[In the second article of this series: Arkitrek Principal, Filzah Jamjam, talks about what it’s like to be the caretaker for Arkitrek during the Arkitrek sabbatical year.]
Over the last couple months, people have been asking me “So, are you taking over Arkitrek?” and with a slight ahem, tittering, I said, “ha! um, am taking care” followed by a nervous smile hoping there’s no further question. Because to be honest, I’ve been asking myself the same question and still looking for the answer.
I understand why Arkitrek needs a sabbatical. However, I’m kind of leaning it towards not to. It’s ironic because back when I applied for a full-time job, I told Ian that very likely I will be working for only a year. Which in retrospect, it would’ve synchronized perfectly with this sabbatical timing. But now here I am, trying to take over it. Perhaps sabbatical is still necessary. I cannot just take it and run it, there is for sure a transition time which is important for me to learn my way around.
So it hits back with a question of what is sabbatical then? Is it that transition? A famous pianist Piotr Anderszewski said that sabbatical is a space where you allow things to happen other than the known.
To me, a sabbatical is a break you take to energise yourself. A break that is required after a long demanding journey in order to restore back your energy and bringing back the excitement of getting started. Meaning: your break needs to have a goal. Not to be mistaken with a holiday, a sabbatical is not a run-away kind of break. Sabbatical is after a certain amount time, should excite you to start where you stop with full on energy, achieved goal and ready to carry on.
I somehow have not been on a demanding journey yet to be entitled to a sabbatical but often doubt whether or not I am ready to carry on. Thus, I’m taking the advantage of Arkitrek’s sabbatical to train myself. Even it means that not letting Arkitrek be fully sabbatical, but I take that as the ‘other than the known’. So when the time comes, and Arkitrek is ready, I will be ready too. And I know lots of Arkitrekkers out there are training themselves too. Isn’t that exciting? It is.
As an Arkitrekker who’s come from a live design camp, an intern and then a full-time staff, ‘sambil belajar sambil buat’ is a maxim that is really spot on: ‘learning by doing’ is what I am practising now. Arkitrek has been a great incubator, cultivating me to who I am now and it is time for me to take care of this apparatus and pass it on.