self-improvement | personal experience | inspiration
Hi! I am Karina and I teach music and English for a living. I enjoy traveling, reading, and singing. I love writing things down since my mind is constantly racing from one thing to another. I write mostly about self-improvement, personal experiences that shape my view towards everything in life, inspiration from great figures, daily tips to make your life goes better, and other insightful articles that will spread happiness to the universe :-)
They are there just for doing their job. They don’t want to have deep conversation and they don’t want to know your personal information. The way they talk makes you believe that nothing wrong can happen with this driver. They usually want to take the most effective route so that they won’t waste their time and fuel. They are focused on their driving. At the end of the trip, they never forget to casually tell you, “Hey please give me 5 star ratings if you don’t mind 🙂 “
The Trust-Worthy One
This driver would pick you up in the right location without even calling you! This is a good start. Then, he would say greetings to you and make sure that you are the same person like the one that appears in his application. He would take you to your destination without your navigation guidance: they know what they’re doing. He rarely talks first unless you ask them some things. Most of the times, he would turn on the radio or play some nice music so you don’t feel so bored. You can let yourself fall asleep in his car because you feel safe.
The Chatty One
He is every introvert’s nightmare. The second you go inside his car, he would greet you with a nice smile. He seems very happy just to see you. He would probably ask basic ice-breaking questions, like how you’re doing, how long you’ve been living in that neighborhood, and if you’re still in school or already a working person. When you start checking your mobile phone or picking up your book, he would ask brightly, “Hi, it’s okay to have conversation right? I usually do this whenever I’m driving. It’s really nice to have friendly conversation to customers.” If you love to talk as well, then it’s fine. However, if you’re an introvert like me then, you would probably scream internally, “Can we just not talk?” Because you’re a good person, you would smile instead, and go along with the conversation. By the end of the trip, you won’t feel so bad after all because you would learn a lot about this driver; most likely about his career background, his family, and useful information about online taxi system that can benefit you. One time a chatty driver told me that every driver has to give ratings to their customer. The higher rating that a customer get, the easier for him or her to get special promotion. That’s one of the reason of why you should always be nice to a driver: don’t make them wait too long, be polite, and don’t leave trash in their car!
The Over-Sharing One
The beginning of your trip would be similar like the one that you’ve had with the chatty driver. However, in the middle of your journey, you start to feel uncomfortable and wish that you can be at your destination faster. Why? Because he starts to talk about things that you don’t wish to know, like how he once took a drunk-female-customer with revealing clothes or how he broke up with his ex-girlfriend, especially when he mentioned that you look like her. Also, he starts to ask you few questions that you don’t feel like answering; questions about your faith, ethnicity, or political views. Seriously, if I could get one dollar for every time a driver asks me what is your religion I would be so rich by now. Even worse, he could criticize your life choices only after twelve minutes knowing you as a person. I once had a driver who was telling me, “Why are you working as a teacher? Aren’t you ashamed of your decision? Then why did you even study in university?”
The Creepy One
This is everybody’s nightmare. At first you couldn’t sense anything negative. Yes, he asks you many personal questions, but hey he looks so smiling and friendly all the time. Yes, he looks at you more than it feels necessary while talking from the central mirror, but his driving’s perfect. The trip ends and you’re safe in your own home. But then the next day you realize something’s wrong with this guy when you get flirty texts from him. FYI, by doing so, they’ve broken the company’s code of conduct, because a driver is not allowed to contact their customer personally once the trip ends. And, NEVER accept their offer to give you “free-rides” or “voluntary-rides” (just because they are close to where you are right now) without using the legal apps. I once had horrible experience in which I had to unlock the car on my own and ran away because the driver had bad intention to me.
Just for precautions, these are the customer support contacts of major online transportation company in Indonesia:
This was the very first thing that really surprised me in 2017. Tom and I had been in a relationship since early 2015. We had talked several times about our next plan together. He had visited me in my country twice. The same was from my side. Our parents had met each other and we had few experiences traveling together. We have ever had big discussion with my parents about “where this relationship is heading”. We had our ups and downs; the down parts usually happened when we were not physically together, thus making it even more difficult. However, we somehow managed to be good to each other and stayed in love even though most of the times we were in the different parts of the globe. And for the two years where we had been in a relationship, we only spent only 105 days together in person. 105 days out of 730 days. Love makes people crazy but I never expected it could be this crazy.
I knew that he would propose one day but I didn’t expect that he would do it that early. I thought it would be next summer when we would meet in Indonesia. From what I remembered, our past conversation about future happened quite often, but it was not very specific. He told me he would really love to get married to me soon because he felt like he had found the right person, and so on. Some other lovely sentences like how excited and happy he was to start a life with me. And even the poetic one like “My soul resonates with you.”
Maybe what Sophie Kinsella said in her novel called Wedding Night is true; “Men who want to get married propose. You don’t need to read the signs. They propose and that’s the sign.”
I celebrated last Christmas and New Year with him in the Czech Republic. We had wonderful time together. We traveled for few days around his country and Poland. I was so exhausted from the trip and went to bed early that day, the last calendar day in 2016. In the middle of night I felt like he reached my hand. I was still half asleep so I was not sure if it was real or just a dream. Then, he reached out specifically to my ring finger. I was so nervous and confused inside, but remained calm on the outside. I didn’t even open my eyes. I was scared that I would ruin the moment if I did it. Part of me still thought that it was not real. However, it was such a long process (he is a true perfectionist!) that I was totally sure he was measuring my ring finger! He went out from our room for a while and even continued doing the same thing for a little after. It was so awkward when I looked back. I pretended to be sleeping till I truly fell asleep and the next moment I woke up it was morning already. The next thing he told me was that he had to go to the city center to sort out some stuff. That immediately reminded me what had happened the night before and my heart couldn’t stop beating so fast.
It was a mixture of excitement (he will ask, for real?!), true happiness (cause you know you feel like you have found the one and knowing that the other person loves you just as much as you love them and knowing that you both are in the same page), optimism about future (suddenly your future will not consists of only you, but you and your partner together), and anxiety (would we really make it together? are we really good together? do we really know each other that well? really?) at the same time. Oh, and a little proportion of stress because I had to act like I didn’t know what was going on – apparently he believed that I was sleeping for the whole night.
The rest of the day went well. He told me he wanted to take me somewhere and that he had arranged something for me. We went to a shopping center while waiting for “his appointment time”. It was 2nd of January; technically it was still a public holiday so the majority of people were at home or out of town. Every store was closed. The only thing that opened in that building were the cinema and a small restaurant inside it. His car was the only car in the whole parking lot – something that would never be possible in my home country! In Indonesia, shopping mall is always full of people especially on public holidays because they take it as a recreational activity. We had a slice of cake and a cup of hot chocolate.
Soon after that he took me to the place. It turned out to be a wellness center in the city. He had booked something for us. I stepped into the room; it was way bigger than I imagined. The first thing I saw was a big hot tub with flowing warm water. The next things that I noticed were red rose petals everywhere; on every sides of the tub, on the floor. Then, there was also a bottle of champagne with two tall glasses beside it. This is it, my heart whispered.
Then, I turned to him and he was reaching to his jacket pocket. He came closer and told me his line. Telling how much he loved me and how he wanted me to be in his life forever. He asked. I replied “Ano”, which meant “yes” in English. He put on the ring to my finger. It was so pretty, simple but nice and sparkling, totally my style. I hugged him and everything that happened after that made us so happy.
Some times after that he asked, “Don’t you want to know how I could get your size?”
I felt so awkward. In the end I told him the truth. “Actually, I kinda know….”.
He looked so embarrassed but in a cute way. So we both laughed at it.
We kept it for ourselves that day (his family didn’t count!) and enjoyed every single minute of that day. The next day we told my family while having dinner together. The next two days I told my close friends.
Nothing about our relationship really changed after we’ve got engaged. Due to circumstances, we had to be apart again until Tom would visit me in Indonesia again in summer (hopefully that would be our last visit before closing the distance). We had to go back to Skype again in order to see each other. Another seven months without each other (but hey now there are only 2 months left!).
However, we are (only) going stronger. Less uncertainties about our future plan. More room for happiness. More room for self-learning and self-discovery before we would really be together without goodbyes. More time for real actions that we have to take in order to achieve our mutual goal.
I still couldn’t believe it sometimes, but trust me that long-distance relationship works!
It was just a few days after I posted an article about kindness in which the idea came from my disappointment about justice system in my country, Indonesia. Talking about that alone surely can take over my entire day and require endless words; so I will try to summarize it into one sentence: Our beloved former governor of DKI Jakarta, Mr. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) was sentenced to 2-years-in-prison for an accused blasphemy case against Islam despite all of his hard-work and sacrifices while serving people in Jakarta (including creating numerous programs like building mosques and sending people who worked for mosque to go to Makkah – which actually supported Moslem). He’s known to be a double-minority (a Christian, and comes from Chinese family) – which led to a very depressing fact: that no matter how honest and hard-working you are as a person, with a passion to deliver best service to society around you, you are never good enough in Indonesia if: 1) you have different religion than the majority of the people and 2) you are not pribumi – the term that some bigots use to identify “pure Indonesian”.
Right about when I was trying to move on from this heart-breaking truth, I heard the news about suicide bomb attack in Ariana Grande concert venue in Manchester, England, which killed more than 20 young people
IT. DIDN’T. STOP. THERE.
When I was writing this piece, suddenly there was another terror attack in my capital city, Jakarta. The world is just getting crazier and crazier each day.
Therefore, I’d like to write more about compassion – to show the world that good people are still exist!
Here I cover fringe, miraculous “pay-it-forward” ideas that have been implemented by some companies and organizations to make this world a better place.
In case you don’t know, the phrase “pay-it-forward” was first introduced by a Greek dramatist, Menander, in his comedy work called Dyskolos in 317 BC. I personally recognized this terminology from one American drama-romance movie which was released in 2000 with the title “Pay It Forward”. The movie was about a young elementary school student who was assigned a school project: performing actions that contribute positively to the society. Then, he came up with an idea called “pay-it-forward” – doing a favor for three random people, and telling them to do the same to other three strangers.
Rosa’s Fresh Pizza
With the motto “The Freshest Slice in Philly”, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza established a program for customers to pre-purchase a slice of pizza for $1. Those slices are served for free to homeless people every day at 11 p.m. In return, the customers who donate will get a piece of sticky note and they can write something nice for those people without shelters. The noble idea itself came from one customer who asked the owner of the restaurant, if it’s possible to buy pizzas for those in needs. Till now, this pizza store which located in Philadelphia, USA has delivered more than ten thousands slices of fresh pizza and successfully made homeless people feel loved. Even more than that, there are heart-touching stories from the regular homeless customers who are no longer showing up because they’re already working!
The Street Store
Homelessness is inevitable; it’s everywhere. Especially in countries with huge gap between the rich and the poor, we can practically see those without homes while we are walking towards school or running errands. Just because it is common to see them, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do nothing about this. The Street Store, which originally created in Cape Town, South Africa, was designed to bridge the economical gap. Their mission statement is as simple as their slogan “hang up, help out”: to make it easier to donate and more dignified to receive. The Haven Night Shelter – a non-profit organization focused on homelessness in South Africa – was the initiator of this project. The Street Store provides interesting posters that you can hang in the corner of the street, spreading the news and informing people to donate clothes, shoes, and accessories that they no longer want to wear. After that, the homeless people can help themselves by choosing what they want to keep for free. What’s really cool about this project is: everybody in this world can host their own “The Street Store” program in the city they live in just by going to their website. They will send you all necessary files (posters, guidebook, presentation), and soon after you have a permit from the authorities, you can set up your own pop-up store. The first Street Store took place in 2014, and since then, more than 450 stores has been hosted globally, for example in Brussel, Mumbai, Auckland, and Georgia.
Since the beginning of its operations, Toms Shoes (abbreviation from Tomorrow Shoes) has been inspired by social awareness. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of this company, produced canvas shoes after seeing alpargatas – traditional shoes with simple design that worn by Argentine farmers in 2006. He also recognized the fact that there were so many poor children in Argentine who couldn’t afford to buy shoes. At that time, there was help from social organization. However, the number of shoes was totally unstable, relying fully on donations, and there were mismatches between the donations and the recipient’s feet size. Therefore, Mycoskie wanted to do something more. He came up with “shoes for tomorrow project”. For each pair of shoes that are sold to customers, TOMS would give another pair to children in needs. In 2011, this American company expanded its product to glasses, with the same “one-for-one” concept. Now, we can purchase shoes, eyewear, coffee, and bags from TOMS and the gift of shoes, sight, water, safe birth, and kindness are going to be delivered to people in need. TOMS has reached more than 70 million people across six continents.
However, it is not an instant success. In 2001, she was trying to create a television sitcom starring herself and other characters under the name The Ellen Show, but it resulted in poor ratings, so it was no longer played after 13 episodes. Ellen revealed it was mainly because she decided to come out as gay through her character in that series, Ellen Richmond. It was a difficult time for her career-wise; she was completely turned down from the entertainment industry for 3 years.
In 2003 she finally got an offer to run a talk show – which became a huge success till now. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has obtained several “Emmy Awards” in categories such as “Outstanding Talk Show”, and “Outstanding Talk Show Host”. During the period 2004 to 2014, Ellen has won 25 Emmy Awards. Ellen was also included in the list made by Forbes, 50 most powerful women in the world, in 2015. Winning 20 People’s Choice Award was also one of her achievement that nobody else could compete with. Honestly, I’ve never seen any other person who is so comfortable and so happy doing their job. She’s completely herself in that show.
It is so difficult to find a celebrity that can be a good role-model, but Ellen is different. I really love how she consistently applies her mantra “being kind to one another” in her daily show. By applying, it doesn’t mean only by saying that quote in the end of her show. It means practicing what she says in random act of kindness. Anyway, it is so smart and nice of her to use her talk show, an established platform, to show to millions viewers out there that it’s possible to make this world a better place. She can easily reach people that might need her help. She can invite them to talk on the show and give nice things to them. And at the same times, two things are done: 1) doing good things to other people and 2) increase even more ratings to her show which enable her to do even greater things to more people.
Watching her show makes me realize of so many good things that happen in this world and there are still so many people with big heart who are willing to help others. Especially in this recent time, there are a huge amount of negativity spreading in my country, watching her show – even just for a tiny bit of it – can make my day better.
Ellen’s powerful message of kindness is now become a reason for viewers to watch her show. And I do hope it will inspire us to do the same.
“We need to remember that we are more similar than we are different. We all want the same thing; love, acceptance, and kindness.” – Ellen deGeneres
Recently I just flew back from my short vacation to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Little did I know that Siem Reap had been chosen as a number one must-visit destination in Asia via TripAdvisor in 2015. My family and I just simply picked a country in Asia which was completely foreign to us. After exploring Siem Reap for about 4 days, all of us felt so glad we picked the right travel destination, as Siem Reap offered its own unique and unbelievable history, which contributed to a massive ancient temple complex, called Angkor Wat.
We arrived in Siem Reap International Airport around 9 in the morning. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight form my country to this city, and we had to take a flight from Malaysia instead. What the airport looked like quite impressed us. Yes, it was pretty small without sophisticated shops or restaurants, but it was very clean and neat.
Interestingly, there were no officers to check our customs claim at the airport. You just put your cards stating that whether you bring some hazardous or suspicious stuffs with you at a table, and you can approached the exit door. We got our tuk-tuk driver directly in the arrival hall. Tuk-tuk was a very common mean of transport there, and you should definitely try to ride it if you visit Siem Reap.
At the first glance, Siem Reap looked like a typical Asian city, but older, without many high buildings or vehicles in the street. I could see people who sell food at the corner of the street and kids walked to school. But they drive in the left-side, which is quite different from other South-East Asian countries!
We explored the city by our own on the first day. Surprisingly, almost everything is in US Dollars, even though Cambodian people have their own currency, called Cambodian Riel. If they want to give you change, most of the times, it’s a mix of USD and Cambodian Riel. (1 USD equals 4,000 KHR). And so many things are sold in the price of 1 USD, so the paper money of 1 USD will be so useful for travelers. You can basically get one coconut, one glass of fresh juice, one set of postcards, one short trip for tuk-tuk, all for 1 USD. We said hi to one Cambodian kid, he’s probably 4 years old. We said “Hi, how are you?” and he replied back, “Hi! One dollar!”, excitedly. It was so hilarious. So, “one dollar” is a very known phrase there.
We took a look of the old market in the center of the city (10 minutes by walking from our hotel). They mostly sold T’Shirts and cute bags with a typical pattern which looked like tribal thingy or elephants, souvenirs such as key chains or scarves, anything with Angkor Wat’s figure on it, or spices for cooking.
However, we couldn’t stand the heat (35-38 degrees!) and decided to have a lunch in a restaurant nearby, Yellow Mango Cafe. Food was fantastic and they had indoor, outdoor, and also a small balcony. They served traditional Khmer food and also Western menu. A normal meal in a normal restaurant cost around 5-7 USD per person. You can save more by having a meal in an outdoor restaurant without concrete buildings at the side of the street, order 3-4 dishes with rice for the entire groups, and share them.
We visited Angkor National Museum and it is located side by side by the sophisticated duty-free store. The entrance for the museum was quite pricy, $12 per person, plus extra $3 if you want to have the audio guide. But well I’m always excited by the idea to visit a museum, no matter where, so I visited that too. I learnt a lot about the history of Cambodia as a country, the religious influences towards Khmer people, and the detail of the Angkor Wat, which apparently means holy city. Actually, Angkor means Holy City. Later on when the king was changed, he believed in Buddhism, and so he added “Wat” which means temple at the end of it.
At the evening, most tourists go to the Pub Street or Night Market. There were countless options of bar, pub, restaurants, stores, street foods, and also a massage parlor!
The next day, we woke up around 4am to be able to see the sunrise in the Angkor Wat. We set up our 2 days tour with Angkor Guide Sam and guided by Mr. Ong Voetha. We picked the 3-days pass ticket of Angkor Wat which cost 40USD per person.The sunrise view was amazing; slowly you can see a better image of the temple itself.
Then, we continued our journey to go inside the Angkor Wat. The complex was massive. I think it was not a good idea to go there without a guide because you wouldn’t know what’s to see first and so on. We got a plenty of information too from our guide; how Angkor Wat first discovered by a French man who walked on foot throughout Cambodia and Laos, how ancient people use to go to Angkor Wat to pray and they often got there by riding elephants (that explained why the entrance was so wide), the fact that people built Angkor Wat in 12th century without modern tools to measure or to calculate but yet, every detail of the building is precisely accurate and carefully thought, how the restoration took place, and how the Angkor Wat actually represented our universe.
There are many other buildings inside the Angkor Wat. It was mostly built from a sandstone; researcher thought the stones came from a mountain about 50km far from the temple, and if you look closely, every stone has a circle sign on them. People used that to carry the stones by a bamboo stick, and also transported them from the river nearby. The King decided to choose this locations too because of the water system surrounding the area.
Almost every sides of the sandstone has a detailed crafting on it. Sometimes it’s a beautiful flower-alike pattern, but mostly it’s a figure of beautiful women or goddesses, war illustration, Hindu mythology, Buddha image, and form of activities in the past, such as dancing, musical performances, martial arts, and even weight-lifting. In a few crafting, I even spotted images of dinosaurs, like how it’s even possible for them to know that dinosaurs were once exist in this world! Our guide kept repeating several times that we can learn a lot from the past, and people at that time understood a lot of things about the universe by watching the moon and the stars.
Then, we moved on by car to other temple called Bayon, which means magic in the local language. Its shape was very unique, you can find a lot of faces in the temple. The king mixed up his own face with Buddha’s face. I’ve been told that I can understand the differences between each faces only if you looked closely to them.
On the way back, we saw the real elephant (yes you can ride them if you wish!) and also the Elephant Terrace. It used to be the place where people sit to watch towards the field. I reckon’ it could be a beautiful spot for audience to see whatever played on the central field back in the past time.
Next stop was the temple in the Tomb Raider movie! It’s called Ta Prohm. Except the fact that Angelina Jolie once walk around and jumped from the top of the temple, this temple is famous because it has a lot of old trees inside it. The trees were so huge that their roots going crazily everywhere searching for the grounds and you can see it going through the temple building.
And the following day, the tour is continued. We visited Preah Khan temple. It was my favorite one! King Jayavarman VII built this one specially for his father. And we had to go through some kind of ancient gate before getting into every temple. There was a row of Buddha as well as Asura figures on each side of the gate. Unfortunately, most of them now has been demolished, so you cannot see the full rows of figures, you can see only the foundations.
Preah Khan was special because its structures contains a lot of pillars. I felt like being in an Asian version of ancient buildings in Greek! The guide told me that it used to have a connecting majestic roof, but it was now all gone, so you can only see the pillars. In almost every temples, the Buddha images were ruined, because once the King converted back to Hinduism and he instructed people to destruct the Buddha images. But in Preah Khan, the King tried to divide equally the eastern and western part of the aisles, one for all Hindu symbolism, and one for Buddhists.
The next temple was also pretty impressive. Banteay Srei, or the Lady Temple. It was made by a pink stones and the motives that you can see here are impossibly comparable to what you can find in the other temples! This temple was dedicated for Shiva, one of the Hindu god.
You can find many young children who sell souvenirs inside the temple. We met one little girl who can count from 1 to 10 in English, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian, French, and German. She can communicate and negotiate with us in Chinese can you imagine that. Locals are friendly, polite, and they never charge us higher prices than what it supposed to be, but some of them can be really persistent to persuade you to buy something. But as long as you say no directly they will stop following you around.
Well, we also visited some other places, like Neak Poan, Ta Som, Ancient Crematorium, and Ta Nei. All of them was located around the Angkor Wat complex, including the Banteay Srei which is located 35km from the main temple of Angkor. And all of that required the same entrance ticket that you bought previously. Make sure you carry it with you everywhere because in every temple’s entrance the officer will check it. It’s a good idea to wear something that is long enough to not show your bare shoulders and skirt or pants that is long enough to cover your thighs. And wear something very thin because you will definitely be sweating a lot! Pick the right shoes (strong but comfortable) as you will climb a lot of steps and some of the sandstone are uneven! Always bring the sunscreen with you as the weather was very very hot with strong sunlight exposure.
Some visitors traveled around Angkor Wat complex by tuk-tuk, and I even saw some travelers who went around by bicycle (super crazy, knowing that it’s extremely hot outside). My family and I was not the one who can stand the heat and my mother especially was not so physically strong, so we decided to use the family car along with the guide. It’s just a matter of preference, but I personally think it takes more time to go around by tuk-tuk and you cannot rest on it.
Siem Reap was amazing and if you plan to visit it in the future, I would happily recommend you this tour operator called Angkor Guide Sam. Our tour guide, Mr. Voetha, was really informative, helpful, funny, and caring. We never run out of cold bottle waters and cold towels. He also told us a numerous spot in the temple where we can have great pictures. He speaks perfect English and made us laugh a lot on the journey. Feel free to ask me if you’re interested in contacting him.
I think we are all familiar with the term copycat. According to some resources, copycat refers to someone who imitates another person, either partially or completely. He or she will create a reproduction of an act that is first introduced by other person.
Probably some of you wonder why it should be called a copy-cat. Well, I looked up some information and surprisingly, the term copycat is apparently created back in 1887 – which is more than two hundred years ago – by an American writer, Constance Cary Harrison, in her work called Bar Harbor Days. Interestingly, she decided to use the word “cat” because at that period, cat’s attitude resembled an evil behavior, as well as other negative things. However, some people also say that the root of word copycat comes from a kitten who loves to imitate its mother’s movement.
Firstly, we have to wholeheartedly admit that we are all a copycat, at some point on our life. This phase usually takes place in our youth; a period when we are all busy trying to fitted in. We try so hard to present our coolest appearance and personality in order to be accepted by others. I remember a particular style of wristband that I loved to wear back in elementary school just because almost every girl in my class wore the same things. I find this is still understandable, because as a teenager you probably still have not found your own style, yet.
Therefore, we also have some figures that we regularly looked up to as our role-model. Taking others’ experiences and positive traits to motivate you to be a better person is so common, and very acceptable, even if you’re not a kid anymore. But, it is important to know that role-model could be two things: positive or negative. It’s so easy to spot on some young people who sadly try to imitate a bad behavior from a bad role-model, such as self-harm, smoking, and so on. With the heavy exposure of social media usage nowadays, it’s even easier to be misled by some particular figures or media. These are all depends on the individuals’ mindset, whether they want to learn how to tackle life’s responsibilities and to follow a good example, or they think that it’s cooler to escape from the reality and to follow a bad example.
Anyway, psychologists say that people who duplicate other people’s act are usually have a poor self esteem so that they are afraid to show who they really are. They have the constant need to take a certain style from other people. Otherwise, they fear that other people will not appreciate them. Apart from feeling insecure, other reason behind the act of copying others is jealousy. They want to take other people’s success and to make it their own. And strangely, the one who has a habit to imitate other people is usually the one who claims that they are original.
So, what to do to deal with a situation in which you find somebody else try to do the same stuffs that you did? Being positive is on the number one of the list. You must have realized first that this world doesn’t consist of only you. There are million other people who might like the same books that you read, the same artists that you adore, or the same hair-style that you own. That’s why, don’t be over-fussy about this issue.
However, if it’s getting more specific and detail, it’s rational to be a little freaked out. Nobody wants other people to be their clone.
As weird as it sounds, you must take it as a compliment. You are an awesome being and sure you have already done something meaningful. You are a role-model for somebody else. What you have done has been acknowledged by others. You have inspired somebody else to imitate what you do – especially if it’s a positive act like creating an art, doing charity, or just simply being nice to other people, you must be really proud of yourself because you have successfully empowered others to do the same positive things. Instead of worrying about these copiers, you can use this opportunity to increase your productivity.
If you really want to prevent your work to be duplicated, it’s also wise to keep some precious ideas just for yourself. Let the copiers steal from other places.
In the end, I believe that the best work that you could possibly done is by just being you. You could never be somebody else, and, nobody else could ever be you, no matter how hard they try. Authenticity is one of the most important factor in creating something.
Let’s just do our own things, even more greatly, and give the copiers a decent amount of time to grow up and to find their own identity.
Siapa sangka, percakapan yang bisa memberi inspirasi dan ngena di hati kebanyakan justru terjadi di dalam taksi. Ya, saya beberapa kali terlibat dalam pembicaraan yang mengasyikkan dengan supir taksi. Padahal, sih, naik taksinya cuma setengah jam sampai satu jam saja. Mungkin karena usia para supir taksi yang kebetulan saya tumpangi jauh lebih tua daripada saya, jadi mereka gemar membagikan pengalaman hidup mereka sendiri. Atau mungkin juga karena ngantuk kali ya, kalau cuma diem-dieman di mobil, he-he-he.
Salah satu diskusi dengan seorang supir taksi yang nggak akan mungkin saya lupakan terjadi pada awal Desember lalu. Sore hari itu, saya sendirian ingin pulang dari sebuah komplek universitas menuju rumah. Saya baru saja selesai menjajakan produk saya di acara pameran kampus tersebut. Taksi tersebut datang bertepatan ketika saya masih sibuk mengangkut properti yang saya gunakan. Kayaknya sih, si supir ini bingung melihat barang bawaan saya yang begitu banyak.
Setelah duduk di kursi penumpang, supir ini bertanya singkat,”Habis ngapain, Mbak?” Lantas saya bercerita kalau saya baru saja ikut pameran untuk menjual minuman yang saya olah sendiri. Supir ini terlihat kaget luar biasa. “Ah masa, Mbak? Kok bisa?” Menurutnya, tidak mungkin seorang wanita muda seperti saya mau repot-repot berjualan sendirian. Beliau tambah kaget lagi ketika tahu saya baru saja lulus kuliah. Sampai di situ, saya masih nggak paham kenapa supir ini terlihat heran sekali.
Baru deh, setelah itu, Beliau bercerita. Si Bapak yang mungkin berusia sekitar awal 50-an ini bercerita tentang keponakannya yang berhasil mendapatkan gelar Sarjana dari universitas ternama di Bandung. Sayang, nasibnya sekarang bisa dibilang kurang berhasil. Si keponakan mendapatkan gelar dari jurusan Desain, tetapi rupanya dia cukup ribet ketika melamar pekerjaan. Ia punya ekspektasi yang sangat tinggi akan pekerjaan pertamanya, apalagi setelah mendapatkan embel-embel gelar di belakang namanya. Selain itu, dia juga malas untuk memulai karier dari nol. “Maunya, yang langsung enak, langsung jadi boss”, ujar Pak Supir ini. “Tuh, sekarang dia cuma jadi tukang sablon, sama levelnya kayak orang yang nggak sekolah, kasihan anak istrinya”, tambahnya lagi.
Sambil terus melajukan mobil, Pak Supir terus bercerita dan juga melontarkan pertanyaan kepada saya. Saya bilang saya sudah terbiasa berjualan sejak masih kuliah. Kebetulan, saya mengambil jurusan bisnis, dan kampus saya sangat mendorong mahasiswanya untuk menciptakan bisnis sendiri. Selain usaha ini pun, saya ada pekerjaan lain, yaitu mengajar musik untuk anak-anak.
Kemudian, komentar Bapak ini adalah,”Saya salut banget sama orang-orang kaya Mbak. Biar udah sarjana, nggak sombong, mau kerja dari yang kecil-kecil. Mau repot, mau capek.” Sebelum saya sempat merespon, Bapak ini curhat lagi tentang kekecewaannya terhadap generasi muda jaman sekarang. “Ya, anak sekarang kan maunya apa-apa yang enak ya, Mbak. Yang cewek sukanya ke mal, belanja, makan enak, minta cowoknya yang bayarin”, tambahnya lagi.
Saya pikir sebentar lagi percakapan ini akan usai soalnya taksi udah deket sampai rumah saya. Tetapi, lagi-lagi Pak Supir mengagetkan saya dengan ceritanya yang lain. Ternyata, Bapak ini adalah seorang manajer front desk di sebuah hotel di Jakarta selama 10 tahun sebelum memutuskan untuk menjadi supir taksi. Beliau mencintai pekerjaannya yang terdahulu, hanya saja gaji yang ia dapatkan habis lantaran biaya transportasi yang besar karena jarak dari rumah ke tempat kerja yang sangat jauh. Belum lagi, harus melawan kemacetan dan padatnya lalu-lintas di ibukota setiap harinya dengan motor.
Yang paling menarik adalah, Beliau hanyalah seorang lulusan SMA namun bisa mengepalai beberapa orang di hotel tersebut, termasuk para Sarjana sekali pun. Beliau berulangkali menegaskan bahwa jenjang pendidikan dan gelar bukanlah faktor utama yang menentukan keberhasilan seseorang. Menurut Beliau, kerja keras dan kemauan untuk belajar adalah kunci utamanya. “Percuma kalau Sarjana tapi males, lama-lama bisa kalah sama yang cuma lulusan SMP tapi kerja keras sejak muda.”
Tiba juga taksi saya di depan rumah. Setelah membayar ongkos taksi, saya masuk ke rumah dengan perasaan yang campur-aduk. Percakapan tersebut meninggalkan begitu banyak warna di dalam benak saya. Bapak Supir itu nggak tahu, bahwa dua bulan yang lalu, saya baru saja keluar dari sebuah perusahaan karena tidak kuat dengan beban kerja yang diberikan. Dalam hati, saya jadi malu sendiri. Saya nggak sehebat yang Bapak itu pikir.
Di lain pihak, percakapan singkat tersebut memotivasi saya untuk fokus pada apa yang saya kerjakan sekarang, yakni menjadi seorang pengajar dan pengusaha, meski yang saya hasilkan sekarang nilainya mungkin belum seberapa. Terima kasih Pak Supir-yang-saya-lupa-tanya-siapa-namanya, sudah berhasil kasih semangat dan inspirasi ke saya. Tiap kali saya mulai ngeluh-ngeluh dan rasanya mau nyerah, kata-kata Pak Supir itu terulang terus di telinga saya,”Kerjaan sih apa aja, yang penting halal dan terus kerja-keras, nanti pasti rejekinya nggak ke mana.”