Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Continuous Learning

I was thinking to write about one issue that out of personal life, like I used to do before. I want to write about Myanmar chairmanship for ASEAN, as it becomes the trend topic for us who especially concern about this issue. But unfortunately what I think and what I want don't compromise each other. I found it's very difficult to write about Myanmar this time.

Anyway, I have decided to choose Japan over New Zealand. To some extent New Zealand is too attractive to be missed. I imagined to spend time on the shore so often when I live in New Zealand as well as get another job while I am on my study. But that image has swiftly changed. Japan has won more points when I was on the consideration to choose between the two.

Nagoya will have me by the early of April. That time when sakura trees are flowering. I will start my class after one week of orientation. Until now, everything that related to my occupation and enrollment have been prepared well by the organizer in Japan.

Seeing my friends experience who got the chance to study overseas, I saw some people have some different objective when they take a degree outside the country. Some want to gain a better knowledge, some confess to get a  prestige, some think they will get a better job when they back to the home country, and some want to get more life experience. I appreciate that and of course I am part of them - the one who pursue a degree in overseas with some reasons.

But my desire to go outside the country, taking 2 years of master's is more - to get a life. Thing that I have found and learned during my occupation in Jakarta, especially in the last 3 years, and will be continue. Life to the fullest, not only for gaining the joy, but for the goodness of all.

My friend once asked me, where I am going to work after graduated from university later. I actually have no clue nor I have imagination about it. All I want is take my time in Japan, live it to the fullest. I want to study hard, gain more knowledge, travel, make more relationship with people, do aesthetic things, and do something for my 'body' goodness.

So let say I have make a bucket list for my 2 years in Japan. But actually this is not bucket list. I prefer to name it a continuous life learning. Many things that I will develop and improve in Japan, as the result of the things I learned and observed through the years before, in Jakarta or beyond.

So in my imagination NOW, what I am gonna do in Japan.

 1.  Studying still being the priority. I am taking International Cooperation Program and wish my knowledge can be useful for my future life.
As I am an ADB scholar and got a chance to back to school, I will study harder, being excellence in the class and gain broader knowledge. I will learn how to be excellent without feeling so excellent. I want to make good discussions, make a better paper work, increase the standard of writing paper, while on the other hand I will try to listen well what other say in every discussion, without judging, and try to know it as other human perspective. Achieving new lessons from others argumentation. I will also try not to feel exclusive, just because I am a scholar (oh man, this is really hot issue!).

2. Travel. The opportunity to travel more seems get closer. I am in Japan for 2 years, and I will have more time to travel. I will see many Japan's areas and sense it in my heart. I also plan to visit neighbor countries (Korea and China). I hope it's ok to eat the best bibimbab in Seoul and do meditation in the middle of great wall of China. Or seeing running horses in the morning when I open up the window in Mongolia. Moreover I have planned to celebrate Christmas and new year somewhere. I have thoughts to go to Europe in December 2014. I will save my money for this! I believe that travel would enable us to learn and see more about the life, open up our mind, and there's no regret in being closed with nature.

3. Dance. Dance lately become a booster to go to Japan soonest. I believe that dancing can make people happier, healthier, and releasing positive energy from the body. Moreover, Ruth St Denis said, "I see dance being used as a communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words".
I have contacted one of dancing school in Nagoya couple days ago, asking about Jazz dancing lesson. I was happy that they have a good program for non experience like me.  I will learn how to dance, how to sense and learn the expression.


Dance quote :)it also makes you feel free out on that dance floor & it never matters who is watchin I would rather they come join me

4. Physical exercise. One thing that I regret during my days in Jakarta is the lack of exercise. I am swimming, but I am not doing it every week.
After a chronic gastritis that happen to me since a year ago, I have got difficulties in doing an exercise. It's not easy for me to run, or do other exercises except swimming. So I hope that I can start it in Japan. I want to run as much as I can every week, playing badminton or tennis every morning before starting the day, and swimming.

5. Make good relationship with people, have a lot friends. Most people call it building a network, but I am not. Build a network sometimes feels like make a friend with benefit. I don't know, but I am not too comfortable with it. I want to have more and more friends. I have a lot of friends in Jakarta and it's very exciting. I want to continue it. It sounds fine to have a good relationship with others, regardless they are cool or not, they are smart or not, they are hipster or introvert, or they are too young or too old. Build a relationship will help you to know yourself better. Come to them and be the bless for them, as I believe that some people coming to our life for some reasons, some come to learn and others come to teach.
I will let myself joining beer party when the time is right, as well as fulfilling somebody's request to accompany them to pray if they need me.

6. Take a 'bonus' of being a master's student: Being a presenter in the conference, student exchange to other University, getting a job in the university, and the most important: taking internship before graduation. Talking about internship, I will put my effort to intern in the place I like. I hope there will be a chance to intern in London, or NYC, or somewhere in Africa.

7. Fall in love. Share the love. Love what I know is the noble thing, soften the heart, make someone better, make me closed to God. I want to fall in love and always be in love, just like everyday.

8. Happy, Happy, Happy. No regret, no insecure. Happiness basically comes from our faith to the almighty God. So to get the real happiness we have to strengthen our faith to God first. I like Elizabeth Gilbert's statement about happiness: “You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
Lately I like the  trending slang words: YOLO. People use YOLO (You Only Live Once), to indicate something like living in the moment or life to the fullest. I like YOLO! Be YOLO, people. YOU have a good good life to celebrate!

9. Kind, kinder, and kindest.  kindness is too deep to elaborate here. what I know is I want to be a forever kind people. Never see the kindness by performance or  outlook.  It can be lying. Be a sincere people is truly cooler than being someone who always look for fame. And of course kindness is closed to the happiness.

If I am allowed to put another quote or statement, I will take from George Saunders's statement when he brought a speech in one of the university in US:
"Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly."

There are a lot of good things that people can take or do in their life. But still, kindness must play the most important role

As the finale of this writing, I want to share you with the beautiful prayer. The one that was written by a friend. I hope he never be objected if someday he looks his prayer is posted here, as this one is really move me.

I want God always present in my life. I wish I always be reminded when I almost lost, when my mind go to the wrong direction. I hope He also help me to find my way and help me to be a better person. Thank you God for blessing me everyday. I surrender every plan I made to you. 

In the name of God, the most merciful and compassionate…
Please protect me from myself first, then from other people.
Please protect me from my vindictiveness and the vindictiveness of others
Please endow me with faith, strong willingness, and temperance.
Please endow me with courage and compassion.
Please endow me with the ability to be positive
Please endow me with the ability to make wise decisions
So I could weather out all your tests and rigors in life
So I could learn not to hate when I feel pain
So I could learn not to prejudge others
So I could be responsible for myself
So I could let my loved ones to not worry over me
So I could be responsible for others when they are in need
Dear God, I am not perfect, nor are any of your mortal creations
Give me humility, so I am never too arrogant to not hear advice
Give me pride, so I am never too unconfident to share my knowledge
Give me knowledge so I can see through superficiality
Give me wisdom so I am never jealous and always happy in rich and poor
Give me all these so I can learn
I want to learn to listen
I want to learn to know
I want to learn to be a gentleman
I want to learn to be gentle and patient
I want to learn to know when to be firm
I want to learn to know when to keep distance and when to be friendly
I want to learn to be serious but to not take myself too seriously
I want to learn to remember everybody’s names
I want to learn to remember compliments
I want to learn to forget the insults
I want to learn to live
I want to learn to love and not to hate
And lastly, I want to learn so that eventually I would die in your grace
Amen

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Achievement and Acknowledgement

Nothing that I able to say but gratitude from the very deep of the heart. This year I have been offered two scholarships at the same time to study master's degree . Of course in final I have to choose the one that fit me the most. But I just can't overlook  the extraordinary feeling that come over lately. I am tremendously thankful for God's love and bless toward me. He works in the mysterious way and makes me feel well-rounded with love and glory He gave.

I have been granted the scholarship from New Zealand to study Master of Public Management at The Victoria University of Wellington and from Japan to Study Master of Arts in International Cooperation at The University of Nagoya. The programs will start in February and April 2014 (depend on what I will take).


To study master's degree actually is the plan since I graduated from my bachelor's degree. But the condition has lead me to some jobs and professional working experiences before I really ready to continue searching for advance education opportunity.


I, in this regard would like to thanks to all of the ones, especially my family (my mother, father and sister), not to mention friends and colleagues that has been giving invaluable and sincere supports. Giving me trust and also inputs that able to construct me in time of up or down. I have never been able to thank them properly, so I wish to do so here. 


My special acknowledgements are reserved at present to the following persons:

1.  Dr. Agus Trihartono who give me never ending supports since the first time I am looking for the scholarship for master's degree. Thank you for being my mentor who always give advice and support wholeheartedly.


2. My best friends: Marisna Yulianti, Adela Pranindiati, and Ruri Artiesa Narita. The ones that always be my place to share the life with. Thank you for helping me spreading my wings. May God bless all of you.


3. Beloved people who always cheer the days: Riski Nalandari, Wibawanizal Nur H, Nurus Sailah, Peggy Puspa, Riski Nurjanah, Inno Sukirno, Eva Murti, Diananda Riskia, Ayuningtyas Chandradewi, Arif Rahman Budiono, and Hermin Prajayani. I can't thank enough for everything. You and what happen now make this feeling indescribable. Thank you for unfailing friendship, I hope you a successful life today and years ahead.


4. For ASEAN Secretariat, I thank you for the trust given to me as a candidate of New Zealand Scholarship. My heartiest thankful for the panel of scholarship selection: His Excellency Nyan Lynn, His Excellency Dr. Lim Hong Hin and Mr. Danny Lee.


5. Board of Academics at the International Relations studies, University of Jember: Dr. Sugiyanto Kusuma, Dr. Abubakar Eby Hara, and Mr. Supriyadi. Thank you for the help and also support in time of scholarship application.


6. Some Professors at the Ritsumeikan University, Japan. Thank you for the trust toward my application before in 2012. Though I in final not study there, but I can feel the great supports.


Some months will go on before I really depart to the destination country. I will use it to prepare a lot.


  Lastly I want to quote from what Lauris Edmond wrote about Wellington: 'It's true you can't live here by chance, you have to do and be, not simply watch or even describe.  This is the city of action, the world headquarters of the verb.'


Ps. although if it turns out I am living in Japan (or everywhere), I will be still loving that quote



Love,

Niar

Monday, September 30, 2013

Years with ASEAN


I slept and dreamt that life was joy. 
I awoke and saw that life was service. 
I acted and behold, service was joy.

- Rabindranath Tagore 


It's been 3 years I service the ASEAN Secretariat under Security Cooperation Division. There are a lot that I have been learned not only about the work of international organization, the dynamic of the relations among ASEAN member states and/or with ASEAN dialogue partners, and the issue of political-security in this region. By living for three years in this building I have found something that maybe more than lessons or experiences, it is just like a life that God want me to see through the struggle, pain, joy, sincerity, and anything that out of my prediction before.

Some people said, working at the International Organization is just like a pride. It is same when I see most of people say that 'I am so cool' working at the ASEAN as the regional organization in Southeast Asia. Indeed the feeling of 'being cool' is true when the first time I was notified that I am accepted here, till I got the official letter of my appointment signed by the Secretary-General. But day after day, week after week, month after month, I really realized that the feeling cool is just like a 'bonus' for every sacrifice and dedication of working here.  Even now I have found that there is NO cool things of doing the job of of international organization.


My years at the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) has been passed by assisting my division to conduct every meetings, missions, and projects. Being the part of this organization, we are not only be the part of high level meetings or involving in the prestige projects, but there are many things that we have to feel 'sacrifice' by doing 'unimportant things' such as compiling documents for the meetings or conference or as a connector who convey some information to member states or other external entities, doing admin things, and other logistic matters. But by these small things life happens. 

I thank my God for giving me this job. I thank God for making me forgetting my ambition, forgetting my pride, trying to be sincere and also tough and vicious at the same time, and I thank my God that show me that doing small things is a precious, above all of the pleasant things and privilege that I have got like being in the multicultural environment, having the job according to my interest, and being the part of many ASEAN process. 

So, I just want to tell you that finally this is not the matter of the job you take, not the matter of your position, or money you gonna earn, but how you put every little things in your heart, and doing it with gratitude and joy. I am not saying that money and position are not important but the greatest love of all is what matter most.

Nothing is perfect in this world although you seems have got the good or great thing. But don't you have to worry because you can make this imperfection become a happiness and great bless.

Finally, just pursue what you think best and give yourself a little patience. Like a flowers, they are planted, watered, and grow. 


Monday, July 30, 2012

There Will Be a Time

I write this post with the feeling a little bit hurt. Yesterday I sent the email to one of Japanese University, informed that I can't attend the school this year and thanking so much for the invaluable support they gave to me during the process of selection for the scholarship.

Happy, sad, irony, unbelievable, desperate, grateful are mingled. I have received the information on April from the University stating that I am accepted in the University through one of scholarship provider. But unfortunately I finally can't go due to the disapproval of scholarship provider to give me a scholarship - although I am the Best nominee from the University to receive scholarship. I just can't understand since there are some people from the University said that it's almost impossible for the scholarship provider to ignore the recommendation from the University, and they added this is mean that I am 90% prospective, even 99%.

But this is actually that I have thought when I was on their consideration process. No matter how prospective we are, but God can do everything at the rest. I can't go to Japan if He's not allow me to go. And this is really true, He works on this 10 percent. I am sad, but grateful I have stepped so far although in final I am fail. I try ask to God why He does not allow me to go and make me stay longer in this city, in this home, in my current office.

I haven't got the answer but I try to be Ok with this. 

The last email I sent to University yesterday has confirmed that I really will not attend the school on September this year. Although they give me unconditional letter, of course I can't study due to financial limited.

Now I am on my effort to mend this broken heart. I am just try to positively think that His plan is better than I have thought. I am hardly build my willpower to keep fighting and standing. And I try to remember that I have told my sister that there will be a time for everything.

And this three days I have done this. I am working on new application for another scholarship. I am tired to start it again from beginning actually. But I think that we will never get anything from keeping the sadness.