I am an adventurer

I am an adventurer.

Not your typical skydiving, globe trotting, jet skiing adventurer, but a more solitary, peaceful kind.

You see, being adventurous means being brave and following your heart.

My adventure happens right here in my room, where I am writing stories, becoming the author that I want to be.

There are it’s challenges; distractions, heartbreaks, financial woes, and work that gets in the way. But an adventure wouldn’t be called an adventure if it was one smooth sailing ride to the finish.

One of my major challenges this week has been my freelance work. Due to distractions, loss of a close friendship/romantic interest and feeling down in the dumps for the past week (months), I’ve let the quality of my freelance work slip.

My client is not too happy about it, but he has given me another chance to fix it, which means less time spent working on my novel.

Luckily for me, this weekend is a long weekend so I can, if my mind permits, focus on getting things sorted.

I currently work 2 jobs, a 40 hour a week day job, and a ten hour a week freelance job. So I’m forgiving myself for being a bit stressed and making mistakes.

But it’s really got me thinking. I need to pull myself together and stay organised so that I can get the work done and still have enough time to write my novel.

I’ve only spent a few hours this week writing it, which is nothing compared to the time spent freelancing and working.

I’m thinking in a few more months, something needs to give. I’m waiting a bit longer to make a decision. Seeing how things turn out first.

Anyway, what challenges have you guys faced while reaching for your dreams?

Hope the stars can work in our favour for the rest of this year.

How will life work itself out?

Just spent 4 hours working on my freelance work. It’s now 1:22am. I’m feeling extremely tired, my head’s spinning, but it’s so worth it.

Everytime I do a substantial amount of work I go to bed smiling.

Lately, my schedule has been extremely busy. I come home from work at around 6.40pm, then try to spend an hour each night working on my freelance project.

I say try to because some nights I just feel like sitting in front of the couch watching trashy TV.

I know I’ll regret it in the weekend when I have to make up for the time lost. Like right now.

My target is to spend at least 10 hours a week on freelancing. I could do more if I quit my job, and I could earn a lot more too, so I’m weighing up my options.

The past few months have been emotionally draining and this freelance job is the only thing that’s sort of helping me get over someone.

Without it, I would feel so lost. I wouldn’t have this feeling of accomplishment that temporarily eases the pain of loss.

I’m glad I followed my strengths because they’ve helped me climb out of a bad rut I’ve fallen into. Which happens quite a lot!

Remember, you might think dreams are useless, but dark days are the times where our dreams are needed the most.

Goodnight.

Writing under the shade of a tree

Right now I’m using my break to sit and write under the shade of this big tree. I only have 15 minutes to finish this post before I have to return back to work. So I’ve got to hurry.

Why am I writing under a tree?

Before my office moved to the other end of the street, I used to do my personal writing at the library, during lunch time. Now that I’ve moved further away from the library, I’ve been scrounging around for neat little places to sit down and write.

Sometimes it’s impossible to find the energy to write after work, so I try to write throughout the day, in bits of time between my working hours.

Finding the perfect space to write

Nothing can replace the feel of a nice, soft spot in the library, but if you have no choice but to sit outside and write, then find somewhere that’s partially private.

Writing delves into the subconscious, and if you’re one of those people who can’t think when people are staring at you, then a nice shaded area, dense with trees, is the perfect place to write.

I want to write more but I have to go back to work. I’ll be here again, making use of this private writing spot. I hope to spend more of this time working on my novel.

 

 

 

Wandering without a religion

People always find it strange when I tell them that I don’t have a religion, as if I should’ve been born with one, like the hair on my head, or the skin on my back.

All I can say to them is that I never came with one. My parents aren’t religious, but they’re not atheists either. I always have to add in this last part as if not being religious automatically classifies us in opposition with whatever religion people believe in.

But from time to time, when I feel lost and out of my element, I have yearned for the guidance and support that people in community groups receive.

And the question that sometimes springs to my head is: How do I belong? Where do I belong if I don’t belong there?

Over time I have discovered that I belong in libraries and bookshops, in the comfort of an author’s words. Whenever I need guidance, I turn to books for advice and in them I find solace.

Who’s to say that reading isn’t a religion in itself, when it’s brought me great purpose and taught me how to have an open mind?

Wandering alone in the dark, I found my religion in their words.

Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to them: To find words for what we already know. ~Alberto Manguel.

Is anybody still awake?

It’s 3 am on New Year’s day, and I’ve just opened up my time capsule. The sky is dark and I’m all alone in my new house. My friends have left and my sister is still out, so I’m curled up in bed reading my last year’s New Year’s resolutions. It’s funny how the air inside the time capsule smells like last year’s air freshener.

These were my new year’s resolutions for 2018:

  1. Write a book
  2. Open myself up to love and friendships.

Just these two things. Pretty simple, but they make up a huge part of who I am, the kind of person I want to be and what makes me happy.

So did I accomplish these resolutions?

Writing a book—I have written a story, a very basic draft outline, but I haven’t filled in the missing bits yet. The story is still in my diary and I aim to complete what I haven’t finished this year. So no, I haven’t completed this resolution.

Opening myself up to love and friendships—This one has always been a hard one for me. I tend to like my own space and I have to consciously remind myself to make an effort to hang out with friends. Last year there were so many ups and downs, I have strengthened new friendships and then loosened my grip on them. Opening myself up to people is a continuous process, I just hope that my friends are patient enough to wait for me.

I have realised that 2018 was all about setting up my goals, rather than finishing them. I try to set up goals that are worth spending a lifetime trying for, so that it’s a continuous process of change.

But I’m going to add something different this year. Not only am I going to write down my New Year’s resolutions for 2019, I’m also going to create a plan for how I’m going to achieve it. And I already have an idea.

Right now, I need to sleep. I have to wake up early in the morning and go to my grandparents because we are making New Year’s dumplings. It is now 4.00am.

Is anybody else still awake?

A letter to the universe

At some point in my life, I began collecting diaries. I believed that if I wrote down the things that I wanted to achieve, then I’d be putting my thoughts out to the universe and somehow they would come true. It was like writing a letter to the universe. That’s why I own 30 diaries and counting.

But when the universe was busy reading someone else’s letter, I grew complacent and made a few mistakes. It all began when I started daydreaming about becoming a writer. I’d spend evenings working on my writing skills and mornings working on work. I thought I had a good balance going, but then came the big complaint at work.

An email came through just as I was about to go home. A few words in and my heart sank. Disappointing, she had commented. For the next few days, everyone tried to find out how I had made those mistakes. Stupid, really, it was just a lack of common sense. But it had a domino effect. Every small mistake I made was now viewed as a big mistake. I didn’t even trust myself anymore.

That was when a friend invited me along to a science conference by Michio Kaku. I’d never heard of him before, but I thought I’d give it a go. I was glad to spend my thoughts away from my mistakes and enjoy being in the company of my good friend.

Michio Kaku looked like a Japanese Einstein. He had the iconic, shoulder-length white hair and he was no doubt, just as smart. He talked about all these big ideas: the universe, string theory, Elon Musk’s BFR and the future of mankind. A little stab of panic rose in my chest. Was everyone this smart?

When he opened the floor for questions, the intelligence in the room was overpowering. “What happens when muons bend and time slows down? What happens to the junk in space? Can we download our data into avatars, and what is a soul?” were just some of the big questions directed at the mighty scientist.

Somehow, someone in the audience struck up the courage to ask Dr. Kaku a ‘slightly unrelated science question’: “Dr. Kaku, how did you sustain your passion long enough to carve out a great career?”

This peaked my interest, because I thought it had some relevance to my life.

The mighty scientist seemed to love this question. He himself had asked it many times before, to the 300 scientists he’d interviewed on his radio station. He began by telling us about the ten year old story.

He said that all successful scientists began with the ten year old story. It was the age when they received their first telescope and saw the night sky for the first time. They remembered the feeling of joy at seeing something so vast right before their eyes. Remembering the joy, was what sustained their passion throughout their career.

At the end of the talk, my friend turned to me and said, “See, you don’t need to have common sense to be successful.”

I nodded. Three hundred scientists can back up his sentiments.

The thing is, I keep trying to be like someone else, but in the end I always fall back into myself. Like stars collapsing in the universe, that’s when we shine the brightest.