02B36: Contemplative Locomotion

Saturday Fire Trees

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 798

During my recent Singapore trip, part of our weekend activities included visiting different parks and nature trails and generally doing a lot of walking and hiking. As much as I've generally enjoyed walking and jogging in the past, the onset of the pandemic made me very wary to be outside for long. It was only through this last trip that I really started to reconsider my fortress mindset or whatever we want to call it. 

So since I've been back, I've started to get back into periodically jogging or at least walking around BGC as exercise. It's not quite as fun as the exercise venues here pale in comparison to Singapore, but it's still something - even if we still require masks outdoors here. On days when I'm not quite up to following a workout video or picking up my weights, going outside to walk around BGC for an hour or so helps me both physically and mentally.

Part of that is the fact that I enjoy listening to audiobooks while moving around. This has been true for some years now, especially after we moved to BGC and ended up within walking distance of work (although I argue that everything is within walking distance on BGC if you're open-minded enough). And some of the best walking/jogging content for me tends to be non-fiction titles, particularly biographies. Fiction is still fun and I do cycle a title or two into the mix from time to time, but listening to someone's life story or their insights on this or that subject matter while I exercise REALLY does something for me.

I've already made mention on this blog of my recent listening including a biography of the life of Mister Rogers and a collection of letters/essays by Neil deGrasse Tyson. After finishing that last book, I've finally gotten started on a biography of the life of celebrity chef and writer Anthony Bourdain, as told by his assistant. And man, I have a lot of feels here.

I'm a big Bourdain fan and his death in 2018 really made me feel bad, to say the least. And I spent at least an hour during my walk yesterday listening to different stories of his life told by those who knew him including family, friends, and professional colleagues. And there was just something about the whole thing that really got me reflecting about things, particularly my writing. What the biography has more or less stressed this far into the book is that Bourdain had an early love for writing and other creative efforts and cooking was something that came in later - something that may never have been his true focus, especially given how turbulent and eventful his culinary years were.

I'm definitely a frustrated writer - something which should come across in a lot of my blog posts, directly or otherwise. And I know how this can look for a lot of you - how can I still feel unfulfilled if I'm literally writing a personal essay of sorts for my daily personal blog entries? I've repeatedly referred to my frustration of not feeling creative and being unable to do more creative writing including short stories and poetry. But maybe I've been selling myself short - or at least not properly recognizing/acknowledging all the writing I'm actually doing on a regular basis.

My online footprint is littered with different examples of my efforts whether it's my online repository of old stories or things like The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything, my now largely inactive "pop culture blog". And my recent walks with the stories of different public figures of interest seem to be really getting me thinking about how it can take my writing further. 

The Geeky Guide is probably going to be my main vehicle for this effort, but I don't want to go back to how I was handling it before. For many years l treated it like a magazine filled with reviews of this or that, but it reached a point that it felt toxic since I had imposed arbitrary deadlines for myself that made the experience stressful instead of enjoyable, as it had been in the earlier years of its life. I want to feel that way about it again but not create another source of stress for myself.

But I do want to balance the need to protect myself with doing some actual work. I want the writing to be more meaningful and not necessarily formulaic, as a lot of my reviews ended up becoming in the blog's later years as I tried to keep pace with my "need" for near-daily updates. I want to create content that feels more like something Bourdain might write or the kind of essay format that makes some of the more fascinating informative content on YouTube. I'm not ready to create my own video essays or even the sort of pocket-sized educational content you find on TikTok or Instagram/Facebook Reels,  so I'm going to stick to what I know - writing.

It's going to take me a while to figure this out - assuming I actually stick to it this time. It's going to involve a lot of trial and error as l figure out how the style of writing I imagine is actually going to be like on the page, as it were, but I'm going to try my best. And this means setting up some sort of a regular posting schedule, even if just on a monthly or bimonthly basis to start.

I really hope this leads to something interesting and fulfilling for me. This may finally address all those lingering feelings of frustration when it comes to my writing - and it may inadvertently affect how l write updates here as well. I don't know what this journey is going to be like, but honestly, I'm quite excited about it. I know it won't be easy and there's a lot for me to learn (and maybe unpack) as I reconnect with my deeper writer-self or perhaps better define who that version of me is supposed to be.

But I know it'll be worth it somehow, even if I end up realizing that this still isn't the sort of writing that I want to do.