New York, I Love You but...

*LCD Soundsystem - New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down is playing throughout the writing process*

New York City, USA. Concrete jungle, kata orang. Where dreams are made of. Gue lupa, kapan pertama kali gue melihat New York dengan pandangan berbeda. Mungkin on my last year of college, setelah semua ambisi SMA tercapai dan punya keinginan dan ego baru yang ingin dicapai. I want to broaden my
horizon dan gue melihat New York sebagai sebuah tempat utama buat mengejar semua mimpi dan keegoisan yang ada dikepala. It’s an exaggeration how movies and tv series’ portray New York they say, New York is nothing like that. Well, screw you guys. I still think New York is amazing in its own rawness.

I have known about New York University a long time ago.
I learned that they have a Food Studies program that will give me a holistic approach, a social perspective on how food affects people, how it affects human’s culture, how it can be a language to represent a community. And I like learning about people’s behavior. I want to know why people do what they do, why something happens. All the whys in the world. So Food Studies is really a major that speaks to me. But knowing NYU and myself, gue sempet ragu lah. People said that “but Steinhardt isn’t Stern or Tisch with all of their glory” still, it’s NYU...I was bound to think. Should I apply to this school? What are the chances of me to get in? Dan segala keraguan dan insecurities yang membuat gue mempertimbangkan daftar apa nggak. Sampai pada akhirnya, I convinced myself I need to give this a go. So I prepared everything thoroughly and clicked the “submit button” and tried not to think about it everyday.

Sampai suatu pagi, on my usual boring day I got an email that said “Application Decision Updated”. Ya Allah, lemes. Nggak tau mau dibuka apa nggak. Akhirnya duduk dulu, kasih makan ikan, nonton TV 5 menit, terus menyerah dengan rasa penasaran. Pas dibuka, kaget karena ada confettinya, tetep tulisannya belum dibaca. I always do that when I read the most important emails, I just blur out every words or my mind gets really blank that I have to read the message twice or three times.

I didn't manage to catch the confetti.

Kira-kira begitu isi pemberitahuan di portal NYU. It’s funny because I don’t expect anything yet I was given the opportunity. Grateful is not enough of a word to express how I was feeling that morning. Bersyukur banget, Alhamdulillah, sampe speechless gak bisa bilang apa-apa ke siapa-siapa saat itu. New York. NYU. I am given the chance to actually live there and study about the things that I care about. Washington Park. Gah. It felt so surreal. Terus teringat kata-kata Maudy Ayunda “Dreams are funny. The most unlikely one can catch you off guard.” It is. It really is. You can’t possibly know how live will turn out, how your dreams will happen, how your works and efforts will pay off, how Allah will answer your du’a and prayers. Just, don't stop dreaming.

This came on the mail, the living proof of my admittance.

Tapi, dengan beberapa pertimbangan dan keterbatasan, akhirnya gue harus melepaskan NYU untuk saat ini. Dengan segala keyakinan pada ketetapanNya, mungkin memang belum waktunya gue kesana. I promise myself that I will not think of 'not going to New York this year' as one big failure because I do get in. I am sad to let the biggest dream I have go, but I think it’s for the best. I will meet New York when I meet New York. If it’s not now then I believe I will meet New York on a more proper and better circumstance. Hal penting yang gue ambil dari seluruh perjalanan ini adalah I always believe in myself, it’s just other people that sometimes don’t. It sucks. You can’t control what people want to believe, so just give it all to the world and let it works the way it supposes to be. It maybe sometimes is not enough for the world, but that’s just life. At least you still have yourself in the middle of its ferocity.

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