I think this is the worst feeling in the world: to go home and realise you feel like a complete stranger.
It’s been two weeks since I returned to Mauritius, my home country, definitively. I had said my goodbyes in Malaysia, knowing that I may not go back there anytime soon. The last weeks spent with my friends were a blast; for once, I spent my money like I was really on vacation (after being on a student budget for so long!).
My first week in Mauritius was not too bad, mainly because I did go back for about a month in October and also because I immediately started working.
The homesickness didn’t come all at once or in full-force. It came gradually, like a wave. It comes into little cracks, cracks you don’t know about. It starts when I catch myself checking Instagram less and less, fearing that I’ll miss my ‘old life’. It is here when Saturday comes and all of my close friends are abroad. On Friday nights.
Most of the time, people mistake ‘happiness’ as the life goal. A destination we have yet to reach. But you have heard of that ‘Instagrammable’ inspirational quote which says that happiness is, instead, the journey.
Unfortunately, quotes don’t solve any problem. And sometimes, they are so simplified that we tend to misunderstand them. Yes, I agree that happiness is the journey, but it doesn’t mean that our new goal is to now be happy all the time. That’s where people get the concept of happiness wrong: it is not constant. Your journey doesn’t have to be always bright and beautiful. There will be storms.
It’s time to delete that misconception from your neurotic pathways. Happiness is not constant. If, after reading the quote, you’ve set yourself to achieve 100% happiness in your day-to-day, you are bound to failure and disappointment. Happiness isn’t the destination, but it is not entirely the journey either.
So what is happiness? And how dare a 22-year-old like me lecture you on such ‘wisdom’?
Among all the blogs I’ve written, this is the only one that is still going strong 6 years later. Among all of them, this is the only one which I deem to be my ‘personal’ one. A blog that’s for everything and anything. No niche, no marketing. Just you and me.
And that’s why I wanna share this part of my life with you.
Honestly, this post was so hard to write. My thoughts are all over the place and I apologise.
I’ve had this blog post idea for a long time now. It’s been on my list of ‘topics to write on’ for months.
The original title was “I gave up on travelling.” But I decided to change it. Why?
Who I was months ago had a different perspective and mindset when she wrote that title. Who I am now has gone through a lot of post-graduation thoughts about the future… and some kind of epiphany about who, where, how I want to be.
Back then, even though I didn’t seem like it, I was against travelling as a student, unless you could afford it, i.e. your parents are freaking tolerant about you spending their money (mine aren’t).
Since then (although it was only a few weeks/days ago), things have changed.
Well, I did launch a website.
But it’s not exactly a freelance writing website. After getting insightful feedback from the surveys I had posted, I realised that people were currently more interested in a Students’ Survival Guide than a freelance writing blog. And looking at my experience, I had way more valuable stories to share in the ‘student’ category. After all, I had only just started freelancing, while I had been a University student for 3 years!
After days of thinking and brainstorming, I finally made the leap and bought my very first domain: dkwaye.com
Although the title specifies that the following methods to prevent overspending apply only to students, I actually believe that anyone can make use of the incoming advice. It’s just that it’s all coming from a student’s perspective, with a low allowance and who has only dealt with savings accounts her whole life. I’ve never even used a credit card although people my age or even younger already started to do so. Therefore, the advice might be limited… (and probably too extreme if you are earning a monthly full-time job salary) but it’s still worth a read 😉
And here we go:
1. Record your transactions.
The first thing that my father told me before he left me to be on my own in Malaysia was to note down my expenses thoroughly in a notebook. To sit down every night and put everything in ink. Then, review the total amount of money spent at the end of each week and compare it to the already set budget that my parents had advised me to keep.
I believe this is a great way to control keep track of what you spend on and how much you spend. I did do it… for a semester. Unfortunately it does require quite a lot of effort and often I would just forget.
I figured that university was probably not for me. But I kept going, because it was not about classes and grades anymore, but about that sense of belonging among your peers, the community that makes the institution truly alive in the first place.
People have told me several times that I’m good at academia. But I chose not to go with it. I did not enjoy it as much as getting my hands dirty. Academia is too lonely for me. I enjoy teamwork and concrete projects, though I did not know that side of mine before I had actually experienced it.
In the end, I’m left doing a degree I have no real passion for; I have no idea what I am going to do after this, but at the same time, I know exactly what I am going to do after this. Taking a right turn, not looking back. The trip is set.
As the year 2015 is ending, I’ve been giving a lot of thoughts about my future and this is what I am at now. It’s all even more blur and unstable than before. Yet, I have grown to know myself more, my needs, my happiness triggers. All of me never stay the same and that is, I believe, the beauty of what makes us human: we are full of possibilities; we change because nothing is ever fixed and it is those uncertainties that are closer to the truth of who we are.
On that note, merry Christmas and happy new year 2016!
An Evil Nymph.
P.S.: Also partly published in my Dayre: dayre.me/dkwaye
This title is misleading only because I have not had one career change, but several ones, since… forever. Today, I’d just like to share with you my surprisingly consistent career changes throughout my 1.5 years in university so far, because I realized a weird pattern out of it.
I would have an epiphany about my future plans after every single semester at that very moment when we are all revising for exams. I am currently ending my third semester, therefore, I have had three career changes so far.
Those of you who read my blog last year, you might remember that, after reading A Beautiful Mind, I was completely into becoming a researcher. Yes, that was my first change of career plans. It’s true that, apart from being a writer, which is a dream I will always have faith in, I did not have an exact fixed career path that I wanted to take in conjunction with my studies in Psychology and Arts.
As I was sipping my Starbucks drink, I was dreaming about becoming a researcher in a fusion of arts and psychology, thus I was determined to finish my degree (a double major in Writing and Psychology) with High Distinctions so as to enroll in the Honours year, which would eventually lead me to my PhD. Perfect linear plan.
But the whole idea started becoming quite boring as I already knew where I would go.
I always believed that writers had an imaginary world of their own, where every story, every place, every character they had ever created resided, because I do have one. J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis had one each, and now of course we would also think of George R. R. Martin’s. Mine also has a name, but not as fancy as ‘Narnia’, so I’ll skip that part. This phenomenon, I call it a writer’s world. All the characters and all the buildings or places I’ve ever invented since I was 8 still exist for me and are just waiting for my cue to jump out to the real world and onto paper.
The thing is, I’m currently having the longest writer’s block ever. I’ve written a few short stories at the start of the year but since then I didn’t open my word processor at all (except for assignments, no choice, obviously). So it’s been around 6 months (OMG half a year!) since I last put a story on paper. I rarely think about my writer’s world anymore but when I do, it looks chaotic and neglected, instead of being the little paradise I used to go to when I was in secondary school (my writing peak years) to pick and choose characters and what not.
I started writing this post in the middle of today’s psychology lecture (guilty! But only for a few seconds, the time it took me to write two sentences) and I was planning to finish it on WordPress back home tonight, but then, something happened.
I might have been on WordPress only for around 3 years, but I have actually been blogging a little longer than that, since I also had a Blogger before…
Wait, I JUST REALISED SOMETHING. Okay I am not going to edit this post, this is my trail of thoughts written down live…
An Evil Nymph’s Blog is now officially 4 years old!!! (1st August) OMG. Happy birthday, little blog. And I’m sorry for neglecting you since I came in Malaysia, and I’m sorry in advance for what I am going to write in the next few paragraphs…
It was this Friday July 17th that marked my one-year anniversary with Malaysia. Yes, I have been living in Malaysia, as an undergraduate student, for more than a year now. Not once did I go back to my home country, Mauritius.
How does it feel?
Someone told me that I would change after having stayed abroad for so long. Someone else added that while I would change, the people back in my country, my family, would not, which will give off a weird feeling if I go back one day. Today, I can say I completely agree. I’ve changed, no, I’ve grown.
This post comes a little late, but it was only after my last exams on the 24th June that it really hit me; that is, my first year in university.
The amazing but terrible thing about doing a Bachelor of Arts is that it is so flexible that almost no one undertakes the same unit sequence. In my case, no one else is majoring in psychology and in writing simultaneously.
First year was the year of getting familiar with the field of Arts therefore I studied a little bit of everything, from cold war politics to Game of Thrones analysis. I also met a lot of people but eventually only a few became what one could call my School of Arts gang. We met one another on the very first day of school and until the last day, on the 24th, when we had our last first year dinner…
Round of applause in the auditorium as the last minute of Film Studies class ticked off. It was also the end of our final class test, and since we don’t have any exams for this unit, it was definitely the last glimpse I would ever have of Film Studies.
It took me back to last semester’s TV studies, which is the matching unit for Film, except that this time it was definitely over. Lectures that were basically movie screening times are over. No more watching movies as homework, for assignment research, or for revision.
First year is over. The scoring and easy parts of university work are done.
We also clapped after our last World Politics lecture. Short and sweet class. That’s how my friends and I ended up in the library and I decided that I wanted mugshots hehe.
Mondays have always been my favourite days. Not only because of the idea of starting the week with a movie in the Film lecture, but also because it is the only day when I meet all my friends. Not only in class, but also in our Monash Performing Arts Club weekly meetings 🙂 This semester, as a committee member, I feel even more grateful.
I know, don’t throw tomatoes at me. I haven’t been blogging at all since this uni semester started. Ironically, today is the last day of my one-week mid-sem break and it is only today that I finally decided to write here again! Don’t worry I am not quitting blogging; it’s just that my schedule has become very… unstable.
I was going through my old notes last night and I saw this excerpt from one of my Instagram #100happydays challenge image caption that I had written offline because Instagram had shut down at that time:
Have some of us become so pathetic that they can’t live without social media? Are we that desperately dependent upon sharing on the net? Is this what’s truly life?
I suddenly am even more impatient to start university. Or else people will have to literally rip my face off the screen.
This was written about one year ago. Now here am I, neglecting all my online social networks, except for Instagram I’d say but Instagram has become more like a supplement to life, not a dominant platform, while I’m completely immersed in a busy real kind of a life.
Half a semester has passed already and I feel that I’ve done so much! That’s because I’m…
1. In the Performing Arts Club!
Especially as a committee member, I’ve a lot to do and tons to enjoy 🙂
General meeting on Mondays, committee meetings on Tuesday, after meeting dinners and paperwork: yes very busy, but at least in something I love!