Where the hell did this month go?! And why the hell am I writing like a dippy aunt who can’t believe her nieces are growing taller every year?
Peak mum tourist selfie. Friends visiting is a brilliant reason to see the Dili sights I’m usually too lazy to visit myself.
April ripped by and knocked the wind out of me. It started with Easter, with friends visiting (three different friends across two different trips, then a fourth a fortnight later, wahooo), and with two separate trips to Atauro Island; continued with a brand-new job and a first-day trip to Maubisse, then week two in Bali, why not; a big fear faced and some fun news revealed; and finished with a dreamy long weekend at Jaco Island and welcoming May in Baucau town, my favourite place in Timor-Leste.
I have no travel planned for May, work trips or otherwise, and it’s the first time in about six months I won’t leave Dili. I’m thrilled for it, and I’m grateful for a big, busy April that makes me excited to be stuck in this funny dusty grouchy little city.
In April, I started a new job.
I’ve not announced this properly! This month I started a new role at Plan International here in Dili, working with their new communications manager to do some fun comms stuff. This wasn’t quite in the freelancing plan I had for myself (and we all know how well I go when things don’t follow the plan), but it’s been a really wonderful first few weeks, and I’m feeling happy and welcomed and settled and energised.
In April, I travelled.
Atauro outriggers at low tide.
My first two days with Plan were a comms trip to Maubisse (my other favourite place in Timor-Leste; what a job!), I made two trips with friends to Atauro Island, and I spent a week in Bali at an international conference about social and behaviour change communication (if I were reading this on someone else’s blog, I’d feel totally intimidated by this update, so let me clarify that I paid for it myself, only knew about it because a clued-in friend sent me the link, felt too shy to network so spent most of my time on Twitter, and got crabby and bored at 4pm every conference day like a child at school who had digested too much information).
Jaco, Maubisse, Atauro.
I spent the last few days of the month at Jaco Island and welcomed the month of May in Baucau, where we stayed for a night to break up the eight-hour-long bump back to Dili.
In April, I read.
I’m continuing with my reading challenge and ripped through some more fat fiction. But more importantly, I didn’t read: I’m miles behind my reading goal and I’m relishing the challenge to my perfectionism. Even if I fail I’ve succeeded.
In April, I broke my favourite sunglasses.
And promptly sulked. Sharing this because my own crabbiness is an unyielding check every time I sink too far into sanctimonious thought. I was fucking mad.
In April, I introduced my internet to Felix.
Read about him here, if you missed it!
In April, I got a big sore-blister thing on my face…
Still not sure what it was, and it’s healed now, but multiple friends suggested it was likely a reminder from my body to slow down and take better care of myself.
In Bali, exhausted after a long conference day of new people and information and extrovert time and feeling vaguely troubled by some aspects of the event I wandered home early to buy a packet of Oreos and email Felix (email, not message, lest my important request get lost in a deluge of dumb jokes).
“Please help me,” I asked him.
“I need to take better care of myself. Can you help? I need to sleep earlier and actually exercise and drink a bit less.”
He responded immediately in the affirmative, picked me up from the airport with a cold soda water in hand, and took both of our hungover selves out for bakso before a nap.
My face is now normal and I’m feeling much, much better.
And far out, I’m glad for May!
This month, I’ll potter at home. I’ll plant basil and take on exactly as much work as I can manage and no more. I’ll continue cooking. I’ll sort out my bank card and ask Laura to teach me how to use the manual settings on my camera. I’ll abandon unnecessary worries and not beat myself up for not achieving things — including this list.