the year of 2019

It’s pretty much 3 months late (haha) but hey, who says reflection only takes place at the end of the year (or beginning of one?). 2020 is a new decade and to think that I’ve survived the 2nd decade of my life, this time with better memory and appreciation of what has happened, I’d say it has been quite amazing.

There’s always a first for everything. I have never had an IV drip, ever. I opened 2019 with, well, being sick. I didn’t like it at all and have been doing my very best no to get in the same situation.

I also had a chance to see Beijing on a business trip. Somewhat conquered the Great Wall of China with friends and colleagues. I learned that I was a true Komodo dragon – couldn’t stand the cold haha.


I started a US visa application, this time without a sponsor and/or petition. I wrote everything about it here, in the hope that it’ll help anyone’s applying for a B1/B2 visa.

Well, well. Yours truly made a new friend at work this month. It’s refreshing to connect with someone else without having to worry about backstabbing and office politics, despite the fact that we worked under the same organization. It’s a big milestone because this year, I got to learn firsthand there’s a huge difference between friends and colleagues.

Celebrated Christmas in March with that one person who walks in starlight in a different world. Made lovely memories and understand that the best part of memories is making them. Boston was still enveloped in snow and the city looked like something out of a postcard. I loved every second of my trip.


Guess what? I also skied for the first time! Here’s a picture of K patiently waiting for me to remove my goggles in the far front of a diamond slope to get a better picture.


K and I visited California again for a beautiful wedding (the bride walked the aisle with Spirited Away’s Itsumo Nando Demo on the background!). K got to reconnect with some of his community college and university buddies and we had a fun week. Northern California and Bay Area are places both K and I hold dear in our hearts, it was lovely to be back.



Back in the East Coast, I took K to meet my cousins in New York. We had brunch at Sarabeth’s and you know among all the things I love, brunch is one I love the hardest hahah. We visited Ground Zero and I stood there in a sunny New York, thinking about 9/11 and the impact it brought to the world – I can’t even imagine how the victims and their families are handling it to this day.

But New York was also about other things. A stroll at Brooklyn Bridge, dragging K for a cronut at Dominique Ansel’s, and saying hi to lady Liberty. In the end, it was too soon and I had to say goodbye, again. Believe it or not, it doesn’t get any easier.


Boat ride. Jellyfish. Beach faraway from home. Sunkissed skin. Orangutans.
I travelled with rare, precious friends who fiercely stayed by my side. It was too easy to be myself with these ladies and they brought out only the very best in me.


My boss left for good – not sure what that meant for me. Though I knew it was a start to an even longer and draining journey. For everyone’s sake, I hope it was worth it.

Wondering if I was quite where I wanted to be, but literally had no time to ponder — which was probably a telltale sign to pause for a bit. But who am I kidding? I work at a startup, “pausing” is a concept unheard of.

Every year. Every single freakin’ year, there’s got to be a month FULL of rollercoaster rides in this theme park of life. This year, it’s July. One of my favorite girl, Karina, got married. I contemplated about marriage and commitment a lot as I assisted her with wedding prep. Mom went in for a huge surgery and the amount of energy and emotional toll it took on me was unbelievable. You know, sometimes I wonder how my soul is still intact. K was so adamant to fly me back to Boston. I’m flattered by this need but questioned it since I was just in Boston practically 3 months ago. I went to Boston because visiting K is pretty much my favorite thing to do and my mom was stable. In Boston, K proposed.


Excuse me, did you hear? K proposed. Mom got slightly better and emotional weight toned down a bit.

I turned a year older and hopefully a bit wiser. I kind of know what I want to do with life…. I guess. Well, probably not 100% sure, but I’ve got dreams and I am nervous but I also am very excited about it.

chloe_cafe_by_yuchunho_da55sm5-fullviewart by yuchunho

K came home for our “official” engagement party.  We are engaged in the eyes of society. The best part was that K was here with me. I am always in awe every time he’ s physically here, like he’s real and all. I am blissfully happy that I got to show him around Ambon, my dear, dear, beautiful hometown. We took our pre-wedding pictures there, met my family and I am thankful God protected us from the constant earthquakes that hit Ambon that time.


I have no memory of this month. Probably was getting ready for Christmas, looking for wedding dress and bake yummy cookies. I didn’t know how much butter can affect cookies’ flavors.

I got hurt. I understand better what a toxic friendship is and finally convinced myself to be brave to cut it out of my life. This was a huge turning point because for the longest time, I believed that when I removed myself from toxic environment, it means I give up on people. And I feel bad. But sister, it’s not about giving up on people, it’s about respecting yourself. It’s about having the strength to fight for people you care about and be gentle enough to forgive. It’s about doing that to yourself too. It is okay, to let go.

3 months into 2020 and I know it hasn’t been easy for any of us. There was flood, forest fire, Kobe Bryant left us, Reynhard Sinaga happened and Indonesia learned a little bit of good journalism. And then COVID-19 decided to show up and mess with people and the world in general. Maybe 2020 is about taking a step back. People are forced to limit their mobility but hey, probably that means we’re reducing major carbon print. As we struggle to breathe, Earth is allowed to breathe easy for once. I hope you guys stay safe and take care of each other.



Published by reylasano

she writes your stories

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