There is (at least) a missing post ( between my arrival in Odense, Denmark and now which is 12 days shy of 3 months. I may at some point slot that in, or just let that disappear into obscurity until there is something worth mentioning.
Since I have embarked on this journey to become a learning-traveler*, one of the most common questions I get is, “What do you plan to do after…” either after Perth, or after Denmark, or after graduating from the psychology degree.
*I coin my student status as the “learning-traveler” because it is taking me from Singapore to Perth, and from Perth to Denmark, and who knows where else.
I usually answer factually, that I may consider pursuing the discipline and eventually be eligible for professional registration as a psychologist. The truth is, I really don’t know and I usually have plans, so this is very atypical of me.
Jester – a Fool, or a Genius?
Often times, we refer to Jester, the joker as a fool, but is he? Most people regard psychology as a very difficult discipline to study; it is the easiest discipline I have studied – I am trained in various disciplines. It is undoubtedly heavily invested with time and effort, not to mention money – psychology is a very expensive discipline to study.
With all the time, effort, and money spent on studying psychology, it would make good sense to pursue further, or at least have a career out of it. Would the vocational motivation make me a genius, or an intelligent fool?
Perhaps, there is no need to plan that far. If I deem fit, I would frame the certificate and use it as a decoration at home, together with my other certificates. I would gladly be a foolish intellect than an intelligent fool.
So, what do I want to do after this? Let’s reframe this question. Where do I want to be after this?
I Move Mountains to Get to Places
I am more inclined to be motivated to work towards where I want to be, rather than what I want to become. I am most likely going to remain an obstinate argumentative overaged brat, and I am quite alright with that. Getting to Perth and coming to Denmark is not solely due to dumb luck, but with unimaginable efforts, determination, and some wits and means. I am strongly driven to move mountains, hills, and maybe even luxurious spas to get myself to where I plan to be.
The Sour Grapes
Some people are just loving the sour grapes. They often forget that I have to manage a set of challenges, just like other people and more; one of them has a direct impact on and conflict to me being a traveler. My visuospatial impairment puts me directly on the path with endless obstacles and hurdles. People sometimes tell me that if I didn’t have this or that, this “adventure” can never happen; similarly, I could easily illuminate the absence of some of the conditions that should have put them on an interesting adventure, but why aren’t they? If I can develop strategies to work around my impairments, why can’t they find solutions to overcome their whatever excuses?
So, let’s not compare. I am where I am, because I put me here. I may have certain advantages over others, but I am quite certain that they too, have some benefits that I don’t get to enjoy. The difference is that I capitalise on my potentials to compensate for the shortfalls. I don’t hide behind excuses.
In March, 2014, I was due to leave Denmark for Singapore after my 6 weeks’ stay in Svendborg. At the train station (I wasn’t taking train, we were just at the train station – but memory could fail me on the exact location, as my memory doesn’t really work well with location, or numbers!), with mixed emotions but dominated by sense of sadness of having to leave soon, I made a promise that I will be back soon, and again, and again. Although Denmark was not in my learning-traveling plan, it was a promise I meant to keep, and I did. I am back here, and I shall be back again and again.
Even though the person whom I had made the promise to had broken all the promises made to me, it doesn’t change anything. The person may not matter anymore, but my integrity does. When we make a promise, it is not just a commitment to this person, but also to ourselves.
I am finally happy again. I am finally able to close the lid to the can that once contained the most precious and beautiful essence, but is now filled with shattered promises and deadly worms. Now, I resume with my original plan.
There are three main things that I wanted to do with the time in Denmark.
- Learn to bike – With much turmoils, I am finally learning to walk and balance-ish the bike! I shall persevere. Bike, I will conquer you!
- Learn Danish – Also with much disruptions, I am progressing very slowly with the language acquisition, but I am super committed now! Danish language, I shall manipulate my mouth parts to pronounce the å, æ and ø!
- Visit castles – Ideally I will learn bike soon, so that I may (or may not!) bike to some castles (I think they may not be within cyclable distance!). Then again, I have an opportunity to visit a castle in Copenhagen (train ticket is paid for!) this month!
I prefer to live in places long enough to breathe in the cultures and experiences that hasty stays may not offer.
In case I don’t make up for the missing post, this is a picture of a glorious autumn afternoon. Sun started to set at around 4:45pm.
Fall was quite short, I think. It started in late September, and it is getting at freezing temperature in early November! It snowed this week. It’s a one-day-snow! It was snowing rather heavily while I headed out to get some yarns and collect a parcel at the post office. I was covered with a layer of frosting! I was beyond excited!
There are many opportunities for quiet time alone, and I plan to take advantage of them. So, I am really hoping that I can master the bike soon, and hopefully at a level that is safe to be biking out in the forest.
The trees from my window view are balding. Winter is indeed marching in. With the extended stay, I am going to experience all the four seasons in Denmark. A wish I made the last time I was here.
There is something about me that is weird – fine, there are so many things about me that is not unweird! Weird is awesome, I don’t mind it anymore, but please don’t go around calling people weird, that is just rude!
As winter and Christmas approach, it is probably unusual for people to decide to quit alcohol. There is never a good time to quit if we try to work around festivities and occasions that may inspire drinking. To be frank, I drank every day, so it wouldn’t matter to me. I decide to quit, so that is that. I am not going to be completing abstaining from alcohol, I just don’t drink on regular basis. I don’t go out much, so if I don’t buy alcohol, I don’t drink alcohol, very uncomplicated. If I do drink at a dinner with friends, I would cap it to 1 or 2 glasses – I don’t make excuses.
My key motivation to stop drinking is for aesthetic reasons – I am really wanting to lose weight, and even though I am eating less and walking a lot, I am not losing weight because the alcohol was pumping calories. I drank quite heavily. I drank 5-7 glasses of wine, or 3 glasses of spirit. Accordingly, alcohol is bad for skin too, so well, that’s doubling the vanity reason! Quitting alcohol would surely relieve my liver from working so hard, I know that, but health factor is really not the primary motivator.
So, if you want to quit a habit, don’t justify, just quit. Don’t do it for anyone except for yourself.
Living for Me
I am feeling like the me from more than 3 years ago. I feel liberated and free! For the past 3 years, when I tried to say “I am not looking to date again”, I felt a tight tension and sharp prick like someone gave my heart a tight squeeze and a hard pinch. I don’t feel that anymore.
I am not looking to date anyone, anytime soon, or ever. The last straw was taken and stomped over, so there is no need to look anymore. It’s not a sad thing, it’s one of the most liberating feelings. I can resume to designing my life around me again. I cannot regret that last attempt, because it was what brought me to Perth, and now Denmark.
The process has been the most heart wrenching and debilitating one; anyone would choose never have experienced that. I don’t indulge in the imagined possibility since I don’t yet have Tardis to reverse time and have the option to change history. It happened, it was more painful than it was sweet, I lived on nothing but hopeless promises, yet, the reality remains that it had happened. I can’t change the past, so I work actively to impact the present and the future.
I am well again. I live for me again. I choose not to love romantically again, but I will enjoy the warmth of friendships that are capable to stir a deep and meaningful pot of intellectual discourse.
I don’t have a concrete plan for my future, I endeavour instead, to work towards a fulfilling (hopefully short) life.