Thursday, 27 October 2016

Birthday Blues

Adorable little enamel pin by Aufa that I purchased as an early present for myself

Last week was my birthday. Yup, I turned 24 and can't be any giddier! This year I decided to have another celebration, like I did three years ago, just because. My stepmom and I cooked up a storm in the morning and had my friends over for lunch. Uli, Sindi, Cynthia, Enggar and Oji all made a special appearance—it just so happens that the majority of my guests have had the experience of taking photos for my blog, wow! It was a simple three-course meal, with creamy mushroom soup for appetiser, this recipe as the main course and es campur for dessert. I'm so glad to see everyone enjoying their food—even Cynthia claimed to like the appetiser although she hates mushrooms!—but I feel like I failed as a host, because we ended up breaking into small groups at times and watching TV for the most part. I even sneaked out for several minutes to take these pictures. I'm sorry, you guys, and thanks for coming! They brought me presents too, which I didn't expect but was so happy to receive. They're all very meaningful to me and I'm so happy they know me so well :')

Book of Deer 'Stove' shirt // hand-me-down/vintage skirt // thrifted loafers // fish pin by Aufa // dept. store hair scarf // photos by Akita

Birthdays have always been bittersweet for me. I've always loved—and claimed to love—my birthday, but it always disappoints me without fail. I hate the actual day, but I think I'm enchanted by the idea. When it comes to my day of birth, I have really high expectations and every year reality lets me down. This year I decided to invite my friends over—which somehow only amount to 5 people—because I decided it was time I took action on my birthday instead of waiting for something good to happen. But alas, the wheel turns outside my control again and shit happens anyway. Like magic, though, the next day I felt absolutely fine, as if a cloud just hangs over me every October 20th. I was also constantly reminded by all the people I wish could be there too, like my Mom and Firu—and all of my friends who live abroad, including you guys. But hopefully you had a better day than I did—not during the celebration, but during the actual birthday!

P.S: It was VERY important to me to be wearing Book of Deer on my birthday. Yep, yep, yep!

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Monday, 24 October 2016

24 Before 25

I can't believe that by this time next year, I'll be in my mid-twenties. When I was much, much younger, I thought it would probably be the age in which I would be getting married or having a permanent job. Guess life never goes the way you plan it—or if it does, you might be asking questions about what you HAVEN'T done. Last year I said my list was about self-growth, but in hindsight, it didn't seem like much growth happened to me anyway. This year, I feel like getting in touch with the adventurous side of me, flipping through pages of the past and really investing on the future. No Firu-related goal this year because I don't want to get hurt by my own expectations anymore. Things will happen when they happen, but, meanwhile, there's this list.

1. Finish all the YA series that I followed
Maybe a last huzzah before I step into adulthood? I used to follow tons of YA series when I was in high school—junior and senior, but sometimes these series take years to conclude and the price of books just keeps getting more and more out of my budget range. I think it's time for some closure and read the ending of these stories. These series include Artemis Fowl and The Keys to the Kingdom.

2. Borrow (a) book(s) from the library
One of my favourite pastimes when I was still in school and living in Germany. Ever since I got back home, I haven't really ventured to libraries much—except the one at my campus, and even then have only ever borrowed one book. I'd like to do this more often, maybe even borrow some German books from Goethe Institut. We'll see.

3. Create a series of illustrations
Something I've been meaning to do for a long time, but I'm so easily distracted, it's not even funny anymore. I feel like I need to set this one as a goal to keep myself focused and create pieces that I can add into my portfolio. I'm thinking something blogger-related or maybe something more general. The goal is to make more than one series, so fingers crossed.

4. Send my work to a publication
I know, this was included in last year's list too. But, since I have yet to achieve it, I thought I'd include it in this one as well, as I still wish to get published one way or another. Last week I actually sent something out to Fashion Revolution to be used in their new zine. The result hasn't come out yet, though. If any of you is making a zine, please let me know. I'd love to contribute!

5. Try the traditional cuisine of a new country
When I say a 'new country,' I'm not talking about a newly independent country. Just a country whose traditional cuisine I have yet to taste. It'll probably be hard to find in Jakarta, though.

6. Meet up with a (new) blogger friend
Yes! I'd love to meet up with you, if you consider me your blogger friend. I'd like to make more online friends in this field and 'collaborate'—or, you know, hang out. If you don't live in Indonesia but will visit one day, let me know when! I'd love to meet you!

7. Try taking analog photos
I've always admired the way analog photos look. I think there's a certain sentimentality attached to the way the images are developed. It also reminds me of my primary school years, when I used to carry around the analog camera my mother had on field trips and school events. Plus, you can't constantly check what the photo would look like, so I want to be surprised with how it turns out.

8. Read more German books
Absolutely! Last year I finally finished a German book that I bought way back in 2011 when I first moved there. It turns out to be quite a tremendous read and I'm super thrilled to have read it. All languages have their own characteristics and charm, including German, so I'd like to explore that more. My friend Frederick gave me three books to kick start this challenge, I'm so excited!

9. Visit a friend I've never met before
This also goes to all my online friends out there—are you out there? When I wrote down this goal, I thought of going abroad to visit my online friends. So, you know, having an adventure as well as meeting someone I've known—and not known—for so long. Double the fun, right?

10. Try doing something spontaneous
To be honest, I don't remember the last time I was being spontaneous. It was a huge part of me in Germany and I miss that. I want to be that person again, who doesn't take life too seriously and can just be in the moment.

11. #MeatlessMonday
If you don't know, there is a bit of a social movement going on, where people don't eat meat every Monday. I know, it's not exactly veganism, but I think it helps reduce our carbon footprint—if even by a little. Personally, for me, I'd like to take it a step further and become a vegan once every week.

12. Work on my blog design (seriously!)
Self-explanatory, no?

13. Explore more historical sites in Jakarta
Jakarta is filled with so many museums, historical landmarks, and such, but I cannot believe that I've only been to probably 10% of them. I'd really love to explore the town more and learn more about our history and culture—as well as find new photo settings, I suppose.

14. Re-read my books
This goes hand-in-hand with the first goal. It's been so long since I read all the YA series I have yet to finish, so I think I'd need to re-read all my series to know where I left off. Also, there are plenty of books that I remember enjoying, just sitting on my bookshelves. I think it's time to revisit these great stories.

15. Join a Goodreads Indonesia challenge
There's a group on Goodreads for Indonesian users. They often have a monthly or so challenge. I'd love to join in on one sometime.

16. Start buying organic/recyclable products
This goes not only to food—which, I think, will be the hardest to commit to, actually—but also to beauty and bath products. What I mean by recyclable is the packaging, so products with recyclable/recycled packagings. Recently, I bought shampoo and conditioner from Organic Care and I'm loving it so far!

17. Attend a talk/workshop
I think attending a talk/seminar is part of being an adult. It's interesting to see experts talk about things that I'm interested in, acquiring new knowledge and be part of the discussion. A talk is more favourable for me, at the moment, because they are usually free.

18. Read one scientific article every week
In order to be more responsible towards nature, I think it's important to know about the universe that we live in. Plus, there are breakthroughs all the time and I'd like to keep with the programme.

19. Take the public transportation (whenever possible)
Again, trying to do my part for the environment. I already take public transportation on a daily basis anyway, but sometimes my lazyness gets the best of me and I take something less public—like the taxi—which is obviously not as eco-friendly as, say, a bus or a train.

20. Join and complete an artistic challenge (at  least once!)
Yes! There are so many artistic challenges lately and I've been missing out! I don't want to miss out anymore. Right now, I'm still going strong with my inktober, but I'd love to join watercolour month or other challenges in the future too.

21. Talk more about being a conscious consumer on the blog (and social media)
Although I try to practice this in my daily life, I think I don't share as much as I'd like or should on the internet. I'd love to do more of that. I think it's important to inspire people to become a conscious consumer, and I know I've been inspired by many fellow bloggers as well. Hopefully, I can inspire you too!

22. Invest on zero waste appliances/tools (NO PLASTIC!)
Yup! Zero waste lifestyle has been sitting at the back of my mind for the past year or so. It needs to stop sitting and start moving. Baby steps to get there that will, hopefully, really get me there.

23. Lose at least 5 kg (Goal: 58 kg)
Before you say anything about body positivity and body image, this is not that at all. It's just that, when you've ever reached a certain weight and posture in your life, where you feel better and more confident than ever, you kind of want to go back to that—or am I the only one? This is that. I want to fit into all my clothes again, to feel like I'm the best possible version of myself and to know that I've done what I could to be my best.

24. Manage money better (and save up for the future!)
As always, the most important goal for last. Money is a huge issue when you've reached an age where you can't possibly ask for allowance from your parents anymore. It's just good sense to manage it better and work out a system where you won't go broke in the middle of the month—or year, or any time period of choice. Plus, I want to really start thinking about my future and set up a budget to achieve the future that I want.

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