Diva – As We Would Call Ourselves

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Meet me and my girl friends. We all know each other because we are the alumni of Canada – Indonesia Youth Exchange Program by Canada World Youth and Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sport. But knowing each other wasn’t just enough reason to have this friendship shoot.

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We love pretty things, as well as we love to always look pretty. Judge no more because we don’t think we’re that shallow. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And from what we have experienced and valued, beauty is diversity. First thing first, look at where we all came from; all over Indonesia, 8 provinces, from Sumatera to Sulawesi. We also came from different batch of the program, from 2010 to 2013. We came from different backgrounds and cultures that we took advantages of as we like to learn from each other – from fashion to culinary, from career to love life. Some of us love our boney figure as much as some love our curves. We all love acting silly as much as we love taking beautiful selfies.

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We aren’t good friends because we think we’re perfectly pretty. We’re all here because we realize that we aren’t perfect but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be pretty. We just want to portray this group of friends who are passionate, supportive, open minded, strong-willing, intelligent, real, yet chic and fashionable at the same time. Love us or hate us, because we do love your attention.

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All photos were taken by Aditya Widihardhanu (@adityawd) and edited by Feby Dayono (@febylous__)

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If you’re old, you’re time is over.

If you’re young, you’re inexperience.

If you love traveling, you waste too much money.

If you don’t travel, you’re not that rich.

If you’re gay, you’re hypersexual.

If you’re straight, you’re homophobic.

If you’re pro Trump, you’re racist.

If you’re anti Trump, you’re just a follower.

If don’t like changes, you’re closed minded.

If you like changes, you’re inconsistent.

If you spend too many times on social media, you’re noisy.

If you don’t do social media, you’re irrelevant.

If you think you’re pretty, you’re cocky.

If you think you’re ugly, you’re pathetic.

If you date beautiful people, you’re shallow.

If you date ugly people, you’re stupid.

If you’re single, nobody likes you.

If you’re in relationship, you’re boring to your friends.

If you like this post, you’re judgmental.

If you hate this post, you’re double standard.

 

Human of 2017 will always put labels all around your face. But as always, ripping the labels off is just so easy that you don’t even need to overthink.

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Envious

I smiled gently. Alone and ready.

I remembered places that you told me; vivid imagination which I planned to be reality

I never wanted to admit that I was obsessed, But I truly am obsessed – head to toe, left to right, brain and heart, soul and body.

People said I wanted to be with you.

I said I wanted to be like you.

Clear, loud, and free. Burdenless and weightless, as thin as morning mist.

My darling,

I wish I can call you everytime I like.

But I untied the rope for a specific reason, and getting your text every morning ain’t what I planned.

Year by year, drama by drama.

We both struggled with different things in our each life.

But my struggle is worse.

I still cannot be like you.

credit: Feby Dayono

Being Single

 

The accuracy of her words is mindblowing!

People need to understand that there are just some people who choose their life path differently other than what society demands. When someone is single, everyone will easily judge and say inappropriate things like “Maybe she needs to loose some weight”, “He needs to get a better job to afford a relationship”, “She’s too brilliant, boys will be intimidated”, “He’s gay”, “She was divorced, no one wants a widow with kids”, “He’s not that good looking but too picky!” etc.

Why is it when someone is single, that means that he/she isn’t ‘chosen’? Why is it necessary to fabricate a bad sentiment to victimize some people with different values and probably unpleasant past experiences? Not all single people are desperate because there’s no offer on the table. Most of the times, they are the tables.

“Most single people understand the importance of protecting their good energy” – Michelle Obama

 

Body Celebration

As I have just come to my sense that this cruel world has always been trying to show the life of hell to each of its creature by creating this natural instinct of insecurity that is spread externally and internally, I am finally choosing to refuse all the judgement of myself, by myself, and to myself, especially of how I should appreciate the way I look.

I spent almost the past 10 years of my life believing my soul has been fitted to an un-ideal body as it is bigger than what society thinks it should be, and that bigotry stops now!

Me and my body are as beautiful as a morning sunrise or any of your favourite things. I will still appreciate my body by supplying it with good consumption of food and having exercise as having a tight skin still obviously look nice, but if none of that goodwill turn out to be the way as what ideal beauty demands, I will never be sad and just be totally rocking it.

Wearing larger size of clothing will not me less valuable or less worthy. My body is a celebration and if the society thinks that I look big or fat, none of that thought are my problems. When you tell me “you’re fat!”, that’s your problem and you can all suck it! 😉

Small Boy, Big Dream – You Won’t Understand

My blog posts haven’t been that useful in 2015. Excuses are better be left unsaid because to be honest, what am I defending for? I don’t have that much of blog followers on the first place.

Several weeks before it happened, I allocated some spaces in my brain to think of how I would spend the Christmas long weekend. This may sound exaggerating –you know, my life as usual– but I put a lot of thought in it. I was thinking of several options as, thank God, I live in a country where literally anywhere is beautiful. And for the sake of the memory, at the end I put the dot on my map to this place where several parts of my character was shaped. And then it became the travelling of a reminder. A reminder of what kind of person I was, a reminder what kind of person I wished I would become.

I hopped in to the bus around 12 PM that 24 December. I read from social media that the traffic was literally crazy, but yeah bitch, what would my life be without craziness? I was lucky that I could sit as the bus was literally full of people who were probably tired of the city, excited to see other places, or just simply missed home. Another man sat next to me, an ear phone was plugged in to his ears as he was sleeping unbotheredly, great skill.

I committed myself to do a digital detox; I would turn off any internet connection and be in the ‘real life’ during the trip. It was such a perfect timing as I did not really have to reply emails or did some other work related things, I just wanted to be a hippie –And I am not using this in a sarcastic term–, I would not care about anything else other than what I would actually be experiencing in those 4 days, and I expected that to be lovely.

But then life was always a bitch. Traffic was, to be exact. It took 11 hours to arrive in the town where it usually took only 5 hours to visit. It was an hour after midnight and the early morning was really cold at the bus station. Everything was basically the same at that station: several buses were lining up to drop the passangers, the corner stores were open with limited lighting, and many motorcycle and pedicab drivers offered everyone their transportation service, it did feel really nostalgic. But it was really different as I was just literally alone.

I asked one random driver to bring me to the nearest hotel for me to stay overnight. It took 2 places before there was an inn that actually had an available room for a lonely visitor to stay. The lady was extremely friendly to me and to another couple that I thought only wanted to stay there to have sex. You know I’m really judgmental.

The couple was disgusted by the shitty room as they went with a motorcycle in that cold morning but I guess I did not have any choice. Dirty might be a strong word but the room was so far to be said as proper, it was really ‘different’.

“I will change the sheet” Said the lady as like it would help the room to be more proper.

“This should be fun and nothing wrong with having a different experience” I convinced myself, and it was really sincere. That was supposed to be the travelling of a reminder and I reminded not to complain. Besides, I was tired anyways and I would not do anything but sleep and I would just leave in the morning.

I woke up around 10 PM the next day and as planned, immediately leave the inn to explore the city a little bit before continuing to the final destination. I took another pedicab and went to the downtown, looking around to re-feel the “city warmth”, tasted good local foods, and did a Friday prayer in the City’s Great Mosque – all by my own.

The digital detox was working perfectly fine as well. I talked to real people when I wanted to know the direction, or when I was waiting for the angkot , sort of a van that became a public transportation in most Indonesian cities. I knew more about the people and their background I was actually facing rather than spending my time looking at the phone screen and putting love on people-whom-I-don’t-actually-know on instagram pictures,  it just felt damn nice! I wish the people of Jakarta would be more friendly so everytime I talked to random people on the street, they would be more welcoming and would not think that I am capable of doing bad things to them.

After a full-hour of eye indulgence when I saw anywhere was nothing but prettiness, I arrived in my destination around 4 PM in the afternoon. I ran to my house, where I spent several time of my life with people I really cared about, and surprised everyone as I did not tell everyone that I would go ‘home’.

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“You look more handsome!” Ibu –The Indonesian nick for mother and as how I called my host mom– said. “Of course!” I replied. Typical me.

I had a great conversation with the members of the house, updating each other’s life and laughing the fool things we did that we could remember. I left the house for an afternoon walk before the sun set. That was the second Christmas day I spent in that place I called home.

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The sun almost set behind the green mountains. Everything still existed, the mural, the library (they even have a new one!), the village hall, the ram statue, the football court, and of course the ram fighting arena with its famous huts. I broke my heart that Christmas afternoon, right in the heart of Cikandang Village.

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Back in 2011, I had an international youth exchange where they put together 9 Canadian Youth and 9 Indonesian Youth in one group to live together in both Canadian and Indonesian community for several months and aimed for International relations, mutual understanding, cultural exchange, sustainable changemaking, youth leadership and other endless positivity.  We were placed in the city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for the Canadian Phase and the village of Cikandang, a mountainous village in Southern Garut, West Java. We left the village at the end of the program around end of March 2012 with many beautiful memories.

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I have actually been back visiting the village after the program for three times with some other people, but the last time was in 2013, just right before I departed to Bahrain. So this visit was actually my first visit in 2 years, and the very first time when I came back literally alone in Cikandang.

My heart broke not because I haven’t moved on with my life. In fact, I did not even know what broke me inside to be exact. Maybe the fact that I was visiting with no friends or the reminder of how I envisioned the future-Feby in the past.

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I am really grateful of how my life turned after the program. I moved out from my hometown and I befriended great helpful people that gave me descent jobs in the capital city, Jakarta. I was blessed to have another opportunity to live in another foreign country, learning new stuffs and living in a total different culture, and especially at this time of my life when I was having my best job yet with lovely people around me, no reason to complain about life.

But something was missing….

And it was not my body fat, obviously. I did not know, It was maybe my attention to humanity, my sensitivity or my motivation to spread positivity.

Saying that I am not as a positive person as I was is too strong of an argument, especially it also indicates of how exaggerated I judged myself in the past. I mean, who claimed themselves of creating positive vibes by themselves? Maybe some people but I don’t think that’s my call.

Instead, I have the right to say something has definitely has changed. And honestly, until this particular word, I have no idea where this article will lead to and how it will end. Thoughts in my head are just like strings that can be straighten from earth to moon and back, but now it’s tangled. It became really messy that made it just as big as a tennis ball.

I was lucky to be born in a supportive family where my opinions and willingness are always heard and appreciated. The situation probably shaped my character to be a decisive individual and I always see the goal in any actions that I did. Every single one of them.

But I just felt that being adult is not that easy….

Life has always been a total player for every human in any ways possible. We undeniably have bigger burdens, big enough to think that the great master plans we always had suddenly became unconvincing. And as it probably got you, it might get me even harder.

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I spent 2 days in Cikandang and re-saw what myself particularly have contributed to that beautiful small area. It was probably intangible, I mean, the sidewalk marks that we hand-painted were not even there anymore. But seeing the exact same mural on the wall about not littering your garbage on the street or realizing that the blue colour or library wall haven’t changed since we dramatically decorated them made me smile a lot.

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My friends and I might not save the world or became a bunch of fairy godmothers and turned a poor girl to be a princess. But we clearly shared the same spirit. We were bunch of young people from major cities in both country and were placed in a village that was totally different with how we used to live, was a total slap in the face. Moreover, this opportunity did not just arrive in my lap in a silver platter. I fought for my spot to be there, to be the part of the team and I did not just start that because I was following the trend. I made some names for myself until those judges could decide that I deserved the spot.

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We sincerely loved the place and had the motivation that we could contribute positively to the village. At that time, the motivation was even bigger because we are entitled as “Youth of The World” which in overreacting version of me years ago, it meant really important as it led to do really important things to the world as well.

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And how I applied that in the life I had? I realized that volunteering and social movement was not a new thing. As I said, I was probably chosen to join the program because I was actively involved in those kinds of activity. And I used those learning process to be really pay attention of any actions I would contribute. I took every single opportunity to help things get better in the village seriously like I would live there forever. All with a very supporting environment from magnificent team member and locals. I sincerely had super strong willing to keep doing what I did until forever, somehow, somewhere.

But now it has been 4 years since that flame positivity burned me inside and outside. When you see myself right now and compare with what kind of person I told you before, your reaction might be really subjective because in reality, those plans haven’t worked, yet. Why? I wish I can say I don’t know but I clearly know the reason. Because it’s what life is about. Remember at that time you ordered a customized menu at the restaurant? You wanted double scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice cream and specifically wanted the vanilla scoop to be on top but the waiter came with the chocolate on top instead? You can plan, decide, or even manipulate how you wish your life be, but it’s not always up to you, it has never been, it will never be. The world and any single thing inside it work together like a pair of gear that makes certain action affects the others and that is not new information for anyone, I know.

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But we just sometimes forget about it, I often forget about it. And the reflection of it shows in our action. We can complain to the waiter who brought the wrong order of ice cream scoop or just accept and eat as it would taste the same, anyway. And that’s how I probably choose to respond the life world is offering me to.  I am not capable of fulfilling my dream 100% but I should be able to be patient and use any learning in my journey to be the ‘weapon’ of my future. I was probably part of the bigger gear who affected smaller gear in the program and I never wanted such habit to stop happening in any circumstances.

Nevertheless, the beauty of that mountainous village was just everything I needed last end of the year. This reminder, reflection, whatever you call it to make me realize of how grateful I am to be the person that I am now, and the person that  I will be. I was visiting the former head of village’s house and the family greeted me warmly. I had a nice conversation with them and heard them talking sincerely of how happy they were when we were there, joking around about funny things that happened in 2012. Rury, the eldest daughter was still in middle school back then and now she is a year away from University. She told me of how she planned to take International Relation in either University of Padjadjaran or University of Gadjah Mada, two major universities in Indonesia because of how she was inspired by the program that she was being involved with as the local. For the 5 years activities with around 90 youth in the period, irregardless the debatable sustainability and controversy it created. And that seriously made me smile a lot.

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I visited many places in the village where I liked to spend time with my friends and had great conversation with not just my host family but some other host families. You never realize of what impressions you could leave to certain community until you come back in quite some time and feel, really feel inside yourself of how joyful and peaceful your little heart to stand on the place where you usually stood. And I don’t want Cikandang to be the only place where I can feel that way.

Small boy, big dream. That I know.

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Come What May

The last time I dedicated my time to write something on this blog, I was in a completely different place where I am for the past 3 months. As they said, life surprises you in a lot of interesting ways. Sometimes it greets you with a box full of chocolates, but on the other sides the chocolate can be sugary and fattening. As for myself, it’s always mixed and double standard; I love chocolate but I don’t want to be fat.

Many things clearly happened since that time. After one and half years living and working in the Middle East, I went back to Indonesia last March. I happily reunited with old pals and traveled to multiple cities to indulge my thirst of Indonesian environment, beautiful culture, and exceptional food. I went back home to Pontianak, the hometown where I always belong with my family and old friends, with whom my social life was started.

I finished the unfinished things, which one of them might be the reason why I left far far away. I resolved conflict that I when I saw again after several time should not be necessary on the very first place. I am starting a new chapter of my life in Jakarta, re-making and re-planning everything that I always want to achieve.

Few exciting things will also happen in this blog. One of them is a new Program called Boys Brunch, where I will have brunch with different boys every month and interview them about their interesting backgrounds so they can share them to you guys. Boys Brunch will be published every 1st day of the month, starting June, with amazing “Brunch Star” from many different specialties. Excited to see what’s more? Bookmark this blog and visit often. My chocolates are delicious!

XOXO,

Feb

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