"Cinta dan kebencian, hanyalah berjarak satu hantaman luka dan seribu lautan kenangan" — David Tandri

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting 2016...

Almost time for that “New Year, New Me” tradition, I guess? LOL. Everybody loves to say that every year, but nothing seems to really change. Well, I once said that too a few years ago, but then I stop doing that because the older I get, the more I realize that reality is far more complex than expectation. Reality is not a dreamland that you can simply design your own legos and make a castle out of it. The reality nowadays is very scary. Many people were helpless, disappointed and dejected because they finally witnessed in their life that the “rate of fulfillment” in the world called “REALITY” was way too low, while the list of expectation keep climbing every year as our age progresses.

We will be surprised when the to-do-list we made last year remains intact with no checklist at all. Maybe laziness got in our way, or we just simply created that list to please ourselves in order not to look hopeless. The list we made was to celebrate the New Year’s Eve only. But unfortunately, as the fireworks show ends, we plunge back to our original mode, wondering and wondering… “What should I do to make myself a better person?”

To me, every year is just the same. Like I said, I won’t pretend to change myself just because the date is about to change. Que sera-sera. Let the nature takes its course. But I do afraid of time. Time is something underrated by young person, but highly treasured by the old ones, or the sick ones. When we still have a lot, we never imagine what will happen at the moment we have less, and that’s what makes us human a natural spender rather than a saver.

I admit, time is the most precious thing in the world. Ask any patient you see in the hospital, especially the critical one. Time flies, and human can only walk. The day we were born, we spent most of our time crying. The same thing happens when we are about to leave, we will spend most of our time crying, maybe even more. As for newborn baby, it is said that crying is good for their lungs, so we can assume it a natural biology response. But why do most people cry at their last moment on earth? The answer is simple. Because of REGRET. This is the hardest consequence we will bear on our last meal if we choose to become a spender than a saver.

The problem is, regret is not something you can easily avoid, because it’s something you never expected from the beginning. We always hope for the best, don’t we? Again, reality vs. expectation, and the winner is always the former.

To me, 2016 is one of the toughest year I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. It doesn’t seem as beautiful as the sparks of the fireworks back then. It’s tough, because (again) I lose one my dearest family member in this year. Yeah, I lose my grandma. Her demise left a very deep sorrow in me. This is the second time I have to lose those who closest to me after my Mom in 2012. The feeling is terrible, it haunts me for the next few upcoming months. The home doesn’t feel the same anymore. There is a space that left unoccupied every time you walk pass through it, and you start imagining things.

Facing this trial, I recalled something relevant. During a Chinese talkshow called “The Voice” (开讲啦), Andy Lau (刘德华) was given a very good question by an audience. “You have been very successful in your life. Do you by chance still have any fear? For example, fear of losing your popularity one day?” Long story short, he said, “If there is anything I should be afraid of, it would be fear of losing those who dear to me (family).” This kind of fear is really terrifying, because everyone has to face it one day. It’s just a matter of TIME. It’s inevitable because there is no immortality pill has been invented so far. I have one friend that still can’t get over his father’s death even after one year. Why? The explanation is simple.

Because we haven’t done enough what we’re supposed to do for them, and it generates regret. We human were created as a natural spender, and as a result we often take things for granted. We don’t treasure them because we don’t feel the need to save them until it’s too late. Why we treat our parents nicely only during Father’s/Mother’s day? Why we treat our partner nicely only during Valentine’s day? What differentiate those days with normal days? All of them have 24-hours window/day and the same weather (let’s say so) for us to make something different. Yet, we don’t make it happen, because they are not on our priority list during normal days. That’s why!

My teacher in high school once said this during class, “Even if you just being idle and do nothing, there would still be some people who hate you.” My teacher was right. What he said is the real face of our modern society.

2016 has been a year that refreshed my social circle to a cleaner state. It makes me more aware of my surrounding, which are friends and foes, which are real and fake. Some people have both of them (real & fake) possessed in one body, which often we called as two-faced people. These are the most poisonous people to be around with, since there will be no symptoms until you’re being poisoned yourself.

For example, you know, Facebook has invented such a cool feature called “Post History”. If I may guess, the original purpose of this feature is to give people chance to correct any grammatical mistake or typo in their post, so they don’t need to write a whole new one. Unfortunately, some people would abuse this feature to accommodate their two-faced character. So if you are sharp enough, you can always dig out their post history (especially when that post is specifically talking about you) and you will be surprised of what you might see there.

They say, words that said at the very first time are the purest, be it good or evil. So if you happen to find an edited version of post, maybe there was something really going on there, which encouraged the poster to correct the text, and left only the good part visible. Fortunately, this “post history” feature will record everything they wrote from the very first time. You just need to click it and voilà! Congratulations, you may have just discovered a two-faced person on your screen.

Ever met someone like this before? Hopefully you won’t. Well, this is just a simple case of how they run their two-faced strategies in order to attack you secretly. Always beware of your surrounding, because this kind of poison is sometimes hard to be identified with “naked eyes”.

Meddling in modern society, we should always remember a quote from “The Italian Job” movie. “I trust everyone. It's the devil inside them I don't trust.” Too much trust will make you an easy prey. Some people walk in your life to use you for various purposes. They might use you as a shield, a party buddy or a shopping buddy, or simply use you as a back-up. Once you fall apart, try searching them anywhere they used to be when they need you. You will then realize, you have wasted your precious time just to feed the devil inside them.

Some people try to befriend as many people as they can, collecting names in their contact list or messenger, gathering followers on Instagram, settling into a community just to act busy or something, or simply being a regular suck-up to gain attention. So much effort just to avoid being labeled as lonely. This is also one unique kind of two-faced person. Only, this kind doesn’t mentally hurt others, they only hurt their own pride in exchange for the fake friendships.

So what to do if we actually discover this kind of people in our circle? Well, let me heal this question with another question. What’s the point of keeping things that useless to you, that you can even live without? A regular contact sweeping would be the only solution to this. Keep one that matters to your life, and remove those who don’t. The shocking fact is, you will find out that the list is growing every year. Yeah, this is the ugly truth we have to accept in order to be a person we really are.

Losing things is a common outcome when we live in a temporary world. Nothing is permanent. We lose job, we lose friends, we lose partners, we lose money on investment, we lose direction to the future. But don’t worry, as every time we lose something, we definitely learn something in return. The lesson we learned is much more precious than the most expensive fireworks that fired into the sky. The change of year means nothing if we don’t learn any lessons in the past 365 days. The to-do-list means nothing if we don’t make it out of the lessons we learned.

Don’t treat your to-do-list like a chewing gum, the sweetness is only temporary, and in the end, it would only become a piece of junk in the rubbish bin. Be careful of what you repeat every year, as it would possibly become your habit one day.

Finally, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year’s Eve. Let’s welcome 2017 and say goodbye to 2016.

And… always be yourself.

Medan, December 31st, 2016



Penulis muda dan blogger aktif kelahiran Medan, 01 Maret 1988. Menulis puisi dan prosa di berbagai media massa cetak dan online. Pernah memenangkan beberapa penghargaan menulis, baik di tingkat lokal maupun nasional. Beberapa puisinya terangkum dalam antologi "Menguak Tabir" (2012). Membaca dan fotografi adalah dua kegiatan yang dinikmatinya di sela-sela kesibukannya dalam berkarier. Kini berdomisili di Medan, Sumatera Utara.

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