Almost exactly a year ago, I made the decision to uproot myself from Singapore and move all the way up north to Denmark. I remember it was during the Easter holidays that I had a long conversation with my parents about quitting my somewhat decent-paying job and pursue something completely different (and one that is potentially not going to pay me very well).
It has definitely been one of the best decisions in my life.
I have learned a lot of new things, become a little street-wiser (although I know someone who thinks I still have a looong way to go, to the extent that I need to live on the streets in Nairobi before I can even be somewhat decent. Yep, he is brutally honest, but we are also still friends, which probably means that I agree with him), travelled to some amazing places in Europe, seen the Northern Lights and lived in two new cities (so far).
But it has also been one of the most confusing situations that I have got myself into.
I have been having a lot of difficulty in updating what’s been happening in my life on this blog. Whenever I sit in front of my computer, I simply do not know what to write. Not because nothing has been happening and that I have very few things to update. In fact, I have a whole Airbus-sized-cabin to update, but I just can’t find a way to do so.
At first I couldn’t quite place why this is the case, but these days I have come to realise that the reason I have been having some writer’s block about my own life is because things have been happening so fast that nothing has properly sunk in on me yet. I left Singapore, my home for nine years, last September, tried to settle into my new home Aarhus, only to find out a month later that my supposedly one-year stay would be cut short to mere 6 months because I got this incredible opportunity to finish my first year of Master’s at UC Berkeley. So within a span of half a year, I have had to move across three different countries in three different continents.
What this means is that I’m probably at the most exciting phase of my life so far. I’m moving around to awesome places to pursue my dreams!
However, it also means that I’m barely catching up with my own life.
Leaving a country is not merely a matter of packing yourself from one location and dropping yourself to the next. Like how I’ve often joked with my friends, whenever I’m packing those suitcases, I’m packing my life – the bed I normally sleep in, the people I normally see, the places I frequent, the food I normally eat, although they don’t fit snugly into my suitcases (and I have two massive suitcases and a big backpack AND a handbag, the same brutally honest friend can testify), they are all still things that I have had pack neatly into memories. They transform from something that I do into something that I used to do. And before I know it, I have fallen into a completely new rhythm at the new place (after completely getting rid of my persistent jetlag).
But the problem with this is all these activities take a while to sink in. The mechanical actions of doing something as a routine may take an instant to happen, but the realisation that I am actually doing it takes a completely different pace to settle. Add in the fact that new people keep coming to my life – while most are passersby, some have become of great importance to me at such a short span of time. Someone I did not even know of this time last year, has probably become one of my closest confidantes and someone I care deeply about.
It’s not only after I spoke to one of my friends about how difficult it is catching up with our own lives that I realised that this could have been the problem all along.
I need to catch up with my own life.
Otherwise, in the process, I would lose sight of who I am and what I really want out of this whole process. I have to admit that these days I have become a bit more lost (not only in finding my ways around town, that has always been the case). I am easily startled by the smallest surprise simply because I never have had time to properly think through what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want out of living in each place. I am not even sure if I have accomplished everything that I wanted out of living in Aarhus, but with almost one-third of my time here in Berkeley whooshing past just like that, time is ticking for me to get a grip of myself and figure out what I want for the next two-and-a-half months.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining here. I’m having a blast at the moment – everything has been so much better and bigger than I imagined and I am a truly happy girl, and I’m extremely grateful for it. Which is why I want to make the most out of the situation and not letting this opportunity go to waste.
So while I’m trying to catch up with my own life, this is some of the long-promised pictures of my beautiful campus taken over the past 3 weeks or so. Enjoy!