About a month ago, I signed up for Bloggerstock. What is Bloggerstock, you ask? Without typing a huge word salad (mmm…salad), let’s just say it’s a monthly collaboration among bloggers who like to exchange ideas and blog entries. It’s way more fun than it sounds. You sign up, and get partnered with two people with whom you will be exchanging blog entries on the same topic. You write an entry for one person’s blog, and post an entry from your second partner on your own blog. This month’s topic is “What’s on your desk?” I had fun, and plan to sign up for the next one. If anyone is interested in guest posting here, get at me! girlandth3city [at] yahoo.com
Janet is the colorful blogger behind SolitaryPanda.com, and a girl after my own heart. I love reading other travel blogs.
From her bio:
I’m living out my “quarterlife crisis” and having the time of my life traveling and exploring. In January 2010, I volunteered for three weeks in India and took a one way ticket back to my family in the Philippines. No plans. Just the idea to live and travel through Asia for a year… or longer.
Here is what she wrote for me:
Chances are, on the day that this blog post is going up, I’ll be flying on a plane to go to Manila, Philippines from Bacolod City, Philippines. Island hopping at its finest. I’ve been living in a Zen monastery since March 29th and will be monastery hopping on June 29th. Yeah, it’s crazy, but things like “impermanence” have really become a mantra here. I don’t have a desk because I don’t have anything of my own, save for a couple pairs of clothes, sneakers and flip-flops. And oh yes, my Macbook Pro. I’m flashpacking in style. This state of No Desk (in Zen, the negation of something is a big part of the philosophy. Usually things like Mind and No Mind. Self and No Self, all coming back in full circle to the exact same thing.) signifies that I am without. Well, duh. But with the absence of something comes presence. Total presence. I may be pulling something out of my ass here trying to come up with an entry for this topic. But that’s ok. Because I can’t really relate to it. I’m detached. There’s another Zen word again: detachment. Or is it, non-attachment? Either way it is the same. Before this crazy adventure I sold all my furniture, including my computer desk, to fund this trip abroad. I stopped at India first, for three weeks. I volunteered at a slum school. This state of No Desk was prevalent there in their No School… Classes conducted completely outside and in the elements of weather. My state of No Desk is an interesting one. At least I’d like to think so. The time I had a desk wasn’t technically mine either. It was my exes when we shared a cohabiting space. Our own house, to be exact. Signed under both our names. When you share space what’s mine is yours and yours is mine. The lines of what you ‘own’ are blurred. Though the desk was technically his, it was placed in my own room. My “studio” or “office”, if you’d like to call it that. Mostly, it was just a chaotic mess where nothing happened. No productivity. When we broke up, the desk came with me. He gave it to me because I would need it to use for my desktop PC. I acquired a couple other of “his” things, like a bookcase, an office chair, and a bed from his parents… All of which I have now sold or given away (thank you, Craig, aka Craigslist). To start life new. Fresh. When you make a major life changing trip, the feeling is literally as if you are being reborn. As if being reincarnated or becoming someone new. Words like “past life” are used to signify what my life used to be like; with equal detachment. The feeling is completely surreal, cathartic, weird and truly indescribable in words. Rebirth and birthing just doesn’t do it justice. So when I think of my No Desk, what follows naturally is thinking about my Desk. Of my past life and the craziness I felt. The times I would masturbate to porn with my legs propped up, feeling frustrated when sex was nonexistent. The times when I would just sit there staring blankly at the screen, feeling totally defeated. The times when I would cry. While some people may think moving abroad, joining a monastery, and throwing all caution to the wind in reclamation of chance and the Unknown are crazy, it is in fact moving me closer to sanity, and the state of Who I Am, in my entirety; my true self. In that house, on that Desk, of my past life, I felt further away from myself; a perversion of who I really am. It’s been nearly two years and I can’t even relate to that part of my life. I’m a completely different person. That entire period feels so surreal. I feel more “me” than I have in years. I’m diving closer to my truth, and I’m figuring out the rest of my life; how it’s supposed to be, naturally. Only this time, it doesn’t need a desk for me to thrive. I’m figuring out my nomadic lifestyle and location independence; how to work from anywhere, with self-determination and a smile.