Isolated thoughts

34.

If we stay stagnant as the people we were, life would be dull indeed.

This week I ran a bad session, had a fantastic one and then somehow managed to survive parasitology lab. We ran faecal smears which were really stinky, and it was fun trying to taxonomically identify random objects. I went on a date, and somehow ran into an old friend along the way. I woke early and spent my weekend catching up with friends, cleaning and organising my life. Also, I finally got approval to go home over summer. Which is fantastic news!

33.

This week was a week of many firsts for me. I started gymming regularly, attending group fitness sessions that have pushed me beyond whatever I have done in the past year. Also, on the work related front I have officially conducted my first ever group study sessions which is very exciting, but quite daunting because I worry that what I planned was not beneficial to my attendees. I do think that it went well though, for they seemed engaged and willing to come back next week. I take that as a tiny step in the right direction, for facilitation and running group sessions has never been my thing. I’ve always been too shy, too quiet to actually have any presence and command attention but I seem to have been going okay.

List of random life tips I’ve gathered from this week:

  • Just do the fucking dishes. Don’t wait any longer because chances are it just gets more disgusting the longer you leave it in the sink. Also, it just takes 2 minutes so get it done and out of the way!
  • If you are anal about eating fresh fruit and vegetables because of cleanliness (i.e. like me), buy bananas or mandarins because then you don’t have to worry about eating stuff that parasites have been/are on.
  • To avoid bad traffic and getting angry, make your trip in the early morning or night. Driving at night always feels great because literally the whole strip of highway is yours, and the lights turn in your favour that much quicker.
  • Always try to reach out to/be grateful for your community. The cleaners opposite the road told the nurses that some creeps were peeking into my car. Then they told me to park my car in the locked compound because it’s clearly unsafe. God knows how poor I’ll be from replacing a broken window if someone tried to break into my poor little Marcelo.
  • Also: don’t ever give in. Don’t compromise, don’t bend over backwards for anyone. Don’t lower your standards thinking that it might lead to an end point that you desire. It won’t, ever. Life is easier when you live without heart.

And that is all. I’ve been trying to be mindful, appreciating nice sunsets and rainbows when I see them. Waking up in the middle of the night because of a bad storm is no longer that terrible anymore.

32.

“Perth is like a nice girlfriend. You don’t appreciate her until she’s gone.” – Someone who moved back to Singapore

I find myself irritated with my living situation more often than not. Deleted Instagram because I hated seeing things I didn’t want to see. I’ve recently gotten a gym membership at the university gym, and have been determined to work out. Whilst that means waking at 6.30am to reach the gym for a 7.30am session, and then attending 4 lectures back to back till afternoon before lab, it feels good to do whatever the hell I want.

I find myself finding reasons to avoid going home more often than not. Whilst I appreciate the easy access to cases and having people answer my most mundane questions, I feel tired of being at the mercy of someone else. All I want to do is to get my own place, or move into a more luxurious place.

One day.

31.

I spent my past week solving sudoku puzzles, finishing The Legend of Korra, hiking and going for vet professional life camp. Being the extreme introvert that I am, I dreaded the thought of another camp after having gone for several in my high school days. It’s never comforting not having space, and I tend to prefer being in the comfort of home. The two nights were great though – playing drinking games, learning things about people, having conversations and getting pissed. I enjoyed the high elements courses and got to do the rock climbing wall which resulted in body aches and the awareness of muscles I never knew existed. I wish I had been stronger and gotten further up even though I’ve checked that off my bucket list for winter break.

According to the clinical psychologist, love is ‘unconditional positive regard’. How interesting.

Being the idiotic 21 year old that enjoys social drinking, I have somehow survived on <8 hours of sleep for the past 2 days. Here’s to not becoming a mess and getting my shit together before uni restarts.

30.

Against all odds – driving 3 hours for the final interviews, sacrificing sleep and feeling so insecure I could die, I got the job. I am ecstatic. This is everything I could have hoped for and more. Alongside my live-in position, I would have more than enough to cover my living expenses and perhaps even save a little for my future plans. My goal at the end of last year was to get to where I am today. And I am glad that I have indeed made it.

I would be lying if I said that it isn’t daunting to be juggling my studies, live-in commitments and work. I admit that I am being greedy because I want it all – good grades, practical experience, and money. I’m not one to simply study because I feel capable of doing more. I know that I can. Or, at least I am very determined to do so. If anything, I push myself hard because I know what I want whilst recognising my limitations. But the vet was right – it is lonely to simply live to work.

I told her that I foresee 2 different futures; I would either immerse myself in work or I would be more family orientated and I suppose, chill and happy. In return I was advised to do what she didn’t do – which was to find someone/start a family when I’m still young. I find that I always get told to avoid what others regret doing especially with regards to finding a partner and settling down. ‘Just go out with friends, you know, and meet guys’. It’s not so easy when relationships seem like such big investments to make, and I have literally spent 99% of my life single and happy. How do I get to know someone? When do you know that that person is ‘the one’?¬†I happen to hear a lot from people who have regretted. And of the wide range of females in this world, many of whom get validated for their looks or bodies, my best qualities happen to be that I like to learn, am gutsy and quite independent.

I don’t know, it feels like one of those things that I will never figure out despite the fact that I would like to live in loved-up affection all day until I die. And hopefully that outweighs feelings of responsibility and burdensome things (BAD STUFF) by far.

At the same time fuck societal expectations: it’s like what’s wrong with you, you’re 21, you’re supposed to be at your peak potential, value etc. why are you single?! why are you not dating?! Everyone else around you, 70% of your other friends are all attached what are you doing?! I don’t know man give me a break it’s not like my uterus is going to wither away and die whilst I pursue the things that make me happy. If it does then okay, no kids!

I have spent my past few days lazing, watching The Legend of Korra, perfecting my fried rice (but not really) and sleeping. I can’t get myself to complete my farm reports because I am simply lazy and hate how much work I forsee myself putting into it. I tried to read Othello but I find Shakespeare difficult to grasp. The language really tests my patience. On the bright side, uni is starting soon and I am excited to study, have challenges to work through and get money woohooo! It also means the coming of summer and beach days all day. Life is going to be good.

29.

The past 6 days have been the most exhausting that I’ve had in a good while. Saturday and Sunday were spent on the farm mustering sheep and riding the horse for fun. My seat is terrible after 3 whole years of not riding, and I was quite close to falling off at times. I had to wake at 5 on Monday and drive 220kms back to uni for a workshop cum final interview at 9am, which was terrible because I felt incredibly unengaged and frustrated. It’s exactly the kind of situation I disliked from my time at business school – people discussing things that did not mean anything practically significant or impactful, and speaking up for the sake of brownie points. It felt very insincere and contrived, which is something that I cannot deal with.

I very much value people doing things rather than talk or ruminate about it. I admit that I am unable to view certain things from other’s perspectives and do miss the bigger picture due to personal bias at times. But when I reflected on whether I would prefer a job lamb marking or tutoring I sincerely wanted the former. And I would stand by my stance with regards to the necessary procedures that are conducted on these animals till the end of my days. I don’t think that people get it with regards to livestock handling and husbandry at times. And I completely get the farmer when she said that she chose to farm because she’s tired of people and the way that they behave.

The most amazing thing about my recent pracs was that I’ve found it so easy to get along with these people who lead such different lives from me. I might have just been really happy because they fed me well (“how are we going to fatten you up at this rate, woman?!”) and were very positive. There was none of that social jostling or superficiality. It was simply getting things done and appreciating the little things – like rainbows after a terrible storm whilst drafting the sheep, or having a warm fireplace to go home to after spending a really cold and wet morning caring for the little kids.

I woke at 4am on Tuesday to drive back to the farm to help with drafting and lamb marking. Driving in darkness with high beams on is hella scary yet incredibly relaxing because I felt happy to be one of the only people awake at that time. I got to help hoist the lambs onto the crutching cradle, ear marking them (clipping off pieces of their ears to show who’s sheep they are), tail docking, vaccinating and ear tagging them. I watched as they were tailed, when the bits of skin around their tail removed to prevent faeces from sticking to their wool. If flies lay their eggs in the faeces the maggots can eat into the sheep’s skin and basically eat them alive from outside in, which I find a crueller fate than temporary pain.

Wednesday was the same – except that I helped to do scabies scrapes on the male lambs, sprayed paraffin onto the exposed skin and got to try tailing. I was skeptical of how I’d feel deliberately cutting the skin off the little lambs but it was alright. By the end of it I had blood all over my overalls, jacket, face and neck. I helped to bleed the rams to test for a disease that made them infertile. Then I drove back to Perth for the second part of the dreaded workshop on Thursday. I really didn’t want to leave the house in the morning, and I very much would have preferred to stay at home to sleep or watch my shows. I did end up going and losing my phone in the process, which I then thankfully found at night by driving back to school to get a spare phone and somehow finding out that my phone was with security services.

And then I just felt overwhelmingly drained and sickly. I feel like I’m burning up internally. And I don’t feel like driving back and forth from the farm was worth it for the workshop. I have driven 900+ kms in the span of 6 days but only spent $50+ doing so. I am thankful for many things that I’ve experienced with regards to my time at the farm but I can’t help but feel very put off by my time at the workshop due to sheer incompatibility. I don’t think that I’m a good fit. Times like these simply reinforce my disdain for corporate shenanigans and types. Despite the blood, sweat and tears I count my blessings for escaping business school and being where I am today. Even though sometimes I wished I fit in somewhere and gained acceptance more easily.

28.

I am done with all my pracs except for my 2-week extensive, which I shall be commencing tomorrow. I’m a tired mess. I finished my goat prac just today, and I’ve completed the activity log, preserved my weeds/toxic plants for scrapbooking purposes, cleaned the apartment for the benefit of my new housemate, watched my new drama series, checked my results, did laundry because all my overalls and socks are dirty and started packing for farm prac. I am so exhausted it’s not funny, and tonight I have many checks to do because a patient had an exploratory laparotomy. I am afraid of letting myself sleep because I fear that I will not wake up for my 2am check and medications. My body is screaming at me yet I can do nothing but try my best to plod on forwards.

On top of this ridiculousness, I’ve to drive two and a half hours tomorrow to the farm. I also have to start working on some online training tools before I do stupid shit like driving 220kms back to uni and then back to the farm on Monday and Thursday for a training workshop cum final interview for a job at school. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth it for it does not mean that I shall succeed in getting the position, and the blatant clash of farm prac and work opportunity doesn’t feel particularly fair but enough with the victim mentality. I shall just grit my teeth and go through with the sheer amount of effort even though it might fall through in the end.

Results were out today and I feel relieved. I have performed well yet again, and my GPA still stands. I don’t know what would be worse, trying harder and harder to keep it to 4.0 because of my personal demands for excellence or seeing it drop for the first time since I began uni. This competitive edge really never wears out. And whilst I thrive off competition and excelling, its so tiring. What’s the point when there are some things that knowledge and effort cannot buy? I wish I knew what I am working towards more often than not. I really, truly do not know why I try sometimes. All I do is play my cards according to my current hand and pray that it leads me to a good place in the long run.

I shall write again when I am done with this whirlwind of a time. I really hope that I do not crumble and cry.

Kids

I’m not one to brag, but I think I’m now pretty damn good with kids. Of both kinds.

The farmers have 5, and literally every doe has a couple as well. I find them all quite cute, and I love the farm despite the shitty weather and long drives. I wish I could bring the littlest white one, “the runt”, home with me. His back is about 15cm long, and he weighs next to nothing. When I was carrying the disbudded (ones that had their horns burnt off) ones back to their moms, he snuck out of the milking shed and 4 of them ran after me up and down the fields. The farmers saw and laughed, saying that they liked me and I’m their mom now. I don’t mind having 4 kids, really, as long as they are of the four legged kind.

They are very patient and kind. I was allowed to attempt trimming the overgrown feet even though I failed miserably because I have small hands and the tools are big and heavy. I also did my first ever castration! #achievementunlocked

The apartment now feels very lonely and empty. I sold Wilbur because I just couldn’t give him enough attention and honestly got quite bored of him. I’m the only one at home these days as well, for my new housemate has not arrived. I’m literally juggling farm prac in the day and work at night. Which honestly isn’t really fair considering the current circumstances but I’ve learnt that there’s no point getting angry when someone doesn’t meet your expectations. But it really isn’t fair when I get no consideration at all.

Nerves 

My mind is all over the place tonight despite the fact that I have to get my ass to the farm by 9am. I feel slightly anxious and very unprepared for the weather is not in my favour and driving in inclement weather freaks me out. Marcelo, despite having never broken down on me before is not a sturdy and reliable car. At times like these I thank god for seeing me through some very dangerous situations behind the wheel, and am relieved that I applied rain repellant on my car.

I just feel very emotionally disturbed and unstable – not like I have the best record of being stable at all. To be very honest nothing is wrong. I don’t have any problems at the moment. In fact, life is pretty cruisey. But I just feel very rattled and jarred, unsure of many things that I’d been quite certain about. And this doesn’t settle well with the part of me that likes to plan far ahead and set goals at all. Like, how do I know where to channel my efforts and resources when I have no feedback at all? I suppose that that is life – that some gambles just never pay off.

I have decided on my goals for next semester though. I want to focus on my studies and get the grades that I desire. I also want to learn more at the clinic and be more proactive whilst I am still here. Lastly, I want to take better care of myself – mentally, physically and psychologically. That means eating well, working out more and taking breaks to do the things that make my soul feel light again. Whilst I would like to achieve, I do not want to get burnt out this early. And I also think that I’m at that stage where I need to ensure my personal wellness and prioritise growth above anything else.

I think I just ate too much food today such that I’m on a sugar high and can’t sleep. RIP me in 6 hours.

27.

I was terribly bored and had a full tank of petrol so my friends and I decided to explore king’s park. I would have spent all day exploring, really, given the chance. Being in nature/ away from the bustle of the city and its people is so calming I don’t feel like I ever get enough. It makes me think that all I need in life is a car to take me places, money for petrol and a companion to bounce ideas off of.

Other current thoughts I’ve had in the past days were of finishing activity logs and farm prac portfolios, applying for stuff, travelling and eating food in Singapore. I’d watched numerous videos made by Singaporean youtubers because I missed home and my mind was rotting from silly shows and the terrible nothingness that consumes it during holidays. I kind of miss having uni because at least then I feel like I’m somehow progressing towards an end. Taking a solo trip somewhere during summer sounds like a good idea at the moment. It makes me feel in control of my life when I really feel out of sorts and lost most of the time. I also just want a break from Perth. I’m so sick and tired of living here it’s not even funny anymore. I’ll explore it more when I actually need to be stuck here in my later years with its insane schedule of trimesters and pracs.

I really just can’t wait for graduation now. 5 years feels so long and drawn out. I’m so tired now, how am I going to get through 3.5 years more and 9 more rounds of information overloads and exams when I feel insufficient and incredibly not good enough?

If I started this journey with a huge flame, I’m currently a tiny little one like those that light tea lights. Small and struggling, but still there.