Here’s to a joyful year filled with discovery and accomplished achievements. Here’s to a sorrowful misfortune. Here’s to another year where I’m still lucky enough to be able to breath, smile, laugh, frown, cry, and share all of it with my loved one.
2014 was better than 2013 although 2013 wasn’t as bad as 2012. In conclusion each year life is getting better and better and to that I thank my Lord the Merciful’s blessing and my mother’s constant prayer. I write this post solely with a purpose to reminisce the good I have in 2014 and to practice every day’s gratefulness. Sometimes as a human, I might be having too much fun over the new year, which makes me forget that God has always been nice to me ever since last year, and the year before that, and another year before that, and years before that. I write this post to as a memory of another blissful year when I kept forgetting to kneel down and pray and yet the Lord does not forget to shower me with blessings. Below are the few highlights of 2014:
1. Getting my first real job.
I got the chance to work in a non-profit organisation during last year. Which has always been my dream, not the organisation itself but the chance to work in a non-profit organisation. In my last year of college, I (and a lot of people in my year) started to think about career and of course as a naïve dreamer, I dream to work in a non-profit organisation with a social cause. I’m a stubborn person who holds my value dear (and defensively to the point of illogical) and one of my value is that I really really want to work for social cause. I figure since I’ve been so privileged by being educated quite well, I ought to give back to a community once I graduated from years of study. And I got that chance. I started as a volunteer for 3 months, another 3 months of internship and I was hired full time for another 3 months. Needless to say I gained a lot of experiences and met a lot of interesting people during my work. The non-profit I was working aims to catalyse Indonesia’s economic development by supporting entrepreneurship. They (the non-profit) also run a business incubator which incubate startups or early-stage entrepreneurs. It’s a foreign idea in Indonesia but it’s growing huge and vast in our neighboring country, Singapore.
Why am I thankful? I was lucky to get an internship there, my colleagues were smart, idealist, and creative young people with a drive and purpose to help others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Even the Executive Director is not 30 yet, but she already graduated and got a Master from Columbia University. How cool is that? Plus point is I got to meet a lot of young entrepreneurs and it really inspires me how hardworking they are, how they aim not just to gain profit from their business but create a disruptive impact in people’s life.
2. Finished my Undergraduate Thesis after 9 months of struggling from September 2013 to July 2014.
I wrote a thesis about South Korea’s public diplomacy strategy and the implementation in Southeast Asia. What was the problem, how come it took me so long? Believe me or not my problem was I had too much data. Yes, yes, yes, I wasn’t lacking in data but I had too much that it confused me how to put it in order. My thesis was not an “intellectual” thesis because I didn’t need to analyse things or create a theory but it still drove me to the edge of crazy. I won’t forget those time of years when I reversed my sleeping pattern by staying up at nights and sleeping all day long. Those time of years when I hopped from one coffee shop to another coffee shop in Yogyakarta to find the most comfortable place (preferably with a super-fast wifi) to finish my thesis. I won’t forget the dejected feeling of being refused over and over and over again by my thesis counsellor and thinking that I was half-witted and probably won’t ever finish my thesis.
Why am I thankful? I got to write something I’m very passionate about and though the reason behind it is rather silly for some people, it was one of the greatest thing in the world to write and do something you’re passionate about. People thought I would write thesis about United States of America or Latin America, they questioned me when I wrote about S.Korea and thought that I was being silly for writing about a country just because I’m hopelessly devoted to a S.Korea’s girl group. But I felt good because along the way I don’t just fall in love with SNSD as a girl group, I fall in love with South Korea as a nation. And I do not fall in love for their facade or beauty, I fall in love with their nation ethics and courage and moral value. I fall in love with how they rose up from the brink of poverty to one of the most powerful country in Asia. S.Korea is the Jay Gatsby of nations in the world. More to why I’m thankful is of course had anything to do with my thesis counsellor. Mrs. PSW is an incredible lecturer, she’s still young but she holds a Phd. and two master degrees (one from Korea and one from LSE, YES THAT LSE). She’s a stern counsellor which paid attention to a lot of details in my thesis but I was driven by my a motivation to impress her. I wasn’t an impressive student but having her as thesis counsellor drove my desire to conquer something which was to be one of the student she successfuly guided in writing a thesis. 9 months worth of sweaty palms every time I knocked at her office door.
3. Graduated from Universitas Gadjah Mada in August 2014 with my remaining best friends.
3 years and 10 months of incredible and full of life-lesson journey in Yogyakarta came to an end and I finally graduated as a Bachelor of Arts of UGM International Relations major. Just so you know, I have a delicate and small social circle in which almost all of them have already graduated, leaving me with two others helpless soul. There were only three of us and I was the last one who did a thesis defence. I shared nights and days of misery and desolation with both of them and I don’t even need to say why I’m so thankful to be able to graduated along with them. Plus points were both my sisters and my mother can come to my graduation and my sobi returned from South Korea just in time for our graduation. Another think that I’m thankful of was I got to celebrate a graduation dinner with all the people who played important part during my college years. Thank you for years of story dear friends. Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro – One who find friends, find a treasure.
4. Visited the place I’ve been dreaming of for years.
My childhood was filled with three things: Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and video games (a.k.a. Harvest Moon and The Sims). No I did not visit platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross but I did get to visit
During an annual family trip this year, my Mother decided to choose New Zealand because my sister used to study there and during her study she was taken care of by a friend of my Father and Uncle. Both of them, Pat and Billy, were too old to travel, so we decided to visit them down there. As I’m typing this, I could vividly recall how the blustery wind of Wellington shook of the plane and I felt like I was riding a ride in a playground. I could smell the mouth-watering roasted chickens and freshly baked bread from Billy’s oven in their house. I could hear the sound of nature, the breezing wind, the sound of leaves falling from the tree, the water from a running creek. New Zealand was beyond beautiful, I always sound too exaggerating when trying to explain it to people. But the right word to explain the beauty of their landscape would be “majestic” although in the end even the word majestic can even do justice to their beauty. What sets New Zealand apart from other countries I’ve visited? Well I guess because New Zealand’s beauty lies in its’ dramatic landscape and wonderful nature and those things are not man-made, it’s a creation by the Divine. Upon stepping to this country I feel like stepping into one of God most beautiful painting. I was so mesmerised by its’ beauty I was thinking to live there and who knows if God be kind enough to let me live there. New Zealand is the place where I could feel like home even when I was thousand miles away from it.
And as I came home from New Zealand, I came home to the end of another blessed years. I’ll see you one year from now another “Yearly Journal”.