Year 2021 in a Nutshell

Published at December 30, 2021, 07:59 GMT+0
Glencoe, United Kingdom. Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash.
Glencoe, United Kingdom. Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash .

If you think I am lazy for re-using the same image as I did in this post, then yes, you are absolutely right.

Before 2021 comes to an end, I want to reflect on what I have done in 2021 so far. This year was yet another tough one in terms of challenges like last year, but thankfully, it looks like I am going to survive this year.

So… where to start? Let’s start from the first half of the year, I guess.

First half of the year

There were a lot of family dramas and it kept on coming, despite how tired I was with those nonsenses. Like, I don’t know, I wish my mother and my oldest brother would discard their materialistic trait and see the world not only for money.

From January until at the time of writing, I hadn’t met my mother even once. I learned my lesson already. I was a donkey back then for giving my mother 3 chances to redeem herself. Eventually, my wife and I got hurt emotionally and all that because of my foolishness. No more.

The same goes for my older brother. I was a fool for giving him another chance, when in the end what he did was to attack me when I was not prepared. No more.

There were… other parties who thought that it was that simple to just “simply” visit my mother. This was because the norm here in Indonesia is that parents are respected and children are expected to do their utmost to “satisfy” their parents. One coming from someone whose parents got divorced when they were still a child and some others whose families were functional.

I think it is very hard to “assume” the shoes of another person, especially in the case of families. More often than not, our experience bias gets the better of us and it can lead to a wrong judgment. Those whose parents got divorced probably think that complete parents are always better (regardless of how dysfunctional the family is). On the other hand, for those whose family is functional, they think it’s always better for the children to always “heed” their parents because they never face the hardship of a dysfunctional family.

I grew up in a family that was quite dysfunctional, especially in terms of solving problems. It was very rare that a problem was “solved” cool-headed. It was either not solved or solved prematurely for the sake of stopping the chaos.

I think that probably it would be better if my parents get divorced. It would seem the best for all parties, but I don’t know whether that would just mean trading one problem for another problem (perhaps). Family issues are super complex and I don’t think there is a single answer to the problems, especially if the problems come from the parents. I can understand that there were some ideas around “get married when you are ready” or “get married when you are finished with your past”.

In some cases, that idea is valid. However, in some other cases, perhaps that idea isn’t valid. Imagine living in a toxic family where if you want to live separately (before getting married) is seen as a negative action. You are caught in a bind. You keep getting showered by the poisons, yet you can’t get yourself free. Even when you express your intent to get married, then somehow your parents will make it hard for you to leave. If your anger gets the best of you at one point, they will use it as a weapon to tell you that you are not ready to get married yet. So, here, you have 3 choices: stand still, get out, or get married.

Whichever choice you take, hopefully, it will work for you, and may your light always bless your heart.

My choice last year was to stand tall and put a “mask” in front of my mother, hoping that it wouldn’t cause harm to my wedding plans. Lo and behold, it broke me 3 weeks before my wedding day and I was quite lucky that I survived the whole ordeal. It could have gone the other way. However, it was a worthy sacrifice, for now, I live separately from my mother. That distance itself gives me a lot of moments of peace.

Even then, in June this year, I had the intention to not get vaccinated. I thought if I didn’t get vaccinated, it would be easier for me to get COVID-19, so I wouldn’t be tortured anymore by my mother and my oldest brother. Shortly after that, my wife knocked some sense to me and I realized that I was wrong. Finally, I decided to get vaccinated in July.

Second half of the year

The second half of the year was mostly better. There wasn’t a lot of family drama. My wife and I got our two vaccination doses. However, I reached my limit in work, which led to me burning out.

I took 2 weeks of time off. It didn’t work. The closer I was to the back-to-work date, the more anxious I was. I wanted to resign, but on the other hand, this was the first time I had the personal desire to resign. Previously, I resigned because I needed to as I was about to go to Australia for my Masters. After a lot of contemplation, finally, I resigned… very awkwardly.

The first few days were hard. I didn’t really enjoy stuff as I did before. Although, in this case, time healed. Slowly, through my “funemployment”, I recovered bit by bit. I could enjoy playing games, I could even do continue to do pet project stuff a bit more.

It was surprisingly a correct decision, I think. Just before I resigned, I didn’t have any more energy left in my tank. Opening my work laptop was a pain, let alone opening an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). My creativity dried out. I was lucky that I am in quite good shape financially when resigning, so I could catch my breath.

I contributed to some fun projects, such as password-ga and random-gofood. I also had the chance to create stuff myself, for example, count-up-down, how-long, and reworked this site.

It became even better with the release of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. My God, what a game. I cried a lot when I was playing the Main Scenario Quests (MSQ). The plot, the character developments, the stakes… it’s just too good. Some of the events really resonated with me because I also had the “pleasure” to feel utter darkness and despair. This game reminded me that I am not alone (WARNING: quest spoiler), as there are other people also struggle with their own problems.

Hopefully, in 2022, I can get back on the journey. Wishing you all a great year ahead!