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Friday, June 18, 2021

I'm Fine But —"

"What do you do?", new people I meet will ask me. "I'm a designer and book author", I tell them. Yes, a designer AND author. Pretty ironic though that this author hasn't been able to write anything for the past two years. Not even a single page. I even struggle in writing a blog post nowadays. I told this to my husband the other day and he said to me, "just write whatever is in your head at the moment". Ah, yes. How could I have forgotten that. Perhaps I have been asleep for too long. 

"How are you?" 

"I'm fine", I will most often reply with a smile. I'm fine, I really am. I just like to omit the second sentence which is supposed to follow, which actually depicts more of the reality. 

 "I'm fine. But, my life is complicated". 

My life is complicated. I just don't tell people. I want to be honest with you. Having an autistic child is not easy. It's far from easy. It's like having the stress and exhaustion of raising a toddler, but multiplied by 10. Just multiply everything by 10; patience, strength, effort, time, energy. As a family, our dynamics are completely different. Our routine is different. We cannot do what other families do. We do what other families don't do. When it's summer and everyone heads to the beach, we go to the mountains because we will always look for a place where no one is around. It's a quiet life far from others, but very noisy within our very own. Our son is very loud, always screaming. And so I learn to be quiet, to balance the noise. Our son turned 7 this year, and yet we still do the exact same things since 5 years ago. He still eats the same food, watches the same cartoon, likes the same toys, and for us parents, we relive these moments every single day like a loop. It's very repetitive. I wish there was a "Stop" and "Next" button in our lives, but there isn't. So I learn to accept that this is my story. Our story. 

As our son's screaming becomes louder day by day, the noise in my head has too. The volume levels are just so high my head hurts. They say it takes a village to raise a child. But where is that village? I don't see it. I am certainly not in it. In this whole wide world, there are only two family members who actually care, support and help us in dealing with our life-with-autism struggles. Said two people are my own mom and dad. The others just look at us, as if their stares help moreover make us feel any better. There is no village. It's a very small circle. The definition of 'family' has been redefined in my head.

My life is complicated, but I'm fine. I have learned to compartmentalise the things in life so one does not affect the other. I don't let our complications affect me in being me. I'm still my old cheerful self who loves life. I still get up excited for Mondays (new week woohoo!), I still get dressed, I still work, I still create, I am still grateful for all of it. I am learning to untangle this tangled ball of yarn that is my head, and perhaps writing can help. Just remember: never let your struggles defeat you. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Hello, 2021!!

2020. What a strange year. It started with big hopes, high expectations, a strong sense of optimism that 2020 will be a new decade for great, amazing things to happen, but it rolled into a mix of confusion, fear, panic, stress, anxiety, apathy, and sadness for the loss of so so many people. It became a collective feeling of "we're all in this together", but also divided because of the many ways we each decided to respond to it; to wear a mask (or not), to stay at home (or not), to meet friends (or not), to travel (or not), and once again we retracted into our own bubble and decided to think of our own safety and less about others because "you do you". We blamed the government, we blamed other countries, we blamed strangers, and we developed a sense of helplessness because really, what else can we do. So we focused on our very own lives, decided to learn something new, explored a new hobby, discovered new interests, and we started to enjoy our alone-ness. 2020 became the year of self-revelation. We finally met a new version of us inside us, and we loved ourselves even more. And therefore, 2020 wasn't so bad afterall. Goodbye, 2020. In all the mess, there was progress. 💖

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Diana Rikasari for Paddle Pop

It's finally out. Gave me goosebumps honestly. Thank you, Paddle Pop, for sharing my story. It's an honor to represent your spirit of "play". To play, to have fun. This ad is for the little kids who love to play endlessly. Never lose that in you. Play is where great things happen. 

A short story about this ad, we were supposed to shoot this back in August in Indonesia, but due to the lockdown at that time, I wasn't able to travel, hence the switch to using a replacement of me instead. Thank you to the behind-the-scenes team who were just incredible in making everything happen, starting from the casting to the production of my sketched designs. Woohoo! #PaddlePopMainYuk

Monday, November 2, 2020

Hello, November.

Here we are. November. Many countries are now in their second lockdown. We all thought it was going to end in June, or September, but nope. 

How am I? I feel terribly homesick. I feel worried about my parents to my bones. I feel stuck. I feel trapped in a place where it's actually home but there's another place that feels more like home and I want to be there rather than here.

To be there, not here. Doesn't that sound ungrateful though? Because truthfully, you are always where you ought to belong. You are destined to be here wherever 'here' is. Here is a destiny. You just need to see it and make the most out of it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

75% Completed - or Pending?

In a week, it will be October already. As much as I try, we try, to be positive and carry on with our lives in this 'new normal', I don't think we can deny that 2020 has been extremely tough. I question myself everyday, "where is this all heading to?". A lot of our lives have suddenly been flipped upside down, leaving us feeling drowning, trying to keep afloat with whatever we have, whatever we can. Like swimming against the current, it is exhausting, worrying, depressing. What do we do then? I don't know for sure. All I know is to tackle all this one day at a time and be grateful for the smallest things in life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Is Social Media Toxic? I Don't Think So.

If you feel like you need a break from social media, or as they say, a "social media detox", maybe...maybe you're simply following the wrong accounts. In my opinion, your feed should be your mood booster, your daily source of inspirations. Instagram-ing should be that time where you get to scroll and smile and feel "oh wow that's awesome" and motivate you to do or feel great afterwards. 

In order to do this, I highly suggest you to follow accounts that showcase their work, NOT their looks or latest purchases or which fancy hotel they are currently at. Follow "ideas" so you feel inspired, not "somebody's life" that leaves you feeling jealous or left out or eager wanting to keep up. 

If you're into fitness, follow accounts that make you feel like you want to move and exercise because it will make you feel happy and good about yourself, not a fitness account that makes you feel like you need to have that perfect peachy butt. The goal is to be healthy and fit, not necessarily toned with flat abs and a thigh gap. This is the difference. We do not need to fall into the trap that a "great body" is a body that is _____. Embrace your own body. Stay active to be healthy. Do not be obsessed with a certain look or body weight. 

If you're into fashion, follow accounts that make you understand that style is personal and fashion should make you feel empowered. Understand that one does NOT need to keep up with the fast pace of fashion influencers always having the latest 'it' bags. It is an illusion, a competition you do not need to participate in. Here's an example why: many fashion influencers often share photos of them with new designer bags regardless these bags were gifted to them or borrowed. Imagine an actual follower wanting to always keep up with their favorite influencer, said follower would actually spend $1,500 for that bag. Ironically, the actual influencer didn't even own / buy that bag, they just took pictures with it as photo props. It's nobody's fault, of course. But while fashion influencers keep sharing new #OOTDs that make you want to buy what they are wearing, they are not spending a dime. In contrary, a follower might end up spending all their salary for the things they see on social media trying to replicate somebody else's feed. So stop. Buy the things YOU actually love. Shop smarter. Browse an actual shop yourself and see which products truly make you fall in love. Buy something because it sparks joy in YOU, not because somebody on Instagram was wearing it.

If you're into traveling, I suggest following a certain #hashtag compared to following a traveling influencer. Sometimes, we get caught up with the person instead of the actual place. Instead of thinking "oh what a beautiful island, I need to save up to visit that place soon", as human beings we often end up thinking "oh she's there and she's taking great photos there, I need to do that too", which basically means you're missing the point of traveling. Traveling should be about the place or the experience, not another bucket list competition because of your #FOMO with other people. By following a certain #hashtag like #waterfall or #lavenderfield, you're putting the emphasis on the place, not the person. 

I've been following only artists, designers, brands that I love so much and news / media accounts, and my Instagram is actually my happy place because I like what I see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Sun is Shining Bright

A reminder to do things in life because they make you happy. Do them with joy. Find joy in doing what you love. Don't dwell in numbers, don't be obsessed with results. You are not in a competition. Other people are not your competitors. Have fun. Learn from the process, learn from failures, enjoy your own pace, enjoy your own growth. Within your journey, do not forget to be yourself and to others. Life's short. Have lots of love inside you. ❤️

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

6 Months in 2020 Gone Already

Errrr...hello, July. I honestly wasn't expecting to see you so soon. Half a year is gone already, with most of us all still in lockdown, staying safe by staying at home. And it's not getting easier, isn't it? New issues keep arising, challenges are getting harder, but on another end, this year has been revolutionary too. 2020 is the year of awakening for a lot of us, where we were suddenly forced to adapt, learn new things, toughen up, confront our own anxieties, rediscover old hobbies, heal broken relationships, and little do we realize, things are actually getting better, just in a very different way. 2020 is definitely a year to remember, a beginning of a decade that I hope will make us much, much stronger.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear, Blog. I Love You.

Good evening, blog. Diana here. It's been a while, heh? Instagram took more of my time and attention I kinda neglected you. I apologize. I should never forget you because you, yes you, you were the one who was there for me since the early times - times when I was still discovering myself, when I was still soul-searching, times when I was still lost and still unsure on what I wanted to do in this life. You were my only friend who would listen to me, allowed me to write anything I wanted to without judging me. So thank you, dear blog. Thank you for growing with me..together.

This year this blog celebrates its 13th anniversary. Wow. Isn't this amazing? We have been bestfriends for 13 years already, hopefully for forever. When I started 'you', I was still in university doing my Masters. I met S at at that time. We were still dating. And today we have been married for 9 years already. We have 2 kids. Wow. Time flies so fast, just like that, and yet when I look at my old posts and old #OOTDs, I smile because I feel like I never changed. I'm still that crazy colorful girl who likes to experiment in clothes and do DIYs and I guess I love the fact that I never lost my identity. "Motherhood will change you", they say. But I don't feel that way. I'm still that crazy colorful girl who just happens to have two new little bestfriends in her life. I'm not good at being a mother, I think. I feel lost sometimes. But what if a "mother" is just a label? And what if in reality, I just want to be my children's best friend? Like we are. I want to be the kind of friend to my children who basically listens to each other, who grows together, who learns from each other, and just have fun and probably cry together - with no judgement. Just pure love and support. And empowerment and encouragement.

Oh, blog. You have no idea. It's been a crazy ride. My dreams have changed. My thinking about life has changed. I no longer desire to be that ambitious businesswoman I have always thought I was going to be. I have learned that the world is a better place when things are kept smaller, so that everyone gets equal opportunities to create and support each other, and most importantly, when we don't keep taking and taking and taking from mother earth. The trendy word is "sustainability", "the future of fashion" they say. But it's true. Fashion has been a selfish and very competitive industry it makes no sense now. Why the need for such extravagant fashion shows? Why do we need so many seasons of collections? Why do people need to buy new 'it' bags every 2 weeks just to show how updated you are on Instagram? It is exhausting. And money-consuming. Slow down, fashion. You are losing your essence. Shouldn't fashion celebrate the wearer - to make the wearer look good and FEEL good? If so, then it should never be a competition where everybody needs to run so fast they even forget to feel.

Anyway, it's late. I should be sleeping. Talk to you soon. Muah! :)
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