#BLPGIRLS | Levina, Showing the Power of Storytelling to Face Challenges
Have you ever shared your story online and found like-minded individuals? On Menjadi Manusia you can share yours and listen to stories from real people, coming from different backgrounds. This community-based platform managed to bring up conversations revolving around mental well-being and real struggles the generation is facing.
We sat down and talked with one of the founders, Levina Purnamadewi, about the importance of being conversant about our own feelings, a meaningful encounter packed with life lessons and the possible impact only beauty could bring.
Hi Levina! Can you tell us more about the idea behind Menjadi Manusia?
Menjadi Manusia was started as we realized that we only see what people let us see on social media. However, if we delve deeper, every person is going through some battles we don't know about. By putting the spotlight on some eye-opening stories of real people, we aim to motivate and inspire our audience. Some people out there are living through some hardships, sometimes a whole lot worse than what we are facing. We hope that it gives our audience the energy to push through.
And what was the driving force until you finally joined Menjadi Manusia?
Two years ago, I was facing the so-called quarter life crisis. I had a 9-to-5 job in a corporate bank, but at that time I was still unsure of what I really wanted to do in my life. Not so long after, my two friends initiated a passion project in 2018 that led to where Menjadi Manusia is today. Naturally, I always enjoy listening to stories. That's why I agreed to do this in the first place. Our very first content was called “Kontemplasi” where we narrated contemplative lines (hence the name) about certain issues and it was then followed by “Berbagi Perspektif,” in which we highlighted the life journey of some inspiring people.
The three founders of Menjadi Manusia have their own titles such as The Heart, The Mind, and The Soul. What was the meaning behind those three?
We just wanted to break free from the common title and create our own instead. Raka is The Brain, Adam is The Heart and me myself The Soul. The Brain was given to Raka because he was the one who came up with the ideas. Adam, was given The Heart because he was the one behind the tone of voice, angle and writings of Menjadi Manusia. Meanwhile, I was given The Soul because even though I joined them later, my friends thought that I gave all the ideas and made the writings come into life.
How has the reception been so far?It was unexpected really. I think our content went viral by the time we uploaded a YouTube video titled "Berbagi Perspektif: Mantan Transgender, Rega Bernando." The shooting took place in Raka's personal studio and we didn't really think much about it. But I guess that is how a powerful story spoke for itself. That point triggered us to invest more time into Menjadi Manusia and pull a full force. But the case is different for me. I joined my two partners as a full-timer a bit later, in January this year. The reason was because I wanted to fill my glass with knowledge and experience in building Menjadi Manusia. And now here we are, still telling stories, but in a much more diverse form placed in different platforms.
Out of all ways to provide a platform for people to share, why did you choose the form of storytelling at the heart of Menjadi Manusia?We notice how youngsters in our age have grown resistant to being told what to do. Instead, they believe more in real-life experiences from real people. That being said, we came to a conclusion that the best way to speak to our peers is through the stories of others that people can relate to. It's also a subtle, empowering message that we want to deliver, a reminder to push through because we are never alone in riding this roller coaster of life.
You must have met a lot of people with their own stories while you are working on Menjadi Manusia. Can you share about your most memorable encounter?
There is one story that still strikes a chord with me up until now. It was from Lisa Samadikun, a happiness coach and co-founder of a holistic wellbeing center, Jeda Wellnest. "My name is Lisa Samadikun, and I had experienced mati suri," the video started in such an intriguing nuance. Throughout the whole video, Lisa was retelling how she spent all of her time to work without doing things that she enjoys doing. Instead of being released, endorphins were stored inside her body. Until one point, she dreamed of meeting her late in-laws and heard them asking, "Do you really want to be here?" From her story I learned to be serious in doing what I love best.
In what ways that BLP Girls can participate in Menjadi Manusia?We are opening article submission to be featured on our website. If you happen to love writing, send us a draft, BLP Girls! Look at the terms and conditions here. If you have a story that you would like to share in the form of a video, click the link that we have put on every video's description box. We are also open if any of you want to talk to us about anything but please note that Menjadi Manusia is not a psychologist. We always refer to the professionals if we see that anyone needs further assistance.
Menjadi Manusia embraces the act of looking inwards, how do you implement this in your real life?To check in my emotional state daily, I always run to my closest ones and tell them what I feel at the moment. Letting out doubts, fear and what ifs from my system always works and I can feel instant relief although I don't always get words of advice every time.
What are your go-to self-care activities?Watching TV series, listening to music and creating mixtapes!
How about self-care essentials that you keep in your bag?
First, my earphone because I need to plug my ears and let music flow through it when I need to focus. I also consider my perfume as an instant mood booster – also Face Powder BLP and Lip Coat Maple Waffle for touch-ups.
Any advice on how to practice self-care for a better well-being based on your experience?Speak words of affirmation. You can look at the mirror and say thanks to yourself for living and enduring another day. If this feels awkward to you, try simply closing your eyes at the end of the day, reflect what's been happening throughout the day and notice how much you have done.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty for me is something that can be felt. When we accept ourselves fully, we radiate positive vibes that makes people feel good just by being around us. Yup, beauty could give that much of an impact to others!