Twelve Pieces of Twenty Twelve

Confession: 1) I still feel as if this post was made just about yesterday in the very corner of my room. Apparently, another set of 365 days has passed—and 2) I would lie to say that I don’t enjoy the process of reading through my agenda while leaving marks on the pages of moments-slash-accomplishments that matter to me throughout the twelve-month period.

So without the intention to sound cocky whatsoever, here goes my story.
(You might want to stop here if all you have in your head is a judgmental brain.)

January: Beaches and Beyond


It has been a tradition of the crazy students in my beloved department to start the year with an outing agenda. This year, we went to Anyer Beach and despite feeling tortured of not being able to be productive for three days, it turned out that playing with the sand and sea is just as enjoyable as exploring a silent mountain. (The month become twice exciting when I got the news that I will be an assistant lecturer in one of my favorite courses this semester!)


Other than the newly-found affection, this month also marked the beginning of my realization upon the perks of chairing a discussion. Having moderated Marshanda and Dik Doang in Meet the Leaders National Conference, I realized that my previous giddiness toward bad interviews was not always triggered by lame answers but also hardly-sharp questions thrown at them. And somehow this reminded me of a nostalgic push to have a career in journalism.

February: There Are Still Lessons after a Second Failure


Having successfully failed (what an oxymoron) in 2011, Universitas Indonesia’s team emerged and (objectively) performed even better at Harvard National Model United Nations 2012 last February—although we missed the award. Again. The loss hit me even harder not only because I was the head delegate, but also the fact that it was my second chance and I still missed it. But hey, it helped me to realize that I truly savor the pressure and level of complexity this competition offers (and thus will go there again next year). Good thing that we got to stroll across New York for three days afterward (I also made a post about it).

March: Even True Love Needs a Proof


After having the idea for quite some time, my two friends and I finally managed to publish Indonesian International Relations Students websitea platform for, as the name stated, passionate youth to write their ideas and arguments in the discipline. Additionally, @iirstudents was also made to spark online debates/discussion and basically interact with the people on Twitter. I was so happy getting exposed to everyone’s enthusiasm!

April: The Devastation of Getting Second Is a Myth


According to this research, bronze medallists are happier than those who won silver. The reason to such postulation is mainly the fact that runner-ups usually face a harder time moving on from the thought of “I could’ve been the champion had I done a little better.” Knowing the efforts that my best friend did to win the faculty’s Mahasiswa Berprestasi award, however, I know that he deserves the position far more than I do and I can’t be a happier runner-up. (Oh wait, I could beit was when Iman was finally announced as the National Champion!)

May: Lessons for the Coach


I always had the fear of “You’re not good enough to win an award and yet you dare to train us?” whenever I began a coaching session (for either public speaking, debating, or—mainly—Model United Nations). As I went on, however, I got to understand that being a coach is not about being greater than your kids (and thus legitimize your position as the person to look up to), but having the eye able to identify even the most hidden potentials that they have and smart enough to formulate the method that might assist them in the unleashing process. Currently feeling rather addicted to it (especially after the chocolat chaud the kids brought me from Canada, LOL), this year I took the pleasure of becoming the coach for several teams in my campus’s club as well as high schools.

June: It’s Okay to Stop By


If there’s anything I really learned this year, it’s the fact that life is not only about moving upward the stairs of career but also having frequent pauses so you can enjoy the view. So—invited by a senior—I sneaked into his extended class on philosophy in Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Driyarkara every Monday, in addition to several other unrelated concerts, seminars, and of course, books.
Which were amusing!

July: Australians Make the Best MUNs Ever


I still remember my first experience of directing a conference—I was a rather shy, clueless one—and within just one year, God let me experience a whole new level of heated debate in the year’s most livable city, Melbourne. This was me, my co-director, and the delegates of COP 18 at Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference 2012 after three days of great discussion on global carbon trade. We had motions on video-screening, singing, and dancing—I love Australians!

August: A Collage of Overwhelming Exhilarations


1. I finally published my first-ever article on The Jakarta Globe Blogs. The amateur (not to mention debut) post made it to one of the Most-Readable-on-JGBlogs, got 88 retweets, and I definitely felt super-great about it! You can read it here.


2. We managed to hold the first-ever national gathering of Indonesian Future Leaders board from across the country! Despite the poor venue (we had it in an unused masjid’s hall), we had a really precious time togerther exchanging views.


3. A series of meet-ups also filled in the month. I’m usually a wallflower who avoids crowd, but the month really taught me how meeting new people let you brainpick in an entirely different way, but equally nice. These are some of the awesome people I met somewhen in the middle of August.


4. You know, it’s just about time that one will regain their faith and optimism in the government. I had mine after working with a team of Indonesia’s most brilliant people in the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight for two months, as an intern. You should have a slice and apply, too! More information can be found here.

September: Graduation Is Both a Farewell and a Beginning


After going through five months of amazing forums and awesome projects, we were finally declared as the alumni of Young Leaders for Indonesia Wave 4.
I don’t exactly know how I can say this without being cheesy, but the experience was truly a life-changing one—it made me realize that each of us has the responsibility to contribute back to the country.


In the same month, two of my friends also graduated—from the university, in just three years! The rest of batch 2009 can’t be prouder of Pettisa and Caroline.


My friend Gesa once told me about this clever person who made a curriculum vitae not only after his achievements, but also failures. So this, my friend, is an open self-reminder that I have been once rejected by a company I wished to work for. I felt very, very disappointed at that time, but rejections are one of the most effective tool to humility. Cheers.


P.S. I also had a
hard time moderating my first-ever semi political talkshow with (among others) Faisal Basri and Arif Zulkifli, but ended up enjoying it! Oh and after getting the opportunity to talk and moderate a number of other similar events, I sort of understand how answering human’s instinct to share will indeed lessen the burden of being overblessed with opportunities.

October: The Commencement to My Retirement Period



Indonesia Model United Nations 2012 marked the last (and best) event I was involved in throughout the year, and can’t be a prouder part of it. Looking forward to a greater one next year, will gladly come to the closing ceremony, Diku.

November: Too Much Happiness


Hold your breath, ladies and gents: I FINALLY MET AYU UTAMI IN PERSON! Although I did embarrass myself by unstructuredly blurting out how she’s not just my favorite writer but also a prophet-writer whose writings profoundly change how I see things, I was so happy when she spontaneously commented, “Oh kita beda satu huruf aja berarti. Kamu A-fu, saya B-fu. Maksudnya Bilangan Fu,” followed by the audience’s laughter.


And this. This marked the first time I scored in a writing competition (I never entered any before) and God I can’t be any more thankful.
In case you want to read the essay I submitted.

December: West Sumbawa and Bali


I used to ‘meh’ at people who blabbed about how not traveling is like only reading one page of the whole book yet my first experience to another part of Indonesia outside Java Island gave me this perpetual longing to explore some more.
Had an interview about it.


Did not manage to compose any report about Global Youth Forum, but I guess most of my criticism was eloquently elaborated by Youth Policy’s article. Thanks to Angga Dwi Martha, I had one of the best hands-on learning experience about how a policy-making process is really complicated and yet critically important. Although, the event stroke me back with a bit of pessimism about how our bureaucrats can ever meet our high expectations.

Above all the heartbreaks that made me stronger and missed opportunities that humbled me down, I thank God for proving that even after all the amazingly wonderful experiences I had in 2011, things can still get better.

Let 2013 surprise us. Have another great year ahead!

P.S. Lately I’ve been doing a small literary photography project on Instagram. Despite the obvious incomparability, the activity gets me excited just like writing does. Feel free to check the pictures out!



  1. Hello Afu! I just read this blogpost – after being alerted by Reza about you quoting the Failure CV. Just wanted to let everybody know that the failure CV idea belongs to Tina Seelig, author of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20. This is an amazing book which I highly recommend. So actually, per your blogpost, it’s "her" achievements ;)


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