A lot has happened since the last time I was here. Most of the time I was occupied by office workloads, but there were also exciting times where I got to explore new hobbies and interest – which you’d have noticed from the title of this post, and I will share in a bit as well.
We’ll get to the fun and colourful part in a jiffy, but before that, I kind of wanted to share the more *depressing* part of these past couple months as well. Only as a reminder that behind all these pretty pictures you’ll see in a bit, I didn’t always have good days. My working hours, for example, have practically doubled – which is thanks to the combination of my crappy time management, my perfectionism, and the increasing workload. I also skipped so many French classes and didn’t continue to B1 level since I didn’t even have time to study for the final exam. I bought a piano keyboard and planned to learn how to play it but it has been three months since it’s only sitting awkwardly in my bedroom, since I do not have the time to learn. I don’t exercise, the amount of times I’ve left the house since March (even to convenience shops) is countable by fingers, and I haven’t met A or any of my friends since March. It’s stressful, but I’m hanging on. Oftentimes by a thread, but at least it’s not torn apart (yet).
Like many of us, I’ve been searching for a coping mechanism amidst these insane times. Especially one that is doable from the comfort of my own home. And like many people out there, the answer is: houseplants!
My significant other of six and a half years (feels strange to type this, I barely realized this is how long we’ve been together) had his twenty-something birthday yesterday!
The spotlight of this post should probably be on him, but I’m afraid this won’t be the case. If you read this with the intention of hearing a story about A, be prepared to get disappointed. Mainly because in this post, I would talk mostly about some of the past birthday gifts that I’ve crafted for him throughout the years – thus this post is more about my crafting journey than A himself, lol.
Although in the past few years we’ve been getting each other more practical, functional, and long-lasting gifts – mainly because we’re way past the adolescent era where we still had the utmost need for attention, treatment, and so forth, and now we realize we could really use some useful “adult” tools to help each of us get through life – today I’m feeling nostalgic and just feeling like reminiscing the good old days where I would try so hard to shower him with those self-made pretty-pretties excessively.
Those who have known me since at least my undergraduate years may know that I’m a huge fan of DIY, designs, or basically anything that screams arts and crafts. So basically, I’ve been using A‘s birthdays as an excuse to nurture my passion about creating artsy-craftsy handmade knick-knacks – apart from the fact that he deserves the token of appreciation as well, of course. From the classic birthday card, birthday book, birthday lunch decor, and a couple of other things, his birthday has basically been a special occasion for me to experiment with papers and scissors.
Ever since I took my first office gig in Jakarta last year, I’ve been moving across a couple of temporary housings in the city. “Kostan” is what we call those accommodations here in Indonesia, which is basically almost like a mix of a dormitory (but not only for students) and shared house (although some of them don’t quite look like a house, especially since some of them are not equipped with parking lot, living room, laundry facilities, or even a kitchen).
Funnily enough, none of them ever felt quite as “comfortable” as an actual place to relax and unwind by the end of the day for me. Although in the context of proper beddings, furniture, and facilities which help me to fulfil my basic needs of a shelter, they are indeed physically comfortable. It’s just that none of them ever feels like a “safe haven” that I would gladly spend a whole week inside, unlike some of my previous temporary bedrooms. (I was even almost gone mad the first two weeks of WFH and quarantine, before I decided to stay with my family in Bandung instead.)