Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: Memories

The Aftermath of Eat Pray Love

I watched Eat Pray Love with Jessie today at the cinema. On the way back home, passing through the empty roads (mind you, it was past midnight), I did a lot of thinking and I realized that, hey, I was in the similar situation too: confused about what I wanted to do with my life! It’s a life dilemma, the first time such thing ever happens to me!

I used to know what I wanted to do with my life. Hell yeah, I was good at it! Since high school, I had my own life map drawn showing me which path I should take. When others were still confused about which university they wanted to go to or which major they wanted to choose, I already had everything set. It seemed so easy and I did it without the help of my parents, who practically lived miles away from me. I planned everything by myself. I knew that by the time I finished high school, I would go to Australia to study. Then afterwards, I would do my Master degree somewhere in Europe. I would then live somewhere in the Middle East to work and encourage more women to participate in the workforce.

I also used to dream about having a successful IT career. I would live abroad, have a great life as a single career woman, and at the same time, support my family; be it helping my dad to finance the education of my siblings or financially helping my mom to build a house she ever dreamed of. Then I would start to slow down, fall in love, have kids, and so on. It was an ordinary dream, a traditional and “selfish” one, I would call. Nothing fancy. It was a dream most girls in this world dying to have.

Those things kept me going up the ladder. Plus, I loved what I did. That’s what mattered. I loved what I studied. I was so passionate about the computer world that I would swear myself I would be doing it for the rest of my life. I remember when I first came to Eindhoven, a friend told me that he never met any girl who was so excited about being devoted to this field! Most of his girl friends, he said, ended up doing something totally different than IT, or throwing themselves in that field due to lack of choices. Well, it never occurred to me that I became one of those people he mentioned a year later! I didn’t know what had happened!

During my lifetime, I have learnt. I have been inspired and encouraged. I have been moved. But it all came to one thing: I always have wanted something different. I realized that the field of IT was not for me. Was I bored? Perhaps. I always get bored, even with my love life, which always makes me question, will I ever find a guy that I will never get bored of? I always demand for changes. That’s why you’ve seen me hopping from one country to the other. I want to see different things. That’s why you’ve heard me talking about being in the ocean. I don’t want to be in the same situation all the time. I want to feel energized every time. And that’s through experiencing different things.

Truth to be told, I can’t help thinking that I would be spending my entire life in an office, behind a computer! Even thinking about it already makes me crazy. Of course, I could be a manager or a head of something, like people ‘suggested’ me, but in general, working in the office hasn’t been a favorite to me. It’s too monotone. Imagine, every single day you wake up and do the same thing. It’s not exciting! It’s not fulfilling. You won’t feel satisfied. Why do you think people hate Monday?

So now, yes, officially, I have lost my passion. I don’t know my destination and goal are anymore. They disappeared without me realizing it. I am now in the intersection of a big road, confused of which direction I should take. Street signs are everywhere but they aren’t meant to help me with choices. They really confuse me!

Some people know that I’ve been really interested in the development world, especially education, youth, and community development. I’ve been looking into that field a lot. Is the development world really for me? Of course, at some point in our life, we want to help others and make a huge impact. But let’s just forget about it for a moment, because for me, if I want to help others, there are many members of my own family (relatives) who financially need help. And I think I have to prioritize them over anyone else in this world.

But then why is the development world seem so exciting for me? I feel like, by going deep into this field, I can interact with other people more often. The real people. The people who can inspire me. The people who may teach me more about trust, love, or anything. The people who can straighten my faith. The ‘ordinary’ people who know much better about what life is all about than those people who can’t seem to have enough of things. That’s what I love about it. Those people live their life based on love, the support of their family, lessons they learnt in the past, and experiences; not based on cool gadgets, money, BlackBerry, or fancy dress. I can’t find satisfaction in those. Perhaps, yes, temporarily, but not in a long term. If I work in an office, I can only imagine the usual boring everyday routine and the fact that there would be less human-to-human deep connection. People (including me!) are getting so further away from each other, thanks to the computer, Internet, and social networks. In addition to that, when you deal with people, you will be facing different cases or stories at some point. Surprises await you. Not to mention when you travel to different places, culture influences the creation of different individuals and that’s what makes it so bloody interesting!

I can’t say confidently that I have finally found my passion right now. I feel like I want to devote myself in the field of development. But everything is still vague and blur. Everything that I see is pictured in my selfish imagination. I haven’t really dive into it yet, nor am I experienced in it. That’s what makes me stuck. That’s what makes me afraid to go on and to take the risk. Even worst (and I say it again), I don’t know how to start. I haven’t met people who are experienced in this yet. I have no clear picture. I’ve been wanting to go to Jordan or even Palestine to do some voluntary works after I graduate but everything is still an immature plan. Everything that I have in mind is still in the phase of ‘let us see what happens after I graduate’. I don’t want to make myself completely into this yet, because I know I have some priorities. Unfinished business needs to be completed first.

It does seem like I don’t appreciate what I have right now. Don’t get me wrong, I do. I am grateful each day for everything that God has given me. But if God allows me to take a different path, why can’t I choose that path? If that path makes me more satisfied and fulfilled, why can’t I take that direction then? πŸ™‚ I have a full control of my life. It’s matter of choice: whether I will spend the rest of my life dreading of going to the office OR waking up each day, full of love, excited about the surprises that life would bring for me. Of course I would rather choose the second one. Because I believe that “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy” (Rumi).


Flashback to the Good Old Days

After such a tiring day, I found myself looking through the pictures taken when I was in Brisbane, Australia. It was almost three years ago that I finally said farewell. Now I miss it again… I’ll come back, one day! πŸ™‚

This is the apartment I shared with Jenn and Mayu, where we lived for 2 years. It was in this living/dining room that we constantly played poker and Big Two until late at night, watched a Korean drama series for two days non-stop, and had dinner with friends. A lot of memories here!

My surprise birthday dinner

And of course… having a barbie (which is an Aussie slang for BBQ) at our apartment πŸ™‚


Will and Jenn were posing, just before we watched Miss Saigon. It was the first time for the three of us to watch a musical theater! I love this picture! πŸ˜€ Awesome time, great musical πŸ™‚

Will & Jenn

Exploring museums and having an afternoon walk on the banks of Brisbane River in South Bank with my housemates and Mayu’s mom. It was such a great weather!

Mayu & her mom in Southbank

This was taken at my farewell dinner in South Bank. I remember I had this farewell a week BEFORE exams, when I didn’t even know whether I would be graduating or not! Hahaha! I had no choice! Good thing that a lot of people showed up. It was one of the best nights!

My farewell dinner with the IT geeks ;)

One of the foods that I really miss? Definitely Nando’s! Well, true, it’s not an Aussie food, but I can’t find it in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, or even in Indonesia!!! How sad! I have to go all the way to Singapore or Malaysia to eat this! Somebody needs to open a Nando’s branch in Jakarta!!! I’m sure we’ll love it! and… oh… they really should make an EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA HOT Peri-Peri sauce! Hehehe.

Yummy Nando's!

One of my favorite pictures. Singapore, Indonesia, India, Taiwan πŸ™‚

Sean, me, Shrikesh, Jenny

Not to miss, the colorful trees (including the purple Jacaranda) around Brisbane during spring. It’s beauuuuuuutifuuuuul! πŸ™‚

  Jacaranda tree

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

— Kevin Arnold

Elementary School


Got this picture from a friend of mine. Phew, such a long time ago. Can you guess where I was? πŸ˜€

Then & Now

Life is somehow full of irony. Full of surprises. Let us go back in time 14 years ago. It is now 1996, Junior High School.

I sit in the back seat of the class, not too excited to hear the lesson given by my teacher. I can barely hear what she is trying to say, anyway! The class is too crowded. Everyone is busy with their own thing. Chatting. Drawing. Making jokes. The teacher does not seem to care. She is giving a lesson to the three pupils in front of her. And she probably thinks that we does not exist.

The class is getting more like a fish market rather than a place to get someone educated. The boys are getting so bored that they keep on teasing us and making us annoyed. I have been in the same class with them for years and I know how naughty they are! They love to mess around with us and the teachers! Being punished in front of the class becomes their daily food. And they do not have a slight regret about it!

… and let us go forward to the future. It is now 2010. Andalus Mall, Jeddah.

Here they are! We are all reunited once again. I have not seen them since God knows when. We talk about relationship, love, life, work, and many random issues. Damn, it has been so long. They all have changed! They have surely grown up. I can no longer see a naughty boy who likes to get into troubles, but I can only see a man. A good man with a good heart and responsibilities await :).

I am curious of what kind of future we are all going to end up in. What will we become in 10 years?

* Such a great day with some friends! Thanks all πŸ™‚

Made By A Friend


Happy to find this calendar made by my dear friend, Tina πŸ™‚ Miss you, girl!

Children & Musical Instruments

Several scientific studies have demonstrated that children who learn to play a musical instrument have increased success in reading and math, improved self-esteem, better ability to work in teams, higher school-attendance rates, and a greater likelihood of graduating from high school and going on to college.

Bill Clinton in Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

This is very interesting, indeed!

The truth is that, I can’t play any musical instruments. I regret that I didn’t have the motivation to take any musical classes back when I was still at school. I went to an Indonesian school in Jeddah and there were no extracurricular activities available during my 9 years of studying there. Taking musical lessons in Jeddah was very expensive and I don’t think my parents could afford it. I wasn’t encouraged or pushed by my parents to do it either, so I wasn’t motivated to do it even if I had the chance.

It was in Indonesia that I got this huge chance of taking musical lessons. I went to Madania Boarding School and we were given freedom to take any lessons that we wanted; be it guitar, piano, cello, etc. We could even take two or three classes without having to pay extra (coz it’s already included in the tuition fee). But sadly to say that I didn’t take that golden chance. I took an art class instead of a music class and even then I couldn’t really enjoy it because it wasn’t my “thing”.

It’s never too late to do it actually. But I feel like I have more important things to be done rather than going to a musical class. I guess, I have to accept the fact that music is not something I’m passionate about πŸ™‚

But I always look up to my friends who can play any musical instruments, especially piano, violin, cello, or any other “rare” instruments. Somehow I feel like these people are not only good at what they do in music, but also in academic fields! They are smart, outspoken, and critical. I don’t know why, somehow they have these similar traits. But after reading the quote I mentioned above, it is indeed true!!!

I feel that it’s okay for me not being able to play any instruments. But I’m going to encourage my children later to take the lessons and not miss that chance! πŸ™‚

The Reason

I encountered this song (The Reason by Hoobastank) out of the sudden. I used to love it! I remember exactly when the first time I heard it! It was in the year of 2004 in Brisbane, Australia and I was still living in The Lodge, which was a student dormitory where I had so many beautiful memories. I was in the dining hall (either for breakfast, brunch, or dinner — I forgot) and this song was played. I immediately loved it! I asked my friend Jenny who sang this song but she didn’t know it. It turned out that this song was played in the radio over and over again so after few weeks, I got to know the name of the band.

When I heard this song again today, it reminded me of those beautiful memories I had in Brisbane with Jenny and Mayu. Miss them terribly!

The One With Karaoke

I went to have dinner at Andreea’s place at her Spacebox today. Andreea and I took the Communication Skills class last semester, together with Shilpa, Evans, and Ciprian. There were only five of us in the class, so we knew each other quite well. The class has ended few months ago, so we decided to have dinner together. All five us had to cook and bring a food (potluck). I brought an Indonesian food, gulai, which turned out to be okay (not superb or something πŸ˜› ). Shilpa made some Indian foods (complete with raita and a starter!), Andreea made a roasted pork (which I couldn’t eat unfortunately), while Evans made some bean curry. Sadly to say, Ciprian wasn’t there! He decided not to come in the last minute!! And I wasn’t happy about that!!! But thankfully, Andreea invited her friend so Evans wasn’t the only guy there πŸ˜€

The girls The foods! Yum! Karaoke...

Anyway, we had a super great time! Besides the foods (of course!), we did a karaoke. Andreea recorded a video for that and I’m sure it’s awful! Hahaha. She also taught us a dance she did at the student organization; which was quite fun!!!

Next week, a friend of mine, Vanessa, and I are going to host dinner at her place. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know what I’m going to cook (yet!) but I’m hoping that it’s going to be a fun evening! I think there’ll be many people coming (as I kept on inviting people I met!!!). Hope it won’t make me broke hahaha. Can’t wait for it!

Five of us

Almond Blossom

Almond Blossom by Van Gogh

This is the painting of a famous Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh. It’s called Almond Blossom and is one of my favorite paintings of Van Gogh. I bought a huge poster of it few months ago which are now displayed in my room. I also bought a smaller version for my former housemate and close friend, Jenn, for her 25th birthday.

I was (and I still am) so happy today. After a long and tiring (yet fun day!), I got a sweet surprise: I received a letter from Jenn. I couldn’t describe how excited I was when I saw the envelope which had my name on it! I could recognize right away her writing and I knew it was from my dear friend Jenny. As I read her 4 small pages of letter, tears flew from my eyes. And suddenly… all the sweet memories that we had 2 years ago came to life.

I’m just too grateful to have a friend like Jenn πŸ™‚