About Me

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Jakarta, Indonesia
I lose important items constantly, and am a failed teetotalist.

Friday, 16 October 2009

The No Woman

Sigh. I've missed this blog! Since I last wrote, life has gotten really busy, solely to do with writing. My film review was accepted and published, now I'm writing one pretty much every week. The magazine editor noticed my productivity and has been giving me cool assignments (i.e. best brunch spots) that have been encouraging me to explore more of Jakarta!

I've been juggling so many articles for both the daily paper and the magazine that I needed to make one of my beloved spreadsheets to keep on top of it! Oh, and I turned 24 more than a month ago, which served to remind me how I must get a move on with everything I want to do... so must keep busy busy.

It's both bad and good, because I often feel super stressed out, but more and more, sitting and writing and completing an article is my ultimate idea of bliss, particularly in a cafe with light buzz and big pot of tea. I am working everyday on the work-life balance to try and minimise burnout. I might be allowing myself to slip into my OCD tendencies again... but I think this is what I need to do. The best thing in my life right now is that I feel I know what I want to do, and I am working towards it.

My current goal is to become a completely freelance journalist (imagine the freedom!), and every day is like training in that direction. I think you definitely need to have to some savings (enough for about four months of living at least) before you jump into that deep end... getting paid for articles is like pulling teeth, so if you have to count on it too much, you'll probably go crazy. You also need to build your reputation so editors will want to take your stuff and throw assignments your way.

I got so excited about the interest and assignments I was getting, that I felt I had to say yes to everything, for fear of missing out on better assignments later on. But I've learned that I should really start saying no... got so many half-baked assignments I'm not that passionate about... so the goal for this month is to clear this backlog, and from now on pick my assignments more judiciously. It's no good publishing a lot of articles I'm not that proud of... the quality won't be as good as with articles that come from the heart.

The not-so-great things remain the same, but I don't have as much time to dwell on them. Jakarta still drives me crazy. Copy-editing is getting ever more tedious, especially with the added annoyance of office politics finally drawing me in. I generally feel like I'm getting to be quite a dull and bitter person, but maybe this has to be the trade-off for now... I'm truly realising simply can't have it all.

Like a year ago, I had some of the things I miss now: lots of fun times with friends, my own place, a life in a city with comprehensible public transport, parks and shoes in my size, plenty of wine and cheese, romantic (ish) prospects ... but I was also unemployed, and getting increasingly stressed by living with Sketchy. I had just returned from two weeks in Jakarta. Looking in my moleskine diary, I actually see that exactly a year ago to the day, was when Amber Eyes tried it on with me (a seriously weird moment considering our history), before jumping into Sketchy's bed in a huff. Ha! It's kinda terrible, but I also enjoyed that sort of drama... silly things like that seemed to be appropriate young twenty-something behaviour... now, everything seems awfully serious and grown-up.

And not just when it comes to me either. The "global economic downturn" (an overused phrase in The Jakarta Post) seems to have led to a widespread depression, particularly among those of my generation (or maybe it just seems that way from my perspective, as mine are the ones attempting to find jobs in this tense economic climate). So many challenges are being thrown at my friends. I'm struggling to think of purely good news that anyone's been able to share... there's always a flipside... if one thing goes well, like career, it follows or is followed by heartbreak.

So in the absence of many real-life delights, I'm having to rely on books and TV for some delicious escapism. Glee, a new musical-dramedy from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy is rather hitting the spot...