May 2019

There’s always two sides of a coin.
There’s always (a minimum) two sides of a story.
The sad thing is our brain is wired to have presumptions without even reading/listening to the whole stories.
And let say if we are a little bit wiser, and we do listen to the stories… still, they are just stories…. which might not necessarily be facts.
People often fight for “facts”, truth is has anyone ever truly learned all the facts?
I like what Diane Lockhart said in “The Good Fight”:

“When people are happy they look desperately for things to make them unhappy.”

It’s human nature to seek for conflicts… we dont like to admit we are unhappy of being happy.

-L

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Take it one day at a time

Got this wonderful song on Spotify and can’t help but feeling a little bit carried away by the lyrics.

Here’s the link to its Youtube video:

Take it one day at a time

Artist: Jennifer Chung

I know it hurts.
Don’t wanna get out of bed.
Much rather lay there instead.
Instead, you face what you fear –
The thought that no one is near.
It hurts.
You’re living but don’t feel alive.
No motivation or drive,
As you search for answers to why,
Oh, why.
Why me?
Won’t somebody please,
Take my burdens away.
I can’t do this today.
You’ve got to hold on.
Hold onto what you believe in.
Weather through every season.
Take it one day at a time.
You’ve got to hold on.
Don’t put aside what you’re feeling.
There is a process of healing.
You will be more than alright.
Take it one day at a time.
So overwhelming.
Everyone’s counting on you.
Unaware you need help too.
But you don’t say a word,
Too much work to be done.
No fun.
Go through the motions eyes closed.
‘Cause you’re always doing the most.
But the more that you do,
The more you seem to lose.
Why me?
Won’t somebody please,
Take my burdens away.
I can’t do this today.
You’ve got to hold on.
Hold onto what you believe in.
Weather through every season.
Take it one day at a time.
You’ve got to hold on.
Don’t put aside what you’re feeling.
There is a process of healing.
You will be more than alright.
Take it one day at a –
Time after time,
I have tried hard to fight against all my desires.
I would swallow my pride,
But I know I am called to live free and fulfilled.
No, it will not be easy,
But I will be still.
I will be still.
I will be still and know.
You’ve got to hold on.
Don’t put aside what you’re feeling.
There is a process of healing.
You will be more than alright.
Take it one day at a time.

15 years later…

I guess it’s now safe to say that we’ve known each other for more than half of our entire life on earth.

We were schoolmates, who, according to you, met each other due to math and science olympiads (nerds!). We became classmates, separated in uni but at the same time graduated from good friends to bestfriends.

We don’t always agree on the same things, nor we have the same hobbies. You dragged me to Richard Clayderman’s concert, I dragged you to watch badminton games. I guess it’s a way for us to show that we appreciate each other’s company and not taking it for granted.

I am always the one with words and you… hmmm…. well, you are you.

It was frustrating for me not being able to crack your shell open but I guess it’s worth the patience. Afterall, I am not the easiest person to handle anyway and yet you’ve faithfully stuck by me.

You are one of the greatest gifts God ever sent to me. And that’s the highest compliment I ever give to a person.

Here’s to more sarcasm, more banter and more hitting and slapping in the future!

Like an artist in front of a clean canvas
A simple sweep of brush fills the emptiness
One more stroke to create a familiar face
As he carefully adds emotion to complete the eyes

He has a choice to tell his own story
A chance to add a narrative
To opt for a darker or lighter color
He has the power to breathe his soul to his art

Not too much! He says
Just the right shadow to show his doubts
And the right light to express his hope

In the world of finite chances and infinite alternatives
Will this be his masterpiece or another piece of worthless art?

Fearless or courageous?

What does it mean to be fearless?

To jump off a 20-story building without fear?

To jump into a lake knowing you can’t swim?

What does it mean to be courageous?

Holding your head up when people look down on you?

Keep moving forward even when you don’t see the finish line?

I am not fearless, I will never be

I fear for my life, and the Lord help me to put the fear of God in me

To be courageous is what I want to be

To count my steps even when people tell me there’s no way out

To knit my dreams even when the world tell me I dont have enough yarn

I am courageous, fear encourage me to be better

For the weary

It was a promise everyone of us once made

It was a burst of emotion everyone of us once said

To not take others for granted

To shield them away from the unwanted

Time showed life took a different turn

Whatever will left was eventually burned

A vast world with many heroes

Letting go to let it grow

One doesn’t get to be the Superman

One saves by being a pawn
-L

1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

There has been a shocking news about a teacher from a respectable school in Jakarta who is currently under an investigation for sending inappropriate text messages and pictures to his underage students. It caught my attention because of two reasons; first, the teacher is from the school that shares the same name as my dear highschool, second, the teacher is just 25 y.o. and quite good looking (forgive my human eyes). As I scrolled down on few articles that reported this case, I saw some nasty comments about young teachers. I can’t believe that people actually condemn the school for accepting a young teacher and entrusting him to be a homeroom teacher. As a teacher who started teaching as soon as I finished my degree, I feel a little bit offended. I was accepted to serve as a teacher at an international school in Jakarta when I was still 21 y.o. My principal back then interviewed me directly and kept asking me whether I was sure to leave Singapore to start working as a teacher here in my hometown. He left me an impression that he did not want me to work there. Not a bad impression per se, rather he reminded me of a patient Dad who is trying to convince his daughter that she has the whole world before her and perhaps it’s a good idea to take some time and weigh the options. 

I convinced myself that I wouldn’t survive in Singapore. For me, Indonesia is my home no matter how chaotic it can get. The school is conveniently located about 5km from my home and it’s just too good of an opportunity to pass. 21 years 4 months and 2 weeks old…. i stepped into a classroom, not as a student but as a teacher. It wasn’t easy at all as I remember I cried almost every day for the first semester. Students look down on you, parents thought you are just some genius math wizz (which I’m not btw) who is not qualified to be a teacher. I know how it feels to be sat down in a room before 11 parents who reported you to the principal for failing their kids. (I still hold the record I think). During all those hard moments and hurdles, my dear principal became my hero. He never once blamed me, he never once turned his back on me. He stood by me and he shielded me from those parents. I recorded that “trial” perfectly in my head and my heart.

So it hurt me to learn that people think good schools are not supposed to hire young teachers. If no good schools are to hire these young talents, then who will nurture them and train them to be a good teacher? It takes a process. Some might take more than others but it doesn’t mean we should close that door of opportunity before them. I am forever grateful of my dear boss, who had patiently waited for me and taught me to become who I am today.

I am not saying I am a perfect teacher now. I am far away from that, and still learning to be better… But one thing I’m pretty sure of is, I love my kids and, with God’s help, I strive to always give my best to lay bricks on their pathway. Being a teacher, for me, is an honour. Is the only job in the world that let people trust you with their most precious treasures, voluntarily. If you don’t feel the same way then maybe you would be better off doing something else.

To young teachers out there, 

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young!


-L

One more reason

Today started like any other day. Little did I know, it went very well… so well that I am still smiling thinking about it.

I’ve been a teacher for 8.5 years and I’ve also learned that sometimes it’s best not to put too much faith to our students when it comes to our relationship with them. So when my former students told me that they would come and visit me, I know I shouldn’t put too much hope in it. I did at first but usually it came down to disappointment of cancelled appointments. So today I was very touched that two of my first students came to my tuition place. One of them asked for my address and he really made it! Unfortunately i was in the mid of teaching a class so I cant really catch up with them. But boy! Am I so happy!!! Former students came to school, thats normal. But when I am no longer at school and they still look for me. That is just special. This is very encouraging and it’s like a proof that I’ve done something right. I am grateful for that and feel really blessed.

And this just adds to my good memories of being a teacher.

I cant stop loving my kids.

-L

Kutetap Setia

Saved this song after a Sunday service few weeks ago.

Seperti wanita mengurapiMu
Menangis di bawah kakiMu
Demikian hidupku mau mengasihiMu
Yesus Engkau baik bagiku
Sampai akhir ku menutup mata
Kutetap setia menanti janjiMu
Sampai kudapatkan mahkota kehidupanku
Kutetap setia melayaniMu

Easier said than done. I know how hard it is to stay faithful. There are too many things that can distract me. Too many tempting sins… listening to this song, i can do nothing but crying… imagining myself looking at the mirror and condemning me. How can someone that is blessed so much can still be disloyal. Am i worth saving? 

Rest in peace my dear friend

They say people come and go and it’s not a big deal at all. I thought the same too, especially after experiencing losing some friends over the years. The word losing has never been that real before. Previously, my definition of losing friends is a result largely due to our own doings. We got too caught up in our own activities, or at one point we found that we, as friends, don’t really share the same perspectives anymore.
These kinds of losing are usually unnoticeable. When one party finally realizes, it is usually too late to fix.
I was checking out the timeline of my Facebook page when I read a post about the different phases of losing friends. Starting from promising that we would always be together regardless anything. Then promising to meet up once a week. Then realizing that it’s hard to actually synchronizing our schedule to meet up. I repost the album and was typing few names from my past who used to be my good friends to thank them and maybe at the same time to apologize, but in the end I decided not to tag anyone. The decision that I now regret.
About a week after that, I received a very shocking message in my highschool whatsapp group. A message that says, one of my friends, who used to be my close friend, passed away. I still remember thinking that I’ve probably read it wrongly. Maybe it was her parent, not her. My eyes read it right…. it was her…. a 28 y.o girl who was the reason I got scolded and chased out by my Chemistry teacher, who came to my house to study math, who said to me in the beginning of my teaching career “I’ve always known you would become a great teacher!”
Million times that day I asked myself why did I not contact her after posting that album. I was planning to reach out to her but I was too scared that we don’t really have things to talk about after so many years not meeting each other. Stupid me!
Losing has never felt this real. I lost my grandma due to old age, but we saw that coming. I did not see this coming…. I did not know she suffered that long. Me and my ignorance!
There she was, lying peacefully in that small bed. I tried to smile looking at how peaceful her face is, but that stupid me couldn’t hold back my tears. I kept apologizing to her hoping that she knew how sorry I was. So selfish right… I’m sorry….

image

6 tahun seketika terasa terlalu kejam
Melihatmu hanya dalam mata yg terpejam
Tak kusangka itu kali terakhir
Jamuan kita yg terakhir

Melihatmu terbaring tanpa kata
Tersenyum diiringi gita
Air mataku yang lelah bersembunyi
Di balik mereka yang bernyanyi

Tangan ini hendak meraihmu
Tau betapa hari ini terasa semu
Mengapa hanya kau yg tersenyum
Seindah bunga sekuntum

Biarkan kami mengantar dengan lambaian
Menjaga lelap tidurmu dalam buaian
Bila kelak kita bertemu
Janjiku untuk menjamu

Selamat jalan kawan lamaku
Sampai bertemu di akhir waktuku…

15 Mei 2016
Ditulis untuk Magdalena Noviana Loke yang telah pergi ke rumah Bapa di surga pada tanggal 12 Mei 2016

Farewell, Nov… til we meet again…