Tag Archives: camping

Wildchild (#16, #17)

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I’ve spent the past couple of weeks working at a wildlife hospital. It was a fairly long drive to make, but everyday I would park my car amongst the trees and step out to the faint smell of bushfire in the air, and that made it all worthwhile. This was a not-for-profit wildlife rehabilitation center that was run entirely by volunteers. I would admit any injured wildlife that was brought in, assess them and treat them to the best of my abilities, and refer to a private veterinary hospital if it was a case I could not handle, or if the patient required further diagnostic work-up (radiographs etc), or surgery. As there was no on-site vet, the onus of making decisions regarding treatment plans and euthanasia considerations often fell on me. This was both good and bad because it forced me to be more decisive and to have more confidence in the clinical decisions I made, but also meant a lot of sleepless nights worrying about possible misdiagnoses, and that I wasn’t really learning as much as I could have because there would be no senior vet there to correct me if I were wrong. I spent some days in the lab looking at faecal samples with a microbiologist, and others rushing around the hospital administering treatments and euthanising patients with very poor prognoses. All in all I think I learnt a fair bit, and feel like I have made a minor but practical contribution towards wildlife and conservation. It was also really good for me mentally, I think, to take a step back from my usual high-stress environment and re-connect with the side of medicine that I love.

 

I’ve been spending all my free time (and also time I probably could not afford) hiking, camping, star gazing and climbing over the past few weeks. I have learnt to not let a lack of company stop me from doing the things I love, and to care less about what people might think of me – because chances are they probably don’t think of me at all.  I’ve been taking myself out for hikes and stopping my car to watch beautiful sunsets. I’ve been pushing my comfort zones and forcing myself into situations that require me to socialise with new people. And I think I am getting better at it – or getting better at not hating it. It is back to the daily grind of rotations and exams and I am as behind on sleep as I am with my studies. My muscles are sore, my finger tips are bleeding, my shoes are caked with dirt but my heart is a bit more full than it was before.

 

Jol

Fickle Friday #9 – Chase this light.

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I look for you in everyone I meet. My life has been such a spectacular adventure over the past few years. And I have grown to expect it as a norm. I have crossed so many things off my bucket list- some I never had the audacity to believe I would ever get to experience, and others I had never even known I had wanted to do. In 5 years alone I have gone skydiving and cliff jumping; backpacking and deep water soloing. I skinny dipped at the top of a waterfall and learnt to scuba dive. I got to kayak amongst wild sea lions, rock-hop with penguins and swim with dolphins and whalesharks. I have snorkeled in some of the most beautiful reefs I will ever have the pleasure of seeing. I have watched the sunrise from numerous mountaintops and been stung by at least 3 different species of jellyfish. I have spent so many mornings waking up to the sound of waves in my ears and the smell of salt in the air. I have peed in so many bushes. I have, with baited breath, watched the needle creep towards 200 in a speeding car. I have experienced the chaos of a mosh pit and the warm dreaminess promised by earthy smelling pills. I have seen more shooting stars in the past 3 years alone than the previous 20 years of my life; I have stared into so many campfires that the flames now dance permanently behind my eyes .

I don’t worry about never falling in love again. I believe that I will. And I don’t worry about meeting someone new. I believe that I will. I worry about this being the end to all my adventures; about never feeling the rush of adrenaline in my veins again; about never again fearing for my life in a flurry of exhilaration. Few things scare me anymore, and even fewer things impress me.

I worry about being bored.

I worry that I will chase this high for the rest of my life.

Jol

Lancelin Roadtrip

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A series of pictures that describe our very short escape to Lancelin.

We’ve been fighting quite badly, over the most mundane events, the entirety of last week. And what astounds me so much is that we fight so hard with no point in mind- as if we had simply wanted to continue the act of fighting because we weren’t happy with the way things were, yet, were too afraid to lose the other. But after hour upon hour and day upon day of fighting, when there was nothing left that hadn’t been said and no anger left to fuel the screaming, we simply clung to the phone and listened to each other breathe; too exhausted to fight; crying because we loved each other so much but didn’t know how to make things right. It was then, mentally and emotionally exhausted that we decided we needed to leave, even for just a few days. To get in the car and drive off, somewhere, anywhere and forget everything that was left behind. It’s always astounded me; the fact that we can be doing our best to hurt one another, but the minute we declare the war to be over, we can curl up in bed and whisper apologies and comfort. As if the frustration we felt ten minutes before hadn’t existed. And it comforts me, that we’re able to forgive as fast as it takes me to get angry (I’m sorry I have such a meager tolerance); but it also scares me. The only reason then, that we were fighting so furiously must be due to our egos and our wounded prides. I know though, that at the end of the day, I’d slay my pride for you. Willing or unwillingly. You called it a crippling fight. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. You said that if we fought like this again you would die. I think I would, too.

Eitherway, Lancelin was a boring little town with a lovely seascape and towering sand dunes. We listened to entire albums of Jimmy Eat World, Pixies and Taking Back Sunday and sang along and were happy. The weather was crappy and I would have been listless and bored on any other day, but the past weekend wasn’t listless, it was freeing; and it wasn’t boring, it was peaceful, I suppose sometimes it all boils down to perspectives. We built our hippie-car-sleepy-thing with sleeping bags, towels, blankets, fluffy jumpers and foam mattresses; we couldn’t find legal places to pitch our tent. We slept in the backseat/boot and watched the stars with binoculars (It’s so dark and quiet in Lancelin, you can see so many constellations-) and the Lord of The Ring (Which in no way even measures up to Harry Potter). We lived out of cans and packets and bottled tap water and peed and spit our toothpaste into the bush. We walked about the sand dunes and tried to slide down on card board boxes, we walked about town and took lovely pictures of snails and painted walls, put flowers in our hairs and did cartwheels and handstands. We took a bunch of lovely pictures. I had a lovely time with a lovely boy and thank my lovely God for my privileged life.

Now that I’m back though- well, I don’t want to be back, I liked, for a while, to not feel the weight of my responsibilities. I get so terrified when I think about the limited time I have to cover the mountain of material I need to memorize. It’s daunting and terrifying. I don’t want to resume learning to drive- I don’t enjoy driving at all, all the time I feel like I am about to die or I am about to take a life. For a while, I escaped. And now that I’ve returned to my pile of work-and-things-that-needs-to-be-done. Well, I only hope that I’ll be able to pull through- I must.

jol