Life

Defining Self

Begitulah. Sekarang pukul satu dini hari dan saya didera keinginan untuk berputar menari waltz sendiri di teras rumah. Biasa, jam-jam segini memang rawan melakukan hal-hal di luar kebiasaan. Cuaca Jakarta sedang terlalu panas untuk saya, sulit sekali untuk tidur, jadi alih-alih berbaring saya malah membuka tumblr saya dan membaca beberapa postingan terakhir.

Di salah satu postingan, saya mengutip kata-kata ini setahun lalu.

Don’t wonder. Let me wonder. Let your friends wonder. You, define yourself.

Otak saya berhenti berputar sekejap saat terdengar samar pertanyaan dalam diri, “Lalu sekarang sudah jadi seperti apa?”. Jadi seperti apa? Entahlah. Ini sudah setahun dan kalau menengok ke belakang saya rasanya tidak melakukan banyak hal. Tentu saya masih sibuk, agenda saya selalu penuh dengan hal-hal menyenangkan, tapi agenda setahun terakhir berbeda dengan agenda setahun sebelumnya. Jika dua tahun lalu saya bisa menang PokemonGo saking seringnya pindah tempat, setahun terakhir ini saya seringkali hanya di rumah dan sekitarnya.

Am I actually defining myself?

Iya. Tentu iya. Mendefinisikan diri adalah hal yang sangat personal, tidak ada standar atau ukuran ataupun cara yang pasti untuk ini. Tentu akan sangat membantu jika bisa mengetik ini di wikihow dan menemukan jawaban yang tepat (sungguh, pertanyaan ini ada jawabannya di sana), tapi langkah dalam perjalanan mendefinisikan diri tetap saja hanya bisa ditentukan sendiri. Apapun yang saya lakukan–atau tidak lakukan–mendefinisikan saya. Saya bisa saja melakukan hal yang berbeda 180 derajat antara tahun ini dan tahun lalu, tapi saya rasa saya tetaplah saya. Saya tetap orang yang tidak mungkin tidak menangis di semua adegan mengharukan dalam film, tetap orang yang hobinya mengutip dialog atau lirik atau puisi, tetap orang yang berdebat dengan ibu kalau sudah soal korupsi.

Sambil menulis ini saya berpikir, lalu ada perkembangan baru apa? Ada yang berubah tidak?

Ya. Saya tetap saya, tapi yang berubah juga banyak. Jika saya patung, pemahat saya sedang sibuk cungkil sana-sini, menyesuaikan ini-itu. Saya bisa merasakan, kok. Sakitnya nyata. Terlepas dari berubah jadi lebih baik atau lebih buruk, memangnya mudah mengubah diri? Apa mudah, dari yang tadinya bisa sesukanya jadi disiplin? Apa mudah, dari yang biasanya ramah mudah tertawa jadi pendiam dan hanya senyum saja? Tidak ada adaptasi yang tidak menyakitkan. Kita berubah hari dari Minggu ke Senin saja banyak mengeluhnya, kok.

Tapi semua adalah bagian dari proses. Proses yang lambat, perlahan, dan mungkin tak ada ujung. Di ujung mata saya bisa melihat pemahat saya sibuk sekali mencungkil dan mengetuk-mengetuk. Terus-menerus, sedikit demi sedikit. Sakit? Iya. Lebih-lebih saya tidak tahu seperti apa bentuk saya sekarang, jadi lebih indah atau tidak. Jadi lebih baik atau tidak. Mengesalkan? Sangat. Seringkali saya ingin berhenti dan mengundurkan diri saja, pindah ke gelembung dan hidup nyaman di dalamnya.

Tapi, apa iya, baru setengah jadi lalu berhenti?

 

Sibuk bicara dengan langit-langit,

Aulia

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Life

Eid Mubarak!

Happy Eid al-Fitr, everyone! It’s the fourth day of Lebaran (Eid al-Fitr), and I am happy that I can spend my fourth day of it with my big family! It is rare. Usually it is just two or three days-off for us employees, but for this year, the government sets the holiday for a week straight. Overjoyed, I am.

Every Lebaran, there are some classic matters that you will find in Lebaran in Indonesia. Some of them will make you feel very very very homesick if you happen to be not in the country when Lebaran begins.

  1. The gatherings
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My boyfriend’s family. Taken from his camera.

Friends. High school friends. Junior high school friends. Elementary school friends. Any of your childhood friends. Family. Nuclear family. Big family. Big big big family. You name it. This is the time of the year when you actually can gather with families or the friends that have lived in different areas, everybody goes back to their hometown. Everytime I open my Path, I see grinning faces in kaftans and kokos with joyful captions. The hashtag #lebaran in Instagram itself contains these kinds of photos, mostly selfies, instead of photos of the feast or the celebration.

2. The feast

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Opor ayam

You may eat rendang everyday in your life but you surely can’t refuse to eat rendang (again) or opor ayam when Lebaran comes. Those two are the mandatory when it comes to Lebaran feast. In some area I find that they have another unique food for their feast. In Banyuwangi, my boyfriend says, they usually cook tape ketan. I never see it in my Lebaran time. And in my place, usually my grandmother cooks sambel ati-pete and sayur tempe santan to accompany opor and rendang. Also, to entertain the guests who flood during Lebaran time, my family usually serve pempek and tekwan, brought directly from Bandar Lampung.

If you think the feast is “homesick material” enough, wait until people start to stroll around their hometown and post the food they eat to social media. Wait until those friends you have post pictures of sroto and mendoan as their hometown is in Purwokerto, or post Bebek Sinjay as they stroll around Surabaya. Each time I see those pictures, I weep. Take me there!

3. The kaftans

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Taken from Instagram @vendart

Different from ‘the gathering’, this section covers how people looooove to wear (new) kaftans and take #ootd photos and post them on social media. This is my yearly routine, to observe how kaftans are still happening since…6 years ago? I mean, okay, you wear dresses or long pants or vests on your daily basis, but when Lebaran comes suddenly it’s kaftan time. It is okay. It is beautiful. And actually, my all-time favorite is to watch the kaftans in family uniform. Yes, some families have uniforms for Lebaran. And I love love love to play a guessing game with myself, which color will they wear this year?

4. The question

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Taken from Google

In Lebaran family gatherings, Indonesians have a cruel opening line that every 20’s hates but keeps coming: Kapan nikah? When will you get married?

This is true. Sometimes they don’t even ask the “how are you?” question and just go straight to “kapan nikah?“. For example, an aunt comes and she says hi and you do ‘salim‘ her and then she will say, “Oh, sudah besar, ya. Sudah selesai kuliah, ya? Kapan nikahnya? Oh, look at you, you’re all grown up. You’ve graduated college, right? When will you get married?”.

A question that can only be beaten by “Hehe, iya, Tante. Hehe, yes, Aunty,” and a grin.

I honestly don’t hate this question. In my opinion, they actually only want to start a conversation. The question is just a result of their social awkwardness. Give them a credit to start a conversation, guys. I myself try sometimes to start a conversation with my aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas, and most of the time I struggle. I don’t know what usually happens in their ages, and it feels just so awkward to actually ask about their lives.

For example, I have a cool uncle, and I ask about his job, and since he’s a director in a ministry (just found it out few years ago when I asked him this!) he’s hesitant to directly tells me about his job. Perhaps he’s shy, perhaps he doesn’t want me to think he’s so proud that he will blabber about it. I am used to straight-forwarded people, asking about jobs (skin-deep question) is a normal thing to do. I feel awkward. I just want to start a question and know more about him, but well, it is not as easy as mingling in a friend’s birthday party. No, not at all.

So, chillax. That kind of questions will keep coming in Lebaran. If you find yourself get too furious about it, watch this Alain de Botton’s video about how to remain calm.

Well, most of all, to me what actually identifies Lebaran in Indonesia is the takbiran. The repetitive takbir in mosques, until the prayer starts in the next morning, is a celebration ritual that perhaps I will miss most if I ever celebrate Eid al-Fitr abroad.

 

Eid Mubarak,

Aulia

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