Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Intentionally creating more stress for myself

Well the last month and half has been a bit of crazy, awesome, comforting, tiring, and rejuvenating weeks of hopping continents and spending a lot of time in airports. Going through security, boarding airplanes and lugging suitcases around has become second nature to me that I could probably do it all in my sleep (which is actually quite useful since traveling also often involves large time changes). Life has pulled me in a lot of different directions the last year or so (both literally and figuratively) and lately getting away (or perhaps running away) has helped me deal with things. Last week I was randomly in California swimming every morning in the heated outdoor swimming pool that my Dad's new university/workplace contains, this weekend I was skiing in the Swiss alps and yesterday I was cycling along the the VERY windy north sea. I am very, very sorry about informing almost no one of my whereabouts and the fact that I was in the US for two weeks. I very rashly booked a free flight with frequent flyer miles and just left to spend two weeks working on my thesis in a mostly sunny, wine filled, and family filled hideaway.

I REALLY really should be doing other things right now but I recently diagnosed myself with being chemically dependent on stress (it's real thing apparently) and seem incapable to accomplishing anything without limited time and extreme pressure. Yep, super healthy behaviour I know. Here are some random thoughts and links from the past month or so:

  • Roads in America are unbelievably wide. Was this normal to me at some point? What is most frustrating about this is how much freaking space there would be for BIKE LANES!!!!!! Why does this not happen? I totally get the practicality of driving in the US because distances are so much further. But this is not always the case and the most polluting part of driving is simply when you start up your car. So it makes SO SO much sense to walk or bike for short distances. Rant finished. 
  • Americans are delightfully friendly. It catches me off guard. I don't expect random strangers to chat with me and sometimes I want to be left in my own little world but it's also kind of nice to be noticed. 
  • On the flip side it's REALLY nice to run in peace and not get honked or yelled at. Thank you Holland!
  • I would really like to be paid to create delicious things. 
  • California is really, truly the best state in the US. I don't think I will ever change my opinion on this. Somehow no matter where I go in the state it feels like home. 
  • Swiss villages in the alps are so picturesque that they almost seem unreal. 
  • Being near the ocean or on a mountain is so healing. 
  • Even when I semi-intentionally ignore human beings and feel like I am better off doing things on my own, my good friends come back and remind me how many wonderful, thoughtful, non-judgmental, and supportive people I am blessed to have in my life. 
  • 26 really feels old, primarily because I have now lost my European youth discounts. Thanks to the new Dutch drinking laws (18 and older now), I still get carded here. Sadly three years ago I was insulted when carded and now I secretly love it. 
  • Directly after graduation there was a rush of people who got engaged, which I found surprising. Now a second rush of late 20s early 30s friends getting engaged. It still feels weird to me but congratulations to anyone who is reading this and recently got engaged! (And please invite me to your wedding so I can party with you ;) )
  • I have never been particularly fond of the French language (sorry French speakers) because unlike most of the rest of the world instead of finding it beautiful and romantic, I find it snobby and nasal. However, I have now realized that I seriously need to learn French, seeing as most of the places I've been in the last year required French and not being able to at least slightly communicate with people in their native language is incredibly frustrating. Some jobs may elude me due to my lack of French skills. I will always prefer the directness and down to earth nature of Dutch and German but French I'm going to attempt to master you!
  • Mexican food is excellent. Yet another reason California wins. 
  • Nederland: stop criticizing the perceived backwardness of America. There are places in the US that are more progressive than Holland. For example several American states have adopted the practice of composting. 
  • The more you learn, the more you doubt. As confusing and slightly scary this can be, I think its necessary to embrace doubts and not ignore them. 
Greetings from windy but sunny (ish) Holland! Back to dreaming of (sadly) and working on rural electrification!

No comments:

Post a Comment