Monthly Project Updates are a series I began to hold myself accountable for finishing the many projects I start, and to document the ups and downs I encounter along the way. I hope it also makes for an entertaining or thought-provoking read!
Is it March already? How did that happen???
My time in Singapore is officially coming to an end in two days. It’s a very bitter-sweet transition. On one hand, I’m excited to return home, reconnect with my friends and to start the next phase of my career. On the other hand… I’m going to miss the weather here so much. And the amazing architecture/gardens/nature reserves. And the monkeys… although slightly less after having to fight one off of my friend’s backpack on a narrow bridge 50 feet above the forest floor… they’re much cuter from a distance!
I’m not going to write about Singapore this month, except to say that I’m going to miss this amazing country tremendously, and hope I can return someday!
Since the breakdown of my writing project, I haven’t done much writing. I’ve done a lot of thinking, a little outlining, and a bit of revisiting the beginning chapter—but no actual writing. I’m torn about whether to rewrite a story that I’m feeling less connected to and losing faith in just to prove that I can. Part of me sees this as a “someday” project—something I’ll come back to when I’m ready to tackle the challenges of untangling the plot. But another part of me is reluctant to continue sinking time and energy into what’s looking more and more like a dead end. I’m reminded of “The Upside of Quitting,” an episode of the brilliant Freakonomics podcast, which finds value in the idea of knowing when it’s time to abandon a project or activity and move on. Still, people who’ve read this blog from the beginning know that I have a track record of quitting projects almost as fast as I can start them…
The bottom line is this: if I’m writing for pleasure and I’m not getting any joy from it, I’m doing something wrong. I’m not sure whether the solution is to embrace the imperfections of my project and focus on harnessing the creativity and humor I need to power through the end of my so-called novel, or to abandon it and never speak of its existence again. I simultaneously want to shelve the project and also commit to finishing it (or being done with it for) by December 2017. I’ll keep you posted…
Stay Politically Engaged
Ummm… I haven’t done this. Reading the news makes me sad, so I’ve taken advantage of being on the opposite side of the world from my home country to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. Also, M and I fight a lot about politics, to the point where we just mutually decided not to talk about it anymore. (We’re both liberals, but have very different views.) I know that none of this is a good excuse. I need to do better.
March is going to be different because… M and I are going on our official honeymoon! Over the course of the next month, we’ll be traveling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Japan. I’m absolutely terrified that everything that can go wrong on this trip will. I’ve never planned a multi-country trip before… and it’s a little daunting. But it’s what M wants, and since I’ve already been on vacation for the last four months, it’s definitely his turn to call the shots! I’m tempted to say that my March project will just be surviving my honeymoon… but I’ll aim a little higher and set these goals instead:
- Embrace the chaos of travel, and stay calm when things don’t go as planned
- Take pictures to commemorate special moments on the journey
- Remember that M planned this trip because he loves me, and wants to show me the world Aladdin style, and not because he wants me to spend a month being stressed out and miserable
- Actually enjoy the trip and all the amazing places I’ll get to see!
- Maybe post some pictures here?
In all honesty, I’m about 50% excited, 50% anxious. I know I’ve been taking a lot of my anxiety out on M recently, which is terrible… he really doesn’t deserve it! He’s incredibly sweet and accommodating, and usually asks for very little in return. I’ve been struggling to make the compromises I need to make to be fair to him, and then to resist the urge to make him feel guilty about it. It’s definitely not the way I expected to feel about my honeymoon, but almost nothing in my life is the way I would have pictured it a year ago!
Well, that’s all for today! I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again, but hopefully it won’t be too long!