2014: A Year of Hardship

2014 may as well be described as a year of hardship.

Everything was tough, tricky, confusing, and (for lack of better words) manipulative. It’s even harder than 2007, which I previously thought was my lowest point in life. 2014 was certainly dynamic, with very wide spectrum of mood. Nevertheless, I learned a lot in 2014, more so than what I learned in my previous years. If 2009 was a transition from teenager to college student, 2014 was the best-and-worst transition I could have from the dreamy and safe bubble of college life to the harsh reality of real world out there.

In retrospect, maybe this kind of transition is exactly what I need to prepare myself for the future.

I started 2014 by bringing the whole unfinished businesses of 2013 to the table, only to amplify it into more complex situations. Career, relationship, family matters, all jumbled up into a mixture of wrong choices and deceiving escapes. I was shaken in a back-and-forth rocking chair by several big fat companies: untimely recruitment timings, the job I disliked much, confusion of rejecting job offers sought after by thousands of applicants, the dream of being expatriate, the visa drama, the desperately frustrated deeply disappointed person, resignation, and the healing period…

So much for a fresh graduate. 

The only good thing happened in between was extensive business trips. I befriended Surabaya through constant nights in a 5-star hotels (tee-hee :P). Despite being sick and almost lost my hearing on a plane to Singapore and Manila, I got the chance to reconnect with my super nice Filipino friends, spent a day together in Makati and Manila. It was an accomplished mission!

With OLFU Chorale at Ayala Museum
Glad to meet Yanna Arroyo, my JAYSES friend, even just for a short while before my departure from the airport!

On the contrary, my love story was mostly as smooth as baby’s skin. The romantic relationship I had was blissful. I owe my boyfriend a lot in helping me going through my lowest points of 2014. Adapting with Jakarta’s lifestyle, moving out of my peaceful home in Bandung, the ‘oh I’m old’ reminder of going to friends’ weddings, and a lot of career development talks. He was there. Big time.

But finally what we both had known from the very first start became more apparent. Parents’ consent matters. The collision between conservative Islam vs moderate Islam was, at the end of the day, inevitable. My family was very much warm-and-welcome, but sadly that attitude needed to come from his parents, too, which was unattainable. And as much as we loved each other, there were mountains that simply could not be climbed. I would go as far as saying that I was more than disappointed by his choice and his inability to defend me against something beyond logical fallacy, but people have different point of views and I might as well respect this ending after all.

So I watched you go. You smiled, I smiled, and we both knew that someday we'd watch ourselves go apart for the very last time. That someday has arrived.
So I watched you go. You smiled, I smiled, but we both knew that someday we’d watch ourselves go apart for the very last time. That inevitable someday had arrived.

2014 revealed something that was far more important than mortal concerns: that Allah SWT was really The Almighty. He Knows What’s Best, and where I am right now is exactly where He wants me to be. If I ever doubt His grace in the future, that’ll be a real issue because I’ve witnessed a miracle — I’ve been in this illogical confusion that could only be solved by Him.

December 23rd, 2014, it finally came. A good, good news delivered straight to my inbox, as if He wanted to close this hard year with ease. And now here I am starting a new life bustling with opportunities. Like a senior executive in my company’s website said on her retirement, “Like a new exploration play. Something with a degree of uncertainty, but full of potential and waiting to be discovered”.

“Like a new exploration play. Something with a degree of uncertainty, but full of potential and waiting to be discovered”

In a nutshell, 2014 was my most epic year yet. Be involved (or messed around) with 4 different companies, lived alone in another city for the very first time, extensive business trips, near death experience, lost love, rebuilding self after terrible breakdown, and finally receiving the best answer from God. I’ll try my best to extract these great lessons. From disappointment after disappointment. From heartbreaks after heartbreaks. To be the building blocks of a truly better self.

Thank you 2014, for shaping me in the most heartless, most ruthless way. It turns out to be exactly what I needed the most.