e a t
p r a y
l o v e
(only one of the above)
As most of you know, I’ve embarked on this three week holiday. A journey of self-discovery if you will. Well, I’m trying. I had planned this big post-Fringe detox, to have all these epiphanies and mostly work out what the hell I’m doing with my life. You know, no pressure or anything.
So now I’m a week in and what have I learned so far?
First of all, that it’s been exactly one year and nine days since I last published a blog post, and written anything at all really. I’ve been meaning to get back into it for well, exactly that long. Maybe it was just a matter of combining having a low boredom threshold and removing myself from Adelaide to get the fingers tapping again.
I get asked every couple of days by someone why I stopped writing and I guess there are a few reasons. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. It was so nice for that period of time to be able to answer the question of “so what do you do?” with something additional to “sell colourful lady clothes for a living”(and go out too much).
Reason one. I copped a well deserved heartbreak about this time last year, the result of on-going poor life choices and really shitty taste in men, that one threw me off balance for a bit. I guess I didn’t feel like putting myself out there when in another context in life I had done so, and it came back to bite me.
Reason two. I started this blog writing about food and events in Adelaide. I didn’t expect anyone to read it, but to my surprise they did. I got brought into the fold of Adelaide food bloggers and started getting invitations to all sorts of ‘foodie’ events. This was great at first and I have met some super lovely people who are brilliant at what they do, however the overall concept of these things bothered me. I write from my own perspective, not a faceless Instagram account. I felt the pressure of writing only positive reviews of places I wouldn’t ordinarily go to in exchange for free food. I completely understand the marketing reasons behind this social media system and am all for promotion and support of new business, especially in our lovely little city, however I don’t want to risk my integrity. I don’t want my food photos to be one of the same 30 posts filling up your Instagram feed. And fuck me, I will never use the hashtag ‘VIP’. If I like somewhere, you’ll know about it.
Reason three: Aesthetics and embarrassment. The longer I let my blog lay dormant, the more aware I became of how utterly shit it looked (looks*). I don’t know anything about building websites, graphic design or how to use the expensive camera I bought for this exact purpose. The more talented creatives I have come to know over the last year, the less I wanted to put my stuff out there for the world to see (and judge). It’s so terribly outdated, even the photo! Where the fringe at??
So there that is, real talk. I sit here in Canggu at a cafe so absurdly Instagrammable it’s almost funny. I am amongst bronzed beauties, women with wanderlust, hair effortlessly tousled into top knots. Their matcha lattes and smoothie bowls straddle their laptops. I imagine they are freelance writers or professional travellers. Though I too have a tan that is developing at an alarming rate (and maybe the only productive thing I’ve accomplished so far) and also sit behind my MacBook, I feel like a complete fraud. It’s taken me a week to open WordPress and I’m painfully aware of the fact a heavy fringe is not humidity friendly.
Another thing I have come to terms with this week: although I am a social pest back home and I talk shit for a living, I have discovered it difficult to meet people when put outside of my comfort zone. Despite the overwhelming amount of incredible and interesting humans who surround me here in Bali, I’m not brave enough to chat to any of them. The whole detox thing and lack of social lubrication in the form of alcohol certainly doesn’t help. I suppose I did come over here with the goal to find myself and not others. I guess making friends can be a week two activity.
What else have I learned so far this trip? I don’t know how to be alone, like really alone. I was lucky enough to have some friends over here to spend time with in the first few days but since then, solo. I put it out there to the universe (read: social media) before I left that I was going to go off the grid. Aside from refraining from posting every breakfast of smashed avo I eat over here, I have totally failed at that. I have been in constant contact with my best friends via Facebook messenger and find myself mindlessly refreshing Instagram anytime I get onto some wifi, which is always. Why can’t I really switch off? Live in the moment, Eat, Pray, Love and all that shit.
My life for a week has consisted of sleeping in, eating amazing food, swimming, tanning, reading books and napping, yet I still I feel FOMO for Adelaide. WHY?! Well, I guess we’ll continue to unpack that one over time hey.
Coming to the end of this post, I realise that it appears to be more of a personal cathartic exercise than my resurgence back into the blogging game, or the beginning of an illustrious travel writing career. Reading back on it I’m very aware of the self-deprecation jumping off the page. That’s fine, it gives me something to work on over the following two weeks.
One thing it has done however, is get me back on the computer. Something I have been feeling that pressure and guilt about for over a year. I doubt anyone apart from my parents and best friends will find this of any interest, but maybe it’ll be the start of something better, me doing something better. I hope so at least.
Stay tuned I guess? Or don’t. Up to you.
One thought on “STEPH OUT OF THE CITY – 1 week SOLO (mostly) 1 week SOBER (like 98%)”
A brilliantly raw and honest post. I too have struggled to get back onto my blog for way too long and have the same self doubts you did.