Monday, 1 January 2018

Moving Forward

For the longest time now—probably since junior high—my life seems to be divided by three-year marks. There were three years of middle school, three of high school, three of uni in Germany and now this. In 2016, I thought my life was pretty crap and it led me to change it again in 2017. While putting together this post, I realise that not many exciting things happened last year but, for some reason, I find myself being much happier than the previous year. There were too many moments not recorded on camera, but they're significant and precious all the same. Maybe even more so, since I forget to pull out my lens and document them. It was an exciting and profound year, that will only look boring from the outside. But, to me, it's one step closer to maturity and, being of officially quarter-life, I think it's about time.


To be honest, I can't remember how I felt back in January, but I think it was probably pretty busy, because I hardly posted anything online. There was a campus event, in which I was the head of the design committee, and it was...pretty boring, to be honest, because I already finished my part but had to come anyway. Aside from that, it seems my life was basically filled with assignments—one of which changed my food photography game forever. I also started to revamp my Indonesia Childhood Games Handbook from 2014. On the blog, I re-introduced myself as well as revealed 20 blogger confessions—which later on became my updated About page. Aside from that, everything is basically same old, mundane life.


February felt a bit icky, because this is the month I left my previous campus. While still trying to conceal this plan from most of my classmates—for whatever reason—I was knee deep in assignments, continuing on with the ICGH revamping I mentioned earlier. Thank God for Regional Election Day, because it allowed me time to slow down. After that part of my life is closed, one of my old roommates Gita came home from Germany. We weren't the best of friends from our days in Karlsruhe, but, for once, we got to hang out just the two of us this month and it was pretty fun. It's true what they say, "Tak kenal maka tak sayang" (You can't love what you don't know). I managed to hang out with Tasha again and had one of our OOTD outings. I think I started to sort out what I actually want to do.


This month is the start of many exciting things. First thing's first, my cousin asked me to design her wedding merchandise and I was so thrilled to do it! I was reunited with many old middle school friends—all of whom happen to be guys (lol)—in two separate occasions, but both of which weren't exactly documented—much to my dismay. God, how I miss them! I could catch up with my best friends too this month, over Mexican food—my first try! On the artistic front, I managed to visit a typography exhibition with my friend Enggar and finished an art trade with my friend Koletta. To close the month up real nice, I visited Firu's family again after too long. It's always so inspiring to talk to Firu's parents and siblings.


Inspired by Goethe Institut's local string of ethical fashion events, I could turn April into Fashion Revolution Month! First, I visited IKAT eCUT exhibition at Gudang Sarinah. Then I shared some lessons I've learnt from a year of not shopping for clothes—which happened accidentally, actually. Afterwards, I also attended IKAT eCUT's Clothes Swapping event. During the Fashion Revolution Week itself, I decided to do a week full of slow fashion-related posts. You can check out each post here, here, here, here, here and here. Offline, I've had a ripe old time with books. There were two huge book sales going on at the time, Gramedia World Expo and Big Bad Wolf Book Sale—the latter made me stand in line for 5 hours until 2 AM. Towards the end of the month, I managed to go on a ladies date with Koletta to Art Market 7. You can see my loots here.


May, strangely, became a museum-filled month for me. I visited a total of three museums by myself this month: Kite Museum, Basoeki Abdullah Museum and Textile Museum. At the end of each trip, I'd try a new place to eat nearby, including a tiny patisserie, an organic restaurant and an African specialty. I also managed to meet up with my friend Ervina who's appeared on the blog a few times, you may remember. Her life changes so quickly, it's surreal. Unfortunately, politically, things have been rather disheartening all over the world. I was so irked, that I felt I needed to say something. Online, I decided to join in on the #Mermay challenge—although only weekly. Mermaids are my childhood idol and I love drawing them! I also posted my first of the various regular booktube videos on my channel. Before I knew it, Ramadan is already here again.


June started out still continuing like it was May, with me visiting The National Archive Building—which was the longest inner-city trip I've ever taken. On the blog, I also shared the soundtrack of my life inspired by What Olivia Did—so much fun to think about! Though it may seem insignificant and small, I was so thrilled to taste (and love) local persimmons, because they were in season in June. My best friend Gina came back home for the Eid holidays, so the gang assembled and had a girls' night out. For Eid celebration, I made a hasty purchase from Imaji Studio, which I wore on the big day. Thankfully, this year I could finally reunite with the extended family again. Yaay! It also means dragging my sister to places for outfit photos, though—much to her dismay (lol). We visited Kudos CafeHotel Majapahit and Black Barn Coffee—plus one failed trip, but we don't talk about that. Lastly, Firu told me about The Red Pill and it completely changed how I think about feminism—which brought on quite an interesting discussion with various people. The excitement continues next month.


July started with bang, with a trip to Madura, checking out various limestone sites—and a huge scare along the way. After sadly saying goodbye to the cousins, I was welcomed home with a delivery from Book of Deer. Around the middle of the month, my pen tablet of six years finally died on me—after around a month of being vaguely stuck at the service centre. Firu gave it to me, so I felt rather emotional about giving it up. Rest in peace, my friend! As usual, Firu and I celebrated our anniversary, with me sharing some real melancholic thoughts for once. LDR is effin' hard, guys! It was the also the first month I managed to join the Goodreads Indonesia challenge, which turns out to be the number one best book I read all year. Although I've left my previous campus, my uni friends and I still kept in touch and we went exhibition-hopping and hanging out at a café—which isn't something we usually did. This was the month the next stage of my life started to take shape.


Okay, yeah, August was crazy eventful—even more so than usual. First off, Tasha and I met up again for another OOTD outing. It was so much fun and I absolutely love the photos! Then Iva came home for the month and, obviously, that can only mean one thing: reunion! God, I've missed everyone so much. It was a much-needed get together. Iva and I also managed to catch some quality time during Independence Day. Then I met up with Amel, who is probably the closest local blogger friend I have, twice this month—once in Jakarta, once in Semarang. Did I mention that Studio Ghibli was coming to Jakarta in exhibition form? Yeah, my sister, her friend and I went there together. It was a blast! Also, remember my cousin who was getting married from March? Her wedding is now! Here's what the merchandise looks like. By the way, I used up this opportunity to hit up the Railway Museum in Ambarawa with my stepmom. It was awesome! Funny thing is, even with all this going on, I still managed to read and watch so much. Curiouser and curiouser!


September felt like a brand new beginning. I started with separating my illustrations from my blogging/personal content on instagram and created an art account—if you can call it art at all. To this day, this account is still a source of motivation for personal projects. It's also the month of rekindling or recalling things, starting with a long chatty meeting with a friend I haven't seen in 10 years. On the blog, I've also shared a couple untold trips I'd taken in Germany, one to Heidelberg and one to Fulda—both of which with friends I miss dearly. One Sunday, I visited two local events by myself: Responsible Market (where I bought local non-toxic bars of soap) and Lowlight Bazaar (where I got an analog pocket camera). Towards the end, I met up with another uni friend Caro—and her boyfriend—but only ever so briefly. It was also the month I started life at a brand new campus.


Favourite month of the year alert! In principle, anyway. Much like last year, I joined the whole Inktober challenge, with a theme—all of which you can see here. On the blog, as usual, this month will be filled with birthday-related posts and this year it was fantastic! I shared some lessons learnt on managing money, some young adult and German books, 24 before 25 recap and 25 before 26 list. Oh, yeah, I'm officially of the quarter life now. This was the year I just give in to the bad mood that comes with my birthday, because my unrealistic expectation of the day is just through the roof. My sister did well treating me to a loaf of cheesecake, though. I joined a workshop on tea and visited a typography exhibition too this month. I also managed to hang out with my best friends a couple times, including a low-key, quite shady halloween bash—which sort of reminds me of Halloween in 2013.


November was quite busy and stressful, so there was barely any documentation of it. This month was quite Japan-themed: I could finally visit Japan Film Festival—watched two films in total—and I posted fanart of Ranma and Rinne. It was, however, also midterm exam month and I was going insane—mostly because the exams are group projects and, well, if you've ever done one, you'd know they usually suck. Smack dab in the middle of it, though, I had the opportunity to teach a creative workshop for children and teens. It was a really nice break from all the assignments and studying, although a bit stressful to commit to. Overall, let's just say November wasn't the easiest of months. Honestly, I think I lost sleep this month more than any other month.


So, I think I've been either sugarcoating it or completely disregarding it in the past, when I say that December is a hard month for me. It's hard in the sense that it always reminds me of seeing Firu again. Every year, since I got back from Germany, December strikes and my mood is dimmed significantly. That is, however, what happens in my mind, physically here are a few things I did. First of all, I joined a couple workshops on campus—a surprise box workshop and a basic lettering workshop—which are quite casual, but rather fun. One of my classes also organised a field trip to the newly opened Marine Heritage Gallery, checking out some artefacts from lost Indonesian history. Think Spice Road! Towards the end, I got hang out with some of my Germany pals, because Ratri came home. It was really chilled—just talking for hours—but absolutely much needed. And then New Year's rolled around and I find myself bracing for the future.

If I had to describe 2017 as a whole—like I did for the previous years—I would probably say it's about "moving on." While in 2014 and 2015 I was forced to adapt, 2017 was the year I was starting to make peace with the life that I now lead. Moving on, in this sense, means not only from the life I was used to in Germany, but also from so many other things that may have come to an end afterwards. While I did rekindle a lot of old friendships this year, I am sad to say that one of my previously dearest friends stopped talking to me altogether—you may know who I'm talking about, if you've paid close attention. I also had to leave my previous campus, due to financial reasons, jettisoning me to an entirely new life. From this recap, I realise, it must have seemed like a low-key year, huh? I guess it was; I did stay home a lot. But also, I felt a little less motivated to document my day-to-day on social media or the blog, so there wasn't a lot to go on. Now's the time for them resolutions:
  1. Constantly seek out and try out more opportunities 
  2. Consume less, produce more, use wisely 
  3. Find time to get inspired 
  4. Try to understand Firu better and work harder to see him ♥
  5. Be more considerate of others and stay humble
I'm not entirely sure if I sought out more opportunities, but there have been a lot of those coming my way this year. I've tried out a lot of them—even unpaid ones—because I thought it would be nice to widen my network and be a great way to practice. This goes both for my illustration work and blog. I've been making most of my own food and drinks at home this year—especially for Meatless Monday, which I'm still doing religiously. I've also utilised used containers from food and drink products I bought in the past. Also not entirely certain if I spared time to get inspired, but I did visit a lot of exhibitions and explored new places this year, so I definitely got a lot of inspiration. The whole Firu thing is so much easier said than done, but I gave it my best effort to do so. Going to Germany is still something of a dream, though. Again, how do you know if you've accomplished this? I don't think I did, really, because there have been too many misunderstandings last year. But I'll try harder this year!
  1. Make an illustration for every important date/holiday
  2. Get a second income source/job
  3. Create monthly goals (and accomplish them)
  4. Have a healthy and supportive relationship with Firu ♥
  5. Take care of myself physically and mentally

May 2018 bring us opportunities and happiness. What do YOU want to achieve this year?

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