Sunday, November 20, 2016

LaLaLa Festival

It's been two weeks since I saw Kodaline in the flesh and I don't think I can move on anytime soon? Back in August, Kodaline posted a simple tweet that said "Jakarta". I was like, "What's going on? Wtf is happening? Are they coming to Indonesia? For what? How? WHEN?" Then my sister told me that there was this event called LaLaLa Festival. They claimed themselves as the first international forest festival in Indonesia. What a very, very interesting concept, right? At that time, LaLaLa Festival hadn't fully revealed their line-up, but they had this list of international musicians they'd like to bring and Kodaline is one of them. Days passed by without any significant updates about the line-up, and one day LaLaLa Festival finally announced that Kodaline was going to perform at their event. AND BOY WAS I VERY THRILLED.

My sister and I didn’t wanna waste any time so we bought the pre-sale ticket immediately. We had waited for YEARS for Kodaline to come to Indonesia. Oh, I forgot to mention that LaLaLa Festival did take place in a forest called Cikole in Lembang, around 1-2 hours drive from Bandung. The event was held on November 5th. At first, it was just me and my sister, but Bida joined us at the last minute. I was happy she could come along. The more the merrier, right? So we flew to Bandung the morning the event was held, strolled around the city a little bit, chilled out at a hotel quite near from the airport, and finally took an Uber at 4.00 PM to get to LaLaLa Festival in Cikole.

Here's the thing. LaLaLa Festival said they partnered with Go-Jek so people didn't have to worry about transportation access to the venue. They even had a 40% discount promo if we used the Go-Pay payment feature. So my sister and I were all prepared. We topped up the Go-Pay because we intended to use the Go-Jek service. It was a pretty good deal, wasn't it? But every time we tried to order a Go-Car, there was no vehicle available. It was like the drivers suddenly, magically disappeared. So we took an Uber instead. AND BOY WAS THE RIDE TO CIKOLE VERY STRESSFUL. We took off at 4.00 PM from the hotel, which in normal condition only needs 1-2 hours drive to Cikole, but until 7.00 PM we hadn't even reached the destination. We were literally stuck in the car. The traffic jam was awful. Terrible. Blergh. So my sister, Bida, and I decided to pull over and took a conventional ojek service instead. The ojek drivers asked us to pay for 100k IDR for each service, which made our jaws dropped because THAT'S TOO EXPENSIVE THEY PRACTICALLY ROBBED US. But we didn't really have a choice. Thank God Bida was quite good at making some bargain so we "only" had to pay them for 75k per each service. We knew that if we continued taking Uber, only God knows what time we would arrive. And risking on missing out Kodaline's performance? Hell no.

At around 8.00 PM, we finally arrived at LaLaLa Festival venue. After exchanging our e-ticket with an entrance bracelet, we started walking towards the main stage. At first, we were like whoa this is amazing all these colorful little lamps are very beautiful and romantic blablabla. We even took some photos and videos. But as we went on, we started to feel that there was something fishy about this event. Man, the walk to the main venue was covered in mud. Well, LaLaLa Festival once informed us that the weather would be unpredictable. There might be a chance of raining. And because of that they also warned us not to wear sandals nor white jeans. But I didn't think it was gonna be THAT bad? I know we couldn't blame the mother nature, but hello LaLaLa Fest crew could you prepare a better anticipatory plan? I lost count at how many times I nearly tripped because of how slippery the muddy ground was. And the lack of proper lighting didn't help either. It wasn't a complete dark, but I still couldn't see the ground without turning on my phone's flash.

But did I regret my decision to come to LaLaLa Festival? ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT. Kodaline’s performance was super great. They were so delightful to watch. The moment they stepped their feet on the stage, my mood was lifted immediately. I forgot about my mud-covered sneakers, mud-splattered jeans, numb legs, empty stomach…. all was gone and replaced by happy butterflies when I finally saw Kodaline. They started the show with Ready, which was a brilliant song choice because of its uplifting melody. And I was really looking forward to High Hopes, you know. It was my number one favorite and BOY IT SOUNDED AS AMAZING AS I USUALLY WATCHED THE LIVE VERSION VIA YOUTUBE VIDEOS. I think at some point I was even dead from happiness. It was very, very beautiful and moving. Steve let us sing the first refrain and I got chills by how loud we sounded. It was like a dream come true. Until this day I still can’t believe I had a chance to sing High Hopes along with fellow Kodaline fans while the Kodaline themselves played on the stage. It was a bit overwhelming, but I’m very grateful.

I wanted to record the whole performances from start to finish but I enjoyed it too much so most of the time I just sang and danced and took some pictures here and there. You should see how the crowds turned into a sea of stars when Steve performed The One with an only acoustic guitar. I was very moved by that. But if there were one or two songs that really caught me off guard because they sounded much better live, that would be Lost and Love Will Set You Free. Lost originally has this cool electric effect that used to make me cringe. But oh my god it sounded so incredible live I was literally in awe. I swear to god I'll never skip that song anymore. And as for Love Will Set You Free, well.... tbh I never really paid much attention to it. I know the lyrics, I sing along when it comes on shuffle. I just didn’t think that Love Will Set You Free was that memorable, but Kodaline’s performance that day really changed my opinion.

To sum it all, my LaLaLa Festival was very interesting. I was quite pissed by how much struggle I had to put to get to the venue, but on the other hand, I can't deny the fact that it all created such a very memorable experience. Well, mostly because of Kodaline's outstanding performance. Bida and Jingga also made a great company. They practically saved my ass from kissing the muddy ground. Too bad we didn't meet Julek there because the signal was so bad and I couldn't send her text or make a call. But despite all those unfortunate events that happened around LaLaLa Festival, I still don't regret my decision to come. Two weeks have passed by and I still find myself watching some videos I took during Kodaline's performance that day. I really hope they will come back soon. :')

Monday, September 19, 2016

We All Have Our Own Shit to Deal With

"The problem is that we’re all depressed at the exact same time. So none of us know how to help each other, or check in. And while I’m dealing with my shit, you guys are all dealing with your own shit. And then we’ll all sitting around thinking, “Damn this person is super inconsiderate and doesn’t care about me at all,” when it’s like.. no we just all have A LOT of shit to deal with! Concurrently!  
So we’re all depressed and anxious, weirdly shuffling around each other, not checking in, but then getting angry at our friends for forgetting we exist. When it’s like. No man. All of our friends are probably fucking sad."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Am I Doing It Right?

"Cause I wonder sometimes / about the outcome / of a still verdictless life // Am I living it right? / Am I living it right? / Am I living it right?"

There's this one song called "Why Georgia" by John Mayer. When I first heard it in high school, I had no idea what it actually means. Then I googled the lyrics and it turned out that the song talks about quarter life crisis, how John battled with his insecurity, how he wasn't really sure about what he was doing at that time, how he tried his best to figure things out. But still, I didn't really get it at that time. What was John trying to say? I just laughed and kept singing without really absorbing the meaning behind the lyrics. I thought that maybe John was exaggerating.

Until recently.

I was driving when the song came on shuffle. And as I sang along, the lyrics just hit me right in the gut. It perfectly sums up my current life situation. I work at a copywriting company. Well, I've always wanted to work as a copywriter since.... IDK, high school maybe. So, of course, I am stoked, I am excited, I am grateful to be able to work at a place where I THINK I belong. Most of my friends who know about it always say something along this way, "You're really living the dream, aren't you? I bet you don't feel like you're working at all since it's your dream job. It's your passion." I took it as a compliment, at first. But no one told me that working on a job you really love doesn't mean you won't feel any pressure. No one told me that it still has its own bad days and it can be very exhausting. No one told me that sometimes it can be very stressful. No one told me that it's not as easy as it may appear and people are actually just sugarcoating it. And now I don't even know if writing is really my passion. I mean, I like doing it.... for pleasure. Because when you put any pressure to something you really like doing, IDK man it just became frustrating.

Something happened at work recently. Well, maybe not that recent, more like a few months ago, but here's the thing. Some people had to leave. I was asked to stay. With less amount of employees, my workload became higher. I was forced to deal with a situation that I had never dealt with before. I was pulled out of my comfort zone. In a way it may sound very positive (anything that makes you jump out of your comfort zone is a good thing, right? RIGHT?), and yes at some point I felt like this was all I needed to improve my self-quality, but on the other side my anxiety level was off the roof. I started doubting myself. I didn't know if I could do it. Well, I knew everything was gonna be okay but there was this little thought at the back of my mind telling me to be more on guard because I knew at some point I'd screw up no matter how hard I had tried. I couldn't relax at all. My mind just kept racing, trying to find some alternative solutions for problems that hadn't even happened. And before I even realized, I became a more closed off person. I pushed people away. I didn't even reach out to any of my friends. I let all the negative feelings consume my sanity. IDK if that was my anxiety taking control of my body or I was just becoming an asshole. Heck, I don't even know the answer to this day.

And all these posts on social media made it even worse. Sorry, MAKE it even worse. Because apparently I still feel the so called quarter life crisis until this very day. Friend A is planning her marriage. Friend B and C are pursuing master degrees. Friend D is having a super fancy holiday. Friend E got themselves a new job. Friend F has just bought a new car with her own salary. AND SO ON. It’s not that I’m jealous with them, it’s just that seeing the lifestyle they chose to show on social media has created one big question inside my mind: am I doing it right?

Then that one big question leads to another million little questions: is my decision to continue working at this copywriting company right? Should I quit and get a new job? Or not? Is writing really my passion? If it is, is working with passion supposed to feel THIS way? And why are my friends are, like, in a rush to get married? Don’t you wanna be on your own for a little longer? Aren't you terrified to live together with particular someone for the rest of your life? How did you know that your significant other is really the one? Or maybe is it just me who can't get my head around the idea of getting married at such young age? Should I pursue master degree instead? What major should I choose? Are my parents proud of me? Do they really agree with this path of life I'm currently going through? Am I doing it right? Am I living this life right?

God, please help me.

I think for now I don't really have any other options but to keep pressing on the gas pedal to find the answer, don't I? At some point I may press the brake pedal to pause and take a deep breath, then I continue living as best as I can. And until those questions are answered, John Mayer's "Why Georgia" will still keep me company.