The Problem with Many Relationships in Life: We’re Nicer to The Strangers Rather than The Loved Ones

The problem with many relationships in life: we’re oftentimes nicer to the strangers rather than the loved ones.

Need some examples?

We are hesitate to tell the hard truth to colleagues, but we feel like we can tell whatever we want (with no filter) to our families.

We try so hard to be a good employee but we are careless to be a good daughter/son.

We make times for our random cool friends, but we don’t bother to make times (a real good quality times) with our old best friends.

And this is one final example that I often find in married couples: they tried so hard to be a good husband/wife material before they get married, but then they stop trying to become ones after they truly get married.

A friend used to tell me, “Many marriage fails because they both stop trying to impress each other after they get married.” And I find it so true in many other relationships in life too! Not to mention, the closer we are with someone, the less efforts we put to not hurting their feelings too. We don’t hesitate to reveal the worst part of us to the loved ones without considering how it will break their hearts.

Can’t you imagine how awful it might feel? No more good things to celebrate, only boredom and problems to solve. In this kind of relationship, being with them ends up feeling like a burden. It doesn’t feel like home, it’s not comforting and it doesn’t make us a happy person anymore. Until finally, we end up feeling depressed with our own relationships. We either want to run away or we’ve got to hold on and bear all the pains for some things that we deem as “the good reasons”.

I know that if feels good to be surrounded by the people who manage to love us unconditionally. We want them to love and accept us just the way we are. It’s actually human… but then we forget that they are too only a human. And what’s even more concerning is that we forget how love is also a work and love has to be earned not just in the beginning, but also in every single day of our life. A happy relationship is a never ending works and it might be the hardest work we should ever do in our entire life. We only need to work on it unless if we find that it’s okay just to be alone, and lonely.

Life is all about a balance, and so is a relationship. A balance between the comfort of being ourselves and the hard work to be the very best of us for the loved ones. I know for a fact that unfortunately, reaching this “balance” is always the hardest one.

Everytime it feels hard for me to deal with the loved ones, I told myself, “I don’t owe anything to any random people in the office nor any people who only text me a couple times in a year, but I owe a lot of things to my families and best friends.” And then I prioritize my resources (times, energy, and wealth) from there.

From now on, let’s try to do better for our loved ones. If we’re willing to listen to the strangers, listen to our loved ones too. Hear them out! And if we’re willing to work hard just to be “employee of the year”, why don’t we work as hard to be son/daughter or husband/wife of the year too? When we keep trying to be the very best version of us in anything in life, we do it not only for ourselves, but also for the people we care about.

I Never Forever Despise My Ex, I Never Have, I Never Will

I can’t stay forever mad with the people I used to care about. It can take a year, or maybe, it can take a decade, but I will eventually forgive them for what went wrong back in the past. Be it in personal or work relationship, no matter how bad it was, somehow I always found my way to have them back in my life. It might not be as close as we once were, but at least, they are not my forever enemy.

Why would I want to do that? Because they used to mean a lot to me and whatever they did wrong could never change the good memories that we used to have.

For starter, at some point, I always manage to be friends with my ex crush. Yes, they broke my heart, but in most cases, I used to broke their hearts too. It’s actually my loss if I decided to get rid of the beautiful memories I used to share with them. I would never forget the way they made me smile, the butterflies in my belly, and all the little things they did to comfort me, and most importantly, to make me feel loved. Once I fall in love with somebody, they will be forever mean something to me. I may never feel the same way again, but they will never be a stranger and I will always have a tiny place for them inside my heart. Once in my lifetime, they were my fairy tale, and they will always be my favorite stories to tell to my grandkids.

I will also stop hating the bosses who made me want to leave the companies I used to work at (I’m not saying I hate all my former bosses though). Back to the times I worked with them, each and everyone of them had contribution to my career development. They challenged me, they gave me opportunities I was unsure if I was capable of, and of course, they rewarded me even more than I thought I deserved sometimes. I am not who I am without my former bosses, and I’m thankful for that.

And finally, sooner or later, I will forgive ex best friends who betrayed me. I used to hope I could grow old with them, as people always say; best friends forever. Seeing my hopes were torn apart couldn’t be more heartbreaking to me. I’m already used to have envy people trying to ruin my happiness, but I never expect to watch my best friends doing the same thing to me. But still, there were some reasons why I called them my best friends. They helped me in the lowest points of my life, they woke up in the middle of the nights just to hear about my bad days, they were once the people I chose to be my family.

I’ve come to learn that my Mr. Wrongs were actually learning to become a Mr. Right (even if it’s most likely for someone else but me). They had to make those mistakes so that they knew what they should do to become a better man.

My horrible bosses were not pure evils or whatsoever. The crazy pressures they had were just beyond their capacities as human back then. If they are good enough, someday they’ll come around and they’ll eventually learn how to become a better leader for their teams.

Finally my former best friends… from all people in this world, I know better how kind and how good they actually could become. Hard times in life changed them, yet whatever their pain and struggle was, I sincerely hope they will soon find a light at the end of the tunnel. And if they will ever find themselves guilty, more important than my forgiveness to them is actually their forgiveness to themselves. That way, they will learn how to stay kind even when this life gets rough.

Again, this total forgiveness may take ages for me to get there. It’s not the forgiveness itself that is hard to be done; it’s to forget the way they once made me feel. Not to mention how hard it is to heal a broken trust. It’s definitely not easy, but doable.

Everyone makes mistakes, and so do I. And at the same time, everyone needs time to heal, and so do I.

Real Love is Tough, Very Tough

Did you know? Real love is tough. It’s not always pretty. It even looks ugly, sometimes. It doesn’t always please you, it doesn’t always make you feel completely happy, it’s a bumpy road, it’s definitely not as easy as a fairy tale.

Someone who loves you, cares about you, will tell you the truth. An ugly truth, perhaps. It’s not because they don’t love you anymore, it’s just because they want what’s best for you and your life. And when they truly care about you, they tell that truth right in front of you. They won’t backstab you, they will always be bold enough to be honest with you.

Someone who cares about you will not make everything always easy for you. They want you to earn it. They don’t want to spoil you the whole times because they don’t want you to be irresponsible with your own life. They want you to grow up as a person inside.

Someone who sincerely loves you will never give up on you. They will do everything in their power to keep you in their life, and it includes all the fights that have made you feel uncomfortable with the relationship itself. If they just let it fall apart, it simply means they just don’t want to waste their precious times on you.

This theory is one theory that I believe is always right. Be it romantic relationship, friendship, and families. If they care about you, they will take a risk to tell you the truth, and they will take an extra miles just to help you to become a better person than you were yesterday.

Again I tell you here, if your lover never pisses you off, most likely, you haven’t dated them long enough. If your friends only tell all the right things that make you happy, you guys aren’t close enough. And if your parents have stopped lecturing you, then most likely, they have finally given up on you.

Believe me, real love is tough. Nobody is perfect and neither are you, and the people who love you the most are the people who will tell you your imperfections a lot more often than everyone else. If you keep hating them for telling you the truth, you are preventing yourself from being loved. What’s even worse, you’re preventing yourself from being a lovable person who gets better from times to times.

Find someone who is bold enough, who cares enough, to tell you the truth and to fight for that truth, for you.

The People I Need in My Life

One of the greatest lessons I learned from getting  older is to learn the things I like, want, and need for my own life. I’ve come to learn quality over quantities, and it includes the people that I need to have around.

I don’t need a thousand friends on my social media, I only need a smaller circle of people who truly care.

I don’t need dozens of social event invitations, I only need unforgettable moments with the loved ones.

And I don’t need a bunch of bride maids on my wedding day, I only need a couple of best friends who are always there in my ups and downs.

Why can’t I have all of that with more of people in my life? Because it takes a great amount of effort just to have a few of them in a longer run and that makes all of them very hard to find!

And why did I say they were hard to find? What precisely do I need from the people that count to me?

Here’s the short list!

  1. I need the people who is genuinely happy for me when my life is up on the sky (and not the ones who let their envy consumes themselves);
  2. The people who is genuinely upset when my life knocks me down (and not the ones who are secretly happy to see me fail);
  3. The people who think of my problems as if it were theirs;
  4. The people who can keep my secrets carefully;
  5. The people who never get bored with the stories and problems I share with them repeatedly;
  6. The people who always reply my text, even the not so important ones (and just because they understand it’s really important for me);
  7. The people who are always willing to forgive my flaws;
  8. The people who still believe in me and capable to see my lights even in my darkest times;
  9. The people who are always in my corner (even when I’m doing all the wrong things in public); and
  10. The people who make time for me, no matter how busy they are.

What makes it even more difficult? Because when I know how hard they try to do all that for me, I will also put my very best effort to do all that for them back. That’s why I said; quality over quantities. I would rather to spend my times and energy to the ones that really matter.

It would be great if you can have dozens of people like that in your life, but to me, I’m beyond grateful just to have a couple of them. I don’t know what I ever did in my past that makes me deserve every single one of them. Not only they are the people I need, they’re also the people I want and I love to have to be a part of my life. I hope, I really hope, we’re going to have each other for the rest of our life.

My Current Life, in a Nutshell

Waktu jaman duluuu banget, gue pernah punya masalah bertubi-tubi yang akhirnya bikin gue jatuh sakit, sampe hampir dirawat di rumah sakit. Gue baru sembuh total setelah beberapa minggu lamanya, setelah tiga kali ganti-ganti dokter spesialis. Saat itu gue tahu, masalahnya bukan kecapekan, bukan kebanyakan lembur, tapi stres, tertekan, kekecewaan, sedih, patah hati, yang semuanya seolah melebur jadi satu. Waktu itu rasa-rasanya benar-benar titik terendah sepanjang hidup gue.

Daaan… tepat di saat gue berpikir tidak ada yang mungkin lebih buruk dari kejadian bertahun-tahun yang lalu itu, rentetan konflik yang baru kembali menimpa gue. Kali ini, saking tertekannya, gue sampe dateng ke tempat praktek psikolog klinis. Bukan berarti gue punya masalah kejiwaan lho yaa, hanya saja entah kenapa, saat itu gue ngerasa butuh sudut pandang orang asing yang bisa gue percaya dan bisa memberikan penilaian secara objektif. Kalau bukan psikolog, siapa lagi?

Bukannya beres sampai di situ, keadaan justru memburuk beberapa saat setelah kunjungan gue ke psikolog itu. Tapi justru di situ itu lah perfect timing menurut gue. Saat keadaan memburuk, saran si mbak psikolog itu sudah mulai gue terapkan, dan percaya tidak percaya, gue ngerasa bisa melewati ujian kali ini jauh lebih baik daripada kejadian bertahun-tahun yang lalu itu.

Berawal dari saran untuk kembali menghubungi sahabat-sahabat lama, untuk mengubah tabiat gue, untuk memberanikan diri mencari penyelesaian dari masalah gue, lama kelamaan, gue jadi ketagihan ingin mengubah cara hidup gue sendiri.

Gue mulai menyempatkan diri untuk kembali terhubung dengan sahabat-sahabat lama. Mulai kembali curhat sama mereka, mulai ketemuan, atau curi-curi waktu untuk makan siang bareng… Gue seperti kembali teringat alasan kenapa dulu gue bisa berteman sebegitu erat dengan mereka semua.

Gue yang tadinya hanya makan siang, makan malam, pergi nonton dan karoke dengan orang-orang yang itu-itu saja, mulai melebarkan sayap dengan ngobrol panjang lebar dengan lebih banyak orang. Gue berusaha lebih mengenal orang-orang yang sebelumnya hanya gue kenal sepintas saja. Wajah-wajah di socmed homepage gue jadi lebih bervariasi daripada sebelumnya!

Gue juga mulai menantang diri gue sendiri untuk bisa belajar sabar. Bukan berarti gue tidak akan pernah marah lagi, jika memang harus marah, ya gue tetap marah. Tapi setidaknya, gue lebih mengendalikan kata-kata yang gue ucapkan. Dan setidaknya, sekarang gue udah bisa marah-marah dengan suara sepelan-pelannya, hehehehe.

Lalu malam ini, untuk pertama kalinya, gue memberanikan datang ke wedding reception seorang diri! Biasanya, gue mesti banget janjian dengan minimal satu orang teman yang gue kenal dengan baik. Tapi hari ini, gue langsung datang dan sesampainya di sana, langsung cari-cari orang yang bisa gue ajak ngobrol-ngobrol. Awalnya sempat boring, tapi lama-lama, malah ada beberapa percakapan yang lumayan interesting. Tanpa terasa, dua jam di sana sudah terlewat dengan sendirinya.

Kembali ke tadi siang, setelah resepsi pernikahan pertama yang gue hadiri di hari ini, gue menyempatkan makan sore (iya, makan sore-sore, hehehehe) bareng sahabat dari kantor gue sebelumnya. Dia bilang, dia membelikan sesuatu yang menurut dia tuh bener-bener gue banget. Dia belikan barang-barang itu sebagai kado ultah gue yang jatuhnya masih sebulan lagi! Tahu apa isi kadonya? Buku berjudul The Alpha Girl’s Guide, dilengkapi dengan satu batang cokelat yang katanya bisa bikin enteng jodoh (dan nama produknya beneran Cokelat Enteng Jodoh!). Rasanya udah lama banget sejak terakhir kali gue tertawa bahagia saat menerima pemberian orang lain. This gift is very thoughtful!

Hari ini, gue juga sempat ngobrol panjang lebar dengan sahabat baik gue di bangku kuliah dulu. Gue sempat mengenalkan sahabat kuliah dengan sahabat di kantor lama sambil makan-makan sore itu. Melihat mereka bisa akur dan saling bercanda satu sama lainnya, hati gue jadi tersentuh! Gue jadi menyadari betapa beruntungnya diri gue ini. Gue jadi sadar bahwa ternyata, seumur hidup gue, gue tidak pernah benar-benar sendiri.

Ternyata, gue memiliki hal-hal yang belum tentu dimiliki orang lain pada umumnya: sahabat dan keluarga yang tulus mengasihi, orang-orang luar biasa yang selalu bisa menerima gue dengan segala kekurangan dalam diri gue ini. Menghabiskan waktu bersama mereka membuat gue menyadadari bahwa seburuk apapun situasi gue saat ini, setidaknya, gue tidak pernah seorang diri.

Gue selalu punya orang-orang yang ikut marah saat gue sedih dan tersakiti.

Gue selalu punya orang-orang yang tidak putus menyemangati untuk gue bangkit lagi.

Gue selalu punya orang-orang yang menyempatkan waktu, bahkan di tengah malam sekalipun, untuk mendengar keluh kesah gue.

Gue selalu punya orang-orang yang betulan serius memutar otak bagaimana caranya untuk menghibur dan membuat gue kembali tertawa.

Gue selalu punya orang-orang yang menemani tiap langkah gue, dalam suka-duka, dalam titik terbaik dan juga titik terburuk sepanjang hidup gue.

Banyak orang yang bilang, karier gue adalah anugerah terbaik dalam hidup gue. Tanpa mengurangi rasa syukur gue untuk kemudahan karier gue, kali ini gue mau bilang… Kenyataannya, sahabat dan keluarga gue adalah anugerah terbesar dalam hidup gue ini. Tanpa mereka, gue pastilah bukan siapa-siapa.

Thanks for the love, the patience, the never ending support, and on top of all that, thanks for always being there for me. You guys are the best! And I just cannot ask for more.

Stop Taking People for Granted!

Seringkali, gue merasa sedih saat melihat realita di depan mata. Kita – termasuk diri gue sendiri – seringkali taking others for granted. Memperlakukan mereka secara semena-mena, tidak menghargai mereka sebagaimana mestinya, dan ironisnya, seringkali kita melakukan hal tersebut justru kepada orang-orang terdekat kita. Kepada orang-orang yang tulus menyayangi dan selalu ada buat kita.

Contohnya anggota keluarga. Kita paling sering berkata seenaknya kepada mereka. Meluapkan apa saja yang ada di dalam perasaan. Kita bisa bersikap lebih sopan kepada orang asing ketimbang anggota keluarga kita sendiri. Kenapa demikian? Karena kita tahu, keluarga akan tetap jadi keluarga. Mereka akan selalu menerima kita dengan segala keburukan dalam diri kita ini. Kita malah dengan enteng berpikiran, “Toh mereka sudah terbiasa dengan kelakuan gue!”

Tanpa kita sadari, hal yang sama juga kita lakukan dalam lingkungan pergaulan. Kita lebih mementingkan teman-teman yang kelihatan lebih keren. Lebih asyik. Lebih kaya raya. Dan lain sebagainya. Teman-teman yang selalu ada dalam suka dan duka justru jadi prioritas selanjutnya. Teman-teman yang menyediakan bahunya untuk tangisan kita justru teman-teman yang kita lupakan saat kita tertawa bahagia.

Hal yang sama juga bisa terjadi dalam dunia kerja. Menggaji karyawan seenaknya. Memperlakukan mereka bukan berdasarkan kontribusi, tapi malah berdasarkan rasa suka tidak suka yang sifatnya sangat subjektif. Mengkambinghitamkan tim yang tidak bersalah hanya demi keuntungan pribadi. Dan masih banyak lagi hal-hal buruk lainnya.

Kemudian yang terakhir, dalam hal percintaan. Terkadang, kita merasa bisa memperlakukan mereka sesuka suasana hati karena kita tahu mereka tidak akan ke mana-mana. Kita merasa boleh datang dan pergi sesuka hati karena toh mereka akan selalu bersedia menerima kita kembali. Kita seolah lupa bahwa jika kita tidak bisa balas mencintai, maka dilepaskan saja. Biarkan mereka mendapatkan orang lain yang bisa mencintai mereka sama besarnya.

Cintailah orang lain sebagaimana mestinya.

Jangan biarkan anggota keluarga kita menyayangi kita hanya karena terpaksa; hanya karena mereka tidak punya pilihan lain selain menerima kita sebagai bagian dari keluarga.

Jangan pula biarkan teman-teman terbaik kita perlahan pergi dari hidup kita ini. Memangnya kita pikir kita ini siapa? Lama-lama mereka juga akan gerah jika kita hanya datang saat ada maunya.

Kita juga harus belajar berlaku adil kepada rekan kerja. Semakin tinggi jabatan, semakin besar pula tanggung jawabnya. Jangan hanya mau terima gajinya saja!

Yang terakhir, hargailah orang lain yang mencintai kita dengan setulus hatinya. Jika ingin menolak, lakukan dengan penuh perasaan. Jangan malah jadi congkak! Dan bagaimanapun, menolak tetap jauh lebih baik daripada menggantung tanpa ada keputusan.

Kenapa di awal gue bilang gue merasa sedih melihat realita ini? Karena sebetulnya, memperlakukan orang lain secara semena-mena justru menjauhkan diri kita sendiri dari kebahagiaan. Kita menjauhkan diri dari orang yang paling mampu menerima kita apa adanya. Kita menjauhkan diri dari orang-orang yang kemungkinan besar, paling mampu membuat kita bahagia.

Stop taking people for granted, let’s start from the closest ones. Let’s start from saying sorry for all the pain that we put them through. Let’s start to treat them right! And always remember, what comes around goes around.

Have a lovely week ahead!



My Nephew’s Fourth Birthday Party

Ceritanya kemarin, gue dan adek gue ngerayain hari ulang tahun ke empat-nya Arfa (anaknya adek gue itu). Karena Arfa sekolah di Bekasi, mau tidak mau, tempat perayaan juga tidak jauh-jauh dari sekolahnya Arfa. Agak tidak ideal karena justru jauh dari tempat tinggal keluarga besar dan teman-teman terdekat. Dan honestly, gue agak-agak enggak pede dengan lokasi rumah kalau mengingat ekspresi dan komentar orang-orang yang pernah jauh-jauh datang ke sini, hehehehe.

Saking akrabnya gue dengan Arfa, gue jadi kepengen ngundang teman-teman terdekat di kantor juga. Agak khawatir soal jarak dan macetnya, tapi tetap gue undang juga. Gue undang, tapi tidak ada satupun yang gue tanya mau datang atau enggak karena takut kecewa sama jawabannya, hehehehe. I just thought that true friends will walk a thousand miles without being asked anyway 😉

Saat sampai hari H, gue sempat harap-harap cemas. Sudah jam 15:30, sesuai undangan harusnya pesta sudah dimulai, tapi belum ada tamu yang datang 😦 Pikir gue, mungkin karena bulan puasa, karena sedang turun hujan, dan karena macet sedang parah-parahnya. Memang bukan pesta gue, tapi gue jadi kayak balik lagi ke anak kecil yang khawatir tidak ada temannya yang datang ke pesta, hehehehe.

Ternyata oh ternyata, tamu undangan hanya datang terlambat saja! Pesta telat dimulai, tapi teman-teman sekelas Arfa dan dua orang gurunya datang semua ke pestanya Arfa! Bahkan ada cukup banyak keluarga besar dan teman-teman dekat adik gue yang baru datang jam 7 malam! Lalu teman-teman gue sendiri, yang janji datang betulan datang ditambah satu personil yang tidak diduga-duga ikut muncul di tempat pesta, hehehehe. Gue betul-betul terharu mereka mau jauh-jauh datang ke sini!

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Gue senang pesta ulang tahun Arfa berjalan lancar. Anaknya juga kelihatan sangat-sangat senang sepanjang acara ulang tahunnya! Kadonya ada banyak, termasuk dari orang-orang yang tidak bisa hadir. Ada beberapa kado yang harganya jelas fantastis, tapi tahu apa yang lebih berharga daripada kado yang termahal sekalipun? Kesediaan untuk menyediakan waktu untuk datang ke pesta ini. Time is the most valuable gift that someone could ever give, because once it’s passed, there’s no way people can take it back. So thank you, thank you, and thank you for coming!

Finally, happy birthday for my amazing nephew! The last four year of our lives have been a lot merrier since the day our families had him between us. We hope nothing but the best things for him and his life! He will always be loved, and he knows that 🙂