Restart.

Restart

It is 14:07 on a fine afternoon. Here I am sitting in a local café ironically sipping a cup of hot cappuccino in a considerably warm day. Here I am trying to put my thoughts into words. It’s been a while since the last time I wrote, and it feels… nice. Let’s just say I have not been putting enough effort into managing my blog this past year or so, even when there are friends, and even strangers, who reached out to me and encouraged me to continue doing what I was doing. Instead of taking on the encouragement, I looked the other way around and made excuses.

“I am busy with all these school deadlines.”
“I am on my final term in school, so I need to focus.”
“I can’t force myself to write.”
“I don’t feel like writing.”
“But it takes so much of my time.”
“I don’t have anything to write about.”
“Who would want to read what I wrote?”
There’s no point.

Excuses after excuses did I make until I run out of it. Why? I am not sure. Maybe somewhere along the way I have lost the motivation to continue. Maybe somewhere along the way I have lost sight of the WHY behind what I do. But here I am resisting all the tempting call to procrastinate and watch Riverdale, here I am putting my mind and heart back into doing what I used to do. Here I am today, back at it. And just a fair warning, this post might be more of a ‘curhat’ session, but do bear with me today.

(Intermezzo. Okay maybe that wasn’t completely honest. Maybe I started writing today because of the fact I am back in Jakarta, and most of my friends are working. Hence, there are not many people I can bother on a day to day basis.)

I have been reading a book titled “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. It talks about how the WHYs of what you do is essential and foundational if you want it to last. And so, with all the time I have in the world, I took the time to think through of the WHYs of this blog. The book differentiates the WHY from the WHATs and the HOWs – yes, they are three very different things. Summarizing the words of Sinek, here are the definitions. WHAT is simply the identifiable product, both the tangible and the intangible, within a system. HOW, though not as obvious and identifiable, is the method or process to get to where one wants to be or produces the WHATs one desire. Though these two make a large proportion of our lives or the things we do, there is yet a missing detail. It’s the WHY. WHY is the purpose, cause or belief of your activity. Why should the WHAT exist? Why should anyone even care?

Anyway, reading this book reminded me to return to the core of the existence of this blog. It refreshed my memory of why I started my very own blog, sharing my vulnerabilities and my stories so openly to the public. And so yes, let me go back to the WHYs.

Who I am today will never be possible without the many people who have made a huge impact in my life. I learn from people – from the day-to-day encounters I have with them, from the failures they have gone through, from the successes they have achieved, or simply from my own observations of how different people respond to circumstances in life. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned about life and how much I’ve grown as an individual just by hanging out with people. And by people I meant each and every person, because I know that each person has their own unique story and unique lesson only that person can ‘teach’. Knowing that I won’t be where I am today without the stories people carry with their lives, I want to be that person with a story that may (or may not) help others too. Though my story might not be as exciting as I made them sound to be, thought it might not be relevant to some of you, it is my unique story I get to tell, and even if it just speaks to one person, I think my effort is not in vain. This blog is not about showing how good I am (because clearly I am far from good) or how great my life has been (if you read through most of my posts, you’ll know I’ve been on such crazy bumpy ride). But rather, because of my brokenness in many aspects in life, I’d want to share with you what holds me together all this time – as for me, it is faith in God. And I hope to inspire you to discover whatever it is that holds you together when the world seems to be tearing apart.

My WHY got fuzzy along the way. It got hidden by the WHATs, where I started worrying more about the number of views I got on my site, or the visuals and layout that will be more aesthetically pleasing. And I guess it really proves to me that WHATs, as tangible as they are, cannot survive without a strong sense of WHY. So today, let these intriguing questions speak to you as much as they speak to myself. Is there anything you are doing that is just burdensome to you? Do you wish for the burning passion you once had but is somehow lost along the way? May I suggest you to restart. To restart with WHY. And I hope with those answers, you may find your way back to the core of whatever you are doing, and not only will you keep doing what you are doing, you will do it with greater passion and all the while scaling up what you intended to produce.

To close, let me quote a paragraph from the book that compares WHY with an arrow. It says, “Before it can gain any power or achieve any impact, an arrow must be pulled backward, 180 degrees away from the target. And that’s also where a WHY derives its power. The WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”

Cheers,
Kimberly Subianto

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unchanging hope in the everchanging world.

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Is it just me, or is time flying by faster and faster each year?! This is crazy. Can’t believe another year has passed. Anyways, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! Hope you all had a terrific first few days of the new year with family and friends. Let me tell you a little bit about mine, and I’ll let you describe how the first few days of 2017 made me feel.

 January 1, 2017. Woke up early and feeling quite sleepy from the new year’s eve countdown. Ate nothing but porridge the whole day. Plain porridge, FYI. Why? Read on, read on. The hardest part of the day is during lunch time for sure, when the whole fambam was gathered for lunch and everyone was just eating so much good food that I have missed so badly! And there I was, sitting at the end of the table, eating a bowl of plain porridge. Yum. Not. Well, I get through lunch and dinner was a breeze. In the evening, my mom and I went to the hospital and I got admitted for the night – yup, the first night of 2017! I cried a little bit inside :’)

January 2, 2017. Woke up wayyy too early at around 3:30 AM because my tummy is just screaming for the toilet. Oh, did I mention I took some kind of laxatives the night before so I can drain everything down the toilet? Okay, okay. Let me now tell you why I am in the hospital to begin with. So I my tummy has been so bloated and so gassy quite often for the past year or so. This started to concern me and my mom, and so we decided to consult with the doctor and conduct a colonoscopy upon his recommendation. Since my time in Indonesia is a crunch, there is no other perfect time to deal with all of this aside from the new year. Now with colonoscopy, the procedure itself is so quick and painless (they use anesthetics), but the preparation is not so fun. It involves countless visits to the bathroom and fasting, which means no food (and drink!), which means Kim is not happy. The worst thing about all of it is the colon hydrotherapy – no, I refrain myself from describing the whole process as it brings bad memories to mind (Google it if you are curious about it). At around 5 pm, I was brought in to the room and given anesthetics. I slept through everything and woke up an hour after. I was already pretty excited about going home that night and eating real food, but was told that I need to stay another night for some antibiotics. I cried a little bit more in the inside. But on the bright side, the result was nothing serious. I have a colon inspection due to some bacteria in the food I ate. I also found out that I have a relatively long colon that makes up quite a maze for the ‘substances’ to travel through – and this has been causing the gassy tummy. At the end of the day, I can be thankful that everything is alright.

January 3, 2017. Woke up numerous times in the middle of the night as the nurses need to check on the intravenous infusion and prepare for my medication. But that is okay. I am going home today, and that’s what matter. The doctor did his rounds in the morning and told me I am ready to go – I was elated. Not long after, my mom arrived and we waited for the whole administration process to complete. By noon, I was out of the hospital and there was a huge smile on my face.

Quite a start to the new year, eh? Well, you know what, as much as I sound all grumpy and annoyed and what not, I am glad my year started with this experience. I did tell you briefly what happened these past three days, but what I did not tell you is what happened inside of me.

Honestly, I was scared. I am not a big fan of hospitals and medical check-ups, especially when it was my own physical body that is up for the check. I was worried about my condition. What if they found something unusual in my colon? What if the blood test showed a positive somewhere in the report? Those are the thoughts that ran through my mind as I was lying on the bed waiting for the nurse to call me up for colonoscopy. I started praying and asked God for peace. Yes, I did ask for great results. But more than anything, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that in all circumstances, God is still God and He is still in control. I left the room that day wanting to hold fast to that hope I have in God and His sovereignty.

It’s funny how right on the next day I was reassured of that truth through a book I am currently reading, How’s Your Soul. It’s talking about how Jesus is the anchor of our soul, and that nothing else this world can offer will be able to take His place. It also talks about how an anchor doesn’t give a quick escape route. Instead, it keeps us still and unshakeable right there and then, in the midst of the storm and raging waves. It becomes our unchanging foundation when our surrounding is forever changing. Wow, that is just reassuring and gives so much hope as I start the new year. It’s true. Most of us wants an instant way out when faced with unwanted circumstances. As Judah puts it, we expect God to be the ‘helicopter Jesus’ – picking us up from whatever trouble we are in and out to the calmness. But no. He holds us tight and stays there with us, keeping us still and whispering in our eat that at the end of every storm, the tranquility will come.

This year, let us all come into the new years holding on to the never-changing hope that is an anchor to our soul. Let us be forever in His grip even when all that surrounds us is drowning, because we know that in Him is the safest place to be. Let us fix our gaze on Him who is all-knowing and sovereign over all. Let us place our trust in Him time and time again, knowing that what surprises us never surprises Him, and what is mystery to us is never a mystery to Him. Let us find ourselves anchored to a firm and secure foundation we have in Christ. Happy new year 2017!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

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A REFLECTION: what 16 minutes can reveal.

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5:06 PM.

I walked out the door of Kondi Callanetics studio and quickly ran across the street towards my car, as if I was not tired enough from the HIIT class I was in the past hour.

“I am so sorry, officer, please don’t issue me a ticket. Pleaseeee. I just got off the class,” I utter these words as I spoke in my shortness of breath. Hopeful. Wishing that I do not have to pay for my mistake.

“I understand that, but I cannot do anything to help you now. I printed out the ticket already, and it is difficult for me to take it back,” the officer replied to me with quite a considerate tone.

“Please, I am really sorry. I didn’t know the class would end later than what I paid parking for.” And there, it hit me. So confidently and so casually I tried to get away from what I did. Let’s rewind back 76 minutes…

3:50 PM.

I parked my car right across the studio and paid an hour of parking, knowing that my class would not end till at least 5 PM. What are the odds the city law enforcement officer would drive by this area, I thought to myself. Strike one.

3:57 PM. 

After I changed to my gym outfit and ready to hit the treadmills, out of the blue, I started imagining in my mind the possibility of me getting ticketed because I did not put an extra 50 cents into the meter. I literally laughed it off and ignored my very own conscience that is trying to rescue me. Whatevs, I’ll be out in an hour and it’s no biggie, I convinced myself. Strike two.

____

And well, you know how the story ended. But what surprised me was not the parking ticket that was issued to me, but more so the way I responded. I was surprised at myself for being so casual in looking for escape routes to run away from the consequences of my actions, even if it took sacrificing my own values and principles. That was when I know it was strike three.

This happened exactly one week ago. That short 16-minute period of time surely revealed something of my heart and my attitude. As I drove back home that evening, I reflected back on what happened and was rebuked in many different ways in how I go about life. It brought me down to a question I asked myself…

How much of self-integrity are you willing to give up solely for a temporary comfort?

At 3:50 PM last week, I made the choice to disobey the law, in which resulted in a consequence I had to take responsibility for. And at 5:06 PM that same day, I made the choice to violate my own principles, trying to achieve that so-called comfort. That 16 minutes definitely revealed more than just my choices in itself, and definitely more than just the violation in itself. That 16 minutes revealed how I tend to respond when I am faced with a choice – am I going to remain faithful even in the little things? Or maybe I should put it this way, am I going to remain faithful, especially in the little things? Am I willing to sacrifice what I could have learned for what is comfortable for me right here right now?

You may think I am exaggerating this one little thing way too much. But, it scares me. It really does. The fact that I was willing to make that choice when clearly I was faced in a situation in which I may get caught scares me. The fact that in life, I will encounter choices I have to make for myself, in which no one else in this world may ever find out. When that happen, would I, then, still be willing to give up my own integrity even when there is no one to ever discover what I did? That scares me.

Integrity is, by definition, the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. If I may add to it, even when no one is watching and only you alone who would know what you did. I want to run after that.

To say that this incident has taught me one valuable lesson could be an understatement. It has led me to reflect and ponder more on how I go about making decisions in life, and yes, it starts with the little insignificant things we often disregard. And just like how Luke puts it, One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Each single decision we make in life affect the next decision we are going to make in some extent. These effects can superimpose one another, and before we even realized it, they have grown to such significant heights we may not be able to handle anymore. If we constantly take lightly those little choices without giving them much thought, who knows, maybe the next thing we would be sacrificing is our very own self-worth in exchange for some sort of substance we don’t even want in the first place.

So, today, as I got out of my car and walk towards the parking meter outside of Kondi studio for my weekly HIIT class, I did put in a couple more coins. I remembered the night of Tuesday last week, I earnestly asked God to continue to mould my heart in ways I can never do to myself. I asked God to reveal more of my heart, both the good and the ugly, leaving me to a place of realization that I am so helpless on my own. And for Him to reveal more of who He is in my life, leaving me to a place of surrender in His sovereignty. Oh, God, please help guard my heart.

And well, in light of post-Thanksgiving weekend, I can sincerely say that I am thankful for the innumerable lessons I have learned throughout life, and more often than not, lessons learned in the hard way. I thank God He loved me that much that He will never let me remain where I am today, but to walk alongside me and lead me to where He wants me to be. And to you all readers out there, don’t let simple things come to pass just like that. It can be ‘interesting’ reflecting on the little things that happened here and there, maybe it’s just a missed bus to school, or maybe it’s the tone of your conversation with a friend. There is always something about anything in life. Keep learning daily. That short 16-minute period of time last week taught me a lesson about faithfulness in the simplest things in life, which led me to a lifetime pursuit of self-integrity. What are you learning today?

Cheers,
Kimberly Subianto

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Continuing the thanksgiving vibes, Tim and I decided to give thanks for one thing every day for the next seven days. So, there you go. This is my day one of #7daysofthanksgiving. Feel free to join us in expressing our thankfulness!

dear you who are missing your loved ones.

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Dear you,

You who are missing your loved ones. Especially those whom you can never ever hug again. Those whom you can never ever talk face-to-face with again. Yes, you who are constantly thinking about how life would be today if they haven’t left. You who once believed that “time will heal” only to find out that with time, you can only learn to grow stronger each day and try to accept the reality because without doing so, life will never move on. Yes, you, you who are longing for the day you will be able to see the beautiful faces of your loved ones whom you’ve missed everyday oh-so dearly. So, this is an open letter to you all. And, of course, to myself…

July 30th marks a year since my brother’s passing. Gosh, I miss him. It’s funny to think now that he’s not here anymore, I started to miss him, his smile, his ignorance, his mischief, and just about everything about him. So to speak, I miss him (and dad). A lot. I want to tell them all the things they are missing out on. I want to tell them about the places we have been and the accomplishments we made. (Hey, Tea just completed her first year of university, and I am about to graduate in a year, and mom has been going strong more than ever! You guys better throw us a party up there!!) I want to share with them how God has been so good and faithful all this time to our family.  I want to have one more conversation, one more laugh, one more meal, and one more sweet memory of us. I want to picture together with them where I’m heading towards in life, and the next steps I’m going to take. I’m sure you’d want to do the same thing too with your loved ones.

Most times when I think about Koko, I have this feeling of regret inside of me. I still remember how I rarely care about what he does as we were miles and miles apart. But truth to be told, I miss him now, more than ever. Maybe some of you would have known how it felt to take for granted each moment you have with your loved ones, and now ever since they were gone, you started to wish you could travel back in time and do it all over again. With a new perspective. But that is not the case with reality. Many times, I was left regretting the many times I’ve refused to go the extra mile to reach out to him. Regretting the many times I’ve been reluctant to play a game with him, when all he really wanted is just to spend time with his sister. One way or another, I’ve learned to go past beyond the regret and start to look at things from a different angle.

To embrace the moments that both of us had, and appreciate my todays surrounded by the people I hold dearly, right here, right now.

To tear up a little at good old memories, but to stay strong enough to come into a realization that at the end of the day, those are memories to be smiled upon with joy.

To imagine what it would be like to have them around still, but to keep my feet firm on the ground, not being too caught up by all the should’ve, would’ve and could’ve.

To want their companionship throughout many more milestone in my life, but to be grateful for all the times they’ve been and the impact they are to me.

To wish for their presence by my side, but most importantly, to find strength to fight our desires, knowing that this world is temporary and they are indeed now home.

“As unfair, unreasonable, and impossible as it seems, we still have work to do after a tragedy occurs. We still have roles to fill. We still have responsibilities to family and others. The stuff of life may pause for a while, but it doesn’t stop. Fair or not, that is reality.” – Cheryl McGuinness

So, dear you, you who are missing your loved ones, it is okay to miss someone. It is okay to have a yearning for their presence. It is okay to mourn and grief for a while. Don’t try to fight the urge to remember or miss them, but gain strength to live without them being physically present while glancing over the rear view mirror for a little snippet of those lovely memories once in a while. Miss them, cherish them, but don’t let all that pull you back from living your todays to the fullest and blur your eyes in seeing the people is around you all this time. Just like how Gandhi puts it, “you don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.”, let us cherish the people around us right here, right now, and not be found in a place where we are wishing to turn back the time. And for me, I’ve come to learn and to realize that this life on earth is so momentary, and that what I thought was mine wasn’t really mine to begin with – really, nothing ever belongs to us anyway. Day by day, I’m still eager to learn the fact that, experiencing loss is a part of experiencing life.

Keep the Positivity,
Kimberly Subianto

PS. Why the photo, you ask? It’s my brother’s jersey and thought it’d be nice to wear it! 😉