youth / alaska + uncertainties

It's hard to believe that it's been a month since I returned from Southeast Asia, filled with excitement about everything that was going to change in my life. I went on a seven day cruise through Alaska with my mom and grandma, filled with absoutely breathtaking sunsets...


I returned to Boston, expecting to start my full-time job, only to be faced with some hiccups and uncertainty. The future is still a bit uncertain, but I'm trying to make the best of it, no matter how internally stressful it's been. Channel the momentum and motivation I had for starting work into other things has been challenging, so I've been spending a lot of time learning about concepts that I find overwhelming. 

I read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan, and started reading Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Digital Cosmopolitans by Ethan Zuckerman. If anything, I get increasingly overwhelmed by how much I don't understand the world, but it's almost comforting to know that I could learn for the rest of my life and still not understand most things. Is that contradictory?

I've been thinking a lot about time, and how I probably shouldn't try to spend all of my time doing all the things I wish I could do. So here are some of the things I hope to be able to spend time doing and improve on constantly - in no particular order. 

  •  Guitar: I just upgraded my guitar from a Little Martin to a Taylor GS Mini! It was a pretty big decision, but I really enjoy the process of learning and practicing guitar. It's my favorite instrument to listen to, and it's incredibly rewarding when I can reproduce any sounds that I spend hours listening to. Since I do not sing, I play exclusively fingerstyle, and the 3/4 Martin was getting a bit cramped. The Taylor still isn't a full-sized guitar, but the slightly smaller size is nice to my abnormally short pinkies. 
  • Reading: I basically realized this summer that reading is the biggest life-hack ever.  Especially non-fiction - you basically spend a small, small fraction of time absorbing material that someone else spent years researching?? I'm trying to read books from different fields of (social) science - physics, biology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. It's been a pretty rewarding process so far, and has been distracting me from the stress.
  • Cooking: I love food. Not just the eating part, but understanding the process, politics, history, cultural context, and science behind growing/cooking/eating it. I spent a fair amount of time cooking in college, but I'm looking forward to having a clean space to experiment with various veggie-based concoctions. 
  • Photography: SURPRISE! I actually want to shoot film regularly again. Cinestill came out with a C-41 home developing kit, which means it might be possible without (completely) breaking the bank. We shall see about this one. It requires quite a bit of activation energy, but there have been very few hobbies as personally rewarding to me as film photography. 

That list is pretty much as short as I could possibly make it. I also wanted to design/sew a backpack, get into woodworking, get better at drawing, improve my graphic design/illustration skills, learn a bunch of card games, write more, etc...

This is why I need lists, and this is how I end up reading like six books at once.