How deep do I want to dive?

Snapshots of 2020

Source: Unsplash

Starting 2020 with a bunch of optimism still left a weird tingling sensation to me. I thought it could be a very great year, with me seeing myself going to another country to pursue another degree, attending my friends’ wedding ceremonies, traveling for an annual photography trip, or even as simple as celebrating my birthday with a dinner in my favorite restaurant. But, things just happened. With no significant sign of the end of the pandemic’s dark tunnel, somehow I think that the past twelve months are still worth celebrating.

Jumping into another ocean

The career pivot that I did at the end of the first quarter marks a whole new journey of discovering the meaning of life and adulting. I resigned from my job at a government institution in March to pursue a dream in a field that I could only imagine in my younger days. As a person who started her career relatively late compared to most of her peers, I find my journey in the professional scene quite compelling. I had the chance to work with the country’s experts in renewable energy, discussed risk management from a practical perspective, observed how a historical moment of our policy was crafted, etc.

I once wondered why having plenty of first-hand experiences is highly valuable compared to obtaining the degree only. While those two entities intertwine perfectly, the accumulation of handling works directly won’t totally lie, especially if they can be documented well. Personally, I’d say that continuous exposure is a great opportunity to familiarize me with certain working systems that don’t only demand pace and precision but also the capacity to deal with boredom.

My transition could be more exhausting without the help of my friends. I am thankful for their presence. They didn’t only help me with the technical parts, but also with the mental-related ones. It was definitely a good reminder to treasure my friends.

Managing expectation and endurance

Honestly, when working at home started as a nation-wide mandate, I aspired to write more than I planned. As of 2020, I write on three different platforms with different dedicated purposes. Aside from professional purpose, I also make the space for Kolektif Agora and personal essays. While my writings for Kolektif Agora could be categorized as between serious and casual, my personal blog tends to be filled with my interpretation of life and reading journals. Originally, I targeted myself to write six essays and twelve personal writings, but I ended up far from it.

Ever since writing has been incorporated into my professional duty, I noticed that managing the same quantity and quality of resources become challenging. In parallel, I recognized the importance of making my writings simpler, especially if I want to reach a broader group of audiences. Coming up with a series of reflections has motivated me to take a few steps back to learn (again) about storytelling by reading actively books with different themes and taking a copywriting class. At this point, I’m also grateful for having a supportive working environment that facilitated me to learn about these kinds of matters.

Knowing when to stop and pause

For the first time in my life, I found myself being clueless about my purpose and long-term plan. At once, they came earlier than I expected. Surely, it felt so good to obtain them at this age, but at the same time, I worried whether I could have the patience that I need to endure the upcoming path or not. Fifteen years in the waiting was insanely unbelievable, but hey, I finally could reach the finish point.

During the dreary period, I decided to talk with my friends about my sentiment to take a break. Most of them suggested that taking a pause or slowing down the pace of life is definitely normal. There will other days, weeks, or even months to accomplish the goals after it. I did end up giving myself space and time to think instead of rushing everything. I went out several times for afternoon joggings, treating myself with a takeaway package from a salad bar, and enjoying hilarious videos on YouTube.

But then, I began questioning my life again. Taking a hiatus brought me back to sanity, but extending it would only turn me into a sad potato only. I started to miss the rush of adrenaline from planning and running for long-term goals. The lesson learned is I have to differentiate the right time to pause and stop.

Rediscovering my love for reading

Buying and reading plenty of books were two related activities that I enjoy the most this year. In spite of my journey of rediscovery actually started in 2019, the one that I accomplished this year was totally different. I read more books than I planned, entered the bookish community on Twitter, attended a few online book events, and made some friends from the niche. When outdoor activities are limited, reading successfully keeps me sane.

My love for reading is far from immaculate. I didn’t reach many fiction books this year. Non-fiction books are consistently on the top of my list, even though the topics that I discovered are wider than last year. Perhaps, it is related to my personal demand. Even though I fully recognize the importance of finding joy in reading, I still find some difficulties in separating reading as an integral part of my work (or so-called personal development) and for entertainment purposes. Luckily, some reading challenges have helped me to fix this stubborn point of view.

Happy New Year!

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reader, writer.

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Jennie Yuwono

Jennie Yuwono

reader, writer.

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