Happy birthday, Papa.

Not a single day in the last two years that I have not missed you. Life happens and sometimes you are not in my mind. Sometimes. But you are always clinging in my deepest thought and always come out in the right time. I’ve been well, Pah, but then today is your birthday and it saddens me. Because this is one of those times when I can strongly feel your presence in my heart, in my mind. It made me realize that I’ve been busy and happy, but you’re not here to see that. You’ve been away for almost two years, and I’ve mastered the art of making peace with my own heart, with my own thoughts, with my own feelings, with my own tears.

Hope you’re having a festive celebration up there. Sing your favorite songs, salsa dancing. Eat your favorite meal with beer on the side. Perhaps also watching tons of Steven Seagal movies. Sounds just too lovely.

I love you. Happy birthday and rest in peace in heaven, Papa.

Love on Top

It’s only a couple of hours until 2016. I’m having a good day so far. I watched tv and slept, a lot. Earlier today I glanced across the living room and landed my sight on a picture on the wall, my dad. He’s smiling. It was taken during my brother’s wedding party a couple of years ago. And then there’s a little bit of pain on my chest, I whispered “why did you leave me so soon?”. That’s where my reflection of the year 2015 began.

I realized that I’ve finally made it through the entire 2015, safe and sound. It’s not a stellar year for me personally, but I learned so many new things, about life. To sum it up, after my dad passed away I entered 2015 with wounds, they were already bad that I avoided so many conflicts because I thought I wouldn’t be able to bear another pain in addition to what was already there. As a result, I mastered how to adapt to people and situations. I did it so wonderfully that I forgot about myself all the time. I was focusing too much on not getting hurt and avoiding frictions. I held myself back too much that I turned into someone I didn’t recognize anymore. I tried to fit in to people’s mind, to accomodate their needs of my existence. I lost myself along that process.

And so I’ve learned that I can be kind and strong at the same time. Kindness is putting others before yourself, true, but you cannot let yourself got lost while doing that. People will always take as much as you are willing to give and furthermore sometimes they are even mistaken your kindness for your weakness.

So, putting yourself first does not make you a bad person. Even if you have to encounter frictions and disputes because of it, it’s ok. Life is not supposed to be like a smooth sailing, we will not grow if we don’t face difficulties. What’s most important is that you don’t grow bitter, that you will keep loving anyway. You comprehend that in this sweet bitter life, the best way to go through it is always by having so much love in your heart. So put love on top. On top of all.

My wish for you and me for 2016 would be that no matter what comes our way, we will have the love in our hearts. So at the end we will be able to say: I went through good and bad things, I learned a lot and yet I made it through because my heart is full of love and joy.

Happy happy new year, dear friends and families! God bless!

-Sara Sihaloho-

Christmas Eve

Always my favorite night of the year. People seem to be more cheerful, more caring, more friendly, more relax and calm.

Christmas lights and decorations, christmas songs, family gathering, the laughter, the food. It warms my heart so much that it makes me cry.

Lit candles at church while singing silent night along with other hundreds people. Makes me wondering, I hope everybody is as joyful as I am.

The self-reflection that flows in my brain is just unstoppable. Not going to share it all here, but I just want to share it with you about how grateful I am.

For every single thing, for tears that clear my view, for joy that keeps me going, for loss that leads to a greater gift, for health, for not quitting, for accepting that life is not supposed to be easy but I always have the option to still make the best out of it anyway.

The very important and most valuable lesson in this almost-end of 2015 is that I can be alone without feeling lonely. And the reason for that is because I train my heart to always be grateful. To always have faith. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. A joyful heart makes everything possible, trust me. 

I hope you are all have a wonderful evening, whether you are alone, with your family or with your friends. I wish you all an overflowing joy inside your heart that shines so bright and brings joy to others as well.

God bless you abundantly!
With lots of love,

Sara

Contentment.

Do not ever try to change a person. Foremost, do not ever try to change yourself to fit into a person’s mind. Especially if that person is not in your everybody committee.

My mother always told me that I have too many friends. I think in a way that’s true. What most people around me don’t know is that I actually have a really small circle consists of only maximum five persons influencing me, plus Beyoncé. Hihi.. I chose them wisely, of course.

Most friends come and go, some came back and became friends for life. Some really are gone. Some are friends for coffee, some are friends for deep convos (and coffee too). Along the way, I know I can make friends so easily even with strangers. But to filter what’s entering my thoughts is really essential.

I took every word and sentence from a convo very seriously. Because I always meant what I said, and assume everybody does too. Wrong. But that’s ok. The only person I have control over is myself so I manage myself instead.

The key of this whole thing is contentment. You really have to know what you want, where you stand, what are your goals in life and stick to it. Listening to all the words that people have to say is also inspiring, but you have to make sure you don’t ride their waves and get carried away in a wrong course. Contentment comes from doing the right thing that push you closer to your goals. If you need a daily reminder of this, take a 10 minutes in silence every single day to remember what’s the point of what you’ve done that day.

Because the truth is, my friend, to be content is one of the best feelings in the world. Yeah!

S

Because you matter to me

I’ve been told that social media is not good for me and then a good friend of mine said “I think its important to be aware of everything around you and not focus on urself all the time”. I was quiet for the reason that I thought social media is about sharing-is-caring kind of concept. To keep in touch with the people around you. In other words, it’s not about you but it’s about connecting with people. It’s not me as the center but it’s more of togetherness. However, that sentence means totally the opposite. It indicates how your socmed account is actually all about you and you only.

I don’t know if you get the logic that I’m trying to convey here. But let’s put it this way: facebook was meant to be a platform for you to keep in touch with your family, relatives and all those group of people who are matter to you but you don’t get to meet on a daily basis. The aim is to keep them updated with your life, because everybody seems to be too busy with so many things already (in a real world). Today, facebook has becoming more of a place where you get to flaunt things in your life to basically everybody. Traveling, hip restaurants, hip clubs, even participating in marathons, etc etc. 

Second example, Instagram that was meant for you to share your pictures is now more of a platform to do business and most of all to become famous. The more followers you have, the more ‘celebrity’ you’ve become. It’s saddening for me, but I must say it’s a good business.

I’m nobody to say that those are bad. What I’m trying to say is that, all of these things are creating more and more self-centered people. To me it’s a bit of an off-focus moment. It’s like too many people are trying so hard to build their virtual-reputation. But what is that for life? At the end it is always individual’s choice. To me, I like to keep it small but truly meaningful. I want to cherish my life, real life and stop trying to impress people who don’t even matter. So all of you whom I still keep close, you matter to me. And I don’t hesitate to share things with you because my virtual reputation won’t cloud your judgement about me. You know who I am and I want to keep you updated about my life, because you matter to me. Thanking Akim for that sentence. You don’t talk much but when you do, it has a blitz-impact. Wowza.

For the rest, good luck in finding your real purpose in having social media accounts. This is just a thought so don’t get offended ok. Have a happy life and peace out!

My weeks before Christmas

It was raining outside and I checked my calendar, guess what? Christmas is less than 50 days away. Excited and mellow at the same time. The second year Dad’s not around anymore. He was never really fond of celebrations, but still I miss him more during Christmas.

I had a weird dreams with him in it two weeks in a row. The first one was that he was gently caressing my cheek with the back of his hand while I was half asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt confused. It felt so real. Just so you know, all my life he was the only man who always did that to me. It’s always comforting and that’s always how he eased my anger.

The other dream was weird. Somebody told me that he saw my Dad somewhere so I asked him to show me where he is. We went on a quest to find my Dad and ended up finding him chatting and laughing with a bunch of strangers with some drinks on the table. I said “Pah!” and he said, “Oh halo sayang! Guys, this is my daughter.” So I shook hand with everybody on that table and I woke up. 🙂

Last week was also a quite bizarre week. There were a lot of misunderstandings, mishaps and it was surely a roller coaster week for me. But amazingly, the more things went wrong the more I know myself better. One thing for sure, based on past experiences, if God is about to teach me something new, I always have to learn it the hard way. Never know why it always has to be like that, but most probably because He knows I’m so stubborn and hard like a rock. I’m ok with that, because He knows best.

The terrorist attack in Paris followed by the social media saga where people were complaining why Facebook only provide France’s flag for the profile picture, and so on. How people start to connect everything that happened to religion. How some amazing people tried to explain it but got buried in an ocean full of misleading thoughts. I have couple of paragraphs to respond to that, but I choose not to. Potatoes will potate anyway! It’s saddening how human’s mind can grasp and justify the concept of taking lives of other as a way to emphasize your statement. It’s so saddening that it creates anger in my heart. No good.

You know what is really essential lately? I pray more than I used to be. It soothes me a lot. Sometimes I only whispered “God, can I just be happy?”. Funny how His answer was through the new song titled “Wanna Be Happy?” from Kirk Franklin’s new album. Pretty amazing, right?!

So, let’s start the countdown for Christmas. On my wish-list: Sony Alpha 7 and new Kindle. Fingers crossed Santa is reading this post :-p

Hohoho….

S

That Frank Sinatra’s Songs

I’m laying down in my bed staring at the ceiling. The more I stare, the more I don’t understand what I’m doing. It’s a bit chill tonight. I’m in my planet, reading a good book while suddenly I realize there’s Frank Sinatra’s song playing on my speaker. Bewitched. So I start checking my phone and apparently it’s playing the whole album of Mr. Sinatra. Not bad at all.

For once in my life. I know how songs can influence my mood strongly most of the time. But I really don’t know what to feel while listening to the album. But then I thought, good enough. I just lay down and start to just enjoying the song. Fly me to the moon. Independently feel ok. Really nice feeling.

I’ve been constantly planning a million items my whole life and when it doesn’t go as planned I suddenly feel like a stranger in the night. But this feeling at this very moment is really really nice. I’m ok with chaos. I’m accepting it because I learned sometimes uncertainty can lead you to a new and a better thing. Who knows, right.

My way might seem always the right ones. I still think they are, still. But, if it turned out wrong, call me irresponsible but I can live with that. I need to be careless sometimes, it’s good.

It’s a lovely night for me. I hope for you too.

S