Tentang Berlari

Hari ini pertama kalinya aku berlari dengan Nike+ Running Club (NRC) Boston bersama beberapa kawan di Boston yang memang suka lari. Akhirnya bertemu dengan Coach Ally yang sebelumnya ketemu dan ngobrol tidak sengaja di Instagram. Kami berlari dari jam 6.34 PM hingga sekitar satu jam kemudian dan karena di jam pulang kantor, kita jadi perhatian banyak orang yang kita lewati. “Runners is in da house!!!” teriak salah seorang fans Celtics di depan TD Garden yang sangat penuh fans Celtics karena sedang ada game.

Rute 6 miles sore ini

Rute 6 miles dimulai dari Nike store di Newburry Street lalu stretching di taman dekat Newburry dan mulai berlari menembus Boston Public Garden – Boston Common – melewati beberapa area Freedom Trail hingga akhirnya menuju daerah TD Garden dan Bunker Hill – kemudian kembali melewati Charles River, Beacon Street dan akhirnya sampai juga di Nike store.

Stretching before the run. Photo by Andrea

Ada sesuatu di dalam berlari yang membuatku sangat bahagia ketika melakukannya. Ketika berlari dengan lebih banyak orang, sejauh ini membuatku lebih bahagia. Berlari dengan musik, membuatku lebih bahagia lagi. Berhenti di tengah berlari dan diam sejenak melakukan meditasi 5-10 menit di tengah pepohonan Chesnut Hill Reservoir atau Dock Charles River, membuat damai itu terasa semakin ada.

Tidak bisa aku jelaskan dengan baik apa sesuatu yang membuatku bahagia, seperti apa yang aku pelajari dari kelas Zen Meditation pagi ini, tentang berlari, tidak bisa kamu jelaskan dengan orang lain. Tentang berlari, harus kamu rasakan sendiri lalu kamu akan mengerti apa itu.

Semoga aku tidak akan pernah kehilangan perasaan sesuatu tentang berlari ini. Merasa bahagia dengan hanya berlari, dimanapun kaki ini akan berpijak.

Some of running buddies tonight inside Nike Store as the start & finish. Taken by Lucy

As we grow up..

A week ago in March 21 is the day when I born 26 years ago, in Semarang – Central Java. My parent were so happy got their first children in the family. My first birthday celebration that I can truly remember and getting so excited about it was my 7 years old birthday. It was in my parent home in Kudus and they invite my other family, kinder garden friends and neighbor. When we were kid, we are always expecting a celebration continue with presents, cakes and surprises.

When I was in the college, I remember birthday is always identify with “surprise that will make you annoyed but you can’t” like your friend throwing away water / birthday cakes to you or wrapping you with the ropes and throw you in the pool, or bring things that you afraid of and show it in front of you. Wow, that was such an adventure day to turn on your adrenaline. I truly remember what my 20 years old birthday look like. I was such a mess after the brutal action that my college friends did. But we were all laughing after all, such a good old times.

When I was 21 years old, I went off to escape from people in the day of my birthday with 2 of my friends to South East Asia. When I was 23 years old, I did it again but off to the island of Komodo; Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.


This year, I want to mark it differently. I want to make the day simpler. So I thought, turning off the birthday Facebook notification will be a good idea as not many people will aware of my birthday. This is also a social experiment to myself to see who are people that remember my birthday, just for fun. Don’t take it seriously.

So, I spent the very first hour of the midnight of 21 March getting a call from my mom, family and some of my close friends. I have the call back to back to maybe almost 5 hours with couple people in Indonesia. Some people wishing me a lot of things like to be successful in life, to get what I want, pursuing my dream, etc but that kind of prayer seems to be very egocentric. My only hope right now is to be happier, wiser, and can give more benefit for other human being.

As we grow up..
We want to keep our circle small.
We want to only be with the real people.
We want to life simpler and meaningful.
We prefer quality than quantity.

But not everyone have the same desire to do the same thing as they grow up.
At least for me, that are things that keep me alive as I grow up.
Because its not how many friends you have, but how many quality relationship with friend(s) you have.. that’s what make it different.

Happy 26 to myself.
Thank you for everyone who accepting who I am until today and being in my circle.
I will not take the friendship for granted.



Boston Socrates Cafe #3 | 1369 Coffeehouse | ”Define Your Own Freedom (and Happiness)”

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Finally, after the crazy midterm session, we starting our “Socrates Cafe” again! We decided to start the session by having late lunch Ramen that we already carving for so long around Harvard Square in Cambridge; the famous Santouka Ramen!

Everytime I look at this photo, I wanna go back to this place.. so tempting!
Everytime I look at this photo, I wanna go back to this place.. so tempting!

Then I remember they have a cute little coffeehouse in Cambridge that on my list to visit : 1369 Coffeehouse! So we decided to catch the 69 Bus from Harvard and get down in this cute coffeehouse after 7 stops. Here are some of the photos as you can easily imagine how one of the best coffee shop in Boston look like :

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.23.30 PMThe coffeehouse in the night. Image source : http://www.1369coffeehouse.com

The backside of the coffeehouse. 
We sit just across this place!
1369 from outside. I take the photo with Andrea’s Sony mirrorless camera.
Its not come with the cup, surprisingly. Even though we order hot coffee au lait & hot chocolate almond joy. Photo taken by Andrea.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.23.01 PM The mural behind the coffeehouse. Image source : http://www.1369coffeehouse.com

We pick the 3rd Socrates Cafe topic under the theme of “Freedom” as Andrea get inspired after her visit to the prison as you can read on her blog here.  We started to explore what kind of freedom we have right now and we both agree that we have a lot of freedom to use in our life, but most of the time, we don’t use it (or we prefer to not using it).

Freedom to speak, freedom to choose your friend (or not to choose), freedom to be alone, freedom to decide whatever you want, freedom to choose your religion (or not having one), freedom to travel, freedom to live wherever you want, and other kind of freedom.

The question is : do you use your freedom ultimately? and is your freedom lead you to your happiness?

Most people maybe will assume that freedom means do whatever you want without any boundaries. But what about if people choose to have boundaries and that whats make them happy? What is people prefer of being not free?

Recently, I read Haruki Murakami book and then it bring me curiosity on what this genius writer think about freedom and this is one of the conversation that I found through his book, “Kafka on The Shore” :

“That backpack’s like your symbol of freedom,” he comments.
“Guess so,” I say.
“Having an object that symbolizes freedom might make a person happier than actually getting the freedom it represents.”
“Sometimes,” I say.
“Sometimes,” he repeats. “You know, if they had a contest for the world’s shortest replies, you’d win hands down.”
“Perhaps,” Oshima says, as if fed up. “Perhaps most people in the world aren’t trying to be free, Kafka. They just think they are. It’s all an illusion. If they really were set free, most people would be in a real bind. You’d better remember that. People actually prefer not being free.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

In our conversation, we explore that people should define their own freedom, aren’t they? Definition of freedom for me might differ with what you think of your freedom. I am a moslem myself and maybe some people think that I have a boundaries with my religion, some people might think that being free means doesn’t have any religion. But I feel insecure if I don’t pray for example – which lead me to not having my own freedom of security that can create happiness eventually. So, is having religion set a boundary for people not having their ultimate freedom? Not always the case. Here, we come to the conclusion that we should define our own freedom that will lead to happiness. You cannot just follow other people definition of freedom because it might not make you happy.

Source : http://www.lovethispic.com/image/172448/doing-what-you-like-is-freedom,-liking-what-you-do-is-happiness
Image Source : http://www.lovethispic.com/image/172448/doing-what-you-like-is-freedom,-liking-what-you-do-is-happiness

If we put this perspective on other people’s shoes, then we have to respect on people’s definition of freedom. I remember that one of my professor said in class, the most important thing in life is sometime not to love but to respect. You don’t have to love everyone but you have to respect everyone with all the differences that they have with you. 

To define your own freedom is maybe easier than to respect on other choice of freedom. For instance, you have a group of friends. One of your friend might choose to not always hanging out together with you because he or she just choose to not doing that for some reasons. It doesn’t mean that she or he hating the group, it just that they choose to have her or his freedom to do something else.

Another example, in Indonesia, most of the time we always think that people who go alone, watch movie alone, eating alone, in the cafe alone, is kind of pathetic. Our mind is so dangerous that it can judge people easily. Our conversation conclude that we should respect people freedom of choice to live their life as they want. Maybe they just want to be alone at that time – you never know if this person always have a friend or partner to go with every weekend. If we want people respect our choice of freedom, we should start learn how to respect other 🙂

To close this 3rd Socrates Cafe, I would like to encourage everyone who read this to celebrate your own freedom by defining what’s yours and achieve your own definition of happiness by doing so. Freedom is such a beautiful gift from our God and if we are not using it, you will maybe not living your life to the fullest or the worst thing, as Murakami mention below, you will start hating somebody in your life. I hope we are not that kind of person 🙂

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