Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Year in Review: From One Step Back To the Leap of Faith

MasyaAllah, it’s that time of the year where I should write something to summarize this year!!! Probably it’s a bit too early because last year I published the 2016 Year in Review on December 31. However, currently I am so so so exhausted and I promised myself to take some rest before end of year. I’ve been jumping here and there for the last three months. I haven’t stayed in one city for more than two weeks and I ran out of clothes very quickly. My laundry woman was pissed off but also very understanding as I keep texting her to finish it sooner than usual. I mean, what can we do without clean clothes, right?

In contrary with 2016, this year I feel like my life has been stopped at one point. I gave my ALL to accomplish my study yet I needed seven months to finally arrive at the thesis defense day. And by ALL, I really meant ALL: my time, my job, my savings, my health & beauty (I have never been that sick and got so many pimples before) – I even sacrificed my ‘relationship’ with a man. But yeah it was worthy, alhamdulillah!!!

Sister, please welcome: 

Primadita Rahma Ekida, S.I.Kom., M.A. 

So, before I exposed you with my month by month recap, I want to thank everyone who helped me along the way. If last year I tried to be as independent as I could, this year I realized I can do nothing without supports from my family and friends, even strangers who then became my number one backing. Even YOU – who were there supporting me with all those beautiful words and lovely gifts – before you broke my heart so hardly :)

Also THANK YOU for everyone who is still reading this pathetic blog. From 83 posts in 2016, declined to only 34 posts in this year! I don’t know if I can call myself a blogger after this, but please bear with me as I am working hard to publish something physically as soon as possible. Okay, no need longer chit-chat, below were my recap, please enjoy!

Began this year with... got a crush on a guy I talked to virtually. I was ecstatic (and I knew he was, too) so we talked in a serious manner very fast. We keep arguing yet we exchanged presents. Sooooo stupid. Now that I can reviewed our interactions at that time because I wrote almost everything on my journal, I should have seen that he wasn’t the right one. But yeah, I was that stubborn and it took me 10 months to let him go completely. Argh. I should have not wasted my time. Hvft.
Anyway, I decided to resign and it was like... one of the hardest decisions in this year. I loved my job, you all know writing is my passion. It was also a dream came true to work with my beloved mentor, Kak Ollie. But I needed to step forward – I didn’t want to trap in this student title forever (or obtained a DO status).  

I got dengue fever for the very first time in my life. Decided to rest at home and everyday I felt like I was about to die. I couldn’t sit down properly so I prayed at bed. But Masturah, one of my roommates in World Muslimah Award 2014, visited Jogja. Suddenly I could wake up and we spent two days together. Hahaha, holiday IS the best medicine. Thank you, Kak Mamas!
I also catched up with my thesis and met Alfatih Timur, the founder of, to get some inspirations. We had an intense discussion about social issues in Indonesia, and I went home enlightened.

I only required two weeks to decide to go to Jakarta for pre-research. I consulted with Jurian Andika, one of the founders of NusantaRun, and got his permission for my thesis. My topic was about online fundraising of NusantaRun Chapter 4, the biggest charity run in Indonesia that held in 2016. He accepted the idea and introduced me to around 10 participants who were willing to be my informants.
Back in Jogja, I assisted KANCA Festival organized by Kak Windy Ariestanty and Kak Hanny Kamantara. It was delightful to remind myself about my passion, I felt like I recharged my energy and mind.

After pushed my thesis advisor here and there for one month, I could finally executed my research!!! My informants were so kind – I don’t know how to repay them – they were so easy to be met and answered my questions comprehensively. I wrote on my Instagram post like this:
“One week before my departure to Jakarta, I cried in front of my classmates. I thought I just can't do it anymore. I was about to gave up. Magically, the next day, my thesis advisor said, "it's good enough, you can start your research." I CRIED AGAIN BECAUSE I WAS SO HAPPY. Hahahaha.
Then I came to Jakarta with all the fear and anxiety.. Turned out, these last ten days have been so fulfilling I can't even express my happiness. I didn't know how, but I do really grateful that everything went on planned. Yes, EVERYTHING.”
I also attended Resonation, a women empowerment conference, by the VIP invitation from Kak Ollie, and learned to appreciate the process of thesis-writing more. I admitted that nobody will get advantages of this M.A. title but me, so it’s actually not a stop. It’s another way that I have to go through in order to reach my next goals in life. 

I can only remember that this year’s Ramadan is the most challenging in some last years. I worked on my thesis analysis from around 8AM to 2AM next day, prayed tahajjud and did sahoor, then slept for two or three hours only. After 22 days writing non stop, my first draft was ready to be collected – only to find that I have to change my thesis title!!!
I cried for one night, then I continued to write again for the next 6 days and nights. When I handed my final draft to my lecturer, she was really surprised, not assuming at all if I can write that fast and I was so sure with my thesis!!!
Now that I am writing this, I just understand what my classmates said. Some of them have started before me, and when I finished writing, they haven’t even accomplished theirs. I didn’t know what happen, of course the invisible hand of Allah helped me to stay awake for all those days. After my lecturer stated that I can conduct the thesis defense after Idulfitri, I slept for almost 24 hours. LOL.

THESIS-DEFENSE DAY came on July 18. Everything went too smooth until I couldn’t believe that it has been accomplished!!! For some hours I smiled and laughed for no reason. In less than two weeks after then, I was invited by Akber Jogja to speak in front of their community members. The theme “Make Your Social Campaign Attractive” was taken from my thesis. Alhamdulillah alhamdulillah alhamdulillah.

I was overwhelmed with the happiness and preparation of my graduation, so my health was dropped. Ever since I finished my thesis defense, I felt a huge pressure on my shoulders. I took a part-time job at Gotosovie and it was somewhat a comfort, but the pain ate me from the inside. I knew it was a depression symptom, just like what I sensed in 2016. I prayed a lot more these days and I wrote journal of gratitude in daily manner.

My month AT LAST. I went to Jakarta again for the third time this year as I got three job interviews. A start-up found me on my LinkedIn but actually the CEO once heard about me in 2013 or 2014. She didn’t need long time to contract me for six months ahead as a remote worker, alhamdulillah.
I officially graduated on October 19 and went to Bali on October 21 for #UWRF17 as you can read on this post. Gained back my strength even though I was crashed a bit in Bali. I moved on immediately, I guess I am just too good at goodbyes. HA!

I went to Jakarta again for team coordination, then headed to Surabaya and Malang for two weddings. I met my best friend Puput who gave me advices about my next project which I am working at the moment. Hopefully I won’t let you down, Put! And I promise you, I will only spend my lifetime with someone who deserves me!
At first I planned to stay in Malang until mid of December, but I had to go back to Jogja because there was a fellow meeting. Oh yes, I still remember that I am a SYLFF alumni. We discussed the agenda to greet the SYLFF’ Director who will visit Indonesia in January 2018, surely under the supervision of my idol, Pak I Made Andi Arsana.

Still super tired but I need to prepare myself as I will volunteering for NusantaRun Chapter 5. It’s time to pay it back and pay it forward. Please pray so that everything will going smooth.

In conclusion, I may have to be satisfied with reaching ‘only’ one thing. But I believe it will open many good opportunities for next year. I also am learning to hold back in reaching my goals because I want to enjoy some moments in the process of accomplishment. Just like now, Puput said I have to be patient and make everything perfect instead of finishing it hastily (although I think I can wrap it up fast and good enough – but yeah, maybe not perfect).

Nonetheless, I am arrived at the end of this year with happier feeling and healthier mind. My life is not 100% splendid but Allah forged me to be grateful more than complaining all the time. Sometimes I can’t believe that I made it, but as this blog’s name that I internalized deeper this year, I am blessed. Alhamdulillah.

“Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and allow yourself to be guided by something bigger than you.” – Anonymous

Lots of love,

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