When I told Jakartans that I’ve been living in this city since last year’s of December, I have encountered this kind of questions by them, ‘so how Jakarta treats you so far?’. I rememeber the latest of this question, I got from a guy, around 23 years old, in a community gathering. My answer was ‘honestly speaking, out of how we survive and cope in a sometimes-exciting, sometimes-harsh city called Jakarta, I am happier in this city’.
They laugh, their expression was a bit startled in a funny way kind of joking. ‘Happier? Really?’. Maybe because of this ‘Jakarta itu keras’ phrase that has been an ‘it goes without saying’ term among Indonesian.
While I didn’t refuse the term, indeed word of ‘happier’ seems the closest idea to my heart, at the moment, despite some personal reasons and motive on why I moved here. About that, I won’t share it through this post, but in another post. Because I just want to talk about how Desi Anwar really make an impact on my life.
My biggest reasons on why I am happier is because I feel one step closer to the opportunity and challenge, that I’ve been dreaming in my previous chapter of my life. Moving here is a new chapter. I felt the sense of unlimited, freed from what I was. Surprisingly, unworried about what come next. In this city, I find back my self-expectation that had been long lost and begin to reinventing myself.
Got to see Desi Anwar is one of those dream. And I consider myself lucky. Sunny, a friend of mine who happened to be a journalist too asked me to go with her to this book launching event—a book wrote by Desi Anwar tittled ‘Lima Cerita’—as I asked her to enrolled a ‘Travel Writing Class’ held by Nulis Buku (an indie publisher) with me on the same day.
Of course, with the full of enthusiasm I had, I managed to come. It’s a gold chance for me to at least say thank you to Desi Anwar, a Senior Journalist I adore for writing ‘A Simple Life’. The book that can make you see the world into another perspective.
I read ‘A Simple Life’ back in April 2017, when I was in my lowest point of my life. The book really helped me going through those times of intense hardship, change and growth, and help me made my way through life’s difficulties. You know sometimes life really hurts you with a curveball, and you have to readjust. This book (thankfully) could nourish my mind and strengthen my heart to survive and cope all those dark clouds.
So I came. This event held in Aksara Store, a cozy independent bookshop, at 3 pm in Kemang. I am a fan of this bookshop since I still live in Lombok, my homeland. Got to pay a visit to Aksara is another dream come true episode for me.
When I open the door of Aksara Store, the first text we could see is “Love Yourself Now” from a coffeeshop named Ruang Seduh. What a coincident. The message really strike a core. Love yourself is the biggest theme of my life these past years. It feels like universe constantly reminding me to always find a way to love myself. And ‘Lima Cerita’, according to Desi Anwar during her talks on this event is all about growing pains which leads to understanding-accepting-then-loving oneself.
“The key is they have to accept all those pains, so you can just let it go and move on. That’s when they feel the need to do something, ‘a change’,” said Desi Anwar. “process of understanding oneself is like peeling onion, layer by layer, in the end it’s nothing, we’re just nothing.”
I interprate her last sentence as we’re just nothing compared to the Higher Energy, the Owner of this universe. She explained that the process of understanding universe or one’s life is the definition of spiritual journey. Spirituality is unalike Religion. According to Desi, Religion is more likely constitution, constant thing, and will not change. Although human’s way of understanding life is different, the essence is still the same.
“Search for that meaning, that is called spirituality. It start from ‘why’.” She said. “for understanding life, one should understanding themself first. The process to reach that point is spiritual.”
As a person who believe more in universal values, I agreed on that matter. Nodded quickly.
As the show running to end, I reached her at signing session. Got her sign, shake her hands, and say “Thank you so much Ms. I am a reader of your book ‘A Simple Life’. Thank you for writing it because it helps me going through my mental darkness in the past.” I wanted to hug her that time, but I don’t know what was holding me back.
“O that’s a good thing. This book, (reffered to ‘Lima Cerita’) covered on mental health issues too, and I wrote this as a therapy for me, personally. I’m glad if it could help others too,” her gestures was so warm and welcome me, then she strokes my arm as she said, “so how, are you okay now? feel better?”
I nodded and smile. Full of admiration. Indeed, I am happier here.