one year

People are usually crazy about anniversaries. Japan’s first memorial. 9/11’s tenth year remembrance. Birthdays. Wedding anniversaries.

Having lived another year after that eventful date is yet another event, and the cycle goes on. For some people, anniversaries are used as an excuse to love their partners and do some gigantic things on that one day, and not caring them for the other 364 days. It’s the same as Valentine’s day, basically. When the day comes, everyone talks about it, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

And on this day, one year ago, someone asks me a special question.

drawing by Tjokro Aminoto

I’ve been counting days, and months, and suddenly it’s been a year. It’s funny how short a year may be, and how long it is when we are actually looking towards it.

And why do we always commemorate anniversaries and do something special on this day? Partly, because it’s quite costly to do gigantic things every day, but secondly, I believe, we all have been setting that date in our mind and waiting for it to come.

We have the anticipation. We have the urge to go to that day. We wait. We wait with all our hope for that day to become magical. It’s something to look forward to.

People have no idea about the future, and the notion, that feeling of certainty that the date of our next anniversary will soon come approaching, that makes us keep on going towards the future. It makes us hope more, it keeps us strong when we are going through bad things. In some sense, you are waiting for that special day to come when everything will be better, even though you are going through some difficult situations.

It gives us hope.

As a little child, I was always so excited the day before my birthday. Would people send me messages at 12am? Would they give me birthday presents? Would there be a surprise party waiting for me tomorrow? And after I have my birthday, I would be looking forward for my next birthday. Why? Because it gives me hope about the future, and it makes me happy.

And for couples, it is such a lovely thing when they say, “We have been together for six years, and tomorrow is our seventh year anniversary,” or “We are going to go to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary.” You know, it’s lovely.

When I hear my friends telling their love stories, I always ask, “How long have you guys been together?” If they break up in less than a year, I would probably think that they are not committed (even though in some circumstances there are quite some issues). If they are together for more than a year, good, you guys are working on your relationships, and if they’re together for more than three years, I would probably assume that they are going to get married.

Plus, anniversaries are there to remind you that you have been able to go through all these 365 days of craziness, you will be able to go through another 365 days to your next anniversary.

It gives you reassurance; it gives you memories, experience, gratitude; it gives you the right to rejoice and celebrate, because you have kept holding on for another year.

Many more years will come when we will celebrate our next and next anniversaries, but let’s look back a while see what we have been fighting and accomplished so far.

Going through 365 days are not easy, and we still have so many thousands of days ahead of us.

But in the mean time, let’s just smile and enjoy the moment.

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