there are things i never imagined i would do.
i didn't know some smells can take you
to the memories you've long forgotten.
like the little kitten
that my grandma used to feed
or the smell of flowers 
in the middle of summer in spain.
the night i lie in bed while listening to lana del rey.

i always thought i was strong enough.
until i meet people.
sometimes i regret i've met people
and sometimes i cherish i've met them.
i don't think i'm strong anymore.

people build images of you in their minds.
you think you're doing well
and then you see them and they would tell
"you don't have to pretend,
i know, because i'm messed up too"
so i let my guards down
probably not the best thing i've ever done

i never really believed that you could tell
how sincere someone is
when you touch each other.
or when you kiss.
or when he strokes your hair.
i think i've found out the answer.




7 months later after my last post and here i am, just passed the cold winter winds, welcoming spring, sitting in my bed wrapped in a blanket and thinking about how things are going pretty well, actually. and also how massive difference 7 months could make really amazed me. so many things happened, i was even home in indonesia for a couple of weeks in october, had 3 different jobs in the last 6 months, met an annoying (fortunately) temporary housemate and got to know genuinely good people i'm later thankful for.

there were hard times, where i thought this might not work out or this could end up anywhere and i was betting myself that i could make it out (the odds were pretty small). beside having to make peace with everything around me, i also had to make peace with myself. self-acceptance is probably the hardest thing someone has to go through. the process to being fully content with what you are is never easy. whether it's internally or physically. 
i've had enough of looking at numbers on the scale, worrying about how much i weigh (like most girls do), where actually what matters most is that you're healthy and happy and feeling radiant. and that really, that's the last thing you should be worried of.
i'm not the touchy-feeliest girl in the world, but what i tend to do is overthink. this wave of emotions really went to my nerves. and i found out that knowing you can't be with someone you really care about hurts. like, a lot. so much that i cried my eyes out even though i strongly believe i would never cry over boys. but it's ok, when that's what was needed to let everything go. and then you realize you can't change people. they have their own minds and their own will and the most you can do is to show them how much you care and hope they'll someday find the right path. and then came the question: is what we believe, really is the right path? because right and wrong are always relative. everything becomes relative the moment you try to question it.

here's some fragments of a poetry i really love (when love arrives - sarah kay & phil kaye):

.....and love grew, stretched like a trampoline. love changed. love disappeared, slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me i thought i needed.
love vanished like an amateur magician, and everyone could see the trapdoor but me.
like a flat tire, there are places i planned on going but my plans didn't matter.
love stayed away for years, and when love finally reappeared, i barely recognized him.
love smelt different now, had darker eyes, a broader back, love came with freckles i didn't recognize.
new birthmarks, a softer voice.
now there were new sleeping patterns, new favorite books.
love had songs that reminded him of someone else, songs love didn't like to listen to. so did i.

.....

love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict.
maybe love is always in the wrong time zone, maybe love is not ready for you.
maybe you are not ready for love.
maybe love just isn't the marrying type,
maybe love is only there for a month.
maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.
maybe love stays- maybe love can't.
maybe love shouldn't.








Okay so I need to apologize for not writing in a long time. Way too long, actually, as I promised myself I have to write more often so I can look back on my life journey later when I get older (uni and work got really intense in the past couple of months..)

I feel like I need to talk about destiny, the moment you meet someone new, and the moment you say goodbye to them.

I don't believe in coincidence. Well, if you ask me, I believe coincedences exist... in our eyes, human's eyes. When in fact, everything happens for a reason and was already written. Sometimes all we have to do is to choose. Our choices determine our life's paths. If I didn't choose to leave home, I wouldn't have ended up here, in a small town, being an engineering student and a part-time worker, I wouldn't have met people who made me feel alive and excited about life, wouldn't have done things I didn't know I could.. So I'm glad I made that choice and I think I did that also because I'm stubborn, gotta admit ;)

Sometimes I get really frustrated thinking about the future. I'm basically a pretty impatient person and the fact that there are times where I don't have any control of the future at all is emotionally challenging for me. And also it's pretty ironic because one of my middle names is Shabrina and is the Arabic word for patience. So right now I'm a bit sad that I have to say goodbye to one of my favorite people really soon.. He's gonna be back in half a year but it's hard when you see people everday and suddenly they're not there anymore. I totally would skip the 6 months of cold and dark winter if I could. But hey, maybe all those 5-6 months won't be bad at all. Maybe our 'coincidences' would surprise us in a way that we wouldn't expect. And all these 'maybes'.. are what makes life interesting.

Oooh and this week I just experienced one of the most beautiful and magical nights in my life. My roommates and I drove to a lake just outside town, snuck in and went swimming under the full moon light. That moment was so peaceful, exciting and beautiful at the same time. Well, peaceful until Fabi walked slowly into the water as he was singing 'I'm coming like a wreeeckinng baaalll!' hahaha. The moon was shining so bright that we didn't need any flashlight to walk the dark, little paths in the forest. After swimming, we sat by the lake, wrapped in blankets and talked about funny/annoying roommates experience, culture, life, things that you wouldn't have time to talk about in daily life. You guys, if you haven't done it yet, do it! The feeling of the old leaves at the bottom of the lake when your feet touch it, the warm water, the sound of owls at night.. I love everything about it.

Imagine this lake, but at night.


So until then, folks! Just finished my first exam of this semester yesterday so I'm just gonna chill a bit and go to the grill party with other volunteers this afternoon. Have a nice time y'all!

xx

A lot of people have asked me about how I nourish my body, especially the ones who I recently met, fellow Indonesians or friends at uni. Just to be clear, I don't restrict my body to eat animal products that much. Since I mentioned in another post that I want to be vegan, I've experimented a lot with the way I eat and my body. The reason why I started to be vegetarian in the first place is because I was sick of meat. The smell, the texture, the taste. Later I found out that not only the meat being sold at the markets nowadays (especially in European markets) is not ethical, they contribute hugely to the global warming. I am a vegetarian, under circumstances I am a pescatarian (for instance at home in my parents' house, because they only buy local and good fish). But since I'm living in another place and not at home, I'm pretty happy with being vegetarian and my body is saying it's happy too!

Like I said, I was considering to be vegan and I try to eat vegan at least once a week. But it doesn't mean that being vegan is the best way to nourish oneself.
After a lot of experimenting, I came to a conclusion that my body is not reacting well to dairy products. So I cut off cow milk and switched to soy/oat/other non-dairy milk. I'm also trying to avoid yoghurt, cheese and butter but it doesn't mean that I won't eat them anymore. Just maybe once every couple of months I will eat yoghurt or have pasta with cheese.
I'm also not saying no to eggs. I almost never buy eggs since I moved to Germany. Occasionally, I eat them when my housemate brings some eggs from his house because they have healthy, happy chickens and their eggs are delicious! But other than that, I can't guarantee if the eggs in the supermarkets are really free from disgusting hormones and chemicals.
Sweets. I'm not a big fan of sweets, but love chocolate and dried fruits. I still eat cakes and cookies sometimes. You just have to know the right amount of naughtiness ;)
After trying to eat vegan for a couple of weeks, I notice that I was constantly tired. And I don't blame the vegan diet, I just think that my body doesn't need it. It wants a balanced and more nature-sourced diet, yes, but not vegan. I've done a lot of research about veganism and know that it's absolutely cool and okay to be vegan. But I love my body and I want to be as fair as I can be to myself and the Earth so I decided to always try to eat local, organic and balanced.

So what do I eat on a daily basis? I eat plenty of oats and other grains, beans, fruits, veggies (always buy local products if you can!), nut butter, bread, pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, sooo many other tasty and delicious food! I also try to stay active and to not miss meal time (especially breakfast) because it's important that your body gets the right fuel it needs.

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day. Most of the time I have oats for breakfast, whether in müsli or porridge, or even home made oat bars. Sometimes I'd like to have some change and have bread with avocado instead. (I only buy spanish avocadoes because the peruvians or South Americans cost too many CO2) Here's my recipe of oat porridge. It's easy, cheap, filling and tasty!


And as always, there's no measuring amount because I just use my feeling when I cook! :D

Oats (about 80g, maybe?)
Non-dairy milk or water (double the amount of oats, depends on your liking)
Fruits (I used raspberies, apricots and banana)
Honey
1 tbsp of lucuma powder (optional)

>> Cook everything in a pot on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
>>Transfer to a bowl, top with more fruits and sunflower seeds.
>> Enjoy!

I discovered spoken word poetry -and Sarah- a few years ago and instantly fell in love with her poems. They speak the truth about human feelings, empowerment and even little things in life. One of my favorite poems of hers ever is this one. This makes me realize that men don't define you as a woman. If they can accept you with the way you define yourself as a woman, they're a keeper!

The Type

If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
you can let them look at you.
But do not mistake eyes for hands or windows or mirrors.
Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may have not ever seen one before.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
you can let them touch you.
Sometimes, it is not you they are reaching for.
Sometimes it is a bottle, a door, a sandwich, a Pulitzer-
another woman.
But their hands found you first.
Do not mistake yourself for a guardian or a muse or a promise
or a victim or a snack.
You are a woman- skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat.
You are not made out of metaphors, not apologies, not excuses.

If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
you can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright.
Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural.
Still strains the muscle, hold firms the arms and spine.
Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl
themselves into a question mark around you,
admit they do not have the answers they thought they would
by now.
Some men will want to hold you like the answer.
You are not the answer.
You are not the problem.
You are not the poem or the punch-line or the riddle or the joke.

Woman, if you grow up the type men want to love,
you can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean after years of
puddle jumping.
It is realizing you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone 
home.

Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of women
men will hurt.
If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean even after he has left you
gasping- "salty."
So forgive yourself for the decisions you've made.
The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night.
And know this:
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place
to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You are born to build.
I am feeling so content and at peace in the past couple of weeks.

Number one. Starting uni wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I love all the changes that are happening in my life lately. I got a job (!), met new people, made new friends, go to classes at uni.. All of it make me so excited about life, even though sometimes I have to leave home at 8am and be back at 8pm. I love the fact that the new routine challenges me and makes me more active inside and out!

Number two. One day I came home feeling exhausted and as soon as my housemates and I talked about each other's day, my heart felt instantly lighter and warm. I love that we can talk about everything. Life, Universe, religion, cat's poo, blood sausages, The Lion King, solar panels. I also love when we just cook together in silence while listening to Jack Johnson.

Number three. I'm trying to love my body and myself in general. This is probably the one that needs more time and self-acceptance, but I'm working on that. I love the fact that I can allow myself to eat a piece (or two) of cake or chocolate and also tell myself to workout more and eat healthier. Because everything in moderation, right? ;)

I'm looking forward to discovering new, exciting things in life and I hope you are, too!

Rara xx


To sum it up: it was a jolly fine day, the sun was shining the whole time we were there, we ate some ice cream and waffle, took a walk along the river and ate a whole lot more.

We went to Strasbourg last Sunday, we were a bit disappointed for not being able to go to a French countryside to volunteer at a local farm so why not just get away for a day to the nearest city in France.. (from where we live)

We cooked quiche and vegetarian burger the night before, made green smoothie in the morning and took the train to a pretty little French town at the borderline called Wissembourg. The sun was unfortunately still a little bit shy so it was a bit cloudy there, but we managed to get around the city on foot whilst waiting for our train to Strasbourg. It has a small river, La Lauter, and cute little alleys with cute little houses.


We continued to Strasbourg one-and-a-half-hour later and so glad that we had big luck with the weather. It was spring-day warm, the sun was shining, the people were so friendly.. after asking for a city map we decided to explore the city on foot. We found the cathedral which resembles the Kölner Dom (the Cologne cathedral) a lot and met some nice Malaysian girls who were kindly willing to take pictures of us haha





After some ice cream and waffle break and a successful french convo buying an Easter chocolate bunny at the patisserie, we took a walk along the river (not sure what it's called, but I think it's the Rhine?)
And of course we didn't look at the time. So when we realized we only had 9 minutes to hop on the train back to Germany, we didn't know where we were actually. Fortunately, there was this really nice Frenchman who explained to us the way to the train station despite our limited ability to understand what he was trying to say in French. And that's not all. We almost took the wrong train 2 minutes before our actual train left. My fault. Obviously. But we made it!
We also brought Lisa a baguette and a postcard.
It was not a bad weekend after all and I can't wait for some more adventures!



Cheers xx