“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”
– John Dewey –
Guess what? Turns out I took so many notes I could write 1,5 summary this week. Don’t worry, though: I won’t.
Here’s the seven things I learned recently:
- Even if it didn’t lead to a job, finding a certain satisfaction in your study means it was the right choice. Somebody told me this, and he couldn’t have made me happier! I’ve always wondered what in the world caused me to choose sociology over so many other, maybe more practical choices of study, but my friend was right. At the time, the choice felt good. I learned loads, met some nice people and proved myself I am totally awesome (fun fact: I got my master’s degree With Honours). Maybe it didn’t lead to a good job, but I’ve got the basics down anyway.
- The truth lies not in what people tell you, but you find it in what they leave out. Conversations are like puzzles. It’s a new hobby of mine: spotting the gaps, the blanks. Sometimes it takes a few days, playing the conversation over and over in my head, but it’s fun, picking out the “mistakes,” putting the pieces together. I’m not sure if this is a Dutch thing, as maybe we were brought up not to let our emotions show (I know I was), not to be rude and thus feigning interest, but if you really want to hear what a person is saying, listen to what they don’t say. For instance, if you ask someone how they are doing and they respond with “Fine, how are you? How is your partner/child/pet doing?”, they probably don’t want to talk about themselves for different reasons.
They’re also probably not fine.
- Life is like taking a walk. Some decisions are made for you, others aren’t. You can’t choose where you are born, or what your gender is, or your sexual preferences, or your IQ. You can choose which colours to use to paint your life, how to give it shape and form, but only selectively.
When taking a walk it’s basically the same: you can choose to go left, right, straight ahead or maybe even turn around. But if there’s roadworks going on that decision, or part of it, is already made for you. Also, you cannot control the weather or whom you might meet during your walk.
Thus, life is like taking a walk: you have to keep moving in order to get somewhere, and you can choose what direction to move into, but a lot of factors are external and cannot be controlled. However, whichever decisions you make yourself or whichever are made for you, they’ll always lead you home.
- How much money I at least need to move abroad. This is based on a phone call from an Irish recruiter, so I reckon it goes for European countries only – maybe even just Ireland.
They gave me tons of info about moving to Cork, and part of it was an indication of how much money I’d need to cover my first weeks there. Let’s just say: it was a huge relief! I always imagined I’d need more, but now that I know this, I can safely and without regret or guilt book a birthday trip to Finland ;)
The job she offered wasn’t for me, but I’ve got plenty of time to find something that appeals to me.
- Visualising does help! I was out on a run again and took a wrong turn. I ended up in a park, which should be no problem, but I have this fear of creepy guys in parks, so usually I avoid parks on quiet days. You just never know and I am a woman alone, after all.
Anyway, it just so happened I was thinking about the Magic Of Visualisation and how I don’t actually believe in it. I thought: why not try it out by visualising the park road to be completely empty apart from me? Two seconds later I rounded a corner and noticed a potential creepy guy a little up ahead, walking his dog. Just as I thought: “See, it doesn’t work!”, the guy and his dog got off the paved walk and disappeared into a direction I wasn’t heading.
Visualisation works. Sometimes even instantly, apparently.
- There comes a time in life where you have to admit you know better than your parents do. I am never, ever going to listen to my mother again when cooking. Ever. I was peeling potatoes and she convinced me to peel some extra, because “you always need more than you usually do if you’re going to make mashed potatoes.” That turned out to be a big fat lie! We ended up with a huge portion of mashed potatoes each, which my father couldn’t stop complaining about.
Another thing he couldn’t shut up about was his fried chicken. It was a Thursday, which means market day, and he had seen “the chicken man”, which is always a hint he wants fried chicken. My mother and I totally forgot we had already bought burgers to grill, so eventually we ended up with chicken and burgers. Of course we only realised this after we had started preparing dinner… So in the end I ate a humongous amount of mashed potatoes and an extra burger, while I’m supposed to watch my food!
- My paper wisdom is always wise. Here is what it says this week: I remove the thought of having to live life the way I did yesterday from my mind, and a thousand opportunities for a new life will appear.
So there you have it. If you want change (I do!), stop falling back into old habits. Stop thinking about everything and you’ll see many more ways to go.
It’s come to my attention that some people think I deliberately choose songs I like for my Earworm Of The Week. I don’t, necessarily. I really pick the ones that I’ve got stuck in my head during the week or that caught my attention somehow.
Here’s one I heard on the radio. It helped lift my spirits during a chaotic week. I hope it does the same for you, if you need it.