How I Stay Motivated During Pandemie

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As of today, I have been practising social distancing for more than five weeks. Coming to the lab only for doing necessary experiments becomes my new normal now. On most days, my activities revolves around waking up, doing my home-office stuffs (checking work emails, doing some writings, revisiting research data, and joining webinars), and having some rests in between. Somehow, I am starting to enjoy this new routine and I am amazed that turns out things work this way.

It must be frustrating for us waking up each day, knowing that everything will be the same again and again. Especially if you (like me) live in a small apartment, do not own a proper home-office space, and do not have at least a balcony. It is like being in a cage. Don’t worry! I felt the same during the second until the third week of this self quarantine period. You know what, I felt so happy during the first week but then it was so boring.

So here are my tips to stay motivated (and sane) during pandemie

Wake up at the same time in every working day 

I need to remind myself everyday that this is not a holiday. So I wake up at 7 am, take a shower, and get ready for work by wearing a proper outfit. Proper outfits means no pyjamas.

Set your home-office space

This is quite tricky for me. I do not really have a proper space for working in my apartment. Finally, I set a small corner in my living room as my space. But since yesterday, I found another space that I feel more comfortable. If you have a small apartment, just make sure that you get enough sunlight and good air circulation when you are working. The forbidden places for working are : your bed and sofa.

Aim for feasible work targets

This is important, because if you do not set targets, you will not be productive. My suggestion is to plan your “to-do list” at the end of each day, for the next day. I am a big fan of “to-do list”, because it helps me not to miss anything in my agenda.

Keep yourself hydrated

Don’t skip meal time

Set a time for you to stop working

I normally finish my work at 4 pm. After this time, I will not check any work-related stuffs. And I switch my brain into relax mode.

Do your favorite activities on your free time

I am amazed that I still have enough energy to do another things after I finish working. On the normal situation, I would have been exhausted by the time I reached my apartment after work.

Just remember, we are all in this difficult situation at the moment. This is just temporary, not permanent. But once we resume our activity, perhaps we will have a new definition of what is “normal”.

Take care. Stay healthy!

Slowing Down

Today marks the end of the third week since Angela Merkel made the speech, aired on the German national television, asking all citizens to stay at home until at least April 19th, 2020 — end of Easter holiday. Until today, the number of people infected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Germany is still increasing. There is no sign of the curve being flatten and declining. I am currently at this point where I do not want to switch on the television anymore, because all I hear are bad news.

For this past 3 weeks, we are only allowed to leave our houses for urgent matters, such as doing grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, and/or going to work if necessary.

I cannot totally stay at home during this period, as I need to maintain my samples. My apartment also located in the hospital area, so there is a big possibility for me to be exposed by the virus everytime I leave my apartment. I understand that I have to be extra careful.

Going back to a few months ago, I did not expect that this tiny virus which is similar to the virus which cause common flu can cause a global pandemic. I remember, at that time I told everyone I know not to be too worried about the virus and just apply a healthy lifestyle. Then, suddenly every country in the world has the same problem.

For those of you–including me– who used to complain because you need to go out meeting people, now you are forced to spend the whole time by yourself. To be honest, now I really appreciate the time when I can go out, even just for doing grocery or taking a little walk around my neighborhood. Normally, I don’t like to go for a walk.

Social distancing has also made me more productive. As a PhD student, nothing else I can do at home other than analysing my results and start writing my thesis. During these days, surprisingly I manage to write a lot.

On the other note, I develop a new hobby. Nowadays, I enjoy cooking. Only for simple dishes, but for someone who ten years ago was only able to cook water, this is a big milestone.

Hopefully the situation will get better soon, and we can hug our loved ones again. I promise, after all of this come to an end, I will more appreciate the moments that I can spend being outside, interacting with people.

Stay healthy!

Getting Sick in Germany

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Picture is taken from here

Hello! I’m back in Germany again, by the way. 🙂

Two years ago, when I was just arrived in Germany, I asked one of my Indonesian friends about the procedures to use our insurance when we get sick. He told me that he doesn’t know since he never get sick (or at least, the sickness never be too bad until he needs to see a medical doctor)

I am so grateful that during these past two years living in Germany, I have never gotten sick that bad. Therefore, I have never visited any medical doctors – eventhough I am working and living in a hospital. I brought along some Indonesian medications when I moved here, and so far those medications could solve all of (mild) medical problems that I experienced.

In August, I spent almost the whole month in Indonesia. After living for 2 years in Germany, Indonesian weather felt so strange to me. Everything was fine when I was in Indonesia. However, on the last day -5 hours before my flight- I started to have a problem with one of my ears. It was a Saturday and not many doctors have practices on weekends. Long story short, I was flying back to Germany with my troubled ear. Of course that was totally uncomfortable.

I arrived in Duesseldorf on Sunday morning, driving to Essen, and still hoping that there was at least a doctor who could solve my problem. The reality is : none of the doctor practices in Essen open on weekends, including the doctors in the ENT ( or HNO in German) department in the university hospital. They have an emergency division, but they only accept patients with severe cases who need surgeries.

The next day, on Monday, I tried again to visit the HNO department and I knew the fact that actually they do not accept patients other than the ones recommended by doctors from smaller clinics. Therefore, they suggested me to visit one of those small clinics.

Surprisingly, the process was really smooth eventhough I went there without appointment. Most of the doctor visitation in Germany requires the patient to make an appointment in advance. First of all, they asked about my health insurance (Krankenversicherung). For your information, every person who is living in Germany (regardless of his/her nationality, without exceptions) must have a health insurance. There are two types of insurance – public and private. Luckily I have a private insurance, so I have more choices of doctors. The doctor was really nice and he speaks English (this is the most important!)

Ear problem solved. Next, suddenly I started to have a problem with the skin of my palms. It started to peel off and gives a kind of itchy feeling. And so I tried to find a skin doctor (Hautarzt). Apparently all of the skin doctors here in Essen require us to make appointment before visitation. Most of them are so popular, I could only get a time slot at the end of September. HAHA..Thank you very much. Finally I found this doctor who would be available today. Again, this doctor was really nice, professional, and speak English.

I used to hear some myths about German doctors, saying that most of them are paranoid (especially when they realized that you come from a non-European country), not informative, and do not speak English.

I don’t know whether I was just lucky or it is the reality, but in my opinion doctors here are really nice and open for discussions.

I hope this sharing of my experience will be useful for those of you who are just starting your journey here in Germany.

Essen, 09.09.2019

How’s Life?

I’ve been disappearing from this blog for quite a while. To be honest my life has been busy since earlier this year, yet I haven’t made significant progress on my research project.

So, yes my brain eventually burned out. I realized that my mind needs a little bit of rest. At the moment, I’m taking a one month off of my research work. I’m in Indonesia. I have more free time to recharge my energy and to prepare on my next journey after I’m done with my PhD.

After some considerations, I decided that I’ll return to Indonesia once I’m done with my studies. At a certain point in my life, I have to settle down. The moment after I earn my PhD degree would be the best one, I think.  Why did I decide to return? First, I want to be close to my parents, while I can still fulfilling my passion to work in academics. Second, I’ve had enough experience living abroad and I’m afraid that now it becomes my comfort zone. I need more challenge in my life. Going back home, working in and be a part of (not well-organized) Indonesian academic field, will be a good challenge for me.  I’m fully aware that my future income will be much lower than my current stipend. This income thing used to be my major dilemma for making this decision.

I still have two more years to enjoy all these comforts of living in Germany before going home and applying my skills here. Hopefully everything’s going well — both in my academic (professional) and personal life. Can’t wait to start a new chapter of my adult life.

For those of you who are wondering, I’m fine!

Biomedicine : An Intro

People often ask me about this field I have been working on since almost 8 years ago. I am proudly call myself as a biomedical scientist. I had also a 3-year experience of being a biomedicine lecturer.

What is biomedicine? What is the difference between biomedicine and medical study? What are the career prospects of a biomedicine graduate? Those are the questions that people often ask me.

Biomedicine is a branch of medical science that mostly deal with biological, physiological, and chemical principles in human bodies. All of the knowledge that we obtain from studying biomedicine should eventually be able to be applied to patients. Generally, biomedicine is the basic knowledge of studying medicine. However, it is not compulsory for you to become a medical doctor if you are studying biomedicine BUT if you want to become a medical doctor, you must study biomedicine.

In Indonesia, I must admit that there are not (yet) many job opportunities for biomedicine graduates at the moment. The opportunities are limited to research and academic fields. There are a few opportunities to work in the research & development or quality control section of pharmaceutical companies. However, Biomedicine is a totally promising field in European countries. So, there are actually high demands of Biomedicine graduates globally.

I started to gain an interest in this field at the end of my Bachelor degree study. It was around 2010. For your information, I chose Microbiology as my field of study for my Bachelor degree just because I thought it was cool, without knowing what I would be after I graduate. Well I was thinking to become a scientist, but back then I did not know that science is quite a big field.

I literally fell in love with biomedicine when I took Immunology course.  I was totally amazed when I knew  how our bodies possess this natural ability to tackle foreign substances. Then I also learned about the autoimmune mechanism, which is one of the immune system disorders that might happen in human bodies. Most of autoimmune diseases are still incurable at the moment. At that point, I had a determination to pursue this field.

I love this field. That’s the reason I am now pursuing a doctoral degree in Biomedicine. Biomedical scientists (mostly) are not medical doctors. We are the people behind the scene. We can recommend medical doctors to adjust treatments for patients, according to our discoveries, of course after passing several steps of clinical trials.

Hopefully this short article can answer a little bit of your curiosities about the field of Biomedicine.

A Birthday Note

I know, this is a way too long overdue to write a birthday note to myself. I will write this anyway as a yearly tradition and as a self reflection.

I turned 31 on February 25th. My colleagues asked whether I had a party to celebrate my birthday. I said “no”. They replied “oh how sad!”

As I grow up, I don’t fancy birthday parties anymore. Birthdays, for me, is one of the times to reflect what I have done in the previous year and planning what I will do in the next year.

In the previous year, I have managed to survive my first year as a PhD student. When I started my PhD in the end of 2017, I thought I could not juggle between attending classes and performing my experiments. But I made it! Even my abstract was accepted in a mini-conference and I could present my preliminary results there. It was not a real big international conference, but still I was really delightful.

Surprisingly, I also obtained good grades on the courses that I attended. Me and Physics have been arch enemies ever since I started to learn it in junior high school years. Last semester, I must take a course called “Molecular and Cellular Biophysics”. I was just expecting to pass the exam with a “just ok” score, actually.

Talking about traveling, I visited some cities in Germany with my best traveling buddy, Mbak Wulan. 🙂 This year I expect less traveling, though. My research apparently need more of my attention.

On the other note, I’m growing into an even more independent person. I have no choice. This has been, so far, the longest period for me living abroad. Last year, my bestfriend here moved to Frankfurt following her husband who received an offer from a company there. She was living in Duesseldorf before. Previously, whenever both of us need to talk, we just texted each other and arranged sudden meet-ups. Now we cannot do such activities anymore, sadly. But I learn to be comfortable in my own company.

Yes I’m 31 young now. I have supportive parents (who–most of the times–still over-worried about me being faraway from home). I keep my circle of friend small. And I have a super-understanding boyfriend.

Cheers to even more amazing adventures to come!

You Complement Me

If you’re a Christian, if you believe in God, don’t worry about your other half. HE will find the perfect one for you. Your task in life is to work, improve your quality as a person, and pray. You need to realise that God is currently preparing you for that perfect person. And HE is also doing the same thing to your (future) other half. You never know, your other half could be the one who has been so familiar to you. Or he might be someone whom you have never met before. God will make both of you meet when both of you are ready. And regarding relationship, it is not the quantity. It’s about the quality. You don’t need to have countless relationship before you get married. Maybe up until today you’ve never been in any relationships, but one day you will have your first and last relationship. And that will be with the man whom God has prepared for you (maybe ever since you were born)

I wrote those phrases in one of an old articles I posted in this blog back then in November 2014, according to a video that was sent by a good friend of mine. Sadly I can’t access the video anymore now.

November 2014 was the time when I thought I found that one person in my life, before I realized that we have different faith and he is already in a relationship with another girl. After I was finally moving on with this guy, I trapped in another one almost relationship, one platonic friendship, and one toxic relationship. I also thought that I found my other half in that platonic friendship and actually was hoping that it could lead into something, until I let myself to stay uncertain for around two years. The toxic long distance relationship ended up leaving me a little bit traumatic and eventually came into a conclusion that I cannot get along with Indonesian guys in terms of maintaining a romantic relationship.

Last year I decided to heal my heart, focusing on my studies and research project, having fun with my friends, traveling, and not trying to find another guy to fill up that empty space in my life.

I reached a certain point when I feel that I’m happy with my life. I have reached more than a half of my dreams, and now actually I’m living my dream. I have a very supportive parents who never stop praying for me (and they never ask about my love life anymore. I think they’re also getting bored asking me that question). I have my friends who always there when I need them. What else should I ask for?

Perhaps a life partner. I was thirty years old, happy with my life, and having a stable emotional status. I told myself : “It’s the time to open up your heart again and give love another chance” And so I went out of my comfort zone, started to talk with new people without trying to change myself into another person.

I met this one person, with whom I can be my true self. On our first meeting, we talked for hours like we had known each other for years. It was very unusual of me.

It was not a love at the first sight for me, although later he told me that it definitely was for him. Weeks later, after our third meeting, I realized that I’m falling in love with him. This is not a kind of love that fulfill the empty space in my heart. I was happy with my life before I met him. Now, I am happier. This is not a relationship that grow out of loneliness. And I’m really grateful for that.

On the night after we officially started this relationship, I told God : “Thanks. You always have the best plan for me. He’s  worth the wait”

There are not so many differences for me,  between being single and being in a relationship. I think that’s a sign of a healthy relationship. Letting your significant other to grow, while holding hands to face whatever obstacles that might come during our journey towards our future together (hopefully).

To you, who always be kind and patient with me. To you, who let me be my true self. You don’t complete me. You complement me. Thank you. I thank God for making us to find each other.

And happy belated Valentine’s Day!

Essen, 16.02.2019

2019 Resolution : Social Media Detox

Hello everyone. We almost reach the third week of January 2019, but please allow me to say happy new year to all of you, dear readers!

It’s been years I stop making resolutions at the beginning of every new year, because I know at the end I will not fulfill them. However, I set goals for my academic life. That’s my top priority at the moment.

As the title implies, it’s true I’m trying to do a social media “detox”. It’s not really a 2019 resolution, but it’s my continous life project. I have started it since, I think, two years ago.  I feel much better about myself now and I hope it will get better as time goes by.

I must admit that internet and social media are very useful in our lives, as long as we know how to use it well. In this modern era, they support every aspect of our lives.

It was all started with my old Twitter account. I made that account in 2009 when I was a college student in my early twenties. I used to rambling around and exposing my personal matters there. You know that age stage when you tried to find your life direction. Years later I realised that I shared way too much in Twitter. I decided to delete my account in 2015. At that moment, I also in the middle of my PhD scholarship selection process. A friend of mine reminded me that there is a possiblity for the selection committee to track our activities in the cyber world. After I left Twitter, I found it hard for me to get news update. Whenever I wanted to update myself on the current news, I should go to the specific news portal website. Such a waste of time. Later on, I signed up again for a Twitter account and I use it mostly only for updating myself on current issues. I find it useful, especially since I am currently living outside Indonesia.

The second one is Facebook. Probably I am among those people who started using Facebook since its early year. I remember Facebook used to be that cool. In these past few years, people use this social media to spread hate campaign and to provocate others in bad ways. Most of the (normal) people in my generation has left Facebook nowadays. I still choose to actively use my account, though. This is the only social media that connects me with my family back home, especially the elderly people. Come on, they don”t know (yet?) about Instagram. 😀

Last but not least, the third one, is Instagram. With its Instagram stories feature, people tend to expose their private lives to public. When they have problems with other people, instead of trying to solve the problems, they share them on Instagram stories. Other people (who are actually outsiders) start to make speculations. And the drama begins. Some people also like to share their holiday pictures on this social media. There is nothing wrong with this, but nowadays people prefer to visit those so-called “Instagrammable” destinations just for the sake of their social media feeds. I’m mostly “hanging around” in Instagram, because in my opinion it is still the most fun social media platform to date.

When you think that you expose your private life way too much on social media, perhaps you can ask this question to yourself : “I’m not a public figure, then what’s the point of me sharing about my life to public?”

In conclusion, my 2019 resolution is to do a social media “detox” which include :

  • Sharing only positive vibes and useful information on my social media platforms
  • Trying to be totally “present” outside social media, spending times with those people who love me and I love
  • When I’m traveling, I will enjoy it to the fullest without much thinking whether those places are “Instagrammable”
  • Reading more non-academic books or books outside my field of expertise (this is quite difficult, though. considering my work loads, but I’ll try my best)

Happy new year once again!

 

Essen, January 12th 2019

Getting Rid of Implicit Bias

I stumbled upon this video, which triggered me to read and write about implicit bias. I have never heard about this term before, but I know a little bit about “sub-conscious prejudice”. Actually these two terms are quite similar. I like the content of that video, except the part on international conferences. In my opinion, people who call themselves as scholars (including Indonesian scholars) are not that shallow by only prefer to discuss with international delegates in a conference just because they are whites. Therefore, I disagree with her opinion in this case.

According to an article in Scientific American, implicit bias is a sign that your brain is still working properly. You’re not being racist by showing an implicit bias. Let me give you some examples and perhaps you can relate with your situations.

Most of Asians adore Caucasian people too much

I am not only talking about Indonesians. Let’s get real, most of Asian people feel proud if they know at least one Caucasian people, personally, in their lives. This is not only a situation that tends to happen in low-mid income Indonesian society who love taking selfies with the whites. What is the reason behind this? Post-colonialism mentality, I would say. Most Asians think that Caucasian people have higher hierarchy than them and therefore they must serve them, as a form of being respective. This is an inherited mentality from their predecessors.

Not all Caucasian people are better than Asian people. Living in a European country for a while, I notice that actually they pay more respect towards us because of our strong mentality and good attitudes. For me, I never feel inferior and I don’t adore them that much now.

English and other European languages are cool

Being able to communicate in English is cool. When you intend to explain about something and you do it in English, somehow people will give you more respect rather than when you do it in Indonesian language, for example. I agree that in order to  become citizens of the world, we must be able to communicate in English. However, it does not mean that it is okay if we cannot speak Indonesian properly.

I consider people in my generation (Y generation a.k.a Millenials) are still lucky. When we grew up there were not so many international schools available in Indonesia. We only had choices to go to public or private schools, which of course offer Indonesian language as a compulsory subject. We started to learn English at fourth grade. So, we can speak both languages properly.

I am afraid that Indonesian Z generation will lose their identity as Indonesians by not being able to speak Indonesian properly. Being able to communicate in foreign languages (not only English) is important and certainly will bring benefits and open more opportunities for us. However, we must remember that being able to communicate, orally and verbally,  in proper Indonesian is no less important.

We need to look on German and French people in terms of nation-pride. Young people in these two countries speak their languages properly and they really don’t care if they still have their accents while trying to communicate in English.

Indonesian people who earn degrees from abroad are smarter than those who earn degrees from local universities

Funny thing, most of the times this assumption does not come from people in Indonesia, but from the graduates themselves. They expect to get higher starting salaries compared to local graduates, just for the sake of having international degree.

That’s totally wrong, guys! In terms of intellectuality, there are not much differences between local and international graduates. Perhaps if we talk about mentality and adaptibility, I can say there are differences.

Chinese-Indonesian people are rich, greedy, and arrogant

This is a stereotype that have been existing among native Indonesian people for a long time. I also experienced this kind of situation when I was a kid. I went to one of the Catholic schools in Jakarta and most of the students there have Chinese-Indonesian ethnicity background. Yes, some of them are rich and arrogant. Some of them not. But most of them are smart. So, my motivation at that time was to beat those Chinese guys, in terms of getting the highest rank in the class in each semester. That was so silly and funny at the same time.

Growing up, some of my friends have Chinese-Indonesian background and they are some of those nicest people I have ever known in my life.

Be aware of black people

Many of us associate black people with drug dealers and criminals. Therefore, whenever we interact with them in our lives, we stay alert automatically.

When I studied in UK, I got to know some friends from Nigeria. And they are good people.

People, other than Germans, are dangerous

I see elderly people here in Germany are somehow become suspicious when they interact with non-German people (including me). This is the reason why I never offer any assistance to elderly German people if they do not ask me to do that. Just to avoid misunderstandings. 🙂

Of course there are many others implicit bias that we usually experience in our daily lives.

Implicit bias is normal. It is people’s way to “protect” themselves. However, this implicit bias can be reduced by exposing yourself to more varied situations. Traveling to new places and getting to know new cultures can be one of the ways to reduce implicit bias, I think.

In the end, we cannot judge people only by their education, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Human beings have their strength and weakness, in spite of their backgrounds.

Tentang Bersyukur

Salah satu pelajaran hidup terpenting yang diajarkan oleh orang tua saya adalah bahwa bersyukur itu penting. Kita boleh “melihat ke atas” supaya termotivasi untuk maju. Namun, ada kalanya kita harus “melihat ke bawah” supaya sadar bahwa banyak orang yang bernasib tidak sebaik kita. Selalu melihat ke atas akan membuat kita lelah karena ambisi. Melihat ke bawah akan membuat kita bersyukur akan apa yang kita miliki.

Ketika masih tinggal di Indonesia, hidup saya sangat nyaman. Tetapi entah mengapa saya selalu merasa ada yang kurang. Namun, semenjak tinggal di sini saya selalu bersyukur untuk segala hal-hal kecil yang terjadi di hidup saya. Saya bersyukur bisa baik-baik saja bertahan selama 1.5 tahun tinggal di Jerman, terlepas dari keterbatasan bahasa, perbenturan kultur, serta ruwetnya birokrasi di sini.

Bicara tentang studi dan penelitian saya di sini, tidak selamanya tanpa masalah. Kalau teman-teman melihat beberapa foto dan konten yang saya bagi di media sosial, mungkin kalian akan berpendapat bahwa hidup saya enak sekali di sini. Pada kenyataannya, ada kalanya saya merasa kecewa karena hasil eksperimen tidak sesuai ekspektasi. Namun, kemudian saya bersyukur bahwa saya memiliki pembimbing yang selalu antusias, apapun hasil yang saya peroleh. Mereka yang selalu mengajak saya berdiskusi dan menganalisis hasil eksperimen saya dari berbagi sudut pandang. Kadangkala, mendengarkan cerita orang lain pun dapat membuat saya lebih mensyukuri keadaan saya.

Hal ini yang membuat saya ingin menulis sesuatu tentang betapa pentingnya bersyukur karena tanpa kita sadari, ketika satu pintu kesempatan tertutup untuk kita, Tuhan ternyata membawa kita masuk melalui pintu lain untuk menemukan kesempatan lain yang ternyata lebih baik untuk kita. Bahkan dalam kasus saya, Tuhan menyelamatkan saya dari sesuatu yang “buruk”

Mungkin saya belum pernah membagi cerita ini di blog. Bertahun-tahun lalu, mungkin sekitar tahun 2013 atau 2014 ketika saya sedang gencar-gencarnya mengirimkan aplikasi untuk S3, saya pernah menghubungi seorang profesor di Essen. Pada saat itu, beliau tidak memiliki posisi untuk mahasiswa S3 baru dan beliau berkata akan menghubungi saya apabila ada posisi yang tersedia. Namun, saya tidak pernah mendengar lagi kabar dari beliau. Hingga dua tahun kemudian, saya mendapat tawaran untuk S3 di Essen, di grup penelitian yang berbeda. Haha..mungkin memang saya berjodoh dengan kota ini sebenarnya. Kemarin saya berkenalan dengan seseorang yang baru memulai penelitian S3-nya di bawah bimbingan profesor yang dulu pernah saya hubungi itu. Dia bercerita bahwa dia harus bekerja tanpa henti di lab setiap hari, bahkan dI akhir pekan. Ternyata profesor itu sangat ambisius. Saya benar-benar tidak bisa berkata-kata ketika dia menceritakan hal itu.

Saya bisa saja berada di posisi teman saya itu. Saya bersyukur karena dulu profesor itu tidak menghubungi saya lagi. Sekarang saya memiliki pembimbing yang sangat baik, memastikan bahwa saya tidak berada di lab ketika weekend atau hari libur (kecuali ketika situasinya tidak memungkinkan, itu pun saya harus secepatnya menyelesaikan eksperimen saya). Profesor saya bahkan pernah berkata bahwa saya tidak memiliki jam kerja, karena saya student bukan karyawan. Saya bisa datang dan pergi jam berapapun. Yang terpenting bukan berapa lama saya stay di lab, tapi berapa banyak progress yang saya buat. Sebenarnya tidak ada alasan untuk saya tidak bersyukur.

Di luar lingkup akademik, saya pun memiliki kehidupan personal. Kadang saya berpikir, kenapa ya saya masih single di kala teman-teman seusia saya, terutama sesama orang Indonesia, bahkan sudah membangun keluarga? Sempat terpikir mungkin ada yang aneh dengan kepribadian saya hingga membuat saya sulit untuk menemukan seseorang yang cocok. Memang saya sempat agak menutup diri selama beberapa bulan, karena tidak mau kecewa lagi. Saya sempat bertekad tidak mau dekat dengan pria Jerman, karena asumsi-asumsi yang saya buat sendiri. Ketika saya memutuskan untuk mulai membuka diri, ketemunya malah sama orang Jerman. Beberapa waktu berinteraksi, menurut dia saya memilki kepribadian yang cukup menarik. Oke, berarti tidak ada masalah dengan saya. Ini hanya perkara belum bertemu dengan yang pas saja. 🙂

Oh iya dengan orang Jerman itu, juga saya putuskan untuk dilanjutkan dengan pertemanan saja. Peristiwa ini juga yang membuat saya bersyukur, karena terhindar dari patah hati yang mungkin akan terjadi apabila saya memutuskan untuk, misalkan, berpacaran sama dia. Tentu ada kalanya saya berpikir tentang segala hal yang bisa terjadi apabila saya tidak memutuskan untuk berteman saja dengan dia. Ya..andaikan kami dipertemukan beberapa tahun lalu, bukan sekarang, mungkin saya bisa ikut andil untuk mengubah masa lalu dia. Mungkin inilah definisi nyata dari “meeting the right person at the wrong time“.  Bisa jadi semuanya akan baik-baik saja. Mungkin saya yang overthinking. Tapi saya rasa saya juga berhak melindungi diri sendiri. Ketika logika dan perasaan dibenturkan, memang berat, Namun, saya harus ingat tujuan awal saya ke sini adalah untuk belajar. Kalau bonus dapat jodoh, ya bagus tapi itu bukan hal yang harus diprioritaskan setidaknya hingga 3 tahun ke depan. Saya bersyukur, saya belum terjerumus lebih dalam di relationship ini. Bersyukur juga karena sekarang dapat satu lagi teman orang Jerman, sehingga bisa sekalian melancarkan bahasa Jerman saya. Haha.

Intinya, kita harus belajar bersyukur untuk hal-hal kecil. Hidup ini akan selalu penuh masalah. Jadikan masalah itu sebagai tantangan, bukan penghalang. Dengan selalu bersyukur, kita akan merasa bahwa hidup ini akan selalu baik-baik saja. Kalau kalian percaya bahwa Tuhan itu ada, untuk banyak hal Dia akan bekerja dan Dia yang paling tahu seberapa kuat dirimu. Jadi tenang saja. 🙂

Selamat berakhir pekan, teman-teman!

Salam dari Essen yang mendung

10 November 2018