2017: A Year of Choices, Wrong Decisions, and Faith


Hello, internet! Months have passed since the last time I post something on this dusty ‘lil blog and it is already December! They say December is “the most wonderful time of the year” and I agree on that since December means holiday. And holiday means free time to do things I really like, blogging for instance, yuhuu!

Just like every December these past few years (except for 2015’s December, I just realize that I forgot to summarize that year into a post), I’d like to summarize my experience this year along with all lessons I’ve learned. Quick story before I start: the movie “New Year’s Eve” inspired me to do this. Having a moment to reflect all deeds I’ve done in a year sounds like a good idea to me. Plus, I need something to do on new year’s eve since I can’t sleep thanks to the bangs (although this one and the last one on 2016 is not written on new year’s eve). So, straight to the points, here we go!

1. On attempting new things: consider the reason why you start thoroughly.

Last year I made a promise to my self to be more selective when it comes to saying “yes” and “no” to new opportunities. This year, I think I’m still unable to select what’s the best for me.

The year 2017 is the year I enter college, therefore the year 2017 is the year I discover lots of things. By “lots of things” I mean a lot. One of those things is these amazing people whose “personal brands” are outstanding and that make me feel smaller and smaller and even smaller.

In college, it is very easy to define people: John Doe the president of organization X, Richard Roe the entrepreneur, Jane Doe the researcher, etc. Those people have participated on international conferences, joined nationwide summit which made them have new acquaintances, attended talk shows as the key speaker, and so on. It seems like they have reach the front door of success at a very young age (oh please, none of them are above 25!). But above all, those outstanding people possess something not everyone have: the power to give good impact to wide range of people.

I want to be one of them. To be someone whose presence is not only as another plus one; to be someone whose presence can be a great impact to lots of people.

I realize that to find the definition of someone, to be well-known at a particular field, or just to be able to contribute to the society via a certain field, someone must be competent and professional. And to be those two, I also believe that experience is the best catalyst. Experience can be gained through formal studies, taking extra classes, being a part of a community filled with bunch of people with the same interest, being a committee of an event, and so on, depends on what field you want to master. That way, you’ll become an expert on your field and you will be like one of those outstanding people who can contribute a lot.

And that is where I went wrong.

Just because most of those people I met are committees of something or researchers of something doesn’t mean that I must go through the same path as they did. Everyone has their own field and every field have its own stage at the end of the path. I figured out lately that having “what field I want to master” or “what field is the most beneficial if I master it” in consideration is not enough. “Want” and “beneficial” are what make those not quite right. When you only have those two in considerations, when you finally meet an obstacle on your way, if your will is not strong enough, it will be easy for you to give up.

I figured out lately that “what field I’d love to master” is what should really be considered. When you’re in love with something, you will fight for it despite all the hardships that come to you. You’ll face obstacles with a light heart and you will still be happy. Forget about long-term benefits; your happiness must be prioritized because…

2. Happiness is what truly matters.

It doesn’t matter whether what you’re doing is beneficial for you or whether what you’re doing can fund seven generation of your descendants, if that makes you unhappy, ESCAPE THAT TOXIC JOB OR ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY! What makes life precious is the small happiness you get on random occasions. When you’re older, the moments you’ll remember are the moments when you’re having a conversation with your best friends, not those moments when you’re studying all night without a break to get straight A’s! I’m not against studying, trust me, I support it fully. But, sometimes we just need a break. Life should be balanced, isn’t it?


I need to keep this one in mind more. I often forget this one because I’m often too focused on my long-term goal, duh.

3. On befriending people: it is always about quality over quantity!

I’ve been on my most comfortable zone these past three years. The people who surround me are the best kind of people. They always bring the good side of me, and when I’m not, they’re still there to handle me. Long story short, they’re the best kind of friends I could’ve asked for.. we just clicked. Thank you!

Stepping into college means I must get out of my comfort zone. I don’t get to hang out with my old friends everyday though we still communicate regularly.

For exchange, I get to know new buddies from different parts of this country. They’re cool people with different backgrounds. They have interesting stories to tell and I respect them for how they struggle to enter college. But still.. it is not that easy to click with them.

In college, I also met various people whose personality make me shakes my head.

I met someone who take advantages from me. Don’t get me wrong, I like being beneficial to people. I love to take part in someone’s life as someone who helps them. But.. being that someone who is contacted only when being needed.. that’s not what I want. I’m here to also make friends, you know, not only to be someone’s helper.

I also personally met these bunch of people who talk politics and other sensitive topics to strangers. I don’t mind if those topics are being discussed just for the sake of knowledge, but these people, these bunch of people, even try to penetrate their ideologies to strangers. Yes, to strangers, duh! I don’t know about other people, but I think it’s inappropriate. Political views, religious views, and other similar things are private things and better be discussed in private too.

Bottom line, I now know that I really need to be selective when it comes to befriending people. There are lots of toxic people out there and I should do my best to not allow them spoil me in any kind of way. Befriending lots of people is good, but make sure to only have the best kind of people in your inner circle!

4. Stop thinking and just do your best to chase what you love!

This year’s greatest lesson is that I need to think less and care less (of what people think). This year’s greatest mistake is that I think too much ’till I forgot to listen to my heart. I think too much about possibilities and advantages ’till I forgot to consider my passion in my decisions. That made me really unhappy and that drove me a little mad for a moment.

This big mistake I made is not easy to fix; This is the kind of mistake I need to get along with. And I don’t really know how to face it; I have never made a mistake this big in my life.

But, to think… was it really a mistake? Or isn’t it just me who is still unable to see the good in His plans? Who knows, maybe it is the latter. I don’t know about you, but I believe that every thing that has happened, happens, or will happen in this universe is already planned by Him. And I also believe that He is The Best Planner of All.


This brings us to the last (big, major, notable) lesson I learned this year:

5. Stop having what if-s, start having what’s next-s.

Having what if-s in life won’t help us anything, really. Having what if-s turns us into an ungrateful person. It will also make us hate ourselves more and that will be counterproductive. Mistakes are made in the past… so what? There’s nothing we can do regarding to the past.

All we can do is to plan something to mend our future, and that’s the only thing we need to do. It is easy to say and I know that it is so hard to execute, but I believe we can do this. We can go through this!

So, arrivederci people! From now on, let’s hustle!


2016: Lessons I’ve Learnt

The year 2017 is right in front of our eyes. Other people may be in their way arranging their best new year’s resolution, but I’ve stopped doing that since last year. It is not that I don’t believe that resolutions exists; I have come to an understanding which makes me realize that my resolutions are quite the same from one year to another. I realize that I don’t need new resolutions every year, because all I have to do is just to constantly aim new targets every once in a while. Therefore, instead of sharing my newest targets, I’d like to share things that I’ve learnt in this year.

1. NEVER, EVER, EVER, say “Yes” to something you’re not interested in.

I’ve gone through a not-so-delightful experience this year just because I say “Yes” to something I’m not interested in. You see, taking chances and risks are good ways to improve ourselves, to push ourselves beyond our limit. However, when you accept something just because you pity it (not 100% due to your fondness of the thing), you tend to lose focus and loyalty to that thing. After you start feeling bored of that thing, you’ll start feeling under pressure. You’ll feel like you’re forced to do those things. That kind of feeling will lead you to stress and even physical pain. And all of that is just because you don’t have the heart to say “No” at the first place. Trust me, it’s better to bear the guilt of rejecting someone or something than having to endure mental and physical pain over a period of time.


2. ALWAYS say “Yes” to the things that give you more experience.

Giving a shot to something new and challenging will always lead us to a good thing. There are two possibilities of what that good thing will be: 1) a real beneficial good thing or 2) a bittersweet life lesson.

In 2016, I’ve said “yes” to two economics essay writing competition, a quite random high school quiz held by the government, a high school wall magazine competition, and an essay writing and debate competition about food technology. I may not rank the first on those competition, but from those competition I became to know my abilities. I became to know which topic I excel better than the others. The most important thing from all of that is that I became to know that anyone can be anything they want just by hard work and prayers.

3. Everyone has their own field.

Nobody is meant to be perfect. Nobody is sentenced to master all things. So, it’s okay if someone is better than you in something. What’s not okay is if you don’t try exploring your hobbies, talents, or interests.

4. It’s not about who is the sharpest; it is about who is the one with more effort.

A lazy genius will slowly having his or her mind blunt if he or she barely exercises. However, a diligent average person will start having keen mind if he or she constantly exercises to reach his or her goal.

Last but not least, here are two videos of Casey Neistat I really like for the wisdom in it. Casey Neistat is a New York-based filmmaker who has been vlogging for these past years. I started subscribing his channel this year and I have been inspired by his videos all these months. His way of life and his principles about success show me different perspectives in life. Watch these videos and I hope they do to you too. Arrivederci!


My Silver Lining

New York 6

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there’s a proverb which says “Ignorance is bliss”. Almost everyone believes it. I was too, until the day I met her. Why? Because the idea of not knowing her was, is, and never will be bliss.

December 31th 2006 should be the best night of my life yet it turned out to be the worst. I started the day with a recently brewed coffee in my right hand. I was gazing out of my apartment window which gave me the view of a snowy New York skyline when my telephone rang.

Far away across the phone, I could hear my boss’ heavy bass voice, “Peter Goode?”

What was he doing on New Year’s Eve with his employee? “Yes sir? What can I do for you?”

“Can you come to the office at 3 pm today?” he asked.

“B-b-but Sir, isn’t it right that I have my day off today? It’s New Year’s Eve, Sir,” I reminded him in case he forgot.

“Well, yeah, I know. But I need you to stop by here at 3 pm. It’s urgent,” he argued. “Anyway, I’m sure you have nothing to do on New Year’s Eve. I mean, what does a single man going to do on New Year’s Eve? You don’t even have a girlfriend to kiss at midnight.”

My ears redden hearing his sarcastic statement. That’s impolite, you know? I knew I didn’t have any girlfriend at the moment but at least he shouldn’t emphasize that!

“Hmph, okay. I’ll come around by 3 pm.”

I quickly closed the phone and checked what time was that, 1 pm. I lay myself down on the couch, staring at the ceiling, enjoying the last cold day of 2006. After I was done lying without any purpose, I took a bath and walked in the snow.

New York in December was my favourite view of the year. The way the thick snow covered the streets and the cold froze the Central Park’s lake always amaze me. Apparently, my apartment was quite far from my office. So, I could enjoy my day off before going to the office for whatever reason.

When I arrived at the office, my boss –Richard- and my colleague –Damien- were gathering around the meeting table. When I entered the room, they quickly turned at me.

“Peter, can you explain this to me?” asked Richard to me with a paper on his hand to show. Richard’s face was red and I didn’t know why. Was it possible that he’s mad because he must go to the office on his day off too? I don’t know and I don’t care.

I took the paper on Richard’s hand. It was a screenshot of a leaked program’s codes. The codes felt familiar to me before I realized that I was the one who created those codes. The program’s codes were uploaded on someone’s private blog and it was indeed an urgent problem since those codes were the core of the company where I worked.

“What’s wrong with you, Peter? Why did you upload this? I know this blog is yours!” accused Richard.

“Of course not!” I shouted right into his face. “I never owned a blog! And I’m not a fool, Richard, you know that. Never in a million years will I upload those codes.”

“But you’re the one who own the full accessible version of those codes. It can’t be anyone else,” he said.

“So you’re accusing me as the one who leaked the company’s most precious treasure?”

Richard sat back on his chair and twitched his moustache. He really seemed like Hercule Poirot from Agatha Christie’s novel adaptation, but the difference was the fact that Richard was the antagonist one. “Well, no, Peter. But can it be anyone else other than you?”

It’s sure that I wasn’t the one who uploaded the codes on the blog, but Richard seemed that he would never trust me. Well, it was not really impossible for someone to break the company’s system and took a peek of the codes and shared it on a blog. Even if I explained it to Richard, he would still never trust me. He’s just a bossy boss without any knowledge about coding and programming.

“It can. If you don’t believe me, I’m out.” I couldn’t believe I had just said that.

“Well… I don’t believe you,” he said.

“Fine, then. I’ll pack my things right away.”

I felt like I lose. I couldn’t believe that I had just got fired by the most stupid boss ever existed. I quickly exited the room and went straight to my desk. From the corner of my eyes, I could see Richard and Damien smiling. Maybe they were actually planning to fire me. Maybe they’re the one who uploaded the codes to frame me. I don’t care anymore.

After packing my things into a box, I rushed my walk outside the building. I inhaled and exhaled long deep breaths. I should by happy on the last day of 2006 but I just got fired. It was so hard looking for a job in New Year. Companies won’t open any employee recruitment in the beginning of the year.

I walked back to my apartment to put my box. After snacking for a while, I got up and strolled down New York City. I wandered around Central Park with my beloved camera hanging on my neck. I always got calmer once I had my camera on my hand.

I was trying to capture the view of an old lady sleeping on her husband’s shoulder on a bench surrounded by doves when someone ran into the doves and shoo away that beautiful view.

“Are you serious? I’m trying to capture a good view here!” I shouted to her.

She was surprised by my existence. I couldn’t blame her for I was hiding behind a white tree in black coat. She walked to me. I could see that she’s way shorter than me –her head was as tall as my shoulder. She had a red hair hanging on her back. I could see her as an optimistic and a perky girl.

“Oh, hi! I’m so sorry, I didn’t know that you’re trying to capture the view,” she said to me. She gave her hand towards me, “I’m Aislinn. Aislinn Aldrin.”

I shook her white delicate hands gently. “It’s okay. I’m Peter. Peter Goode.”

She smiled and I could see her eyes got bigger as enthusiasm flowed to her. “So, what are you doing back here, Peter, other than taking pictures?”

“Trying to regain my sanity,” I said.

“What?!” she shrieked in surprise.

“I just got fired from my job. Well, technically I’m the one who resigned after being accused of leaking one of my past company’s secrets.”

“Oh my God, that’s bad,” she mumbles. “You resigned on New Year’s Eve?”

“Yup.” Then I told her the whole story. I rarely shared my secrets to strangers but I guess telling her my story won’t bring me any harm. She seemed like she won’t spoil my secret.

“That’s pretty bad! Didn’t they realize that they just lose their best employee?” she said. Her eyes widened and her lips turned into a disgusted smile.

“I guess they didn’t. But thanks anyway,” I said.

Again, she smiled. She was sure was a perky girl.

“And then I got back to my apartment, put my box, took my camera, tried to capture a great view but then you ran into the doves.”

Hearing my tease, Aislinn grinned. Her circular white face redden almost as red as the edges of her hair. “Sorry, I didn’t know that you’re taking pictures. I just like running into flocks of birds and see them leaving in a rush.”

Hell, she was so cute. “It’s okay, I’m just making a point there.” I gave her a smile to assure her.

“So, I make your day worse by running into the doves,” she said. “To say sorry, I’ll accompany you till the end of the night and make this night the best day of your life!”

What did I just heard?

“You don’t owe me anything, Aislinn. Trust me.”

“Yeah, I don’t. But I insist,” she boldly said.

“Don’t you have anything to do on New Year’s Eve? Don’t you have a boyfriend to kiss tonight?” I asked. Wait! Why did I asked the last question? Was I asking for a hint?

“Nope, I don’t,” she confessed blatantly.

“I don’t believe that!” I said in disbelief. Seeing my reaction, she shrugged shyly. I was afraid that I somehow made her uncomfortable, so I asked another question, “No work to finish?”

“Technically, I’m a college student, so, no,” she answered. “Why don’t we just go somewhere and be happy?”

She sounded interesting. I’m so amazed by her ability to trust strangers. There was a possibility that I was a serial killer and that I would kidnap her yet she still trust me.

I checked my phone. It was already 7 pm. “Okay, then. Where do you want to go?”

“How if we go to a deli and buy sandwiches?” she said.

“Okay. Do you know that deli near Times Square? I love it there.”

“Do you mean that Mr. Bradley Deli? I love it there too!” she shouted. “C’mon!”

She ran before me and I could see her hair twirled around. Honest to God, she’s beautiful. She’s a beautiful stranger who was willing to accompany me for the rest of the year and I’m thankful for that. I followed her a few steps behind just to enjoy the view of Aislinn. And I felt like I was coming home.

On December 31th 2006, I quit my only job. On December 31th 2006, I was a lonely single man wandering hopelessly on the romantic snowy New York’s Central Park just to make my heart better. But I met a perky girl who should’ve ruined my day too. I met a perky girl who was willing to accompany a stranger just to make her happy. Perhaps that New Year’s Eve wasn’t so bad.

A year later, I realized that the last day of 2006 wasn’t the worst day of my life. I met her, my undeniable beautiful gorgeous wife. Perhaps the last day of 2006 was the best day of my entire existence. After all, I came to realize that if I was a dark cloud, she’s my very favourite silver lining.

2015: Another Chance

Tonight is new year’s eve in the country I live in and fireworks are already on to greet the so-called new year. In the last minutes of 2014, I’d like to note lessons I’ve learnt and deeds I’ve done this year. I guess having a little recall about the year we’ve just passed and muse about it on new year’s eve is a good thing to do. We always need to evaluate ourselves and new year just seems to be another perfect moment for change.

Before I write my 2015 resolution, here’s a look to my 2014 resolution:

Cut Alima’s 2014 Resolutions:
1. Try harder to be close to God.
2. Study hard, focus on my future, and put my spiritual and mental needs in my top priority.
3. Be selfless, kind, brave, honest, and smart. Also, be more alive and young.
4. Face my life whatever it takes and always be grateful.
5. Live happily!
6. Be smart like my junior high school senior,X (oh God, I believe he will be an important people in Indonesia later, maybe he will be a president).

This 2014, I gladly say that I’m progressing on my 2014 resolution. I feel younger and more alive than I was back in 2013. I enrolled to my dream school and -thank’s God!- got accepted. I met new friends and experienced many rare things which are precious. Well.. I did manage to live happier. Praise to God for all of that :’)

And what have I learnt from 2014?
1. Never rush things. Live every moment, every minute, every second you live. You can never go back to change things, so, live every moment so you won’t have to regret anything.
2. Never be ‘the best person according to people’s opinion’, but be the best version of you. It’s your life and no one ever have the right to tell you who you are. However, be opened for people’s opinion, they might help you to change into a better person.
3. Have a leap of faith on everything you’re afraid of. Try things, you might succeed.
4. Never think that tomorrow will come. Do everything as soon as possible or you might loose the chance.
5. Sometimes when we failed getting what we want after giving our best effort on it, we just have to pause. Maybe it’s not our turn.. maybe our turn is tomorrow or next year. We should be patiently waiting, move closer to God, keep thinking positively.
6. Karma does exist.

Now that I’ve learnt a lot of things in 2014, I just hope that I won’t forget it and carry them with me when 2015 come.

To be honest, I have also done bad things back in 2014. I regret things I’ve done and things I haven’t done and I guess there’s no way to come back and change it. So, I’m just thinking.. I think I should give my self another chance on the upcoming year. Another chance to be better, another chance to be happier. And I think you should, too.

To greet 2015, I decided to edit my 2014 year resolution and turn it to be my 2015 resolution. I wasn’t able to check every point on the list and so did on my 2013 resolution. Now I start thinking that we can never feel enough, moreover when it comes to uncountable things such as happiness or intelligence. So, checking points on new year resolution doesn’t really matter anymore; progressing is what matters.

And so, I hereby present you my 2015 resolution:

Cut Alima’s 2015 Resolutions:
1. Be closer to God and obey God’s rules the best I can. 
2. Study hard and focus on my future.
3. Put my spiritual and mental needs in my top priority.

4. Be selfless, kind, brave, honest, and smart. Not to forget, be more aliveyoung, and ladylike. Be a better person!
5. Face my life bravely, always be grateful, and always live happily!
6. Be a full-of-knowledge person.

So, now, let’s step back and have a toast for ourselves, for good deeds we’ve done. I guess all of us deserves a hug. Nevertheless, let’s say goodbye to those nasty deeds we’ve done, to those heartbreaks. Say goodbye to all traumas and to those fake smiles. Tomorrow we’ll be in 2015 and though it’s just another day another year, let’s vow to be a better person on the days ahead. Let’s give another chance to ourselves and other people.

May God be with us. *cheers

Arrivederci, Readers 😉
May our upcoming days full of happiness. Again, happy new year 🙂

I am still learning. –Michelangelo