Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Update on life. Point.

My life has been completely - completely - taken over by lab. I am not joking when I say I live in lab. I see the faces of my peers and seniors more than I see the faces of my siblings. The lab technician is like my mother in uni and she tells me off more often than my real mother does (because, you know, that's what mothers like doing, telling their kids off). I see all corners of the lab more than I see the corners of my home. Uni is my home. I do everything there except for sleep. If they provide comfy warm beds I'd probably sleep there too. Actually, no, I wouldn't. I wouldn't wouldn't wouldn't. I still want to reserve that tiny slice of sanity. That piece of life that reminds me that I am no robot and that there are still other facets of the world other than that work bench with the flasks sitting on the left side of the table and those bottles of Milli-Q water in front of me and that balance behind me and that stool that I hardly sit on next to me because standing is so much more efficient and that elevator that has become my friend because I gave up my fitness plan of climbing up ten flights of stairs up five floors to get to that lab (Even though it was mean once and decided to scare me by refusing to open its doors, trapping me in there for several minutes).

My lab coat needs washing. But time cannot be wasted on such triviality! March forward I must. Every day. But it's ok. I think I've gotten used to this lifestyle. It's quite pleasurable in lab sometimes. All of us maniacs who go in as soon as (or even before) the sun has risen and stay there long after the sun has set and the moons and stars have come alight. And by nightfall, we're all so wasted from the fumes of ethanol or starch and the sounds of the oven humming and vortex churning that we emerge from our solitary focused work state and joke with each other about mundaneness, repetition and point - mostly pointlessness.

What's the biggest excitement in lab? New faces. New faces to join the clan. First they come in all fresh and ready to rumble. But soon, oh you'll notice, soon, dark circles begin to appear beneath their eyes. Once glowing faces begin to fade. Who cares about make up and pretty clothes anymore? Track pants are the way to go and unless there are break outs caused by the who-knows-what's-floating-around-in-it air, make up... pointless. Ahh what's the point of me rambling on about this? I've lost my original point. But I suppose the whole point in the first place of writing is to remember. I want to remember how I felt at this point in time while I feel so exhausted and drained every single day from the physical and mental labour and demands of experiments. Because two months ago, I really disliked what I was doing. I didn't see the point in it. But today, I see that there is no use complaining and moaning about things that I have to do. I placed myself in that position to begin with. I might as well enjoy it! And at this stage, I am just passed halfway in terms of lab work. What were once difficult tasks that take days to finish, I could accomplish in hours. Yay! Pat on the back for small achievements. And I admit, I am mostly happy that I'm gradually ticking off my to do list, but a part of me will miss this mundaneness and repetitiveness. Ahh the sizzling sound of liquid nitrogen as it freezes my 1g of apple that I so carefully carved out (Ok ok, THAT wasn't mundane at all. Dangerous and fascinatingly exciting stuff!). Oh boy, will my arms miss that free work out from grinding and pounding those apples into powdery particles. And man, seeing the methanol flow through that 0.45 filter and C18 cartridge bringing with it the pigments that stained the cartridge. That transient ombre on the cartridge turning to clean whiteness. That's poetry too isn't it?

Lab has taught me a lot. Dedication and perseverance. Overcoming glitches and bumps because trust me, they will (and have) pop(ped) up whenever and wherever they feel like, especially when you feel like you're in the deepest shiet already and they'll just stick their heads up and be like hey! Guess what! You think THAT's deep, have fun tripping over THIS next one and climbing out of this next hole you'll fall into ;D. But I suppose, the key thing to remember is there aren't that many problems in this world that cannot be overcome as long as we put our hearts to it and believe. In the end, that's the only difference between failure and success, isn't it? When you think you've reached your limits, just keep pushing anyway and you'll discover a whole lot of you that you never knew existed before.

*PS. I know... It's been so long since I posted. I haven't been emotionally well but now colours are starting to appear in my life again and today I'm in a super duper writing mood! But now that I do write... no recipe?! How could I? I have been baking a lot. It's kinda like, the more time I spend in lab, the more I crave baking as a way of compensating for the irony of the lack of edible food in a food science lab - as you know, most of the time food scientists play with substances that make up food rather than food itself. But but but, every time I bake it's all rushed and at weird hours so the lighting is bad and lugging out that 2kg camera is such a chore. And also the goods don't last that long folks because I bring them to lab and feed the other food deprived people. HOPEFULLY my next hiatus isn't this long [SORRRYYYY]. Meanwhile, ponder this - S'mores cake. Idea derived from the oh so beautiful Cupcake Jemma (GAH, she's amazing!!!)


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