Isolated thoughts

Month: October, 2016

Maybe we’re meant to be alone

It is so exciting to have your favourite bands come out with new albums almost simultaneously. The similar yet changed sound makes me so happy just listening and soaking it in. I found these bands a year ago, and oh, how much has changed since then! We evolve, and we change, sometimes so quickly that it is hard to imagine being the person you were just a few months ago!

The days fly by too quickly, for living in the present does that to you. You, reader, I wonder what your present is, and I really hope that it is going well for you. I’ve slowly learnt to let go of the relentless chase for success and money and just take the time to savour being alive. My prayers have come true – what is more wonderful than this? I’m going home in 32 days, and I cannot wait to see my family and friends again. 

I want to save up for my very first car, and go for hikes every Saturday morning. I want to spend time working with the animals that I love, and spend time with my friends. I want to go running, try out the (not so) new prata place near home and bring my beloved dog on long walks where we used to go. 

The strong me emerges occasionally, and she revels in the fresh air and freedom. But the weak me creeps in silently, and plagues me with doubts and horrible thoughts. I am strong when I am 100% focused in my work, when I occlude the jugular vein of a 600kg cow and relentlessly work on becoming a better veterinary student during animal handling practicals. She appears when I go for bootcamp and lives in the present of burning lungs and aching legs. She is present all the time, really, as long as I choose to be. 

I dissected a sheep’s brain and eye this week, boy, was it fun. I love dissection labs and practicals the most because lectures get rather boring after a while. The next week will be a busy one but let’s go!

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My weeks pass by way too quickly. I start to prepare for the coming week on Sundays, and before I know it it’s Wednesday, and Friday comes just a day after. 

This semester has been a struggle between crying my eyes out, finding the motivation to listen in class and completing whatever assessments that we have to do when I barely have an idea of what is going on. It has gotten better, I have to admit. Despite my slacking in the academic department, I’ve managed to complete a lot more than I’ve expected to this semester, and have found like-minded friends who really help me through the fences and ditches that litter the path ahead. This is not to say that I’m giving up on my studies per se, I am not. I still do strive for my HDs, but my life is not as consumed by my studies and doing well as before. It is much more enjoyable this way. 

On to lighter topics – I spent my Tuesday afternoon laughing with my friends and walking around the village with a dinosaur costume. Making people happy is a joy indeed. Getting free cupcakes is a wonderful thing as well. 

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On Wednesday, I had my second horse practical and it was pretty awesome. I absolutely adore horses and got smitten by a this beautiful mare. She was so kind and lovely, allowing us unworthy students mess around with her feet and trot her around with no fuss at all. She had the loveliest eyes and the prettiest dished nose as well. I wish I owned a horse like her. Horses are just such beautiful creatures; it makes me extremely happy whenever I get the chance to work with them. 

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I also managed to grab a horse’s tongue. #achievementunlocked Feeling much more confident working with horses now, though you’d think that having grown up riding them every week I’d be comfortable around them by now! Am also probably so euphoric because of the amount of encouragement and help I received during the prac – ageing and the upcoming handling exam really don’t feel all that terrifying right now. 

Thursday was spent in school. After a few lectures I got free pizza and listened to a talk on reptile care. The day ended with my last statistics tutorial and I went home and made brownies. They were burnt because instructions clearly cannot be trusted. 

My Friday was quite the eventful day. I had a lecture and laboratory session. Was told that many people fared badly for the previous lab report and quite a few failed. I was expecting a dip in my marks because I didn’t really put in the best effort but I got surprised with my highest score yet. I rushed off to a clinic for an interview, whilst mulling over what a classmate said about animal welfare and veterinary school. Finished my interview, came back and did my laundry and cleaned my room after weeks of neglect. Then went for an event in school and went to Curtin for a pasar malam! 

I miss the food back home, and had so much trouble deciding on what to eat. I had legit mi goreng in the end, and saved the rest of my cash for later. Decided to go stargazing at Lancelin and so we started the drive around midnight and reached at 2am. Climbed up and down dunes till we reached a valley and I laid on a dune to look at the stars. I saw the milky way, and the orion. We climbed back up the sandy dunes that were about 20 metres tall in the dark of the night, and I felt so very free and alive under the stars clambering on all fours at times because it was just that steep. 

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I drifted in and out of sleep on the ride back, and we had breakfast at a cafe in Fremantle. We napped for an hour in the car. The cafe opened at 6.30am and so we went in. I’m so surprised that people are up at that time, and it makes me feel like a bum for only waking at 7.30am on most days. I want to start my day early, too. The sun rises earlier these days, at 5.30am. I ought to make it a habit to wake early and make the most of my day. That sounds like a fantastic idea. 

I came back and slept till 12. Woke to get some fried rice from my roommate, and then showered and crashed throughout the afternoon again. I was exhausted, undeniably so. 

Today, I wanted to go grocery shopping to start my day. I went there at 9, only to find that the shops only opened at 11. Welp. Looks like I’m going hungry for a day or so because I just can’t be bothered going back there again today. Tuesday, maybe.

I ended up going on a walk with my friends to Bibra Lake and it was pretty nice. Black swans are scary creatures, that’s for sure.

I have 3 weeks before my first paper, and another 5.5 to home. 

The other side of paradise

50 days to home. And now the real countdown to finals begins, for they begin exactly one month later. I don’t have much time to study, not with 12 lectures a week and farm practicals resuming. I’m making excuses, I know, and I reason with myself that I deserve a break for putting in 100% for lectures and classes. 

I have received my very first solid distinction result for this semester for my soils and pastures examination. I could’ve studied harder perhaps, and started earlier instead of on the Saturday when my exam was on Monday. But hey, it’s over, and I just have to do well for my finals to clear 80 marks. I’m also afraid for my animal handling exam. I just had my second sheep practical today and I feel so unprepared and frustrated. I don’t know how to find the jugular vein, and I feel like such a failure when my classmates are getting it and have done it multiple times alone and I only managed one sample with the lecturer literally saying “here, its this spot” and I merely insert the needle and get the sample. I also didn’t manage to cover putting the ram harness on, tying the sheep up or making a halter. My knots are a mess, and I feel so completely out of my depth. The sheep are heavy and strong, some of them weigh more than I do, and I just don’t even know how to get extra practice because there’s only that many hours we have in the shed. 

I went to view a house with my friend yesterday and it was so beautifully located. We could imagine hosting dinners at the patio but unfortunately its been snagged. It’s a pity, and just made me more frustrated with the whole house hunting thingamajig. We need a house to move into in December. And I literally do not know what I can do about it because there’s so many factors to consider when choosing a home! There’s also market factors to consider – what kind of houses will be freeing up in the coming weeks, where they’re located and what’s their asking price. It’s a huge headache and it is compounded by the lack of knowledge we have about applications and such. 

I just want to ace my finals, finish this semester well and get a job at home to earn some money during the holidays. Just please, 4.0 GPA, settle the rent, and maybe get a job. That’s all I need. 

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I wish to adopt a guinea pig, or a rabbit to keep me company whilst I’m here. It’s no fun studying about animals when you don’t have the company of one every day. I miss Honey beyond words but she’s never going to come here with me. I facetimed my mother and she mentioned how animals sometimes responded to their owners over facetime. We tried but I think Honey was just confused.

The past few days have been passing by quite quickly. Life seems to go by faster than ever now as compared to when I first came back. I’ve been moping (what’s new), studying and basically trying to live a little at the same time. Kinda need to get my shit together though, I’m a complete mess in certain aspects – like studying for my statistics test. Its 5%, but still. It’ll be good to do well to check my progress and force myself to catch up.

I find myself relaxing quite a bit this semester as compared to the last. I chill a lot more, volunteer and attend many other events as well. I haven’t done the consistent notes that I had last semester either. I probably should, but it’s a huge bother for the one unit that I probably should do it for. I have bootcamp tomorrow; I need to get fit.

I’m getting better. I don’t think that it’s possible to simply slap on an “expiry date” of when you should get over someone. It takes time – to reminisce, to be angry and feel betrayed, and to grieve. It is difficult to go into a mature love at this stage in life as well. What am I? Merely a 20 year old with an uncertain future and a lack of experience. I have yet to learn how to love freely without pettiness and thinking of love as an exchange.

Neither am I ready for it, for I have yet to meet the expectations of what I intend a future partner to be. I have a lot to learn about being kind and generous as well. I am trying though, believe me. I don’t think that kindness comes easily to me. But I try to be kind to people around me, and I try to be the best friend, classmate or acquaintance that I can be. I’m surrounded by so many kind people anyway. I want to be a good person too.

It’s good to be surrounded by people older than you sometimes, people who have seen things and have insight on greater things in life.

When my self belief wasn’t scarred by the modern itch

I have literally spent the day studying and learning about soils and pastures. It is all so new to me, and rather intuitive at times and I get extremely frustrated. I’m almost done with all the learning objectives though…almost. I have another 24 hours to cram it down and regret my foolishness for the past week. But I suppose that this happens to the most determined of us – we get distracted or prioritise other happenings in life, or we simply need a break.

I spent my Tuesday and Friday of my study break volunteering at the Perth Royal Show. Having read stories about fairs and shows since I was young, it felt very surreal to walk into the show grounds (they were huge!) and take in the scene of horses trotting about the huge oval. I also saw a little Clydesdale, it was wonderful. I felt so jealous of the riders at that point in time, for it has been my childhood dream to own a pretty pony and ride it whenever I like. I also yearn for that special bond between a horse and its one and only rider.

I helped out at the cattle judging. I also helped out at the cavies and rabbits petting section. We had to sit the children (or big kids) down and get them a towel and an animal. The guinea pigs were adorable, and reminded me of my previous guinea pigs. The rabbits were so soft and adorable. The eager kids, shy children and loving parents made it slightly more meaningful and bearable. My heels were dying at the end but I managed to wander around the fair for a good bit before heading home. I wanted to buy churros back for my roommates but they said that they didn’t have a bag and that I should finish it on the spot. So I ate churros as the sky darkened and it rained. I quite liked enjoying the fair alone. Its nice just having the time to watch showjumping, for example, and not feel afraid that my companion is feeling bored out of their mind.

I had wonderful conversations and learnt a fair bit about cattle at the fair. An elderly gentleman was asking me about what I am studying and we joked about me becoming a racehorse vet whilst moonlighting as a jockey since I have the build for it. That was 8 year old Jolyn’s dream – a dangerous dream, but a dream nonetheless. We laughed about me being too short to rectally examine a cow, which may very well come true but I’m sure there’s a way around it! I love the passion the people had for the animals and what they do; we have very different yet connected realities and I absolutely love it. He asked about Singapore’s education system, which I was more than happy to share about. He offered us kids ice cream, but the cold is disagreeable for me so I declined.

Wednesday I spent on the farm learning about dangerous things and basically how to stay safe. The kids followed us around and were an adorable disruption. “Now no saying that the goat ate your homework guys”, the instructor said. I wish I could own a goat…and a horse, and a dog, cat, guinea pig and maybe a couple of sheep just for fun. I asked my mom and she said that I needed to settle my living situation first. I take that as a yes, so here’s to getting a guinea pig or a hamster in the near future hooray!

I had to take the bus on Thursday for an interview, and the bus drivers that I met were so sweet. “Hop on love, we’ll leave in a couple of minutes” “Sit in front, so you can see the street names” “You’re going to the vet’s aren’t you? It should be just that way.” “Have a good day love” It really made my day – the kindness that people shower me with every single day makes me feel like I need to be a better person. I want to spread this kindness and love too.

Saturdays mean bootcamp. And boy, was my ass kicked again. It was so cold and windy, and my lungs were burning because I was pushing myself. But I absolutely love it. I really like having an instructor correcting your techniques and movement. Some people don’t really execute exercises properly, which takes away the effectiveness of it. But with the presence of a trainer to push you and challenge you it makes it so much better. The trainer keeps saying how he’s not sure if I’m being pushed by the exercises cause I look okay. But boy, am I absolutely dying inside.

If anything, I’m going to turn up for the remaining 6 weeks to get my ass handed to me and I’ll enjoy it. I’ll choose fitness over laziness everyday, thank you. And I’m going to tip bigger sheep…I swear.

On to week 10!