Chapter Eight – Focus

Last summer I finally finished my bachelor’s degree. Since then I’ve had a period of kicking back and relaxing, as well as struggling getting used to the non-school life. Now as the dust has settled with all the moving and stuff, I believe it’s time to finally get serious with what I want to do, since now I finally have a chance. This is the chance that I’ve been waiting for for a long time now.

During the past year I have learned a lot about the world and myself, and my thinking has changed drastically. The exchange period in South Korea, in addition to just general learning have left their marks. A year ago my thoughts were mostly with veganism and minimalism, as I saw them as a part of a solution to a problem I didn’t fully understand. As I’ve been practicing them both, they have become the standard lifestyle, and the only one I can consider following after the things I’ve learned. I’m far from perfect, but the thing with imperfections is that if you acknowledge them, you can work with them. No one will ever reach perfection, but I think it’s still definitely worth striving for. Continue reading “Chapter Eight – Focus”

Chapter Seven – An interlude

Here’s a little something from six weeks ago:

As I write this, I am sitting in an airplane. A year ago me and two of my friends began the process of applying for exchange studies, in hopes of seeing something new and broadening our cultural understanding. After all the bureaucracy we got accepted, and finally after all the waiting, here we are – on our way to Seoul, South Korea, a city with 25 million people living within it’s metropolitan area. Next four months we’ll spend living and studying there, while also trying to get the most out of the experience – exploring and diving into the different culture.

As this will be my first time outside of Europe, a culture shock is unavoidable. These days, when it’s so easy to acquire knowledge before even stepping on the soil of a new country, the shock will be a lot less critical. There’s no way going around it, however – the language and the culture will take some time to adapt.

As in everything I do or experience, I will try to take this as an opportunity to improve myself in some way. Moving to Denmark already opened my eyes in many ways and greatly shifted my mindset, and I think so will this trip. I’m going to meet many new people with different ways to think, and experience a whole new culture with some different values and perspectives. Time to take in all the new. This will either be the next chapter on my journey, or just an interlude.

Fast forward six amazing weeks, and here I am – feeling bad about having written a lot less than I would have wanted during the time. But not letting that bring be down, I would like to ramble a little and share some of my first impressions.
Continue reading “Chapter Seven – An interlude”

Chapter Six – Distraction: On stress and what I learned

The stress hit me, no matter how prepared I was for it. I may tell myself not to get stressed and that there’s no need for it, but there’s always some tiny hole for it to gush in.

As I mentioned last time, I’ve had a lot to do over the past weeks. Most people have been witnesses to this — how everything seems to accumulate towards the end of a semester. Deadline yesterday, tomorrow and the next week, not to mention preparing for all the upcoming exams. Ahead of the exam period, I made a deliberate decision not to write here during that time, as I wanted to give my complete focus to school work. I also knew that if I did force myself to write, the end result would not be something that I would be comfortable with.

The end of the semester did turn out quite good! I gave it my best shot, but to be honest, there were times when I took time off of studying and enjoyed the awesome start of the summer. Those were times when I could have forced myself to be productive, but instead I felt lazy, and also allowed myself to be lazy. I spent time with friends (I wish I had a bit more time for this) and tried to spend as much time outdoors as possible. However many times the time off was not intentional, as I got lost browsing the internet or procrastinating some other way. It’s amazing how insidiously it always happens!

During these weeks of being stressed I made a discovery. I’ve noticed the phenomenon earlier, but this time, due to my new endeavours, I really felt the effect. I’ve always thought that I’m fairly good at handling stress, and actually I didn’t feel too stressed this time either, but this thing made me realise what really was going on. Continue reading “Chapter Six – Distraction: On stress and what I learned”

Chapter Five – Fight: An update from the road

I am being tested.

Some might get startled hearing that I’m actually glad that my new journey is not like a walk in the park. There’s nothing inherently bad about trials that life puts in your way – the you on the other side of the obstacle will be a triumphant version of the weakling shivering before it. Even the smallest challenge can lead to great growth. We as humans – as products of evolution – tend to shy away from anything that seems even slightly tedious, but in order for you to see your true potential, you must be faced with these tests every once in a while. The capability to push through difficulties is what distinguishes success from the standard.

“If video games have taught me anything, it’s that if you encounter enemies then you’re going the right way.”

– Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G)

Continue reading “Chapter Five – Fight: An update from the road”

Chapter Four – The real: On the absence of excess

The feeling when you finish the jar of curry paste you’ve had in your fridge for half a year.

I was an organised child. I kept my room relatively tidy and everything in check, because I wanted to know the exact locations of my toys and other things, instead of the whole room being a dump with closets bulging with in-crammed stuff. My parents of course encouraged me to tidy up after making a mess with my legos.

Becoming a teenager it was time to take it to the next level – I started doing semi-regular checkups to find the things that I wouldn’t use anymore. I packed them nicely in cardboard boxes or plastic bags, and took them to the attic where all my old toys and unused stuff were waiting for…  something. We had the space, so there was no need to get rid of everything.

The motivation for getting rid of unused things was always staying in control of my belongings. The less I had, the easier it was. As a youngster I never thought deeper into why I actually felt better having less stuff around me. Even though one may see my enthusiasm for organising as OCD, I was just enjoying the results. On the other hand I didn’t actually let go of the things – I only hid them. Out of sight, out of mind, you know. Continue reading “Chapter Four – The real: On the absence of excess”