Today was my first morning in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was pretty exhausted from moving which took far more hours than I would have guessed. Who knew it would be so time consuming just to throw things away?
I did try and sell/donate a fair amount of my things, but at 8pm-1am the night before a 5 am wake-up call I went into pure dumpster mode. I felt a little disgusted with myself at the amount of things I had accumulated. So much of it was used less than twice in the past year (with many items used exactly 0 times) storing up space just in case. Even still I had a bit of a hard time getting rid of a lot of it. After a few years on the road I binged on household goods thinking I was going to set-up shop in the Bay Area for a long time. One year later I was fortunate to get 10% of what I paid for some of those things, and spent hours of my life in the process. All good though, just reminded me to be weary of becoming attached to possessions. My attachment often comes from sunken costs alone, as if spending $500 on a pair of shoes makes them intrinsically worth keeping even though I never wear them.
So now I’m in Puerto Rico. I know very, very little about this place. I embarrassingly didn’t even know that the main language was Spanish and not English until just before my flight took off. I even visited 10 years ago, but was holed up at a resort during a very busy trading time. The two worst things about going to new places for long durations is 1) missing old friends/needing to invest in meeting new people, 2) the time-suck of finding out where to eat/live/gym/haircut/etc.
Currently I’m working hard on finding the best neighborhoods to live, and how to get a reasonably priced apartment. Living wise I’m mostly looking at Old San Juan, Condado, and Ocean Park. I scoured the internet, but haven’t been able to find any obvious answers. I have a lot of writing, reading, and crypto learning to do, so hopefully I can find a short-term fix pretty soon.
Writing wise I have a new short in production that is coming along. I also have a bunch of ideas for future works both long and short. I’m nervous to start a novel as my track record is 1-4 for finishing. I somewhat technically finished the first novel that I wrote, but it was so bad, and ended up so short, that I never mustered the energy to edit it. It served its’ purpose though demonstrating the power of regular writing as well as what not to do. I remember writing long scenes of dialogue that didn’t do anything for the story that were boring for me to write. It hit me that they would be boring to read as well, but I slugged through to the finish line out of principle. I’ve started much better works subsequently, but have always found excuses to not see them through. Hopefully 2018 is the year that changes…
I feel very close to the elusive target of contentment. Theoretically I could just meditate a few hours per day and be satisfied with anything, but I have a strong desire to accomplish things in a balanced way. Earning some money, learning things, creative expression, health, and spending time with people I love. All of these are possible at the present moment, I just have to start the habits in my new environment.
Leaving you with a pic from the beach that starts a few hundred feet from my Airbnb.