Notes: The Wanderer

www.catatanfani.comRunning has always been my thing and I have always been into outdoor running. Unfortunately, since I moved to  Bangladesh in early 2016, outdoor running did not seem to be visible. It is because I cannot wear my ‘normal’ running gear -sport bra and short- as it is culturally inappropriate. As a foreigner, I just have to respect the local culture. Additionally, the 2016 terrorist attack which occurred in July 2016, has also limited our movement. Therefore, I decided to give up my hobby partly and started doing indoor running at the gym.

I must say indoor running is quiet boring because all I had to do was just staring on the screen all the time which then led me to think ‘When am I going to complete this run?‘. I did not enjoy it all. Yet, what to do? I had no choice. I had to force myself to fall in love with it. After months of training, I become used to it and I did not mind one way or another as long as I run.

For me, running has always been an important activity to me because it provides me a good dose of endorphin which puts me on a good mood. Additionally, it also helps me to cope with my anxiety and depression problem. Hence, there is just no way for me to skip one run unless I am on the plane or being hospitalized.

Anyhow, three weeks ago, I started to do an outdoor running again, here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Of course, I still cannot wear my normal running gear but what to do? At the end, I have to compromise and that is okay. I must say that despite the fact it was extremely hot having myself covered with long sleeve shirt and long pants, it was not bad at all actually. As I run around the park, crossed the street and went inside small alleys, I discovered so many things including the road, the beauty of local attire and the contrast of people’s lifestyle which I would never see if I only run in the gym. And I must say that since I arrived in Dhaka, other than the birth of my son, I have never been happier because I was able to run outside.

Outdoor running  means a lot to me. It gives me the sense that I am a free social being  and  I am not trapped. I can see what kind of place and society I am living in. I wish this place doesn’t have security problem so I can explore the city by running every morning without any worry.

Ride the bus

Notes: Losing Your Body? Nah!

www.catatanfani.com (1)Many people say that once a woman becomes a mother, she will lose her body, become fat and have jiggly yet flabby body especially those who has baby delivered through c-section including me. Don’t even dream to get your body back, so they say. But here I am, I prove them wrong. You can still have a well-shape body even you have many children be it through normal delivery and/or c-section.

I started getting back to my training regime at seventh weeks postpartum. I must say that I didn’t find it easy. Sometimes I got frustrated because I didn’t seem to lose any baby fat after working out for one month. Sometimes I got frustrated or even depressed because l only run at the slow pace. Sometimes I even gave up, just sat down, did no exercises for hours and just played with my phone because I felt that I did not make any progress. 

But one day, I said to myself “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just started again,” so I started to take it easy that time. I just forgot about the aesthetics result and just focused on the form of my exercise as well as my diet.

At the end, aesthetic result is not my main exercise’s goal but sanity is. As a result, I got my body back faster than I expected as you can see on the picture above. 

Ps: no whey protein is being used. It’s all natural diet.

Ride the bus

Notes: Liar

DSCF1124Let’s ask ourselves these questions. Do you put heavy make-up to cover your pimple or skin imperfection? Do you need to purchase brand-name products? Do you max out your credit card to purchase fancy things that you cannot afford it? Do you use a photo filter or photoshop before you upload your photo online? Do you work in a company only for a monthly pay-cheque? Do you cheat on your lover or partner and stay in a relationship even you are no longer happy? Do you know that all of those are the form of lie and there are just many more forms of lies out there?

Well, the individual is not the only liar in our society. The governments lie, the companies lie, the religious institutions lie, the politicians lie, the religious leaders lie, the public figures lie and almost all the citizens lie. Eventually, almost all of us are liars.

However, have you ever asked yourself why you need to lie? I believe that we begin to lie because our society often tells us that we are not good enough as individuals. They say “You are not good enough because of your skin colour”;  “You are not good enough because of your ethnicity background”; “You are not good enough because of your weight”; “You are not good enough because of your job”. And you are just not good in so many ways.

Their judgment makes us feeling insecure; their judgment makes us to not accept yourself, and their judgment makes us feel to have the need to fulfil their demand/ requirements. The worse, their judgment makes you stop loving yourself unconditionally.  Ultimately, you have the need to lie. We do it consciously or unconsciously, to other people as well as to ourselves. As a result, we become liars.

We do not know anymore whether we need to keep our mouth shut and tell the truth or we just need to lie. In the end, lying seems to be much easier than being honest and truthful; being perfect seems to be more acceptable than being imperfect and that is what our society wants from us… to be perfect! Hence, we lie. Correct me if I was wrong!

Xoxo

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Music: Kindess Boomerang

One Day by Matisyahu

Sometimes I lay
Under the moon
And thank God I’m breathing
Then I pray
Don’t take me soon
Cause i’m here for a reason
Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around
Because
All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we dont wanna fight no more
There be no more wars
And our children will play

One day x6

It’s not about
Win or lose
Because we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent
Blood drenched pavement
Keep on moving though the water stay raging
in this maze you can lose your way (your way)
it might drive you crazy but dont let it faze you no way (no way)

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it’ll all turn around
Because
All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we dont wanna fight no more
There be no more wars
And our children will play

One day x6

One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence
Down the the hate
One day we’ll all be free
And proud to be
Under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like

One day x2
All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There be no more wars
And our children will play

One day x6

Ride the bus

Review: Couchsurfing

La RepublicaFew years ago, I was introduced to courchsurfing.org by a friend of mine, a blogger from multiply.com (I was still active blogging with multiply.com platform back then, too bad that it has been shut down now because I love that platform so much as I have been blogging with that platform since 2005 : ( ).  I found that couchsurfing.org was interesting because I could meet many different kind of people with different kind of stories such as where they have been to, how they saved money for traveling, how much money they spent in certain country, where to stay, listen to their point of view about other cultures, etc. I would say that it is fun.

So in 2009, I decided to sign up and create a profile in couchsurfing.org to get new friends and meet new people from all over the world. Unfortunately, I was not particularly that active because I started my job in Jakarta and did not really have time for myself. My work and the Jakarta traffic made me lazy to attend some gatherings because I was too tired

However luckily, I had the opportunity to meet number of amazing people and young travelers, which opened my eyes about life. I met four European girls, who studied in Singapore in 2010; a 21 Australian boy who has been traveling to 70 countries after he managed to save for two or three years since he was 16 (he didn’t go to senior high school if I was not mistaken); an Italian photographer who stayed in hundreds of couch while he was traveling and many more. Most of them have great story and are very down to earth. 

I was amazed but jealous at the same time with their ability to travel around the world. So why am I jealous? It is not because of their financial flexibility but Indonesian citizen doesn’t really have an easy access visiting a country, especially European, American and also Australian country.

We have to apply for tourist visa, complete a bunch of document, pay a lot of money for the visa with the possibility of losing it if we were rejected. While most of Westerner (Lucky you people!) have the privilege to  come and go visiting the developing country very easy such Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Right?!

I actually have a hell lot of things to complain about but I will leave it there because I know that I am luckier than them, who comes from third world country or African country. I am grateful with what I got.

But anyway…. so here I was being profiled by an Italian couchsurfer in La Republica, an Italian newspaper on August 2010. I think I will activate my couchsurfing profile again to find a new activity in 2014.

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Music: Happy

[Verse 1:]
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

[Hook:]
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

[Verse 2:]
Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don’t hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don’t waste your time
Here’s why

[Hook:]

[Bridge:]
Happy, come on, bring me down
Happy, come on, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Come on, bring me down
I said bring me down
Come on, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Come on, bring me down
I said

[Hook x2:]

[Bridge 2:]
Bring me down, can’t nothing,
Bring me down, your love is too high,
Bring me down, can’t nothing,
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

[Hook x2:]

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Notes: Negative Mindset

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Negative Mindset Tends to Corrupt My Life [2013: E N U]

Life has been extremely hard for me in these last few months. Instead of getting better each month, life seems getting harder and worse. I tried to be strong and believe that everything was okay and would get better sooner than later. But no it did not. It got worse and I could not deal with it well. But was it me unable to deal it well or was it just my negative mindset?

Wait…. that’s what I just discovered! Whether were I really unable to deal with the current life situation well or was it just my negative mindset?

Well let me tell you something, I always said to myself that I must always remove my negative thinking when I have/want/need to do something. No matter how difficult my task is… I MUST NOT say that I CANNOT. Instead I MUST say that I CAN. If I have belief in myself that I can do it, surely I will be able to finish any task, which is given to me. Why did I say that?

Few years ago when I was working for an english newspaper, I was asked to write four stories. It was 2 p.m and the deadline was at 7 p.m. I could not say NO and I would not say No. Instead I said yes. I said to myself that I CAN finish it and I WILL finish it. Even though I didn’t meet the deadline on time, I was able to finish and submit all the stories. I was relieved.  I was happy knowing that I had the ability to do it.

Somehow when I worked on those article, I felt no burden at all. Instead I was enjoying it. But here was the key, I believed that I would not do anything properly without God’s help. (I know I might sound so religious but that’s what I believe : ). I believe in God’s grace).

So as I reflected into my current life’s situation and how I dealt with it, I just felt that the negativity has corrupted my life. It was just a constant complaint.  I always said to myself how unhappy I am, how stressful my life is, how difficult my life is, how hard my life is, etc etc etc. Yes perhaps I am unhappy with the current situation but shouldn’t I just consider it as a test from God?

Well I often said to myself that this difficult life would be just temporary, it wouldn’t stay forever as what Saint Paul said There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

And again Jesus also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

So why couldn’t I deal with my current life situation well? I think it is because I was surrounded by people with negative thinking and somehow it effected to me. No I did not mean to blame anyone here. But now I learnt whenever all those negative opinion comes closer to me, it is better for me to walk away or close my ears to ignore it.

It all comes down to our mindset. If we have a positive mindset, we would deal with difficulty positively, led us to positive attitude and finally we would not feel that we carry a heavy burden. But if we have a negative mindset, we would deal with difficulty with negative attitude, give us frustration and and life getting  hard for us everyday.

I am glad that I have been introduced to God since I was child through Catholic belief. Even though there was a stage of life when I did not want to be tied to any religion but still believed in God, I just found that religious value has taught me something which gives me peace of mind.

Instead of running to alcohol or nicotine  when I got upset (I used to drink a lot but was not an alcoholic, just a cocktail lover. And I knew I smoked few days ago but I rarely did it), I just picked my bible and read it. It might not give me a solution right away but it gives me peace of mind. And that’s all I need.

For me, life is about constant reflection. Perhaps some people might think that I am drama queen or melancholic bitch whenever I share my problem or point of view of life in my blog but I don’t really care anyway. This is how the way I live my life.

And  I just realized that God actually has answered my prayers. Even though it was not a jackpot but God has provided a lot of good things to me during this trial of life.  It might not be the best  but God always provided for us.

Sometimes we just have to appreciate the small stuff because we are blessed more than we realize. I just believed that God would answer my prayers in His own time in His own way.

Have a blessed Sunday readers!
Ride the bus