Saturday, June 27, 2020

31


Today I am officially turning 31. 

Wow, where did the time go? It seems only yesterday I was in New York City celebrating my 30th birthday like Carrie Bradshaw then Peru. Running free full of excitement and curiosity exploring new places with a camera in my hand. And just in a blink of an eye…12 months have passed. 

It’s true when people say a lot can happen in a year. Many things have happened in the last 12 months. Like many of you who struggle to deal with uncertainty during the pandemic, I found it was challenging as well to stay productive and positive all the time. Especially as someone who’s extremely energetic and move around a lot, suddenly I have to stop, push the pause button and accept things the way it is. Sometimes it does feel like as if my life is being on hold, but the good thing about having good friends with positive attitude - they inspire you to grow and evolve no matter what your current circumstances are. It’s all about your mindset and the everyday choices you make can change your life. Yes you can’t control everything in life, but you can definitely control the way you respond to something. So I decided to pick up new hobbies, create no matter how small, learn new things, and focus on myself. Embrace changes. Grow and evolve. 

Writing my book ‘Metamorfosis’ is definitely the best thing I did this year. Who knew a decision to write a book would teach me so many things about myself and life and take me to a whole new journey I never thought I knew. I learn so much about consistency, persistence, building momentum and positive habits and to believe in myself…my story and the power of every word I write.

I found writing 150 pages wasn’t easy at all at the beginning. When I set the goal I had to finish writing in 3 months, I ended up not enjoying my writing process. But when I allow myself to take my time, to write one page at a time and have a little break when I need to, the writing process gets a lot easier especially after you pass the first 50 pages. One day I’m so full of energy, inspiration, I can write 5 pages and the next day…I couldn’t even get out of my bed. I felt like I’m not good enough, I doubt myself, confused..lonely..and I just wanted to quit. But then I remember again the reason why I started this project. Why I’m writing this book…because above all, it’s my passion. And I wanted to give back to life and people that I met along the journey…and that just gives me extra love, strength, and passion to keep going. Obviously I could have just quit and move on to do other things rather than sit, write, and bleed. But writing that book, to finish what I’ve started….they’re so important to me I can’t just give it up. 

After working on Metamorfosis for about 14 months – through a hurricane of emotions - last month I’ve finally finished writing my manuscript and managed to send it to few publishers in Indonesia. It’s the moment when I hit the send button and have a courage to put my work out there, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Relief and proud…for not only finishing what I’ve started, but also for trying, for doing the right things. As much as I’d love to see my book getting published and hopefully my journey can inspire someone out there, it’s the act of showing up, stay consistent, enjoy the process…that’s truly important. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

It’s surprising and beautiful to witness just how much strength and patience I have to complete this project. Sure I have fear and doubts, I had this question in my mind, will I ever make it? Is this even worth it? Who’s going to publish or read my work? What if I never get it right, never quite arrive, never work it out? But what if it’s actually just about showing up again and again, finding little treasures in the moment and continuing on? No past resentments, no future longings. Just a willingness to show up each day and try again. Reminding me that with each moment I feel amiss, that all I need to do is show up again to the next. One step at a time. No need to rush, enjoy the process, and celebrate every little progress. Never despise small beginnings. The point is that whatever you choose, if it’s coming from your heart - know that you’ll be supported throughout whether you realize it or not. 

Even when you feel like you’re stuck, things don’t always go as planned, or your life seem to fall apart, I find the best way to get up and rise again is through creativity. What truly amazing about creativity is, it often pulls you into the now, where you come face to face with your truest self. This might mean literally writing about your feelings, cooking, painting, making music, or recording your podcast…You’re not just creating something pretty or interesting; you’re connecting with a piece of your heart, be fully present, and find greater clarity about what you needed for your peace, healing, and happiness. It’s only when we process and express our feelings that we’re able to fully understand what’s going on inside of ourselves, simply focus on our own experience and inner voice…and create space to discover what we need—whether that pertains to our work, our relationships, or any other aspect of our lives. 

Chasing dreams can be frustrating, confusing, and lonely sometimes. Nobody actually understands what’s on your messy mind - well, they don’t have to and you don’t owe any explanation to anyone. Do what truly matters to you. Stay true to yourself and stick to your guns. Consider yourself really lucky if you have friends who believe in you and simply would never get tired of reminding you to chase your dreams. It’s okay to be scared, to have a lil doubt, but as long as you keep going…keep putting one foot in front of the others, then you’ll be fine. 

Today I am humbled and grateful not only for all the love and supports I’ve received from my loved ones but also for one extraordinary life full of adventures, colors, blessings, progress, ups and downs, perfect health, and huge opportunities I honestly never thought I could have. I am excited to see what life has in store for me and of course, more dream comes true…

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Stavanger, Norway



Hello my loves,

I hope you’re all safe and healthy wherever you are at the moment. I thought I’d love to share with you some lost and found pictures from my first trip to Norway almost two years ago.

I remember I arrived in Stavanger, Norway that day very early in the morning. I had no plan at all to visit the city until I met a stranger at a cafe in Bergen and the first thing she told me was her experience hiking to Preikestolen. After she showed me a couple of pictures of the cliff, I went on the internet to find out how to get to Preikestolen. Then I booked my bus ticket, a room for one night in Stavanger, then left Bergen with so much excitement to know I’d soon explore a new city and go on a hike again.

Arriving in Stavanger at dawn gave me the opportunity to explore the city and wander around the streets and little alleys. From the old town to Øvre Holmegate or colorful street in Stavanger, I took my time to immerse myself in this strange place and create a little bit with a camera in my hands.

Another day. Another dream come true. Another new place. New people. Different culture. Here I am a thousand miles away from home, living the uncertainty, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable every single day. I absolutely have no idea what or where I’d be tomorrow but does it even matter? It feels good to be in the right place surrounded by good people. What a blessing and true privilege to witness every single miracle happen and surprises life has in store for me.













Friday, May 15, 2020

Budapest, Hungary




Sometimes I think back to the days where I used to find myself in places I could never have imagined, after boarding a one-way flight to the other side of the world. I traveled solo and I made friends of strangers. I wandered cities, alleyways, markets, and maps. I fell into a habit of collecting memories. Looking at these pictures I took in Budapest, Hungary exactly a year ago - it never fails to amaze me what a year can do. In the last 12 months, I’ve experienced a lot of things from visiting new places, writing and editing my manuscripts, to letting go someone who once meant the world to me. Losing something or someone is definitely not easy but for everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. I landed a couple of huge opportunities, met new people, still creating and learning to love myself better. To let go and to stop stressing things I can not control. To surrender more, to be gentle with myself, and take it one day at a time. Acceptance is the answer and it’s OK if all you did today was survive. 

Obviously I never thought we’d deal with the current situation. Just like many of you, I used to run free and then suddenly I had to stop traveling. I couldn’t even practice pole dance or walk along the beach to catch the sunset anymore. A freedom and the simplest things in life that sometimes we take for granted. The bad news is, we don’t know when this is all going to be over, but the good news is nothing lasts forever. It’s a strange time for everyone, but we’re all in this together and sooner or later we’ll eventually see the lights at the end of the tunnel.