It’s the year of living anywhere.
Alright, let’s kick off the year of 2022 by first writing about my annual kaleidoscope – The Year of 2021, here we go!
1. Got my Covid-19 – February 2021
It was just the beginning of the year but I got infected with the Covid-19 and ended up self-isolating for over a month in my favorite city. Although it sounds horrible but it actually turned out as one of the best month, since I got to spend some time living together with my partner again. Before this, we rarely had time to meet each other since we are on a long-distance relationship.
I lost my smell for around three days and it was painfully scary because I didn’t know if it’s gonna come back – and knowing my relationship with food, I’ll be damned if I cannot smell or taste anything in my life. So, February is kinda like “college years” all over again – me working from the apartment and him with his own thing. We spent every night talking, cooking, watching our favorite TV series (New Amsterdam, by the way, is DABEST!), cuddling with the blanket, and debating over whose turn is it to wash the dishes. On the weekends or when I don’t have too much things going on, we’d go to try some of our favorite cafes in Bandung, reading books together, or visiting some new places. I just love it so much.
And oh, we definitely fell in love again with the city that witnessed our first encounter 10 years ago. We made a pledge to work really hard so that we can make a decent living and move there.
2. Spend a Month in Pontianak – Apr 2021
After spending a month self-isolating in Bandung, I returned to Jakarta for a week, before decided to go back to Bandung again for some weeks. I rented a green bike that I used for circling around Bandung. But Bandung is never dull, it’s a place I will always find myself returning to.
And then, I visited my partner in Pontianak and worked from there for a month. But the work is crazy, so most of the days I’m glued to my laptop and only have time for some dinner & movie afterwards. Nevertheless, it was nice, I get to spend time with my partner for a long time. Usually we only have a week for ourselves before doing the LDR thing again.
3. Work from Bali – May-Aug 2021
This one is definitely a highlight of the year – or even, my life! Hahaha. Really though, I never thought that I would be able to live and work from Bali for 2-3 months, all alone. It all started with attending my best friend’s wedding. But then I thought, why wouldn’t give it a shot while the opportunity presents itself? So there I am, staying in a monthly hotel that I’d found in Tiktok, and oh well, BALI LYFE IS AMAZING!!
I didn’t hold back, really. I try everything that I’ve always wanted, eating gelato and frozen yoghurt as much as I want, spending my weekends reading books on the beach or in a quaint coffee shop. When I got up early, I went to Braud bakery and had some amazing croissant ham & cheese, before starting the work days. Whenever I could, I always spend the afternoon chasing sunsets, even if it’s just 1 hour or two.
The government had imposed a mobility restriction for 1-2 weeks due to the peaking covid’s case. To avoid that, I ran away to Ubud and stayed in one of the most underrated hotel, Artini Dijiwa. It was *chef’s kiss* – so so peaceful, serene, and close with the nature. I couldn’t stand but to swim once or twice every day, just because the pool is extremely beautiful. I ate dozens of babi guling, my favorite! I walked, A LOT, because Bali is too nice and walking is kinda therapeutical for me too.
Believe it or not, when in Bali, I could finally get into the habit of working out 3-4 times a week. Ah, really though, I was like a kid in a candy store. I felt so free, and content, and happy, when in Bali. But of course, it comes with a (roaring) cost! HAHAHAHA. Nah, still, it’s worth it though. One look at the beautiful sunset at Seminyak and I’m sold.
4. Got My Dad into Surgery and Vaccination Aug-Sept 2021
Since my dad is having more difficulties seeing (due to diabetic retinoplatic), I decided to come home and take care of him for a while. Two months in my own home, I was focused on getting my dad vaccinated for the Covid-19. And then, the next step is to take him to the eye doctor to have a surgery, so that at least they could get ahold of his internal bleeding on the eye. Trust me kid, there is some kind of sadness that you could only feel when taking your old’ man to the doctor. Not to sound disrespectful, but I just felt sad knowing that my dad – who used to be the rock of the family – now looks so vulnerable.
It’s right what they said: you’re so busy growing up, you forget that your parents are growing old. So I couldn’t be a little girl anymore. I need to step up and become an adult, I need to take care of things and spend as much time as possible with my loved ones – while they’re here.
5. Launch the Unicorn Status for Xendit – Sept 2021
Did you know that Indonesia currently has 11 unicorn startup (over >1 billion USD valuation)? And I am beyond excited to be able to assist Xendit, my client, for the launch of their unicorn status back on Sept 2021. I truly believe that they would grow even more rapidly in the years to come, because they’re helmed by credible, good, smart people. It also marked as one of the highlights in my career as a PR professional. It was so fun!
6. Staycation with My Dad’s Family – Sept 2021
Because my dad is living so far away from his extended family, so my cousins and I rarely meet with each other. However, on June 2021, we lost a beloved uncle who is truly the best person we’ve ever known, and somehow it got us closer. It kinda taught us to nevet take things for granted and we want to spend as much time with our loved ones before they’re gone.
It had been years since I met with my dad’s big family, but we all turned out to be getting along so well. Maybe because we are closer in age, but maybe it’s also because we are all eccentric and very “yaudahlah hidup jangan dibawa susah”. I really had fun spending time with them, talking about everything. And my parents predictably had fun, because they got to play with my cousin’s little baby. Hope to get more quality time like this!
7. Got Nominated into Southeast Asia’s Women of the Future Awards – Oct 2021
Oh, I never saw this one coming. One day, someone from the committee asked me to fill out some details about my professional career and the Hunger Bank, and long story short – I was nominated for the awards. It was a really great opportunity to meet with young female leaders across all sectors in Southeast Asia. It reminded me again of all exciting events I got to attend when I was still in college. And definitely, it serves as a motivation to keep improving in my own path, and becoming the best version of myself.
8. Living in My Friend’s House – Nov 2021
Wow, this year I finally knew what it’s like to have a roommate! Although, actually we’re not a roommate, it’s more like I stay in my friend’s house for over a month in Jakarta – just because it’s too costly and too much hassle to rent a room for a short amount of time. But I gotta stay, it was very fun!
Since she is also a colleague, so we got to work together side by side, and then talk about all the random things, from relationship, family, etc. Every time we need to discuss something, we just need to knock each other’s door. Now I know why roommates could become like a family (like in the FRIENDS series), because they do become our confidante and our closest friends while living together. I also third-wheeling my friend and her fiance all the time LOL.
Not to mention, my friend has a really really cute poodle called “Noodle”! And Noodle, no matter how naughty he sometimes is, becomes our stress relievers. When I was stressed out or burning out, I just took some time to play and cuddle with Noodle, and life seems okay again. HAHAHA. Cannot wait to have a dog on my own, I will love it so much!
9. Spent a Month in Bandung – Nov 2021
Since the workload is not too hectic anymore, I decided to go back to Bandung again and had the very best time! I just love everything about Bandung. I think it’s the only city that has that much impact on me, in short, Bandung truly brings the best in me. You know I’m not a morning person, but in Bandung, I’m willingly wake up at 7 or 8 in the morning, just to have the chance to start the day right.
I feel more energetic, more enthusiastic, more friendly towards other people, more hopeful of the future. I mean, I don’t know if it’s just me but have you felt it too, when you’re right in the city where you belong? <3
10. Got my Medical Check-up – Nov 2021
It’s pretty scary to do a medical check-up, actually. But it’s something that I wanna do, to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with my body – especially because a lot of my family got diabetes. So it’s one of my biggest nightmares, it haunts me really deeply.
Thankfully, it was all okay. I just have a lower-than-average hemoglobin – and it has always been that way, for some reason. Because of that, I couldn’t donate my blood to other people, which is very unfortunate because I’ve been wanting to for quite some time. But the rest is all okay, just my cholesterol is on the higher end, so need to cut my daily intake of fatty food. HAHA.
11. Faced My Nightmare – Dec 2021
December was full of terror. My dad got an open wound in his feet fingers, but he didn’t want to do anything about it. I got into a fight with him, convincing him that it’s the right thing to do. If not, then the infection would spread and it might harm the entire leg instead of just a finger. He didn’t listen to me and I got so mad over how stubborn he is.
Long story short, my dad tried an alternative treatment but it still didn’t work. It just got worse and worse, and they had to cut 2 fingers of his. And then, all of a sudden, my dad’s health dropped and his HB is just 4.6 (the normal rate for adult male is 12-15). All I could say is that it was the scariest 3 days of my life. I just kept praying for him to get better, and I felt so lost and powerless. I hated seeing my father like that, but I knew he’s also not that young anymore. It really was an eye-opening period, that it’s time for me to become the adult of the family and take care of my aging parents.
After a very stressful period, I could say that my dad is getting better now and recovering well at home. In fact, he’s downstairs sleeping while I’m writing this kaleidoscope. There’s nothing I could be more grateful of. Health is really crucial, and we only miss it when it’s not there anymore. Whoever you are, wherever you are, take care of your health. It’s your most expensive, most important, and the longest investment for yourself, by yourself.
As the subtitle goes: 2021 is the year of living anywhere! And as a person who loves her freedom too much, it feels really liberating – to be able to move whenever I need, wherever I feel like it. The WFH setting in my office helped me achieve a better quality of life, somehow, and it made me more productive, as well. So – not looking forward to get back to office soon!
The year of 2022 will be even more amazing, I believe so, and I will work my best to make it so. I will keep improving, keep learning, keep trying new things. Cheers for a marvellous year ahead of us!