Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

To be honest, I’m not at the right mood to write this post. But since today is one year anniversary of my blog, I just don’t want to miss it. So even it will not be perfect, I’ll do it anyway.

As I probably repeat several times in this blog, this blog is a birthday present from my best friend, and I was hesitating for two months before finally write in this blog at the age 22 years + 2 months. I was hesitating a lot because at that time I want to sort of planned it out carefully. Choosing the template, tweaking the design, planning what kind of post I should write, even planning some tiny details about how should I hide people’s name by only writing their initials.

In the end, I started anyway, without being perfectly ready, I wrote post by post.. and thats how this blog today, and the same thing happen to the way I live most of my life today.

Today is around 1,5 years since my graduation, and I’m 23 + 2 months old. If i look back, it would be a lie if I said I have no regret. I do have things that I regret, probably a lot. Quitting my job few month before graduation, not looking for a new job slightly before and after graduation, not selling my design to a national company, not apply for a job in the capital, not yet having the courage to publish my own game design, not getting a full time paid job like my friends did, not finish writing my first book, doing fatal mistakes when designing, are only several thing that I regretted.

Having regretted lots of thing, I realized that in our life we’re going to regret something anyway. As humans, its our nature to ask : WHAT IF?

What if I do this instead of that, what if I didn’t do this but do that instead. The more I asked myself, the more I realize. That I don’t know what happen to me if i don’t live my life today as it is. I don’t know how my life today will feel like or look like if i don’t do things as I did in my past. My life can be better, can be worse. No other humans know. Maybe God know, but He aren’t going to tell us anyway. So no one ever know.

No one can be sure that I will be more successful than I am today. Unless if success have really specific criteria, which if we haven’t met that specific criteria, we are a complete failure. Unless success and failure was determined by some narrow standard, maybe by money only, by popularity only or by other common determinant.

But what I learn from my life in a year time. Success, and failure is unique in each person case. What in the beginning seems like a big failure, seems like a big mistake, or something that going to be failed. Can lead into something big, something powerful, something enlightening.

My decision to try start my own business, or work by my own, at my hometown, a medium sized town, instead of working in established company, somewhere in the big cities,  leave me in an almost (if not truly ) unemployed condition for more than 6 months, continued by another months of extremely underemployed condition, with only one or two freelance project, which I managed to finish only after prolonged time (but still make mistakes in the end). Until one day, I was getting a call in a random morning, simply to help dealing with an urgent design matter, which somehow lead to unexpectedly awesome experience designing signage, arranging space, organizing factory visit and mini museum for a local company, plus packaging project, and other design related project from the same company.

In a year full of stress, tears, than what I ever have in the past 21-almost-22 years of my life before, I experienced walking in the road less travelled. I ride in the bumpy road with a lot of uncertainties along the way. Instead of doing and getting things exactly as I planned. I experienced failure and pain along the way, but at the other side getting chances and privileges which mostly not common things for 23 year old, young Indonesian designer like me.

In a year time, I tried to trained myself, even though very slowly, changing my working style. From the strict idealist and perfectionist, who only willing to deliver a perfect design, which in the end delivered very late in the name of perfection, although most of the case acute procrastination strike and delay the completion of project. Transform slowly but sure,into someone who tries to start working even when not feeling ready yet, and polish it along the way. While keep trying to deliver a high quality design, my definition of perfect work do shifted a bit. While in the past I only care mostly about the design itself, during this year time experience, I learned that an awesome design is not only determined by the design itself, but also the time of delivering, compatibility with the implementation, and other aspect of the real world.

In a year time I meet more kinds of people I never met before, or maybe I’ve met before but never know their kind really exist. I met a 24 y.o. girl who leave her job in order to travel around Europe, despite never travelled abroad before. I met 20 y.o. boy who is afraid to make imperfect drawing, because his professor wont like it, even though he know 100% that the professor will never see that drawing. I met 24 y.o. boy recent graduate, yet already having years of experience in non profits, and now starting a social entrepreneurship project. I met another guy in his 50s, a fatherlike figure who initiated a youth organization, and agree to be a mentor for my project. I met many more kinds of people, and keep finding another.

At some of them I saw some traits that we share, but another factors in our life makes our life end up completely different. Sometimes I met someone seems completely different from me but turns out have something similar happens in life.

In a year time, I learned that things that I thought, I already prepared perfectly can go wrong. Despite through preparation in most case helpful, unexpected things might happen.

I also learned that, unexpected things sometimes (if not most times) are not a bad thing. Try to do something when we’re not in the most comfortable state, try working on a project we have no or less experience doing, suddenly decide to apply for a thing and get accepted, join competitions and eventually win some prizes.

Uncertainty and unexpected, is the keyword of this past year, and I believe still apply in my future.

Despite all the regret, failure, mistakes,and postponements, I am thankful for this year. For each small little chances who end up being unexpectedly big experience. For an awkward beginning who end up being close partnership and friendship. For small baby steps that sometimes will transform into small little jumps.

Thanks to the Lord that give me faith, strength, patience, passion, and determination. To stay alive and contribute better. To continue, despite any skepticism that occur.

Even though I haven’t or may not achieve things as I planned. I am thankful of my life as it is, because in a year time, I learned a lot!

You’ll Never Be Old and Wise If You Weren’t Young and Crazy – anonymous



Winnie Tjahjana