Happy August, everyone!
It’s been a while since I introduced a new segment on this blog, is it? With the first month of the second half of 2016 gone by, I thought I’d introduce a new category on the blog called “Month in Review”. This category will essentially be filled with my recap of the previous month with several content I’ve never published before along with links to my month’s worth of posts.
Anyway, July 2016 was easily one of my busiest months this year even though I didn’t travel. There was a lot of projects to be completed throughout the month with a week-long break (which I entirely spent having lazy days) and finals at the end of the month. But the things I was actually busy with were the ones that turned out to give me a lot of things to look back on. Here are some of my highlights this month.
Places I visited
That’s it really. Like I said earlier, there wasn’t much traveling in July with all the projects I had to manage. The only remotely exciting part of the month was visiting Jakarta Fair 2016 for an assignment.
- Spending a day with street children. This was actually a campus charity event which I was trusted to lead and it gave me a lot to walk away with. For starters, the event preparation took almost 3 months with delays, and draining conflicts with higher-ups. It rained cats and dogs during the event and I was so tense during the event that I didn’t really get to talk with any of the kids until it was over. But after the event, the kids decided they wanted to play some music and it was very rewarding to let loose and just dance around with them. I also had the loveliest conversations with some of the kids about their dreams and their outlook on life.
- Finishing freshman year of university. HALLELUJAH! My first year in university finally reached its end last Thursday and I’m just thankful that it’s done no matter what my GPA will look like at the end of the year. It is such a joy to have three weeks of no weekly papers, no weekly presentations, no research, no reading, no exams until we get the ball rolling again for sophomore year.
- Finishing a three-month editing/writing job for an on-campus magazine. I was blessed to have a really awesome team for this project and we worked well together at a good pace. There wasn’t too much external intervention or agendas involved here as well and in spite of some minor setbacks here and there, I’m grateful that my team and I were allowed to write what we wanted the way we wanted to.
- Driving around the part of the city we grew up in with my best friends. I met up with some of my best friends from junior high this month and we went on a rather impulsive adventure around the part of the city we grew up in which ended with driving after sunset and pointing out changes that have happened in the area. To be reminded that I have friends who have constantly stuck with me even when a lot of things have changed was a much-needed thing this month.
- Majorly screwing up my work-life balance. Work-life balance has always been a huge issue for me since senior high and I was slapped with a reminder of how much I have a tendency to overwork myself throughout the month when my sister said angrily at me when we had dinner together that I was always busy and always cancelled plans to hang out with her in the end. Looking back at the month, I honestly have no idea how I didn’t had a major meltdown after losing so much sleep and being under so much pressure. The next three weeks will involve a lot of getting into a much healthier mindset of being content without chasing after everything.
Photo of the Month
I took this photo during Jakarta Fair 2016. While everyone else was going through sales racks and shopping, I decided to hang out near the entrance to the performers’ changing rooms after their parade to capture the performers making their way back to the changing rooms and their expressions. This woman played one of the princesses who walked around the fair area smiling and waving at the crowd. As she was walking back to grab some water, I saw a lot of guys started to whistle and call her inappropriately. Her facial expression speaks volumes of how that makes her uncomfortable and she doesn’t like that – an expression that I thought represents all women’s reactions at being catcalled. This photo tells a lot of stories about how she must be feeling and is my absolute favorite photo in July because of that.
I first heard this song in F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo’s Instagram video and thought “hey, that sounds good!” Bits of the song got stuck in my head for a while and I decided to listen to the entire thing and look up its lyrics. Guess who got hit by the feels train after that. It’s such a lovely song that perfectly sums up what the entire freshman year feels like for me – trying to figure out life while missing old friends and pre-university life as well as living away from home and being homesick from time to time. Closing off freshman year with this song played quite a lot gave me a hindsight at how much things have changed within a year and it’s completely okay to still miss the previous part of my life every now and then.
If you’re just starting university this year, give this song a listen. They understand what you’re going through.
This Month’s Posts
- Flowers and Guns – A Story from Dusun Bambu — My experience in firing a gun for the first time and my review of one of the favorite spots for Jakarta people when they visit Bandung.
- An Adventure on Jakarta’s Commuter Line — A very eventful recap of my first time on Jakarta’s commuter line with tips for anyone looking to board it.
- Mary’s Bucket List — Top 15 places I want to visit and things I want to do in life, a lot of which you may not expect.