In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Solitude.

During my last geology field trip (to Dorset and Cornwall, which I blogged about here), I had quite a bit of time for quiet contemplation amidst beautiful scenery and crashing waves (and falling rocks). Mainly because I would wake up at 6/7ish in the morning to go walk around before breakfast at 8am. Now I'm not a morning person (indeed on a usual day with nothing on I would normally wake up about 10 because any later and I would feel guilty), but somehow just the coastal air or whatever, I had the motivation to wake up while the air is still and the bustle of the day hasn't started.

Sun rising, casting a glow on the branches. Kimberley Park, Falmouth.

I realise that I increasingly look for solitude. Or perhaps I always had, just that I would seldom indulge myself – after all, there were things to do, lectures/practicals/meetings to go for etc. But with the reduction in responsibilities (apart from the main one of studying and being a student), I now actually do have the possibility of spending time with myself and just myself.

When I woke up to see the sunrise only to realise the sea was in the West. Bude, Cornwall.


I think sometimes, people seeing the way I interact with others, or how I can lead if necessary (I think), think that I am an extrovert. But I do actually get tired of interaction and need quiet time to myself, or with just a small group of friends, to recharge. There also seems to be that perception, or perhaps stigma, that being alone means you have no friends. People don't like to be alone, or to be seen alone. Which is why everyone loves their smart phones, and I do recall anecdotes of people pretending to be on the phone when sitting alone in the canteen, just so people won't think they have no friends to sit with.

I guess, when I first arrived in Cambridge anyway, that was why I avoided going to hall for meals. Cos I have no cliques (ie no one to sit with in hall) and while I could join other people whom I know, it was usually at awkward moments (everyone else had finished/leaving) or something along those lines. Eventually, I just couldn't be bothered, so I simply find the emptiest table, eat quickly and leave. In some ways, I want to avoid conversation (better known as small talk). Not that I am adverse to chatting, but I have found that there seems to be this barrier that I am unable to cross with most people in college (after you get past the workload, revision, lectures/supervisions/practicals and weather), resulting in awkward silences and me thinking how best to escape from the engagement. I used to wonder if it was just me; I am now resigned to it and cannot be bothered.

And so I settled for the sunset (: (which is at a more sensible time anyway). Bude, Cornwall.


Whatever it is, I somehow now seem to relish being on my own (though of course, I still appreciate good company and miss my friends) and do enjoy solitude.

And that perhaps, is just the tip of some changes I observe of myself over the year and a half of being here.

Contemplating life in solitude during the trip, I do still wonder, what if I had stayed in Singapore for uni instead of coming all the way here. Or, especially in the advent of tripos exams, what if I had gone down the outdoor education path (which was seriously my back up plan).

Durdle Door, Dorset.


Though I am sometimes told by others that they admire me for my guts in taking the path less trodden (with the gap year), or for following my passion (instead of going with the flow I guess?), I still think I have not diverged much anyway. Still following a "set path". After all, I am in one of the top universities in the world. And I intend to further my studies after graduation, at some point.

I read, and I dream of doing something drastically different. Quit uni, buy a ticket to somewhere, anywhere, and do what I love – hike, or climb, or just travel around. But I know I don't have the guts (or the heart, really) to do that, or to do anything else other than what I am expected to do. Expected to do by society, by family, by friends, by me.

“You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” - Gusteau (Ratatouille) [which first I saw here]. Carrick Luz, Cornwall. 

And in every area of my life, I feel like I'm not living up to my potential, to what I could be doing. Living in the country of what is arguably the birthplace of climbing (or rather, mountaineering), but I am barely getting any climbing done. Studying in the city with the highest concentration of conservation organisations in the world, but I am not doing much related to that either. I guess I could use Cambridge being extremely flat and difficult to get to anywhere with decent climbing, and of insane term-time work load as excuses, but I'm not sure I buy them. Or perhaps I just have too high expectations of myself.

Because I mentioned crashing waves earlier on. Leggan Beach, Cornwall.

Anyway, it's not overly worrying me or impeding my life – I have my self-discipline to look for and tripos to study for and those are bigger concerns at the moment.

Because ice cream (and sleep) always makes things better. And this is really The Best Ice cream (I had about 4/5 cones in that week). Lulworth Cove, Dorset.


This song came up in the minibus I was on during the field trip, one of our lecturer's playlist. And we definitely have the best earth sciences department ever, because how many of your lecturers would join students in the karaoke bar and belt out a tune (not this, but I don't remember which), and then stay on there past 1am.

Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls


And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't wanna go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
When sooner or later it's over
I just don't wanna miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am

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