Creative destruction

Sunday morning I indulged in a peanut butter and condensed milk toast at Lulu’s in Shek O. It’s one of those unique east meets west delights that Hong Kong is famous for. Lulu’s used to be my regular, if basic breakfast spot when I stayed in Shek O. Now they have an espresso machine and avocado bagels on the menu. It was fascinating to explore the city after four years, on the lookout for all the ways both big and small that it has changed. You can now go straight from Admiralty to Lo Wu on the East Rail line, there’s a massive contemporary art museum called the M+, and a new 92km hiking route called the Tinworth Trail. Apparently they have also changed the bolts on metal railings throughout the city so they can’t be disassembled without a special tool. They are working hard to reinvent themselves after a tough several years, and I can’t help but root for them.

Creative destruction is an economic concept that describes “the dismantling of long-standing practices in order to make way for innovation”. It feels like I’ve been doing a bit of that myself these last several months. In November, Grant and I parted ways after almost 6 years. In March, Atomico and I did the same after 9 months. Both felt like necessary, if painful steps to make space for something new to emerge. Unlike last year, I don’t have any clear criteria or process that I’m working through to figure out what’s next for any aspect of my life. Being in a committed relationship right now doesn’t excite me. Working full time for one company doesn’t appeal. Staying in one place all year round doesn’t spark joy.   

Thankfully, I was able to access a consistent source of advice over the years – the kau chim at Che Kung Temple. After carefully formulating my question, I shook the bamboo cup of fortune sticks. Almost immediately, one lone stick rose from the pack and fell to the floor. I traded it in for a small piece of thin yellow paper with a poem written on it. As the interpreter described its meaning, I couldn’t help but grin. The poem was about a tiger and a lamb that benefit from their relationship with each other. He explained that the story demonstrates the importance of social capital and how focusing on friendships would help me navigate the choices before me. Who doesn’t love a healthy dose of confirmation bias?

This past week I requested verification of my HK permanent residence status. Word on the street is that they are being lenient with people who weren’t able to come back during the pandemic. In Feb I also applied for British citizenship and I should have a decision by the end of the summer. Both will give me much more flexibility as I explore where and how I’d like to spend my time. My mom is turning 75 in May and our family is gathering in Santa Fe to celebrate. Soon after I’m going to finally visit The Alhambra and celebrate my friend’s wedding in San Sebastian. In June I was accepted into another vipassana (10 day silent meditation retreat) in Suffolk. Come July I’ll be heading to Buenos Aires to speak at a conference. 

For now you can find me in Kentish Town. Live juicy!