Last week, I turned 24. Instead of surprises, my family, closest friends, awesome coworkers, and other half decided to gift me the best unwrapped present they could ever give: their presence.

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(And several cakes, too, but mostly presence.)

It went exactly the way I wanted it: quietly, like my favorite song playing at 20% volume. Embraced the music’s familiarity and hummed along its chorus by heart. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

First with Eyang’s most sincere prayers (cue: all adulthood-related), then Wikan’s delightful home-cooked pasta, Diku and Kiki who stopped by near midnight with a hug, a lunch full of laughters with WRI Indonesia team, and finally, nine of my most favorite humans on earth (Rocky, Johan, Sirly, Ikhsan, Iman, Tama, Aswin, Diku—again, and Jessica) with a nine-flavored martabak and a bag of hilariousness at my doorstep.

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Some others was also kind enough to shower me with their words and thoughts. Beyond materials, these are the things that you will remember when you get old. That actually have a pretty good shot at shielding you away from loneliness. That made me feel loved, and therefore warm.

My soul is forever grateful to have each and every one of them, which is really the only few who actually matter.

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After all, what can be more humbling than realizing you have too many of birthdays already its quietness becomes so precious and is, at its core, what you cherish about it. Here’s to being wiser in the next 12 months.


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