No time to be zen in 2010


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Bukittinggi and around

It’s January 20.  I haven’t written any resolutions yet or mused on 2009 or written about my hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Probably cos this year got off to such a crazy start.  New Years Eve was lovely and fun and spent with friends during the day and night, but since then I’ve had friends going though really bad times, shake ups in my office, dramas with meeting deadlines for important stuff that were completely out of my control, me going through some rather bad health that I’m still on the path to repairing and, as is the norm in Jakarta, pending farewells.  As well as trying to figure out what I want to do in the future, that eternal question.

But, despite the new decade still having some trouble finding its feet, I’m excited about the year ahead.  I’ve got raffle tickets in all over the place… grad school apps, job apps… and how this year turns out, and where I will be living by the end of it, will largely depend on them.

But I’m also planning to strike out as a ‘real’ freelancer for a while this year too, traveling and having the time to do some of the stories that I’m really interested in and seeing more of Indonesia and SE Asia.  It will be the first time in forever for me that I’ve thrown aside the structure of school, university or a full time job (or a hellish combination of some of the above).  Well it seems like forever… probably the four month university holiday I had in Europe was the other time.  2006 seems like a long time ago.  I’m also planning to organize a volunteer placement somewhere along the way as I feel it is remiss that Indonesia has given me so much and I haven’t really taken the time yet to give something back in that way as well.  There’s not just an indulgent purpose behind this so-called plan though… I do want to improve my journalism portfolio and I do want to increase coverage of some of the issues facing Indonesia.  Though there will definitely be bumming on a beach time in there somewhere.

I have no idea where I am heading and I probably won’t have any idea until April or May what is in store for the second half of the year, so that’s kinda scary-cool.

As for  wrap up of 2009?  Well I think it was a year I will never forget, thanks to Indonesia.  I mean that in a good way.  I learned so much about news, life and people, some of it good and other things not so good.  Saw some great places and had some fantastic times with good people.  There were some dramas, but they are always fleeting and likely to be forgotten as quickly as all of the GRE vocab I tried to cram in during September.  And as for work experience, well, earthquakes, terrorist bombings, terror raids and everything else teach you a lot very quickly.

So, may 2010 be as educative, interesting and enjoyable (I could live without the bombs and quakes though, thanks).  Bring it on.

Photo:  This post needed a photo but I haven’t been out shooting yet this year.  This is an old one I hadn’t blogged of somewhere outside of Bukittinggi in West Sumatra, March 2009.

4 Responses to " No time to be zen in 2010 "

  1. Yvonne Scott says:

    Brian – that is a little harsh – surely you would see how airing your personal opinions on her blog is unprofessional. If you don’t like her, let it go and stop reading her blog.

  2. Edgar Allen Poe says:

    Take a good hard look at yourself Brian, “the worst of kind of journalist”. Extremely unprofessional work. What second rate journalistic school didn’t teach you to grammar check. Hang your head in shame.

  3. Ashlee says:


    I’ve deleted Brian’s comment, however for those wondering the gist it was accusing me of being an unprofessional journalist while working at a community paper in Sydney, a job that I left nearly two years ago.

    I am 99 percent sure I know who that commenter is (not posting under his real name) and all I will say is that sometimes people get annoyed when the truth gets out. If you want to criticize me with facts, then go ahead, but just calling me names won’t fly and I’ll delete it. As I journalist I would never have something published that I couldn’t back up, so if you are going to have a go at my professionalism, I’ll only hear criticisms that come with a side dish of facts.

    I very much enjoyed my work in community papers in Sydney advocating for the community and if there was any factual error in a story I would have organized a correction immediately. But two years later? That just smells like a grudge.

    If you want to discuss this any further ‘Brian’, you can contact me via email at ashlee dot betteridge at g mail dot com. I’ll delete anything more from here.

    And thanks to the others who commented.

  4. Marmalade says:

    Don’t worry about it. It’s the joy of being online to be read by pissheads, lunatics, and the reality-starved. I have my own personal psychopath too. Think about as vindication of your existence. Everyone should have their own pet troll.