Carry Me Home

Dear mum & dad,
allow me to live my life.

I know you’ve given me so much and that you’ve bear the burden of raising me for so long. I love you, you are the most important people in my life, but I need my freedom. I don’t want to be in guilt from hiding out of fear that you will hurt me because I hurt you.

Your happiness & wellbeing in both lives matter to me. But so does mine. And I would like you to understand that we may have different meanings and approaches to happiness. And that this is mine. Please respect it. The way I have towards yours for many years in my life.

I want to breathe.
And I believe I can breathe without the expense of your breath.

So long as you’re willing to understand me —
so long as you’re willing to trust and accept me,

for all that I am.



Mengenai rindu: untuk Bandung dan Jakarta dan beberapa orang didalamnya.
15 Oktober 2019
Aku rindu.
Tariklah aku kembali.
Berikan aku masa perkenalan itu.
Agar aku bisa kembali bodoh, kembali belajar hal baru.
Kembali mengenalmu,
kembali merasakanmu sebagai seorang yang penuh rasa ingin tahu.
Tidak untuk mengganti,
hanya untuk mengulangi sekali lagi.
Hidup di negara sang penjajah terlalu melelahkan –
terlalu banyak hal yang menyuruhku untuk tidak berhenti.
Aku hanya ingin beristirahat dan merasakanmu kembali,
untuk dua tahun saja lagi.
Berikan aku hujan derasmu,
lambatnya cara bicaramu,
hangatnya wajahmu di pagi hari
dan pelukkanmu yang masih malu.
Aku lelah dengan ingatanku tentangmu
yang makin lama makin mengabu.
Cepat undanglah aku kerumahmu.
Aku rindu.

Listen to: Marriage by MoonMoon and Golden Slumbers by LEE HI

Sebelum Pergi

Waktunya tahun baru, sesaat lagi. Akhirnya akan ada tahun dimana aku jauh darimu. Sebuah alasan untuk tidak menyakitimu lagi. Dan semoga alasan yang sama untuk tidak menyakiti diriku sendiri.

Dari kecil, mamah selalu mengajarkanku tentang Tuhan: menanam kepercayaan atas keberadaanNya, mengenalkanku dengan Maha KuasaNya. Mamah bilang, hanya kepadaNya kita bisa mengeluh — bercerita tanpa merasa kita telah menghabiskan waktuNya. Mungkin memang aku yang sedikit terlalu manusia dan terlalu membutuhkan sesuatu yang bisa meyakinkanku bahwa semuanya telah diatur (hence, akan baik-baik saja). Tetapi, aku senang memiliki Tuhan. Tuhan yang Maha Pengasih, lagi Maha Penyayang. Yang Maha Mengetahui keadaanku dan masa depanku pula, dalam dunia ini maupun dunia nantinya. Rasanya sangat menenangkan untuk berpegang teguh kepadaNya. Aku selalu tahu kemana arah jalan pulang dan untuk siapa aku berlari. Itu semua berkat anugerah iman kepadaNya yang telah Ia berikan kepadaku, lewat mamah seorang (aku hanya berharap Ia tidak akan mencabut itu dariku).

Dan aku beruntung karena Tuhanku adalah Dia: Allah yang Maha Baik. Dalam hal memberi dan dalam hal mengambil. Ia tahu apa yang seharusnya untukku dan apa yang seharusnya tidak. Dan untuk sekarang, entah sampai kapan, sebagian dari apa yang seharusnya bukan untukku adalah kamu. Sama halnya aku bukan untukmu.

Sakit, but it was necessary to see things in retrospect. Karena dalam kehilanganmu dan dalam keputusanku untuk kehilangan orang lain, aku diberikan sesuatu.


of learning, of growing, and of finding.

In My Room

‪A month before your birthday
December, 2019‬
‪Whatever I do, whatever I say, whatever I feel,‬
won’t matter anymore. So why do I bother‬
anything at all?‬
As much as I wish things didn’t happen,‬
they have. This is what has been written‬
and I am utterly incapable of changing them.‬
‪Now there is no place for me to run‬
but You. I can only pray that You will‬
‪stop taking people away from me.‬
‪But I am learning to trust You.‬
So I will pray that You introduce me‬
to people who will stop leaving.‬


aku dalam hilangmu.
Walau ini yang kuminta. Walau sudah lama persiapan menghadapinya. Walau aku sudah teman lama dengannya (bukan kamu).
Hilangnya seseorang dari hidup selalu berhasil membuatku merasa kecil. Entah mau dibagaimanakan lagi, memang aku tidak bisa terbiasa dengannya. Semua orang terlalu berarti bagiku (walau mungkin mereka tidak berat dalam hati).
selalu menyediakan tempat untuk mereka bersinggah: sebagai teman maupun sebatas kenalan. Bagiku, mengenal orang adalah salah satu keajaiban yang manusia bisa lakukan.
Maka dari itu, perginya mereka selalu membuatku sedih. Mereka meninggalkan bekas dimana mereka dulunya berdiri dan tidak pernah menyapunya.
Harus aku, sendiri, yang menyapunya.
Karena memang pada akhirnya, mereka adalah tamu dan aku pemilik rumah ini.
Harus aku,
sendiri yang menyapunya.

Aksara, and you, on Nikon FM

“Pretty” They Said


“Karena Zee cantik.”

Pretty. A funny word to describe me. Long dark hair, light-brown skin; doe eyes, pouty lips and a slightly turned-up nose in an oval face; short but sensuous. Pretty.

But I never received “pretty” back in primary and secondary school. I often, instead, received “the pretty girls’ friend”. In a family that seldom recognises and appraises one another’s quality, I also don’t receive “pretty” unless I let them know that I feel ugly. Growing up, my mother had always told me about her stories back in high school and university where men would line up for her out of how cute and lovable she was, despite her being quiet and shy. And at the end of her story, I felt wistful. Wistful for not having the same stories. Wistful for not being cute and lovable. Wistful that I wasn’t like her.

Though my world did not revolve around being called “pretty”, “pretty” influenced how much I was allowed to love myself. Because “pretty” never showed up in the years that I needed it most, I never loved myself.

Bandung in January / February 2018, Nikon FM

It took me 18 years to finally receive “pretty” in an amount that sufficed my description meter. And that only occurred once I was in a larger society to judge me. But the idea that someone might describe me as “pretty” first-sight remains funny. I don’t think I’m pretty. I’m a bit too unconventional to be “pretty”. And “pretty” belongs to the conventional (which isn’t at all wrong to be). Though there are moments where I truly feel pretty, I like to think that I’m not pretty. Rather, I’m the type that makes people feel something.

Looking back at those who were “pretty” back in high school, I learned one thing that helped me understand the concept of pretty.

Different kinds of “pretty” exist. And in certain places and time, only a few kinds of “pretty” becomes the most sought-out for. You can be pretty in one place at one time, and not in another according to how others think. But one thing that stays constant is that that doesn’t matter. Because regardless of the externalities that may define your pretty, you are a certain kind of pretty, and you will attract those who deem you pretty.

The challenge is to accept your kind of pretty with your standard of pretty, so that you are finally able to love yourself, pretty-wise.

Pindah dari Bandung

It’s the start of a new semester for ITB (and a deadline for two articles I have to write for Luminaire) in three days – the first semester that I will not be joining. The idea sits uncomfortably in my heart: the fact that I’m not part of it anymore. But alas, two years have passed. That is as much as I can get.

Meanwhile, my new semester in Groningen will begin on the first Monday of September. I am both scared and excited, as I am with new things.

Being an international student and continuing our degree in a new campus feels a lot like re-entering university, except that we already have. It’s a second chance for those whose campus-life here wasn’t so satisfying, but a sad farewell for those whose were. I belong more to the latter, which I never thought I would be, considering my initial dislike towards attending university here. But I tragically am. I was the only one from my class who did cry (pretty badly) when it was time to hug each other goodbye. It was really at that moment that everything finally, completely, sank into my mind that I will never have a class with them again – full team. And though I may not be very close with each of my classmate, the harmony of us being together in a class is one that I was not ready to let go of. I only finally cooled down after a solid hour.

The day after, I went with a friend on impulse to attend this farewell party that a classmate of mine held in celebration of us parting ways with the regular students. Ironically, only 6 out of 33 international students came, and the remaining handful of dozens were the regular students. Which, in the end, became fair as soon as I learned that there were several of them who will be studying overseas for the next semester too, participating in an exchange programme that’ll last until January next year. It was an interesting experience overall as someone who never goes to such things. I liked it for the conversations it made me have.

In the afternoon of the 7th of August, I moved out of my kosan: packing everything I need after donating and recycling what I don’t. It was the greatest exercise I’ve ever done in a year. My brother and his girlfriend came to pick me up and we arrived at my house a little after 7 or 8PM.

Now, it is a week later, and my flight to The Netherlands is less than two weeks away.

I don’t know what to feel.

There are many things I have yet come to terms with. Like not being able to go to class with Haikal anymore, a dear friend of mine who often picks me up with his scooter when I don’t have enough cash for a Go-ride; no more strolling around Jalan Ganesha and Jalan Tamansari in between and after classes, be it alone or with Nahdia, thinking and conversing about silly things that bring ease to the heart; not seeing Ghany every now and then for a competition or something that he comes up with out of the blue (like our last rendezvous at Kineruku!); no longer tagging along Haekal, Bisma, and Frans from Studio Remmi for when they go to cafes to work at night; and not attending the “compulsory” himpunan events, like faculty orientation and parade wisuda, which as much as I claim to hate, I enjoy coming to and provenly never miss. These things may seem insignificant to you, childish even that I grieve so much about, but they make me truly happy and safe. I hadn’t felt that way in so long.

Living alone in Bandung had always been so fun, so pleasing. Never had I ever been “homesick” throughout the two years that I was there, because I was able to build a home by myself. I cherished every moment that passed, making sure to always soak them into my skin, imprinting everything within.

And I guess, this is it. Thank you for two years!

“Your bag was secured before the ends of the earth were decided on. You’re chasing things that are already yours. Walk in your purpose. Align yourself with the things you know you’re called to do. Stop stressing over things that have already been written.
Just walk in it.”