FEMLOGIC: Sport Isn't 'Laki', Dear ExtraJoss!

12:45 PM

The full TV ad version found on YouTube

I saw an ad sticker during one of AsianGames matches when my family was watching badminton. It was said, sport is laki ' on the sticker. I was like, hmm... how could this kind of ad be approved to appear during such game events?

Cut to the point: Whoever made this... I just wanna say, you need a better copywriter. Or for exact, a non-sexist one. 

A few days ago, after seeing this and told it some colleagues at work, this TV-version AD was found on Youtube and it is even more sexist. But of course, yes,the creator can say that its meant focusing on men. Ok, whatever. 

But since you placed it on Asian Games match, well, helloooo... some of YOUR winners an female. Let aside the winners, there were female categories as well, which means... winning or not, they have prepared for it for months and put their best effort for the game!

And no, I don't think sport is 'laki'. Masculine. Or whatever your excuse and terms that you use.

Nothing or no one is completely 'laki' or 'feminine'. 

Sadly however, no one really speaks for this, thus this ad seems to be accepted by mass audience. I'm wondering whether the masculine perception on sport has been a dry slime on people's throat that no one really sees an issue here.

I received a comment regarding this post, saying that I don't need to exaggerate this as people are okay with this kind of ad. However, I refuse to stay silent. I don't mind to have people thinking that I'm blowing this out of proportion.

My consideration tells... this is so wrong. Even worse, it's played during Asian Games matches. I don't mind that people aren't disagree with this, but somebody needs to tell them that this is wrong. People might get used to see this kind of sexism, that they didn't notice until this far. This might be a small stuff that I sweat, yet it's worth to fight.

Small things might be small and unseen. Yet, it could grow bigger in a night to destroy you when you keep silent.


It's A Sign

1:35 PM

It's a sign...

Maybe for you, it's a merely coincidence
But when I got nowhere to look up to
Universe is the only I can seek truth from
Universe is the only language I can speak

... when you no longer speak
I choose to hear life as it speaks to me...
to leave.
to survive.

Current Obsession

NETFLIX's Aggretsuko: Not Your Ordinary Sanrio Character to Help You Through and Adjust Adult-Life Reality

6:17 PM

How many of us find problems in adjusting life---work life to be exact---after graduating? Entering the part of life we call as reality, as if our glorious childhood (if you luckily had one) and exhausting full drama school life was never real... real enough for us to consider as 'reality', no matter that today might have been in your past tense. Or soon.

Oh, and... as if all these years where we've been through complicated friendship, difficult teachers, shocking passing grade standard, feeling stuck in a wrong major were all just dreams. 

AS IF graduation is a (symbolic) wake-up call to start the real things ahead.

For those who haven't or just about to pass that phase, I will give you a picture. Oh wait, Retsuko will! She is Sanrio's latest female character of a red panda working as an accountant in a trading company. She's uber cute, and she will give you the PERFECT BIGGER picture of how it is going to be like. 

Such life phase might have been represented very well in her newly developed TV series called 'Aggretsuko' with its 10-episodes-long on Netflix for the first season. At least, that's as much as I see it. H
er stories makes me feel like it starts and follows us through, while her white-blank page character develops along the bitter reality it serves one by one to reach certain point in her career life. Bluntly and unmasked---but still Sanrio way.

Retsuko started off her career with nothing but passion for the so-called 'real world'. Turned out, being a responsible citizen by having a steady job and pay taxes wasn't the point of everything. Sometimes, it's about what you do that makes you a whole and whom you work with that shapes who you are. Well, in 'Aggretsuko' case, mostly it is. 

Her passion developed into focusing on fulfilling what society and others expect you to be, which won't answer anything, but to become burdens when those common barriers in office do exist. At this point, I feel like, 'oh finally somebody is speaking out what I'm thinking!' 

Learning from Retsuko, it's time for us to review all the points of what it takes to be a good employee, including what's also good for us despite our responsibility for the profession and the company we work for. The show tells us that we have to have the urge to speak up when somebody is pushing all the norms of becoming good employee while they don't do the same. Fair play, guys! It's important. It's time to ask ourselves, 'Have I been a team player? Have they been team players as well?' 

So yeah, you have the rights to review and re-think anything you're into. And you have to!

Knowing When Breaking the Limit Means Breaking Your Own Good
Aggretsuko portrayed a real depiction of reality we might have in our work life. Everyday, Retsuko faced what most of us would face in the office in general, such as rumor spreader coworkers, irresponsible supervisors, lack of leadership skill bosses, and arrogant seniors. Those result in unbalance workload, unfair treatment, questionable job assignment (regularly making your boss tea? tidying up his desk?) to daily insult and harassment. 

It has been the problem for Retsuko as she's junior, lack of experience and total plain person that has no idea to survive in the middle of competition with fake and ass-licking culture. All she knows later on that she's neglecting her own happiness in order to keep on going. 

On top of everything, what bothers her most is her work load. But let's put it this way: life is unfair. And if we follow it all to let that just happen, instead of making it better for our own good, you might learn a hard way to accept it. 

Some seniors might say to you, "I give you this much load so that you will grow and have more experience than anyone else." This might be beneficial to you, I can see it's a chance. But certain kind of seniors only use this as an excuse, because they simply don't like you (impatiently looking for your probable mistakes due to overwhelmed situation) or because you seem more reliable than your peers. It could be giving you more work means giving themselves less headache (as they will handle lesser mistakes from your less reliable teammates). Due to the latest trending work method, bosses have less time to grow their team, as well as to grow themselves into better leader.

It makes things more interesting that the show appears amidst plenty of media exposures of Japanese hardworking yet unhealthy career life (karoshi) which attract global attention these past years. It's more than rumors gangs, seniority, etc... but the wrong way of work.

So when suicides and dying from overwork stories hit Japan work life image, I was working in an agency where my life would start at 6AM from briefs and updates on Whatsapp Chats and landing in the office by 8AM, and my day would end at 10 or 11PM. Well, 9PM when I was lucky. That made almost more than 12 hours in a day for working, cut it out for 15 mins of lunch. FYI, many times I skipped dinner. But we're not going to my part now, I'm just about to tell you... sometimes we know when it got to stop.

...working on weekends for weeks non-stop, too.... ok, I'll stop.

Sometimes, we forgot to think through wisely and further when we're drained by such situation. I know it's awesome to dedicate yourself for work, company and industry that brings up the economy. Thinking how huge contribution you give, but you got to know that... the world and yourself is much bigger than that. You just need to give yourself a chance to grow more instead of doing the same struggle. Because, maybe it's not you... it's them.

When it's too much for you to handle, time to review all this: Are you being groomed into someone more awesome or are you being tricked deeper into some miserable company culture?

Yes, there's a such thing called exploitation.

When it's too much, really too much to handle after you tried hard for so long and nothing happens for good, just remember, you need your sanity, physical health and time for more exciting things ahead. Don't spend it to cover some incapable leaders' faces which also benefit your temporarily.

It's ok when you've tried enough, nothing happens, and you're no longer ok with that.

What to Expect When You're Expecting the Awesome Beginning
So basically, what makes work unhealthy that we have to figure out how to deal with it?

Ok, you, first-jobbers... you might celebrate those finish line you've reached by partying hard, because I don't know whether you can still do that or not in... 'reality'. Why?

Lemme prepare you. As someone with burning passion after graduation like Retsuko, so ready to have real job experience, first thing first... never expect too high. What you do at first might not always be high-risk job that seems very interesting or cool from afar. Your superiors might let you do small stuffs and count on you for those things they are lazy to do... besides, they want to look cooler than you by having someone working on the dirty laundry for them. Get that well. It's okay. Remember: this too shall pass. Let's call this one as: first fact.

However, those small stuffs you did well or extra mile might give your credit for reliability level. Gain more trust from small stuffs. Shall you not underestimate it those small stuffs. Sometimes, you have to sweat them out for good.

Secondly, when worse things go worst, here's a useful note: I've learned that some leaders are actually lucky for the positions they have. Sorry. Just being truthful. So, they are basically unable to grow you into a better person and/or a better professionals. You might recount all impactful contributions you have delivered for the company, for yourself and for the profession you hold dear. If you haven't improved by 3 - 6 months, then you might suspect that things will be the same as it is in the next one, you know you have to choose to grow somewhere else instead of being in a comfort zone (read: a battlefield you're already familiar with, even though it's comfort at all).

In my experience, I met people who are proudly saying to me for having work in the same place for 5-7 years (some, for the same position). Turned out, their department didn't have Standard Operating Procedures (then I was the one who established the SOP design). When I deliver new fresh ideas, they seemed to be reluctant, too. Worse, as they said they knew the company in details for years they have spent there, I proved they knew nothing (like Jon Snow), about what they're doing and how their profession can be in bigger picture. Worst, they worked so slowly, no matter they said they were fluent in doing their day-to-day jobs. 

So, for years, they learned slowly and small. Seriously, don't be that kind of person. Always expect to be the game changer. If the company resists, well, you're too good to be there. In fact, I spent only a year and left. That was the best decision I've ever made, no matter how complicated I felt about leaving all the company's benefits and facilities. Note to myself: I should have left sooner than that.

I know some of my peers who are also tricked by flowery words of what's coming their ways after the hard work they deliver and how huge the game they're controlling to boost their pride about their jobs. As result, they work hard and harder. Sacrificing all the work-life balance. 

Those who trick them usually bombarded them with a certain kind of 'motivations', such as getting publicity, winning an award, invitations/offers to become speakers, and other appearances to be get acknowledged by mass layer of audiences, as sets of benchmark of success. I'm telling you, those glittery side of being well-known as expert (or anything) are not false, but they're not real. Once you grow up, you'll know adults can be a real Oscar-winning-level actors to gain such things.

I'm not saying for you to become cynical or pessimistic, but to become realistic and cautious. You need to stay alert.

Number one clue: 

First face

Second face

Anyway, what could become the daily problem? 

However, Tsubone is right, we need to build up the muscles, but it should not be too much about it. Anything too much is never good. At the beginning, build it up is cool... then maintaining is another story, another way. 

If you stay with the same obstacles, doing the same thing all over again, you might lose yourself while you don't learn anything new and more. Once you realize it, the world around you might have shifted too far that you don't recognize anymore. Yes, you will learn so much the very details in dealing with incapable peers and superiors within weak system. But, is it all about it? Of course not. You are more capable (and you should) than you think to deal with more challenges ahead which would mark a legacy. Change is a consistent nature, you need to balance yourself in adapting to its roll.

Release the Pain Gradually
Ok, you might want to wait a little bit more... with possibility that things might change. Here's a useful tip from Retsuko.

Unlike other dreamy and usual cutesy Sanrio characters, Aggretsuko (Aggresive Retsuko) has brought another representation of both sweet and feminine power. The story line also strongly shows how dominant masculine culture rules workplace and how it collides with person with different vibe. To keep up with daily anger she had, she secretly went to a karaoke place to let it out through heavy metal songs....  even for me, a Sanrio fans (with enormous anger still left inside), it's rather unexpected.

Hi, I'm still Sanrio's mascot, okay? Don't forget me just yet....

Ok, we all have our own way to release pain (and we have to release that pain). This 'Aggretsuko' show is a reminder that we shouldn't judge or be judged of our own power and how we deal with things, too (as long as we don't harm ourselves and others during the process, right?) 

However, this also reminds me when I was in college, in class we discussed a lot about Japanese workplace habits, such as punching bags prepared in a break room for employees to release their stress for treatments and pressures they got from their superiors. Well, I didn't see that in 'Aggretsuko' though, yet all I enjoyed was the after-work scenes where she went to karaoke place by herself.

Anyway... when things get heated up, sometimes being angry is a must. I mean, you have to speak up as many people are just too senseless to understand what you're into. Obsession of being reliable and responsible in reward of manipulation isn't an equal give and take.

If that doesn't work, you can always try Retsuko's way. Not exactly a heavy metal karaoke, you can always try something you like... and it must not always the same. Up to you! Your life, your control, you are welcome to change your habit anytime you feel like it.

The TV show might say a lot of Japanese culture, but it doesn't mean we can't relate to Retsuko's condition. From the whole bigger picture of company culture to her stages of personality. From being a passionate worker, responsible citizen to financially struggle young employee and desperation to get married in order to quitting work. 

Even so, marriage is undoubtedly becoming temptation. However, she's lucky to be warned by Washimi, the fierce eagle Yoga buddy, who can be the example for all career women. Retsuko's love story gave her a lesson: it shouldn't be distraction escape for your troublesome career life.

Another story often happens for female workers though. As leadership mostly dominated by men, there is certain unwritten expectation to female workers. Such as being easy, nice, smiley and always ready and receptive to be humiliated. I've mentioned earlier that Retsuko's alterego brings up the issue of what might seem to be two clashing personalities: being herself and being what people expect her to be. It's about time the two can't hide to collide.

... and it's okay.

Anyway, the point is... the show 'ruins' my so-so expectation as it has more entertaining bits with an unmasked intense bitterness of reality with comedy and it shocks me a little with the heavy metal thingy Retsuko is attached to as her secret power, which is for me it's a new trend way of release pain. Ha! Blunt twist, I like that.

What Sanrio is Up to?
The TV show is said to have Season 2 confirmed to develop. I hope everyone is happy as the TV show can make us feel we're not alone in a cute yet strong way. The show itself has been a worthy distraction and an absolute pain relief... where one can feel like telling all the hardships and difficulties at work without literally doing so.

As Japanese culture is injected in the foundation of the characters, set in Japan and lots of insights about living in Japan, I hope this show can be a wake-up call for individuals and trailblazers in various industries and levels to establish a new healthy work environment. 

I really hope the next season 2 will not just only make up a funny story to watch, but still a drama we can enjoy as we can share the feeling while enjoying it. 

Season 1 didn't forget to include the issue on ultimate tendencies to repeat unhealthy cycle of seniority and abuse. Generation gap between the superiors to juniors make abuse out of question with seniors definitely play about past treatments they received as excuse and boast it as good example of grooming juniors. Well, there shouldn't be an excuse.

But, once we got in that career life jungle, we would think of vacation and leave for awhile as a 'dream'. Because when we have to go back, we'd say, "go back to reality". Umm, it seems like 'reality' is another stop in life to visit. Now, your choice.

(all GIFs sourced from giphy.com and photos from Netflix)

Life Stories

Battling Depression and Anxiety (1) | How I Finally Had My First Psychologist Visit and Today I Decided to Quit

12:26 AM

It could be a long one to go through what I have been through with you in this blogpost. But through this writing, I'd like to share with you about the voices... the silent battle I can't conquer; and how I overcome the situation (with extreme changes through super challenge I make for myself) after years of self-doubts that keeps me from being an achiever I used to be, a countless anxiety attacks, and even series of episodes of dysfunction.

With a series of revelation I gained last year, now I can conclude, the best thing you can be grateful for in life is the supportive energy surrounds you. But it's not a total guarantee that everything will be fine.

I lost count on how many friendly meetups, concerts, weddings and many other important events that I've missed just because I couldn't get up from my bed, feeling confused, rejected, and locking myself in a room with fears inside my head.

The third last anxiety attack even made me rush to the Emergency Room and resulted into nothing.

On that day, I felt like my heart was about to explode, my head felt like pounding. I wanted to scream so bad, but my conscious mind was still intact to forbid me not to because I was still in the office and that would be weird. So, I held it all with a report I was working on.... yes, I kept on working for a few hours. In the middle, I took 5 mins off to the bathroom where all those anxiety could only burst into tears. A stream of tears I tried to hold back so hard, as I didn't want to get out from the bathroom cubicle with swollen eyes from crying.

I used to hold it back.
Hid it inside me until it killed me and died with all of me.

And there were nights where I was awake due to the episodes where it brought out the best and the worst in me. It could be me, having numbers of revelations after crying out loud for the things that had happened and finally able to accept it which gave me certain inspiration and bunch of ideas which all of those kept me awake to work on it. BUT also me, where I spent my nights with nothing: only wasting my time, not resting, not productive either. Yet, with tons of regrets, I kept reminding myself with. Self-blaming. It was like recurring or regular reunions with them. Progress then decline. One episode I can have myself move on, then there comes another episode to drown me back.

However, I think I'm progressing now, but what an 'insane girl' knows anyway?
All I could tell you that it's been ups-and-downs, even though I'm getting there.

It's never been easy, of course. Going through this alone, walking the day through the night every day as if there hasn't been any dust stuffed my lungs from breathing the shit out of my life.

Anyway, I live the day as if I'm ok.

People can (and always) come to me with their problems. Many times even ask for my help to support another people. When people are in trouble, I push myself harder to be awake at 2AM, or attending a meetup where I'm the one who actually ask for it as a form of support.

It finally killed me when I realized that nobody ever did the same. Nobody is there for me, nobody is asking somebody else to give me extra support.

I had my first psychologist visit, after years of not thinking that I might need one + after another few years of looking for the perfect schedule due to my then workload (as I also work on weekends in a few companies in a row in my work history). Those two and because I was not really sure to go, as well. I felt reluctant.

Until it went so severe that I couldn't handle it anymore. I couldn't control myself. Every night, I cried. For nothing and for everything. Believe me, on that phase, I could easily cry, explode with rage and etc. Worst. Blaming myself. Blaming everything.

So yeah, then, I thought, maybe it WAS the time to have a professional help.

It was 1st visit, around October, through a reference from a good friend who has the knowledge and a handful of resources on that matter. Oh well, I can tell you I pushed myself harder in order to make it to that visit. During the worst moment, I also tried to talk through with some people, hoping it would go out and leave, stop flooding my mind and heart with a burden that made me sinking in ugly reality. Somehow, it's not working. I retreated, evaluating how much I have wasted my energy to fear and time in dysfunction state.

The conclusion was... I might need another 3 sessions. But if he could find more clues of what I am dealing with, it might be more.

And what am I having? He says, 'acute depression.'

All the rage, brain fog, endless sleeping (and sometimes insomnia), self-harm, memory loss, more intense ADD, fear, anxiety and paranoid. Those aren't the problems, they are the impacts resulted from an unknown problem. Unknown here could be .... unidentified (yet).

After knowing all this, I was like... what? Ok.
What should I do?

Some suggest me of lowering my target, try to live slower and forget everything. I can't. I have a purpose in life, people whom I need to make proud of myself---and I'm also one of those I refer as 'people'---and drive to get in some point.

It's hard when you have to appear stronger than anyone else, and then you could find people blaming you when you're being on the low side.

It's hard when you have to run, chase the dream, living the life in hurry as you know you don't have much time.

It's hard when you have to do trial and error in order to have the maximum experience of life, but your fate tells you that you can't afford to fail like anyone else.

It's hard when you have to deal with this heart and mind of sinking ship, but you need and want to focus in order to succeed as you dream it. It's hard when you know, people don't have to deal with the same thing, yet do nothing, but achieve more than you do.

It's hard, no matter how hard you try to keep on moving on towards your dream, with everything ugly you have..... I repeat, you are TRYING so damn hard, but people tell you to stop by telling you to be grateful. These people are telling you that you're not grateful enough or pray as much as you're supposed to and ask you to give it all up after everything.

I just want a fair life, a fair start. And it seems like I'm far from it. That's why I'm quitting to think of going back. Coz it won't be the same fight. Coz it won't give me a little better life as I'm fighting this, I might be far behind to get the life I want.

When you spend so much to have yourself recovered from such trouble and pain, then you feel better only just for a while. Whether it's external factors or the broken side inside your head. You'll know afterward, you'll just gonna see the reality and end up stuck in the wrong place all over again. Fighting the misunderstood stream opposite your way, with those silent voices that choke you.

However, my shrink visit DID give me a little difference. I know I have a problem. And it's okay.
It was.... a good start for me or someone like me who is also dealing with silent battles.

This post might be the ugliest writing but I'm telling you I'm trying.
And I'm telling you, honestly, I still do self-harm, but I know a way (for now) to deal with it.
It might help you... with anxiety attacks and depression or not. It helped me. Surprisingly.

Right after this post.


Via Vallen and the Real Issue Society Put to Rest

4:17 AM

Recently, a spark of viral Instagram Story post made me stunned. My reaction was... God damn it, I should've done what a girl named Via Vallen did. Yes, such thing also happened to me and the incident corrected my assumption as I wondered it that it has been a common situation that has happened to many other girls, as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't know who she was, until a few days ago when people started to talk about her. Well, mocking her to be exact.

What happened?

With an unknown text message opening, the girl who happens to work as dangdut singer received an InstaStory post, sent directly to her. It was written: I want you to sign (maybe he meant 'sing') in my bedroom wearing sexy clothes. More or less, something like that.

What's worse? The guy who was later known to be Marko Simic, correct or not, realized that she screencap his message and post it on her InstaStory with additional upset sentiments. Then, here comes the genius question he asked her: 'U angry?'

Source: giphy

Dude, c'mon!

Yeah, it is expected though. A guy like that (read: a guy who doesn't understand respect) wouldn't understand what upset her. Clearly, he (might) thinks, with his great look and fame, whatever he does as he pleases to women should not be considered as SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Until today, he is safe and sound. No public apology has been made.

There's a common and accepted understanding that if your harasser is handsome/famous/rich/powerful, you should be thankful and flattered. As if it is a given that it should be seen not as a harassment. The culture has been going on this way, making women's claims of harassment in many industries considered just as a meaningless twit. So, if you're not good looking guy, you'd better not even try. Ha!

What else is expected? The society that curses the female victim and acts like the perpetrator is nowhere in sight, like a ghost. Gone. His name is rarely mention. Some people even tried to be 'positive' in understanding why he did it, but failed to be as positive when trying to understand why Via Vallen reposting the post on her IG story. In a nutshell, people stood up for him. Not for her.

In Indo, the comments were like:
  • The guy is good looking. It should be okay, right?
  • Oh c'mon, it's just a text. Nothing serious. It damages you none!
  • What if he's just joking?
  • What should you post it? Are you looking for attention?
  • Why would you blow it up? Just chill.

Despite the claim she made whether he NEVER met the guy, it doesn't change what he did isn't right.

It is a different story when you both are consented previously to have such things in your relationship (official or not), then your partner come up to you such 'invitation'. In this case, I don't think so. As the guy hasn't made any statement to back himself up in public. Or, maybe he thinks he doesn't as there have been positive feedbacks which people already make for him.

Long story short, what actually happened? What happened is harassment.
Whether he's a prince-charming material or not.
Whether it involves physical or not.
Harassment is abuse and it can be done in many ways. Not just physical, verbal, etc.

People are like, what if he's just joking? Ok, then, it is an offensive joke!

Jokes are supposed to be funny, but that one in that context is not.

And that's another culture we need to banish in order to create a healthy and gender equal environment. It should be shameful past. People have to stop, from now on.

A few months ago, the country is battling a great debate about the soon-to-be-approved law where the country will imprison a pregnant/rape victim girls who are out of wedlock. The country's logic for this kind of law is put to question. However, this recent issue makes it seemed that logic is out of the question now.

When #metoo campaign is almost a success in the States, girls in Indonesia aren't really standing in for each other. Probably, the concept of harassment is still low. Remember, there are some people think what he said is not offensive, but meaningless, and the girl is blowing out of proportion.

Yet, it is not surprising for the low self-esteem Indo girls have, especially towards foreigners. In basic, they tend to buy silly meaningless romantic gestures, and sadly, they aren't capable of recognizing the equality element they deserve to have---the real sincere loving and respectful gesture.

In my observation and experience within my circles, when it comes to relationships, even further level like in marriage, most of them are willing to be the 'number second' or  accept to concept of being 'the one who needs guidance from the husband', instead of being a real couple where they walk and work together equally. Not as a team, more like a boss and the subordinate, where the guy is number 1, leading you the right way as if he's not ever going wrong. In many cases where he is, the girl will be put to blame, saying it's her job to keep the guy from wrongdoing. Well... some institution and belief need to create a better job description.

This gender concept starts the negative feedback on women's fight for safety, equality and rights as a equal human being who are not in debt to anyone else (not to a man, not to any other individuals, groups or religions) which are.... surprisingly and not so surprisingly... are also coming from fellow women.

So, how do we need such campaign like #metoo? Would it work in Indonesia? My prediction would be... if it fails to make it a 'cool campaign', a lifestyle-driven one, nobody is going to buy it. Sorry to say, Indo are easily going to be on it only when it looks cool, without understanding how and why. It will be like you're selling a product, and no one is going to try it. But, it could be the opposite due to some factors. Who knows.

Why lifestyle-driven? Coz it's the one that speaks the language they can understand.
Got to make that clear.

But what else bothers me more? I wrote this post On Prostitution, On Self-Value, On Our Own Reality when a celebrity was caught for prostitution allegation. Caught in red-handed if I may add. I stood up for her, seeing what she was going through wasn't fair. For this case, she didn't do what I did for her: standing up, not for fellow female creatures, but for fellow human beings seeking equality and justice for all gender, for what we are, for all choices we make.

I just hope that Via Vallen's fame rises more and more for her talent, not the incident, so shall she remember for the whole-packaged courage she has. The fight must go on.

Source: also from giphy


Why Do I Move Jobs So Fast (and So Easily)?

5:23 AM

Currently, I’m in my 8th company in my 8 years of career.
Seems easy for me to do this? Trust me, totally not.

Before you jump into conclusion, no… I didn’t stay 1 year for each company.
Some shorter than 1 year (aha, I hear you), and some longer than that. Most people (and even career or human resource expert often) said that it’s not good to have less than 1-year experience in one place and hop onto another. But I’ll tell you more before you judge.

How Do I Start It All?
Anyway, for you to have better imagination, here’s a brief history of my career before I rule out why (and how I could manage that).

My first job was a language teacher — -not to be counted in my professional resume, though, as the background was not related. Yet, I had a cool routine: my life in the morning would be morning class in college, then I ran to the educational institution where I lasted for one year and a half. Then, I had to quit because I needed to take an internship in industry related to my major, which was a compulsory. Besides, my dream job was journalism. I had to do that.

There, I joined a magazine for 3 months interning, after that they asked me to stay for full time — -my official first job. It went for 8 more months, before I had to quit for research term to finish my final thesis defense in order to graduate.

Just a few days after I submitted my thesis, awaiting for the defense schedule, I started at a new magazine company, bigger and everyone’s work target, where I worked for 2 years.
Then, why do I quit my dream job? Maybe, another post for it.

I switch to Public Relations from Journalism. I started it out at one of the biggest retail property companies in the city. How long? 1 year. Then, another 3 months at a ‘movement’ company, yet somehow no matter how short it was, it successfully gave me quite enough background in tech/startup/creative economy (Google, Techstars, you name it). But 3 months only? One day, I’ll declare. But not now.

Followed by another 2 years in one of world big agencies. Then, a former client, a digital bank, who had asked to join since a year before, re-asked me to join them after a crazy turbulence agency life. I finally agreed. For how long? 2 months!

Two years then two months.

Now I’m in my 5th month in a new multinational startup agency, working on-site in client’s office who treats me and my team as the brand’s own family.

Gosh, turned out that was long! Sorry it wasn’t brief as I promised earlier.

In a nutshell, my experience has broadened from media (which itself contains lifestyle, finance, health, sex, fashion and beauty), retail business, technology, food business, travel industry, banking and government. Now, fashion retail and sport marketing.

Anyway, Was It Easy?
Not. At. All.
Please note if you land to a new job, you have to adapt the new environment, new people, new working method, new culture and plus/minus of the company treatments. Basically, that sums up a total adjustment of your usual daily life.

However, why do I risk it all? Risking the comfort zone for new uncertainty? You might say I’m just being millennial, easily giving up or too fond of adventures and new stuffs. Trust me, you’re not getting closer.

When I put the word ‘risk’ to this sentence above: “why do I risk it all”, I mean it. Sometimes one company has an unprofessional boss, unhealthy work environments or colleagues who are not on par with your pace. But take a look again, in spite of those things that might be inconvenient factors to you, on the other hand, you already know your enemy, you know the politics, you know the game. Moving to another place won’t always solve the problem. How would you know the new place isn’t the same as what you currently have?

With the risk I’ve been taking so far, I now have collected many experiences and opportunities to work with awesome people, in incredible ups-and-downs circumstances. Which, I don’t think I would have had it by now if I didn’t take these daring leaps. Leaving my personal attachment to some people I feel convenience working with and fighting my own fear to move forward into new uncertainty to conquer.

It takes me crying out alone, thinking why can’t I have it all? Why can’t be just as simple as anyone else? Why should I always feel like to have to run fast more than anyone else? Why should I just relax and enjoy the moment without worrying?

It takes me days… questioning my capability to move forward. Whether I can do it, whether I should do it, whether this is the right time to.

Those doubts…. those questions…. though ugly thoughts. I had it all. Anytime I want to make decisions, I always feel not enough, but then I remember to brace and push myself by saying, “I have to try it! I have to make it!”

A Thought That Keeps Pushing Me
And here goes to my longer ‘why’ (like I really need to let out the explanation why to people. But I’m just fed up, so I kind of need to). I realize I just need to stress on my theory which always reminds me to stick to my objective: getting a better version of you everyday.
In this era we’re living, everything is faster. No bullshit. You are demanded to be more than you are right now. More time to put for more work, ability to do more, and simply, just be more than anyone else.

So, for those who used to tell me, “you have to choose one thing to be specialist, not grab all you want to be a generalist. People will get confused to describe or put you in what category,”, well I’m telling you back, “what I believe is right; if I can be expert in many things, why not? Never limit yourself!” Since the beginning, I never enjoy being put in one category. Try to put me in boxes, you’re just wasting your time. I don’t want to, so you’d better not.

The economy isn’t really growing one industry or all. It actually puts many sectors at stake. Big investments go down to startup businesses, yet even pioneering business can disappear very fast as well. Big names can just go down to nothing within a snap. Layoffs and everything. Then, what would make us survive compared to anyone else?

From the objective of mine, I found three things for us to maintain, in order to keep us in the game (hopefully).
Skill | Industry | Network
When I was working in a magazine, it helped me quite a lot. I could do fashion styling, home products styling, even food! I understand basic photography, so I didn’t need to go through all the trouble looking for photographers to accompany me during those reporting days. I did both photo and reportage alone! Networks also helped me to get exclusives and many interesting off-the-record conversations. A year after I left, who would guess… the magazine which was doing very well, suddenly had to close down. Not just one magazine, lots. Including dailies.

The skills I had (which at first might seem that the company had overused you — -do not get confused with overusing you or challenging you with more opportunities — -but you actually thrived on something). On the hand, I also worked part-time with many other industries. Those connections supported me in many ways possible for the next jobs I had after that.

I chose to move to agency, after settling in a simple corporate life. Why? Because I stop learning new skills, I even lost my existing skill as it wasn’t exercised much enough in the job. I start lacking knowledge in many industries, it was the contrary that I love being random and know-it-all kind of girl. I was often considered weird as people found me different and ‘too advance’ — -while I don’t feel like I’m too advance. I always feel I’m lacking so many things.

During the interview of that job, I remember impressed the interviewer because I know industry gossips that came out true. What does it show? I have connections. I had a good network.
Then after first 6 months, I don’t feel like I’m learning new skill, or keeping up with the latest industries or being able to establish a new network or maintaining my exisiting ones. I feel like my world stops spinning.

I quit after a year in total.

Anyway, don’t mean to brag, but during my one year there, you might need to know that I was offered 3 times from 3 different companies. Big companies, bigger salary, higher position. Why didn’t I just take it? Because it wasn’t like what most people think a millennial like me would go for.
I want to learn. I want to be in a place where I would keep learning, keep moving forward, getting stronger in many aspects (not just personality and mentally, but in terms of skills). I actually stayed as I thought there were things left to conquer. Yet I was wrong. Then, I moved after a long self-battle.

If I stay longer in one same place for nothing new for the sake of shaping good image, I would be left behind. Younger people cost less for a company yet they absorb the current new stuffs, trend and technology. They would easily get the chance to play in new fields. If I stay, I won’t be able to chase my goal while running along with the world.

As I said, we have seen so many layoffs as big companies are going down. New companies like startup starts with small team that demands multitasking (even though it’s not good for the brain, experts say) and multi-talented people. If you can only do one thing, how would you excel compared to anyone else? Both being recruited and being keep/promoted is getting competitive more than before.

You need to win the war. Don’t lock yourself in one spot. If you have to run, you run. Fast. You can sacrifice one thing to spare a hundred.

Some people question me, why I moved to another agency after only 2 months in a digital bank I love so much. From client side back to agency life. It was the sacrifice I made. I love it so much that I cried every night just to think about it as I was stressed out. But I rethink again: I have been around tech industry for 2 years. Same skill used, no other business insight to compare, and I met the same people all over again and I rarely meet new people that wow me with newness. Am I bored? Maybe.
It was a goddamn hard decision I made in my entire career. But now I’m happy to move on as I meet new people, learn new industry, exercisng in overcoming new kind of crisis and daily challenges… and I have more time: Me time to recover, exercise, and studying, even meeting up old friends I haven’t seen for so long.

But above all, I’m worried if I don’t expand my skills, my knowledge on other industries and network, it would be harder for me in the next few years.

For example, do you ever hear about business wisdom not to put eggs in one same hole? It’s an advice not to create just multiple the same one business model/products/services/strategy and but instead, to have more varied one. So if one type of business dies, you still have another. The same with skills, industry knowledge and networks. Playing around in one pool won’t drag you out once the water runs dry.

When I was working for a magazine, I wouldn’t have guessed how digital disruption could cause a mess this much. I remember when I was in college, we talk how print survived after radio was invented, and how both radio and print also survived when television arrived in our homes. We didn’t expect this casualty with the internet connected in our devices.
Now media is extremely changing. News is shifting.

Not just media, there are jobs that no longer exists. How would you survive with all this? What if your only skill and knowledge are the next ones to vanish? And you have no more connections who can help you fly away to something new?

Some might say integrity will make you stand out. True. But, if you don’t have anything else, it’s risky. Besides, people don’t really count integrity as most people are still being subjective in assessing others.

What About Me and My Profession?
This era might no longer be same as it was. So the advice to stay longer to conquer the world could be irrelevant.

You would only conquer the world if you know how to survive.
As for my profession, I also realize that it is the challenging situation that actually shapes the whole industry and skill we grab. In my case, the core of Public Relations would be the same, but the more complex the journey is what shapes you to be a better one, as media industry is also having a major shift.

But other than Public Relations, since the beginning of my career, I also have other retainer freelance jobs — -content writer, fringe event coordinator for film festival, editor, copywriter, translator and digital gaming content creator — -which I openly declare to my employers. Not only that you could earn more, but you know how to create more stuffs for your own. Once again, more skill, more industry knowledge and broader network. You don’t lean yourself on to one thing. Nothing is ever certain. Nothing stays the same. It is important to have backups.
Besides, I have this ambition to do something big. A change or something new. I believe in what we do, it must be meaningful. So, work somewhere impactful. Not just to finish a job and that’s it. It will never be enough.

And Please… Stop Assuming, Start Asking Nicely Coz People Have Their Own Reasons
Many people assume or jump to conclusion that I resign because I give up. I don’t.
I prefer to let things that don’t challenge me anymore to go in order to step forward. And I’m not that weak.

If I’d really want to give up, I would have done it on the first day which I didn’t.

This brings me back to remember when I was 21, I met someone 8–10 years older who always saying wise things to me as if I need her life advice. Then, one day she told me, “oh you know, I used to get a job in ‘THAT’ magazine, too, but I resigned after 1 day of work, sending text to the HR that I quit. The people were so unfriendly and cold.” I said to her, “well, that really how it is but I choose to go on. Oh well, anyway I know you better now.”

FYI, I stayed in ‘THAT’ company for two years with all the heartbreaks, harassments and unfair assessments, before I actually landed to another magazine within the same company where I met wonderful boss and loving team whom I’m still in touch with.

So yes, guess… I’m not a loser that gives up easily.

But look again, we have our own priority in life. You know better. I might see a weakness on people who give up, but well, I said to myself again, maybe I don’t know the whole thing. What doesn’t kill me, might kill other people. Vice versa.

If you think it’d better if you stay, pile up your reasons and consider. You know better than anyone else as long you put logic bases for your reasoning.

However, I can conclude that you can’t always be JUST a survivor, without being an achiever too. You shouldn’t. You should be both survivor and achiever. You don’t get both, I think it’s safe for you to re-consider the place you’re sitting in right now.

You know it’s just that it is important for companies and leaders to shift and consider to keep renewing themselves in any way possible to make themselves relevant as a home for us, individuals, to grow and be a player in something right and something big. Not having us stuck in one place for nothing and giving the effect of damaging our creativity and leaving our skills dull while heading to the more competitive future.

Part of me regretted why I waited too long to move forward due to my huge love for the work I’m doing. Trust me, it happened to me a couple times before I decided to leave. Then again, part of me actually was grateful coz fate brought me a nicer journey after a long hard wait. So, yeah… whatever we choose, it might give us something to be grateful in the end, anyway, hopefully.

Yet, I’ve come to learn my lessons to choose wiser.

And yes, I am a survivor of the harsh unhealthy work environment and I’m moving forward, on my way to create another achievement in my life.

But every move, how long or quick, it wasn’t for an escape. I DID leave wonderful places, too, for new things and for being able to do things I can have now.

Moving job isn’t always an escape, but it can be a daring choice. To take a leap or walking the same path all over again.

Moving job isn’t always about giving up. Sometimes, it’s all about our priority.

Old Posts

2017: The Boy, The Life, and The Stories that Got Away

2:37 AM

Almost everyone posted that this year has been 'a rollercoaster ride', yet they stated so last year, a few years back and maybe they will do it again next year.

To be honest, many times this year, I didn't think I could survive it. I thought of joining Club 27, just like that. So this post, I'm going to share a little about my life turbulence and revelations (who knows it would give you a few little tips) of how I see about life, job, dream, reality, and finally going to see a psychologist for help and even trying KonMari method for decluttering some shits in my life (and my bedroom).

When I was writing this post, I remember I read Sophia Bush once said in her interview with CosmoGirl a few years back regarding her divorce after three to six-month-old marriage, “Life throws a curveball at you and you go where it takes you.” The line actually has been in my memory ever since I read it and it sums up my life over these years quite well, not just 2017.

And when I turned 22, a friend congratulated me a usual ‘happy birthday’, but followed with an unusual line, “now that you’re 22, brace yourself, life will give you more pebbles to step on”. I took it as a curse.

She was right.

So here you go, my share about what had happened.

The Boy
If you have read or talked to me before, you'd know that I don't want to get married or that I'm being single yet so happy. So 2017 has changed a little. Oh no, I still don't consider to have a family. But things are surely shifting.

This was started by a guy I've been seeing (now not anymore). With me being tired with previous work and all that jazz, being with this guy gave me a little thing in mind: it is nice to have a partner, where you can have fun with and talk to. And yeah, it turned out I really miss to build romance. Never thought I would say this.

The reality is... he didn't see the same way I did. Maybe because I am 'different' from him. That could be his consideration or I'm simply not good enough. So that's why he and many other guys I've met are ... treating me like a piece of meat, can I say so? On the other hand, I never wanted to show bluntly that I was interested in him. I just showed that I cared and prioritized him---which he didn't see it or ... he forgot.

Well, with my detective skills due to cops/detective shows, I found out he didn't treat 'us' exclusive, as I found out he went out with many other girls too. This might seem so usual for a love story, right?

Yes, all of this was just because me being stupid.

So, I started out Tinder which I was quite thankful that we can search guys based on his age as I fond of much older guys (35-45 y.o). Even 35 I consider too young. Anyway, there I checked the app on and off. I got many likes, thanks to my photos. But none ever ended up well.

In fact, many of them are looking for sex (again, I'm a meat, eh?) for free, or they think I'm a prostitute, or whatsoever. I got stalkers too on Instagram, thanks to linking the account with my InstaPage.

The things about guys are whether they are looking for friends for benefits kind of relationship, they can't take me seriously, they're not being supportive of my ambitions, OR they feel insecure. Oh what the hell!

But this guy treated me more like a back up. I try to understand him. Maybe he doesn't want to lose 'a backup' and going transparent is a difficult thing. He probably doesn't want to do the dirty job on making it clear.

I'm hurt. That's it. Now again, I give up.

However, I learn something though. It's not Brigida Alexandra if I don't learn anything at all. (Ha!) Well, compared to Sansa Stark, I'm much more worse!

I think when something like this occurs, it's supposed to be us who takes action first. Learning that kind of guy will hurt, we shouldn't give him a chance. So even though I'm asking why and why he doesn't reciprocate the feeling, the effort, and all... I choose to stop blaming him (and definitely won't blame on other girls he went out with). I prefer to blame myself and make it as a lesson.

Well... we all need a lesson in life, right? That's okay, some people are destined to be lessons or blessings. But, I think being a lesson is also a blessing. Sipping more in life enriches us somehow. Bitterness heals us.

The Life
During one of my episodes (I got many panic episodes coming back-and-forth after the mid-year in 2017), I came to the conclusion that we DO always have a choice. It’s true. But it’s way more complicated than we think. You might have many options as possible, but in fact, you are put in the situation where the options you could take is only between choose the one you have to (not the one you’d like) and not to pick anything at all which means you stay in place, not moving forward.

2017 was the year that gave me lots of decisions to make. Big ones. That made me worried until my anxiety attacks paid me lots of visits.

On the other hand, I was fed up... with all disappointment on myself, the choices I've made and people around me---how they've treated me (read: how I just let them treat me like shits, exploiting and not give a damn to see myself as the same human as they are) and how they are changing sides (read: how they are easily shifting from disliking and black-campainging on someone to suddenly picking his/her sides in the name of business) and how they see my choices (read: their total lack of capability to simply listen, understand and open-minded and not fussing over my personal life).

I was fed up. Overworked, underappreciated and fighting alone.
Sailing the boat alone, that's how I felt for months in 2017. During those moments, I just didn't realize at first that I piled up shits people threw at me, and psychologically it changed me into someone who made a fuss on small stuff, got short-fuse very quickly, and turned out neglecting the most important things I should've considered.

Above all, it resulted in a 'new me' --- forgetting my own dreams to chase, ended me keep on blaming myself and everything (people and my incapability to fight). It funneled through me being depressed. There were nights I couldn't sleep without crying and asking why. Crying and blaming why I AM LIKE THIS---ugly, stupid and nothing. To sum up: useless human being.

You know I don't really have many people I trust to talk to. I can't get another angle. People that I know might just have got tired of me and my problems.

Family? I give up talking to them about my thing. They just don't understand my POV, choices that I made. Simply, I can discuss freely on many things without being told that I'm dumb, stupid or weird. Even when they're curious, they would ask in underestimating tone. Well, like Remy (Ratatouille movie) said, it's family, they don't have your ideals. It's not that I don't love them, it's just I need distance. So I'd rather not talk.

But the angle isn't always the problem. It's more to... when you have depression, you just need help.

It is sad that when you're in total darkness, people think you're just not grateful for your life. People start comparing my life and others, and why I still feel like a shit. They see depression as simply being sad, that it is easy to get rid of by not thinking about it. Oh you know... I wish! I wish!

I fear of what lies ahead, the political shake, the city is much more dangerous, economy is failing. I know too much, I know... and I'm always scared if I couldn't make it through coz I am all alone. No backup and support system. That sounds crazy that those things become triggers for panic attack. But the truth is.... with this condition, there is a thought where I wouldn't survive.

Entering this depression mode, I started to be more forgetful, easily get tired, I didn't want to go out (to see people or even to smile, to greet or to pick up some conversation lines), the feeling of wanting to be alone in my room locked up got even stronger, I was lost, and there's shifting behavior in line with all these.... and those came with crying all nights. Plus, I think of dying sooner and sooner, or just to end it myself. So, I actually made it to my first psychological help. And he stated that all those things I mentioned above were due to depression. Believe it or not, even though I couldn't be more open up in my first appointment, there was a revelation for me to start over and move on.

So this is what I also did. I decluttered everything in my room. You might not see it as something big, but actually, it would give you a big deal! Check this article, no joke. I kept many things in my room coz I feel like I 'throw away something nice' or 'forgetting important people (who gave the thing to me----which I care about) deliberately with the memory too'. Well, my room turned out consisting of expired makeup, old clothes I didn't wear for years (too small or too big), expired meds, snacks I never ate, and unused things and gadgets. Later, I sold an unused bluetooth keyboard online that I found, well first time! I tried KonMari which is working for me but, most importantly, I just need more space, like my own house.

Bookshelf relayout

That's for the non-living things. I decided to limit my network and interpersonal contacts. I don't reply, talk, or meet certain people I think would only give me pain and unnecessary annoyance. I need enhancing, challenging people, plus the ones that are supportive. It is important to be with people who see you as a human being, not their toy, subordinate or other... no matter they are disagreeing with you, but they won't bug or push you to be the same like them. Simple: respect.

Accepting that you can grow tired of being exploited (and it's different from being groomed or challenged!). That you may defend or throw an argument. That you deserve to be angry. That you crying isn't weak.

Plus, I don't like childish people. No... not the one who loves toys. Childish isn't a behavior where you still love toys even as adult. Not like that.

I learned that in life, I come first isn't always the same with selfishness. It depends on with whom you're dealing so they won't treat you second or less of a human than they are.

I know we say this all the time, but in 2017, I feel like I see quite enough to fully understand (with many more to come, I'm sure) that people change and pick sides beneficial for them. I see how people can easily regroup after speaking ill about them. Business speaks, man! Shocking and disappointing, but now I'm learning to laugh it all.

This is my life now. Struggling, yes... for the things I haven't made so far. Hopefully, I can make it.

The Stories

Dream and reality. To be honest, I missed my days in journalism work. I still want to be an investigative/war journalist... and I don't know if I might still have a chance when this is all over.

So many dreams, so little time. I've kept this story in my head for so long, yet not a single page I have done. I want to write it on my Wattpad since early 2017. Ha! What kind of writer am I?

Due to time constraint and my depression, I was (can I say 'I was'? Hopefully yes) forgetful, like seriously forgetful. So whenever I got ideas, they're just pfft...gone! I lost vocabs and forgot many terms. Even when I got the chance to write the ideas down, I sometimes don't recognise the writing and unable to understand what I waa trying to keep with that notes.

I want to write a book again. Can I have your support?

2017 is also the year where I hoard books the most. I read less than 10 books last year. The dullest phase in my life.

This should give me a reminder: