Anticipation is tied to planning which ultimately breeds stress. What little measures can one take just to avoid it? Well, I found out that not putting off tiny tasks (anything that may take less than 10 minutes) should be handled immediately. My issue comes from an earnest part of my soul; I aspire to be a perfectionist.
It is a hard pill to swallow that I cannot possibly achieve perfection, much less really come to terms with the mediocrity of my work. I don’t know how many people from younger generations like the show Courage the Cowardly Dog, but it was a masterpiece. In one episode, a malignant tutor comes to Courage’s home to provide him puppy training. Her style is perfection, and always pushes Courage to become better and better. Her harsh criticisms wore him down to the point of basically killing him. Just an aside: this show has always been kind of odd being filled with moments that are non sequitur and random elements (this is from the dog’s imagination, after all).
That being said, Courage finds a piranha in his bathtub who turns out to be very wise. He advises Courage by telling him that true perfection does not exist, and that he is being too hard on himself. Courage is moved by this–and so was little 9-year-old me. I do not quite remember another moment when the moral of an episode ever hit so close to home. For all my life, I had not been able to ever achieve perfection or even anything close to it.
For instance, writing a blog post can take as long as several hours given how I worry that I will look back on these posts in the future and sigh at my ignorance. Shouldn’t my travel blog be enlightened and contain great amounts of information on the level of being a guru? Many of my peers seem to know so much already, and I cannot even aspire to be half as informed as them. I try too hard to anticipate the possible mistakes that I could make, and ultimately I do nothing that all. It is crucial that I get my own opinions out there, because otherwise this experience is for not. Even more importantly, I must understand the true importance of not putting things off. Getting things done on time and not begrudging the deadlines is so important.
I feel that familiar self-conscious exposure as I write this, but I am driven to continue because the feeling of hitting the publish button after a potentially risky post is always so cathartic. It brings me one step closer to dropping my own personal censuring and just throw my own peculiar combination of 1’s and 0’s into the web. It’s good practice to eventually try practice it in everyday conversation. It is scary to do, but as always I will try to remember the piranha’s lesson and develop my own personal Courage.
So I went to Dublin for the beginning of my travels for spring break <3
This of course introduced its own set of problems, since we missed a bus ride. On the plus side, we got to stay an extra night in London!
Funny side story: We had missed our bus earlier that day, so we felt a bit dejected being two broke college students that had to spend another 60 pounds. We were trying our best to find a decent and cheap hotel for the night, so we went door to door on this street of hotels trying to find the best deal. Desperation started setting in around hour 22, and my knee felt like it was about to break. The British were closing in on all sides… and there it was. A hotel that gives students. Abby went in to get a quote, and when we decided it was too high even still, the man decided to give us an offer that we could definitely refuse. He took us down into the basement which double-backed under the street. There was no heating or air conditioning, and the room smelled heavily of cats. There, under the pavement of one of many London streets, in the bowels of cat aroma, was a singular mattress covered by a stained blanket with a single dangling 60 watt light bulb (which flickered to life). I could not help but laugh right there in front of the man.
So we booked it out of there and I used some of my precious data to find a decent hotel nearby.
The next day, after a full night’s rest, we made it on time to a really nice train. I got to sit next to this American man who was exploring grad student programs in Europe in molecular biology. He was so intelligent and told me all about the research that he’d like to do. We got to talking about his experience, and I did my best to learn from it. Eventually we made it to the ferry station on the opposite side of the British isle in a town called Holyhead. We got on board this huge ferry that was much more akin to a mini cruise ship, and I got to try a lager. On the down side, it was very windy that day, so the waters were incredibly choppy with 20+ foot waves. We unwittingly sat at the very front end of the bow and settled in. A rugby match was playing, and people were really getting into it.
30 minutes later, I noticed how much up and down movement we were making about the same time my stomach began to abandon ship. I wasn’t the only one, sadly. The whole ride lasted about 4 hours, so I was miserable for a substantial part of it. We finally made it to land (solid, immobile, beautiful land), and found our home in Ireland. We settled in for the night at our Airbnb with a Domino’s pizza and watched a bit of Queer Eye. It was the closest to an American experience that I could possibly get, and I enjoyed every moment of it (besides seeing my parents, but that’s a topic for the next post).
There was surprisingly much more Gaelic than I anticipated; turns out it is far from a dead language. I guess that I just assumed that it is so close to England that the inevitable influence of English over the people would squash out other local languages. It was nice to see it on every sign and hear it over my shoulder on the bus.
We got to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of 2019 in Dublin which was wicked cool. We explored the streets and got just a little tipsy before heading to our tour of the Jameson Distillery. I learned that it is incredibly easy to malt barley, and it is quite tasty. It would make for a perfect addition to trail mix, so I might try that out.
Overall, this experience was all over the place. It kicked off my Spring Break to a really great start, and I would not have it any other way.