Surviving (Near-)Depression and Building Something Meaningful

I’m baaaack! (Yeah, well, you know the drill. As usual, I’m such a seasonal blogger.)

The last few months hasn’t been great for me actually. I almost fell into depression, if not actually depressed. And the last post about a place I belong? Boy how I was so wrong. Sekolah Alam is only great from the outside, but inside, it’s just as conventional as the school next door. At least that’s what I can say, based on my own experience. Not to belittle other Sekolah Alam, though.

Anyway, so now I’ve left the job at Sekolah Alam. I’m not proud of how I did, but I’m kinda glad I made the decision. I did went through terrible time after I resigned, I was in a very low point in the last few months, as if I didn’t know how to live anymore (yes, it was that bad)..but somehow I was able to pull myself back up. All praise to Allah, Alhamdulillah. And I finally figured out what I’m meant to do, or at least, what I really aspire to do.

Currently I’m back teaching as a freelance, looking for a suitable teaching job in alternative schools, and building networks in education. Last month I went to #PestaPendidikan in Bandung, and also joined Fitrah Based Education workshop. They were very insightful. I realized that what I enjoy the most is learning, and I’m always excited to learn, be it through seminars and workshop, or through interacting with people. I like talking about and spreading ideas, and get very excited when the people I talk to share the similar ideas.

Now I’m very excited to build @sekolahparenting, as a fitrah based education community. (Please do join! Any parents, parents to-be, educators or anyone who wants to learn and share about parenting are very welcomed.) Later when the community is solid, I think it’ll be much easier to build and develop a fitrah based school together. I’m very optimistic on this. Bismillah, I hope Allah Gives blessing on this plan.

It’s still a long way to go, but I think it’s gonna be an interesting journey.. Let’s collaborate! :)

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It’s My Life

It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I’m alive

It’s my life
My heart is like an open highway
Like Franklin said, “I did it my way”
I just wanna live while I’m alive

Bon Jovi – It’s My Life

Lagu ini masih terus terngiang-ngiang di kepala gue sampe saat ini, tetapi itu nggak bikin gue kesel (seperti mungkin umumnya lagu yang terngiang-ngiang di pikiran), justru bikin gue lebih semangat :)

Ya, baru dalam 4 hari kebelakang ini gue bener-bener mendalami lirik lagu ini, dan meresapi maknanya. Ini hidup gue. Hidup gue adanya sekarang; nanti, besok, lusa, siapa yang tahu? Only Allah knows. Gue punya pilihan untuk menentukan hidup gue. Mau seperti apa? Mau dibawa kemana?

Dan ternyata gue udah pernah menulis tentang pilihan loh di sini. (Baru nyadar, hahaha. Terus sekarang nulis apa dong yah.)

Oh, iya. Kalau gitu sekarang gue nulis tentang kesadaran deh. Bahasa kerennya (eh, Bahasa Inggrisnya ding) sih awareness.

Apa itu awareness? Awareness adalah kesadaran. (Lah, dibolak-balik doang.)

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What Difference Do You Want To Make?

Okay, I know this challenge is long overdue; it’s supposed to be a 7 days blog challenge and I started it in mid April.. now it’s almost the end of May and I still haven’t completed these challenges.

But..well, I guess finishing late is better than never finishing at all, huh?

So the big question of the (supposed to be) 6th day of the challenge is:

What difference do you want to make in the world? What impact do you want to have? How do you want to make things a little better for society? What do you want to be remembered for once you’re gone?

Now that I think about it, I guess what I really want to do is to live my life fully aware, and help people to build awareness as well. I want people (and especially myself, of course) to live their lives fully aware, because awareness is the first (but I believe it’s the most important) thing that actually gives us purpose to do something. Our level of awareness determines how we make decisions. We make decisions and act based on what we’re aware of.

I think I’ve ever read somewhere that we are creatures of routines. Perhaps we are so adapted in living in routines that most of the time, most of us might not realize that we’re living lives in some kind of autopilot. Since we all make decisions and act based on what we know and are aware of, don’t you think that awareness is actually very essential here?

Now, being aware makes a whole lot difference. It is different from simply knowing. Perhaps you might know something, let’s say, an information; if you are not aware that the information is relevant to the situation that you are facing, most likely you wouldn’t include that information in your situation. Therefore, even if we have knowledge or power, without awareness, most likely these knowledge or power wouldn’t live to its true purpose.

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

What are you excited about? Why are you excited about it?

I’m excited about making a reformation on education in Indonesia. I’m excited about how learning is supposed to be an enjoyable journey. I like sharing ideas about how school is supposed to be, and how school can be like. I’m excited about learning about Finland’s education system.

Why education? Because I believe that education is a powerful thing that shapes us as human, improving our qualities and our lives. I believe that education can influence many people, touch a lot of lives. School ages are the golden ages, where children learn many things, interact with different people, getting to know the world, experiencing many things that eventually build their character. It’s a critical phase in life, and it would be such a shame if we falsely focused on testing and standardizing children’s abilities, and losing the substance of learning process.

It’s sad to see the reality of education in Indonesia (or even in many parts of the world), where the quality of education is so uneven. High quality means high costs; therefore only wealthy ones have the chance of getting high quality education. That being said, higher cost doesn’t always guarantee the quality either. Since the system always focuses on testing and grading students, school seems to be such a dreadful place, where kids feel pressured to meet so many standards, because they are judged based on what they can or cannot do. It ignores the unique nature in every individual, as if turning them away from who they really are. Perhaps that’s why we are often so unsure about our lives, not daring to push ourselves and find what we’re truly passionate about.

I believe school is supposed to be preparing us to live in the real world, teaching us the know-hows, helping us to realize our potentials, our passion; instead of pushing us to learn many things and pass standardized tests without knowing how to apply it in our lives. I believe teachers are supposed to be mentors, who actually know their students personally, helping them to grow, to personally develop theirselves. I believe teachers should be the ones who know their students best (aside of the parents, of course) so they’d know better how to “test” their competence -because students’ capabilities are different!-, instead of a national curriculum that changes everytime.

I’m excited to share these kind of ideas with people who have similar concerns, and willing to do something to create a more learning-friendly environment. Those who are willing to make the best experience out of our schools, our education. I want to make education better in Indonesia. It’s a very long way to go, but I’m excited to start the journey.

Bismillah..

What Do People Thank You For?

What do you love helping people with? What would you be happy and excited to help others with even if you didn’t get paid?

I love helping people in getting information, knowledge, insights, anything.

I love helping people to get to know what they didn’t know.

I love helping people opening up their mind, enriching their knowledge.

I love helping people to see from other perspectives.

I love helping people to be aware of theirselves, their lifes.

I love helping people to speak up their mind, their heart, their ideas, their feelings.

I love helping people to listen to them.

I love helping people to feel better about themselves, about their lives.

I would be happy to help them with it.

And they usually thank me for that. :)