24 February 2011

Scheduling the Unscheduled

I am one of those people who want things to be in order. I like it when trains run on time, I like it when things happen on the times I expect them to happen. I really hate spontaneity that I can't even wrap my head around the idea of getting just 15 minutes notice in order to go to see a movie.

However, I also understand that there exists chaos in the world. As much as we want order to reign, that is not always the case, and chaos is the other side of the coin. And to some degree, there are things we cannot control. The weather, the temperature, the way experiments turn out, the people we meet on the street, these are just some of the things that we cannot control, and if we try to control them all, we'll just end up frustrated and unhappy, disappointed and burnt out.

So, the other day, I was told that I operationalize everything. That might be true. In fact, as much as I embrace the unpredictable nature of some aspects of my life, I still try to schedule this bursts of unpredictability. I am heading to the Philippines in a few months, and as I have done last year, I am heading to other parts of the country that I haven't explored yet. I have a sketchy plan, but nothing is set in stone. I'll just buy a one-way ticket to some city in the south, and explore the area, and when I am done, I'll check the departure times for the ferries, and hop on to the next available ferry. I'll do the same routine until I am tired or out of time, in which I'll buy a ticket to return back. I think I like that idea. Scheduled spontaneity.

So what does that do to me? It allows me to relax, it allows me to give myself the placebo illusion of letting go, when in fact, it was a calculated move. It's a way of pushing boundaries, seeing how far I can go with no set constraints, so when I get back to the routine, I feel refreshed and ready to deal with the ups and downs of a rhythmic lifestyle.

So yes, I am looking forward to summer.

(Trampling, from my Modern Art in Cuzco Series)


  1. I'm a mix of both. When it comes to traveling, I don't plan anything and I don't book hostels. I basically go with the flow and I hate planning these kind of things anyway.

    But at home, I enjoy some routine, just for balance I guess.

  2. Zhu,

    Exactly, the balance is the idea. I think I'll just burn out if it's all of one thing and not the other.