WARNING: Don’t read unless you have an enormous patience for grammar mistakes and wrong spelling and colloquial language. I was moody and grumpy and tired when I wrote this so a lot might not make sense. Sorry!
I’m back! And as promised here the posts informing the interested ones among you what I’ve been up to (I actually said what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months but I figured a reflection on the whole last year would be just as good). About some of the mentioned experiences and happenings I’ll probably post something more detailed sometime so I just talk about them briefly.
First the good things that happened to me (I was actually surprised that there were more than 5 bullet points on my list):
1. This May the Mia Patria Choir (MPC) from Jakarta, Indonesia has come to Switzerland during their Europe tour! The MPC is basically a professional catholic choir from Indonesia singing and playing music partly for services (then church music) and for shows (traditional Indonesian music). Their coming to Switzerland was my personal highlight of 2012: I’ve never felt so truly, satisfyingly happy before or after meeting them.
My family and a lot of other family friends spent with them 2 amazing weekends – my family was among the most active because my mother was part of the organizational committee and therefore we practically went to all their shows and had to stay the night nearby (when they had concerts at two close places which were far away from our home town).
During that time I had the chance to meet amazing, lovable people from my home country and being surrounded by Indonesian culture and music and food got me on such a high like never before. I was part of the photographing team (I was ‘appointed’ by my mum) and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. A lot of our family friends take photographs in their free time too, and having all those more experienced photographers around was wonderful and extremely beneficial – at times I felt like an apprentice learning from masters.
I won’t say more though; I want to recommend them and their music in a post later this year.
2. + 3. I bought myself a new camera! I’m still so excited by looking at it and getting all giddy inside…. don’t ask. I’m weird. But yes, this is the second highlight of my year and it’s – I actually have told you that already but it’s so worth repeating – a Canon EOS 550D and it’s my biggest treasure and I love it and I’m so satisfied with it. I’ve saved money for a camera for such a long time and I still can’t believe that I finally did it.
I’m not that proficient in handling it yet but I’ve realised that slowly, I’m making small progresses along the way and I’m very happy with the way things are at the moment. (Wow, how eloquent of me.) I started out mostly shooting in half-automatic mode and a couple of months ago I finally began to take photos in the manual mode. It was frightening at the beginning and I often confused one setting with the other but I’m making less and lesser mistakes now.
Coupled with this event is actually a recent one: I got a brand new, only-for-me-to-use 1TB hard disk from my dad! Yay! You probably never thought that a 17-year-old girl could get that excited over a hard disk but I can. I am. I’ve been hijacking my dad’s own hard disk for far too long and my photo archive is getting bigger and messier every day. It’s actually a win-win situation: My day gets his own hard disk back and I finally found a place large enough to contain my photos. The negative side was the many hours that I spent sorting out new files and old files I had next to my photos and the many more hours I spent on categorizing and sorting out my photo archive. It’s finally done though and I’m super, super happy.
And because I have an actually organized archive now it’s so much easier to look for photos for my blogs… which is awesome for me and awesome for you.
4. I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2012! I set up a goal of reading 30 books last year which I eventually and very narrowly only managed because of all the school books we had to read. Thanks, school! You are useful for something after all.
5. I got to travel to amazing places! There was Sicily with our school choir this spring and then my Singapore-Indonesia-tour this summer (I’ll post about both.) of which the latter was even more amazing because I got to see my cousins and my grandmother and the whole extended family again. I didn’t always felt at ease there (my ‘condition’ unfortunately didn’t vanish for summer holidays) but it definitely felt like home and like heaven and at the end of the summer I looked back with good memories in my mind.
6. This autumn/winter highlight was the Florence + The Machine (FATM) concert which I attended with a couple of friends. FATM has always been one of my favourite bands ever since I discovered them but I think that after the concert they started to play an even more important role in my life. Especially Florence Welch, as lively and energetic and creative as she is, has always been an inspiration to me and thus seeing her live on stage got me on a high shortly before the concert, during the concert and shortly after the concert. Doesn’t seem like much but these days I’m craving for even the smallest bits and pieces of happiness.
7. Last but not least – I finished my final paper! Yay! I first didn’t know if I should put it in the positive or negative list because it’s been so much work. And with ‘much’ I mean enormously, life-consumingly much. I swear, I don’t think I could ever describe the amount of hours I worked on it properly and the endless frustration that came with it (especially since you didn’t need 95% of the painfully patiently collected research material in the end anyway). Eventually, after about 9 months researching and working and frustrating on it and pulling some all-nighters for last corrections I managed to write a 60 (65?) pages long paper (with appendix though). I don’t even want to think of having to do that on a regular basis in university next year…
Looking back it does seem like I had a good year but I probably should show the other side, too:
1. We moved house. And it’s painful to think about it and I admit I still wouldn’t feel slightly at home if it weren’t for the fact that my family lives here too but I guess it will take another couple of years for me to accept this place as my new home. (It’s only a couple of houses down the street but it feels like a completely different world.) I don’t know if I’m ever going to write about this experience (and I tried a couple of times, believe me) but I do know now that you can shed a gazillion tears for an old, wooden table. Or for a bedstead. Or for a white wall.
2. At the beginning of the year I actually started to count the times that I hung out with my best friend. We both have very different schedules and other people in our lives too, so that for a couple of years we haven’t been able to see each other as much as we’d like; but I don’t think it has reached such an all-time-low as last year. And that was the year I was counting and actually could improve the whole situation by communicating more with her (we both are also non-texters…) but I just don’t know – every time I felt like I could do something with her I was way too tired for any kind of interaction or communication, especially with human beings that I know. And I should probably receive the ‘worst friend award’ for this, I know, but at so many days I felt so incredibly tired and at a lack of energy.
It wasn’t even always the physical energy but more of an inner one, you know what I mean? I generally get frustrated with other people so easily and it always takes me a lot of this inner energy to interact with basically anyone. This year my energy has been needed at other places too, so I guess that friends were somewhere near the bottom of my priority list. (It sounds rude but it’s true and I wish I could find a nicer way to phrase it.)
Moreover, we both, my best friend and I, are very relaxed about our relationship. I won’t say that this lack of time together doesn’t have its effect – because it does. It does so heavily, and when I once used to know so many facts about her, I’d be glad if I can get 5 things right about her nowadays. Lack of intimacy has caused a change in the superficial part of our relationship which revolves around the momentary well-being and preferences of the other. But the essence of our friendship, the core of it and what has brought and kept us together for all these years – that hasn’t changed and, I hope, will never change.
The problem that we both know this leads in me (I’m not 100% sure about her) sort of taking this friendship for granted, which, I know, I never ever should do. And I hate it but I can’t help it and I don’t know how to fight it and it doesn’t occupy my mind as much as it should these days. I guess, I can only hope (and work on it!) that this year our friendship will get much more intimate again.
3. And last about my ‘condition’ (I have to find a better name for it): I don’t know how eloquent and articulate I’m going to be (probably not at all) because I’m not used to writing about it – and I’m still not 100% ready for writing about it – but I’m going to try to describe the general state of this year in a couple of sentences. (I’ll write a couple more posts about it later this year.)
I actually thought for a long time that at the beginning of last year I experienced the peak of my ‘condition’. It was quite dramatic then, I guess, because I showed it like never before (and I was never supposed to show it). I don’t know how many people noticed, if anyone has noticed but I felt pretty naked and exposed at that time, especially because so many things coincided then and I was overwhelmed by the gigantic pile of emotions I had on a weekly basis. But then this autumn/winter happened. I already told a couple of people (not that there are many who know about this personally, so ‘a couple’ = max. 3) that I was bettering and it’s going upwards and whatnot but I didn’t realise that I experienced a new aspect of my ‘condition’. Looking at it, I think that you could compare spring 2012 to a raging storm because then I was the loudest; but this winter seems more to be of the ‘horrendous aftermath/possible build-up for another storm’-silence kind because my anxiety etc. more often than not expressed itself in physical pressure I feel (and leads over then to mental pressure) than in outbursts as it did once.
And I should probably elaborate and explain more but it hurts to think about it and it’s giving me a headache on top of it all. So I’ll just stop writing here until I find enough courage again to continue.
All in all (and I might elaborate here more on a separate post) if there’s a lesson I learned in 2012 than it’s this: Patience is a virtue. Don’t rush into things. Be patient. (Because waiting for a better state is painful and after a long time of anxiety you tend to rush into positive things the moment you get a glimpse of them.)
Dear followers and readers
As mentioned in my previous post I’ve been very busy (as usual, actually) and hardly had time to post anything on this blog. Last week was, in fact, the very first week I didn’t have to worry about anything and I took time off to relax and recharge. Some of you who might know this blog from its very beginning know that around this time I post a lot since it’s Christmas time and New Years Eve and this blog’s birthday. But I deliberately took time off from writing here as well, since (bloggers probably know, non-bloggers probably not) it always takes a lot of time to prepare a post and for me, being a self-conscious introvert, it also takes a lot of ‘energy’ and a little bit of ‘courage’ to share something of mine with you all.
Especially with my inconsistent blogging I’m always wondering how and if your responses to my text posts and my photos change over time or if you expect something from me (and then what).
I actually started this blog just to write for myself – the thought that I might get followers never really occurred to me – and now I’m trying to find a balance between self-expression and meeting your expectations. I’m a person who, at times, gets rid of things in my system by writing. I’m fully aware that more than half of you follow and read this blog for the photos that I post (I guess visually inviting posts will always attract people more) but I need this space here for my writing as well.
This summer I’ve learned in an Economy workshop project of my school that in a market you, as a company, only have a chance of survival if you have a clear concept. Transferred to the blogosphere, this means that WordPress is the market and my blog is my company. And if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ll surely have noticed that I have no concept whatsoever. It’s basically a gigantic mess consisting of teenage angst, rambling, observations, photo posts, music posts etc. around here.
That you all, after two years, still follow me and accept all the sides of this blog is an incredible honour for me. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you have shown me in the last two years, the encouraging words and the fond comments. The many, many likes that I got for my posts. That I get the honour of being linked on some blogs, of being recommended to other people, is the biggest gift I ever received since I started blogging and it makes me super teary and thankful when I think about it. The professionals among you might think that it’s nothing but your appreciation for my work is something I’ve never dared to dream of and now have so generously (and surprisingly) received.
All in all, thank you so much for sticking with me and I’ll hope we can go this road together for at least two more years. Cheers!
PS: I’ll be away now until the second of January. From then on, I’ll post a text about what I’ve been up to the last couple of months and (hopefully) another one about my personal experiences with introversion and how it has influenced me and my life. Also, I’ll probably queue some posts for my photo blog, so if you’re interested for photos – wait for me there!
Time’s flying by too fast. While in this virtual world I’m as slow as some snail (due to my lack of posting), in reality, time’s running away. It seems just like yesterday that my holiday ended, but actually it’s already been four weeks. On Thursday I think “yesterday was Monday” only to realize that the next day’s Friday. Nothing’s in the right time and place, and I feel as if I’m constantly lagging behind time. In a few weeks are spring holidays and then our home economics course for three weeks, and then soon afterwards summer holidays, and then 5th grade starts and I’m already thinking about topics for my final paper. Especially right now, seeing the current fifth graders hanging up their little papers with their ideas for their final papers makes me think of what I want from life.
I’m not a first grader anymore, letting time pass by and destiny decide of what I’ll be doing in the future. No, decisions are awaiting me soon. And with every year, every holiday they’re getting bigger and bigger. What do I want from life? I don’t have a clue. It seems so unfair. How am I supposed to know it with 16? There are just a few people I know who have already determined their profession after school. So confident in what they’re going to study. How can they trust us all at the age of 18 to make the right decisions? To make decisions this big? Are we already ready for it? We’ll see. But I’m 16 now and next year 17 and the year after next 18 and – you know – maybe it’d be good if I’m already thinking about the future. At least a bit. Because there’s this pressure that somehow, between school and friends and family, I won’t be able to think about it much.
And this thinking, this whole thinking is scaring me. Scaring me shitless. But at the same time this whole mess in my head is turning me into some dull, uninspired, lazy person instead. So I can suppress those thoughts. And maybe it’s the warm spring sun, maybe it’s my leaning towards nostalgia, but lately I’m daydreaming a lot, sitting in the sun, just doing nothing. Nothing relevant at all. And when I remember my current concerns, I feel like the biggest fool in the world to just spend time with daydreaming. And here, here we have the reason why I haven’t written for so long. I guess, I had just to figure out some stuff. Like, my life. My wishes. Myself.
Starting with easy questions like “Is the spring sun really making me lazy?” to harder ones like “Should I really think about my future subjects at college already now?”
And you know what my conclusion is? That in the end, it’s not that important. I mean, I still have 2 years to figure it out. And it’d be good if I knew what I’ll be doing in two years. Or at least have some ideas. But it’s not tragic if I don’t know it yet, either. And maybe this is so completely stupid (and tragic) that I refer to the twilight saga movies, but remember in Eclipse? When Jessica made this graduation speech and said that now, after their graduation is the time for doing all the mistakes, all the wrong decisions in your life? Well, it feels like now is the time for me to do so. A few years ago my biggest wish was to grow up as fast as possible. To become a famous shooting star or a life-saving doctor or a genial architect. But right now, I wish I could go back to 6 years ago. My biggest wish now is just to lie down on the grass with nothing on my mind but pure contentedness. And maybe this lying down and taking life slow is a mistake. Maybe it’s a mistake, but at the same time, it may be alright. It may be totally all right. Because it’s what we humans do after all, isn’t it?
We make mistakes. Then we learn from our mistakes. And finally, we do it right. All right.
Oh-oh. I’m still pretty shocked. Me, the maybe one girl in this world being totally anti-romantic and anti-roses and anti-pet-names and anti-sunset-walks found her romantic side. Scary, really. (Don’t laugh, please, it is really scary for me.)
You want to know how? Well as a Christmas present, my sister and me, we got an invitation for going to the cinema with two acquaintance of ours. That’s nice of course, only that one of those two nice girls is only 8 at the moment. And so the selection of the film was pretty much limited. After a long discussion (in which both sides didn’t want to choose because of being afraid to hurt the other side’s film taste) there were two options left: Tangled (the new Disney version of Rapunzel) and Yogi Bear. (Don’t even start to laugh.) After some more discussion we finally decided on Tangled (and yes, it has also something to do with the 3-d effects, which this film contains).
And you know what? This film is still typically pretty cheesy in spite of the nice special 3-d effects and the bit of slapstick, but it’s also somehow… cute? (It feels so wrong of me to say this. Ugh.) Rapunzel in this version is somehow a bit tougher and cooler than in the real fairytale. And a bit less naïve than other fairytale princesses (although I can’t remember the other ones well). And at some point of watching the film, when the thought of finding this film cute occurred to me, I realized that I’m able to be at least a bit romantic. I also have a romantic side like many girls in this world. Or maybe like almost every girl in this world. Oh. (Ah!!! So wrong, wrong of me to say this!!) Scary, isn’t it?
Being romantic was never something I approved. I’ve never seen the sense in calling each other pet names, because calling each other by the actual names has always been a sign of respect for me; it is much more personal and your name is appreciated in that way. For me it’s nicer to be called by my name then being “babed” or “darlinged”. Or Valentine’s Day. Shouldn’t you just appreciate each other everyday? And aren’t presents cuter if they come unexpected?
Well, that was it from me. Anyway, I’m not the one to say these things, having no experience and such. (But right now, I’m confused and one way to get “unconfused” is to write everything down.)
And as for slowly noticing my romantic traits although actually being an anti-romantic, I don’t have to give everything up right? I mean, I can still be anti-pet-names and still find lying under the stars cute, right? (Oh please tell me so, please, please, please.)
PS: And to complete all this romanticism stuff a song from the Tangled soundtrack. Haha.