A Blog by Jen Baxter
I’ve been living in Bali, Indonesia for a year and a half while travelling around South East Asia and Europe. I seem to be living a typical “Ubud life”, I arrived for one month and many months later, I’m still here. I’m never sure where I’m going next and I’ve learned to simply live life day by day.
I’m living my own story right now, there’s no comparison to any book I’ve read. A year ago I was living a comfortable life in San Francisco, California, the city I was born and raised in. I was working my ass off for a big company, I owned the condo I lived in, had plenty of friends and love and went through 5 very hard years as both my parents died of cancer, one being diagnosed for the first time just 8 months after the other had passed.
As the estates were being settled I found myself single, with no kids, 42 years old and with plenty of money to support myself and enjoy life. The reality was I had no energy and no spirit left to enjoy anything more than a night or two out with friends. I was completely depleted, emotionally, physically & spiritually. I remember my brother saying to me, “We’re so proud of you, you have really done well and accomplished so much. You should feel really good about yourself.” I remember, clearly, not being able to say to him what I was really feeling which was, “Yes, but I can’t FEEL anything. I don’t FEEL it…what’s the point. I just feel numb.”
That moment, with the inspiration and support of a few friends who had quit their jobs to travel the year before is how I got to where I am today. A few months later, I quit my job after 7 years of being with the same company, rented out my condo to a friend, packed my things and bought a one way ticket to Bali.
Why Bali? Because a very wise healer I had been working with in San Francisco said to me, “I’m getting Bali, there’s something for you in Bali, feels like a new group of people you need to meet.”
After two weeks of being in Ubud I met and still continue to meet people who are artists, writers, photographers, creative souls, healers and yogis. The ones who have taught me the most are the people who can’t be put in a box. There’s no accurate way to describe them, they are who they are, you have to experience life with them to know.
I want to be a great storyteller. I’ve always been a writer, I just never let anyone read what I wrote. It was purely for myself. I’ve always loved photography. I just never had much confidence to allow myself to really play with it. Now it’s time to expand as I connect with people and the magic around me. I’m recognizing the alchemy and magic everywhere, feeling it reflected in myself and I can feel there’s a story to tell. Each time I leave my comfort zone to do something different it’s a reality check about how I was hardly living my life before and how much I’m expanding who I am to truly create and enjoy a life I love.
The blogging keeps me honest and real about my writing and photography as I wander from place to place, experience to experience and person to person. Eventually, I’ll wander back to the city I know best and love, San Francisco.
From someone who has been writing for years and never let anyone read what they wrote….thanks for reading…