The school week have ended and we’re now headed into the 10-days public holiday here in Korea. It’s going to be National Foundation Day, Chuseok, and Hangeul Day all into one.
I’ve been trying to get tickets to fly back to Singapore for this 10-days holiday. I figured I’d rather be home and spend time with my family. However, all the air tickets out of Korea are either:
(a) Mad expensive
(b) Most of the tickets left are the premium economy and business class tickets which I obviously cannot buy since I’m an unemployed student for now.
(b) Sold out – I kid you not when I say the tickets are sold out. Not just to Singapore but to many places: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, etc!
So I’ve sort of given up trying to get out of Korea. That required a huge shift in mindset which saw me spending the past few days coaxing myself to remain positive and embrace God’s plans of placing me here for now.
Besides that, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the process of acquiring knowledge. That sparked off from the experience I had in school this week. I had a lesson in which I felt very, very, very humbled by my classmates.
As usual, we had a seminar session where we’re supposed to contribute and express our opinions on the issues being discussed.
I’ve came to class prepared. I’ve been catching up on the latest news that have occurred in the past week and even read the required readings prior to class. I had understood what I read so technically I should be able to participate in the discussions too.
The discussions happened. Opinions, thoughts and questions were expressed. But by the end of the lesson, there was no contribution from me.
When the seminar took place, it unfolded very, very fast. Points were expressed swiftly. No sooner had I digested what was being said and tried to formulate my own thoughts based on the point which was just expressed, someone else had interjected in agreement or to disagree with it. That left me humbled.
I was humbled at how fast my classmates were in grasping the complexities of the issues and points being brought up and then responding to them. Seriously, they have such brilliant brains!
On top of that, they are very well-read. They were making references to all these different books they have read. It’s books okay. Not just articles!
I realized how little I’ve read when I talked to a friend who is doing her PHD. I was talking to her about my thesis hoping that the process of talking would give me some clarity. As we talked, she brought up all these books she had already read and was suggesting to me as she felt they would be useful.
That made me reflect a lot.
These people not only have such brilliant brains but also, are really committed in the path to seeking knowledge and gaining deeper insights. Compared to them, I’ve such a looooooong way to go to catch up!
It makes me really re-consider the PHD route. If I were to go down that path, it would entail also having the discipline to read a lot. It’s no wonder my professors’ office are filled with thick books. Those books are not there for posterity, mind you. My professors would be able to tell you exactly what’s inside those books as they’ve read it from cover-to-cover!
Since it’s now autumn, this song is back on my play list. In fact, I’m listening to this song as I’m blogging this entry!
It’s been a few years since its release but this song still remains my autumn song.
I didn’t think of it when I listened to this song today but after singing along to it a few times, I started to be cognizant of the words I’m saying. It made me recall that version of myself back then and why this song was so relate-able at that time.
2012. Hmmm… I was 28 years old then!
A 28 years old me was a woman still full of idealism and one filled with lots of energy to chase aspirations. Nothing was impossible to me. I believed then that as long as I set my mind, heart and work towards it, I could achieve those goals.
It was also a time when I craved changes and constantly looked for new opportunities to experience. At that time, I felt like I needed to experience as much as possible, learn as much as possible and achieve as much as I possibly could in order to attain a fulfilling life. The 24 hours given to me simply wasn’t enough!
I even felt that work tied me down geographically and temporally such that for a few hours every day, I wasn’t able to do the other things I’d prefer to be doing and achieving.
I also used every opportunity I had to travel. Money was no issue and I was willing to spend as long as I could explore the world.
It’s not that I do not have aspirations to chase now. It’s also not that I still do not crave to experience new things and travel. But I think that I’m so much more grounded and settled for now? I still have goals but I do not define my time with pursuing just that.
I’ve reached that point in life whereby I’m okay with having a day or days when I’ve made no plans except to go with the flow of things and where alhamdulillah, I’m okay with work and don’t find that it keeps me away from achieving other things I wanted to. I still love exploring places but I also know that with financial responsibilities elsewhere, it is not my priority.
I miss that 28 years old me sometimes but alhamdulillah, I love my current 33 years old self too!