Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 Highlights

Another year gone by, with all its ups and downs. Sometimes things are not getting easier, but how we see our life matters more instead. Here are some of the highlights of my 2013 episode. My biggest achievements are being able to travel to 6 provinces in Indonesia, getting back to graduate school, and quality times with my family. It's simply because they're the things that I love most that would bring more joy into my life. Happy New Year 2014!

Openned the year by an impulsive traveling with a new friend. It's so hard to find any travel buddy since me and all my friends are working on different schedules. Having no travel companion on a 2 weeks empty schedule was quite depressing. Decided to go on, tried to find somebody on a traveling community. Then I met John, an American guy with quite similar itinerary. A week after our first meeting, we're on our way to Gili Trawangan, Lombok. So interesting how two barely-known-each-other introverts spending 8 days together on a small island. We spent wonderful times together and apart; relaxing on a beautiful bungalow, chilling at the bar, riding bicycles around the island, reading books, watching the sunset up on the hill, getting lost in the middle of nowhere, dancing till drop, pushing ourselves to get new friends--quite a hard work for introverts, having fun. While the beautiful beaches harmonizing the duets.

Two of my good friend were getting married; Nicky and Ido. Both of them has been a very good friend of mine for so many years, over a decade. Watching them walking down the aisle, a mix of happiness and sadness at the same time. They felt like a piece of mere were taken away--the good thing is that they departed with the best girls they would ever had. Those memories we've had together were sweetly popping out of my mind. My bestfriends' wedding were definitely a walk down through the memory lane. Here's the blogpost dedicated to our friendship. 

Cantilena Singers Concert at Medan
One of the best month! Traveled to Medan for the 4th concert of Cantilena Singers. Full time dedication for music for the first 6 days; rehearsing 4 sessions per day, do every details of the song and the vocal technique. Wonderful experiences, though in the other hand, for the first time in my life, I lost my voice--I even can't do the simple lalala-singalong to the song on the radio. Still hardly can sing on the D-day. Well, sometimes you wouldn't know how precious it is until you lose it. It finally recovers after few weeks after.

A Quick Dip before Lunch
at Ketambe Jungle, Aceh
Well, the next agenda after the concert was the more interesting part. Backpacking around North Sumatera for 8 days with my new friends from Netherlands. We met through the travelling community (Couchsurfing) and after numerous of emails and messages to set up our itinerary, we did our first meeting an hour before our journey started. We spent 1 night in Pematang Siantar--did a short visit to my old grandpa house--, 2 nights in Toba Lake which happens to be the biggest lake in Indonesia, 1 night in Kabanjahe, and 3 nights in Kutacane, Southeast Aceh--including 2 days staying in the jungle. One of the best traveling I've ever done! Perfect travel companion, Hanna and Aiske, lots of new experiences, and perfect budgeting. Can you imagine that I spent less than 2 million IDR (around USD 200) to travel to 6 cities for two weeks? Ha!

Classmates 2013
I'm officially a graduate student! Welcoming the 2,5 years of hard works! Many people think that I continue my study in music. Hmm, in fact, I'm going back to my formal education was: Psychology. Taking both the master and professional education. It feels good to be able to pass the tests, since many people are not. Means I got the potential to be a clinician! :) Well, it's not so easy, choosing your own path while the other was widely open for you. What you're passionate about it might not be the easiest thing to reach. But, hey, life is short! We have the right to enjoy everything we do, not just let ourselves following where our society leads us to. 

This month our family trip finally came true. It's almost 19 years since our last family trip together--we used to have many, before me and my late brother went to college. There's a bitter-sweet feeling on this journey. There used to be my dad, my mom, my brother, and me. This time, it's my dad, my mom, me, and my brother's daughter. No more family trip with my brother. But no whining, no sadness. We all enjoyed our week in Belitung. It was so beautiful and relaxing. We embraced those moments of togetherness, new beautiful memories to be remembered for the rest of our lives. Our time together might end, but may all the memories last forever. 

This is when the family gathering from my mom's side were happening. Quite short, but it worked. Getting more attached to (especially) my cousins. It's used to be very hard for me to get along with them, since my mom is the youngest daughter out of 7. There's a big age-gab between me and my cousins. But, as we're getting older, those gab are getting less and less significant. Definitely expecting more gatherings in the future! 

What a productive holiday season! 
1. For about 50 pieces of clothing have already moved my closet to the hands of the people who needs them more than I do.  
2. For about 60 kg of unused stuff has gone out of my room, some went to the trash, and some to families in the neighborhood. 
3. Around 20 bags have been moved.
4. Redecorating my room, a room with plenty of empty shelves and drawers!
Have been trying to detach to things (and people) that we independently find our happiness through one self. Trying to hard to control things, to keep memories last forever, worrying that the memories will fade away as the time goes by, the desire to posses too many things that we could handle, are the type of mental faith that would only burden ourselves. Too many things that you could barely carry in your backpack. 
So, letting go all of those were definitely lighten my steps. Feeling energized! 

Did my first trip with PS Gabungan HKBP Menteng. Spent 2 nights in Yogyakarta. They did an amazing job organizing a free public health service in Gunung Kidul, that around almost 200 people from the villages around the area got the chance to meet the doctor and received some free medicine. On the fun side, I almost fulfilled my desire to watch the Borobudur sunrise. But, too bad, the very tight schedule forbid us to go. Hopefully one day it will happen.

Batik Day! :)
Finally, I got the idea how a music therapy would work, with an art therapy and psychodrama as a bonus. Decicded to join a Music Therapy Seminar and Workshop with Dr. Joseph Moreno for 3 days. I tought it's gonna be all about music--whilst I wasn't so interested in the beginning. After the workshop I found that it's nothing more than "just" a psychology therapy, with music as the media. So excited to learn more about it!

There are also more gathering around those weeks: 
Baby Shower with Ani-ani!
Playdate for the Kids. Reunion with My Old Schoolmates (Elementary School)
Jossie with Rajagukguk Cousins

November has always been magical to me. This is my born month, but according to my national church agenda, this is the commemoration of the death month as well. So, it's definitely a celebration of life! 
As the commemoration of the death--in Bataknesse language it's called Parningotan ni na Monding--one of the choir I direct were singing the "It is Well with My Soul" in Bataknesse language, "Sonang Do". As we all might have known the story behind the song, I personally were emotionally attached to it. This is the last song I presented before my brother were sent to the grave, before his coffin were closed eternally, as a farewell to my only partner I have in my family. 

After spending a solemn birthday on an island last year, this year I decided to celebrate and share the happiness with few close people I have. I took a day off from work--not so easy as Christmas came nearer, invited some closest classmates to hang out after class for a karaoke, as well as some good old friends. It's so true that the more we share, the more we get. I blew more candles than before because more people put more effort to surprise me with some birthday cakes. Oh my, I'm blown away with love. 

The Light of My Life
As usual, December always become the busiest month of the year for my choir activities. Did some Christmas preparation with the GBI Choir, GBKP Choir, and HKBP Choir. Did a small concert with PS Gabungan HKBP Menteng, presenting 3 songs with different styles: John Rutter's "Angels' Carol", Joseph Haydn's "Awake the Harp", and a beautifully arranged negro spiritual by Rutter "When the Saints Go Marching In". Not a perfect performance, but it's satisfying though. 
On Jossie's 4th birthday, we did a little celebration as always. But this time, extra special. Thanking God for being able to see those happy smile, and promise myself to make it lasts forever. For the new year, for the first time in our life, we decided to do something special to celebrate the moment. We spent few days out of town and let ourselves to be happy and thankful for the beautiful year we've been through. 

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