~9 weeks since this blog post, i.e, things that happened between 19 Jan and 26 Mar.
I used translation activities to keep myself mentally busy.
I translated 38 articles between 2 Jan and 15 Feb (44 days) for Berita Harian Panas-Panas, and separately did 7 more between 23 Jan and 16 Mar for other purposes. The act of waking up early just to scan through the BH (I did ask my Dad if he wanted to unsubscribe to it, since technically Mum was the only person in the house who would read it, he said ‘no’ with reason being price was cheap, and if anything we should be unsubscribing to the cable and internet services which was at least 10x more expensive..) gave me some motivation to at least make sure I got out of bed. The reading and translating bit itself was alright, although there were words or phrases I thought was weird to translate just because I did not know how or just because I felt it was something I rarely use myself. It was quite a learning journey to be reading and writing in Bahasa Melayu on a regular basis. The project on the whole was fun while it lasted.
I took lots and lots of pictures for myself and others.
I have this snap and record habit, and then dumping it onto Flickr for personal records. On 18 Feb, I decided to uninstall the Flickr app on my phone, and became more conscious of what I was recording, and if it serves any purpose other than for records. Having that mindset made me more aware of the present and how I wanted to record and share things. My personal favourites from 18 Feb are there 3 pictures below.
That said, when I found myself not using Flickr, I was/ am using Facebook to share more picture posts. Some of the posts are public and can be seen on my personal FB. Some photos are not kept on Google Drive instead.
I met friends, one-to-one, more in these 3 months than I have the past year.
In fact, between 14 Feb and 8 March, I was meeting friends over lunches and dinner almost every day. We talked everything from work to personal life, some were 1 hour short, and one even stretched to 8 hours long. Everyone had a story to share and different perspectives to bring. It was fun just eating and catching up, and sometimes learning a totally new thing.
I went back to the Ground-Up Initiative to volunteer and even took up some assignments with WOW Kampung.
The 1st time I went to the Kampung in 2012 was when I thought I needed a change in environment (my internship gave me quite an experience). The Kampung and its community did give me a different environment and experience. And so with all the happenings in Dec 2016/ Jan 2017, in Feb 2017 I think I unconsciously went back to the place and the community which I knew was able to lift me up emotionally and spiritually. I did some cooking (Yay to a working kitchen and people who will eat whatever vegetarian food I came up with) and facilitation work (Secondary school kids were a tough bunch), and talked to a some new people (I even have a favourite one I enjoy talking to each time).
I had 4 talks in March, and one of them was a TEDx talk!
Woohoo! If I remember, I’ll update this post in about 1-2 months time.
In general, talking to secondary, university, members of the public (mostly non-converteds I feel), and the converts, was a good reminder for me to always talk in a language my audience can understand. I have a basic core slide which I edit depending on the audience, and the depth depends on the time I have as well. Although.. I think what scares me more is Q&A sessions- in the last one especially, I found myself ‘floating’. Not even sure what’s the word for this.
Today, I chose to remove a friend from my social media.
I reconnected with an old friend around Aug 2016 ( I had blocked this person out somewhere between mid 2010 and mid 2016- that’s 7 years) and by Jan 2017 I thought history was repeating itself. I decided to give myself some time before making a clear social-media-cut. I suppose it was a culmination of all the good things happening in life and being aware that I do not need this person in my life.
I still take forever to reply to emails or texts.
Since December, I have just been taking forever to reply to emails or texts. And I realise it’s OK, because if it’s super important, people will call you (or keep emailing and texting). I pretty much enjoy the interactions offline/ in person, or just being by myself.
In my email signature (which one would see if I sent it out using the laptop, and not mobile phone), I have this line “Follow your bliss” by Joseph Campbell. There’s a story behind that- this interview with Bill Moyers may shed some light. And on that related story, Campbell also mentions on this need for a “sacred space”.
[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
I’m still figuring out and marking the boundaries of my sacred space.
One thing’s for sure- embracing life’s experiences and rediscovering myself every few months, and the ability to wake up and face a new adventure every single day, is something I am and will always be grateful for.