Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tuesday Ballet Class



Eventhough ballerina means a female ballet dancer, which means technically I am a ballerina, but I  still do not think I deserve those title. It has been a year now, I start regularly practicing ballet every Tuesday night in this little but nice ballet studio at the second floor of a doll shop. Why ballet? Why now in my mid 20s? Ain't I a little too old and a little too late to start fresh in practicing something as hard as ballet? Something which usually be learnt from a very young age? 

When do you consider something as late? Are there some exact standard based on a calculated statistic published in a paper? If no, then I conclude that nothing is ever too late. Late, in this case, is just a matter of perception and social stereotype, and I choose not to believe in any stereotype. Everybody can do everything they wish to as long as it is a positive one and do not harm any other aspect, no? 

I started my ballet class with a grade 2 RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) Ballet syllabus. At first, me and my 3 adult friends joined a class consist of 5 to 8 years old students. We were the oldest in the class yet we were the less skilled students. Even grade 2's Plie is hard for me to do, not to mention its Adage. At first everything is hard, I have to be fully focus to listen to the music and dance my body in the right movement. At first it was hard to enjoy the dance because I have to think, hard. But as time goes by and as I learn little by little my body automatically dance more gracefully to the classical music in an instant. I dance more and think less. As time goes by I can finally enjoy my Tuesday ballet class as how it is supposed to be enjoyed. 

Now, Plie, Preparation for Grands Battements, Adage, Battement Tendus, Grand Allegro, name it the ballet movements of grade 2, I can finally enjoy dancing in them. My Tuesday ballet class becomes the day I wait the most in a week. It is become a routine to keep my sanity between a hectic and stressful workdays. Now me and my 3 friends attend our own class and rarely met our fellow 5-8 years old classmates. Sometimes I miss them for I learn much from them at my very first encounter with ballet. Never once I'm ashamed to learn from them, both about ballet and about life, generally. 

Sometimes we ourselves are the one putting too much limitations in our life. That we should not do something most of people don't. That we can not learn from someone younger than us. That something is too late for us to start. That something is not for us even before we try it. Imagine if there were no such things as prejudices, judgements, and stereotypes, what is it the thing you dream to do? Do you have one? 

Why don't you go for it? 

I am no a ballerina, yet. But I still have the gut and willingness to work on it until I deserve those title, whenever it will be.

Here are few photos from the rehearsal of my first ballet recital:
The Princess and The Pea




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Portraits: Stories of Faces on a Trip to South Korea (Day One)


Soekarno Hatta International Airport

My long distance boyfriend met me on my layover en route to Seoul at the airport. He met me for about an hour and a half, in between his free time of work and my schedule to board on flight to Seoul. We do this several time now, the transit date in an airport I mean. It is kind of strange how this type of date becomes our casual encounter, sometimes I feel like our relationship rarely follows what is common, doesn't it?


Nami Island

In this island, Ibu (mom) was having a conversation with a fellow traveler from Indonesia. Upon heard them talking, I love the way she did not brag about any of her traveling experience though it was clear that she has traveled to every of the places which the other party mentioned and bragged about. Yet she just sat there and gave her fair opinion or encouraged the other to tell more stories by asking few questions. Of course I learn from her that silence, at the right place and time, is gold.


Petite France

He does not like to take a lot of picture of himself for it ruins his time enjoying the ambience, he said. That is my brother and oh yes it is so hard pushing him to take this one picture.


Nami Island

Actually it is the same with me. Me, too, do not like taking too many pictures of my self while travel for it will ruin me enjoying the ambience and the moment. A few pictures, only for a reminder for me to look at to one day, that I have ever got that gut to work on my dream to travel the world, is enough. This selfie costs us a great effort, then. It takes quite much of our time, to be honest. So this is how hard the effort to take a selfie is, eh?


Nami Island


Petite France


Petite France


Garden of Morning Calm
Dress (Dorothy Perkins), Coat (Zara), Scarf (Zara), Thermal Tights (Marks and Spencer), Boots (Mark and Spencer), Bag (Everbest)

Four pictures above was taken purposely so I can share an ootd of my winter monochrome outfit. It was 8 degrees celcius on my first day at South Korea. I visited Nami Island, Petite France, and Garden of Morning Calm so I was practically exploring the outskirt of Seoul. Because it was not quite freezing for me, then I only wear a simple winter outfit. Under my dress I wore a sleeveless thermal vest from Marks and Spencer and it was already enough to warm me. But again, each person reacts differently to spesific temperature. So if an outfit is enough to warm me it does not always mean that it is also enough for you. That day, some fellow traveler couldn't stand exploring Garden of Morning Calm at night, because the temperature drop to 4 degrees celcius and they chose to stay at a coffee shop or restaurant. So I guess for us tropical country people, if we couldn't stand the cold please please mind our outfit or try to travel in a warmer season first. Hence, we can explore all of the places we come miles away for instead of only sitting at a restaurant because we could not stand the cold, I guess? 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stay, in The Moment

"Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile...

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two..."

Vienna by Billy Joel


South Korea as My Eyes Saw It



Petite France


Nami Island


Mount Seorak


Garden of Morning Calm


 Lotte World


 Dongdaemun Design Plaza

I remember when I was a child, though my memories are not so clear but the feeling is still so strongly attached in my self like it wasn't happen more than decade ago. How happy I was as I sit on the train to Bandung, experiencing train for the first time with both of my parents and my brother. Observing life outside the train window along the journey, sometimes I saw small houses densely populated with families of all generation, children, adolescent, parents, and grandparents. Sometimes I saw a vast unpopulated area filled with paddyfield, river, and birds accompanied by the blue sky with cotton candy clouds above. Sometimes I asked to my mother "Where is that, mom? Is someone ever be there?" and the other time I would just sat quietly observing things while eating an undeniably delicious warm cup noodle. 

Wasn't that a simple occasion? Ain't I still used to go traveling every once in a while until now? Can't I easily experience a journey on a train again nowadays? Yes I can take the train whenever I want to,  but the experience? I will admit it, no, it is hard to enjoy one as perfect as how I had it when I was little. It is true, yes, sometimes I would quietly enjoy a journey on a train while reading Tuesdays with Morrie. Sometimes I would do what I do best, observing the life accross the window with a cup of coffee or tea in my hand. But it would not last as long as when I was a child. Because not long after I enjoy the moment, there would come the thoughts of problems I got back home, mostly on works. Then I would still stare at the window but I was no longer observing, I was drowning on my own thoughts thinking about all the works I haven't perfectly finished, calculating how much time I have to spend after I got back home from this journey to finish it and how I should finish it. I lost the moment. I was there but my mind wasn't.

Or

Exactly a month ago while I was observing the quite life beyond my bus window on a journey from Pyeongchang to Seoul, I saw mountains covered with snow it was so beautiful I was so tempted to take a video of the moment because it would be a beautiful one to be shared on Instagram stories. And if, there I followed my desire, I know I too, will lose the moment again. As soon as I finished uploaded the story it would  be no secret that I would be stuck on Instagram replying the comments or maybe curiously checking on who's viewed my story.

But no.

One month ago I succeeded on holding the temptation to share too much moments or stories on social media. I succeeded to refuse to post photos as soon as I captured it on my camera. I succeeded to refuse to think about my pile of works to be finished back home. I succeeded to stay in the moment. 

It surely wasn't one easy task.

As I grew up from a high school student until now that I am in my last year as a clinical student, not much people of societies around me encourage one another to stay in the moment. This last decade education and economy is growing fast and technology is so rapidly developed. One after another social media is coming up and have taken our attention. Everybody is easily connected online. But offline, is it as easy as that? Life becomes so fast paced for information becomes shorter, more efficient, but also more immediate. 

Fast.

Everything is fast. I could get any information be it about a travel destination or medical related stuff, easily from the internet. I will know the news of my friends who are studying abroad easily from Instagram, ain't no need to wait months for that postcard to arrive anymore. I could be in Jakarta in the morning and arrived at Amsterdam in not more than a day with a direct flight that is now easily available. Everything is fast. And so does my mind is pushed to travel my thoughts faster. When I was in my last undergraduate year, people around me already asking where would I go after I finished my minor thesis. And now when I am in my last clinical student year, people around me already asking where would I work after I got my DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) title. Circumstances around us always direct our mind to think about the future instead of staying in  the moment, doesn't it? Nothing is wrong of course, oh it is perfectly normal human nature. 

But how about habit on enjoying the process?

But oh have I just realized, I can control it. I can control everything starting from my own mind. Now I train a habit on enjoying the process. On my last journey to South Korea I push my self to only post photo on Instagram when I arrived at the hotel and had satisfied wandering the neighbourhood and oh hey I even succeeded in taking ski class without taking any photo of my self for I busy sharping my skill on ski! I try to enjoy Sunday morning without phone so I could enjoy my mundane morning swim and brunch all to my self, smell the aroma of a french pressed coffee while observing my surrounding or reading a book. I try to enjoy my Tuesday ballet class without bothering my mind to think about my tomorrow's work. I try to enjoy my work without controlling and expecting the outcome. I lock my phone in my bag once I'm exchanging conversations with my long distance boyfriend I meet once in a while these past 7 years of our long distance moment. It is a slight improvement but it starts to develop into a habit of mine. 

A habit to stay in the moment, just like the old time, just like how I enjoyed observing the life outside my train window to Bandung when I was a kid. Oh, stay in the moment, it does sound liberating, doesn't it?

-Sunday, February 12th 2017-
(Written at one of a comfortable coffee shop with French Pressed Papua Wamena accompanied me, after a good quality morning swim I had and my phone is comfortably locked in my bag. This post, too, is a reminder for me of how good today for I stay in the moment while writing and observing this old couple busy taking wefie of themelves and share it on social media rather than talk to one another.)