It’s Thanksgivings in the United States, and I kind of miss eating turkey.
End of the year is approaching too.
But wherever you are in the world, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at what’s great about 2012 for you.
Let me share how it’s been treating me (and what has made my days).
1. I’m a college graduate. 2012 has officially marked the final year I’m ever going to be told around what to do without pay. Okay, that’s a very negative way to look at it – but I consider myself a lifelong learner, and I think the things you learn in school, no matter how difficult your studies are, doesn’t compare to the life skills you have to equip yourself for the real world.
I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as
they are looking for the experience of being alive.
- Joseph Campbell
2. I’ve made my parents proud. See above.
3. I’m stuck in a quarter-life crisis. In three months, I will turn 23. I have spent five years in college, three of which I’ve started to dip into this crisis of constantly asking myself, “Who am I?” and “What do you do?” I’ve gone through many severely depressive states and conquered many suicidal thoughts along the way, sacrificing my health and my relationships with the people I love – all these just to find the ultimate purpose in life. Alas, little do I know that I’m not alone in this crisis. Gen Ys from rest of the world are on their own journeys of self-discovery too. The only way we can all go through this is to stop worrying and do something you can do now, rather than look back in the years and still questioning yourself where the heck you are.
4. I’m multi-passionate. I have a professional degree in art. I love to write. I love discovering new recipes and great restaurants. Most of the time in my college life, I’ve always thought being a multi-passionate millennial is a double-edged sword. It’s a gift and a curse. I chose to think of it as a curse. The worst part happens when you’ve promised yourself to do a project, and you didn’t finish. You start to lose focus, and later, you give up doing anything at all. But passion drives – it is a natural force in you. Even if you want to, you don’t have the power to let it go. Don’t let your past mistakes haunt you back today, just as I am disciplining yourself to manage one thing at a time. I believe there’s a reason behind why each and every one of us are endowed with unique gift(s), so own it. You were born with it.
5. I’m still curious. Have always been, probably will always be. The probing question those three fateful years I’ve spent in an art college was this: “Are you really going to do this for the rest of your life?” Horrified with my immediate answer (it was an immediate “NO!”), I started to re-examine why I went there in the first place. I’ve always drawn since I was a kid. I’ve always written essays since I moved to Singapore and learned the English language. I grew fascinated by it. Over time I grew a crazy obsession with reading. Sometimes I just want to know; sometimes I’m just curious. Other times I want to learn how to write better. Now I write stronger, faster, and better than I draw (even though pictures come to mind first rather than words). One extra year spent on ruminating my worries upon graduation; but I never regret asking myself that question.
6. Fifty Shades of Grey. Okay, it may be mommy porn, and I admit literary-wise it sucked. But give the woman a break – how many times can you beautifully describe an orgasm? Well, I can’t, because I’m a celibate. I respect her courage to follow her passion for writing. Now I’m lying if I said I’ve never watched real porn before, but E. L. James masterpiece has opened doors – plenty of creative doors – to imagine how I would fulfill my deepest needs to wholly, pleasurably, submissively satisfy my loving future husband.
7. Loving boyfriend. Someone to whom I can never satisfy enough and who makes me fall, drunken, and crazy in love, yet feel like a better person everyday. It’s been more than a year since the first time we met, and I know it’s a cliche to say this, but it feels like we’ve known each other forever. Sometimes we think of the same things, even blurting the same words at the same time. Sometimes I just want to slap him and he wants to grab me in angst, but most of the time we hold each other, every time around it’s tighter and stronger. I’m cold, he’s warm. I frown, he smiles. I love pigs, he eats pigs. Up to this day, I still don’t get why he chose me; I can only feel blessed I am chosen.
8. Chocolates. ‘Nuff said.
9. Flowers. Each flower represents something. Each bouquet of flowers speak a thousand meaningful words. They’re all different, but they’re all beautiful.
11. I went to Twin Peaks with a boyfriend. Even though I’ve spent more than five years in San Francisco and have visited Twin Peaks a couple of times, I’ve always refused to get out of the car because a) I was single and b) I’m saving the breathtaking moment until I have a boyfriend. 2012 has made it happen.
12. I no longer race alone.
13. Lost weight. Funny how the harder you try to do things, the more difficult it gets. When you let it go, the weight wears off. Some may think I’m too thin these days, but that’s the way my body has always been most of my life. Ever since I moved to the United States, I gained a total of 8kg. Then I lost it all due to a newfound respect and responsibility for my own health – from where I developed the love of running and also maintained myself as a single fighter for about four years. It was these years that I meet men of all kinds I didn’t want to be with, discovered what kind of man I want to be with, and worked my way up to improve myself to those standards. Because those standards are so high, I soon failed in my college life, in my personal life, in my family life, and so on. Regained the 8kg and went depressed. Stopped having menstruation for a year and almost gave up life. Then it happened: At that very moment you want to give up, you receive the very hope you need. I met my boyfriend in the summer of last year, and have progressively lost all those weight I regained, those extra emotional and physical baggages I no longer carry today.
14. I got to see my eldest brother after three years. He stayed in San Francisco for a couple of weeks. Because my brothers and I all live in different places at the same time (brother’s in Oregon, other brother was in Jakarta, and I was in San Francisco) and have always been that way, it’s difficult to remind yourself that you do actually have someone to talk to, people you can trust not to judge what you say and really care for you. Thank the Lord for modern technology.
15. The gorg yellow BCBG cut-out dress. Probably one of the best dresses I’ve owned and worn. P.S. I bought the grey tie for Stanley… Don’t even get me to Fifty Shades again.
16. The fact that I’m going to be here forever in Jakarta. For my faithful readers, I admire your patience with me during all those grueling months I’ve complained and complained about the mountains of assignments I think were burdensome. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but I faithfully crossed out one number a day ever since my last holiday back here in Jakarta. I remember it was about 200 days or so. Every single day while I was in San Francisco up till the day I arrive back to Jakarta for good, I counted. The countdown board on my wall was the only motivation to get up everyday, do a good job in school, and make everyday count. That’s the symptom of having your heart some place else in the world but physically you’re in a different continent. Now that I’m here, despite the mosquitoes and just the sheer amount of bad things happening in my country everyday (oddly the economy is doing very well), I feel great to be here; I belong.
17. God’s grace. Despite feeling that I don’t deserve any of the blessings I’ve listed so far, God is so good. Numerous times that I felt it’s so hard to obey his rules, especially loving people and loving myself the godly way, which is bigger than anything you can ever imagine. He has forgiven me and accepted me as who I am even before I was born, but very often I find it hard to forgive and accept myself just as I am – key signs of a perfectionist who only sees what’s wrong instead of doing what’s right. Despite so, I’m progressively feeling confident. Even though it’s a little progress, I’m beginning to learn how to let go of doubts and how to, simply, trust. Deep down I know there are many things that have shaped me this way; my fears, my insecurities, my anxiety. Anxiety, however, is also a decision. How I decide to live the coming year and beyond will be my way of paying that gratitude back for all the things I’m blessed with this year, last year, and every year I’ve existed since the day I was born.
Deep, I know.
After taking the time to put my gratitude down into words, I realized that there are an infinite number of things you can be grateful for at any given time.
Knowing that alone gives me confidence to move on to the next chapter of my life, and I encourage you to do the same with your list.
Now tell me your story. What are the things you’re grateful for this year? Has 2012 been a wonderful year for you?