Why most of my schoolmates do not go back to my hometown?

I wonder why most of the classmates who studied in Jakarta never go back to our hometown, Padang. I was born and grew-up in Padang for 17 years and continued to live in Jakarta for my undergraduate study. Although I am living in Jakarta recently, I would like to give and overview of reasoning my schoolmates prefer to stay Jakarta than back to hometown. Three main things that make Jakarta and Padang are the vast difference, namely entertainment, work opportunities, and lifestyle.

The first difference between two cities is a pleasure that the town offers for the society. In Jakarta, most of the people would like to go to the mall or amusement park like Ancol, café to doing chit-chat. People can spend a whole day in the one place to do several activities. Otherwise, individuals who live in Padang would like to go to the island, beach or mountain to enjoy the nature. Sometimes, they prefer to go to their friends’ house to socialize. The entertainment such as cinema was just building last year namely Cinema XXI or café to young people for hanging out.

The second difference is work opportunities that have many options for the young fresh graduates to explore. There are many types of the company operate in Jakarta starts from small-medium enterprises (SME), national, multi-national, non-profit organization (NGO), public and conglomerate company. If we can compare to Padang which is a small city in West Sumatra, most of the people had their own business and mostly is SME. If people back to hometown, we tend to assume he or she need to continue his or her family business.

The third difference is how the community lives in their daily life. In a big city like Jakarta, people tend to be an individualist. They can express themselves well to do what they want, and enjoy life in their way. For example, single ladies are not worried too much if they are not getting married yet or married woman who does not have a child. It will differ if we stay in Padang, which is people love to update about their personal life. They will ask if you do not still on the stage of many people do.

Two cities like Jakarta and Padang have the necessary facilities that support people around them to live such as a hospital, school, and supermarket. However, once people are starting to enjoy residing in the city that they are comfortable, they will prefer to stay there in the long-term. Three important things like entertainment, work opportunities and lifestyle can change people to choose their place of living although it is a far away from their home, families, and friends.












A Heart That Forgives – Kevin Levar

I want a heart that forgives
A heart full of love
One with compassion just like Yours above
One that overcomes evil with goodness and love
Like it never happened, never holding a grudge
I want a heart that forgives that lives and let’s live
One that keeps loving over and over again
One that men can’t offend
Because Your Word is within
One that loves without price, like You Lord Jesus Christ
I want a heart that loves everybody….even my enemies
I want to love like You, be like You, just like You did
I want a heart that forgives,

I want a heart that forgives!
When the ones that are closest, that I’ve known the longest, hurt me the most;
I still wanna love them just like You love me
Even though I’m hurting
I want a heart that forgives
When the pain is so deep, it’s so hard to speak, about it to anyone
Just like Your Son, I give up my right to hold it against them with hatred inside
I want a heart that loves everybody….even my enemies
I wanna love like You, be like You, just like You did
Wanna walk like You, talk like You, just like You did,
Wanna be like You, live like You, just like You did

‘Cause the heart that forgives is the heart that will live
Totally free from the pain of the past
And the heart that let’s go is the heart that will know so much freedom

Lord I wanna let it go
God I need to let it go
Lord its been holding me back
And I don’t want it, I don’t want it, I don’t
I don’t want it no more
I don’t know exactly what to do to get rid of it, but ah…
Here I am Lord Jesus, here I am oh, here I am Lord Jesus…ooh
Lord, I need You, I need You, I know this is me that You’re talking to
This is me, this is me, this is me, Lord, this is me
Lord, I let it go, every person, every person that’s ever hurt me
God I let it go
Every single hurt
God I let it go
Every single pain
God I let it go, I let it go, I let it go
Lord, You can have it, Lord You can have it,
Lord, You can have it, Lord You can have it,
You can have it now, You can have it now,
‘Cause I don’t want it no……more

Source: http://www.newreleasetoday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=79959

Dear God,

Please take all my despair, sadness and pain. When you forgive all my sins, and as you child, I would learn to forgive all those things that my beloved one to do. I know love can not be forced, it will come accidentally, but it will stay with conscious and effort. If one person does not do it, just accept and let it go. I will find the one who will fight for it. It is hard but I must face it. Everything is changed and I do not want to regret it. I thankful for the lesson, Lord. Please take me to a new journey. I am ready to do it.

Cheers, Mon x


A Story of Believing

There is a quote that reflected my journey to be a volunteer in 2012 from Etselec, “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” Do you ever feel such a thing or in that experience? The only thing that you need to do just to believe although it seems impossible. I embraced every step of the process one month before my flight date, 30 August 2012. I was waiting desperately for a visa which is the most important document to enter my new journey.

I resigned firmly from my first company in management consulting industry as Project Monitoring at the end of July 2012. I thought confidently my sponsorship letter came around this time as I heard from former volunteers’ experience. I was sorrowful that I did not go back to my hometown, Padang as planned due to I still did not get a letter until the fourth week of July. Instead of overthinking on this, I went to other countries – Vietnam and Cambodia as a backpacker, which I already bought the cheap flight a year ago.

All my worries turned on into happiness when I checked my email in the last two days before I backed home. I was a grateful person, and I was waiting the time could spin directly until my flight date to Jakarta. After I had submitted the form, I realized that the average time of processing visa was very tight with my flight date. There were two important public holidays in August 2012 namely Independence Day and ‘Eid Mubarak. My mind was wandered and scattered, “Is it enough?”

There was nothing happened on one week before my flight’s date. I managed all my troubled heart with writing a post on my blog entitled Believe. I listened to my mother’s advice that I should not force my intention if it was not meant to be. I spent a lot of my money to live as unemployed for a month. I cried every day, but I knew it did not change the situation. One thing that I said silently to myself and made my heart was peaceful, “God, please give me a big heart to accept the thing that it did not happen as I thought. And send me a wise heart to understand everything.”

In the morning of the day of my flight, I was just praying to give me strength. All my stuff already sent to the home and I already said to room’s owner that that day was my last day. If I did not get the visa, there was one thing for sure – bought the ticket to Padang. I heard a sound of an incoming message at 11 am, and I read a text message from my former boss for asking for my visa. Two seconds after that, I just got a message from the UK Visa Office. My heart was singing to please God. I called my mother, and I said, “I will go, Mom.”

I went to the visa office directly with a thankful heart. When I backed into my room that I was ever living in six and half years, I took contentedly my big luggage and backpack bag. I could not say anything to my friend because it was just suddenly happened, my flight time was 5.30pm. It was like a dream; I arrived in time for check-in at the airport in Jakarta to go long way journey to Manchester. From this incredible experience, I learned one thing that I need to believe in beautiful things would happen in my life and it will do the same thing with your life too.















Do you ever watch the singing contest which the popular recently? There are many of them that we saw on the television, such as Indonesian Idol, AFI, American Idol, The Voice and so on. Before the real contest begins, they showed how the judges selected the participant’s competition. One of the most interesting was the auditions who joined the event had a horrible voice, but they have other beliefs. We tend to laugh and give comments such as “Why do they still think about joining the contest?”. Could you ever imagine it happened to the people who mentioned or laughed were your friends or families or relatives? It happened to me when I was Junior High School.

Every time, I watch the movie like that, I remembered myself a long time ago. One of my friend’s classmates asked me to accompany her to join a sing competition contest.  At the time, I just replied, “Why not? Let’s do it.” The value of the friendship was made your friends happy, and it will be good for you too. Also, I never know what I want to do or interested. The price of competition’s entry was reasonable, and perhaps I will be a famous artist someday. All of the thoughts were just came out before I accepted my friend’s offering.

Several songs that already prepared by a committee, and we need to pick one of them. In the two weeks before the contest, we need to test a voice, and a board knew which pitches that we sang. I chose what my friend picked, and the title of the song is Tegar – which was popular at the time by Rosa. I never thought that I was an inexperienced young girl would join this competition compared to my friend who practiced vocal in the formal course. Otherwise, I believe that I need to practice the song until the day of competition was coming. I did not think about “what if – What if I fail? What if people laughed at me? What if I will be ashamed to do this?” Instead, I was a smooth feeling and had a bigger optimistic.

I never understand how to be a good singer. I just imagine myself that I need to sing like an artist. I took my old microphone which has a long cable around 90 centimeters and connected to the DVD which has a CD in it. I tried to practice it with turned off the voice from the artist, and instead my voice will hear out loud. Sometimes, my neighbors at my age were coming to sing the same song. I did not receive feedback from the people which one was bad and which things that I need to improve on. In addition, I did not care about the other people’s comment, and I did not need them.

The event was coming, and I wore a bright gray dress that I loved and trendy at the time because it was millennium year in 2000. My body was shaking when I heard many beautiful voices was singing by all contestants. I hoped that I could turn time that I did not want to join this competition. I felt that I am not ready enough. The master of a ceremony called my number, and I remembered my feet went away step by step to the stairs into the stage which was not big enough. The stage is not a fancy stage; there was no lighting and just a keyboard with a good sound system. The ambiance was hot because a lot of people surround the stage. And then, I started to sing introduction part and immediately it just stopped until the lyrics came to refren. I could not remember the remain lyrics, and I did not finish my song. I stood up in front of hundreds of audiences were watching me.  I felt intimidated or it just my thoughts.

I did not remember what happened in the last part, maybe because it was a humiliating experience. I directly went home and said to myself “Never again join the sing competition.” When I backed to my hometown, every time I open my childhood album, I always embarrassed on saw that picture. A young girl who thought she had a beautiful voice, but not. At least, one thing I know – sing is not my thing, and that’s way I can practice my other activities – dancing.  If you have something, you just need to try on, because you never know. If you failed, no worries at least you did not need to go to that thing again.













I do not know that I love you until it feels hurt.
It is a pain to understand the different things that we have.
I need to realize that you need time alone for your dream.

I still even do not know for everything that you chose.
Am I the only side to love you or do you also love me back?
May I wonder about your love?
Or I just to feel that love is just to give and never ask to get back.

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand everything.
But, I am still here.
To accept who you are.
Believe who you will be.
And to wait for miracles.

It will be easier for me if this ‘thing’ will say it clear, look like apparently, and appear what it should be.
But it is not.
It seems like a gray color that does not know where it goes.

But I am still here.
To love.


pic blog


Manage Your Expectation 

Toastmaster Script | Module 2: Organize Your Speech

Do you want to know how to be grateful every day? The answer is simple – just lower your expectation.

Two days ago, I read an article about the happiness at Psychology Today that is written by Jeremy Sherman who is a social science researcher.

The Secret of Happiness is low expectations. He cited this statement from MRI Study, University College of London. Besides that, there is also information in the same view, the opinion of Robb Rutledge who is a Neuroscientist. He said that happiness is not about how well things are going but related to how things are going better or worse than expected.

I reflected all my disappointing experiences were coming because I valued high on people or things than it should be.

I remembered when I came with my friend to a fancy restaurant at Grand Indonesia Mall. I have an imagination that a waiter comes to serve me quickly and knows about the menu and his or her able to answer all the questions that I asked. I expected either the taste or the atmosphere of the restaurant was fascinated me. But in reality, we sat down outside because there were lot of people in the room. The weather is quite hot and I felt it was boiling. I ordered the new menu was pasta with squid ink.

I have an imagination that the pasta will be looked like burger with the black colour. But it was not, it was an original pasta and with the squid ink sauce. I always finish the food, but at the time I was not. I already listed that restaurant on the blocked list “not worth it.” And my rationalization, it’s the price of trying something new.

When I visited my brother in Bandung, I joined the event “car free day”. It was many things that sold along the road. I glimpsed my eyes to the label price of the clothes were sold by college students. to It looked cute and can you guess how much the price? Nearly enough. I paid it Rp50,000. I never thought before it suited me and I used it several times. And my friends and colleagues gave me a compliment when I used it. Because of the low price, I did not expect too much about that. If I used once and it was broken, it’s okay. Likewise, I can use it for many times And I just felt happy because I was an excellent buyer.

I remembered one message from my former boss at the previous company. He ever said that to me, ” Do not make people think you are too high/ impressive. If you are not as they expect, they will value you lower. Instead, if they believe that you are not good as they thought, and you are better than that. They valued you more..” And I use this mindset to think or perceive about what happens in my daily life. I need to manage my expectations. Because if I am not, I will be a headache person like William Shakespeare ever said that “expectation is the root of all heartache.”

So Mr. Toastmaster and fellow Toastmaster. If you want to be happy, just lower you expectations. Thank you.