O Sole Mio, Papa!

My dad used to love to sing a song whenever he was given a chance to. One of the songs that he loved was an old tune titled O Sole Mio, which is an old naples song.

It simply means My Sun.

Elvis Presley also made this song famous in English version called It’s Now or Never. The original version of this song is basically Italian, Napoli to be exact.

Dad was always fond of Italian language, he loved how it sounds, and of course the gesture while it’s being spoken. A little bit of background, my parents lived in Germany and Holland for more than 10 years before I was born. When my Dad was working in a factory while he was in Germany he told me that he often hung out with his fellow Italian co-workers. That’s how he got his first exposure to Italian culture.

Long story short, my Dad loved this song so much and loved to sing it as well. To give you a bit of an image how did it look when he sang, here’s a picture of my beloved Dad singing:

Today is his birthday, August 12th. I want to celebrate it by listening to one of his favorite tune, O Sole Mio. This one’s is a more modern version of it and it has cha-cha beat to dance to. My Dad was a great dancer too, but I’ll share the story some other time.

https://youtu.be/lw3c5d3aBSE

Oh how I miss you, Papa, sole mio. Let me weep and have my tears drying to send my prayers to you up there. Sing with the angels and think of me when you do.

Buon compleanno, o sole mio!

Menyelami sesuatu yang tertunda

“Kok bisa sih plin-plan begitu?”

“Kok gak jadi? Trus sekarang gimana?”

“Duh, jadi males.. gak usah aja deh, gak jelas”

Pernah ngucap hal-hal kaya gitu ngga? 🙂 Aku sih sering…

Aku adalah pribadi yang menjunjung keteraturan dan perencanaan. Rasanya hati ini tentramnya bukan main kalau rencana yang sudah aku rancang di kepala bisa berjalan sesuai dengan yang diharapkan. Ibaratnya kakiku juga jadi lebih enteng melangkah menjalani aktivitas seharian. Namun ada sedikit masalah. Hidup ya gak begitu ceritanya. Pada kenyataannya ada berjuta faktor di semesta nan luas ini yang bisa membuat rancangan indah di kepala kita tidak bisa diwujudkan. Kerapkali kita harus memutar otak, berimprovisasi menghadapi perubahan yang muncul. Pokoknya semaksimal mungkin rancangan kita diwujudkan walapun porsinya sudah tidak 100% seperti semula.

Aku punya banyak sekali teman dengan reaksi yang sangat variatif juga menyangkut hal ini. Ada yang panik, ada yang diem aja, ada yang langsung pro aktif menyesuaikan, ada yang marah dan ada juga yang langsung pengen bobok siang. Kalau aku sendiri, reaksi spontannya kesal, kemudian dilanjutkan dengan mulai berpikir keras untuk mencari solusi yang terbaik sekaligus meyakinkan diri sendiri kalau Tuhan itu baik dan penundaan itu demi sesuatu yang baik yang aku belum bisa pahami. Wihh.. kesannya berat banget ya.. Hehe..

Tuhan itu baik dan penundaan itu demi sesuatu yang baik

Apapun reaksinya, yang paling penting adalah jangan sampai reaksi kita tadi mengakibatkan collateral damage. Ingatlah bahwa emosi itu sifatnya spontan dan sementara. Jadi ada baiknya kita tidak lepas kendali dalam menyikapi sesuatu yang tiba-tiba terjadi. Yakini deh kalau Tuhan sedang mengajarkan kita sesuatu, dan sesuatu itu bisa juga kita disuruh belajar diem. Hehe..

Setelah hidup 30an tahun, aku mulai menemui beberapa hal positif yang dihasilkan dari kejadian-kejadian ngga enak beberapa tahun lampau. Agak lama sih memang, tapi menurutku bukan karena kurang pandai, melainkan karena emang baru sekarang aja waktunya yang tepat untuk paham. Dan setelah aku perhatikan lagi, hikmat dan pemahaman yang aku dapat setelah tahunan ini terjadi setelah aku bisa menerima dan ikhlas akan perkara yang skala lebih kecil. Jadi kayak naik kelas dan bertahap gitu.

Hal positif lainnya yang didapat dari pengalaman seperti ini adalah hidup jadi lebih tenang, nggak ngoyo. Istilahnya rejeki gak kemana, kalau emang udah milik ya gak bakalan lepas dari genggaman kita. But then again, life is a series of continuous learning, so better make the most out of it!

Hidup itu butuh variasi

“Hidup tuh ya gitu terus ya? Bangun pagi, siap-siap, sarapan, menerjang macet, kerja terus pulang, terus tidur, terus besoknya diulangi lagi kaya gitu.” Ada yang familiar dengan ucapan seperti itu nggak? Saya yakin semua pasti pernah mengucap hal yang serupa, atau paling tidak pernah dengar. Menurut saya itu tanda-tanda harus liburan :p

Jadi teringat betapa sibuknya saya selama Desember sampai Februari kemarin, karena kantor mengadakan sebuah konferensi internasional yang dihadiri lebih dari 250 orang dari berbagai negara. Kala itu, sepertinya tujuan hidup saya yang paling utama adalah memastikan koordinasi antara beberapa pihak yang terlibat dalam konferensi itu berjalan dengan baik. Dan hal ini bukan hanya dirasakan oleh saya, tetapi juga oleh semua kolega di kantor.

Rasanya sudah tidak terhitung lagi berapa email dan Skype call yang saya jalani untuk persiapan acara tersebut. Dan selama masa itu juga saya jadi orang terakhir yang pulang dari kantor dan kerapkali jadi yang pertama datang juga. Kalau dipikir-pikir sekarang, kok energinya banyak banget ya? Hehehe.. Dalam keadaan sudah kembali normal seperti sekarang ya udah biasa aja, datang gak pagi-pagi amat, pulang juga standar. Lebih lucunya lagi, setelah acara itu telah sukses diselenggarakan saya dan kolega saya becanda (tapi sepertinya serius juga) bilang “ALF is over so what do we do now?”, “Ok, terus sekarang ngapain?”. Padahal pas lagi persiapan rasanya pengen cepat-cepat selesai acaranya. Labil.

Anyway, apa yang saya coba sampaikan adalah kenyataan bahwa hidup itu butuh variasi dan kita juga harus banyak baca dan bergaul supaya dapat inspirasi yang baik dan positif. Dan seperti perkataan klasik lainnya, hidup itu harus dijalanin, tapi jangan lupa untuk dijalanin dengan penuh warna ya. Misalnya dengan menantang diri sendiri untuk melakukan hal-hal baru yang menurut kita susah atau bahkan mustahil untuk kita lakukan. Buat saya variasinya dengan hal-hal sederhana saja, misalnya download aplikasi baru di handphone untuk edit video dan baca e-book. Singkatnya, menemukan hal baru yang bisa menyita perhatian kamu untuk beberapa waktu mendatang. Tahu kan gimana rasanya pengen banget cepet-cepet pulang untuk nyobain make up yang baru dikirim online shop ke kantor? Hihihi.. Nah kira-kira excitement yang seperti itu yang saya maksud.

Tapi kalau sudah jenuh banget yang paling ampuh biasanya liburan! Gak perlu yang mahal dan jauh, tapi sekadar ke destinasi lokal yang belum pernah dikunjungi aja sudah bisa refresh pikiran kita loh. Nah, kalau masalah liburan saya kurang suka ikutan tur yang agendanya sudah ditentukan dan bepergian dalam kelompok yang besar. Saya suka yang berpetualang sendiri, bikin itinerary sendiri. Menurut saya justru di nyasar dan bingungnya itu kadang-kadang kita justru mendapatkan pengalaman yang tak terlupakan, hehe.. Tapi ini biasanya saya lakukan kalau liburan sama teman atau kalau sekarang sama suami. Kalau ajak ortu sangat disarankan ikutan tur supaya gak rempong 😀 Ngomongin ini jadi gak sabar pengen cepet-cepet akhir bulan karena mau liburan! Horee…

Mudah-mudahan hidup teman-teman juga penuh variasi ya!

 

Bahasa bisa karena biasa

Sudah beberapa tahun terakhir saya menjadi terlalu biasa menulis atau berekspresi dalam bahasa inggris. Terlebih lagi kalau menyangkut urusan pekerjaan 90% pasti menggunakan bahasa asing tersebut. Beberapa kali saya harus menulis email dalam bahasa Indonesia dan mulai menyadari kalau saya sudah tidak seluwes itu lagi menuliskan kalimat-kalimat dalam bahasa ibu saya itu. Ini bukannya blagu ya, tapi nyatanya itu yang terjadi. Dan saya yakin teman-teman yang bekerja di lingkungan multi-nasional juga mungkin merasakan hal yang sama. Jujur saja, sedih juga.

Dulu saya suka sekali membaca karya-karya sastra Indonesia yang ditulis oleh Dewi Lestari, Ayu Utami, Fira Basuki dan beberapa penulis Indonesia lainnya. Saya sangat mengagumi kemampuan mereka dalam merangkai kata-kata dalam bahasa Indonesia hingga terasa sangat cantik dan tidak terkesan picisan untuk dibaca. Bagaimana bisa begitu ya?

Sebetulnya terkait dengan masalah penggunaan bahasa, baik tulis maupun verbal kuncinya cuma satu: harus sering-sering dipakai. Gitu kan? Coba belajar bahasa Inggris, tapi dipakainya cuma pas lagi belajar di ruang kelas aja, ya tetap bisa sih, tapi tidak bakalan cas cis cus seperti wong londo.

Jadi inilah kira-kira penanda awal niat saya untuk lebih banyak menulis dalam bahasa Indonesia. Kalau di ranah pekerjaan mungkin akan sulit, tapi kalau di blog punya saya sendiri ya bebas saja dong ya 🙂

Ngomong-ngomong, ini postingan pertama saya sejak menikah. Sudah lebih dari setahun yang lalu ketika saya menyampaikan selamat ulang tahun untuk ayah saya melalui tulisan di blog saya ini. Sudah punya niat setidaknya membaca satu bab buku dalam seminggu dan menulis satu tulisan di blog setiap bulannya. Ini ceritanya resolusi (menjelang) akhir tahun untuk menjaga proses pengembangan diri saya yang agak stagnan akhir-akhir ini. Mudah-mudahan bisa dipenuhi ya.

Sebetulnya selain menulis saya juga hobi fotografi, meskipun masih tergolong kelas amatir. Dan ada tautannya di blog ini kalau mau lihat-lihat hasil jepretan saya. Janji deh itu juga bakal diperbaharui 😀

Mudah-mudahan masih pada senang berkunjung ke blog saya ini ya.

Selamat malam!

Happy birthday, Papa.

Not a single day in the last two years that I have not missed you. Life happens and sometimes you are not in my mind. Sometimes. But you are always clinging in my deepest thought and always come out in the right time. I’ve been well, Pah, but then today is your birthday and it saddens me. Because this is one of those times when I can strongly feel your presence in my heart, in my mind. It made me realize that I’ve been busy and happy, but you’re not here to see that. You’ve been away for almost two years, and I’ve mastered the art of making peace with my own heart, with my own thoughts, with my own feelings, with my own tears.

Hope you’re having a festive celebration up there. Sing your favorite songs, salsa dancing. Eat your favorite meal with beer on the side. Perhaps also watching tons of Steven Seagal movies. Sounds just too lovely.

I love you. Happy birthday and rest in peace in heaven, Papa.

Love on Top

It’s only a couple of hours until 2016. I’m having a good day so far. I watched tv and slept, a lot. Earlier today I glanced across the living room and landed my sight on a picture on the wall, my dad. He’s smiling. It was taken during my brother’s wedding party a couple of years ago. And then there’s a little bit of pain on my chest, I whispered “why did you leave me so soon?”. That’s where my reflection of the year 2015 began.

I realized that I’ve finally made it through the entire 2015, safe and sound. It’s not a stellar year for me personally, but I learned so many new things, about life. To sum it up, after my dad passed away I entered 2015 with wounds, they were already bad that I avoided so many conflicts because I thought I wouldn’t be able to bear another pain in addition to what was already there. As a result, I mastered how to adapt to people and situations. I did it so wonderfully that I forgot about myself all the time. I was focusing too much on not getting hurt and avoiding frictions. I held myself back too much that I turned into someone I didn’t recognize anymore. I tried to fit in to people’s mind, to accomodate their needs of my existence. I lost myself along that process.

And so I’ve learned that I can be kind and strong at the same time. Kindness is putting others before yourself, true, but you cannot let yourself got lost while doing that. People will always take as much as you are willing to give and furthermore sometimes they are even mistaken your kindness for your weakness.

So, putting yourself first does not make you a bad person. Even if you have to encounter frictions and disputes because of it, it’s ok. Life is not supposed to be like a smooth sailing, we will not grow if we don’t face difficulties. What’s most important is that you don’t grow bitter, that you will keep loving anyway. You comprehend that in this sweet bitter life, the best way to go through it is always by having so much love in your heart. So put love on top. On top of all.

My wish for you and me for 2016 would be that no matter what comes our way, we will have the love in our hearts. So at the end we will be able to say: I went through good and bad things, I learned a lot and yet I made it through because my heart is full of love and joy.

Happy happy new year, dear friends and families! God bless!

-Sara Sihaloho-

Christmas Eve

Always my favorite night of the year. People seem to be more cheerful, more caring, more friendly, more relax and calm.

Christmas lights and decorations, christmas songs, family gathering, the laughter, the food. It warms my heart so much that it makes me cry.

Lit candles at church while singing silent night along with other hundreds people. Makes me wondering, I hope everybody is as joyful as I am.

The self-reflection that flows in my brain is just unstoppable. Not going to share it all here, but I just want to share it with you about how grateful I am.

For every single thing, for tears that clear my view, for joy that keeps me going, for loss that leads to a greater gift, for health, for not quitting, for accepting that life is not supposed to be easy but I always have the option to still make the best out of it anyway.

The very important and most valuable lesson in this almost-end of 2015 is that I can be alone without feeling lonely. And the reason for that is because I train my heart to always be grateful. To always have faith. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. A joyful heart makes everything possible, trust me. 

I hope you are all have a wonderful evening, whether you are alone, with your family or with your friends. I wish you all an overflowing joy inside your heart that shines so bright and brings joy to others as well.

God bless you abundantly!
With lots of love,

Sara

Contentment.

Do not ever try to change a person. Foremost, do not ever try to change yourself to fit into a person’s mind. Especially if that person is not in your everybody committee.

My mother always told me that I have too many friends. I think in a way that’s true. What most people around me don’t know is that I actually have a really small circle consists of only maximum five persons influencing me, plus Beyoncé. Hihi.. I chose them wisely, of course.

Most friends come and go, some came back and became friends for life. Some really are gone. Some are friends for coffee, some are friends for deep convos (and coffee too). Along the way, I know I can make friends so easily even with strangers. But to filter what’s entering my thoughts is really essential.

I took every word and sentence from a convo very seriously. Because I always meant what I said, and assume everybody does too. Wrong. But that’s ok. The only person I have control over is myself so I manage myself instead.

The key of this whole thing is contentment. You really have to know what you want, where you stand, what are your goals in life and stick to it. Listening to all the words that people have to say is also inspiring, but you have to make sure you don’t ride their waves and get carried away in a wrong course. Contentment comes from doing the right thing that push you closer to your goals. If you need a daily reminder of this, take a 10 minutes in silence every single day to remember what’s the point of what you’ve done that day.

Because the truth is, my friend, to be content is one of the best feelings in the world. Yeah!

S

Because you matter to me

I’ve been told that social media is not good for me and then a good friend of mine said “I think its important to be aware of everything around you and not focus on urself all the time”. I was quiet for the reason that I thought social media is about sharing-is-caring kind of concept. To keep in touch with the people around you. In other words, it’s not about you but it’s about connecting with people. It’s not me as the center but it’s more of togetherness. However, that sentence means totally the opposite. It indicates how your socmed account is actually all about you and you only.

I don’t know if you get the logic that I’m trying to convey here. But let’s put it this way: facebook was meant to be a platform for you to keep in touch with your family, relatives and all those group of people who are matter to you but you don’t get to meet on a daily basis. The aim is to keep them updated with your life, because everybody seems to be too busy with so many things already (in a real world). Today, facebook has becoming more of a place where you get to flaunt things in your life to basically everybody. Traveling, hip restaurants, hip clubs, even participating in marathons, etc etc. 

Second example, Instagram that was meant for you to share your pictures is now more of a platform to do business and most of all to become famous. The more followers you have, the more ‘celebrity’ you’ve become. It’s saddening for me, but I must say it’s a good business.

I’m nobody to say that those are bad. What I’m trying to say is that, all of these things are creating more and more self-centered people. To me it’s a bit of an off-focus moment. It’s like too many people are trying so hard to build their virtual-reputation. But what is that for life? At the end it is always individual’s choice. To me, I like to keep it small but truly meaningful. I want to cherish my life, real life and stop trying to impress people who don’t even matter. So all of you whom I still keep close, you matter to me. And I don’t hesitate to share things with you because my virtual reputation won’t cloud your judgement about me. You know who I am and I want to keep you updated about my life, because you matter to me. Thanking Akim for that sentence. You don’t talk much but when you do, it has a blitz-impact. Wowza.

For the rest, good luck in finding your real purpose in having social media accounts. This is just a thought so don’t get offended ok. Have a happy life and peace out!

My weeks before Christmas

It was raining outside and I checked my calendar, guess what? Christmas is less than 50 days away. Excited and mellow at the same time. The second year Dad’s not around anymore. He was never really fond of celebrations, but still I miss him more during Christmas.

I had a weird dreams with him in it two weeks in a row. The first one was that he was gently caressing my cheek with the back of his hand while I was half asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt confused. It felt so real. Just so you know, all my life he was the only man who always did that to me. It’s always comforting and that’s always how he eased my anger.

The other dream was weird. Somebody told me that he saw my Dad somewhere so I asked him to show me where he is. We went on a quest to find my Dad and ended up finding him chatting and laughing with a bunch of strangers with some drinks on the table. I said “Pah!” and he said, “Oh halo sayang! Guys, this is my daughter.” So I shook hand with everybody on that table and I woke up. 🙂

Last week was also a quite bizarre week. There were a lot of misunderstandings, mishaps and it was surely a roller coaster week for me. But amazingly, the more things went wrong the more I know myself better. One thing for sure, based on past experiences, if God is about to teach me something new, I always have to learn it the hard way. Never know why it always has to be like that, but most probably because He knows I’m so stubborn and hard like a rock. I’m ok with that, because He knows best.

The terrorist attack in Paris followed by the social media saga where people were complaining why Facebook only provide France’s flag for the profile picture, and so on. How people start to connect everything that happened to religion. How some amazing people tried to explain it but got buried in an ocean full of misleading thoughts. I have couple of paragraphs to respond to that, but I choose not to. Potatoes will potate anyway! It’s saddening how human’s mind can grasp and justify the concept of taking lives of other as a way to emphasize your statement. It’s so saddening that it creates anger in my heart. No good.

You know what is really essential lately? I pray more than I used to be. It soothes me a lot. Sometimes I only whispered “God, can I just be happy?”. Funny how His answer was through the new song titled “Wanna Be Happy?” from Kirk Franklin’s new album. Pretty amazing, right?!

So, let’s start the countdown for Christmas. On my wish-list: Sony Alpha 7 and new Kindle. Fingers crossed Santa is reading this post :-p

Hohoho….

S