2016 was a risky year. It was always in the verge of missteps and miscalculations, resulting in one of the most dynamic and unpredictable years that modern human beings have ever seen. True to the global trend, my 2016 was also very risky: it once again threw me out of the safe haven.
Today, at the edge of December, I want to reflect back on the huge risk I dared myself to plunge into, and how taking the road less traveled (literally and figuratively), has made all the difference.
By the way, I always create an annual blog post, but I forgot to make one for 2015. I think more or less it’s because 2015 was so flat. I lived my 2015 in an autopilot mode. Turns out that in crafting a career, you need something else that makes you feel fulfilled, even if you have a fantastic paycheck. I kinda had it at the back of my head, but I didn’t dare to do anything about it…. until it was done to me.
Ironically, the suicide spot of a Chinese emperor in Jingshan Hill became a witness for a change of direction.
In a sense, I actually took a calculated risk. A well-calculated one. It wasn’t like the decision to give up everything for Netherlands 2 years ago. This time, it involved opinions from a wide range of people, which produced a sound judgement.
2016 witnessed the decision to leave my coveralls with a heavy heart.
I cherished everyone I met and life lessons learned. Field life changes someone, in one way or another. It taught me to be a better decision makers, to remain calm in high-pressure situation, to foster teamwork with blue collar workers, to prioritize safety, to be a leader in a man’s world, to manage financial issues, and not to mess with integrity. It was a very enriching experience, one that can make you become much, much wiser.
And the friendships made are indispensable.
In the aftermath of this event, I started a new habit – meditation. I joined some yoga classes, and they always had this 5-10 minutes of sitting still. I didn’t know whether I did it right, but there was this one particular session of 30 minutes meditation (I followed videos online) where I was totally absorbed. Then I heard my own inner voice saying,
You are never a failure. You are never a failure.
It touched me so deep until I burst into tears.
From that day on, I revamped my CV, and had this one strong prayer: to be guided into one, only one, right path. I began to question what I would do if I weren’t afraid; what I would choose if I only had myself to satisfy. I had secured some offers that I was still reluctant to accept, but learning from past confusions, I wasn’t good at being given choices. I’d rather being given a choice by God, rather than deciding for myself. Alhamdulillah, Allah heard my prayers.
There are so many things that you will feel once you’re in the track of being a corporate worker. Sometimes things are tough at the office. Sometimes you wonder what it feels like to work in another company. Sometimes you think the work load is too intense. Sometimes you think it’s better if you work somewhere which gives you much more compensation and benefit.
But now, in my 3rd job out of college, having been in worse situation makes it difficult for me to just give up whenever the work load gets tough. At least I’m not alone here in this position, unlike my 1st job. I don’t measure work satisfaction based on money as the sole criteria anymore, because I’ve been in a situation where I can get money easily with half the effort, and still feel like there’s something missing. I also realize that I LOVE international atmosphere, even with late night (or early morning) conference calls. Plus, I enjoy business trips. :p I think all these lessons extracted from my previous job experiences contribute a lot in making me a happier person, professionally.
2016 was also a year packed with travel times, be it for business or for pleasure. I’m so thankful to be able to step my feet in so many cities this year: Kuala Lumpur, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Seminyak + Ubud (Bali), Dubai, Budapest, Seoul, Surabaya, Sabang, and Banda Aceh. I love the stories through the air, friendships made, bucket lists checked, local food tasted, and that feeling of being a tiny-tiny-tiny dot in this huge universe whenever I travel somewhere I’ve never been before. I will let these pictures do the talk 😀
My favorite trip? Tough question, but I think I’ll pick China. It’s my first backpacker-style trip, and being able to go to a country without any guide, where you literally have to figure everything out by yourself, is amazing. My twin brother is my best travel mate for sure, and I’m really looking forward to travel together with him somewhere in the near future!
The Love Department is the only underperforming part of 2016, which is understandable because you can never have it all at the same time 🙂 But it doesn’t mean that this year hasn’t brought much improvement: it is, after all, a year when I learned the important fact that I don’t have to be sorry for who I am. There are always people who just don’t want to be with you, and it’s not because you are too much of a good thing. Likewise, I learned that empowerment is also about accepting the fact that you have to let go of someone, or something, who doesn’t give you added value anymore. I am so depressed by being a single 24 years old girl, I am so longing to find someone to make me believe that not every man has the intention of hurting people they love, but I finally realize that my happiness is not dictated by someone else who fills a void in me. Allah knows that I will never love someone halfheartedly… that I need to be my whole self before I’m ready to live a life with someone who is destined for me. I’m too fragile – as I’ve always been – and perhaps having the time and space reserved for myself is the only way to restore the faith that is lost towards the opposite gender.
At the end of the day, 2016 is that one year where you’re finally be able to see the big picture, look back through the rearview mirror and understand that everything happens for a reason… and everything that happened actually makes sense. Subhanallah.
2017 is already peeking through my Inbox *wink 😉 and I have high hopes that it will turn into an even more fantastic year for all of us.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!