Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 51 #HappyGoGrateful - Crystal Light

I'm one of the believers that everything happens for a reason. But that being said, sometimes it's still hard to face when something that we don't like actually happened. We need to keep reminding ourselves, or have someone or something else to remind us. Today I was reminded.

A year ago somebody screwed up my paperworks in New York. After a crazy long process of trying to make things right by doing the right things, I still ended up having to leave the city I love. Of course, I didn't like what happened. But if it didn't happen, I wouldn't know Crystal, my international student advisor,  like I do today.

Since Day 1 that we met, I didn't see anything but smiles from you. You're so passionate in trying to help me with the case. You genuinely enjoyed the challenge of helping me with my paperworks. Some would say that it's part of what you do. But I've been with many people in your role, and you have one thing that separates you from the others: you genuinely want to help people...and as we get to know each other, I realized that it's not because it's your job, but it's who you are. It's the kind of person Crystal Light is.

Though the fact that I had to leave New York really sucked, I'm really grateful that something great also came out of More than just getting the chance to know you better, we got to be friends who actually shared so many things in common. As of now, I still see your smiles all the time.What a wonderful person you are, what a beautiful friend I have.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 50 #HappyGoGrateful - Jerry Williams

Nobody gets the crowd going like Jerry. Smart, outgoing and easy going, Jerry is one of Washington Square Park's treasure that can both sing and entertain people. Simply, you'll smile and left the place a happier person when he is there.

You're also a very caring person, Jerry. I will never forget those times we "closed the park" and had some deep and serious conversations. You worried about me when I was down, you checked up on me and made sure I was ok. That really meant a lot to me and you really made it comfortable for me to verbally puked out my emotions. You listened, and you listened because you care.

We always played and sing "Stand by Me" whenever you came to the park...and your favorite part, the instrumental where you always get everyone to sing like a choir. I still remember every single moment. I miss that, but I miss you even more. Thank you for all those awesome jam sessions, thank you for so many great conversations, thank you for listening to me, and thank you for always standing by me whenever I needed you.You truly lived up to that song in my life.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 49 #HappyGoGrateful - Paul Chenard

I have written many times about how I love people with passion on certain things. Those passions energize them and the people around them. That being said, there are a few people who are more than "knowing their passions". These few people take their passion to another level. They make a career out of it. For me, Paul Chenard is by far one of the best role models for this.

I've never seen anyone so insanely passionate and fascinated about transportation. It's very refreshing really, and you made me want to learn more about it. Whether in New York, when we went to Chicago, or when we visited you around Boston, you got us trying all kinds of public transportation and actually analyzing each and every one of it. That's seriously cool. But most importantly, you really pursued your career in this sector, which I think is really awesome.

Since the time we studied together until today, you've been a consistent role model on so many different levels. From your amazing discipline, outgoing and warm personality, always being there for your friends, and not giving up in pursuing your dreams.

...and oh my god those many many crazy and amazing moments. Those jokes and laughters, the determination in finding the perfect bagels, and all those insightful conversations I had with you....since Day 1 you've been a true friend who's always there for me anytime and anywhere. I'm happy for this amazing friendship we have, Paul. I'm grateful, I love you, and I thank you.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 48 #HappyGoGrateful - Mary Hegener Parker

One of the most difficult things about moving out of New York City, is leaving Washington Square Park and its people. That place has been home for me. I've had so many amazing experiences there, made tons of friends, and most importantly, I found a family in Washington Square Park.

What happened when you leave your home and live in another place? After a while, you got homesick. Well, in my case, it wasn't "after a while". I got homesick the day I was leaving, even when I was still in the city.

What's been helping me since I left, is the Washington Square group in Facebook, initiated by Mary. Those daily updates of what's going on there have been really helpful for my NYC homesick.

I don't think we ever thank you properly for starting this initiative. What you did has become more than just a place for us to stay updated on the park, it also makes everyone closer to each other. We've been communicating better with each other. You made us a family.

Dr. King once said that life's most persistent and urgent question is "what are you doing for others?". For me, you've become an example of how to answer that question. You put others' needs first before your own, and you made it look so easy. You've made this purpose larger than yourself, and it has impacted me (and I believe, all of us) with your loving and thoughtful personality.

I'm happy to be a part of this family. It's a loving family where everyone genuinely supports each other. But I'm even more grateful for having you in my life. As someone to talk to, someone to listen and learn from, someone who keeps sending me awesome cloud pictures, someone to laughed with....and as someone to love and care about.

You can answer Dr. King that you've made our lives more meaningful...worth living and smiling for. You've enrich the life of others, Mary. I'm one those many "others", and I love you and thank you. 



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 47 #HappyGoGrateful - Listya Kusumawati

Understanding people is a combination of art and science. Yet Tya is one of the very few people on earth who understand me almost like a science. She understand how I operate and the reasons behind them, and there's only one thing I could think of to answer "how do you know me so well?", you're always there whenever any of your friends need you, and I'm grateful to be one of them.

But it's more than just being there when needed. What makes you an even more special human being is your attention and efforts to do the small details...those post cards, small notes, and so many things that look small but really speak volume to me.

It's been 10 years now we've known each other. Lots of things have happened. We've both gone here and there, experienced this and that, cried and laughed, by ourselves or together, it doesn't matter...we would talk and have those conversations.

There's a saying that best friends have conversations impossible to understand by other people. I can't stop smiling now, thinking god-knows how many times this have happened when we talk..all the countless internal jokes we have. But with you, sometimes it's more than the talk, but even when we're not talking we can have a conversation going on, and suddenly there's a "bohlam" =)

Thank you for being the amazing friend that you are, for listening, for sharing, for the conversations, the countless times you've helped and supported me, the cards, laughters, and of course picking up the metallica tickets :D

Yes, you now live far away. But as said in the first few lines of the song:
So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And Nothing Else Matters



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 46 #HappyGoGrateful - Svetlana Senajova

Summer 2006, an Indonesian boy arrived in Iceland, picked up at the airport by a Czech and an Icelander. In my year Iceland, that's our core team: me from Indonesia, Þórdís from Iceland, and Svetla from Czech Republic. Out of the 3 of us, Svetla was the one who balanced our team.

Why did I say that you're the "balancer"? Because first of all, professionally, if it wasn't for you, I would've made too many risky decisions. Þórdís guided me very well and at the same time would like to give me the space to be creative and try something new, which I loved. But without you, I would've easily taken it too far, and none of my strategies would actually worked.

You had the perspective of not just a foreigner working there, but also someone who's been there a full year before me. There were so many fascinating points which I learned from your first year there. Not just as a foreigner in Iceland, but also as the predecessor of my position.

That being said, what I value even more is what you mean to me personally. It has been such a fantastic adventure to be both your colleague and friend. From sharing personal stories and life journeys, the trip to Poland, the MC apartment, the holidays and trips in the time the 3 of us visited you in Prague in 2008.

Yes, we have been going our own ways since then, but that friendship isn't going anywhere Svetla. I still cherish every single moment, all the ups and downs, the laughters and frustrations, the sad and happy tears....those experiences were a testimony for what you meant to me back then...what you mean as someone who made me who I am today...and why you will always be a true friend in my heart. I love you and I thank you, Tea Lady =)



Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 45 #HappyGoGrateful - Ivo Borisov

It was fasting month of Ramadhan 2008, I was stuck in Jakarta's after-work traffic. Hungry, and suudenly my cell phone rang, the country code was +359...

Yep, a call from Bulgaria. Right there, my phone interview for the job, and my very first live conversation with Ivo. A couple of months later, my very first meeting with Ivo in Orange's office in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Ivo is a super smart and witty guy, with a sarcastic sense of humor which I always love. I see him as a very critical person with a straight to the point attitude, which really complements all the characters in the office.

You're my "go-to" guy whenever I need to learn about how things work there. You always challenged me to be speak up, be critical, and create my own my of how I would like to be significant in the company. You supported me in radically changing my project there, and it was one hell of an experience to design and implement my own program.

But most importantly, you have personally supported and always available for me whenever I needed anything. You made sure I was comfortable and feel welcomed. You've been very open and honest about everything, and you made everything very chill and relaxing. And oh my god those crazy paper-works...hahaha. You made challenging work and its learning became so much fun.

And of course, all the kitchen conversations, and the lunch place downstairs, and god-knows how many internal jokes =)

I miss working and hanging out with you, my friend. You've made my time in Bulgaria a life-long highlights which I'll never forget, and I'm very grateful for that. It was filled with learning, laughters, unforgettable experiences, and amazing friendships. I thank you and I love you my man!