Every year at the time of transition to the new calendar, we hear people launch their resolutions, from losing weight, stop smoking, start volunteering, convert to a vegan, to travel around the world, and you may find yourself in the same club. Some stick to them, others I suspect just have the list stick on the fridge, picking up dusts until it’s time to celebrate another new year. I am never one of those resolutions-maker types. I simply do things I want anytime I want, I wait for no one, I make goals from time to time every year and work my butt off to get to where I want to be. Borrowing what Benny the Irish Polyglot says, any random point in the earth’s orbit is as good a time as any to make positive changes in your life. Oh and there’s the Bucket List that seems to grow each year!
Since the resolution style is out of the picture, how do I commemorate New Year? I walk down the memory lane, count my blessings, acknowledge my personal accomplishments no matter how small and unfinished tasks I need to complete, take into account each phase I experienced and then – strive for more. The year we passed brought us to today and life is not always easy, so I’d say, let’s appreciate the life we have by acknowledging what we have done, what we haven’t finished, or what we failed to do. No matter how scary it may be. And when you’re done, dream big once more.
Last year, the joy and hardship collided and started to form the life I enjoy so much right now. Still newbies in Australia, the self-service lifestyle took its toll when we finally moved to our house in the North suburb of Brisbane and I was left all alone most of the times to deal with every labor and other jobs needed to be done. Week by week passed and we learned to balance everything and came out as winners. We now get the hang of living in this not-so-strange-anymore land and enjoy every discovery along the way. I survived the madness of starting a new life in a new place that’s so different from other countries we’d lived before….talk about defeating my “demons” with my “Dragon;” the first being challenges and the latter being my inner peace.
We visited my dear Mom, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and neighbors back home in Indonesia in April. Those 3 weeks were one of the best times I had going home. I got to show my kids places and things I used to do when I was their ages and I got to meet my childhood friends. My Mom – miss her so much – she is still my rock and I look forward to hugging her in my arms again. In June, I finally made a peaceful closure with leaving Shanghai when we traveled back there; met my lovely friends and reminiscing old times while looking forward to the future. I walked the roads I’ve walked countless times before and for a while there, I felt as if we never left. When the 2 weeks visit was over, I didn’t shed tears leaving the city I’ve grown to love so much. Closure achieved.
Last year gave me heaps of new friends and I enjoyed working with incredibly strong and big-hearted women and men at the shelters, the LGBT movements, the state schools, the Photography clubs, and the enviromental-concious educators. Every friendship I made, every soul I met, I cherished them and I will always do. After the set back of leaving my WuShu and Kickboxing training in Shanghai and not being able to find a dojo with classes that suits my time, I turned to running; something I hated to do before, which makes it another “demon” to defeat. I set the goal to run half-marathon at Brisbane Running Festival in August, trained on my own for 3 months, bear the cold on early morning of the race, and ran to the finish line. Less than a month later, I went on The Bridge To Brisbane 10-K charity run with over 40,000 runners and walkers – it was an incredible morning on the Gateway Bridge!
Also last year, I launched www.suzikarim.com and embarked on professional Photography job with my Nikon DSLR – I must say it’s been a great discovery! On the revival side, I picked up writing again, got my article published in a woman’s magazine and haven’t stopped writing since then. More on the fun side, I’d got myself a new tat and dermal piercings, and went to incredibly amazing concerts – Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries, Matchbox 20, Coldplay with The Temper Trap, Lady Gaga, and Nickelback. I dare say, the party goes on! As family, we went roadtripping from Brisbane to Sydney (blog is coming soon!), peacefully celebrated the New Year Eve at the Blue Mountains and spent the first day of 2013 hiking through the beautiful forest of National Park. It beats the hectic NY eve with two million people in Sydney downtown, besides, we’ve seen enough firework shows during our 8 years living in Shanghai I feel it’s getting old.
My excursion to 2013 was filled with new discoveries and challenges and I would not want it another way. I believe that the things we did, causes we stood and fought for, choices we made, friendships we found and laughs we shared, distances we’re willing to take to discover our(true)selves, and how much love we gave and received – are what make a year worth remembering. Having supportive family members and friends who appreciate you as you are sure makes life easier and the excursion to every new year more fun. I am so grateful to have both.
We have no freaking idea when our times will be expired on this earth and I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to make more discoveries and memories, conquer more challenges, and never stop enjoying life for as long as I live (*checking the Bucket List, again*).
Cheers to all things as wonderful as life!