Month in Review: September 2016

I can’t believe we’re already entering October. 2016 will be over in less than four months. Where the hell did time go?

This September, I actually spent the entire month without traveling anywhere at all. After my absolute mental breakdown in August (more details to follow because I do want to talk about it), I decided to stay away from traveling and photography for the entire month because my mind had turned them into my job instead of the things I loved. I recharged my batteries for 30 days straight and started getting into a better mindset. Also, sophomore year has begun to drive me absolutely nuts and it’s not even mid-terms yet!

With that being said, here are some things that have stood out this month.

Places I visited

SONY DSC

Jakarta, Indonesia

Like I said earlier, I have stayed in my hometown the entire month. My family and I have developed a habit of hanging out at Ancol Beach on Saturday mornings which is pretty nice since this place is as close as I can get to the sea in Jakarta. It turns out that Ancol on Saturday mornings becomes an awesome place for people-watching. Plus, they have this free aerobics class on the beach at 8 which end with a jetski stuntman spraying the crowd with a water cannon with hip hop blaring on the speakers which reminds me vaguely of the “party by the beach” vibe in Bali.

The Highs

  • Finally recovering mentally. Honestly, this is the one thing I’m most grateful for in September. I started to be less hard on myself, reduced the items on my to-do list, and actually began to just follow my instincts on what I wanted to do without completely letting go and forgetting my responsibilities and by the end of the month, I was a lot less stressed than before. I actually had days of not working on anything, and made room for spontaneous things. It led to some nights of working really hard to make deadlines, but I’ve been in such a good spot mentally that it didn’t stress me.
  • Saw the best sunset ever and just enjoyed it. It had been raining most of the day, but some time near 4 PM, it started clearing up a bit even though the air was still quite cold. I could see mountains clearly from my apartment window and the sky still being dark near them, but it was sunny where I was. There was no show of colors, no pink hues, no nothing. The sky just gradually got darker until it was the same cool hue everywhere. But the multiple shades of blue with the mountains, clouds, and sky in the distance with the cold breeze was so beautiful and vividly reminded me of the one time in 2013 when I just sat on a meadow and watched the sun set behind mountains with some cold breeze blowing. Coldplay’s Don’t Panic was playing on Spotify this time and I just sat on my apartment floor, being overwhelmed with so much peace that I didn’t even want to get my camera and take photos.
  • Hanging out with my cousins. I spent an entire week hanging out with two different cousins which was fantastic because I hadn’t got to spend quality time with them together thanks to our different schedules. We had dinner, had a lot of honest conversations that left me feeling mentally full, worked out together, and even went grocery shopping together. We also made plans to travel together which can hopefully happen someday what with our conflicting busy schedules and everything.

The Lows

  • Nights of losing sleep paying off. Since sophomore year started, I had not had nights with more than 6 hours of sleep each night, what with work and things to do on weekends. This and the weather not being able to make up its mind for weeks led to my horrible dip in health the night I released my previous post. I was just struggling to get the post up that night, shivering but not wanting to give up. The next day, I woke up with a spinning head and spent the entire day trying to pull myself together while attending class. After class, I spent the rest of the day sleeping in without doing any work because even sitting up felt like hell. Thankfully, I felt so much better the next day and spent the rest of the week taking a lot of vitamin C, resting up, and actually sleeping for 8-9 hours a night. The lesson was clear: if you treat your body like crap, it will feel like crap. Never give up rest for the sake of work.
  • Getting my heart broken – again. Long story short, I met a guy and really connected with him and thought it would work out between me and him because he asked me out and asked for my number and all that. But then I saw him leave our apartment complex with someone else and caught him flirting with a friend last month. I spent a day and a half crying over him, went Taylor Swift mode and wrote a song about it, then moved on. C’est la vie.

Photo of the Month

None because I didn’t even touch my camera for a month.

Favorite Song

I spent a lot of time listening to music in September and found two albums that I fell deeply in love with: Mike Posner’s At Night, Alone and Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate. There were two songs that became my favorites from this album.

I Took a Pill in Ibiza is one of the most honest songs I’ve ever heard and connected with me on such a deep personal level. I remember on one of my worse days, I just laid on the floor and sang along with the second verse and chorus of this song because I just felt so depressed and alone when everybody kept telling me that I should be proud of what I’ve accomplished. Mike Posner really nailed it with this song and I don’t understand how people would prefer the remix to this original one when you can actually understand what he’s trying to say and feel his emotions in this version.

Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’ve turned into a Shawn Mendes fangirl within a month. It’s not even just because of his looks (admittedly, he’s one damn fine-looking guy) and his absolutely adorable Canadian personality, but his music is incredibly brilliant and passionate. Mercy is that one song from his new album that’s filled with such intense passion musically and lyrically and when put together with the video he shot for it, I actually needed a moment to just breathe afterwards. I also love how it started off so calm and built up all the way to bridge and final chorus, and closed off with a calm hum again – that’s crazy good. When he revealed in an interview that the song is also about begging for mercy from the demands to really care about what you produce as your craft, I loved the song even more.

This Month’s Posts

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