Month in Review: October 2016

Ah, October. Quite a lot happened this month: mid-terms, travel planning, a lot of songwriting, plenty of designing, and more. It was hands down, one of my busiest months and I felt like my mind couldn’t stop buzzing with ideas and things to do throughout the month that some nights, I literally had trouble falling asleep because thinking kept me awake. Also, with the end of October, my two-month break from traveling is about to end. I have travel plans set up for the last two months of 2016 with a much clearer head and hopefully, I’ll actually get to really enjoy it.

Before we jump into plans for the future, though, let’s do a quick recap on October 2016.

Places I visited

NeoSoho Bridge

Jakarta, Indonesia

I was so busy throughout the entire month of October that I hardly had time to hang out with my friends outside of campus or work, so no new places visited or new things done throughout the month except for the NeoSoho bridge at Central Park Jakarta. In retrospect, that actually sounded quite pitiful but that was the actual case. My desire for spontaneity is absolutely bubbling up now.

The Highs

  • Had an unplanned adventure to Central Park, Jakarta. One day after mid-terms, my entire class collectively forgot that our lecturer had announced her taking a leave for that day and we all attended class in our best business suits because we thought a presentation was about to happen that day. It didn’t even hit us that she had told us not to attend class until 30 minutes after class was supposed to start. A couple of my friends and I decided to make the most of the free day by heading out to Central Park for lunch and karaoke in full business attire. We ended up going to the recently opened NeoSoho Bridge only to be told that it was closing down soon because a storm was coming and the bridge would be slippery.
  • Received my first pay check. This is the most adult thing that has ever happened to me and I felt like such a grown-up after receiving that payment slip. I was also grateful that I got to treat my parents out for dinner with the money I worked so hard for.
  • Designed my first solid business plan with my classmates. This is actually a project for my marketing class – we had to design a realistic and applicable business plan of our very own brand from scratch. My team and I worked hard for three days to brainstorm, calculate costs, design the product and logo, put the brand’s story into words, compare it with competitors, and design future goals that when the presentation was finally halfway done – as requested for midterms – it was such a joy because the caffeinated six hours we spent each day finally produced a concrete result.

The Lows

  • Zero break from the hustle. I had sworn to myself that I would always have at least one free day in a week from work and university stuff but there I was in October spending everyday doing something I needed to do. I don’t even know how I survived this month because it was late nights combined with early mornings throughout most of it. But this one point when this busyness really got to me was when I was hanging out in Central Park and still had to take business calls and answer WhatsApp messages. I’m grateful for how busy I am right now, but honestly, I sometimes wish I could just be totally present without needing to think of anything I needed to do next or any demands from other people to respond to.
  • Ants attacking my apartment. I don’t know where they came from and what they wanted but for three weeks, my apartment was filled with ants lining up the walls and floors all the time. I have this immense hatred for ants having been completely attacked by a colony when I was a kid so I tried everything I could to get them out of my place: duct-taping their entrances, spraying them with perfume, and even squishing them by hand. In the end, the only thing that worked was an insecticide chalk which drove them out for good. It was a lesson on keeping my place clean that I would gladly not want to re-learn again.

Photo of the Month

Sunset

 

 

I took this picture from my window one day and was pleasantly surprised to see how good it turned out. The hues in the sky were brilliant, the mountain in the distance was visible, the light hitting the building on the right was beautiful, and as the sky was still orange, the city began to light up below it too. There was something so magical about this shot that even though I took more photos later on in the month with my mirrorless, this photo still became my favorite.

Favorite Songs

It’s really hard to pick one song that stands out as my absolute favorite from the month since loads of awesome albums were released in October. So again, I’ll share two of my favorites here.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of OneRepublic’s Oh My My. Most of the tracks didn’t really click well with my taste, but the tracks that did were brilliant for me. Colors is absolute favorite from the entire album and I feel like it should not have been a bonus track. Every time I hear this song, I feel like driving off into the sunset in the middle of nowhere with the guy I love and I’m not even in love with anyone! Plus, the lyrics are absolutely my kind of poetic. (“I’m a fan of your universe/And every shade that you offer”, “I don’t wanna dance with another/We could feel this darkness with each other”)

Is it just me or JoJo’s entire Mad Love. album is straight up fire? This is a woman who has been hungry for a huge comeback for way too long and when it finally happened, it was an instant rise to the charts. I’m absolutely in love with the entire album because every song actually screams JoJo – nothing seems manufactured for the pop industry, it was genuinely hers. This collab with Alessia Cara has become one of my most played songs this month because a) it features Alessia Cara, b) the lyrics actually resonate with me, c) the beat is catchy.

This Month’s Posts

  • Meeting the Man Who Knew Everybody – The story of how I met a very interesting man in Yogyakarta who seemed quite literally knew everybody in the huge city.
  • Around Yogyakarta with Mr. Harry van Yogya – Still linked to the previous post, this is the story of my meeting with the most coolest, most intelligent becak driver/book author in the city, Mr. Harry van Yogya. He’s actually a really visionary and insightful person who remains humble in spite of his success so you should go check his story out.
  • Finding Home in a Cafe in Semarang – I found a place that resembles my home so much in Semarang and found a family there too.
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