It’s been awhile since this blog has been updated. Sadly as I’m now working abroad, it’s been more difficult for me to set aside time and write something worth sharing (especially now that I can’t share much about living in Copenhagen!)
There’s one thought that hasn’t really left my mind since arriving in Copenhagen 11 months ago: it’s becoming more apparent to myself that I really, really enjoy living in between changes. Somehow along the way of studying and working abroad I’ve learned to love changes and inconsistency in life. On the face of it seems opposite to having a routine lifestyle that everyone preaches. Forming habits is cool, right? Knowing what you need to do everyday, having something to look forward to.
Habits are what define you, or at least how other people perceive you. Think of habits as indefinite formulas in life with countless variables: colour palette of clothes, time you get up, transport time to school/work, hobbies you have, number of friends you talk to everyday. You name it. And then there are some (relatively) ‘long term habits’ such as the location you’re living in, whether you’re a student or working… and that’s how you normally form an easy-to-digest, summarised version of yourself or your life.
What happens, however, when you start to revolve around habits?
You get startled when something unexpected happens. You automatically perceive changes to be a threat to your routine. When you revolve around habits, part of your self identity would also be at risk whenever something in life comes up to challenge your existing knowledge of ‘what life should be like for me’. I honestly think the goal of having a personal routine and being perfectly fine with it is the most ambitious and unattainable thing you can do in life. It’s like a thermometer hoping that they’ll always display 36 degrees throughout January to December. That to me, is the same thing as wanting the world to revolve around you.
Though I have to say having small habits in my day to day life sort of keeps my sanity together. There is a slight sense of comfort you can get simply knowing that the toaster is going to pop in about 2 minutes whilst you can make your coffee and start putting on makeup every, single, morning. But these small habits are certainly what you can bring along with you everywhere. Habits are simply actions that exist in the world. Chances are someone is probably doing the exact same thing as you every morning. Your habits are not actually yours. So why do we seem to place so much emphasis on them? Why are we relying on them so heavily for security?
Perhaps something else that we should hold onto more in defining ourselves and seeking comfort is simply experiences. Experiences you have are the only thing that are truly yours to keep, truly yours to make use of. Experiences are truly in free form, fluid and subjective. And what enriches your experiences? Changes.
When I started breaking a lot of my habits that I held onto dearly, I slowly see a difference in the way I perceive everyone else, and how people are introduced into my life. Not having a steady, easy-to-digest formula means that those who stick around are people that took the time to know you. Interacting with people with the emphasis of experiencing, but not exchanging factsheets, means that you learn to appreciate changes and uncertainties.
By doing so I’ve learned that the most useful habit you can commit to is the willingness to break them.
Sorry for the long post and thank you for sticking around. I’ve done a lot of structured, content writing for my work and I really don’t feel like editing and cutting out anything on here. Hopefully I can write again some time soon 🙂