This is August already! This means, more than half of 2017 has passed. And man, does time fly. And here I am, in the second half of the year. Yet another chapter in my life is going to unfold.
So a little update, I am officially Dr. Andru Putra Twinanda now. Yeay! My defense went quite smoothly, everybody was quite happy with how it turned out. My parents were there, my friends came too, and a lot of cool people present at the meeting. Awesome beans.
After I was done with the defense, I went to vacation with my parents. We went to Spain, Morocco and Portugal. It was a lot of fun. This was the time when I realized that my parents are getting old. I felt they were so much older than the last time they came to Europe which was 5 years ago. And again, yet another proof that time is such a fleeting little thing. But nevertheless, we made the best of our time there.
And then I went back to the lab, continued working on the projects that I was working on. Jointly with an intern, we got a paper accepted at MICCAI, which made this year even sweeter. My contract as a post-doc terminated some time ago, by the end of July to be exact. Some time in June, I have decided to join a startup company in the Netherlands, I will start working in September.
Oh man, so much has changed in such a short amount of time. At the end of my contract in Strasbourg, I couldn’t help but to reminisce all the time that I had spent with my colleagues in the lab. The endless hangouts and laughter with my friends, the restless nights of writing papers, and the limitless possibilities of experimental setups to do. All those things are now just another chapter in my life. Always held dear, but in the past.
So, here I am now, having a little down time, getting my mind refreshed and ready for my upcoming job. I am currently in Groningen, the objective of my visit is to find myself an apartment, and I DID! Mind you, it is very difficult to find an apartment here, especially on such a high season when the students are coming to start their studies here (and Groningen’s population is mostly students ). Actually, I just signed the apartment contract this morning. I am really happy that I managed to get an apartment that I really like and very close to my future office. I wish I had taken pictures of the apartment. Did I tell you already that I really like it?
All is well that ends well. As fleeting as our life can be, and as fast as time flies, I cannot wait for my next adventure in the Netherlands. Somehow, I have an inkling that it will be an exciting one. So, till next time!
PS: Still waiting for my work permit, wish me luck!
Hey y’all! What’s up? Been a long time not writing here. Dear God, I keep losing motivation to post something on this blog. Believe it or not, there are so many blog drafts ready in my account to post. Either they are not finished or I decided not to post them because they are too controversial.
Well, in any case, here I am, writing my annual post which is about my resolution. Here is the list of what I would like to do in 2016 and how I am doing for each point:
- Defeat the demons inside me. A few months ago, I made public one of the most raw posts (which was password-protected) that I have written about myself in which I talked about my anxiety problems. I think this is a step toward defeating my demons. Trying to acknowledge and own them. Explicitly state what I want to do with them and put them online so that I can be held accountable. In the real, I don’t think I will ever defeat these demons, what I can do is just learn to live and manage them. And I think I am doing better now compared to in 2015. So, to be fair, this is not really a resolution which I can say whether I can tick off of the list. In any case, progress achieved! 😀
- Get a job in Europe. Well, the plan was to end 2016 with a PhD diploma. However, scheduling was a little bit difficult so I couldn’t defend my thesis at the end of the year. My defense is planned for January 27, 2017 (wish me luck!), which is pretty soon. Afterwards, I already talked with my supervisor that I would like to stay in the lab as an engineer for another 6 months and he agreed to this. So, I guess this can be considered as a check in the list. 🙂
- Getting healthier. I actually stopped eating chips, but around September or something like that, I broke this good habit. It is a bit upsetting, so I am willing to put it to test again.
- Fourth language is not happening. However, I DID learn how to read cyrillic! So, that’s interesting right? I think I need to accept that I will not speak more than three languages (and some extra traditional languages. ;)) #humblebrag
- Read a French book each month and write more in French. This is a fail. I think I kept the reading resolution only until February and just dropped it. As for the writing, well you know how well I keep up with my blog posts. Actually, my reading stats in 2016 is the worst compared to the last couple of years. I think I just read a few books this year. The thing is I have been trying to change what I am reading. À la base, I like reading fantasy books, but I feel like I should read some other genre, more serious ones. But, I do not enjoy the books as much as I enjoy fantasy books, so I have not read a lot. Recently, my friend told me that I should just read the books that I like. It doesn’t matter if they are fantasy books, as long as I enjoy them.
So, there you go. The complete results of my resolutions in 2016. Considering everything, I think it was a great year. Come on! I shaved my head in 2016! Never in a million years I thought I would do that and I like it!
Well, anyway. I did three major things in terms of work: published an article at TMI, co-organized a workshop at MICCAI in Athens, and finished my manuscript. My social life is not too much sacrificed either. I have great friends with whom I could talk, laugh, and cry with. I am also still healthy (to the best of my knowledge), have roof over my head and food on the table. So, for those, I am grateful.
Now, here are my resolutions for 2017.
In 2016, I have been slacking off in terms of health stuff. I did not go to the pool as often as I did in 2015. My diet was not the best either. Since I will be done with my thesis pretty soon, I think I can go back to healthier life style. I am thinking of getting a gym membership since it costs more or less the same as the pool membership. And for the diet, I will again try stop eating chips and candy bars.
I think I want to get back to reading books. Despite the fact I read a lot of research papers, I feel like I need to keep in touch with my right brain which has been more or less abandoned in 2016. So, I will make the same resolution which is one book a month. But this time, it does not matter whether it is in French or not. Would be great to also go back to writing non-scientific stuff. But, I feel like I am constantly writing about my mental health. I need to find better topics to talk about. XD
I am also setting a certain number to appear in my bank account at the end of the year. I feel like I need to cut back on my spending. I need to start thinking about the future, I am not that young anymore. I am not going announce that number here of course, but I put it here so I have something to hold me accountable. 😀
Lately, I am having some sort of existential crisis as I feel like I am no use for the society. So, I want to dedicate myself for the betterment of something. It could be anything, reducing poverty, helping animal shelters, become a paramedic or a donor advocate, anything at all, as long as it does not solely involve me giving my money. Of course, giving money to charity is grand already, but I feel like I need more hands-on experience so that I could feel that I am doing something for the society.
I think that’s all for this year. I have a feeling 2017 will be a great year. Here is the reason:
LOL! May the best asshole reign! Have a great year, bitches!
Winter is the worst season of all for me
It has always been..
It is cold and dark and lonely
It is depressing, especially with the freezing wind
But, it is also a reminder that I lost someone I loved dearly
That’s what’s worst about these negative degrees
Especially, when I am cold in the dark feeling lonely
Every time I see that huge Christmas tree
at the biggest square in the city
I weep, I cry and I plea..
May he be in peace and kept close to Thee
UPDATE: I wrote this post almost one year ago (now October 2016), I kept it private because I was afraid of the consequences of this post. But, not anymore. I know by making this post public is not going to make me feel much better either, but it might help you. Yes, you who are actually having problems or you who know somebody who has problems. More stories need to be shared, more lessons need to be learnt. Now, here is the original post…
Today, a record was made. It was the second time that my supervisor asked me to rewrite a single paper draft, more or less from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with him mostly. My draft was not good at all and there has never been a history of my paper drafts being no-good-at-all. This is my all-time worst, even my supervisor said that it was not like my writing at all. Later, he asked.. “Are you okay?”
Before I tell you what my response to my supervisor was, I just wanna give you a little background. I have been having psychological problems for a long time (as everybody does), but everything became so much more intense when I started my PhD. I have been warned about the PhD problems long before I started mine. I have read about them everywhere too. The amount of stress that PhD might cause, the suicidal thoughts, the catastrophic failure, etc etc. But you know what, I have been an all-star student as I beautifully bragged here (PS: being an all-star student might be the source of my problems too). So, I thought that I could get through it unscathed and surely people were exaggerating. Man, was I wrong..
For me, there is this weird sense of pressure that PhD gives. That ridiculous amount of competition that you bear on your shoulders. That you have to do stuff as quickly as possible, otherwise people will do it faster and better than you. Just in that snap decision when you want to do your PhD, the world suddenly turns against you. Maybe just me, well at least that’s how I feel. Somehow, my mind got out of control. I started having this crippling anxiety eating me up inside, which leads to many things. I started developing an impostor disorder and also (what I feel like) depression. That suicidal tendency that I had had in the closet, started coming out like nobody’s business and getting stronger by the minute.
Last year, I tried to talk to a therapist. It was a bit tricky since she was in Indonesia and I was in France. The scheduling was hard and having therapy sessions via Skype was not the most efficient. Despite all that, I actually felt better discussing my problems with her. However, the scheduling became so annoying that I stopped seeing her. Sure, there was still ups and downs afterwards, but nothing unmanageable. Except for the last few months..
For some unknown reasons, the last few months have been really difficult for me. I have been having panic attacks more frequently. The suicidal thoughts I am having start scaring me. Life has been bleak and dark. But I am trying to get out of this. I am putting all my efforts to keep living, carrying out my daily life as a normal human being, hidden under the bubbles and laughter.
“To tell you the truth, I have been having some problems..” And with that sentence, I told my supervisor about what I have been struggling with. Not in detail, just the big picture. His response was very kind and warm, but too many things are replaying in my head that I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying.
Instantly after telling that to my supervisor, I felt like a little burden on my shoulders has been lifted off. Yet later, I became afraid that he would think I was faking it (negativity is also in the list of my problems). I was also afraid that it would destroy the whole dynamic of our working environment. Honestly, I don’t know what is going to happen now. Oh whatever. I should start accepting that what he (or anybody for that matter) thinks about me is out of my control. And I think this is why people who have similar problems tend to keep it a secret, because they are afraid of what people might think of them. But, they should not feel this way! More stories need to be shared and more lessons need to be learnt.
To be honest, I am not sure why I wrote this. I have been wanting to write this for a long time, but I was afraid that I would be writing it for the wrong reasons. I did not want to write this because I wanted attention, because I knew I wouldn’t get attention anyway, I would just get pity out of this. And I did not want this to be a cry for help either. Now, after telling my supervisor, I found out that it is okay. It is okay to be imperfect, to be broken. I guess I wanted to write this to share with people, to tell them that life is difficult, life is confusing, even for the people you least expect it to be. Some people don’t understand you, and there might be only a few who do. That is normal, but remember you are not alone. Hold on to those few. Also, start letting people in anyway for life is too cold and dark to get through by yourself.
Letting people know about your problems does not make you weak. There should be no shame in admitting your flaws. And there is no humiliation in taking some time to deal with things in your life.
More importantly, you should take pride in having that sheer willingness to show up and go on another day despite of your debilitating problems. You’ve made it through yesterday, surely you can take another day. After all, tomorrow is just the future’s yesterday!
PS: Watch this beautiful short about suicide. I hope it helps!
The things that I am thankful for this year:
- Moving to a new apartment that can fit all my useless things.
- Being able to afford living abroad without being a prostitute.
- Getting rid of bed bugs in just one month or so. Still going strong without bed bugs. 😀
- Bluetooth speakers.
- Finding out who my real friends are.
- Finding out who my fake friends are.
- Healthy (afaik) digestive system.
- Other relatively healthy systems.
- French healthcare system.
In short, happy thanksgiving guys! Now, I am gonna go back being negative.
Mengutip dari blog ibu Gabriella yang judulnya sama persis ama blogpost ini. I just had a very great weekend. I went to Paris to see Pentatonix with her. And dayum, Pentatonix really blew all our minds. You can go see Gebi’s post about or watch the brief review here in this video:
And some extra fun stuff from the footage that I have:
As Gebi has elegantly put it, I think there is only one thing to say: thanks Ash Ketchum for letting these two pokemons run wild in Paris. 😀