Hopes and Fears is the title of the album that Keane released 11 years ago, a title that I would humbly borrow to describe how the year 2015 went by for me. 2015 was indeed about conquering my fears, but at the same time, about replacing my anxiety with hope. A lot of hope.
I began a long distance relationship.
I had never been a fan of long distance relationships. When I was in the university, I tried to endure one. It was not even “long distance” — it was only Jakarta – Bandung yet still my ex and I could not survive it.
My partner, who had proposed me just a couple of days before the new year’s, had to leave to Australia in January to pursue his graduate degree. I feared the LDR, well, we both did; but now the phase had passed, it turns out that we were and are able to go through it. It even made our relationship grows stronger than ever.
I traveled, quite far, with my best friends.
I travel a lot, but I have not been traveling that often with my friends. So, in February, my girlfriends and I made a trip to Japan as one of the bunch was residing in Tokyo. We only visited a couple of cities: Tokyo and Nagano; but it was one of the best trips I have ever made. Our bond grew tighter than ever, even after more than 12 years of friendship.
I quit my job.
I had to leave my job. Even though I had a hard time adjusting to the job at the very beginning, it turned out to be a pleasant experience. I loved my job. I also had a wonderful team, awesome colleagues and great bosses as my mentors. However, at that time, I had to choose between transferring to a new position or abandoning the job to learn more about social entrepreneurship in Germany (more about it later). So, I decided to leave, without losing the hope of going back to this great company one day. I still miss it until today.
I lived on my own for the first time.
A couple of days after my last day in the aforementioned company, I flew to Hamburg, Germany, to attend a fellowship programme on social entrepreneurship and innovation at The DO School. The programme lasts for one year, but I only had to stay in Germany for three months as the fellowship was going to be continued on an online basis. The trip became a life-changing experience. I, who had always been living with my parents since I was born, finally had the opportunity to live on my own for quite some time. I also met some of the greatest friends I have ever made — we practically became siblings since then. Living on my own in a city far away from home seemed scary at first, but I conquered it, and it felt wonderful. It was a truly amazing experience.
I published my first English book.
After 3 years, the manuscript that was born out of the experimental digital writing project Beats Apart found a home in POP publisher. September became the month when I finally published my first fiction book in 5 years, my first novel in 10 years (last one was Mint Chocolate Chips in 2005), and my first book that is written in English – ever. This gave me hope for the years that are about to come, gave me hope to keep on writing, and on.
I took the chance to go for an impromptu trip to New York City.
Long story — but I was invited to fly to New York City in October, one week before the event itself was going to take place. I had never been accustomed to fly so far with such a quick notice. Even more, it was only around two months before my wedding day was planned to take place (more about it, also later). I was afraid to say a ‘yes’, but I did, and it became an insanely remarkable trip. I conquered the big what if.
I got married.
Last, but definitely not least, I got married in December, just a couple of weeks before the year gets replaced by a new one. I have never thought that I would be married this young — I am not even 25 yet, but someone special convinced that I — that we can, and that it will lead us to be better together, and at the same time, become better individuals. Spending the year, I had a lot of fears and anxiety, especially with the fact that we had to spend the year apart. But, I think, I have conquered them and I was able to replace all my fears and anxiety with hope. Of happiness, of love, of wealth, and of togetherness.
I am now living on different terms, ready for an even more adventurous 2016 in another continent.
Ready for a 2016 that is full of discoveries: about myself, about him, about us, and about the world.
“Bitter and hardened heart; aching, waiting for life to start..”