying as hard as I could to finish half of project report for a competition, so I could send it to my friend to finish the other half.  Then after that try to sleep as comfy as I could, since I’m about to embark a very special journey.

The next day, April 16th 2013, was the start of my first adventure in 2013. It’s my first time stepping my foot in neighbor country, Malaysia. Plus, It’s also my first trip with my Cousin A alone. No parents, no aunts, no friends, no tour guide, no tour participants, just the two of us; backpacking.

But at that night, I was really immersed on the report so I can’t really prepare the trip as I planned.  While I normally check everything once again at the night before. This time I can’t. Same thing happen with my Cousin A; trying to finish her work before this 1-week vacation.

Good news is we already booked flights months before and hostels weeks before. The essentials are secured, but other than that, we’re open to any possibilities. So here we are, two young ladies, embark a journey with countless uncertainty.


DAY 1 -  from Surabaya to Penang

Well, our flight to KL was at 2 pm, so we decided that going to the airport at 11am would be just right, since it takes about 35 to 45 minutes to reach the airport from our aunt’s home.

All my bags are packed and secured, camera charged and wrapped inside the camera bag, my ducil doll is wrapped inside a ziploc and vacuumed. Basically my preparation are finished, all I need to do is cutting some stickers which is I’m thinking of bringing to Malaysia and probably give away to some people I met on the way, or simply stick it somewhere, just to left some proof of existence.

*left : ducil inside a ziploc + vacuum. right : sticker design*

Taxi called and came at 11, we were leaving to the airport. Everything went quite smooth, except at the middle of the highway my Cousin A suddenly said, “ I think I left our Malaysian Ringgit at my other backpack at home! ”  D*MN, we’re doomed! How could we survive a week in Malaysia without any money in hand? Sing or dance on the road to earn money? Or put ourselves inside a cartoon box ? hungry Good news is that we still have enough time to go back home. So, to secure our flight, we decided to split up, I will do the check-in for both of us, and Cousin A, will ride the taxi back home and then bring back the money + pommelo + breads.
Our flight to KL went fast and smooth. The sky was really blue and the cloud was misty (?). The cloud looks like a cotton candy that left outside for a long-long time; it’s not fluffy at all.

*view from the sky. left : land from above. right : clouds… somehow looks like snow isn’t it?*

Stepping foot on KL for the first, I was following my Cousin A from behind. Until suddenly “Snap!”, my Cousin A said her sandals was broken, and that’s because I’m step on it, which is until this day, I can’t understand how and when I step on her sandals because I don’t feel like stepping on anything other than the ground itself. But let’s just believe her story for now.

*the ‘sandal dendeng kiri’ is officially dead (dendeng: beef jerky, kiri: left, so sandal dendeng kiri means : left beef jerky sandals)*


Hungry and exhausted after unexpected event before and after the flight. My Cousin A is longing for Indian food. So, she ordered some food and lassi for us to share.

*Yaaay! My first Indian food ever. Mango lassi was nice, masala lassi was terrible for me, luckily the food is also nice. It’s only that the portion is a little bit to big for me (smaller portion please (><”)!).*

Few hours after that, we’re off to Penang. But, just before boarding to the plane, the stewardess actually stopped me and said, “Do you have another ticket?”. And I said , “What? This is the ticket and it has my name on it. What do you mean by another ticket?”. It turns out that the ticket that I give to the previous officer, and eventually got ripped off was the ticket for my return trip.
Disaster ! It was a mistake, but it turns out not really fatal, since I’m actually have the ticket and, I have another copies of the return ticket, which is I eventually didn’t fly back from Penang to KL using plane but we will use bus from Cameron highland.

Long short story, our peculiar day is not end yet. Arrived at Penang, we planned to take the bus to Batu Ferringhi. However the bus takes 2 hours from airport to our lodge. So, if we take the bus,  by the time we arrived at the lodge it was probably midnight already. In the end we decided to take some private taxi, which cost us 10 times more expensive.

On the way to our hostel, we have some small talks with the driver. It turns out that he actually used to work in Korea for few years. He said the pay was good, he actually wants to stay there longer but his wife asked him to come back.  He actually reminds me a bit about my Korean days. I wasn’t there for work but I have a lot of friend who actually works there, so I know how good the pay is, especially when the currency was high.  Fuuuh~ He remind me how I miss korea, and all the people who blabbering in Korean to me.

Forty five minutes later, we arrived safely at our first lodge which is ‘Lazyboys Guest House‘.

* top left : mural on the side of hostel. top right : me and ducil on the hammock. bottom from left to right: alley, our room, lobby, our bathroom inside our room *

It was a cozy hostel near Batu Ferringhi night market. We stayed at a room with double bed and bathroom inside. The price was very reasonable and we liked it. It’s only that we don’t get any breakfast and there’s no sink inside the bathroom so we have to use the shower for rinsing the mouth and toothbrush after brushing teeth (it turns out that the sink is actually outside, not really far from our room).

So we don’t do much of adventure that night. We only walked around the night market; grab some quick snack and then talks with others at the hostels.

Well actually my Cousin A is the one who talks with them, especially because they talks about American/ European stuff which I don’t really understand. Even though two of them is actually Korean guys, but they were educated in America.

So that day, I became a quiet listener. Until I feel sleepy enough, and decided to go to bed.

To be continued on day 2… Stay tune!

FF : Facing Fears

Few months ago, my little cousin uploads a picture of Disney Princess to our family’s Blackberry Messengers Group (BBM group). She ask us about which Disney Princesses we like. No one answers her, mostly because the members of the BBM group were mostly aunts and uncles, so probably no one actually knows nor interested on Disney Princesses. So somehow we all completely forget about it.

Until just recently, I was wandering around Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Adoring beautiful sceneries while sometimes contemplating about my life, my past and my fears. Then suddenly I felt a ‘click!’ on my mind. I suddenly remember about Mulan the 8th Disney Princess.

Fa Mulan / Hua Mulan  is an ancient China legendary figure who was described in a Chinese poem “the Ballad of Mulan”.  Her story was adapted into a Disney animation movie on 1998 and 2004.

Then, what’s the connection between Mulan, and me facing my fears?

Even Mulan was registered as one of the Disney Princess. She was actually not a princess herself, nor married to any kind of prince, in both original poem and Disney adaptation. In fact, she came from a regular family, with no noble status nor wealthy background. I felt a strong similarity between her and me.

In the Disney version, Mulan was the only daughter; she’s so carefree, witty, blunt when speaks her mind, in short, act really differently from what the society expect from a typical Chinese girl her age. She then rejected by the matchmaker, labeled as an ultimate disgrace to the family.  But her fate changed when she take most courageous decision ever. She takes his elderly father place in battlefield.

While she was a big loser at first, with the help of her witty, creative and unpredictable companion, ‘Mushu the mini dragon’ and ‘Cricket’, plus enormous amount of hard work, she became the best among her comrades.

I kinda think my condition is modern day Mulan, although my parents was not that old and there’s no way they matchmake me with anyone. I do have to come to the “battlefield” which in my case was less dangerous because its simply a decent job. And even if my families never really force me to do that I do feel the urge to assume the responsibility just as Mulan did.

The reason is simple, first, I’m the only child in my Family (my big bro deceased before I was born) so if I somehow turn to be a failure I have no other sibling as a spare.  Second, because I was the only child most people thought I was spoiled, which is true at some extent, BUT! Do you ever think that as the only child I have to be more independent than others with siblings? I have to learn more about dealing with friends, how to maintain a good relationship, etc.

I actually grown up to be someone which is in some people opinion was stone-headed, because I have to be firm on my principles but at the same time really flexible as my friend know that if they need sudden help, they could always ask me to help. I turn up to be weird, to be unique, which is a fact that I constantly trying to accept.

So when I do speaks about my fears, it was not fear about some sillies animal (rats lizard, cockroach) that normal girl afraid of nor it was fear toward scary-and-kinda-very-demanding-workaholic-future-boss.

But my fear is about what if I never go the chance to proof myself? What if I give up easily instead of working hard and succeeded later on? What if I never use my potential fully? What if my older self, blaming my younger self for not trying hard enough? And at the end of the day God will asks me “Winnie, why are you didn’t use the time I give you wisely?”

And also, there’s a quote that describe one of my fear.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marriane Williamson


(if you wish to read the comic version click this link, really cool comics by Gavin Aung Than, one of my favorite comic artist)


Anyway, back to Mulan story, if my live was a Mulan story, In which part of Mulan story is my current condition is? I personally thought it was any point after the reflection songs. (see below or click link, I don’t own the video, ilustration purposes only)

And before the “make a man out of you” song. (see below or click link, I don’t own the video, ilustration purposes only)

See? But anyhow finding Mulan as my role model was actually one of my liberation point. I don’t think my fear really clouded my view as it was before. Finally I started to find my own self again. This girl who wish to see light in every darkness.

Just like Mulan did, I do prayed, not to my ancestor, but to The Mighty God, to help me fight for my life, and I do feel that God sent me guardian angels too. My witty and unpredictable Cousin A, could be my “Mushu”, and my ducil the little sheep doll, although its not a real living thing like ‘Cricket’, has already inspire me to stay feeling lucky.

Life feels beter, since I try to see light in every darkness, the world doesn’t change much, but my views did, and that changes my world. Suppress and rationalize my fears, deal with it, befriended it. Now back on track. Trying to gets up once again.

(illustration by Alex Noriega, check his site for more, borrowed for illustration purposes only)

I’m currently applying for some jobs, some are through my acquaintances. Really hope that my luck is really coming back this time.  Really hope I got accepted somehow. But also prepared for any answer, rejection or acceptance, I wish that God keep me strong, let me accept it gracefully.

As there’s light in every darkness. There’s a hope in every bad news isn’t it? Do you agree with me?


Who are you when you’re 23 years old?

Some people were still a student, some other just started theirs first job, some people already invented big enterprise, some people strive to get jobs, some people sustain injuries, some people were having their first kid, some might be happy, while some other depressed. There is thousand or million or trillion possibilities could happen to us when we’re 23. There is countless possibilities of what kind of person we will be.

Today, on March 23rd 2013, there is one particular person turn 23 years old. This person lives in the same town as me, yet I never know him personally nor I ever met him. All I know about him is only his online personality that I found at his twitter or some online news. So basically my opinion is based from distant perspective. However, even from afar, this person gives a positive vibe.

This guy is quite famous athlete in town, and possibly nationwide. Yet he seems to maintain low profiles personality and friendly to his fans. No wonder his amazing fans always proud of him. Despite all the hardship that disturbs his career, he shows a good example of how a human should be.

This guy has an opportunity to own a lavish and selfish life, yet he seems to do the opposite. He maintain a humbly and loyal personality. Despite his popularity he still personally writes for fans and friends, even help marketing his club jersey (and apologize for possible expensive price). Stay loyal to his current ‘almost bankrupt’ club despite the bad fortune he might encounter.

Moreover, taking foster kids and giving donation to students who needs is also on his list of achievement. Achievement of doing selfless and caring action, which is in my opinion, was quite a huge thing for person his age.

I wonder, what kind of person I’ll become when I’m 23 years old?

While I still have 6 month before turning 23, I am currently far behind. Even If I piled up all the good things I ever did in my life, I is not enough yet. I won’t wish my life to be like his nor I wanted to do the same as he did. But I sincerely wanted to find out my own way to do good thing. A good thing that came from a good heart.

ps: if I’m not mistaken, his (the person I mention on above post) name means “war leader”. Then if he really lives into that name, I believe he already leads us on war against ignorance, insensitivity, and selfishness. Thanks! and Happy Birthday!

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can

― John Wesley