Nama:Ask me! a0z0ra[at]gmail.com
Suku: Tiong Hoa
Agama: Kristen Katolik
Ras: Mongol
Adat-Istiadat: ikut orang tua
Hobi: denger musik, baca macem2, nulis macem2, nongkrong bareng temen, mendalami iman Kristiani.
Harusnya: pulang Indo, nulis macem2, kerja wartawan budaya, bina keluarga sejahtera, ikutan nongkrong bareng Romo Sandyawan dkk, ikut2 politik buat angkat derajat orang Tiong Hoa dalam hukum.
Ternyata: terdampar di San Diego CA USA, hedon dan hedon dan hedon...
Jadinya: merenungi hidup segan mati tak hendak dengan nulis2 blog

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    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Her super sweet 17 

    There's this girl that will have a 17th birthday* in a big hotel, said my dad - a photographer
    and I got to be her photographer, said he again
    maybe you know her, she's from the same high school

    Hm? Ok. What's her name, I said.

    K****I (Ha! Censorship rules)

    Oh! I know that girl. She is pretty. Rich. Very sociable. High-class.

    Yea, I know her. I told my dad. She is my age. We know each other, but not too close. She is from a different league.

    He nodded. And then he asked. Do you want to help me carry the equipment bag? You may have the chance to go to her party.

    I was silent for a minute or two. Thoughts raced, mixed feelings popped: anxiety, excitement and all that. All of my middle & high school friends would be there! But the party is going to be cool! (Girls just want to have some fun) But I gotta help my dad with his camera equipment during the party! Everyone would make fun of me!

    Then images of my dad slowly came to focus. He was in his 60s, but he's still strong to bring food to the table & pay both tuition for both his daughters. Everytime he's back from a party, usually around midnight or so, he would ring the bell, my mom would open the door for him. I would pretend I didn't hear anything and sleep.

    It's not that he always carry the bag alone, sometimes he hired someone to help him. But this time he asked me. Maybe he thought he's giving me a chance to go to a high-class party and I would enjoy it. He's trying to be nice.

    So I thought: what the heck, I'll go. I nodded to my dad.


    And there I was, on the D-day, the girl who wasn't invited. Out of their league. Carrying a huge camera bag in a 5-star hotel. I arrived very early, along with the birthday girl & her bday-maids-of-honor. They were in a room together, putting dresses & make-ups. Some of them recognized me, Those who don't were staring at me, questioning the purpose of my existence.

    Hey there, one of them greeted me with smile. You're here for the party?

    No, I'm here to help my dad. I said, and I pointed to the old man who gleefully asked everyone to stand for group pictures.

    For some reason, they wanted me to join in the group photo before the party begin. I wore white. All the other girls wore black. Of course, that didn't really helping me to blend in. They were nice nonetheless.

    Couple of minutes later, the party began. Guests started to arrive. The young people - friends, classmates - exchanged gossips. The old people - parents, relatives & business partners - exchanged other things.

    The party was perfect. Food was excellent, DJ did a great job, guests dressed really well, very high-class, everyone smiled at each other, even the polonaise was great. And of course, the obligatory crashers from all-boys school came, solidifying the party as one of the 'IT'.

    The night quickly fell despite everyone unwillingness to depart. It was midnight or so when the DJ announced that it was over. There goes the discobeat, crashers & all things glamoury.

    The hotel lobby was soon full of boys & girls waiting for their chauffeurs. SUVs, Benz & BMWs would then came to get their princesses. Couple of minutes later, our brown Honda 1980 also come to claim his king & princess, driven by the queen herself.


    As I sat here in my San Diego condo, I suddenly remembered her party from reading a mailing-list archive. Then thoughts went racing, feelings went popping. It was weird, surrealistic. Images of MTV's "My-super-sweet-16" slowly came to focus.

    *In Indonesia we celebrated Sweet-17 instead of Sweet-16.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 9:34 PM  |   0 comments

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Lack of mentorship! 

    1st of all, Happy 61th Bday to my dearest country faraway nunjauh di sana: Indonesia.

    Uhm.. you're kinda old now. Gotta catch up with the rest of the neighbors, no?

    Suddenly it occured to me that one of the MANY HUMONGOUS problems Indonesia facing is: *drumrolls*

    Lack of mentorship

    Everyone cries to our government to do something better, to keep feeding the people everything they need.

    But hey, like our parents, our government are limited. They have too much tasks on hand right now. Also they're in a losing war against Mother Nature.

    We must be independent & get out of the house when we are mature, don't you think?

    How to do this?
    First of all, I really believe that in order to be good at something, we need good mentors. What is mentors? a0z0ra's definition of mentors: people that you can look up to, good at what they're doing, and willing to share their knowledge to help you out. This is education at its core: passing the knowledge.

    "Education" in Indonesia right now only consist of "Research/Scientific" kind of education. It's good if you want to work as professors/mahagurus, but if you just want to survive, have food on the table, enough clothes & a decent house; why would you need to write 100-pages of paper that you won't ever remember again? It's useless!

    All you need is good behavior/people skills, sharp mind, keen eye for opportunities, & in some cases: dumb luck. The rich people in Indonesia know this.

    You can't help but praying for luck to come to you. But for the other 3, they can be learned. You can (1) read books, (2) just do a lot of trial-and-error until you get it right, or (3) learn from people (fastest way!).

    You learn a lot by reading books. Remember, all books are written by people. Books are windows to their experiences with life. When you read books by Kiyosaki, it's almost the same as sitting face to face & listen to him. You heard that this guy claims to be successful, and he's wiling to share his secret with you. The drawback is that there's no human contact between you & Kiyosaki. Unless your imagination is great, you will forget things you read very easily. Senses need to be fed in order for it to register to your brain.

    Trial-and-error is a great way of learning too. A lot of risks will help you remember the pain & make you take things more seriously. Because you deal with it firsthand, you really do it wholeheartly. Drawbacks? So obvious: it's painful, waste a lot of time, and cost-expensive.

    The third way: learning from people aka mentorship. I think this is very important. I observe people that born in the right family (wealthy & healthy) got all their life lessons from their parents: so most of them continue to be wealthy & healthy. Their parents told them on how to behave, lead healthy lifestyles, & manage their financial. How if you're not priviledge enough to be member of "the lucky sperms club" (quoted from Warren Buffet)? Well, I'm not really an expert on this, I'm still learning how to get it right. a0z0ra's theory is to develop a sense of self - what do you want to be, and then start looking for people that you admire. Build friendships with them. Learn how they interact, handle things, and make decisions. Drawbacks? Only if you're socially awkward, you will have to handle a lot of pressure learning how to interact with people.

    In US, mentorships in business are very popular. You can find so many programs that offer free consultation from those who already been there. What's in it for them? Good feeling of helping someone. Also sometimes the elder will provide monetary help in exchange of percentage in the company. Problem is, in Indonesia, because of the awkward political & social situation there's a huge gap between those good-for-mentors & those wannabes. The good-for-mentors only want to deal with close acquintances (family & close friends). The wannabes don't know where to ask help.

    An ideal situation may be:
    1) A succesful man/woman (doesn't have to be limited in business term) will be mentoring 2-3 people outside their comfort-zone (aka family).
    2) These people will start to make it on their own for a couple of years. Mentoring will still be provided.
    3) After these people are also successful, they have to start mentoring 2-3 strangers also.

    My unprofessional 2-cents, as always.

    Let's study to stand up and start crawling. Perhaps one day we would be able to run, and if God's willing, we could start helping our government !

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 10:11 PM  |   0 comments

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Current Status 

    I've been doing great in San Diego
    Last 3 months has been tremendously heavy to my mental & physical (& financial!) well-being
    But everything has changed since I leave my beloved & cursed Tucson

    Feeling rejected by familiar faces, persistent state of confusion & reality
    It's a good judgement to get out, my downward spiral will only got worse

    I need something real. I can no longer be myself over there.
    Too many dramas, resentments & conflicts. Yet people still smiles at each other.

    (Maybe it's just me)

    I have found new faces, new attitudes, new friendships waiting to bloom
    So far so good. Can feel the authencity. I'm slow to adapt though. Still in observant mode.
    Traumas still exist. Healing in progress.

    Yes, after all those things that happened,
    eroding my esteem & bring my social-anxiousness to a new level
    I've decided that I will take care of myself, 1st & for all
    I can't satisfy people that I know will only hurt me again & again, I have myself to heal
    So I'm sorry, I will keep my distance & not pursue further intimacy from people that is in the middle of recovery themselves

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 1:02 AM  |   0 comments

    I have to let go 

    I have to let go
    of the past

    of the pretty birds and rainbows, of the laughters & tears
    of the genuine contentment & feelings
    of the warmth of the room where people genuinely greet each others
    and said "How are you?" with smiles so welcoming
    dancing & prancing & teasing each other gleefully
    accepting each other with tender love & care

    I have visited that room everyday, in my dream, subconciously
    eagerly extend my hand to touch the faces I have never seen again

    Yes, I have visited that room everyday,
    clinging to little fragment of time that is always repeated
    like a ghost, nothing has changed in that room,
    the people, the feeling, the music, the light, the laughters, the games...

    I have to let go

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 1:01 AM  |   0 comments

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