My dream house

Image from SF Girl By The Bay

It was a breezy workday afternoon (was it a Wednesday? Thursday?) when I was relaxing on a couch in my parents’ house when I came across several articles about how millennials won’t be able to afford buying a house. (Articles are listed at the end of this post)

Yes, it’s a classic case and it’s been around for quite a while, but I never actually gave it much thought because, deep down in my heart, I wasn’t sure where I was going to settle. Therefore, I was actually searching for where I might settle down in and that’s where I’ll buy my house.

However, I was also aware of the rising house prices in Jakarta (Indonesia’s capitol aka my hometown) and I, for sure, am not interested to spend my future married life by living with my parents. I knew that I was going to either buy a small house in the suburbs (which means traffic on a daily basis) or buy an apartment.

The idea of buying a flat is still new to many people in Jakarta and a lot of people still oppose the idea, stating how the laws are still blurry. However, I do predict that there’s a high chance that I’ll end up buying and living in an apartment. As much as I want to own my own house in my own land, I knew that unless I won a super lottery, I might not be able to afford it.

So, I was browsing Pinterest and got the idea of compiling a whole board of small spaces that would suit my style and reality.

First of all, natural lighting is important to me. They make a house look lively and healthy. Secondly, I like colors. A lot of images in the internet might be about minimalism, monochrome designs, etc, but I’m more into colors and patterns 🙂

Living Room

Image from Futurist Architecture

My ideal living room should have a 2-seater (or 3-seater) sofa with one or two extra armchairs for guests or extra members of the family. I expect a bookshelf to be there, with any of my/our collection of things. I like reading, so I’ll put books. I also love tableware and I’d love to showcase them on the bookshelf. The coffee table should have space for a pot of plant and for food when watching a movie. That’d be ideal ❤

Dining Room

Image from Apartment Therapy

I normally eat on the sofa, not on the dining table, but I’ll chance that habit, hahaha! I like eating while daydreaming or staring outside, so a window by the table would be amazing. Also, a bookshelf would be functional and aesthetic in this space.


Image from Ikea

I like cooking and baking. I like experimenting with food. However, I get overwhelmed with big, wide spaces. For me, small, organized kitchen spaces are enough as long as I know where things are. The kitchen must have its own window for natural lighting. Also, I’m a sucker for hydraulic tiles but I also don’t want them to cover all of the house’s floor. The kitchen would be one of the best places decorated with hydraulic tiles ❤


Image from Gravity Home

I’ve had experiences with windows on my head and I don’t like it. I prefer having a window by the side of my bed, so I can daydream and observe the surroundings before slowly dozing off. I also like having places to neatly store and organize my things in the bedroom. I don’t like a separate closet.


Image from Decora Tu Alma

I like a small yet tidy bathroom space, with places to store the amenities (including towels and extra soaps). I don’t really like mirrors, so no big mirrors. The bathroom is also one of the best places to use hydraulic tiles 🙂


Image from Pinterest

I like to sit down and do my stuff. I like drawing and writing and I feel frustrated to not have my own space while doing what I love. I found this image and almost got to DIY it with ladders and wood planks. However, the idea came to a halt because my bedroom is too small.


Image from Mamas Molonas

As I’m envisioning myself (and future family?) living in an apartment, I’d love to have this type of balcony. Small, yet cozy. It should have a table and two seats, the best combo for relaxing outdoors. I like plants but I haven’t really enjoyed gardening that much, so small pots and easy-to-maintain plants should be able to be displayed in this balcony.

Extra: Reading Nook

Image from Thou Swell

As stated above, I like reading. My dream house (in any size) should have a special reading nook dedicated for me by me, where I can read a book and have my cup of favorite tea by my side. It sounds selfish, I know, but it’s a childhood dream to have my own reading nook. I’ll combine it with my love for natural lighting and eclectic furniture 🙂




Articles read:

  1. Millennials are buying homes but many have parental help: Survey by Josh O’Kane
  2. Why aren’t millennials buying houses? They can’t afford it. by Natalie San Luis
  3. The Affordability Crisis: What Happens When Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Homes? by Andrew Woo
  4. Hanya 17% Generasi Millenial Mampu Beli Rumah di Jakarta by Emanuel B. Caesario
  5. 5 Tahun Ke Depan, Kamu Tidak Akan Sanggup Beli Rumah! by HowMoneyIndonesia

A chance given

Image from Fast bikes and too much coffee
Image from Fast bikes and too much coffee

I got into a minor accident on Saturday night. I’ll emphasize minor, because it was minor and I’m okay and there’s nothing to worry about.

I was riding my motorcycle on an average-slow speed on the left lane, when another bike, carrying a rolled mattress on its back, passed by me from my right heading towards my left. On the process, his mattress “poked” my bike and it was sudden and I lost balance and I fell.

Shocked, I tried to get my bike up again, but during that process a car sped by my right and bumped my head with its side. But I wore a helmet, a good one, so I’m okay. My head is okay. However, my right rear-view mirror was crushed by the passing car.

But I became terrified at that moment. It was a long split-second moment. The moment the car passed, I thought, “Will I die now?”. I looked to my back, to see the road, to see if other vehicles were to bump/hit me like the bike and car did, and thought to myself, “Will I die rolling on someone’s car’s body, crashing its glass? Am I to die now like that?”.

The fear was real. I was afraid to be in pain. I was afraid of several bikes and cars hitting me one after another. I was afraid I will die rolling on the air, onto the ground, and have my body crashed.

Most of all, I was afraid that I would die there with nobody knowing. I was on my way to meet my dad, and all I thought was that will he know I’m here if I die?

But the vehicles all stopped at a considerable distance. Their lights glared at me and my fallen bike. The next moment, some men called out to me and approached me. They guided me to the pavement and took my bike. They told me to rest for a while and have water and sit down.

I cried at that very moment, out of being grateful that I’m actually still alive. That I can still call my parents and tell them, “yeah, I fell, but I’m okay”. I didn’t think of my other life goals at that moment; I was only grateful to be given a chance to, well, be alive. Had I been a few seconds late to react to the bike or moved my body a few millimeters to the right before the car passed and hit my head, it would have been a whole other story.

But I’m still here and suffering from small cuts and bruises. The rear-view mirror got crushed with such force that shards flew around and some passed by my jeans and got stuck onto my skin. I only realized that because my left knee was bleeding a lot (as in my jeans became wet) so I asked the men to cut my jeans and, tada, a big shard of glass stuck on my skin.

Other than that, I’m okay.

I just want to share the experience of having a near-death moment, followed by a sense of being grateful to be given another chance.

I’ll be more careful hitting the road next time.



You think you have lost your faith, but you have not.

You have only misplaced your faith & you can’t find it, where it lays now, deep in your soul.

And the way to do that is through the simple process of love.

Love yourself, forgive yourself.

You can’t love & forgive people if you don’t, first of all, love & forgive yourself.

You have to realize that people are fallible beings – they make mistakes.

They have to be excused for these mistakes and allowed to continue on to the quest for a better life & forgiveness.

Love yourself & then love other people.

Please forgive yourself.

Go on a journey of finding love & forgiveness.

From It's always darkest before the dawn
From It’s always darkest before the dawn

I found this quote from the music video to be very inspiring. It continues to become a kind of ‘mantra’ for me. It’s magical and fits well with the song, which I’ve been listening to since it first came out. Florence is truly magical, and the magic she presents is a blessing to the music world.



Novel-writing Workshop by Reaterary

Hi, all!

I attended a novel-writing workshop this weekend in Bandung. This workshop was organized by Reaterary, and it was mentored by the well-known/famous editor Jia Effendie (I once participated in a competition she held when she compiled short stories about ‘Transit’. My story never made it, though). The venue took place in Co&Co Space, which I’ve mentioned in a post before. The workshop lasted for 2 days, with each session lasting 3-4 hours.

One of the modules given.
One of the modules given.

Starting the workshop was, of course, introduction.

Then, we moved on to describing “What makes a novel a novel?”, taking a novel that we consider as the model and ideal novel, and analyzing as to how it becomes our ideal type of novel. I chose Megan Whalen Turner’s “The Thief” (and the next books in the series, but we had to mention only 1 novel so I chose the first book) as my ideal novel. To me, “The Thief” presented an excellent background/setting, solid characters, and a plot that you thought went that way when in reality we’ve been guided to the other way. One of my favorites ❤

The workshop
The workshop

Then, we discussed how to make the ideal character: how our character should be a tri-dimensional character that readers can believe in. It’s important that the characters we create can actually be someone the readers can relate to. It has to be someone that the reader can believe exist in the real world. We were given a set of clues to write the ideal character, and it includes that the must possess physical, sociological, and psychological traits.

We also discussed “Conflict” and what type of conflict would best be featured in our story. A good conflict should make the main character grow, and this is why we have to think of the conflict in our story carefully.

Then, we were introduced to the idea of a premise. A premise is the main reason why your novel is written; it is a statement that should be proved by the story. Its message should be able to be conveyed to the readers and, therefore, should be decided at the beginning of writing a novel.

The venue was a co-working space with gorgeous and inspiring decoration
The venue was a co-working space with gorgeous and inspiring decoration

A story has to be dramatic as well, but we have to remember to give our characters conflicts that make them grow. If not, what’s the point of it?

We also discussed dialogues and the good use of dialogues. It is important that dialogues convey important points of the story and should represent the emotional state of the characters. Dialogues in novels shouldn’t look like dialogues in plays.

At last, we discussed about proofreading and self-editing. This is the final step. Once you finish your first draft, you abandon/keep it for a month or two, and then you re-read it again and edit it. You should do this several times (until around 3?) before deciding to send it to a publisher. While doing so, we can also send it to families/friends/relatives to read our draft and let them have their say. Their critics will help us develop our story.

I won a novel titled "Melankolia Ninna" (Ninna's Melancholy) written by Robin Wijaya. I'll start reading it once I finished Lafcadio Hearn's "Kokoro" :)
I won a novel titled “Melankolia Ninna” (Ninna’s Melancholy) written by Robin Wijaya. I’ll start reading it once I finished Lafcadio Hearn’s “Kokoro” 🙂

It was a fun workshop and it was especially really productive. I was in one of my happiest states attending it, and my imagination kind of exploded that I created 2 novel outlines for 2 different stories that I had written but never finished.

I hope that with this type of kickstart, I can finish my manuscript and have a novel published this year 😀

Participants and our mentor, Jia Effendie, posing at the end of the workshop.
Participants and our mentor, Jia Effendie, posing at the end of the workshop.



2016: A Reflection


Happy new year, guys! 🙂

I’m so happy that 2017 has come because, symbollically, it can mean a new beginning to many of us. It’s true that we created this concept of “time”, hence making our minds believe that with a new year, comes a fresh, new slate to begin with. We are trained to believe that a new year will help us change into a new person, with new goals and new life objectives.

However, I had 2016 quite rough. I mean, I had my share of good times and bad times. Like to most of us, the bad times affect more than the good times, which is why we tend to remember the bad times more than the good times. That applies to me as well, and, as much as I cherished the beautiful moments that happened to me in 2016, I can’t help but also remember the bad times and be sad of it.

Hence, the reason why I consider 2016 as devastating.

2016 has emotionally drained me. It has pulled the mental life force out of me, it was the year of negative thoughts and anxieties. I overcame depression in 2016 and self-diagnosed myself with mild bipolar disorder (after re-reading my previous journals and taking a few tests), but I decided to not go to a psychiatrist because I didn’t want to be prescribed medicine. I had a very nasty break-up and was emotionally abused for a good amount of time, only to realize it recently. I was stupid and naive, I was too kind and too nice to people.

However, I got to travel 3 times in 2016: to Semarang (Central Java), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), and Bali. Semarang was for a friend’s wedding, Tanjung Lesung for a family trip, and Bali for my best friend’s wedding. These were eye-opening trips and made me appreciate my country more, as well as appreciate myself. When you travel, you learn more about yourself and your travel companions, so I guess I learned a lot in my short trips.

I still live independently in 2016 (and continues until now) and I got a cat named Kiko. She is a miracle to me. When she was first adopted, she was just a stray kitten constantly wanting love and attention. I would get mad at her several times for making my room dirty, but hey, that’s the downside of having pets. But she came around as a sweet angel during the bad times and I was grateful I always had her by my side.

I would also consider myself to have matured in 2016. And by being more mature, I would say that I have matured a lot more than the year before. The emotionally draining moments I mentioned a few paragraphs before have toughened me up and helped me get through it. On the upside, I would consider myself to be wiser when judging a character. On the downside, I am more closed to people than before. All of my friends would say I’m still the bubbly personality they know, but only the closest friends would know that that’s just a layer to hide what’s beneath.

I also think that in 2016 I was exposed to how diverse a single person can be. How vast would their range of emotions would be, how far people would go to get what they want, and how ugly a person’s personality can be after triggered by one single moment. Also, how one stupid act can ruin your whole life. The point is, if you hurt someone, you’ll be surprised by how far they’ll go. And if you’re hurt by someone, you’ll be surprised at how strong you are.

2016 was shitty and f*cked up. But, I’m grateful I get to learn important life lessons.

Bring it on, 2017!

Free yourself

To be used and manipulated feels like nothing. It feels numb.

It feels like you’re doing something right, according to your heart, but everyone else says the opposite. They all say you’re being used. They all say you’re being manipulated. They all say that you’re like a puppet, being moved and tossed around. But you choose to ignore them and follow what your heart says. And, although in the end it hurts you, the pain doesn’t feel as painful as you thought it would be. You were expecting the pain, so you braced for it. You cried in your sleeps in between, but you accept it.

In the end, you let go. And that’s the moment of freedom. That’s when the numbness goes away.


But it’s all a lie, my dear readers.

When you’re abused, please stand up for yourselves. You have your worth, you have your dignity. You value more than you think you are. No one has the right to abuse you and no one but you has the ability to stop it. You may hear your heart cry out loud that this is for the best, this is going to get better, but no.

Listen to your head. Your head is telling you the truth. It’ll know when you’re starting the emotional descent. So, before you delve deeper into the spiraling madness, get out. There’s always a way out. It’s always there, and it’s in you. You just need the courage to get out.

And, believe me, that courage lies in you.

Also, believe me, don’t hold grudges. It’ll come back to you. Whatever you do, it’ll come back to you. Karma exists.



“Kimi No Na Wa”: A Review

Hi, all!

Have you watched “君の名は (Your Name)”? It’s Makoto Shinkai’s latest film. If you haven’t, you totally should watch it! If you have, I bet the film touched your heart, even by the slightest bit.

“Kimi no Na Wa” tells the story of two persons, Mitsuha and Taki. Mitsuha is a high school girl from a village called Itomori while Taki is a high school guy from Tokyo. They somehow swapped bodies at random times. At first, they didn’t understand what’s happening, until they realized that they were able to leave their own traces/marks/clues when their bodies were swapped. They decided to cooperate so that their body-swapping wouldn’t affect their daily lives. Both of them decided to meet the other by visiting each other’s places, without the other knowing.

Makoto Shinkai is renowned for making sad, depressing movies with stunning visuals. It’s as if those visuals provide happiness for the sadness that the movie leaves in the heart of its viewers. The same applies to this film.

The combination of scenes, cut perfectly to make an amazing harmony, with accompanying music that creates the best atmosphere, will surely draw you to this movie. The visuals are stunning, really stunning, that it will leave your eyes glued to the screen throughout the whole movie; even when your sight is blurred by the tears welling up!

Now, the plot might seem simple to you, but the strength lies in the simplicity. The story does not stop there. The story does not stop at both of them swapping lives and finding each other and finding the love of their life!

Rather, the story focuses on the process of finding. Let me put it simply. Life happens. Shit happens in life.

For example, you wake up today as your usual self and tomorrow you wake up in someone else’s body, living a completely different life. The next day, you wake up as your usual self. That’s some kind of shitty situation to be in. But then, when you decide to find out what’s behind all this shit, you realize a lot more than what seems to be there. There are a lot of elements that play into how your life threads tangles into another’s life threads.

It’s not about “why is this happening to me?” but rather “what is happening to me?”. It isn’t that “why” is a bad thing. But from a simple “what?”, you can find out a lot more.

Also, Makoto Shinkai focuses a lot on finding the other. Finding the soulmate. Take “5cm/s”. It focuses on finding the soulmate. “Kimi no Na Wa” focuses on literally finding the soulmate. You swapped bodies. Someone else’s soul was inside your body. You become soulmates (literally). And you try to find them.

And the best part of it all?

“I feel like I’m searching for something, but I don’t know what. But I’m sure that when I see it, or when I see the person, I’ll know.”