I had the most unusual NYE celebration.
You know how it is always such a big deal and people start discussing potential plans around October and then everybody is nervous because they don't know where to go and who to spend it with...
Well, I haven't been into that for a couple of years already. But I still participated it the folly. I don't really like to disappoint my friends.
This year was different. Now that I am far away from everyone I had some ideas that I would find new friends and I would spend this "very important" night with them (if you like to imagine future scenarios that rarely come true put your hands up 💩💩). But in the end Stef - my boss - spontaneously went to London and left the farm in my hands. It was me, Halel and a couple from Amsterdam. The night was absolutely chill and in the end nobody except for me was really up for going to the city to dancing but we went up in the village. God's finger pointed us in the right direction.
I welcomed 2018 with the only firework being the supermoon, hugging one of the most humble persons I have ever met and without any intoxicants in me. I was working the next day so I went to sleep early. It was so nice.
This simple transition proved me that there is no cut, no new year - just a new day. And each and every day is an opportunity for you to change your life - if you want to.
Still, I decided that it would be really nice to take this chilly Saturday as a time to reflect on everything that happened in 2017. And there was lots. I changed a lot. I learned a lot. I accomplished a lot!
I want to celebrate. To remember. And to say thanks.
You Made Me Happy
So let's see. I entered into the first morning of 2017 walking to my house still drunk and singing in the street with Dora. We were really happy and couldn't stop laughing.
Hvala ti hvala ti hvala ti (=thank you) for all the times when you supported me through this year - meeting my new friends, coming to events I organized, being there for a cup of conversation and giving your perfect hug when I was sad.
And of course doing stupid shit together - it is what we do best!
When strangers from the bus go crazy
How to almost miss your bus for Warsaw
First week of 2017 I went to Hungary to be united with the other two heads of the Zaczko monster. We went out to dance whilst the snow storm was covering our traces, not caring at all if we will be able to come back or not. The happiness to be together was bigger than anything else.
My favourite penguins
Fruzsi came to Zagreb two times after that and I quite spontaneously ended up in central Slovakia to see Tania and hang out with her friends, totally disregarding my exam period.
In September I came to see them both in Budapest and they were not letting me go back home.
Girls you mean so much to me. It is beyond words how much your hearts are big and I feel your love so profoundly.
Slovakia you so beautiful
Food you so delicious
Hello Joško! <3
I love to wake up like this!!
You Made Me a Better Person
A huge part of my year was volunteering with people who had to flee their homes and ended up trying to stay in Croatia. I met beautiful people who really taught me I should be grateful for the abundance that I had the luck to be born into.
Who have nothing but gave me everything they have.
I did my best to be helpful and light up at least one persons days. I hope that sometimes I succeeded in that. THANK YOU Sale, Ali, Bashir, Abas, Muhammad, Lester, Maryam, Dawood and many many others. Names I might had forgotten but the smiles will remain carbed into my heart.
I think of all of you often and I hope that you are doing good wherever you are now.
Also nothing but warm gratitude for all amazing and beautiful volunteers: Lea, Lea, Martina, Dijana, Katja, Andrea, Dag, Sandra, Maja, Sonja, Petra... It was such a privilege working with you hardworking souls.
Afghani boys dance so good! Husband material all over the place 😄
With some of the people I met this year I have a feeling like we have been friends for ever. This is definitely the case with Sadou. Mon cher ami, merci! For all the times you call me to check how I am doing, for being the best dance partner and for being so open and loving. I love to get lost in your hug.
Come to the festival with me he said, it will be fun he said...He was right (even though he did not mention that I would be working haha)!
You Made Me Think
2017 also blessed me with this crazy guy woke up at 4 to come and pick me up at the airport after not seeing me for 4 years:
Antreas you are just amazing. My time in Cyprus was super special thanks to you. And I mean Cyprus by itself was so bloody interesting.
Cyprus left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth.
Then there was Christina who hosted me in her room in Brussels even though it was her first day at a new job. Thaaank you so much Cri.
Lovely crew from the conference with whom I had a unforgettable last night (Veronika, Jakub, Chris, Daniel, Andy, <3).
I got to sleep in the coolest apartment in Brussels thanks to Lucien and his beautiful friends who taught me that nobody is replaceable!
Boys watched old school cartoons and then fell asleep on the couch :)
And I hold a speech in the EU Parliament about the level of sexual and reproductive health and rights provided in Croatia. I did!
I actually tried to go beyond my shyness and post the video of it but it was too big. So you will just have to believe me. 😀
You Made Me Question... What is Important?
A very important moment was that I finally went to the doctor to get a diagnosis about my health problems and I got know that, as suspected, I have epilepsy. However much I was angry about it in the begging (ohmygod no I should not party like crazy and destroy my body with alcohol and lack of sleep as I have been doing for way too long) when I saw my friend suffering from cancer I switched my behavior 360.
We lost Karlo.
What to say? I can write about how when I went to Uni day after the funeral I just wanted to scream so that my screams would shatter the banality and pointlessness of the world continuing on as if nothing had happened.
I can write about the absurdity of having all of your friends in one place, finally, Aristea even flying from Spain on the day of her birthday, but the mission of the day is to choose the flowers we would put on the grave and the wording for the obituary.
Whatever I write is just not good and I am sorry for even trying.
In 2017 I discovered how fragile and strange life is. People close to me tried to take their life. My young friends struggled with depression, lost in the system in which they seem to be always losing and never good enough.
What I felt is an urgency. We have to be there for each other. We have to love each other.
And there is no point in wasting time on things that are not important to you.
YOU NEED TO GO AHEAD AND LIVE THE LIFE YOU WANT TO BE LIVING. Your life is yours!
Exams you can write yourself I have better things to do.
You Made Me Lose Myself - So That I Could Find Myself Again
Definitely one of the most important things this year for me was doing the Self-Development program thanks to which I got to go to a meditation fellowship in Serbia for 5 very intense days of reconnecting with my inner peace and the love that had gotten buried beneath a lot of anxiety and unhealthy societal norms. The people there inspired me so much with their attitude, especially Katia, the girl with the smile that gets stuck in your head, inviting you to stretch out you lips in a halfcircle as well. If you want to try meditation I warmly recommend you doing this program! It is an amazing way to start your quest for inner peace. Click here to see how the retreat looked like!
And Back Up I Rose
Thank you Aleksa for a super nice night in Novi Sad and all the chit chats in Zagreb. I love how you express yourself Mr Writer and you are so kind and funny.
Hvala hvala hvala Arifor forcing me to go to Guča and having fucking crazy time (and Alessio and Signorino <3). I mean we were crying together to Bijelo Dugme, if that is not friendship I don't know what is?
I proved myself wrong - a non-drinking vegan can actually have an awesome time in Guča. Let's go again! :)
Thank you destiny and persistence and thank you Victor for being so brave and crazy to cross half of Serbia and half of Croatia in one night just to see a girl that you met for one day.
Hvala Luka, hvala Karlo, hvala Petra, hvala Jakov, hvala Tara. Amazing intelligent people . I hope you will be the future of our country in some important way.
Hvala Ana Marija forrr huh everything? But most importantly for having long breakfasts at Trešnjevka after sleepless nights, many teas, lunches and sitting beneath the sun, just being.
Hvala Sara, Majama, Noemi, Toni, Kovač for being beautiful humans and making Zagreb even more than bearable and going to places with me.
Thank you Sunčana & Maja for surviving thirsty Indians and giving me so much love and happiness! P.S. OMG Maja do you remember that guy from Pločnik? That shit was fuunny! I love going out with you :)
Sunshine and Husband Material in the wonderful squat of Warsaw
Thank you summer for being so sunny and amazing. Thank you friends for all the chill afternoons and little adventures. And thank you shitty jobs for making me realize the difference between productive and non-productive labour and which of the two I want to participate in.
My boy Nundooo <3 This two crazy Dutch guys and I were rollin down the empty streets of Rijeka at night and shouting Snoop Dogg lyrics.
Nika i Pale <3
I could write a whole text on Can You be a Hostess and a Feminist? You can try.
↑↑ It is crazy how insecure I felt this night, with all the super-put-together beautiful girls around me. That happens sometimes. And then in hindsight I realize I looked completely fine! Who cares anyway, the music was shit and you couldn't breathe from all the cigarette smoke. This year was a process of learning to say "I want to go home" when everyone around you goes for a bottle of something in order to make shitty seem fun. Being uncool is the new cool, didn't ya know? :)
You Made Me Me.
Ivona thank you for being a super understanding roommate that managed to handle my crazy lifestyle. I loved to live with you and I believe that in one point you grown fond of it too. That was nice.
You never fail to impress me with your intelligence, sensibility and strength. I hope I was there enough for you and sorry for being an ass sometimes.
This badass writes codes as fast as she drinks her beer! Speed of light!
Fratello. Thank you for pushing me to do things I sometimes miss strength of will do start on my own. For trying to explain basic science to my noobness, being a really good listener and always supporting me. And making fun of me when I tell you about my romantic failures.
Finally started hiking for real. I live in a beautiful place.
Oh yes and thank you Katrin for being incredibly cool, having so many things in common but also differences that provoke our mutual growth. I LOVE our discussions and how we listen to each other.
And I got to see my boyz again!! So happy.
Bloody hell what a year.
But anyhow, thank you all for being a part of it. For going to concerts and dancing with me. For meeting me in festivals and having wonderful chats with me around the fire. For organizing barbecues and boat trips. For teaching me so so so much.
Even falling hopelessly in love and picking myself up again when it would not work was kinda fun. It was a good way to learn sometimes I am not as brave as I thought I was.
Thank you A Gdje su Kitovi for teaching me about team work and connecting me to fascinating projects.
The last person who warmed my insides before I departed from home was Carlos, the sweetest guest one could have. I had my own private concerts of this future superstar! (sorry for my lousy attempt of back vocals)
And the last two months of the year I spent living and working in a place very close to paradise, finally pushing my fingers into the soil to learn about true sustainability from people of all ages and walks of life.
I think the 365 days to come cannot be anything other than absolutely amazing.