This was the year i didn’t see coming—the one that shook me out of complacency. When i learned to stop being compliant, to demand what was rightfully mine, refuse to settle for anything less than i deserve.
This was the year that came with a gentle tap on the shoulder, reminding me of who i was and what i could be, if only i’d just open my arms and let the light in, stop over-thinking and start living. Give myself permission to fall as long as i got back up again.
With only two days to welcome 2018, i am writing this in my room at 2 am, thinking what have i done during the year. Then suddenly i start to question myself. Am i proud of who i am now?
I started the year 2017 with worries and hopes and prayers and waits. I was waiting for Bina Antarbudaya’s announcement of my AFS placement. Then exactly on my birthday, i got an email that said i was placed in Finland.
Next few months i spent with doing AFS paperworks. Which was a lot. And i had to longer my passport (it was really frustrating), then a Finnish resident permit that took about a month, do medical checkups and so on. With all the hectic going, i still have school to be cared about.
On 17th August 2017, I was reaaally excited to leave. I couldn’t wait for this day to come. I didn’t even cry at the airport when i left my family. Which was weird, because i expected a lot of tears coming out. But no, not a single tear came out of my eye.
Here i am, spending my 17th year of my life in a totally different country, far away from home, building another life in Finland. It’s been roughly 4 months. I’m almost halfway! Wow, time flies.
Back then, i used to think like, “exchange students are so cool, i want to be like them, presenting Indonesia and bla bla bla” but now i’m here, i just feel like it’s my normal life, you know? It’s so weird. But it’s a good kind of weird because it means that i’m already settled. Well, at least that’s what i think.
So if you ask me, am i proud of who i am now? The answer is: yes, and no. Yes, i am proud that i could make it this far, but no, i am not satisfied yet. Being here makes me realize that i know literally nothing about this world. I had deep conversations with different kinds of people and it often made me surprised and there will always be new things.
And I am grateful.