On (probably) the most photographed stairs in Jakarta. Photo by Deborah Karunia.
In 2016, I was 36 years old. (Updated: I just got this photo taken on Dec. 30, 2016, which I thought better represent me on my last day of being 36 years old)
People would stare in disbelief when I tell them my age, saying that I look younger than my age. I know they are being kind, because lines and freckles (*gasp*) are already showing across my face, there are gray circles on the outer edge of irises and the slowing metabolism, which results in inevitable weight gain (why? why?? why???).
2016 was not like what I expected it to be. However, there are a lot of great things/lessons that come to mind with me being 36. Here they are :
#1. The number of people asking you the question is decreasing
A male colleague said his homecoming trip was peppered with "the question" every time he met a relative, a friend, a neighbor, that he felt nauseous. Didn't they have any other question, he wondered. To that woe, I told him,"Don't worry, I've been there six years ago. That shall pass one day, or in my case, when I hit 36."
#2. I am content and grateful with what I have
A friend, who is still in early 30s, said that she had decreased the amount of time perusing social media because she felt there was a pressure to have the same thing people share on social media. Perhaps I've been in the same state 5-6 years ago, but now that I've passed the mid 30s, there is a sense of calm to learn that I may not have much, but what I have is enough. Another lesson I learned this year was to let go all expectations.
#3. Good Friends Are Godsend
Looking back to this year's posts, the most recurring theme is the conversation with friends and colleagues. As mundane as it could be, the conversation I had with my friends and colleagues yesterday might not happening again next year, because we'd never knew when we would meet again and this project I'm working on would soon come to a close. Such post is also a good reminder that I have a lot of kind people around. And although I didn't blog about it, this year, I also reconnected with several long lost friends.
#4. Treat Yo'Self Best
I watched at least four movies in the cinema this year, with me going on my own to two of the screenings, and also old movies such as Reality Bites and the Before trilogy (thank you, Internet). I spent weekends slathering body lotion all over my body, putting on facial masker and treating my curls.
I also did regular jogging sessions with several high school friends, and swimming sometimes, and concluded the sport session at an eatery. In the end, doing sport is not always about losing weight, but also having fun, meeting friends and enjoying the great outdoor.
#5. Going On A Trip, Rediscovering Yourself
Although I didn't plan any traveling this year, I just realized that I had four trips: Cetho & Sukuh Temples-Ketep Pass (January), Hong Kong-Macau (March-April), Ijen Crater-Baluran National Park (August) and Kelapa-Harapan-Perak Islands in Kepulauan Seribu Regency (December). Those did not include the work trip with the Communication team to Yogyakarta and then with an American researcher in July to Banjarnegara and Wonosobo, both were quite an experience. Sometimes things would turn out better when you least expect it :).
#6. A Little Change Goes A Long Way
This year, some physical changes took place upon me. I started wearing eyeglasses and put on bold lipstick. The biggest change took place inside my head though (read #2). But a little change also caused something, for example a stranger who suddenly asked my phone number :P.
For better or worse that have happened in 2016, I would not change a thing.
How about you, lovelies? What did you learn in 2016?