Hello from Jakarta! I’m currently in a little studio apartment in southeast Jakarta, aptly named Sushi Roll Home because it is “small but delightful, full of surprises,” according the Airbnb listing. (And it’s only $20 a night!!).
This morning I decided to sit down and get my sht together, by which I mean figure out my goals for this whole quarter-long-solo-trip-to-a-not-very-populated-place. Setting goals is something I know is important, particularly for a trip like this, but that I put off doing until now. Maybe what inspired me to figure out my goals was finally having a place with a desk and wifi and A/C to sit down and write it out. Maybe it was this moment of strangely intense loneliness I had yesterday on the second floor of the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore when I was looking around at all the families, tour groups, and couples around me in the museum wondering, “What the heck am I doing here? Why did I think this would be a good idea?” Ok, to be fair I expected an existential moment like this within the context of the trip, but I definitely didn’t expect it to come so soon. I thought maybe I’d be asking myself those questions a month into my time on Christmas Island, but I’m not even on the island yet and here we are.
So for myself (I decided putting these goals here would give me more accountability than squirreling them away on some anonymous Google doc) and for friends and fam following this blog, here are my Reasons For Being Here:
1. Give myself the time and mental space to work on and build new creative projects in writing, audio, and video.
For writing, that means journaling, blogging (hi!), and continuing to write poetry. And figuring out my relationship with nonfiction prose, something that’s been on my mind.
For audio, that’s making the podcast (duh) and experimenting with other audio creations (I’m steadily collecting clips of interesting sounds, like the overwhelming insect noise in Fort Canning park in Singapore or the sounds of call to Prayer in Jakarta. Tbd what I do with them).
For video, that means deciding if I want to use video as a way of documenting my travel, collecting GoPro footage (hopefully when I start doing scuba!), and deciding what to do with that. Hint: I’ll probably share it here. 🙂
2. Figure out my relationship with independent creative work.
Part of my motivation for going on this trip and applying to the Beagle grant in the first place was to figure out whether this- independent creative/research work- is something I can see myself doing in the future. Last year when I was having a minor career crisis (“Do I really wanna end up in tech forever? If I don’t, what would I do instead??”), my friend Juliana told me about an exercise called The Odyssey. You imagine 3 radically different versions of your life for the next 10 years and map them out, being as specific as possible. One of mine was tech. The other was podcast production and independent creative work. This trip is me exploring that version of myself.
3. Develop a solid morning routine.
Specifically: morning pages, yoga or meditation, and planning my day. While I SUCK at waking up (ask anyone who’s ever been my roommate), I have more energy than most (according to a friend @aywangerz) in the morning, and I think developing a solid morning routine could actually change my overall productivity and outlook on each day. So I wanna try that.
4. Figure out my relationship with solitude.
This is a bit less actionable, but I do want to leave this trip knowing what my relationship is to being alone. If my museum moment says anything, it’s that I still have a lot to learn about just how good I am at being by myself. Which is ok.
That’s it for now. Hopefully these goals will, if not rescue me from my next moment of crisis, at least guide me to using these next 2.5 months well.
I also just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has been interacting with my posts/commenting on this blog/generally wishing me well. It really means a lot, and I don’t say that casually in a time when my social interactions are primarily through social media or LinkedIn. Trust me.
I think that’s it for now- time for me to go back to watching “10 Ways to Wear 1 Scarf As a Skirt & Dress! DIY Maxi Skirt NO SEW in 1 Min” so I can figure out how to keep my knees covered without ruining my only pair of long pants with sweat.
In the meantime- stay tuned for a very short (I’m aiming for < 1 min!) video of my also-very-short time in Singapore and Jakarta! Accountability!