*dedicated to all my highschool friends–class of ’01

“… but when we leave this year, we won’t be coming back. No more hanging out cause we’re on a different track. And if you got something that you need to say, you better say it right now cause we don’t have another day …”
(:Graduation by Vitamin C)

It was our last year in highschool. I guessed all those thoughts about saying goodbye to school atmosphere, leaving our class-mates and the sweet memories we’ve shared for these last 3 years, have made our class of 2001 a little bit sentimental. Suddenly, things that had never happened before became an inseparable part of our everyday life.

Vitamin C’s Graduation had become our new anthem. We sang this song in most occassions. We wrote the lyrics on a piece of paper and gave it away to our friends during lessons. The boys did some last attempts to conquer their fear and started to call up some girls they had a crush on.

Not long after, some new couples emerged; declaring their new status by holding hands and throwing kisses along the hallway. The number of new couples was increasing every single month. Those who have become enemies for years decided to forgive and forget; eventhough some times were still needed to heal the wounds. We celebrated our teacher’s birthday with surprise parties and delicious cakes. For a few months, we were living in harmony, filled with lots of love and laughter. Everything seemed moderately perfect.

But it didn’t last forever.

Our school’s football league had just started, and the competitive air filled the sky. Sportive competiton has been defeated by a huge ego to win the league, and becoming this year’s champion of the league was the most important matter. Period.

Our class of 2001 was divided into several cliques. Constant quarrels and fights happened both inside and outside the football court. The tension increased and widened its wings: suddenly, all the fights were not merely about football. It was also about ‘you-dated-my-girlfriend’ and ‘you-dated-my-boyfriend’ thing. The love and laughter had evaporated since then. Tears and hatred took place.

I remembered that afternoon–not long after I went back from school, my phone rang:

“Hello? Hanny?” I heard my friend’s wavering voice. “Have you heard the news?”

“What news?” I asked, puzzled.

“That Ben and some other guys were going out to play basketball this noon at Sentul. And God, they… they got a terrible car accident and three of them were badly injured. They’re all at the hospital now.”

I had no idea what happened next. It all happened so fast. In less than an hour, our class of 2001 had received complete information about the accident. Somehow, we’d been united by this tragic accident that almost took lives of our closest friends. All those tears and hatred that had been hunting us these past few weeks dissapeared. Love, loyalty, and compassion took place.

In a few days, we had collected some money to help our friend’s family covering some costs for the hospital, surgery, and other medications. We sold stuffs and gave away half of our pocket money every single day. We gained support for donations. We did morning prayers for their recovery. We did simply anything that could help our friend’s lives. We had made ourselves busy to forget the sadness and when we weren’t busy, we concentrated on our next efforts.

And a few months after, I believed, our class of 2001 was the happiest one knowing that our friends’ lives were able to be saved.

Suddenly, the football league was no longer important. The boyfriend-girlfriend thingy started to seem ridiculous. During crisis moments, we have found our best quality as highschool students once again. Love, laughter, and compassion filled the air with its freshness. Our class of 2001 would always believe in the strength of love and friendship–that have helped us to pass this awful crisis, together.

Vitamin C’s Graduation and all those nice things that had happened in the beginning were spinning once again …


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We tend to shape our memories of them based on the limited time we spend with them—and our memories of them, over time, will be replaced with one single word, one single interaction, or one single feeling.
Beradadisini Love Letter to Self
I took up a personal journaling project this week: writing a love letter to myself before bed. I work on a thin A6-size handmade paper journal I got from a paper artist, Els. The journal is thin and small enough, so it doesn't overwhelm me. It feels like I am only going to work on a small project.
Standing up for yourself does not have to look aggressive. It does not have to feel like a fight. It's not always about convincing others or explaining yourself and your decisions with the hope that everyone else understands or accepts your choice.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.