Several days ago I flew down to Panama. My plan is to stay roughly a month. I’m managing a few residential construction projects, and coordinating the design and buildout of a new coffee processing facility. For now I’m sleeping on the floor of the construction site, but there will soon be clean, modern, and functional living spaces.
Pineapples, bananas, tree tomatoes, oranges, and many other fruits grow wildly on our farms. Besides coffee, that is. Every hike is a beautiful one. If I didn’t want to shower, I wouldn’t have to. Instead I could drive to hot-springs at the end of work days, then rinse off under a spring fed waterfall. I’m not trying to glorify this place, but instead point out that besides an appropriate house, this farm really has everything.
I’ve mentioned this before to a few people – not that it’s a secret. My Name’s Sebastian was created because I believe that my name will be one of very few constants in my life. I’d started a few blogs over the years. One was about kayaking, another photography, and there were others that I still cannot categorize. However, the work I’d published was quickly forgotten as those interests made way for new ones.
Two summers ago while working on Cape Cod I came across some of my old posts. Most of them…were terribly written, but I realized that those early writings I had published collectively made up a unique biography. One that allowed me to recall who I was and how I thought at different periods of my life. It would have been foolish for me to let them be lost.
One place where I could archive all the work I had posted and publish everything going forward seemed to be the best solution. And “wah-lah”, the purely self-centered and arguably narcissistic blog My Name’s Sebastian was born. The idea being that no matter what my interests had been or will be, my name shall always be Sebastian. And by using a blog I would always be able to share with anyone who cared to give attention.
Why am I telling you this? House-arrest best describes my stay in Shanghai last month. The plywood soft mattress that occupied most of my cell sized room massaged knots into my back while “China-pop” resonated through my window, coming abusively loud from speakers that seemed to smoke too much. In the industrial hell-hole of an area I was staying there was no internet, or any English speaking friends to be made. So I was left to be entertained with a few Kindle books and my thoughts.
I’d make my way through smoggy streets at 9:00am, take coffee classes until 4:00pm, and then return back. My diet was strictly Ramen. This is not a “poor me” plea. I describe this only to impress that for two-weeks I had no one to talk to, no social media to pacify the time, and no desire to breath in the Grade D air so generously supplied outside. All I could do was think.
I had needed a step back. Some time where I could only focus on myself – whether I wanted to or not. And after summiting the first inevitable peak of unbearable boredom, I began to focus my energy more inwardly to attempt at answering a few of the more stereotypical questions about life. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you. But what did come out of this time spent alone were goals. And frankly, it had been a long while since I had any.
There isn’t any value in mentioning them. However, one goal that I did not arrive at was to continue posting daily blogs. Embarrassingly, over the past year or so I have likely written twenty words for every one I read – I believe those numbers should be opposite. So along with other fresh motives, and transitioning more to journaling than blogging, I plan on shifting gears to focus on writing consumption rather than output.