Sometimes it feels.

Sometimes it feels like we are not going to make it. There are too much uncertainties ahead of us (and between us). Sometimes it feels like a sweet dream, and that I will wake up one day, realizing that you are no longer here. That our time is up. Sometimes it feels so temporary, so all-of-a-sudden, it scares me to the bone. Sometimes it feels like we’re hanging on a very thin rope, almost touching—just as close as almost. Sometimes it feels like we are just two lonely souls hovering around the earth and find a clear reflection of ourselves in each other. Sometimes it feels like we’re as distant as stars, as hopes, as wishes, as memories.

Sometimes it feels like we’re meant to be together—not just in the now, but 6 hours later or 10 days later or 8 years later. Sometimes it feels like the world is ours and nothing else matters. Like we understand each other so well we need only to look at each other’s eyes or squeeze each other’s hands or rub each other’s shoulders. Sometimes it feels like we can talk for hours, for days, for weeks, as if we’ll continue to discover new things about the world every day. Sometimes it feels like wanting to slow things down because every moment is way too precious.

Sometimes it feels like I am going to get myself hurt again. Sometimes it feels like I have found what I have been looking for. Sometimes it feels like I will cry again. Sometimes it feels like having the chance to laugh out loud and having fun. Sometimes it feels worrying—like risking my heart to be crushed into pieces again. Sometimes it feels liberating—like not caring about the future because the now is effing awesome. Sometimes it feels like I am going to lose you anytime soon. Sometimes it feels like we’ll be like this for a very long time. Sometimes it feels confusing because I have no idea about what is actually happening. Sometimes it feels relaxing because things just happen naturally, without anyone forcing.

Yes, sometimes it feels like that.

But most of the times, it feels like being thankful.
Like being blessed.
Like being happy.

Maybe love is.

If there is such thing as “ingredients of love”, maybe mine would look like this: Love is 50% companionship, 35% romance, 10% solitude and 5% of the unknown.

I think love—and all great relationships are about companionship. It’s about watching movies together, cooking meals for dinner, shopping for groceries, deciding on the countries to visit for the next 6-month trip, arguing about which is best: tea or coffee, attacking pastries in a small bakery, driving around listening to the radio and singing stupid songs, laughing on the floor to some random jokes only the two of you understand, stopping for a while on a crowded street to pet a stray cat or dog, cleaning up the mess at the terrace after last night’s rain. It’s about someone with whom you can talk for hours about different things, someone who can be your best friend at all times, who will always be around to support you. Best friends are those who will always become a clear mirror of yourself, showing your true reflection. They are not bound to you, yet they will always be near because they like you and you like them (you can “love” someone you don’t like, though—that’s why some women and men are still involved in abusive relationships). Best friends like you for all your great qualities and embrace your flaws without any terms or conditions. So, when it comes to best friends, no matter how long you haven’t been talking to each other, and no matter how bad your latest argument has been, when there’s something very pressing, you’ll know whom to turn to, whom you can count on, whom you can go home to. So, what I want from love is someone I can grow old with, gracefully, and that the two of us can be best friends to each other, no matter what.

Now romance, why only 35%? Because that’s enough. You know how we always want something that is scarce, but when something is abundant, we tend not to desire it as much? Imagine eating too much chocolate. Or tart.  I think romance (including sex) is like a good dessert. The portion is small, thus you’ll always crave for more. It’s not only about the taste, but also the way it is served, the ambience of the restaurant where you have it, and the person with whom you’re sharing it. So, I guess, 35% is enough to spice up things, rock your world, and keep you craving for more.

Then comes 10% of solitude. I think no matter how close a couple is, the healthiest is to keep a certain distance; a space to breathe. It’s about having your own time: you and your thoughts, you and yourself, you and a good book, you and those soccer games, you and your friends. It’s about being alone. It’s about being with someone else. It’s about being apart. It’s about being somewhere far. It’s about balancing things out, to leave something for a while so that you’ll miss it—so that you’ll appreciate it more, so that you’ll want to go back home.

And the last 5% goes to the unknown. I think loving someone is like peeling the layers of an onion; to find out more about your loved ones everyday, and to fall in love more and more and more as you unveil their true self. It’s about discovering new things every steps of the way. Great couple should never think that they know everything about each other. Because there is always something new, something great, something sweet, something fresh, something surprising, something wonderful, waiting for you when you least expected it.

Old Town of Jakarta (Batavia)

There are only a few places I like in Jakarta: my office (seriously), the giant bookstores, coffee shops with bookshelves, the stretch of street stalls selling everything vintage in Jalan Surabaya, Seaworld and Planetarium (again, seriously), and… the Old Town area.

I love the Old Town not only because this 1.3 square kilometers area is very picturesque; but also because it reminded me of the pictures I saw in my history books. It gave me those “colonial romanticism” feeling (you know how I love to imagine myself living in a different era; the 1920s fascinates me the most).

A lazy stroll along this area is always a pleasant one. All those old buildings with beautiful architectures, street artists drawing your sketch or silhouette, tattoo stand, fortune-teller… It was unfortunate that several historical sites had been destroyed by the provincial government during the development of Jakarta, including Fortress Batavia, Gate of Amsterdam, and tram lane of Batavia (we had tram lane, once!).

I went to the Old Town again last weekend with my friend, Chris—me with my DSLR camera, running around taking pictures, and Chris with… nothing. “Who is the tourist, actually?” Chris laughed. “Yes, I am playing tourist!” I answered to that and mindlessly snapping some pictures again. Anyway, if you’re around this area, pay a visit to Warung Kota Tua. They have the best chicken noodles.

Happy Birthday, Dimas!

Dim, happy (belated) birthday! I am wishing you a great year ahead, full of love and sweet memories to keep! 🙂 And, I know it’s been a while… sudah lama kita nggak menulis untuk satu sama lain seperti dulu. Untuk ulang tahun kamu, let’s do it again, for the sake of the lovely (and awful) memories we have shared along the way.

Oh ya, Dim, ada banyak hal yang terjadi dalam hidupku (will spill all the details when we meet in Bandung)—dan mulainya waktu aku pergi untuk sebulan itu. Aku pergi tanpa mencari apa-apa (selain sedikit pantai, sedikit laut dan sejumput kata-kata), tetapi aku kembali membawa banyak hal tentang hidup. Tentang cinta. Tentang kesempatan kedua. Sewaktu pergi, hatiku kosong. Sewaktu pulang, hatiku penuh dengan setumpuk surat dan puisi yang ditulis tangan, percakapan demi percakapan yang tidak putus-putus selama lebih dari 7 jam, cokelat champagne dan es krim vanila, perjalanan di tengah hujan, genggaman tangan di pagi hari, puluhan huruf X dan D, juga film-film yang diputar di HBO.

Aku diberikan banyak pelajaran tentang menikmati ‘sekarang’, Dim. Masa lalu sudah tidak bisa diapa-apakan, masa depan belum lagi akan datang. Perjalananku membuatku lebih menghargai yang ada ‘sekarang’. Seorang temanku bertanya, what is the sense of life? Aku bilang, mungkin hidup ini adalah lebih tentang kesempatan-kesempatan yang kita raih, daripada kesempatan-kesempatan yang kita lewatkan. Hidup ini adalah tentang sekarang—tentang hal-hal yang terjadi sementara kita sibuk memikirkan masa depan, begitu kata sebuah kutipan yang entah dikatakan siapa.

Teman yang sama bertanya lagi, what is love? Mungkin sama juga. Cinta adalah apa yang terjadi ketika kita tengah sibuk mempertanyakan arti cinta itu sendiri. Mungkin cinta adalah momen. Ketika kamu tengah bersama seseorang dan berpikir bahwa dengan dia di sampingmu, kamu bisa melakukan apa saja. Ketika kamu pergi jauh dan merindukan dia, dan mengetahui bahwa jika kamu harus pulang, tempat yang akan kamu tuju adalah tempat-tempat di mana dia berada. And I-love-yous, maybe they are not forever ever after. Maybe they are moments. Moments you can never get back.

Jadi hadiah ulang tahunku untukmu, Dim, adalah saat ini. Sekarang. Nikmati saat-saat ini, ya, Dim. Setiap momen. Setiap kesempatan. Setiap jalan yang dibukakan. Setiap pertemuan. Karena di akhir hari, kamu akan mengenang semuanya. Mungkin tak seluruhnya indah. Tapi setidaknya, kamu akan mengenangnya tanpa rasa sesal. Dan itu adalah hal terindah yang bisa kita katakan tentang hidup yang sudah kita jalani selama ini.

Love,
Hanny.