Category Archives: Daily Journey

Tugu to Tugu: Chapter IV Ultra Marathon

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Tugu Monas, Jakarta – Tugu Kujang, Bogor.

More and less 55-ish kilometer.

Jika perjalanan kedua tugu tersebut adalah kurang lebih 1.5 – 2 jam perjalanan menggunakan mobil dan sekitar 1 jam menggunakan communter line, maka berapakah waktu yang diperlukan jika perjalanan dilakukan dengan berlari?

Lari?

Iya, lari.

Tugu Monas – Tugu Kujang. Jakarta – Bogor, lari?

Iya. Lari.

….. Edan

Well, as always. I am.

 

People said, we quite have to add a little craziness to spice up our life.

So here I am, dengan setengah terjerumus yang penuh pertimbangan, akhirnya nekad memutuskan untuk menutup tahun 2017 dan mengawali 2018 dengan BERLARI Jakarta – Bogor di acara Ultra Marathon Tugu to Tugu: Chapter IV besutan komunitas tersayang: Bogor Runners yang diadakan tepat pada tanggal 31 Desember 2017 untuk menyambut malam pergantian tahun baru.

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Credits: deBrads

Sesuai namanya yaitu Tugu to Tugu: Chapter IV, acara ini merupakan pelaksanaannya di tahun keempat dengan jumlah orang-orang gila yang dengan sukarela mendaftar terus bertambah. Setelah tahun lalu di chapter III mengukir jumlah peserta sebanyak 180 orang, tahun ini meningkat menjadi hampir 300 pelari yang terdaftar. Padahal kalau dipikir ya, jarak full marathon 42 kilometer saja sudah berat, ini ultra marathon loh.

Set dah, ini orang-orang ga punya kegiatan tahun baruan lain apa, kok mau-maunya nyiksa diri di tahun baru?? (*ngomong sama kaca*)

 

And that was the most frequent question: why?

Dari sekian banyak alternatif pilihan perayaan akhir tahun: dari party, nonton kembang api, pacaran (walau ga jelas sama siapa – eh maap curhat), merenung resolusi akhir tahun, BBQ sama keluarga, sampai tidur cantik demi kulit wajah yang lebih baik di 2018…. Yes, dari sekian banyak pilihan itu, kenapa malah justru memilih berlari ultra marathon 55K Jakarta – Bogor?

Semua peserta pasti punya alasan mereka masing-masing: target personal, pembuktian diri, tantangan, dan banyak lainnya.

 

Tapi personally untukku sendiri, this was the reason.

2017 has been such a blessed year for me.

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I’ve been blessed more than I could wish for, and I think I need one kind of extraordinary way to conclude everything and expressing my gratefulness.

55K akan menjadi jarak yang pantas untuk berpikir jernih, bersyukur, dan berterima kasih untuk semua keajaiban yang terjadi. Juga menjadi jarak yang tepat untuk memantapkan hati untuk menjadi diri yang lebih baik di 2018.

And 55K is gonna be quite a long way to say so.

So yes, there I was. On my way breaking my VIRGIN ultra marathon.

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Wih kece banget, Sar!!

Ya, persiapan dan pelaksanaannya ga sekece alasan di atas sih sayangnya. Hahahaha…

 

Frankly said, I’m a little bit impulsive tanpa persiapan spesifik (JANGAN DITIRU PLIS), hanya bermodal maintenance badan dengan strength training dan weekly mileage sekitar 55-60K, plus sisa-sisa persiapan Jakarta Marathon lalu.

Sisanya, tinggal mental (sok) baja dan meyakinkan hati bahwa seberat apapun nanti, this should be a joyful journey.

This would be an ULTRA fun run; Fun Run kok…. Jaraknya saja yang ultra.

Capek ya nanti berhenti, tidak bisa lari lagi ya nanti jalan. Kalau perlu mampir ngopi dulu di s******s buat pencitraan, dan liputan IG Story jalan terus.

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Anything, but yes, let’s make it fun.

Then fast forward to the day, 31 Desember 2017.

Dimulai dengan registrasi ulang di STO Telkom Gambir, di mana diriku registrasi ulang dan masih bantu panitia on duty jadi MC buat meramaikan dan menyapa para peserta (Multitasking at its best, babe!). Lari ultra iya, MC iya. Coba mic dan sound setnya bisa dibawa-bawa macam di gerobak tahu bulat, MC sambil lari sekalian kalau perlu.

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It was fun and the hype was there since the very start.

Then not so long setelah registrasi dan pritilan gear & medical check selesai, kita semua mulai moving ke Tugu Monas untuk persiapan start.

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Dan di sini drama pertama pun terjadilah.

Awan gelap mulai bergulung-gulung disertai angin kencang yang membuat peserta mulai gelisah dan mulai siap-siap mengeluarkan jas hujan masing-masing.

And yes, true. HUJAN BADAI ANGIN KENCANG mewarnai pelepasan peserta kategori 55K pada pukul 14.30 dong.

Such a memorable start, wasn’t it?

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Tapi justru serunya, hujan badai ini menambah sensasi dan tantangan tersendiri, Jadi alih-alih kocar-kacir mencari tempat berteduh, para pelari ultra ini berlari dengan super semangat menerjang hujan badai.

Akupun.

Rain has always been my forte, my kind of sanctuary.

Running under the rain has always been my kind of joy, dan kali ini tidak cuma hujan bahkan. BADAI ANGIN DERAS.

(Tapi selama masih air dan genangan bukan masalah, selama bukan air mata dan kenangan yang menggenang. AMAN (#sikap))

I laughed hard and off I went on. From Tugu Monas, all the way through Sudirman Street under the heavy rain, and I felt so much blessed. Dan kerennya, meskipun begitu, semua marshall tetap ready di jalanan dan semua rungrapher masih stand by mengabadikan moment luar biasa itu.

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Credit: Eldi

Persis seperti anak kecil main hujan-hujanan, I lost words to explain the joy under the rain, but indeed it was blissful.

Sampai akhirnya hujan reda di sekitar Pancoran dan kering memasuki area Pasar Minggu, di mana 28K pertama sampai dengan Check Point 1 di Depok berlalu dengan sangat menyenangkan.

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-01 at 5.17.50 PMI knew I was doing what I love to do and I do enjoy every steps within, surrounded with dearest people.

Rungrapher melimpah ruah sepanjang jalan di setiap sekian kilometer, marshal dari Bogor Runners dan Vespride juga standby di setiap tikungan yang menyesatkan (buat pelari malas baca peta dan buta arah seperti daku, ini helpful banget). Belum lagi support dari teman-teman komunitas lain yang fix buat senyum-senyum sepanjang jalan.

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Ada Baba dari Indosweatcamp Depok yang sempat menemani sampai Pasar Minggu (plus ngasih semangka potong di jalan )

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And this kind of surprise

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Ada Ilfa juga di jalan 

Masuk Check Point 1 Depok 28K tanpa drama sekitar jam 6 sore, setelah sebelumnya masih sempat menikmati sunset cantik terakhir di tahun 2017.

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One of the most beautiful sunset to see. 

Energi masih full, haha hihi dengan teman-teman panitia yang standby di sana, sempat mandi bilas-bilas dan ganti baju, plus MC lagi bareng partner MC kondang kesayangan, Fazri Maulana. Lokasi CP1 di Polres Depok juga luas, ada masjid dan kamar mandinya bersih; benar-benar nyaman untuk transit. Ada physiotherapist dari Physiocore juga, tapi belum terpikir kalau butuh proper stretching.  Ketemu juga dengan banyak teman-teman lain dari RUNI, Bogor, CEO, Derby dan banyak lagi. I thought all gonna be well till the end.

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Little did I know, the trial began after that.

As the night came and the ultra distance started kicking; as the euphoria started disappearing and the feet began trembling. Malam menjelang, jalanan memadat dan pertarungan dengan riuh kendaraan serta lautan manusia pun dimulai.

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Duh Gusti. Capek. (ya iyalah!!!!!)

Diantara serudukan angkot dan pickup yang tidak henti-hentinya menikung, tenaga pun mulai menipis, walaupun tidak putus disupport dengan pisang, cokelat, GU gel, maupun beragam supply gula.  Lupa ganti sepatu pula di Depok (hiks), dan kaki mulai berat tertatih-tatih.

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Tapi somehow, diantara langkah yang tertatih, aku menyadari satu hal. Yes, I had a lot of things going on my mind along the journey: questions, resolutions, affirmations. But yet apparently, I’ve stopped questioning this what-the-hell-am-I-doing kind of questionTernyata tidak sekalipun aku merutuk lagi “GUE LAGI NGAPAIN SIH?!”

This time, I knew what and why I was doing; this time I know where I am heading. And it’s reassuring.  Thus so, yes, I kept going no matter how hard. No matter how far. One step at time,

 

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Credit: Dandi

 

Even so, knowing those didn’t make the journey easier thou. Selepas Check Point 2 di Cibinong dan melewati kilometer 42, there came the most terrible distance.

Yang tadinya masih sanggup lari tertatih-tatih, mulai dikombinasikan dengan power walk. BELUM LAGI JALANAN KARADENAN SEPI BANGET NANJAK PULA YA TUHAN INI RUTE NGAJAK RIBUT BUKAN SIH KAYAK MANTAN AJA DEH RESE (*emosik. Lemah dasar!)

Untungnya di kilometer-kilometer terakhir ini, ditemani oleh Capt Badu sang finisher NR 5 yang 3 minggu sebelumnya baru saja finish Purwokerto-Dieng 127K, kan gengsi yak kalau lemah sendiri. Dengan tenaga (atau harga diri?) yang tersisa, berdua lah kami jalan-lari-jalan-lari sampai finish berkejaran dengan waktu COT yang semakin pendek.

 

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Credit: Eldi

That was the most downfall moment, yet at the lowest was the  reminder of why I decided to run these ultra distance: to be grateful despite anything. I heard it much of people said, that an ultra distance is one kind of way to talk with the Almighty Himself.

So there, I tried to find every ounce of faith to keep going with a joyful heart. Menyerah sudah pasti bukan pilihan, tapi menjalani resiko lari ultra dengan ikhlas dan bahagia ini yang mau aku upayakan.

There I kept going while whispering: TUHAN BAIK.

There I kept going, smiling.

 

 

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Credits: Fathur

Masuk Bogor – Warung Jambu, disambut dengan tanjakan tipis jahanam yang membuat sungguh ingin kuberkata kasar. But I knew, I was closer than ever. Sampai akhirnya, sampai di Check Point 3 – TUGU KUJANG persis di detik pergantian tahun disambut dengan dentum meriah kembang api.For a moment, I stood in silence and smiled before I screamed aloud Happy New Year to all.

And after, the last 2.5K on the pedestrian lane, I ran again with joy under the blasting new year’ fireworks and loud trumpet sounds. To those who knew the story, buatku jalur pedestrian lingkar luar Kebun Raya sudah seperti rumah kedua dan berlari di sana seakan-akan memberi kekuatan tersendiri. Tenaga yang tadinya sudah entah ada di mana, dan kaki yang sudah tidak bisa diangkat lagi, tiba-tiba mau bekerja sama dan kejar-kejaran dengan dentum meriah kembang api tahun baru.

 

And there it was, the finish line on my sight.

Familiar scene dari Balai Kota Bogor, riuh panitia/ keluarga Bogor Runners yang menyambut di gerbang dan finish gate Tugu to Tugu yang menjulang. There was a dejavu stroke my mind in a brief second.

I remember last year, I stood over and watched people fought their best to the lane. I witnessed their joy conquering the distance, I remember how sweet the victory felt like after one hell of struggle. I remember I made a promise myself, one day I would run those distance. I promised myself to run 55K ultra distance to prove myself, I’m stronger than any obstacles and difficulties that tried to hit me down.

And here I was, a year after.

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I’m finally done. 55K done and dusted.

 

Terima kasih kepada seluruh panitia keluarga besar Bogor Runners, sahabat-sahabat RUNGRAPHER tersayang, teman-teman Vespride, physioterapis dari Physiocore, Pemkot Bogor, Polres Depok, dan semua sponsor serta pendukung acara yang tidak dapat disebutkan satu per satu yang telah menjadi bagian dari perjalanan luar biasa ini. Sebagai panitia Tugu to Tugu: Chapter III yang kini menjalani sebagai peserta, aku dengan sepenuh hati berkata KALIAN LUAR BIASA KEREN. Perjalanan ultra bukan perjalanan yang mudah, tapi kalian menjadikannya lebih ringan dari yang seharusnya. Semua rapih dan memudahkan perjalanan, aku sebagai pelari pun dimanjakan. I’m losing my words to describe how AMAZING you all.

Dan akhirnya untuk menjawab pertanyaan pembuka di atas: berapa waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk menempuh Tugu Monas – Tugu Kujang dengan berlari?

There my personal answer is, 9 jam 50-something menit.

Bukan perjalanan mudah, tapi perjalanan yang terberkati. Dengan senyuman dalam kesulitan; dengan rasa syukur yang dipanjatkan dalam kesukaran. Dengan sahabat dalam kebersamaan; dengan keluarga dalam perjalanan.

Aku telah berjuang sebaik-baiknya, sebenar-benarnya.

Tuhan baik. Tuhan selalu baik. Aku hanya perlu lebih percaya.

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Thank you 2017 and welcome, 2018.

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Beauty Path of #colorfulSara

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Is there any woman out there who doesn’t want to be prettier?

That’s the basic instinct inside, which happen to be a default part on every woman’s mind. Though, it might be buried and pressed down underneath, due to many reasons around. Just like in my case.

No, I never been a make up person before, simply because I had no interest on. Pointless, I thought, as my previous works required me to stay and move around under the sun most of times, which definitely caused my face oily and sweating all day long. So I couldn’t care less to put any, let alone about how to do it properly. Denial, I told myself I was quite attractive enough with my smile only. Didn’t they say that smile was the best make up any woman could possibly wear?

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And so, years after years, my make-up kit has been consisted of the same short list of beauty items. It never changed. The same compact powder, black liquid eyeliner, natural blush on, lip gloss, and bright red lipstick, that I rarely wore.

I was once being made fun at, when one old friend of mine found out that I still used the exact same stuffs I had some years ago. She pitied me, yet I thought there were nothing wrong with it.
I didn’t care.
For I knew for sure, if I truly into it one day, no need anybody to tell me what to do and what to get.

Which I proved was true.

After the big storm at the early of 2014, due to the urgency of starting a new chapter of my life, I’ve been trying to step outside my comfort zone and searching for any sides of me I never knew existed. There, I was quite surprised by many discoveries I found, as the hidden part was revealed one by one. The joy that make-up brings was one of them, as I fall in love instantly with its colorful magic.

At the very beginning, I’ve been learning autodidact from many beauty advisor in every make up store I visited. Absorbing the function of many items I never cared to know before. Slowly, I put one after another on my list and causing the sudden growth of my make up kit.IMG_0355
The picture on the left was the point where I started, while the right was a month after. Below was six months later, and the rest was history.

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Didn’t stop there. Not yet.

A private make up course with @lady_pon, a make up artist, was the beginning of everything. I met her accidentally on instagram and universe arranged our path to meet by our matching schedule. She introduced me to completely wonderful world of colors and magic I never knew existed. Followed by several make up class with Make Over brand, where I tried to get used with the basic skill one by one. Not to mention, the countless night I spent in front of my make up table after Bum was sleeping; just to practice with the colors on and wipe it afterwards.

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History repeated itself, once the curiosity inside me was evoked, I’d eagerly learn. And once I wanted it, I took what I wanted seriously. So there I was with the point of no return.

This is just a beginning, of a long long winding road of my beauty path. Well, at least, it will be such a colourful journey 😉

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And if I look back, I think it’s not about make up itself. It’s about self-satisfaction. About being pretty and feeling good about myself. About deciding to self that I’m beautiful and then I can carry out my life as if I am a beautiful girl with any pretty colours that makes me happy. About believing, that it doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives me, but how I see myself.

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I still have nothing against my bare-face and still strongly believe that smile is the best make up women possibly wear. The true beauty shines from the inside, but the right make up will enhance it beautifully.

After all, nothing makes woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.
So let’s be pretty, shall we?

Two Years With You

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Time flies in the blink of the eyes.

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I could still remember it crystal clear, the dawn when you were out and dived down bravely to the water on your birth. So tiny and fragilely small. Helplessly weak, you sought for the only warmth you knew. Me.

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I became the one you depended on. The only comfort you understood. The life you were created from.

The figure you reached your hands unto, as you grow day by day.

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Little did you know, it is quite an opposite of.

I’m the one, who actually depending myself on you. The tiny little hands I would reach during the most tribulation and suffering. You are the only reason I’m still standing here, to love and to protect you, That’s more than enough to keep me stronger than I could ever imagine. No matter how hard life’s been trying to bring me down, your laughters are the greatest cure above all.

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The ultimate source of my blessed happiness, you bring out the best in me and saved me million times already.

I’m forever grateful that you come to my life. Forever blessed that you are a part of me.

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Happy birthday, kesayangan!

Two years and still counting to many wonderful years ahead.

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I must have done something really good for deserving you here 🙂

Decluttering; The Art of Letting Go

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Being awfully sentimental, I am. I found difficulties in term of letting go. Of anything.

It could be people, things, belongings, and memories. But as I lately learn to detach myself from people who contributes nothing but bad vibes in my life, then things and belongings should be served identically.

Simplifying life project. That was the concept my partner brought couple days ago that ignite the idea within me. He once had the mission to cut down his belongings, starting from his own drawer first. Removing clothes he had, by only keeping some basic pieces he actually needs. Like three sheets of T-shirt, one formal shirt, and sort kind of stuffs. I remember stood in awe, as I really couldn’t picture myself surviving with only some pieces of basic things.

Yes, there were tons of things had stayed hidden underneath the pile of dusty clothes I never wore again. But throwing it out? Seriously. What if I suddenly need it? What if there are events require me wearing those? What if I become a bit slimmer so it would fit me better? Too many ‘what-if’ I’d used to justify myself on keeping it still, as I found no urgency to reason me why I had to do so.

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But, well. Confucius once highlighted the point how life was really simply, yet it’s us who insist on making it complicated. We expand choices more than we actually should, broaden options more than we supposedly need. So many things are being kept for the sake of keeping it, not by the function it genuinely served. Being hardly hesitant to let go is one reason of, in which contributes much of complicating life itself.

So at one point of thinking, out of nowhere, I suddenly felt that was the time to let go. To master the art of letting go and to get rid anything that binding me on some irrational reasons. Second that I realized, I already stood in front of my drawer, while throwing out one piece after another. There were some moment of reluctant, but surprisingly, it was much more easier than I thought. It didn’t take too much time to finally cause one huge pile of clothes on the floor, leaving a recognisable empty space behind.

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The hardest part was throwing the emotional knot away. It was the essence of memories that left within the clothes, which froze me several times. A given piece from dearest person, a souvenir from memorable faraway trip, a specific one that being worn on special moments. It wasn’t about functions it served, yet memories it revoked. Once it tied closely with some meaningful time in my life I hardly let go. Blitz of memories flashed by, an awareness of how it once matter but it doesn’t anymore. For finally I threw it down, I detached the knot. One by one.

Proud, I should say. Though I still have quite plenty left, I’ve decluttered about 2/3 from all clothes I had. It doesn’t only simplify my life by freeing me from unnecessary knots of the past, but also limiting outfit choices I should make on daily basis. No more spending hours by standing in front of drawer while thinking ‘I have nothing to wear’ anymore. Leaving only some functional pieces, any of it will work perfectly fit. Even if I had to choose with eyes closed, I would still look good every single time. Double benefits, it is.

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People said, once you simplify your life, the law of your universe will be simpler. This is only the beginning, but yes, I’m glad for being brave enough on doing so.

Now, shall you try?

Transformation!

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“I know I leave a life behind, but I’m too relieve to grief.”          -Let it Go (Frozen)

Early of this year, it was a time of my life, where I drown deeper and lost further each day, to the point I didn’t even remember who I was. My whole universe was crumbled and left me broken into worthless pieces. Full of insecurities and negativity, I walked day by day with nothing to be awaited for. An empty shell, a dying soul. Until one point, I looked at the mirror with a lifeless reflection staring back at me. Hated seeing who I saw, so I began to ask myself the million dollar question.

“Are you happy?”

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….

No, I knew I didn’t.

A big change in my life, I realised that I had to make it. Tired of being lost and worthless, I decided to strive my way of regaining my self-worth back all over again. A happier soul and cleaner mind; a completely better me. That was what I aimed to achieve.

People said, a good exercise contributes much to make us feel good about ourselves. It helps you to ignite the endorphin inside and make you happier instantly. So there it was, the starting point of everything. With full awareness, for the first time in my life, I signed myself unto a trap called fitness centre. I remember of not wishing anything, but only a great burst of endorphin hormones rushing over and pushing the worry out of me. In a progress to be a better happier Sara with more positively on her side, I whispered.

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Discreetly, I made my own hashtag to remind me of my goal and encourage myself to keep persisting to be better. No matter how hard it was; no matter how pitch black the road ahead looked like.

#menujuawesomeSara2014

As cheesy as it might, but yes.

To be an awesome me, an awesome Sara by the end of 2014.

 

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Day by day, it wasn’t like the anxiety was automatically being shed out. Yet, indeed it gradually got better as the devastating state decreased. I kept asking myself every day, what would make me happy today and I went to pursue it. Slowly but sure, a better me would come soon. I told myself to wait patiently.

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In every ups and downs on the pursuit of happiness, I insisted to keep walking bravely, while trying not to care about the sign of time. Every day was a new discovery to reveal many hidden sides of me I never knew existed. From working out at gym to clean up my mind, which later led me to a much healthier life-style, to the spontaneous adventures to enrich my soul and rediscover the me-I-once-knew, then later to the growth of my make up kit to enhance my physical appearance.

Body combat and zumba classes, running sessions, fruit detox, mayo diet journey, beauty classes. Little did I knew, every little things had been added up slowly to transform myself magically.

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Time goes by. Slowly but sure, things change. As I’ve been focussing myself on building a better universe of me, every other things started falling into the right places. One after another. Without I realised, 2014 is almost reaching its end in about a month and so.

Then I look back to see, have I been an awesome person I wished to be?

Well, have I? 🙂

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I don’t know about ‘awesome’, but I know for sure, this is what I wanna be. A secret wish that finally came true.

Physically, I transformed a lot. I lost 10kg within this year and never felt so much better than this. Not in my younger days, not even on the teenage years . Also, with the make-up techniques that been sharpened up from many beauty classes I attended, it does magic to my days. Regaining my self-worth and confidence back, as well as opening new windows of chances.

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Mentally, I grow stronger and wiser, yet even more gentle. I learn to appreciate people more, to embrace, and to let go. Also, I learn to detach myself from complicated people and negative emotions. Believing that I have the right to choose my happiness and take care of my feeling, above what others might think or feel about me. The point is, I would never be good enough for someone who doesn’t appreciate me the way I am. Thus, I better appreciate myself more. Life becomes much more simpler and lighter that way. And as for things I cannot change, then acceptance is a life-time process of learning. To a person that matter most, it’s all worth it.

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Seeing who I am and comparing her to who I was, sometimes it feels surreal. It seems like seeing a totally different life of different person. To leave it behind, so much relieving I am. God is good, God is always good. He knows I’m trying my best to be a better person each day, and His blessings are beyond anything I could wish for. A happier soul and cleaner mind, I prayed. A new me, He granted it as bonuses.

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Striving to be a better me is a life-time process as well. It’s still a month left to complete the resolution #menujuawesomeSara2014, then I’ll find another hashtag to encourage me getting much much more better in the following years. But as for now, if I have to ask the one million dollar question again, I love the way I could answer confidently.

“Are you happy, Sara?”

Yes, absolutely.

 

Because I’ve fought to be so.

Eid Al-Fitr 2014

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Marking the end of Ramadan month, starting the brand new beginning

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Renewing the spirit, filling heart with abundant joy and happiness

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Forgiving mistakes, making peace with self and others

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May the love and forgiveness fill our heart in this blessed day.

Happy Eid Al-Fitr, everyone!

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Stiches of Love

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Always been a nomad I am; from here to there, crossing land and seas. As I grow up, I always live some hundreds to thousand miles away from home, -a place where I was grown-, pursuing dreams while leaving memories of comfortable living behind. Home, the place, where I always feel safe and loved, with those dearly hands ready to embrace me with heart widely opened. Therefore, a trip back for visiting home is one thing I’m eagerly looking forward unto. Not only about meeting family, but also reminiscing the innocence of life I once had.

A journey to the past, that’s what it offers me. There is some kind of time machine in every single corner of everything; bookshelves, closets, drawers, piles of random sheets, old diaries, photograph albums, and many more to be found. Hidden treasure, it is. Containing stories, summarising affections.As for today, the treasure was revealed itself as I was digging on the deepest on my closet: an old vintage home-sewn floral dress. It brought me on a ride to many many years backwards, visiting back a little girl of me with so much memories of warm loving family.

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Back in the days, I remember vividly, I rarely bought any clothes outside. Every once in a while, my grandma would come with some new fabric and made us new dresses. All of it had nicely beautiful patterns, which she magically turned those into sweet home-sewn pieces. one after another. I remember how excited and happy I was, while pretending to be a fairly princess by wearing it all. Yet, also I remember being grown up into a teenager and simply bored with all home-made stuff. Bored to the bone, stupidly I was. Complained, I told my parents how I wished I could just buy a trendy ready piece from the store, just like all of my friends did. Wearing home-sewn dress had embarrassing me at one point of life. And so, not too far from then, no more home-sewn dress was made. My loss.

Fast forward to the present time, just at the moment I found the only piece that last through years. Surprised, I didn’t see this coming that I would come across one again. As I ran my fingers to feel it gently, a shiver ran down my spines. How blinded I was to deny such a love like these? A very beautiful pattern that being selected thoughtfully and sewn carefully, so it would fit her granddaughter perfectly. Just by imagining it, there was a warmth filling all the empty space inside. I remember being loved so badly.

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Unpredictably, it still fits me well. As I added an additional modern pink belt from my collection, it turned out nicely as a beautiful short floral dress that I proudly wear everywhere right now.

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Every stitch contains a huge amount of affections; every detail proclaims tenderness. Being wrapped up with so much love like these, I feel so much blessed as I’m wearing this. Grateful to be born, grateful to be loved. Such a treasure, indeed.

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Thank you, my Nana. i love you too, beyond any words could say.

9th Worldwide Instameet – Semarang!

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I’ve been using Instagram apps for some years, yet never really took it seriously, as in tools to get connected with new people all around places. Followed only friends and acquaintance’s account, posted only for the sake of posting itself; I never really knew the greatest fun that lays beneath it. Until the day I saw these picture posted by a friend on my feed.

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9th Worldwide Instameet, the ninth gathering of Instagramers coming together to connect, explore, and celebrate their creativity; which would be happened all together in many cities all over the world. Apparently, Semarang was one city, which the event would be hosted on.

By the coincidence, I was around Semarang within those dates with no specific agenda to do. Joining the crowd and getting to know new people, surely sounded like a very interesting idea. Mostly, because I knew there would be many aspiring inspiring photographers around, and I was beyond excited to get inspired by them! I’ve missed the feeling of being somewhere with someone new and crossing the bridge of strangers to new-found friends with our interactions.

So yeah, Kota Lama-Semarang on May 17th 2014 and I officially joined the hype happening there. Almost 120 people gathered together, while I didn’t know any of them. It was just me and little Bumi together at first, alienate from the crowd. But I had no worry; I knew the fun was awaiting there until the moment of revelation.

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Indeed, it was fun and beyond. As the event was begun, we were divided to groups and assigned to complete some task and challenges, we hunted and collaborated together creating greatest pictures possible.

Below was the result from those days. Some are random shots I found interesting, and some are results from challenges of the day. Yes, challenges! We were given several themes to be posted with specific hashtag on our IG account, such as #strideby, #findingvintage, #fromwhattheysee, #makeportraits, #fromwhereistand, #whatisinmyhand, and the most interesting one, JUMP! with #jumpstagram.

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The line between two. Why it has to be you?

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Crossing by. As fast as memories dry. #strideby

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Red on the wall; the boldest of all.

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Conceal. Don’t let them in. #findingvintage

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Hang it there, it will dry. Your tears too, it shall. #findingvintage

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It’s been ages. Please come back home. #findingvintage

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What’s left from the past. Who know how long it might still last? #findingvintage

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See the world from children’s eyes. You shall find peace.

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Unsync the synchrony. #jumpstagram

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You jump. I jump. #jumpstagram

Yes, I hunted plenty good pictures that made me feel good with myself. This meet up has definitely fired up my photography sense that been getting dull since I have Bum around. Yes, I remembered the fun of hunting and creating composition all over again.

And the fun wasn’t ended there, apparently me and Bumi were happened to be captured by other fellows in many great moments of us. Two of us and our togetherness, openly captured behind the eyes of many talented photographers on the very beautiful photogenic spot. It never failed to put smile on my face whenever I saw the pictures again.
Thank you so much, dearest all, for these lovely frame!

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And this one is surely my favorite!
Told you, my little Bumi, I’ll take you fly with me. :’)

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Seriously, meeting this bunch of new talented people at Semarang Instameet is one thing I would always be grateful about. As I looked around that day, we were all busy with our mobile phone, —taking pictures, editing, and posting—, yet nobody saw us as a freak like people used to judge. We were all just same, we were on the equal wavelength, we were on the right place.

Strangers at first, but then, we chatted. We shared. We connected. We laughed. We followed each other’s IG account. We inspired and got inspired by each other.
Couldn’t ask for a better meet up like this #instameetsemarang.
Thank you instagram for making this happen!
Thank you guys for being awesome!

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What a pleasant happy day. I almost forgot how wonderful a freedom tasted like :’)

To Travel and the Feeling that Follows

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A traveller, are you?
If so, have you ever know this kind of feeling?
The feeling when you are about to go traveling, moving, and leaving one place to another, you know it’s not only the place that you’re going to miss, but also the person as in who you are at this present time.

It will be written all over the place, that even though you might be back one day, things won’t be just same as before.
The present will be past, as the future shall come along fast.
The closest can turn into stranger, and the stranger might come to rescue.
The familiar one might departs unpredictably, while the unfamiliar one takes its place.
The feeling gonna, slightly or so much differently, change.
You too, won’t be the exact same person you think you are.

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Life is a constant state of moving to the unpredictability.
Traveling teaches you to embrace it.

Because to travel is to make one step ahead, one at time.
Leaving past and moving forward wholeheartedly.
To another place.
To another you.

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Hopefully, a better happier you.

Road Trip to East Bali part 2

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A short recap before the road trip stories continue.

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Yes, it was a very tiring first day, as this was the very first time we tried to adjust the rhythm of our trip together. Following my usual pace, I could —and definitely would— drive all the way to the very north, but considering it was only two of us throughout, then I know I have to hold on myself. Slowing down my pace of moving and hopping to another place with little Bum’s napping time and stamina; stopping by at random places whenever he was bored on the road or simply asked to be breastfed. All of them took the journey longer than it usually be. At Candidasa area, finally we slept soundly holding each other as we closed our day, recharging the energy to continue the journey on the next day.

The alarm was on around 5am, before the dawn. I carried the sleeping Bumi up with me and sat just right on the side of the beach, waiting for the sun came to conquer the darkness of night. The sound of waves echoed a powerful rhythm, sang a marching melody to welcome the bright yellow spark on the east. What a peacefully sight to see, a sunrise always marks a new hope for a brand new day. As beautiful as ever.

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Our energy has been recharged, we checked out from the cottages and our second day of road trip was officially began. The next destination on my list was one hidden beach nearby, which has been written as one of my bucket “beach” list since quite long ago. It’s around 10 km further away following the road from Candidasa, known as White Sand Beach or Virgin Beach.

The sign toward this place was pretty small from the main road, we needed to look carefully to make a right turn to the small road and crossing the hill with before reaching it. Also, some part of the road nearby the beach was currently under maintenance, causing us to park our car pretty far and we had to walk around 600m down first. Well, the distance wasn’t that bad; but while carrying the 11-ish kg baby, that was another story. *grin*

We arrived just right on the beach by 7am, the surrounding was quiet as we were the only one there. As far as I glanced, I saw a very wide open beach with nobody else. The name of the beach served itself right, it was clean white sands with gentle waves over a crystal clear blue water. Magical and mystical. Surrounded by steep cliff on the side, made it felt like a very secluded private beach on our own that time. Its beauty was calling our name to play on the sun and jump under the water; we couldn’t resist, for sure. I wonder why, but this beach hasn’t got a proper fame as what it deserves to. For me, I really consider this beach as one of the most enjoyable place to swim on my list.

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The little Bumi couldn’t wait. Immediately, he was begging for me putting him down and letting him go by himself. As his feet touching the sand below, he screamed excitedly. His voice was echoing around, surrounding the mornin air with joy and emerging happiness. He played with the sand, he walked towards the water, he observed carefully. No sign of fear as he faced the vastness of rushing wave, just as if he wanted to say: one day, “I’ll conquer this as what you always do, mom!” I smiled when his eyes found mine, he grinned and pointed out to the water, asked me to carry him in. And so I did. We just had the greatest morning ever under the blue.

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Yes, under the blue. It was just two of us, going through incredible view. Seriously, with his presence, it’s a world of brand new. As I opened my eyes, all are adventures await us to pursue.

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Done with playing in the water, there are plenty showering place available on the hut by the side of the beach, before walked back to the parking spot. Huks! Fasten the seatbelt again, and we were ready for our next destination: Taman Ujung Soekasada. Approximately another 10km away following the main road, then took the right turn on the intersection, on the opposite direction from Amlapura city.

It was an open view of rice field throughout the ride, with the blue covered the whole sky those morning. Following the winding road ahead, and all of sudden the sight of this place came unto us: a majestic old gate upon a spacious neat park with a very big pond. My jaw dropped by seeing those scenery, whispering continuously ‘wow’ while driving towards its entrance gate.

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It was only 10am in the morning when we stepped our feet on the bridge that connecting the parking spot to the park itself. The view of an old empire heritage building over a beautiful park greeted us welcomely. They said, it was made in the year of twentieth for serving the Karangasem King on their relaxation time or simply on their duty of meeting with an important guest on their glorious era. No wonder, the complex is beyond impressive, suited much as one pride they could hold on into. I cannot argue though, the view was exceptionally beautiful, and what surprised me most was the fact that it’s very very well maintenance. As a mascot of tourist destination in the east part of Bali, this place has become a popular destination for both local or international tourist.

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And so we took our kinda-late morning walk over its spacious beautiful park, while having our morning sun-bathing. As this place is also well-known as a beautiful background for pre-wedding picture, it was just made sense to take (a lot) of picture of us, right? *blushing* Cannot help it, the iphone, timer, and the tongsis would serve us more than just enough. The duet traveller, —a blessed mom and a happy son—, finally stroke the pose.

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As the sun was getting high and the weather was getting unbearable, I sat over the car and in urge to finally make a decision: shall I go further, or going back? It’s been halfway through the island and I was pretty close to Amed, wasn’t it better to go all the way? I wanted it BADLY, but the hunch inside kept telling me to go home. Hesitating for some while, my ego and my pride was yelling for Amed, yet I looked back at the tired little Bumi and finally decided: home, it should be. A mom gotta do what a mom gotta do; this journey was enough for now. We would find another time, we have plenty. This adventure would find us all over again. So I turned over and headed back to the South.

Yet, there was still one last destination haunting my mind: Jasri Beach and its tree swings over the Chocolate Factory. I never heard of that before, but it was mentioned by one person in @KartuPos’s twitter timeline and it’s been caught my heart ever since. This. The picture of the swings that grabbed my attention in a blink of an eye.

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Just a swing, but somehow I wanted to be there and I knew I would be there. Firstly, I thought it wouldn’t much difficult as I just needed to find my way to Jasri Beach, but turned out I was completely wrong. By following the winding road, it took me lost from one turn to another and I always ended up in different side of the beach. Kinda frustrated, since asking direction to locals kept getting me lost even further. Nearly gave up, I was but I told myself to keep on searching. And I followed my hunch by make a turn into a very small road nearby the gas station, and going forward. The road was extremely narrow, passing by the jungle of high coconut trees; I almost gave up in the middle since the road kept getting narrowed and untouchable.

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But just at the end of the road, my hunch served me right, the Chocolate Factory’s sign lied over the bamboo fence! Yeay! I was beyond excited to read that. So then I rushed in and found the swing was hanging there alone, untouched by any, as if it was waiting solely for me only. Tied up with a thick rope unto the very tall tree right above the little hill, making it is possible to swing itself very high from the ground. Such a fun exciting thing to do, while seeing the peaceful view of the virgin Jasri Beach. A hidden treasure, it was.

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The little Bumi was sleeping, so I put him on his seat while I immediately gave the swing a try. Grabbed and pulled the rope to the bamboo platform where I shall began jumping on from, it was quite high from the ground. A moment before I jumped, I paused. It wasn’t a moment of hesitation, it was excitement; a rushing adrenaline I’ve been missing on. Should I? Sure, here I go! Then I jumped.

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The swing flied me to the air, my heart was pounding.
I screamed. Not in fear, but relieving.
I remembered the feeling, I remember its sensation.
The joy and happiness from a spontaneous adrenaline rush of freedom.
I smiled from cheek to cheek, I laughed.
Loudly. The loudest I ever did in the past two years time.
Happiness could be as simple as swinging high and flying on the trees.
I’m free. I’m still free.
Nothing chained me on the ground, I’ll just need to take the little Bumi fly together with me.

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The feeling is surely priceless, those tree swing has made my day. I drove back to Kuta at ease, Amed and Tulamben could wait. I’m coming back home. This spontaneous road trip was happened base on the question: “am I happy?”, and I found my answer already. I do. This journey just proved boldly, the adventurer in me would always still have a place to be. Having a baby doesn’t make me trapped and chained on the ground, just make the adventure even better and greater. A solo traveler finally go duet!

Anyway, what’s the point of having a great trip without enjoying a plate of good food of local cuisine? On my way back home, in Klungkung area nearby the Luwih Cave, I made a right turn to smaller road, which directed me to one quite famous place: Warung Mertha Sari. It was well-known with their fish satay and sate lilit; once was featured in New York Times as well. One portion is consisted of a plate of white rice, Balinese soup with big chunks of tuna, fresh sambal matah, and satays. Heaven on a plate, my all time favorite and it’s around Rp 25.000,-/portion. If you are here, make sure to order their signature cem-ceman water. Don’t ask me what is that, I don’t even know. All I know, it’s really interesting and worth to try once.

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Full and stuffed. Happy belly, happier heart. We continued our journey back home, halfway the journey, then what happened next just surprised me. Just entering the big ring road Ida Bagus Mantra, something went wrong with my car and I had to stop by the side of the road. Kinda frustrated at time, since I felt all alone with no one I could ask for help. But then I reminded myself, I’m strong enough to take care my own as well to solve the problem by myself. I’d stand by my own backbone and finding someway put. So I locked the door and carried the little Bumi looking for technician and some help, and I’m blessed enough to be surrounded by many helping people out there. Hahaha, good thing I was following my hunch to go back. I couldn’t imagine if I continued the journey and got stuck in the middle of nowhere.

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Done with the repairing, we headed back home smoothly. Tired but satisfied completely. So below was the map of our journey, I couldn’t believe it was only around 80km. Well, it’s only Bogor-Jakarta, and I used to go back and forth the distance for work before. It wasn’t far as I remember, but this road trip felt like forever on the road! *crying* Cannot complain though, the time spent with little Bumi on the road was the time well-spent. Having baby on the board surely made a lot of differences and slowed me down a little, but having him as my traveling partner was surely beyond anything I could ask for.

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We made it. We made this road trip to East, and I know this was only just a beginning from many more to come. A duet traveler of mom and little son is now born.

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Thank you, East Bali for marking our brand new world. See you in another adventure, soon 🙂