Friday, December 27, 2019

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Today I asked my dad to have lunch along with my hubby, my mom and my sister. I couldn't recall the last time I saw him. It was a long time ago. Maybe it was at mom's... I guess. I took my dad to a lunch at my favourite restaurant, ordered many many many delicious Indonesian meals. Then I took him for a shopping, bought him a few things so he could elevate his look. We ended the day by having an afternoon coffee and I bought my favourite custard doughnuts for him.

To me, this is a lot. I'm overwhelmed with this feeling of..... being so relieved.

My parents got legally divorced four years ago, at the same time when I broke up with my now husband. But to me, they have technically divorced like fifteen years ago, when I was around ten years old. My parents had a massive problem and they didn't make it together through the thunderstorm. My memory with my parents ended in the year of 2000. My memory with my mom and my dad continued until today, but not with my parents. You see the difference here?

Growing up with adults who were always busy arguing and fighting was very tiring. The whole family members were hurt, my dad, my mom, my sister, and me. My parents were hurting each other constantly, every day. I was not sure what happened back then but now as I am married, I began to understand the complicated situation in my own language. I don't have trauma with the idea of marriage at all, but I have problem with anger and controlling my emotions. 

Long story short, I was the one who accompanied my parents at the court, along with a few of my aunts from my mom's side. I remember when the judge told me to go out of the room because daughters must not be included in the process. I was happy, somehow, to see my parents being separated legally. Because living in a house with no love was a pain, a very painful pain as you can imagine. As a daughter, I have endured so much disappointments, sadness, and anger, and I couldn't tell my parents about it because they were the source of the negativity. It might seem so selfish of me to write this, but it's true. My mom and my dad, as individuals, they are very supportive with me. My mom taught me to be strong and independent, my dad taught me professional manners and introduced me to The Beatles' songs, which I couldn't thank him enough. But they were just very toxic to each other, which lead to unhappiness all around. There were no love and trust as a family. I hated my dad for his wrong doings and was so tired to even start a convo with him. 

I let this feeling settled in me, the hatred somehow started to vanish and being switched with many 'I no longer care'. I thought it ended there. I thought that's it, that's the end of my dad's chapter. But as I didn't see my dad so much this year, I began to feel sorry for him. I felt sorry for myself, because I have passed through so much disappointments, but I felt even more sorry for my dad, life must have been so hard on him that he decided to show not the best version of himself, to his own family. I am not saying that my dad is 100% wrong and my mom is 100% right, they are just very toxic to each other.

I had been thinking of him quite a few times, but I was so reluctant to invite him for lunch, because he usually declined. Until a few days ago, I told my sister about this idea and he said yes immediately. Then today we had lunch together as a family, no hatred, no negativity, we were just being present and enjoy the moment.

It took me years to heal myself, to finally feel this way, like having no grudge towards my mom or my dad because they are just.... humans. Life must have been very hard on them and it's my job to heal myself. I feel so relieved. I'm crying as I'm typing this. I am so grateful to be able to feel this. Alhamdulillah.
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Cried over a Macbook

Sunday, July 28, 2019

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I just bought a new Macbook last Thursday. A brand new Macbook. Cash. This is my third day using my Macbook and I'm a bit emotional actually. 

My parents got broke when I was 10, we lost our home, our three cars, we moved into my grandma's house. Things went downhill from that moment and we never really recovered. I remember questioning my mom, why didn't I have a birthday party like my sister when she was at my age? My mom went silent, she didn't answer me, I was crying. Now I understand the situation quite a lot. I didn't have the same birthday party because we were broke. I couldn't imagine my mom's feeling at that very moment. I must have broken her heart for the millionth times.

I didn't have my own computer or laptop until I was in college. Somehow I survived school using computers at warnet or simply borrowing my friend's computer whenever we are working on a group homework. I grew up understanding that my family was broke and I must not ask anything that my parents couldn't afford. I thought everyone at school was so rich, simply because I really knew that we had nothing. Yet, my mom always told us not to feel inferior because we were poor, nor feeling jealous for other's flashy stuff that they were wearing. This is probably the best life lesson that my mom has taught us.

I remember I needed my own laptop because the homework in college was endless and having my own computer was essential, because everything was printed or submitted as PDF. I've tried working on homework using computers at warnet close to my uni, but it was so tiring. Because I ended up working for hours and my grandma's house is really far from uni, so I had to take the train and angkot. I asked my mom for a laptop and she said she will ask my dad for it. At this time, my parents were separated. Legally they were still together, but we were not living in the same roof. My dad used to live at my uncle's. Long story short, I understand that my dad must have tried all his best to buy a laptop for me, but it wasn't enough. I remember using a few different laptops, switching one to another, because my dad took it away, saying that he needed the laptop for his work. I didn't understand what was actually happening, but all I know is that I had multiple disappointments and it was so hard to get a laptop for myself. One time I was using an old laptop and I had a photo to be printed and submitted to the uni's photography community. At that very moment, the laptop died and I couldn't save the photo. So I cancelled my submission. Heart broken.

My sister started working so early in her career journey, so she did so much help for our family. I finally got my own personal laptop, an Acer, my sister helped to buy this laptop with instalment. It was probably one of the best days because I finally had my own laptop. I never joined my uni friends' convo on facebook before, because I didn't have a laptop. I began discovering deviantart, tumblr and blogs after I started using my laptop. It was a life changing moment, I discovered so many things on the internet (I used the uni's wifi, I arrived 4 hours prior to class so I can use the wifi to browse on blogs and tumblrs). 

Then I graduated with the help of my Acer laptop, in 2010. I started working immediately because of our financial situation. My parents never asked me to help them financially, but knowing that money was basically the main problem, I wanted to start working the soonest as I graduated. I started making my own money by working as a store supervisor at Pull and Bear at Grand Indonesia, for only one month. I then started my career in advertising agency called Ogilvy & Mather. I joined their public relation sister company, they accepted me in their fresh new team to handle digital PR clients. One of the reasons why they accepted my job application was because I had a blog. My seemly nothing to see blog apparently gave a benefit to my career. From that moment, I try not to see what I did as something small. Everything that I do, that we do, has a connection to the future. Connecting the dots, said Steve Jobs. 

I switched career every now and then simply because I felt like I didn't fit in the company. I got bored easily. At the same time, I started selling clothes, designed by me. Selling clothes felt like a miracle, the income that I got from my clothing line helped me so much, like 500% much better than what I made from working in the agency. I didn't regret working in agency at all, because it taught me so much about the ethics of working and professionalism. My financial situation was gradually getting better. 

Since money has always been the main problem in my family, so I was exposed with financial planning probably earlier than my friends or people in the same age of mine. I read so many articles about personal finance, one of them is from QM Financial. The articles gave me a new goal, to have a saving at least six times of my monthly expenses. When I was 22, I clearly understand what I had to fix first, my personal financial situation. The more I read articles, the more I knew what I should do at the soonest. 

It was not easy and I have passed so many difficulties including being broke when I resigned from Ogilvy and tried to be a full time entrepreneur. I didn't want to be a burden to my family but I didn't have money as well. I had to throw away my dream of being a fashion entrepreneur and fix what was in front of my eyes: Make money. I sent a lot of emails to agencies, asking for a job. Until suddenly a startup invited me for a job interview and accepted me as their communication team. I adjusted my goal and my vision from that time, I had to have a solid saving, whatever happened. I switched my Acer to a secondhand Macbook because I needed something faster to work with. I saved 50% of my salary, started taking illustration requests and accepting blogging sponsors to increase my saving. It was bloody hard.

Things finally start to get better since I fix my financial problem by working double jobs. A startup job and an all-over-the-place job. Illustrating and hosting workshops were some of my extra sources of income. If you think that my workshops are just a hobby, it's a yes for today. But it used to help me paying my bills back in 2013. 

Having to experience financial difficulties really taught me so many things. From thinking twice before spending my money on anything, to really think how can I improve my skill in handling myself, my desire of buying things, now that I can afford them.

So, seeing my brand new Macbook right now, it isn't only reminding me of the things that I can achieve, that I can do with it, but also reminding me of my long journey of hard work. Every now and then I sometimes cried when opening a package from my clients, or a PR package in general. Because I couldn't afford them back then. I'm sorry for sounding too emotional, but it is a lot to take in. I never regret passing through so much disappointments, because it enables me to appreciate what life has given me. God is so kind. Dinda, always count your blessings.
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Monday, June 10, 2019

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Spent two days in Cisarua with my husband's family. It was quite refreshing and unusual. It was my first time spending a quick getaway with the family and I must say that it was unusual, in a very good way. My family, my small family of dad, mom, my sister and me, we are far from the idea of a family holiday. Probably the last time we went for a holiday outside of Jakarta is when I was 7 or 8, or even much more before that. My big family from my mom's side is also similar, we don't do group holiday like what I just had with my husband's family. In my family, there's a lot of family drama. There's always a bit of spices here and there. But my husband's family is different. They are very simple and not complicated like my family. Well at least that's what I felt. Everyone gathered in the common room to have Magrib prayer, followed by a calming (and religious) talk. It's something that I never experienced in my family. I couldn't remember the moment when I pray with my mom and my dad altogether. It was just never happened in my family. So I'm really glad that I get to experience this with my husband's family, I feel really blessed.

In the morning, I walked around the villa with my husband. It was beautiful, the mountain was  beautifully blue that morning. The air was so clean and fresh. I love spending time with my husband by just talking and joking around. Here are some flowers I found around the villa. These beauties wouldn't grow in Jakarta simply because the weather is too hot in the capital city. Which I envy much.


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Out of My Comfort Zone

Saturday, December 1, 2018

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Today I joined a class that I thought I would never sign up for. A self healing class by Reza Gunawan, is it the right term to call it? I joined his class this morning called Toxic Success. I was on Instagram a few days ago and came across his profile and watched his Stories. He was promoting his class and mentioned a few symptoms of this toxic success issue. He mentioned like five symptoms and I felt like he was describing me. Hahaha!

I've been having a few problems for quite some time actually. I have trouble sleeping, my mind wanders everywhere when I try to sleep. My mind is ALWAYS full of thoughts, ideas, to do list reminders, and other things when I close my eyes. The effort of falling asleep is very challenging. I am used to just be awaken all night and went to sleep after 5 AM, after the morning prayer. I woke up not feeling refreshed at all. Problem, I know, and I am trying hard to fix this, fixing myself and fixing my health.

Joining Reza Gunawan's class is also a huge move for me. I am a person who gets scared when joining an environment that's not familiar to me. Joining a new class in the gym scares me most of the time and I was slightly out of my mind and trying hard to go out of my comfort zone by joining the Toxic Success short class. It went nice, I will try to make a summary for myself and try to keep up some of the tips given in the class.

Fingers crossed.

Graphic/lettering by me

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Monday, November 5, 2018

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Hello internet friends, how are you? Back with me with my mood swing. 

I just got back from a 20 days trip in Europe (including the flights from and to Indonesia). It was fun, refreshing, expensive (converting euro to rupiah during the trip wasn't good for the heart). During the trip, I experienced many many many things. I tried to record some videos, but I'm always no good in documenting my travels. I always ended up with 'I don't feel like recording nor taking pictures, I just want to enjoy this very moment'. But I've learned my lessons from the previous abroad trips, memories stays forever, of course, but pictures and videos are nice to see in the upcoming years. So as much as I felt like keeping my phone in my pocket, I tried my best to make some videos and pictures. I had my Canon with me, again it ended up in my luggage throughout the trip.

During my twenty days trip, I also read this book called 'Goodbye, Things.' by Fumio Sasaki, as recommended by a friend of mine, Eka. I must say that this book has helped me to think better and clearer. Before I left to Europe, I was so stressed out because I own so many things. I grew my possessions thanks to my constant workshops and paper goods that are all related to my illustration job. I have no space left in my home studio. I have raided the used to be an empty room in our home, to be my storage room. I kept all my painting tools in boxes, which are not practical, because my working desk is full of books and other miscellaneous. Because my tools are in boxes, I don't paint that often and that's what stressing me out constantly. I cried a few times because I always anded up in this maze of miscellaneous. I tried to rearrange and do better storage system but all of my efforts failed because I simply don't have any space left at my home studio. I'm so stressed that I don't even like what I was doing back then. I've read Marie Kondo's book and tried following her tips. It doesn't really help because I keep on receiving more stuff and create more paper goods. I've donate half of my clothes, in hope that I can feel better, but it doesn't help much because it wasn't the main problem. The problem is my paper goods, my stockist, and my book collection. Until today, I still have a few pages left to finish from Fumio Sasaki's book, but I already knew what I should do: To discard most of my stuff and just make empty room - adopting the minimalism theory. It doesn't sound appetizing at first, but the more I know, the more I realize that I actually have been doing this minimalism thing for quite a while, but mine is just the entry level. What I should do next is try to maintain this minimalism perspective and discard most of my stuff, so I have more room to breathe, more room to think.

This is my main goal right now, to upscale my minimalism 'belief', to help my self from being trapped in the same hole all over again.
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Perfect Morning

Sunday, May 6, 2018

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This morning I woke up feeling happy and energetic, I don't know why. Maybe because I woke up an hour earlier? Maybe because I have only 1 major thing in my to do list this morning because I have finished most of my works last Friday? Also maybe because I spent (probably) 19 hours of sleep last Saturday? Maybe.

Speaking of sleeping on the weekends, last Saturday was probably the best Saturday I had in years. Usually my Saturday will be full of working (workshop, drawing event, or finishing a deadline at home), going to my mom or my mom in law's house, having dinner and going to the cinema with hubby, etc etc etc, the list is too long to count. I've been working so hard in the first half year of 2018 (it's still May, I know, but let's just call it half year). I've been working so hard that I found myself full of pressure that I couldn't even bear. I've been working so hard that I started to feel tired of drawing. This is a huge alarm for me. I know I gotta chill a bit, but at the same time, I love working. Overlapping timelines(sss), events after events, I am very blessed, but at the same time, I was so stressed out, I didn't even have time to rest. Sometimes I woke up past mid night with things running in my head, thinking about ideas or plans for the next day's work. Lol.

This morning I cooked cauliflower garlic seasoned rice with nori, yakitori and fried eggs on the side for my husband's lunch. I did some cooking prep yesterday, so this morning it wasn't all drama in the kitchen. And the fact that I don't have events or major deadline this afternoon makes everything feels so calm. I enjoy my time a lot in the kitchen. I didn't believe my mom when she said she didn't want to eat her cookings, but now that it happens to me, I kinda understand quite a bit.

I kicked my habit of having sweetened instant coffee every morning and switched it with another instant coffee, but unsweetened. Sadly, it tasted like crap. And I hate brewing my own coffee every morning with a french press because washing the strainer is a pain. So I sadly confirm that now I'm back to my old routine....

To me, a perfect morning would be waking up early, cook lunch for hubby and start working before 8.30

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An Exciting Hot Day

Friday, April 6, 2018

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Yesterday was a really hectic-effective day for me. I started the day by cooking an early lunch for me and hubby.
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TOKYO: Ultimate List of My Favorite Places

Saturday, March 31, 2018

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This is my ultimate favorite places in Tokyo and an ongoing list, which I will gradually update. For those who seek for my recommendations, I have my Google Maps list saved in this article too. I hope my list can help you finding lovely places in Tokyo!

Stationeries and art supplies:
  • Sekaido
  • Tokyu Hands in Shibuya (they also have a nice cafe on top)
  • Loft (go to the ground floor and the one on top)
  • Blue Bottle
  • FRANKIE Melbourne Espresso in Shimokitazawa (SO GOOD OMAGAH)
  • About Life Coffee Brewers
Design, art, photography books:
  • Village Vanguard in Shimokitazawa
  • Romantic Standard
  • Punyus
  • Wego
  • Basically all around Harajuku
Concept cafe:
  • Aoyama Flower Market Tea House (be ready for long queue)
  • Honey mi Honey Pink is Heart Motel cafe
  • L'occitane Cafe Shibuya for a nice view of the famous crossing (or if you're willing to queue, just go to Starbucks at the crossing
Kawaii Trinkets:
  • La Foret (lovely local designers hand made stuff at a price)
  • Flying Tiger
  • Village Vanguard in Shimokitazawa
  • Basically everywhere

Cute gallery shop:
  • Nathalie Lete's shop (Le Monde de Nathalie)
  • Gallery Doux Dimanche

For a lovely stroll around the neighborhood:
  • Shimokitazawa
  • Kichijoji
  • Aoyama
  • Omotesando
  • The street of Aoyama-Itchome (in front of Shake Shack) for LOVELY AUTUMN golden leaves tunnel like this
  • Main road of Ginza on Sunday for car free day!
  • Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Yoyogi Koen
  • Gyukatsu Motomura
  • Ramen Ouka
  • Yayoiken
  • Dominique Ansel
  • Shake Shack
  • Luke's Lobster (I'm not a fan of, but I put them in this list because they kind of that meal you must try in Tokyo for most people)
  • Uobei Sushi (for cheap sushi, taste wise - similar to Sushi Tei)
  • Nui Hostel (I stayed here many times, great hostel, clean, top notch service & they serve good coffee at their cafe)
  • APA Hotel (affordable hotel at good locations, room is VERY small)
Cheap luggage:
  • Ginza Karen (my luggage wheel broke and I had to buy a new one. Bought 27" luggage for only Rp 700.000)
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People I Follow: 5 Photography Instagrammers

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I'm following thousands of people on Instagram because simply Instagram is my main source of quick inspo, besides Pinterest and people in real life. Today I'm sharing with you my top 5 photography instagrammers I follow on Instagram.


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Sketch Book #2

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Letterpress Business Card

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Tahun 2017 lalu aku decided untuk bikin business card yang 'serius'. Bukannya berarti business card aku yang sebelumnya gak serius yaa, tapi aku mau bikin business card yang well made dan bisa represent myself more to my clients. Menurut aku business card ini small thing yang lumayan berpengaruh untuk first impression aku di depan client aku, dengan kerjaan aku yang terhitung freelancing ini. Business card ini aku design sendiri tentunya. Aku udah lama banget mau punya business card yang letterpres. Intinya ini sih gara-gara waktu di Tokyo, pas lagi jaga booth #88LOVELIFE di Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016, aku ketemu dengan Karan Singh. Awalnya aku gak tau dia siapa, tapi dia kasih aku business cardnya, yang adalah letterpress business card. Aku inget banget saat itu aku langsung mikir 'ini orang pasti siapa deh soalnya business cardnya bagus banget!'. Then aku cerita sama Rudi tentang orang ini, ternyata Rudi udah tau Karan since some time ago karena this guy is apparently pretty famous. Hahahaha aku telat banget. Nah gara-gara Karan ini lah aku akhirnya decided untuk bikin business card yang letterpress. Tapi bukan yang langsung bikin pas pulang ke Jakarta ya, aku mikir-mikir dulu (mikir super lama). Soalnya letterpress ini mahal banget. Satu kotak business card yang biasa aku bikin dulu itu harganya gak sampe seratus ribu. Sedangkan business card yang letterpress ini harganya 20 kali lipat harga business card aku yang biasa. Gimana gak sakit kepala ya kan. Tapi akhirnya setelah mikir (mikirnya literally setahun), akhirnya di 2017 aku bikin deh letterpress business card ini, a few weeks sebelum aku berangkat ke Tokyo untuk Tokyo Art Book Fair 2017. Aku bikinnya di The Distillery, kebetulan memang udah terkenal dengan letterpress worksnya, dan lokasinya aku lewatin hampir setiap hari. Proses bikinnya lumayan cepet dan aku sempet ikutan nyobain mesin letterpressnya. Then after that I understand why letterpress cards are bloody expensive, soalnya nge-press nya berat banget alatnya, yakin yang bikin letterpress pasti bicepsnya kebentuk dengan sendirinya hahahhaha. Anyway, here are some pictures of the samples.

Business card ini bloody expensive sih menurut aku, tapi worth the price karena setiap aku kasih business card ini ke clients, selaluuu mengundang compliments. Jadi gak nyesel sama sekali bikin business card yang well made kayak gini.

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