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A mystery wrapped in an enigma


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It’s been a while, Plinky.

Today’s a biggie and ultra-touchy subject: “Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.”

Well, there is one thing that I know most people have no clue about me.

I have a friggin’ low self-esteem – probably the most insecure person you’ll ever know. Ever.

People don’t know that because it’s not important to know. I don’t feel it’s important for anyone to know, because I don’t think anybody would think I am someone important to know unless I’ve done something big and positive to this world somehow.

I fake my confidence a lot, especially when I want to get others to speak up. Most of the time, by keeping quiet before someone gives me the permission to speak, I benefit from knowing what people want.

I know what people want. Most of the time, they just want another confirmation that their own opinion is true.

People LOVE being approved. So do I – through my writing.

Even if I get chatty, there are only two reasons for it: a) I like to please you, or b) I genuinely don’t care about you.

I like to please you because I don’t see myself worthy enough to be able to listen to your brilliant ideas. I talk a lot to make fun of myself so that you feel comfortable talking to me about your brilliant ideas.

But when I genuinely don’t care about you, I make noise just to fill the empty space. I chat just to make you feel cared. Most people talk because they want a good ear to hear them out, and I know how it feels. I don’t want to make people feel the same way, so I make noise, and just so you know, every writer is a listener.

On the other hand …

I practice good posture, I practice proven techniques to carry myself well, I always try to speak up with a clear voice, and I always make sure my message is clear. I never write for the sake of writing – and any good writer knows that good writing comes from a voice that genuinely have something to say.

By that, people always think I have confidence.

So, I would prefer others not knowing what I look like in person other than my writing, which is always written with good intent, and likewise, I prefer people who see me as a pretty little dumbo in real life continue to think I’m a pretty little dumbo.

That way, I can always know the real person behind those blinds.


Follow all my answers of the Plinky prompts. Or better yet – sign up and get yourself writing away!

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Divide it amongst yourselves

Solely for productivity’s purposes: if I have the choice, I still do not wish to divide up my soul into pieces.

But I’d like several me’s divided into separate bodies: a blogger/writer/editor, a digital illustrator, a half-marathon and marathon runner, a custom cook, a hotel-lobby pianist, a side guitarist, a landscape photographer, an animal rescuer, a social volunteer, and a dedicated idealist.

The one soul sitting quietly and answering this Plinky question right now comes in an all-in-one package of all me’s.

She’s imperfect. She believes so.

As she writes away, she discovers that she is not required to separate or transfer her functions into different bodies. As one whole body and with undivided attention, her ultimate duty is being a time(ly) manager – managing effort and energy according to its time … while still figuring out how to doing everything at once.

What about you? If you were able to clone yourself, how would you divide your duties?

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Me + 10…

From Josey O’Neal.

I am 32 years old.

I am married. I have all the children I want to have for the rest of my life.

My children are cute, smart, nimble, and independent. I play the piano to them, the guitar to them, sing for them, dance for them, draw for them, read and write for them, pour tea for them, cook for them, bake for them, and let them see all the possible things they can do in the world. The way I raise my kids is to let them know I am there whenever they need me, but they are encouraged to do whatever they want to do with their lives. I will never force them to do anything they do not wish to do, or fulfill some unfinished business in my own life, or become someone else they’re not.

I have a loving husband. I trust him. He is my partner for life – the one person I primp up for, dress up for, be good, look good and do good for, and smile to every morning and night.

We (our family) own a big dog. I wrestle with it whenever I’m down. We play with it, and jog or run together on Sunday mornings.

We might have a pygmy pig too, whose name is Bobo. The pig likes to sleep and loves to be loved.

I have a steady job: I own a sole proprietorship company. I run my schedule everyday based on demands. It’s a satisfying, rewarding, and fulfilling full-time job where I can juggle my time to take care of the kids, make love to my husband, have my own space and time alone, and maintain good health.

I make sure my husband and my children enjoy good nutrition and good sleep every single day. Healthy brains mean wealthy lives.

At 32, I’m working on writing my own book.

By 32, my writing has appeared on at least 7 different publications.

By 32, my art has been sold to 9 people.

By 32, my craft is to integrate art with text to best illustrate the stories of others, to others, and for others. Stories bring people together. My family sticks together as one no matter what happens, not only because my job is to show and tell stories, but also because we know we are a family and that we will always have each other.

By 32, I have ran both the half-marathon and marathon. They are two biggest achievements of my personal life.

By 32, I would have made an impact on at least 100 people’s lives, one way or another

By 32, I am no longer a girl nor a lady. I am a thirty, happy, and thriving woman.

Now I’ll handover the million-dollar question to you: Think of your life ten years from today. What’s different?



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Tick tock, tick tock.

Clock keeps ticking, but time never stops running.

I keep chasing Father Time and filter all sorts of information I receive from around the world. With every click of my mouse, I’m passing time as if I can really fly.

I work for an internet company, you see. It’s a dynamic and ever-changing environment, and I’m glad to be the pilot of my time. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

What about you? How much time do you spend on the internet on an average day? Do you think it’s too much?


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Your Default Look


Fitted straight-leg denim, preferably a dark wash, matched with a lean, simple tank top of any color.

It’s comfortable, it’s sexy, it’s flexible.

It allows you to breathe, to inspire, to move freely.

You can easily blend in any environment, mix with different groups of people, adapt to new situations, move to places and see more faces and adjust your hair and makeup accordingly within seconds. Apply nude eyeshadows, or a striking red lipstick, put on an au naturale blush, or simply throw your mane into a French bun… anything you want to do in the world, and you still look amazing in your very own default look.

You’re good to go with flip-flops, slippers, wedges, platforms, or sky-high heels a la Victoria Beckham – or even barefoot.

Yes, you can run in those heels, you can hide behind your makeup, or you can take it all off to reveal your best self.

Allow yourself to shine: You can only feel calm, confident, and comfortable all at once in a plain tank and a quality denim.

But that’s just how I see it.

What about you? If you were forced to wear one outfit over and over again, what would it be?


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The Lure of Money

"Would payment in the form of money sway you into doing something you wouldn't normally do?"

Oh God no. Hell no, Plinky.

I've been through this kind of situation many times before, but the lure of money still doesn't work on me.

The average number of sketches for a logo design project requires at least 100 different concepts. I was offered a huge sum of money just to draw 3. It didn't work.

The average pay for a house copywriter at a company I had an interview with was very little. My job only requires me to write short blurbs from 9 to 5, and I was offered double the average pay. Again, it didn't work.

The pay to be a sales promotion girl for an auto convention is, say, quadruple the average fee. I was allowed to bring my own gown and dress up as beautifully as possible, as if I'm going to my own wedding or something. Again and again, it didn't work.

The pay was phenomenal to be a so-called model for a tour agency that aims to target the millionaires who are single, lonely, and too rich to spend money in one country. While they can travel the whole world in any given day, they need company. They want a legit selection of future wives too. These house models are supposed to make friends with the singletons throughout the tour, i.e. spend the night with them and attend to their needs. If they're lucky, by the end of the tour they receive wedding proposals from these billionaires, sort of an invitation to their jet-setting lifestyle. Well… Hello? Money doesn't work that way.

Money is something we need to go on with our daily life. We earn our daily bread and wine, then we work to give back what we've got. Yet money is not the end-goal to the working life… If you let it be, how will you answer those around you who asks, "What is the meaning of your life?", are you going to simply answer, "making money"? Is that really it? If you let your guards slip and give the lure of money a chance, you will desist more and more greed and eventually devalue yourself.

I can survive with only one apple a day with gallons of water. Why? Because breads are not cheap, and wine bottles are expensive. Besides, daily food is not on my mind most of the time.

What's mostly on my mind throughout the day are spent on daydreaming, a pricey activity that has made 1% of the world's population to become a self-starter, find their answers to the meaning-of-life question, and made a lifetime commitment to serve that purpose. That's how CEOs work.

And so it goes, I spend a lot of time mindfully following my heart. It's a proven strategy to execute a money-making "busy-ness".

I may not have a say on what I'm about to say, as I myself have yet to discover my meaning of life (thus the heavy daydreaming), but I know one thing or two about money-making:

Get yourself into the daily habit of doing all the things you are willing to do for free. Find a place to nurture it, find channels for it to expand, and promise yourself to never, ever, ever stop growing.

Earn trust in yourself by making yourself trustworthy to others. You are the Chief Executive Officer of your heart – nobody knows it better than you. Take care of it, have confidence in it, and cooperate with it when duty calls.

Whatever you do, treat others the way you want to be treated.

That way, you'll be like a walking money tree yourself – enriching the lives of others and alluring those around you to do just as you do.

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Where I Belong

If I have to choose a place to live either under the sea or up in the sky, I would choose somewhere in-between.

Which is where we all are now.

However, I would still prefer somewhere closer to the sea.

The sky is like an open book. The sea, however, is a little deeper and therefore provides the curious minds an extra room to explore.

Sometimes, we need the light from up above to guide us in life. However, more often than not, we only need to look deeper into our hearts to find the answers to our questions.

The heart, therefore, is where I belong.

What about you?


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Though I’m not a Muslim, I love celebrating Eid Mubarak in Indonesia. It is a time when people get together with distant families for two weeks (or more). It is also a time when I, too, think of something to sacrifice for my faith – be it a certain type of food or the quantity of it.

Falling shortly after Indonesia’s Independence Day on August 17, Lebaran gives the citizens a very long time to ponder upon the health of our country and what we can do to improve that, followed by all the things we want to do differently after the holiday ends.

When the city’s usually bustling, traffic is crystal-clear during Lebaran. However, malls are jam-packed with middle to upper class families waiting in line outside overbooked restaurants. Why? No maids to prepare food for them, much less clean the house for them. So, both Muslim and non-Muslim family members have the advantage at this time of the year to eat meals together, mop floors together, and reconnect with one another.

Doesn’t matter what they are do, as long as they are spending their time together.


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Keep It Clean

“Do you shower in the morning or at night before bed?”.


I hate to go to bed with mosquitoes. I’m not a clean freak, but mosquitoes love dirty feet. And I’m the type who hates doing things half-heartedly – might as well just go all out. If I clean my feet, I clean my legs. If I clean my legs, I clean my hands. Then I wash my face. Then I wash my hair, and the rest is history.

So, if I wake up early for a rendezvous with someone or have to attend a work-related meeting, I still make an effort to be clean – because I live very close to the Equator, so people sweat easily here.

Unlike mosquitoes, humans love cleanliness. Besides showing that you’re a hygienic person, it gives others the impression that you’re put together. And that you smell good.


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