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2015: How My Year Had Been

Before I go on, I wish you all Happy New Year 2016!

Now, I’m not going to lie, I have done a pretty bad job in reading and reviewing and book blogging last year. In 2014 I read 30 books, but last year I only managed to read 17, with several months gap in between some books. And I have done almost next to nothing in book blogging.

Well, what can I say; it had been a rough year. I’ve been through some struggles—in achieving one of my life goals, in my work. Also there were financial struggles and emotional struggles, the first is hardly over yet, but thankfully for the latter I can say that I am so much better now and I had not been dispirited to move on and start anew in 2016.

Let me tell you a thing or two about what 2015 was like for me. One of my life goals is to pursue postgraduate study. It’s been some years since I had my undergraduate degree and I think it is time to improve myself. So starting from late 2014 I have applied to several scholarships, without much success, I might add. But I am still grateful for these failures because I learned a lot from them, and this time I hope I can make it right. I applied for Chevening Scholarships 2016/2017 (the application period had closed on November 2015) and I really hope that this time my application will be successful. If it’s not, I will keep trying year after year, because this is something I really want. The thought that I’m not good enough, that I’m not cut out to get it still haunts me every day, but I believe only the best will happen.

Work had been jumbled and chaotic. There were times that I honestly think that I do more than I’m paid for. In the turn of the year I have been thinking about it and I have come into a conclusion. Asking for a raise would be fruitless effort, and trying to get another job is out of the question, at least for now. So I will have to be content with what I have now and at the same time put my best and hardest effort to my work. Appropriate compensation will follow after.

As for emotional struggle, there had been something that occupied my mind so often that I could not concentrate. My priorities got all messed up, promises and resolutions broken, books left unread. But now I’m happy to say that I have overcome most of it, and will try better this year.

Now, my 2015 wasn’t all gloomy—there were pleasant experiences as well; which I’m going to share a few with you now. Some are book-related and some are not.

  • On March I celebrated 500 likes on my blog’s Facebook Page and new URL (changed from https://surgabukuku.wordpress.com to http://surgabukuku.com) and also my first-ever translation job. I have over 1,150 likes on Facebook now, it’s quite a miracle because I really don’t post that often. Nonetheless, thanks to all of you who have liked my page!
  • On June, I went to watch Pentatonix concert in Jakarta, and what’s more, I won the Meet & Greet tickets! (Meet & Greets are limited to about 30 persons per day, and Pentatonix held concerts for two consecutive days in Jakarta). Their performance was mindblowing and I was really happy to get the chance to meet them in person, despite it being SO VERY BRIEF (and I got tongue-tied when I met them, I know, it’s a shame T_T).

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  • On July, I participated in Batch of Kindness event. So there is this guy, the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch, who has birthdays every 19 July. And he told his fans to do kindness to other people instead of giving him birthday greetings and gifts. (Heart of gold, he has). Some of his fans responded to his plea and #BatchofKindness was born. 2015 was the first time I joined it, and I decided to give away books for 2 people in my community, the Indonesian Book Bloggers (BBI). Why did it have to be members of BBI? Because I wanted it to be surprising and somewhat intimate. So those who wanted the chance to get a book from their wishlists registered their names, and I would then pick two winners randomly and send the books without any announcements. And yes the recipients were surprised (and happy) to get the book they wanted.

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    Nana and Akhfhin, recipients of #BatchofKindness 2015

And I printed out the bookmarks. Let’s not forget about the bookmarks.

  • Starting from midyear (I don’t remember exactly when) I started to take a huge interest on collecting books. (It is COLLECTING, you hear? NOT hoarding!) I started collecting Jane Eyres, antique books, and illustrated books (these are not exclusive categories).

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    My Jane Eyres

I am really fond of these books, but from them all maybe I love these two the best:

Jane Eyre with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg, published in 1943. The oldest book on my shelves to date.

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The Secret Garden with illustrations by Inga Moore, Walker Classics. This book is just so beautiful. It’s the kind of book that makes you wish you could be flattened out and absorbed to the pages and become a part of it.

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Still waiting for the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it hasn’t arrived yet.

  • I’ve also taken to colouring, but I will talk about all that in a different post, at the end of January ;).
  • Just 11 weeks ago, sometime in mid-October, I started a bookstagram. Yes, it’s partly for the purpose of showing off (isn’t that what Instagram is for?) and I am not a professional or anything, I simply love sharing pictures of books. According to #2015bestnine which was generated on 28 Dec, I have 1,564 likes for my 69 posts in 2015. Not really that bad, innit? Compared to other bookstagram accounts mine is merely flecks of dust (“butiran debu”) but I really don’t mind. 🙂 You can follow me here: http://instagram.com/surgabukukusurgabukuku_full
  • And precisely on 31 October, I moved to a new house. Leaving behind my childhood home, where I had lived for almost the rest of my life was hard and saddening, but this is life. With new beginnings, come new blessings, right?

So that was my 2015. As for 2016, I have only hopes and faith. It is going to be a so much better year!

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