Monday, 8 September 2014

Looking back and looking forward

I can't remember the last time I had some quiet time to myself. The only time when I was able to drown out the voices in my head was under the shower, with the cap on, listening to the sounds of streaming giant water droplets thundering down on me, willing the hot water to wake me up. This weekend was fairly quiet. On Saturday I kicked back, erased all strands of thoughts related to uni, grabbed myself a couple of books and a cup of tea and immersed myself in that. It was magical. I fell asleep part way through the second book, woke up three hours later by my parents and had dinner, then continued reading. On Sunday, the nagging started again. Come on, don't be lazy, get some work done. Keep pushing, you're so close, work hard now, relax later. I knocked those voices out by making bread. Bread making has got to be one of my favourite things to do. I love every bit of mixing, kneading, feeling the sticky dough on the pad of my palm and on my fingers transforming under the careful push and shove into a smooth and bouncy work of art. Then the patient waiting while the yeasts labour on and puffs the dough up into this delicately light thing that feels so alive. Next you can really get creative and think of the possibilities of fillings and ways of shaping your dough, And after a second proof, bake them off into golden goodies that fills the whole house with the most incredible, yeasty, homely smell. You can see why that was able to keep my other nagging priorities at bay.

It's Lantern/Mooncake Festival today, so happy mooncake festival to all! I have been home the entire day, still in my weekend lazy mood. I turned a blind eye to social media and my phone. Partly because my mind is still in is slumber and I am simply too lazy to text or message anyone (Sorry friends!). Partly because I really do think I need to pause and I'm not too sure... quietly regain some perspectives on my life? I used to have this habit of eating a bowl of fruits and yoghurt in the afternoon. How much I'd look forward to the delicious, refreshing bowl of fruits - apples or banana mostly or whatever fruit is in season, with dollops of yoghurt (or soy milk) and a generous sprinkling of crunchy nuts and cereal. It's just so healthy but so yummy. Today, after months of neglecting this practice, since I was never home this early, I went downstairs to the kitchen, got the kitchen knife and cutting board out and made myself a fruit salad. Then it occurred to me, how much time has really passed. The last time I made that fruit salad was earlier this year when the strawberries were still in season. It really hit me. How much time has passed, how much has changed, how much I have changed in just a few months.

It is now about six months since I started my masters. And if I am really disciplined, i can finish in three months. I laugh to myself at this silly plan thinking about the mountainous work load still waiting for me. But nearing the end of my lab work, I do feel a sense of relief. Gosh it was almost two months straight of madness - morning till night, sometimes twelve hour shifts, no weekends. Everyday was literally, wake up with partially shut eyes, shower, eat, off to uni, do experiments for hours on end, sometimes skipping lunch, toast or instant soup for dinner, then carry on until ten or eleven pm, home, sleep, repeat. No wonder my skin is in such horrible conditions. My eating habits have changed so drastically from last year. The picky girl that only eats mixed grain rice with loads of fresh veg now scoffs down bread, cakes and cookies - in excessive amounts, way too much sweet food, or whatever's available just to fuel her body. Again I say, no wonder my skin is suffering so much. Thank god this is only Masters and not PhD and it'll all be over in a few (long) months! Then it'll be detox time!

While I welcome the day that I submit my thesis, the prospect of what's going to happen after is quite daunting. Hopefully I would have my masters degree, but job hunting! What a scary thing! I don't know what I want to do. What if i don't find a job? What if I get a job that I dislike or that the people there are nasty? What if I chose the wrong path?  When is the best time to apply for jobs? I'm already running through websites after websites of job listings but I have this debate going on in my head about whether or not I should start applying, seeing that I am still quite a long way off from finishing my masters. But... what if the jobs that I am interested in now are gone by the time I have finished? Would it be too late? On one hand I would quite like a month or two without any work, just focusing on regaining my health and balance. But on the other hand, the thought of sitting idle for months, feeling insecure and unsure... hmmm I'm not sure if that's what I want.

Anyway, I think I've poured enough of my silly thoughts onto this page. I'm working on a lovely pumpkin bread recipe so hopefully that will be up soon! 

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