Month: July 2019

Boulevard of broken dreams

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone
~Green Day-Boulevard of broken dreams

There is this space filled with dreams that have never materialised, dashed hopes, unmet needs, unlived moments. The space filled with a lot of unfinished business and a lot of unspoken words. I am walking on this pavement that feels like my feet are stepping on broken glass, every step filled with regret. My heart heavy, my head full of shouting voices which refuse to shut up.

adult alone backlit dark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you ever met someone and felt like your whole world was going to burst into flames and be consumed to nothing if you don’t get to say hello? Sounds like an acute case of infatuation or something I cannot describe. I wouldn’t know about it because I am usually the level-headed one. I don’t believe in love at first sight or even the idea of falling in love. I believe in well-thought out actions, but emotions such as the one described above do not and should not make any sense.  And they demand to be felt.

I digress…

I am still on the boulevard of broken dreams. The path of nothingness, no joy or excitement, same thing everyday that I am sick to my stomach. What happened to dreams of laughter and conversations underneath the stars. They were just that, DREAMS. Why do we crave what we see in dreams? Who has ever actually found proof that dreams come true? I am of the opinion that the only dreams that actually come true are those we work on. They don’t come just by us wishing they would. So, why do we spend countless hours daydreaming, focusing our minds on the things we wish for and sometimes knowing that they will never happen–still we carry on dreaming. It is like an escape, a fantasy.

I want some reality for a change. I want to feel real emotions, I want to experience real things. I want to go on that trip to that amazing island, I want to stop dreaming about it. What stops us from living the DREAM? What stops us from facing the one who makes our hearts flutter and throwing all caution to the wind. Why do we prefer to be more courageous in our heads than we are in real life? I am having the kind of dreams that will totally consume me if I do not get to live them. I can already feel myself in my dreams and they feel so real.

woman wearing white collared top and beige hat behind of blue cyclone fence
Photo by Marcelo Moreira on Pexels.com

As for my dreams, I think at this rate, they can only come to life through prayer and fasting.

Life is too short, what is stopping you from living the DREAM?

 

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A survivor’s tale

It’s only when you go through something you never thought you could ever go through and survive, that you can truly know what you are capable of.

Before that, you only have a faint notion of what you think you can manage, an assumption based on your confidence in yourself. This is a reflection post about the past few months when I came face to face with my own weaknesses and came out with knowledge of what I can and cannot do.

I never knew I could work 12 hour days, sleep for a maximum of 4 hours and get up and do it all over again. I never knew I had the capacity to stay human enough on the outside even though i was on autopilot. It is a wonder that I managed to dress up and look presentable enough for human standards…nothing too impressive but just enough to not attract unnecessary attention to myself. In other words, I did not become a  hobo, although the temptation was so great.

Image result for dress like a hobo
Image from http://www.deviantart.com

The months between April to June 2019 showed me that I can work under extreme pressure while also realising that I am very task-oriented. If I have a task before me I will work on it until it is done before I can allow myself to rest. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing. I also learned that the human body will shut down on you if you do not give it rest, hence the 4 hours I allowed myself to sleep when I could. Some days it was less than that.

I also took for granted my ability to FOCUS. I still wonder how I was able to work on one thing for the past three years and I am happy that I managed to complete the project in  record time and survived to tell the tale. I  definitely had days of procrastination and days when I felt demotivated, but giving up was not an option. Now, if I could just apply the same energy and focus to certain aspects of my life, like relation…s, never mind.

The past season of my life has taught me a few good things about myself that I didn’t know before.  Of course, at the time I did not know that these were good things, I was simply going through the motions and actually hating my life. I remember tweeting this on one of those very difficult days:

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Well, now  I have my life back. I survived and I am looking back at the lessons I learned during that time. In summary, this is what I learned about life in my most hectic life phase and I hope this will encourage someone who is close to giving up:

  • You are definitely stronger than you think you are
  • This too shall pass, nothing is permanent
  • There are lessons in every season, your toughest season can become your testimony and might help one or two others
  • Your breakthrough is closer than you think, if you could just keep digging.

Image result for keep digging meme

In conclusion, I always like to give credit where it is due. None of my success in the past few months would have been possible without my God. There were times (many times) when I wanted to give up. There were countless times when I felt inadequate and felt that I did not know what I was doing, imposter syndrome anyone? But then there were those days when I would wake up with a random idea at 2 am in the morning and start typing. There were also days when I felt supernatural strength and a solid presence providing comfort during the dark days. God was with me every step of the way.  All glory goes to Him!!! I am capable only because He makes me ABLE. 

grayscale photography of hands waving
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WHAT’S NEXT AFTER A PhD?

Hello world!!

The PhD journey has finally come to an end. I should be relieved, I think I am.  Another chapter closed, another milestone and achievement. I wish it was only that, then it would be easy to relish this feeling of accomplishment. But, finishing also came with the big question of WHAT’S NEXT? I never for one second thought that after going through all the stress of writing a PhD dissertation, I would still need to figure out what’s next. But, with all things in life, when you complete one phase, you enter another.

Change is inevitable. Change is uncomfortable…

Struggle 1

My life is about to change. I had settled into the routine student life for the past three years. I cannot imagine getting used to waking up early mornings and working a 9-5 job. During my student days, I woke up anytime I wanted to if I didn’t have early meetings and I could work until late or choose when to finish work. My schedule was flexible especially when I did not have deadlines from my supervisors. I don’t know how I am going to adjust to a new schedule.

Struggle 2

I cannot for the life of me, tell you what I want to do with this PhD. All I knew was that I wanted to do it and I am passionate about the research that I did with children and families. I have no idea if I want to continue doing that or get a job. One thing I do know is that I need a break to clear my head. I am picturing somewhere with clear, blue waters and white beach sand.

parked boat
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

Another thought I have is to continue writing and publishing from my PhD thesis, and possibly turn it into a book.  I have so many thoughts in my head right now, and to be quite honest, this is not what I thought would come after completing this milestone. I thought it would be easier to figure out my life than when I completed my first degree.

Struggle 3

I chose to do my PhD in Hong Kong, but initially, I never thought of making this place my home. I now have to figure out whether I am going to stay here or move to another place. We all know that moving is another big adjustment, I cannot even wrap my head around it. I get tired even thinking about it.  There will be a lot of things to consider: What will happen to my social life? Will I find a new church home? Are the locals friendly?  Most importantly, do I really want to move to a completely new place again at this stage of my life? Unfortunately, if I do decide to stay in academia, I might get a postdoctoral fellowship, which will necessitate a move to a totally different country. The chances of me getting a postdoc in Hong Kong are next to none. It would have been nice to experience life in Asia a little bit more, but it is a lot to even think about right now.

photo of a red taxi on a street
Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

Silver lining

Wait, it is not all doom and gloom. I am now Dr. GG.

abstract bay boats bright
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That is definitely a plus and well worth the hard work.  I am completely grateful to my Lord who saw me through the tough times and made my success possible. I also trust that He has my future in His hands, so although nothing is clear at the moment, I am confident in His plan for my future. With that, I do hope I will be back here with good news in a few weeks, telling you all about my next move. Another silver lining… I now have more time on my hands to write. I have so much I want to write about.

If you are reading this and have any tips about making a life transition, drop your girl a message. I always love to hear from you.

Until then,

GG.