Tuesday, 15 October 2013

20 Before 21 List - RECAP

Wow, I can't believe it's almost my birthday already. I am seriously scared and hyped up about it. This is probably the first time ever I'm so terrified of my birthday. Signs of getting older, they say. Good news: I can finally enter bars in the US - though I don't live there or have any immediate plans of going there. Let's see how good I've been this past year. Here's a recap of my 20 before 21 List I made last year. Oh, God, I'm seriously petrified. I don't think I did very well.

1. Learn one more language

You probably don't know but I have a penchant for other languages and I want to learn as many languages as I possibly can. This far, I can already speak 4 languages rather well, including my native language, Indonesian. Last semester, I joined a French course at the uni. It was a lot of fun and I am very pleased to be able to understand some words, even sentences, of French when I read fashion blogs - such as Valentine's or Betty's or Alix's - and listen to French songs - Cœur de Pirate is my go-to gal. I'm not yet very good, we didn't even manage to go through the whole book that we were using. But I could understand enough already. 

Not only that, I've been trying to talk more and more in Javanese, my parents' native tongue. I don't know a lot but I love the language and it's been very fun, engaging with Firu, his sister and his friends in Javanese. Sometimes I amuse my parents in my efforts but they also seem very pleased. They're all better than me, though.

2. Buy an actual DSLR

My long-lost dream finally came true! Ever since a friend of mine brought her SLR to a trip we took together in high school, I've been lusting over such a not-so-little beauty and couldn't wait to get my hands on one. But I wanted it to be used as much as possible so until I could find a better use for it other than collecting dust in my cabinet, I refused to purchase it. Then I started this blog and reason made its appearance to me. I didn't have the budget to purchase one, though. I reached my peak when opportunity came knocking and I brainstormed. The SLR I have and am using for everyday uses is a Canon EOS 600D or Canon Rebel T3i complete with a EF-S 18-135mm zoom lens, which is exactly what I was looking for. 

Sometimes people ask me what kind of camera they should buy and, let me tell you, I haven't got a clue. Tips from me: determine what you're going to be using your camera for, look up camera types from various developers - I believe Nikon and Canon to be the best - and see which ones fit you most, both technically and financially. Also, if you're not using your camera for photography hobbies or professional work, I suggest you stick to pocket cameras. These days, there are already plenty amazing ones that you can work with, with a quality nearing an SLR camera.

3. Go abroad (a country other than Germany)

We went to Paris! Yaay! It was the most magical city and I fell instantly in love. Yes, cliché, I know. But Paris has all these beautiful architectures, lined with cafés and bistros and let's not forget Shakespeare & Co. They say it's the city of love and I can see why. Everything about it was so beautiful and grand. The trip actually inspired me to take up a French course later on. We saw plenty of incredible places, experience loads of interesting happenstance and eat some very delicious - and not so delicious - dishes. All and all, it was definitely worth our while. I can't wait to go back to Paris someday. Maybe I'll make a point of camping in Shakespeare & Co. You can read more of our trip in four sections here

4. Spend less (especially on clothes)

This is so hard to gauge. I'm not sure I did but I did calculate my spendings from January to June this year, so more or less 6 months of splurging. Here's the result: I spent 225.61€ for clothes alone, which is 30.7% of all my expenses. I got 12 items out of it, with an average of 18.8€. If I were to equalise (?) my splurges, this means that I purchase 2 items per month. And I stick by this rule...or at least I try to. Although, I do stray away from retails these days and it has been helping my wallet's health a lot. Also, I've started opening a shop my closet site and it's helped my income a little so I'm happy about that too. I'll try to stick with my within budget shopping tips from now on. Promise.

6. Become more socially active + 16. Gain at least one German friend

This is also hard to gauge. What defines that I'm already socially active? Last October, I started a brand new semester in a brand new university. So, obviously, I made some friends. How else are you going to survive? I met a really incredible girl who later on became one of my dearest friends, Sakurako. Aside from her, I became friends with loads of people, mostly girls from all over the world. There is also one French guy, Saku-chan's roommate (now boyfriend). But, most importantly, I made friends with some Germans. They turn out to be really cool and helpful and I love some of them. Not only did I make friends with foreigners but I also gained some Indonesian friends as well, thanks to Firu. Last summer was, in fact, all about getting together with friends. You know what, I announce this goal accomplished!

9. Decorate my room

Earlier this year, I moved into a new room. Still the same apartment but a different room. A roommate of mine moved out and I had been eyeing his room, which was bigger than mine, so I saw it as an opportunity. Having a new space, though just down the hall from the previous one, is thoroughly inspiring. I was so pumped to decorate my room! After searching for some inspirations online, mainly bloggers' bedrooms, which always look absolutely dreamy for some reason. My room isn't as pretty as I'd like it to be but it's the best I can afford with my budget right now and I am so satisfied by how it all turns out. Very, very nice. I'll probably post about it sometime soon so stay tuned!

10. Get to know other bloggers/illustrators

Okay, on the topic of blogging, I've gotten a lot better this year. For starters, my blog got a makeover, my closet is opened for sale and I've started new features, such as Sartorial Obsession, Lessons Learnt and, most importantly, the new-and-improved Illustrators Arise. So basically, it's a monthly-or-so feature where I interview some of my favourite illustrators. Obviously, I got to know plenty of them. They are all very friendly, talented and simply amazing. I'm so glad I started this feature because I got to know more illustrators than I used to. Go right now and check out their incredible works! Bloggers-wise, I've dived into Chictopia recently where I met plenty of nice bloggers, like October and Kathy, whose blogs I just adore. I just wish I have plenty of topics/themes to talk about with other bloggers. I'm so bad at socialising.

12. Create a film and post it on the blog

Nope, didn't do this one. So why did I put it up here, you say? Because I was willing to receive at least half a point for making two videos and putting them both on the blog. If you haven't seen them yet - and it's probably better that you don't - you can watch them here and here. The latter is much more to my liking, if I were being honest at all. I was just figuring out how to work my beloved Prixma for video shooting and how to edit the footages I captured with iMovie. It's probably not blockbuster material. Heck, it's not even a short film. But I think I did pretty well. I definitely would like to do more in the future. Hopefully, the promise/plan I made with a friend isn't going to waste and I'll really be able to make awesome videos like Elsie and Emma's.

14. Watch more Sundance films

Is it cheating that I didn't watch many Sundance films before I gazed back at this list and saw that it was one of my goals? So long as I got it done before the dreaded 21st birthday, am I right? This year I didn't manage to watch as many films as I used to. I did watch relatively a lot when hanging out with my friends or Firu, though. We watched plenty of films, starting from something mainstream like RED to something non-English like Xi You Xiang Mo Pian (which I liked very much!). But I end up always watching the Sundance films by myself, such as The Lifeguard and Welcome to the Rileys - which were rather intense. They have yet to beat my favourite Sundance film of all time, Like Crazy, though. My new roommate is actually a former roommate of mine, who is a movie-fanatic as well. Our taste in films are pretty similar so I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more cultured movies later on.

17. Buy a picnic basket and go on a picnic with Firu

Can we compromise a little on this? Firstly, I didn't buy a picnic basket, I found one perfectly pretty and usable one in the basement. I cleaned it up a bit and used it to go on a picnic trip with Galuh, Firu's sister, two months ago. Does that count? I did go on a picnic, though it was anything but ideal. The whole point is for me to actually be able to go on a picnic with someone I was comfortable with, right? I should say, mission accompplished.

18. Stargaze in the summer + 19. Go to the beach

I wrote these down with a romantic notion in mind. However, it didn't go as I'd thought it would be. We didn't stargaze in a vast field of grass, lying on our backs and pointing at one or other constellations. We didn't set up a cosmic telescope to peek through galaxies. What we did was stand at a bus stop, waiting for the nightline. It wasn't much of a stargaze as it was a star-noticing. But I still count it. I got to see the stars on a summer night, that was all I asked for. Also, we didn't go to the beach but we went to the countryside and it was ever so blissful. Last summer was such a blast.

20. Have a fancy dinner date with Firu at least once

Okay, it wasn't a date and it wasn't dinner. We were in Paris and decided we should try a hand at an actual Parisian meal. It took us two hours to get through everything! Granted, the dessert came an hour after we finished the main course. Firu and I did order a package menu for two while the other sorted through their own dishes. Our meal consisted of appetizer (which was Foie Gras that I did NOT like), main course (which was Roasted Duck in minute amount) and dessert (which was disappointing cream pudding). All in all, it was an interesting experience and next time we do this, I'd be sure to enjoy the meal more.

Wow, yeah! That was all I could (or could not, you be the judge) accomplish! It was kind of fun, going through everything listed here. I can't wait to make a list for next year and embark on a whole new journey and goals for myself. It's been really fun, having something to accomplish. Sometimes in life, I feel lost on what I was supposed to excel in and what I should use my time for. But with this list, I have more of a direction. There's no guarantee I won't change somewhere along the way and not want to do plenty from the list. There's nothing wrong with that, though. I'll work on my new list now and show you guys later.

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