Accompanying the launch of Life, Dreams, Blessings, The Gratitude Journal is the whole story that inspired this collaboration. Read along as Kania and Andra tell their story and how being grateful makes life worth the living.
Kania: So Andra, how are you today?
Andra: At the moment I feel quite overwhelmed because I am still adjusting back to all the work. I just got back from a quick holiday. During the short getaway, I also decided to do a social media detox. Now that I’m back in Jakarta, I can really feel all the hustle and bustle of the city. But I am trying to enjoy everything that is happening right now and start working on fresh and personalized content.
Kania: In social media, many people admire your boldness and bubbly personality. You’re brave with your makeup and can pull off looks not many people can. You always seem so alive. But are you always this happy?
Andra: Of course not, I am human too. Some people actually notice that I have this “on/off” button. When I am working, that’s when I really turn up all the energy. But when I'm alone, I came back to being myself. I think it’s also part of being professional with work because there are times that I don’t want to talk to other people or be bothered by anyone while going to the mall. Not that I’m cocky or anything, I just needed some time for myself.
Kania: So even with a bubbly personality, I can see you still need time to recharge and be true to your feelings. But are you always honest with how you feel? And how do you differentiate the times on which you have to be professional and when you need to let your feelings show?
Andra: It depends on the situation. When I’m having a mental breakdown or when I’m sick, but there are some responsibilities that I needed to do, I have to really push myself to be professional. But after it all, I took my make up off and just be plain old Andra. And I think I can say that I’m always honest. I really listened to my body and if I felt like I needed a massage, or go see my therapist, or a day off, I do it. I feel that the process comes naturally if you are always honest with yourself. That way you become a fully functioning human being.
"The process comes naturally if you are always honest with yourself.
That way, you become a fully functioning human being."
- Andra Alodita
Kania: Nowadays in social media, be it influencers, public figures, or just regular people, they always want to project happiness. Nobody really talks about failure and what you see is a happy family, happy couple, and happy life. What do you think about that? Is that part of the culture? Or is it toxic due to the increase in depression rate by social media over the years? Because in my opinion, we unconsciously compare our lives to other people’s and social media makes it easier to do so.
Andra: Well, I used to see social media as a “happy” place. Everyone wants their life to seem happy so they only post the happier parts of life on their social media. What we’re lacking is the understanding and the preparation of social media’s effects before we dive into that world. This is nothing textbook, but I think that’s what happens these days. I used to compare myself with other content creators and during my financial crisis, I envied those people posting their holiday pictures on social media. But then again, it’s not their fault. Which comes back to what I said earlier. The problem is, we are not mindful enough with our social media use. If we are aware that social media is just a tool that we use for our benefit, it will bring us an advantage.
Kania: I agree. Some people take it too seriously. They are really consumed with social media that they think everything inside is real. And when I see these influencers on social media they always have really beautiful photos on their feed. When actually it is not 100% real. They have a dedicated team to produce photos and what you see actually takes a lot of work. Do you think it’s necessary for the audience to know this?
Andra: I think what they need to understand is that these influencers are also people with character and personality. Which means, they can decide what they want their feed to look like. And the thing is a lot of people who see these photos want to be like the influencers. But in reality, if you really copy their style, will you be happy? I once tried to copy other content creators but the result is so not me. I finally learned that everyone has their own style, including me. Which means, if I copy other people, it’s not me anymore. And of course, I don’t want to spend my life trying to be someone else. It’s a long process for me to get here, but in the end, I think it’s okay to be inspired by other people, but always do it your own way. Use what you have and start there to build your strength.
"A lot of people want to be someone else. But when you copy them, will you be happy? It's okay to be inspired by other people, but always do it your own way, Use what you have and start there to build your strength.
- Andra Alodita
Kania: Do you think it’s important to share our failures with other people on social media?
Andra: Yes, but only when we have conquered that failure and moved on. If not, we will only be whining about our failures and beating ourselves up. What’s the use of that? Only when we’re past that issue, our experiences can be a lesson and strengthen other people who are going through the same thing. And with the reach of social media, the more people we can empower.
Kania: How about you, have you ever felt like a failure or depressed?
Andra: Definitely. But in all those moments, I always try to look at it as a blessing. The tougher the trial, the more I realize what a privilege it is that God allows me to go through that season of life. When I had to go through the in-vitro fertilization process and a financial crisis, I thought to myself, “why me?” But now, I always remind myself that to be able to go through those hardships means that I am a strong person, stronger than I was before.
Kania: I agree. When we’re in the middle of setbacks, I think it's better to pause and take some moment to reflect. That's when we sometimes found the silver lining. I once read this quote by Tony Robbins that said: “things don’t happen to you, they happen for you.” All the problems that are happening to you will prepare you for the next phase of life and will only make you stronger. How about you? In between all those moments of joy and break down, how do you cope and go through each of your day?
Andra: I count my blessings and my scars, I see my hands and my feet, and then I looked around and then feel so blessed with what I have. It is indeed a process to feel content with who you are and what you have. So try giving some space to yourself. What I usually do is meditating, doing some self-care like going to the spa, getting a massage or meeting people who support me and of course, my favorite is to do journaling.
"When we’re in the middle of setbacks, I think it's better to pause and take some moment to reflect. That's when we sometimes found the silver lining. All the problems that are happening to you will prepare you for the next phase of life and will only make you stronger. "
- Kania Anggiani
Kania: Since when do you like journaling?
Andra: I have always loved writing diaries in high school but I started journaling actively in 2014 during the IVF process. That is when I knew that journaling is my therapy. I never knew that something as simple as writing can bring such a huge impact to my mental health.
Kania: I remember this one time, I went through a really tough time in high school and my mother told me to write a letter to myself. She asked me to write what I wish to say to myself, what I feel about myself and what I hope for myself. That was really great therapy for me. I cried myself out writing that letter and after I finished writing it, I got the courage I needed to face the day. So basically, writing has been the story of my life as well. And there are many phases in life that writing saved my life. But I don’t think many people realize the power of writing. They don’t do it because they feel their writing isn’t good enough. But it doesn’t matter, because you are writing for yourself, not for other people to read. It’s expressive writing and that is the whole point of journaling. When we journal, it is a form of us channeling our minds and emotions to get us out of the misery. And this is what inspired our collaboration.
Andra: Yeay! I am so excited for this collaboration.
Kania: Me too! This collaboration means so much to me and being able to do this with you just adds to my happiness. But tell me, when we first proposed to you this collaboration, what crossed your mind?
Andra: In the last 2 years, I actually wanted to write a book. But it turns out, writing a book is a really tough job! I wanted to create something that is entirely me, but a whole book filled with my life story seems overwhelming. So when Chic & Darling approached me to collaborate on a journal, it was the perfect fit. I immediately started thinking about the concept and I really hope this labor of love can be a blessing for many.
"I don’t think many people realize the power of writing. They don’t do it because they feel their writing isn’t good enough. But it doesn’t matter, because you are writing for yourself, not for other people to read."
- Kania Anggiani
Kania: What potential or vision do you have for the journal, beyond this collaboration?
Andra: I want this book to help other people going through their problems and hopefully they can really feel my heart and soul as they express themselves on these papers. This journal is really a dream for me. I hope other people can also feel the same way.
Kania: I hope so too. I see a lot of potential in this book even when we’re now living in a paperless age.
Andra: Yes. I have complete confidence in this book. Our senses need to be trained and the way I see it, writing leaves a legacy of your life. Think about it. If we die one day, what will you leave behind?
Kania: That is really wonderful. So what’s your favorite part of this planner?
Andra: I love the “People I’m Most Grateful For” part, because you can stick their pictures on this page. And another thing, living in the city where everything is made easy with a gadget and internet, we are no longer thankful for our closest people. I also love the “Childhood Memories” form. I have seen and written on so many journals but not many of them have this form. Our childhood memories can be happy or even sad, but no matter what, I think we will always miss our inner child because there are things we couldn’t do anymore now that we’re adults. I also love the “Vision Board” because with this one page, people can start mapping out and realizing their dreams, as big or as small it might be.
Kania: Well my favorite part and also the smartest part of the book, in my opinion, is the “Things I’m Grateful For” column on the daily planner. It really helps us to count our blessings and be happy about the small things in life. And finally, before we close this interview, would you mind sharing what your hope is for people who will buy the book or will be reading this article?
Andra: What I hope is for people to be more honest with themselves. It’s okay to not be okay and finally, there’s always room to learn. So be brave enough to try new things in life, even those outside your comfort zone. This way, your life is always exciting and you will grow gracefully. Don’t do it because you feel like you need to prove something to other people, do it because you owe it to yourself.
"There's always room to learn so be brave enough to try things outside of your comfort zone. This way, you will grow gracefully. Don’t do it because you feel like you need to prove something to other people, do it because you owe it to yourself."
- Andra Alodita
Text by Karina Leviani
Photographs by Asita Yulia
Creative Direction by Michelle Ariella and Kania Anggiani