How I Am Making The World A Better Place

I made the world a better place by teaching English to ‘difable’ (different-ability) therapists so now they can serve foreigner patients in a more appropriate way. I mean, now the therapists do not have to use body languages to ask patients to do something such as taking off their clothes or laying down on the bed.

I also volunteered teaching English for a language community named Fakta Bahasa for four months. Fakta Bahasa has various languages to teach such as English (writing and conversation), French, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and so on. Most of the members aged 16-25-ish; some learnt from the basic, some had already known the language and wished to be fluent at it. I had ten students back then and most of them were college students. I love teaching them; it was really fun! I love making the syllabus and thinking about what conversation games I should bring for the next meetings. Also, seeing them immediately came out of their shells and had courage to speak English little by little was totally rewarding. I miss them! Every now and then we still keep in touch even though it’s only through group chat.

The other thing I did was helping Riset Indie to do social experiment about citizen’s preference to use public transportation called angkot. The social experiment was called ‘Angkot Day’–it was the day when everyone could take one route of angkot (Kalapa-Ledeng) for free. The research was about finding out what made citizen choose angkot than other means of transportation, what they liked and disliked about angkot, and so forth. I helped documenting the research, but I don’t know where those photos are right now. It was five years ago anyway.

The latest thing I have been doing is conducting a research about coffee farmers’ welfare and its relation to social capital in Pangalengan and sustainability of coffee in terms of economic, social, and environmental. The research is going to be put on a journal and published later, thus more about it later after I finish it all. Lol.

Another things would be as simple as smiling at passersby and having them smile back at me. Or telling stories and sharing some good laughs with friends. Or learning to bake. Or teasing my family for doing or saying something lame. Or walking instead of using vehicles if I need to buy something only a couple of blocks away.

Wow. Making the world a better place by doing simple acts makes me feel better in return. Gotta do it again!


The Last Time I Indulged Myself

Couple of times, even though I don’t remember the exact date.

It was when I went to piano and trumpet recital with Khalief. It was when I had a good milk coffee. It was when I bought myself a book online. It was when I went to dentist to check the health of my teeth and mouth. It was when I spent the night driving to peripheral side of the city. It was when I silently stared at city lights. It was when I had a good cry. It was when I squeezed someone tightly. It  was when I ate a home-cooked breakfast. It was when I let myself fall in love.


The Most Loving Thing I Have Ever Done to Myself

I am now contemplating, when was the last time I am happy because of myself? When was the last time I love myself so much, I can accept myself as a whole me? When was the last time I was being kind to myself? The top of it all, why can’t I remember that? It is very depressing indeed.

Well, I did remember one thing or two, when I felt happy because I took a good care of my body. It was when I routinely ran every morning, when I thought about nothing other than the sound of my breath and the movement of my legs. It was when I went to visit a dentist to check my teeth and got it cleaned. It was when I swam, when I moved my whole body as I listened to the sound of water bubbling in and out of my respiration system. It was when I knelt down and put my head on earth in the face of God, and just breathed, felt grateful for everything I had. It was when I talked with people I met randomly on the street, at tea garden, at coffee farms, and looked at them in the eye as they enthusiastically shared stories of theirs.

It was when I respected myself, did things that matter the most, and gave the love I have to me and people around me. I don’t know when I will love myself that much again.

What I Am Afraid to Ask For; What I Need to Speak Up About

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this is I am afraid to ask for money to my father and mother, especially in this age, because I feel like I have burdened them enough with my tuition fee. That is also why I rarely ask them to buy me new gadgets or vehicles; I only use what they give to me, whether it is new or second-hand. But for this context, I guess this is not the case.

Something else that I need to speak up about is my opinion about any things. The subject is broad. It can be a matter as simple as which shirt I prefer my boyfriend to buy or as essential as how I perceive culture and religion. Most of the time I would rather be silent and listen to what people talk about those things; yet, when it is my turn to tell, usually I just nod or shake my head but not telling my reason. It doesn’t happen every time; sometimes I like to offer my thoughts as well.

The other thing I need to let out of my mind are issues regarding local economic development that I research about. It is a pressing matter and is totally relevant to today’s issues. Coffee is an emerging commodity in Indonesia, every part of the world loves Indonesian coffee, but the farming process and coffee farmers’ welfare are rarely put into consideration. I would write about this as soon after I finish my research.

All in all, I need to respect myself by telling other people what I perceive about something. Like when I like or dislike something, especially if it matters to me.

Why My Younger Self Would Be Proud of Me Today

You know what? I often feel insecure about how I look, what I have, and what I have done in my life. I feel like I haven’t done many important and impactful activities, talks, or anything. This life I am living is only for me, I often thought, and there are not so many people affected by how I have lived so far.

Then I found this question, ‘What would your younger self be proud of you for today?’ and it led me into thinking that maybe I haven’t been grateful enough for what I have accomplished so far.

If my younger self looked at me right now, probably she would be amazed because I have managed to keep writing until today. I have left many traces of my writing on 7 different platforms just because. I had had my own book; it is an antology. When my first writing was published in my school–as in, my teacher sticked my hand-written story on the window outside my class, along with other students’ works–I had never thought I would keep writing and just be like the way I am today.

I remember a friend of mine told me that she loved reading my stories because it had some kind of style that she could only find in my writings. I didn’t understand what she meant back then (and now I also don’t), but it gave me warm feeling. I feel like maybe, just maybe, writing is my world and I should keep sharing my ideas, thoughts, experiences, stories, or whatsoever for the rest of my life. It is going to be amazing. And I love reading what I have written when I was younger. (My choice of words could be that funny. Or hyperbolic. Or melodramatic. Or whatever.)

So, Aci, thank you for sharing your thoughts to the world until this very second. Even though you will never know who has read your writings, I really hope it would leave good traces. Keep writing and be naked! You too!

Things That Make Me Happy to be Alive

I am happy to be alive because I have a chance to meet this person who is sitting in front of me right now. We studied at the same high school and we were on the same student club. Junior Red Cross, it was. I also had a same class with him for one semester.

He is funny, attractive, has a cute smile, and is the kindest man I have ever met so far. Sure, I do not deny that he has negative traits. Yet, despite all those imperfection that he has, he still wants to improve himself. He is now studying or doing his homework–I don’t know as I can’t see his laptop screen from here. Judging by the look of his face, I’m sure he is not watching DotA videos on YouTube.

One more thing that I feel most grateful about is having a chance to live the life I have right now. To interact with people, to feel feelings, to have sibling, to eat delicious foods, etc. The ups and downs of life has its own beauty and wonder, and I cherish every single moment of my living right now.

Thank God for letting me alive until tonight.

How I Would Describe Myself to Stranger (in a Loving Way)

Hey there. My name is Asri but I am often called “Aci”. It is pronounced something like Ah-chee. I am one of those kind of people who loves to smile at strangers I meet on the street. I don’t do it all the time; I just do it to the ones who accidentally drop their glances at me. I love seeing them smiling back at me. Some people will frown or pretend to see anywhere else, but it doesn’t matter.

I too love to try and learn something new, being a novelty lover that I am. What do you usually do on your free time? What do you have in you to share with me? I would love to know. I am easily interested and (sometimes) also easily bored.

I am neither a social butterfly nor a party animal, but I do love coming to social events every now and then. And going to public places too. I love interacting with people or simply watching people interact with each other.

Even though I look like I don’t care about my surrounding, I actually care about people, mostly who are close to me. I know I can’t show it in an un-cheesy way. On the other hand I can look like I don’t care because I have no clue what to do and I feel like dying inside whenever that happens!

I can be smart and eager to learn if I put my mind on the subject. Topics I am passionate about are mostly related to human, let it be social capital, psychology, anthropology, et cetera. Learning about those things would make me so engaged and I will not mind to learn about it for the rest of my life. (I just realized this as I typed.) There are always something fascinating about human relations and such.

I am describing myself too much, I guess? This maybe doesn’t feel like description but yeah, what do you want to know anyway?