February was a month of huge — huge — life changes for me, none of which I really expected to happen this soon, and writing this post was thankfully cathartic for that very reason. Come to think of it, this post, actually, might also be the first time I got a biiiit more personal on this (rather public) blog, but hey! Let’s roll with it, shall we? 😉
Some of you, I think, knew that I had gone back home to Indonesia to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family at the end of January. What was supposed to be a fun, chill break turned into a superbly stressful few weeks — weeks that eventually culminated into my decision to move back to Indonesia for good.
I’ve sporadically mentioned it on this blog and perhaps to some of you guys, personally, that I have a somewhat difficult relationship with my parents. The biggest reason for this, mostly, is because they would very much like for me to be back in Indonesia, whereas for the past six to seven years I’ve kind of made a life for myself 5,000 kilometres away in Melbourne. It was as if my life was split into two halves, both equally important to me, and it became impossible to see a direction I could go while still making sure that I stayed true to myself and chose life as I wanted to.
For the longest time, I thought ‘choosing what I want’ meant staying away. I’d tell myself I’ll think about it soon, except that I kept putting it off and ‘soon’ never really came. What I underestimated at the time, though, is how difficult it is for me to be away from my family. I come from a big family — I’ve got more than ten sets of uncles and aunts, more than forty cousins — and I’m literally the only one who’s ever thought about permanently moving overseas. I didn’t think that I minded it that much, but each time I’m back, I’m reminded of what I’ve sacrificed to live far from them. Even with what I’ve gained, I’m also reminded of what I’ve lost.
Choosing to move back to Indonesia meant the end of several things for me: my relationship, my job, life as I know it here… but it also meant the end of the limbo that I’ve been in for the past two years, not knowing when to return or even to return at all. It’s sad, of course — this is where I really grew up, after all, and I love this city to bits and pieces — but I also can’t deny that right now what’s more prevalent is relief as well as anticipation for what’s to come next. 🙏
Anyway! In the midst of all this chaos, reading and blogging have both taken a bit of a backseat to all the logistical, administrative stuff (i.e. packing, moving out), and I assume they will still take a backseat for the next couple of weeks or so. In about seven days I’ll be flying off to Indonesia for good, so here’s a glimpse into my mental state at the moment:
- I’ve got a crazy number of shoes! 👠👡👢 I didn’t even realise how many pairs I’ve purchased over the years (think 30+) and how many I actually wear (i.e. 3-4 pairs). Apparently I have five pairs of black boots and three pairs of brown boots. I mean, what the hell did I need that many boots for?!
- I’m going to miss my winter clothes so damn much. 🍂☃️ Jakarta’s hot all year round, and though I might be traveling to Russia/Eastern Europe mid-year, my boots and coats and scarves will always be my favourite fashion items.
- I hope my books don’t get damaged in the transit. 📚 I’m still not sure how I’m going to bring everything back, but other than my clothes (har har), my books are some of my most prized possessions.
- At least food is way, way cheaper in Jakarta. 🍲 Two-dollar meals, anyone?
I actually didn’t post all that much in February, so here’s a list of some of my favourite posts:
- The Book Blogger Insider Tag | Find out what blogging is like for me!
- Top Ten Books I Loved Less Than I Thought I Would | When hype backfires and hits me in the face.
- Book Review: After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid | Read this book, you guys. ❤️
- Book Looks: A Conjuring of Light – V. E. Schwab | About time I channel my inner shopaholic.
Around the Blogosphere
Keeping in trend with my lack of posts, I also didn’t actually blog-hop all that much this month… but here’s some stuff from other bloggers that I think are worth reading:
- Mikaela @ The Well-Thumbed Reader asks: is romance really necessary?
- Anushka @ Going Through Books talks about liking problematic books.
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books reminds us that it’s okay to NOT read.
- Puput @ Sparkling Letters discusses why we need more positive portrayals of girls.
Most Anticipated Reads
Very loose TBR because I’m still not sure what’s going to happen in March, but here are three books I’m looking forward to starting… eventually. 😂
One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
I have an ARC for this title and can’t wait to get into it! I like suspense/thrillers, especially in book form. 👌
Pretty Face – Lucy Parker
It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.
Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…
I read Parker’s debut in January and absolutely loved how witty and smart her characters are! Reviews for this one have mostly been good, so I’ve faith this will be entertaining. 😇
Valentine – Jodi McAlister
Four teenagers – all born on the same Valentine’s Day – begin to disappear. As the bodies mount up, Pearl Linford has to work out what in the supernatural hell is going on, before it happens to her.
Finn Blacklin is the boy with whom Pearl shares a birthday, the boy she has known all her life and disliked every second of it, the boy her subconscious has a totally annoying crush on. Finn is also the Valentine: a Seelie fairy changeling swapped for a human boy at birth. The Unseelie have come to kill the Valentine – except they don’t know who it is. And now both the Seelie and the Unseelie think Pearl is the Valentine, and if they find out she isn’t, she’ll disappear too.
I was sent an ARC for this book but never got around to reading it! I think it’s by an Australian author and is pretty underrated, so hopefully I’d like it so I could recommend it to you guys.
Thanks for reading, you guys! 💕 Now tell me:
- How did your February go?
- Have you had to move far away from home, and how did you deal with that? How did you deal with coming back? If you haven’t. how do you think you’d react?
- What are you currently reading?