Please forgive me for my unforeseen and certainly untimely disappearance from the blogosphere. My final year of undergraduate studies proved to be more straining and exhaustive as expected, whatnot with the largest event that Brunei Students’ Union had just last week.
I thought about updating the blog several times during my busy weeks, but I admit, I was quite reluctant for I needed to focus on one thing at a time rather than doing everything simultaneously. Thankfully, I had already known myself well – in terms of handling work, at least.
For the past week since the end of the aforementioned event, I had not checked in with work at all, which was both liberating and nerve-wrecking at the same time. But what I didn’t realise was that it was actually something that I needed, more so than I had presumed. Truth be told, this coping mechanism happens a lot in a cycle where I shut out the world and slow down after every strenuous work that has been done and dusted, and all I can do is to keep telling myself to move forward and carry on with life once I feel like I am already well-rested.
On the topic of “slowing down”, the year of 2016 seems to flow steadily with the fast progression of time and I can’t help but feel anxious as the new year draws near to us with the unduly changes that would befell us. While 2016 has been such an absolutely brilliant yet crazy year, it has also taught me humility and gratitude in a different light.
Be humble for you don’t have everything
In spite of all the riches in the world, nothing comes close to being humble on top of pursuing excellence, and this is one of the important things that I learned from meeting amazing individuals this year where intellectual discourse became the core of our meetings. These individuals come from different walks of life and have achieved so much, and what was even more amazing was that they were genuine, kind and encouraging, even attributing themselves to still getting there.
Furthermore, one thing that they have in common is that they never think that they are always right because the only way to continuously learn is through openness, not cockiness or arrogance. And indeed, what a year it has been of attaining knowledge simply from meeting and getting to know people who are not necessarily like-minded but similarly unique and have been through a lot to tell a tale.
One day, I would like to become a positive influence to everyone in the most exponential ways, as these people had been for me, and still remain grounded to the earth.
Be grateful for at least you have something
Some of us have lost someone or something along the way, while others simply lose themselves, be it in the form of a shred or a whole piece. Most of all, all of us deal with these losses in our own ways. This year, there were times when I felt like I was losing confidence and faith in film photography.
You see, if I make it through my final year, I’ll be graduating in 2017, which also means that I’ll be going back to Brunei for good… unless I further my studies overseas. With the looks of the current situation back home, scholarships for postgraduate studies are increasingly competitive. While I am open with furthering my studies in Brunei, the very notion of not doing film photography as frequently as when I am here makes me feel distraught and upset because of the lack of good quality facilities for film photography.
Gradually, I realised that being in Brunei should not stop me from pursuing it and that I should be grateful that there is still a way to develop my films i.e. ship my films overseas. Sure, it’s not going to be an easy ride, let alone a cheap nor frequent (get it? Hahah, sorry!) one. Not to mention, it is not exactly what I wanted, but that is what life is all about and it doesn’t just apply to my film photography journey but rather my whole life journey in this temporary world.
On a lighter note, at least I would not be completely cut off from film photography and its essence, and I’m underway of getting an entry-level DSLR from Nikon. So, that’s something to look forward to!
Overall, 2016 wasn’t such a bad year.
There were definitely hard times, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t good times either. All in all, this year has been nothing short of continuous learning and realising – or even remembering – that this life is what we make it to be with faith, support and resilience. Alhamdulillah, I’m so grateful for everything that has happened and for everyone that I have met.
Before I end this post with my annual favourite photos on film, I would like to sincerely thank every single person who has given their support and appreciation for what I do to this day. This blog has been slowly yet steadily growing in time, which goes to show that film photography continues to be one of our most timeless gifts in this era of technological advancements and convenience. Truly, the blog would not have come to fruition and remained on its own. Thank you so very much!
With that, a Happy New Year 2017 to everyone in advance! I hope this new year will bring us more memories and adventures to tell and cherish.
Until then when 2017 rolls by.
With love and peace,
Fifi H. Hasman.
SNEAK PEEK OF THE FIRST POST IN 2017