Thursday, November 28, 2013
I kept on biting
In the Dutch language there is an idiom "doorbijten", which literally means to bite through. It is a metaphor for someone who keeps on fighting regardless of the bad situation he/she is having. I like to translate is as "to keep on biting".
This idiom came into my mind about one and half years ago. After my PhD contract was ended, I decided to take the job as a project engineer. My experiments were finished but a lot of major corrections on the draft still needed to be done. But my professor had many other overdue students, and there was no sign that he would have time to check my papers soon.
So I took the job. I had to commute with public transportation as I haven't got my driving license yet. The route is: bus + train + train + bike. It took two hours and a fifteen minutes for one trip. It was tough. I was exhausted. It was cold and the days were gloomy. My memories of those days are of me sitting in the train. It was dark outside. I was trying to do a bit of work on my tiny laptop. Waiting for the train in the cold was unpleasant so whenever possible I would look for a shop and entered it. (Some shops forbid people from doing this).
At home, I still tried to write for unless one hour with the help of energy drink and hot tea. The endless supply of hot tea was the one keeping me moving.
I kept on moving. I "kept on biting". It seemed hard and impossible, but I didn't want to let my thesis go.
Another clear memory was the news about the suicides done by two teenagers by jumping on the train. They were bullied and could not take it anymore.Suicides happen frequently in the Dutch railways and are the main reasons for delays. Normally, I will be annoyed by those who were so inconsiderate to make other people to suffer from their weakness, but this time I understood that.
At the moment, what I was really hoping is that somebody would come to me and ask if anything is alright with me. And I will tell him the burden of my thesis and my job. He should be a stranger, a nice person who appears out of thin air, someone unburdened.
He never appeared. Eventually my thesis is finished, I get my driving license, I quit my job. Lrrr and I haven't reached the ideal life we desire, but I (and him) kept on making progress, one at a time. And we have each other.
PS. I am wondering if those with a very mild depression would benefit from a warm and unburdened conversation, offered by people who are just being kind but without any responsibility whatsoever toward the sufferers.