An Ode to a High School Crush

I had an high school crush. Just called him R. We were from different school. I peeked his Friendster and checked his comment. It was around 15 years ago. Now I’m back snoop his social media. Peeking his Instagram and checked his tagged post.

I like using chatting client. From SMS chatting service to MIrc. Yes, I like getting to know new person out of my regular circle. Both men and woman. Only some lines would re-intersect to my line after many times drifted apart. R is one of them.

It was a dull moment. I didn’t understand my way of thinking by using chatting system by SMS. Yes, I found him through chatting service. After several person, I was quite comfortable chatting with him. We agree to move to regular SMS.

First glance about him that I remember was he was so proud becoming front liner of school fight. Yes, his high school known with lifelong school fight tradition. By now, you know which high school he registered. After several weeks chatting. We forget each other.

He was coming back by contact me again months later. Only now he was so different. A proud front liner young man transformed into more religious. Becoming ROHIS member if I was not wrong. I’m started put interest to him.

The only phone call I made to him was when I got confused deciding which platform should I take so I could get bus to Cibubur. Blok M terminal was so huge. I was perturbed by its complicated design. R was the first person appeared in my mind since his school sits around Blok M terminal. It took me so long to put together my gut to call him.

My doubt was vanish as he picked up the phone. He tried to steer me to right platform. Kind-hearted man, my first presume. Finally, I got up to right platform and found the intended bus. I safely arrived at home Alhamdulillah.

After finished high school, I accepted to engineering faculty in Bandung while he was accepted to medicine faculty in Surabaya. Days before I moved to Bandung, I texted him whether we could meet each other. Unfortunately, he refused it. Had to prepare his sister’s (or brother’s?) wedding he said. I didn’t know whether it was true or he just made up to avoid me.

It didn’t matter actually. Perhaps we just comfortable for just being “chatting buddy”. We never argue about that.

Months passing by, we found our new interest circle in new city and we started to drifted apart.

Years passed by, one of my environmental buddy said that she wanted to attend her good high school friend’s wedding. Little did I know, actually that her friend’s spouse was R! Wow, so lucky to you both could married since you both still university student. I just didn’t expect I heard about R again.

After finished my master degree, I married to my lovely husband when I was 23 years old. He was a doctor and would start his first year orthopedic residency. The journey was smooth rather rough. I am grateful by having him.

Years ago, I heard he and his wife would take residency to same university as my husband registered. His wife is in pediatric and he is in internist. They are so smart because granted to LPDP scholarship.

Around 3 years ago, my husband got invitation to his colleague’s wedding. Like usual, I and kiddo tagged him along. How surprising, I saw R in the wedding as well. No wonder, since my husband circle and his were near, the probability of intersection was huge.

It was the first time I saw him in real life. Also the last.

Days ago, I saw my high school’s friend (which was in same pediatric residency batch to R’s wife) posted that R has passed away. The news made a temporary delirium space for a while. I heard before that he dealt with cancer but started to recover and back to normal life.

“The cancer metastasis”, clarified by my friend.

So, our line would never intersect again. The “crush” term is not correct to be honest. We are unique. There were no romantic interest after all. His part of his name is in my popular pen name make “chatting buddy” sound less to me. He is kind-hearted man after all. All of the tagged post testify the same energy.

He was 31. Good people die young. People around my aged getting Cancer. Dead is certainty to all living things. We should thinking about dead more and prepare as perfect as possible.

Innalillahi wa Inna ilaihi rajiun. Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. May Friday and Ramadhan is Khusnul Khatimah for you.

Enduring One Month Uneasy Feeling

A month has passed. I’m kinda enough to bear this uneasy feeling though it’s not over yet. Now my mom and husband Covid-19 possitive.

Monday March, 8th
My mom asked me by WhatsApp whether my husband caught fever. We supposed to present in my cousin’s “engagement” 2 days ago. Kids and husband literally not in good condition. First and second born caught flu and husband feeling unwell. I said now they are well and no one got fever. I found later that my dad got fever.

“it’s just virus. Just be patient until 3 days passed. If the fever haven’t passed, dad should lab-checked for typhoid and dengue fever.” I texted to my mom.

week passed and my dad got no better. His lab result indicated slightly drop of thrombocyte number. Depleted, but not drastic enough to be diagnosed as dengue fever.

Dystopic in “Good News”: How I ever Regret Accepted to Environmental Engineering

“What about your USM result?” My friend asked

“I was accepted” I answered with flat face

“So why don’t you happy?”

“I’m not accepted to my first choice, chemical engineering. Instead, it is FTSL, my second choice.”

It was still crystal clear in my head. 14 years ago, when the bell rang in school. All students who took ITB entrance exam (USM ITB) abruptly went to computer lab to check their exam result, including me. As an ambitious, it was awful feeling knowing not accepted in first choice. All in my head was fulfilled with thought continuing study in chemical engineering major.

Do I know what was chemical enginering about? No. Nein. Nada.

Chemistry is one of my favourite subject during high school even though I wasn’t score best in it. I naively thought that I want to study chemistry, but in technical field. So chemical engineering was the best option.

I accepted to second choice, FTSL (Faculty of Civil and Environment Engineering). You couldn’t choose major directly in ITB. You had to be accepted in faculty first. Choosing your favourite major during first year, then you would be assessed by faculty which major suits you best based on your first year performance.

Knowing accepted in prestigious university wasn’t abundant for me as long as it isn’t the first choice. Knowing one of my classmate accepted in chemical engineering in ITB and I knew exactly that she wouldn’t register because she prioritized Faculty of Medicine in UGM first made my heart ached. How could possibly the fate couldn’t side to me? Why did she was accepted to chemical engineering while I was the one who desire wholeheartedly wasn’t?

Little did I know that I was lucky to be accepted in Environmental Engineering. Every tiny event, every fractal decision in your life will impact your whole life. It was not only about what science did I learn. It affects what I wanted to be, even people surrounded me who change my life as well.

The more I learned in my major, the more I loved the science. The more I found the interest puzzle of me which scattered unknowingly. Studying the very basic engineering science in freshman, understanding the basic of structure science in sophomore, exploring the engineering branch in junior, implementing all the branch in senior also proved it in final task and defense.

There are at least 3 branch in environmental enginering. Water and wastewater, air and waste management, and environmental management technology. I started landing myself to air management in junior. Did I ever think about taking chemical engineering in master degree at that time? Well, surprisingly that thought vanished in haze.

People change, their mind as well. Sometimes, we simply doesn’t love a thing just because we haven’t discovered yet. Thus, It turned out I lost interest to chemical engineering. There are several subject in Environmental engineering intersected to chemical engineering and I found that intersection not appealing me.

So here it is, the lucky me who accepted to second choice during university exam. At least, by having goal becoming an academic quite a proof about how I love science in environmental engineering.

This post written as part of Tantangan Blogging Mama Gajah Ngeblog

Stepping Back the Aspiration

“Net, can we talk in zoom? Tomorrow or day after tomorrow is okay. You decide the time”

“Tonight is okay as well. How about after kids asleep?”

That Whatsapp chat from my college best friend, Prismita really surprising me. She is a lecturer from one of private university in Jakarta. We talked about joint “research” possibility previously. I never expect she will contact me back to make it happened.

Becoming an academic always be my aspiration. As I quit in 2015 due to giving birth soon, I immediately cut my personal ambition. I didn’t feel insecure anyway nor feel hollow. Although I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life after having kid(s), I’m sure that I will find something interesting in days ahead.

Back in 2011 when I was an undergraduate senior, I made decision to become an academic. I love reading and writing scientific journal. I love teaching. I love seeing people happy face when they finally understand. I love becoming helpful to others.

Year by year, all my aspiration reached in my hand. Not exactly like I wanted to be in the beginning, but happened in another way. I created educational Instagram account in to educate Indonesian parents how important child seat is. Several people ask me directly in Direct Message and answer them really makes my face grinning. I become speaker in various talkshow and WhatsApp group discussion as well. I don’t always ask for money. Sometimes by sharing to others make me happy even there is payment in some chance. It’s just the bonus for me.

I always feel that my writing style is scientific writing. Stiff, full of segmented vocabulary, and meticulously credited. Writing blog which general public as the audience makes a big challenge for me. I personally feel still struggling coping for that.

When my best friend and community colleague asks for writing joint paper, it hits me like lightning struck in the middle of the day. How come, a stay-at-home-mom like me have chances to writing scientific journal while my most time at home? I never imagined this back at 2015.

“Make effort to become special irreplaceable entity. For example you have to become a speaker in the event and you want to give your ticket to other. No one can take it because it is only you who able that certain ability.”

That quote by my ex-supervisor really stamp to my bone and inspire me a lot.

Connecting the Dots

Who am I?

I find my self low-empathic. That’s the vital infirmity of myself. I have to improve myself, at least lowering the damage. Caring other more, especially family and close circle. I am secluded introvert. I enjoy loneliness for sometimes. In contrary, I love joining community and networking. Recharging mind, sorting out what’s going on. A thinker and learner as well. I consider this as my superiority. Sometimes I need space alone without disruption to think. I take this as my me-time. I have to do this almost everyday in order to keep me sane. In this pandemic era, yes, i feel comfortable not to roam outside my home after several months passed. Learning new things always keep me alive. I love taking course or seminar even I have to pay reasonable fee and currently not an office worker. As long as I put interest, I will go on.

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Anxiety of Death

“Dear, I felt so gloomy but I don’t know the cause.” Texted by me to my husband.

It all started when my Eyang passed away in October. How my tremble voice of my mom breaking the news in front of my very eyes. It was so vivid and surrealist. As my parents left my apartment, there’s only me and my kids. I just hugged my first born to sooth my feeling. Day after that, my husband had to attend wedding at another town, make my feeling so gloomy and hollow. The loneliness made random thought knocked my head impolitely. Continue reading

Lemon Honey Glazed Roasted Ribs Recipe

Bored of cooking soup, I decided to cook roasted ribs. Practically, I commonly cook soup if I have bone ingredient (ribs, oxtails,marrows). I googling the recipe and my final decision fall into lemon honey glazed roasted ribs. Oh wait, actually it is just honey glazed roasted ribs. Since my husband abruptly said “lemon honey”, it made me thought that it was absolutely good idea.
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