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2017 will be a year of not writing

upper yangon jan 4 2017.jpg

The view from my room as I post this blog. Kamayut Township, Yangon, Myanmar (4 January 2017)

Every new year, I tell myself that it is going to be a year dedicated to writing; that I will maximize this blog for practice, then write more meaningful ones offline, on the pages of a tattered journal, while on top of some temple in Burma, or in a far-flung village in Southern Philippines. But 2016 has passed by, I’ve already been to some far-flung villages both in the Philippines and in Burma, climbed several ancient temples, but I’ve never really gotten around updating this blog page, and the journal I earlier bought remains as good as new, and in a plastic.

The year 2016 made sure that it filled my life with materials that can help any writer produce pages after pages of books, not just blog posts, not just journals.

Regrets, regrets. I should be filled with regrets for not writing about them.

Well, yes, there are regrets. But mostly regrets for deceiving myself in the past few years that I am a writer, that I have the heart or the mental capacity for it, when I don’t even have the stamina. This 2017, I will just stop deceiving myself: I am not a writer. I won’t be able to someday come up with something worth reading. I am just an occasional blogger with an invisible audience (perhaps even none at all). I am freeing myself from the self-doubt caused by this delusion. I am freeing myself from the pressure to produce anything worthwhile (outside of work), from the worries that what I am typing down is a clumsily put-together piece. This year, I will not write. I will just randomly type things down. No edits. And, as sloppy as they may be, I will put them up on this blog.

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The non-curated part of my life at this moment

I am now deployed in a war-torn country somewhere in Africa. I love this job. This is my dream job. I most especially love that part where I get to practise my photography. And I get to show it to others (about how I am progressing, photography-wise) on Facebook and Instagram – that curated side of my online life. And it seems like I am this courageous woman showing people that side of this country they probably won’t be able to see in their lifetime (or probably wouldn’t even care enough to Google just to see it). And it pretty much seems like I have it all together and organized. But what they don’t see is I feel another wave of deep depression.

It mostly has to do with work. Or the load of work. What most people in the private sector (or probably people back home working for the government) is that in an aid agency, one person has to do the work of at least five people. And right now, I have a growing to-do list (and it keeps on growing), and I would normally what to do with them individually. But with all of them with practically the same deadline, I wouldn’t know how to do a stellar job because everything is competing for the same space in my head. How is it even humanly possible to do all these things?

Right now, I just want to go someone and cry. I have friends here, but they’re all from the office. And it would seem selfish to complain about these things because obviously, everywhere else here is getting killed (probably more will be killed if I don’t do my job properly), and all I can think of is my workload. Not to mention that they all have the same workload as I have.

So I am letting it all out here, on my dead blog. Because, really, I have no one else to talk to about this. Not to people back home because they all have their concerns. I really can’t bother anyone else about this. I don’t want to be a burden.

Part of me sort of wishes to get malaria just so I can fall really ill and then just stay at my room here and have a break (probably go on a movie marathon – which I haven’t done in a long time). But, really, I don’t even need a break, maybe. I just need to find a person here who’s patient enough to listen and let me cry.