If 2011 was the year of courage, revelations and self-fulfillment, my 2012 was the year of…
…experiments and explorations, full of spontaneity with a dash of serendipity.
This time last year, I was in Sydney, in time to ring in the New Years in a few days, with that spectacular Sydney fireworks display. It was the start of a very eventful three months stay. Everything was hazy then, for I didn’t know where I was heading this year. All I knew was, I needed more time to fulfil my curiosity, to see if my love for writing, travelling and photography would lead me somewhere.
And, they kind of have led me to where I wanted to be. Or…have they, really?
On Writing, Travelling and Photography: The Experiments
I got a few more articles published this year on the glossy magazines, including some travel related ones out of my time in Australia. Then there was the various technical writing jobs that kept me busy, including some that involved fashion and IT as subjects. What did I learn? Writing jobs that pay the bills, are not always that fun. At the end, it’s work and you don’t always have to like it. The difference is, freelancing allows you to pick the jobs you do like.
I got to travel more this year that I have ever been in a year, with trips to many new places in Indonesia such as Menjangan, Lombok, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Tanjung Lesung. Then there was the ultimate dream project of travelling around Indonesia with the International Travel Blogger, as part of the Indonesia Tourism promotion, to places such as Mount Bromo and Komodo National Park, and many more.
Not everything was rosy though. I started off Project 365 at the beginning of this year. While I still take photos and posting these on Instagram, Project 365 was neglected – it is currently posted up to Day 146. It takes a lot discipline to take not only photos, but also posting them. Somehow, in the midst of everything that was going on this year, I couldn’t find the time to keep at it, lost the motivation and stopped posting.
Then there was the strange relationship I had with my DSLR this year. While I still love taking photos with it, I found myself often neglecting it for iPhone – unless I was out on an assignment for an article. Not exactly a good move for someone who had wanted to improve her photography. I kick myself for slacking off on this, but eventually, I know I’ll pick up the camera again.
On Everything Else in Between: People, Uncertainty and Finding Balance
This year, I got to meet up with many of them for the first time, especially people I had previously interacted online. I like how Mike puts it here on his 2012 round-up post – “turning two-dimensional head shots into 3D I could sit and eat cake with.” Well, in my case, there were dinners in Jakarta, Singapore, Bali, and even all over Indonesia. It was a real pleasure meeting every one of you. For those I haven’t met, let’s do that soon.
There were also many low points in this year – moments where I felt I didn’t know what I was doing in this journey of discovery. Or when I had my heart broken. Or when I faced uncertainty and fear, that I felt my world was slipping away. To those people who have given me their helping hands, yes, even you whom I have yet to meet, thank you. You have no idea how grateful I am to have many of you in my life.
There were moments when I felt I wasn’t going anywhere this year, including when I struggled to write here. In the last few weeks, after 18 months of drifting along on this path, my head was noisy with questions. I was constantly restless – not just this last few weeks, but possibly for the last 18 months.
I confided to several friends on what I felt and as I approached Christmas, one day I got a big piece of paper and wrote down everything that was important to me. I wrote dreams that seem impossible right now. I list down everything that I wanted, not caring whether I will get them or not.
I wrote all my dreams and wishes that doing so, scared the hell out of me.
And as moments of clarity came through, on Christmas Day in fact, I realise that the people I often resented all this time, my family – my parents and siblings – were people who are important to me. More than I realised.
There were other things I discovered to be important for me, and I need to find balance for everything, and ultimately work towards that bigger picture.
So with that, I am going into 2013 with several options and plans. Plans that may work out or totally fail.
Well, I hope your 2012 has been a grand one, with lots of fulfillment. If you were out there exploring like me, I hope you found what you were looking for. If you haven’t, keep digging. The truth is, I am still not sure if I have found what I am looking for.
Thank you for reading and following my journey this year. Here’s hoping for a more exciting and fulfilling 2013 for all of us with more dreams and wishes to come true. Happy holidays!