20 Facts about Me (Kidding, It’s Only Five)


There seems a growing trend in Instagram beside #foodporn and #liveauthentic. It’s #20factsaboutme. People write 20 facts about themselves and then nominate their friends to do the same. Usually, the picture accompanying it is a selfie of that person telling their facts.

I hate posting selfies.


So, back to the 20 facts thing. As one of avid Instagram users, I also got tagged. I haven’t done it though and I don’t think I want to. It’s because I don’t see any point pointing out 20 somewhat banal personal things about me without anyone learning anything valuable about it. Got the point?

But then I made an exception. I was gonna write that 20 facts about me here but I shortened it to only five. In return, you’ll get a twist from each fact. And by twist, I mean something I hope to be valuable for you to take away. So here they are:

FACT #1: I love reading. And I really, really wish everyone loved it too. Because, gosh! There are a lot of beneficial things about reading, especially slow reading. It reduces stress and actually enhances one’s ability to concentrate. Seriously. It’s also scientifically proven to slow rates of memory loss. You want to tell your granddaughters/sons that you won that lomba makan kerupuk in your neighborhood for ten years in a row, don’t you? (Now, you know what I mean) The Wall Street Journal covered the topic in its recent article here.

And don’t get me start on literature and fiction. Horace couldn’t say it better: dulce et ulite. Educating and entertaining. That’s the functions of literature, plain and clear. But if you need something more elaborative (and fun) about the functions of literature, Alain de Botton and his team at The School of Life compiled an animated essay covering what literature can do for human soul. Check out the beautiful video below.

But then again, you don’t always have to do what people tell you to do. If you don’t want to read, just don’t. No obligation. But you’ll surely miss out, you know. I mean a lot. So, think about it.

FACT #2: Because I love reading, I always make time for it. Always. Whatever your excuse is, you always have time to read. Even if you are CEO or a housewife with 16 kids, you definitely have at least 5 minutes to spend on reading. And if you read that WSJ’s article, you’ll find that Slow Reading Club is a real thing.

You see, that’s the thing I want to do: create a Slow Reading Club in my own community and help people find the time to read without distraction. I believe that there are people out there who like reading but can’t find the encouragement/time among today’s ubiquitous, never-ending digital distractions like smartphone and the Internet. I want to gather these people in a club where they can read peacefully with like-minded individuals. We don’t have to talk about what we read (we’re not in college); all we do is, well, just read. What do you think?

On Sunday, October 19 2014 at 7 PM WIB, I’ll be at Kineruku Bookstore (get the map here). I’m gonna read my book and sip a cup of tea there (maybe a plate of tempe mendoan). Come and join me, turn your Internet connection off for an hour, and let’s read. See you there.

FACT #3: I watch TED talks. A lot of them. My favorite talks mostly about happiness, career and success.

Here are several of my all-time favorites:

Alain de Botton – Gentler Philosophy of Success

Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts

Matthieu Ricard – The Habits of Happiness

Shawn Achor -The Happy Secret to Better Work

The Minimalists – A Rich Life with Less Stuff

Andy Puddicombe – All You Need is 10 Minutes a Day.

I wish I could personally thank them for all their talks because they changed my life and my perspective in a very profound way. God bless them.

FACT #4: I’m into minimalism. It’s a philosophy/principle/life style that promotes life with less stress by owning less stuff. Trust me, I experience the benefit of it first hand and decide that there’s no better life style suiting me best. Besides, it really goes well with my financial situation.

Before purchasing stuff, I ask myself these questions: “do I really, really need this?” “Will it make me truly happy?” “Will it bring value to my life?” As the result, there’re less junks in my place. I am surrounded (mostly) by the stuffs that actually give value to my life. I’m less distracted and able to focus on the things that really matter.

But that’s me. Since there are many names and flavors of minimalism, what suits me doesn’t necessarily suit you. You decide what kind of minimalism suits you best. The key is: get rid of the unnecessary junks and only keep things that you truly need and actually give value to your life. It could be applied to stuffs, reading materials, activities, jobs, friends, anything!

If you’re ever interested in minimalism or just simply curious about it, I suggest you to visit The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, Be More with Less, and Mnmlist (they’re great guys and gals). Oh, you got sources of your own? Please share with me in the comment.

FACT #5. I practice meditation. I always take 10 – 15 minutes a day for my meditation session. It’s usually in the morning shortly after I woke up.

Why meditate? Because it calms me down and clears my mind. You see, the voice in my head is a total asshole. It just won’t stop talking, that chatty son of a bee sting. The worst part is that it sometimes drags me down to the deepest pit of anxiety and that’s hell.

So, I decide to take medication practice meditation. I’ve been doing this shit for months and I can feel that things get better and clearer. I’m able to focus on the task at hand without listening to the darn voice in my head. I begin to be more mindful, calmer and, I must say, happier. Seriously.

I can babble about meditation for pages so I’ll leave it here. You better dig Andy Puddicombe’s and Matthieu Ricard talks up there.

So, those are the facts about me. Just like any typical #20factsaboutme challenge, I nominate you to do the same: state the facts about yourself. And don’t forget to add twist.


Published by

Citra Saraswati

I'm a bit into analog photography.

4 thoughts on “20 Facts about Me (Kidding, It’s Only Five)”

    1. Well, I also didn’t know you watched TED talks too, Sir 😀 I’d really like to know your favorite talks.
      Oh, on meditation, they (some scientists) say it can rewire your brain in such a way that you’ll be calmer and more attentive, I’m currently bad at both, so… Also, it’s kind of a spiritual thing for me since I’m not a religious person. You really should try it 🙂


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