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Back to Ithaca

Being an entry level worker and a student at the same time teaches me to be humble. No matter how hard I’ve tried, there’s always someone who is luckier, achieve higher, or gets unexpected opportunities. No matter how hard I work and put my best effort at every aspects of life, whether in social life, education, or career, there’s always someone brighter, sharper, or, simply… better.

After graduation, you’ll see people growing up FAST. Your closest friend suddenly turns into a young fearless executive who could earn Rp 6-8 million/month in their second year of working. Some glow brighter and get a scholarship. Others win a competition(s). That kind of  things, you will see for the rest of your lives.

But something came to me when I stopped following the race of  “how-to-achieve-more-than-everyone-else“. At that very moment,  I’m entering a new state of mind. I became less worried about achievements. The road to achievements suddenly changes from a race track into a joyful journey, full of monsters and elfs and magic and princes and princesses and demigods and dragons and angels and unicorns and phoenixes and thousands of other mystical creatures living a world of imaginary cosmos. Lets just say, a garden of Eden of your own version. You’ll laugh, cry, reminisce, learn, discover. You’ll look at things differently, and you’ll notice that your heart bursts happiness even when you’re just dealing with boring daily routines.

You’ll learn that achievement is no longer the most important thing. Though its important and you work hard for it, (and you’ll achieve bigger and greater things), but you’ll see that there are millions of choices, ideas, and adventures to satisfy your lust of fulfillment.

Suddenly i remember this poem by Constantine Cavafy. Its about Odyssey’s way back to Ithaca. Here it is:  

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them: You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty,
if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
with such pleasure,
with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise, mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, and ebony, and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.

She has nothing more to give you.

And though you should find her wanting,
Ithaca will not surprise you;
for you will arrive wise and experienced,

having long since perceived
the unapparent sense in Ithaca.

Go, fly, be a star! As for me, I’ve decided to take another route in this long journey to the future. And that route leads to Ithaca.

Happiness #5

Tumblr saya sudah mulai tidak terurus. Saya berencana mau hapus. Sekarang, saya pindahin dulu satu-satu isinya. Ini salah satunya.

Happiness #5

Ini tentang seseorang yang punya kepala yang sangat berisik. Saat dia berjalan, selalu ada sesuatu yang melintas di kepalanya.

Kadang itu suatu warna-warna yang melintas tanpa tentu arah. Kadang itu deretan kata-kata yang ia pernah baca dulu. Kadang itu rencana tentang besok atau lusa, atau tiga tahun sebelumnya. Kadang itu mimpi-mimpi yang ia ingat pernah ia lihat. Kadang itu potongan gambar-gambar dari film. Kadang itu beberapa kata biasa yang sedang menarik perhatiannya.

Kepalanya selalu berisik. Tidak perduli dengan siapa ia berada, seseru apa pembicaraan dengan temannya, atau apa yang ia ketik sekarang, kepalanya tetap selalu berisik. Selalu ada sesuatu yang melintas disana. Selalu macet, penuh, riuh tanpa terkendali.

Dia mencoba mengabaikan itu. Kadang itu bisa diabaikan. Tapi kadang tidak bisa.

Tapi ada satu hari, satu tempat dan satu orang yang membuatnya bingung. Itu adalah pertama kalinya ia bertemu dengan orang ini. Dan itu juga pertama kalinya ia merasakan bahwa kepalanya berhenti menjadi kacau. Semua ide, semua rencana, semua pengalaman, semua gambar dan bentuk dan kata dan warna dan semua sensasi yang pernah ia rasakan… semuanya itu seperti berhenti bergerak… dan semuanya bersama-sama dengan dirinya sendiri, untuk pertama kalinya, menikmati momen itu.

Momen dimana ia berada di tempat itu, di hari itu, bersama orang itu.

Ini pertama kalinya, keseluruhan dari dirinya berhenti berpencar-pencar kacau kemana-mana. Semuanya sepakat bahwa orang ini, waktu ini, dan tempat ini, adalah daya tarik luar biasa. Sejak saat itu, semua hal dari dirinya bekerja sama untuk mendapatkan perasaan itu lagi.

Sekarang semuanya sibuk sendiri-sendiri lagi. Baik warna, gambar, bentuk, rencana, kata-kata, kalimat, apapun itu, semuanya sibuk lagi dalam aktivitas masing-masing. Tapi bedanya, sekarang semuanya itu bergerak ke satu tujuan bersama.

Mereka sekarang sepakat, untuk mengusahakan agar sekali lagi mengalami perasaan itu lagi. Mungkin di tempat yang lain. Mungkin di waktu yang lain. Tapi asal dengan dirinya lagi.