Life-changing. Mind-changing.

A week of work has come and gone, and I only slept in (slash was late) once this week. That’s mega, compared to last year. Then again, classes haven’t started and I’ve only been to one gig (and counting) this year… so we’ll see. Not making any new year’s resolutions was the best thing I did for myself for new year. Work has been very productive, with Cal and I staying off Twitter and instant messaging until break times – though admittedly, it gets tempting to open Messages. I have to admit that keeping off Twitter is a lot easier than I thought. Every now and then I’ll come across an interesting article about web design, and I’ll tweet it. Or I get the urge to check up on my “music” list because I’m scared I’ll miss a gig. Other than that, I’m not easily distracted by Twitter.

I’m proud of a lot of the work I’ve done this week, and even got to work on a new vodka website. Yes, I’m slightly tempted to buy from them when we launch the store. We will see. XD

Lilian’s in Vienna! Studying! And experiencing snow! Needless to say, I’m jealous. Not of the studying though. We just had a chat on Skype, mostly about guys. We talk a lot about how silly guys and boys can be, and we’re now getting to the stage where it sounds weird because we’re older and should be saying “men”. It doesn’t have the same ring to it like when we roll our eyes and say, “ugh… guys“. Ugh, men sounds really angry and not so “whiny”, for want of a better description.

Our conversation was cut short because her lecturer walked in. We’ll catch up another time, as we always do. :)

I burned my tongue on hot and spicy soup – and it was hot temperature-wise too, obviously – and I think I’ve burned it so bad I can’t actually feel my tongue. Actually, it feels numb. It also hurts a lot at the same time. I’ve no idea how that is possible but it just hurts so much to put anything into my mouth. To drink, to eat, I feel pain. To talk is getting painful. It’s pretty unpleasant. Of course, my taste buds have pretty much all been burned off. Which is nasty because I can’t enjoy food. At the moment I’m a little hungry as I had no dinner and it’s past midnight – it’s 3:00am in fact1 – but the thought of eating petrifies me a little. I did have a really nice takoyaki bun this afternoon, though.

In Sydney, it’s been really hot as well. I can assure you it was not the weather that burned my tongue. It was 42°C (~108°F) on Tuesday this week. Granted, it was hotter in Central Australia hitting 54°C (~129°F), but Australian summers are known to be uncomfortable. Rather than being humid like in many Asian countries, it’s just hot. Hot air, hot breeze. Tomorrow it’ll be 45°C and I don’t think I can stand going to the gig I was planning to go to, so sadly (or not) I’ll be at home sleeping in front of my air conditioner. Mayhaps. We’ll see.

I was just staring into space this evening, thinking about the time I wanted to be an orthodontist. I suddenly thought of the experience I had at the oral health centre near my house, and the work experience I did there for a week in tenth grade. I actually really enjoyed my time there. I am so grateful to my mum for calling the place up and really caring about my (then) aspirations and dreams. From a young age I was intrigued by the anatomy of teeth and the different kinds of teeth, and how they grew and how to take care of them. While other people at school worked in shops for work experience, I almost whined when my mum said she’d call up the oral health centre for me. Now, I’m grateful that she did, because my time there really broadened my horizons.

It was honestly life-changing. There are so many moments that people mention are life-changing, like the day they graduate, or meet someone, or try travelling to another country. I’ve been amazed many times, and yes, travelling to another country really opens my eyes and draws me in, but to be honest, it didn’t intrigue me and “change” me the way my experience at the oral health centre did.

The reason I wanted to be an orthodontist was because my own orthodontist inspired me. Whether I liked having braces or not (I thought they were cute, but hated them after a while), my orthodontist was really good at what he did, and explained a lot of what he did, which made his job seem interesting to me. It was just something else that added to my interest in teeth. It sounds peculiar, but that’s how it was.

I should also add that as a young girl, I adored rocks and gemstones and the earth. I wanted to be a geologist so much. I loved to look at different rocks, collect them and categorise them: igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary. I loved learning about all the gemstones and how they were formed by nature. It was either teeth or stones, teeth or stones. My mum always told me it would be hard to find a job as a geologist. I was disappointed. To this day, I still miss geology; I miss doing biology, chemistry, physics and general science in high school, even though it got tough. What surprised me was that to be an orthodontist, my marks didn’t matter so much as my hand skills.

At the oral health centre I learned so much about not only orthodontics, but dentistry in general. There was a lot that I didn’t know, but it was interesting to learn about it. I spent my days moving from faculty to faculty and area to area, learning and doing different things, mostly hands-on stuff. I got to play with wax and create my own wax model of teeth, I got to work with some chemicals, wearing a lab coat and all that jazz.

I got to work with some dentist tools and drilled a hole in someone’s tooth. After it had been pulled out, of course. I got to mix and create fillings and fill up that stupid hole in the tooth I’d made. Then I idiotically destroyed it again so I could see the cross-section of the tooth.

The people were so kind. They wanted to know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I said I wanted to be an orthodontist. They all chuckled in sympathy and told me I would have to be a dentist first before I could specialise in orthodontics.

It would take twelve years.

It terrified me a little. To be thirty years old and still in school.

I thought about it. It made me a little sad, but then I thought about it, and changed my mind. I wouldn’t be an orthodontist. Or a dentist, for that matter.

My experience at the oral health centre was life-changing for me. It altered my view, and it changed my mind, I went back to square one, but meeting all the people there made me feel so positive, understanding, and certain. It might sound silly as heck, but even though it changed my mind it will be one of those warming experiences that I see as a turning point, where I hit a “checkpoint” in my life, much like the little portals you come across in Swordigo2, where you go back to after you die, except here you don’t die at all, and you don’t go back.

I almost miss how naïve I was before. Then again, no. I shouldn’t miss it at all. Here I am, six years later, spending my days in an office at a computer using my brain skills more than my hand skills, using both the left and right sides of the brain, and studying something that links to my job, that links to the first time I used a computer and played King’s Quest3. Almost like I’ve come full circle.

I used to want to be a ballerina too, you know. It’s why I got my student teacher certificate.

I’ll admit, learning nearly everything I could possibly learn about dentistry made me appreciate something even more: smiling. :D

  1. I swear I’m not tired.
  2. Swordigo on the App Store
  3. This was my favourite computer game in 1995.

Comments on this post

We make decisions everyday, some simple ones, but some others might change the course of life entirely. What we want to do now may not what we envisioned 10 years ago, and who knows in 10 years time, we might end up doing a different thing from today.

Hahaha that’s cool you used to want to be a geologist. I like gemstones too, and it used to annoy me that my birthstone is a Peridot (I always wanted it to be an expensive stone like ruby, sapphire or emerald :P ).

I think I know how burnt tongue feels because I’ve experienced it before once or twice. I didn’t know the milk tea was scalding hot and I just took a sip. 😢

Work has been very productive, with Cal and I staying off Twitter and instant messaging until break times – though admittedly, it gets tempting to open Messages. I have to admit that keeping off Twitter is a lot easier than I thought.

It gets tempting until I wake up… then you end up opening it to chat with me anyway! XD Seriously though, I hope I didn’t distract you too much at work! Especially today when Pete finally replied to me and we were both like /faw Keeping off Twitter is definitely easier than keeping off IM, as I’m sure you’ve learned!

Physical geography (which geology falls under) is my absolute favourite half of the subject! All your talk about geology has given me nostalgic chills. I miss lower secondary school geography! /wah

I hope the heat in Australia dies down and your tongue heals up soon!

You don’t distract me too much – well, at least, not anymore. Also, hearing about Pete replying to you just got me very excited… so it’s only natural.

I don’t think we learned much about geology in high school, which was terribly sad for me. We learned about biomes and ecosystems and general animal and plant life stuff, then we learned about Australian geography (because that’s a requirement here) and it got very dull.

My tongue is a little better today actually :)

You’re not alone. Geology, plate tectonics and volcanism — those were the coolest to me, but they weren’t covered in depth at all either. Agreed, it’s really sad.

But, I guess, at least we still get to read about them online in our own time :)

Glad to hear your tongue is better today!

Okay the one thing I really wanted to say throughout the entire post was: I wish I was passionate about something as much as you were about ortho. I kind of wish my parents were a little more invested in the idea that I might actually want to do something with my life in the future. :P

I know how you feel about being terrified about being 30 and still in school. I once wanted to be a surgeon and that meant I was going to be in school for pretty much well into my 30s and still taking classes most of my life XD pretty sure a lot of that scared me out of wanting to go into medical. But I guess if I’m scared by being in school then I probably shouldn’t be a doctor :P

Hey! Long time no talk :) I’ve just redone my blog and decided to revist some blogs I used to and yours was the first I thought of <3

It's good that you can appreciate the time you spent at the orthodontist office and not regret not following that path. Some people would always wonder 'what if', but if you know that the amount of schooling isn't something you'd want to do, there's not much point. You may end up hating it just because of the school.

There's many different career choices I would want to take if it weren't for the schooling. It's not that I don't think I'm smart enough, it's that I just NEVER enjoyed the school atmosphere enough to want to be there until I'm 30. I think it'd be awesome to be a lawyer or a forensic anthropologist, but I just don't have the willpower to go to school that long and actually do well enough to graduate :/ I know what I'm capable of, and it's not that haha. I'll stick with my graphic design!

Woah, I want your weather! We're finally getting rid of the snow here but it's still pretty chilly most days :/ I know I'll complain when it is warm again, but as the years go by I'm loving warm/hot weather WAY more than I used to. It sucks you may not get to go to the gig because of it though :( With all the extra bodies in there though, it would be super uncomfortable.

The heat is the poo. As long as we do have a place to cool down in that is the main thing.

It is great that you are able to focus on work and not be distracted by twitter and messengers. I also hope that for the vodka website you are offered some kind of perks, Bwahaha.

It is really wonderful that you were able to have the experience and it could teach you do much and take that with you. :)

Send some of that heat my way! I’m freezing here in the states! 😢

Your experience sounds like it truly had a positive effect on you, which even if you did decide that wasn’t the path for you, it was a worth-while venture. It’s always fun when you can look back and smile fondly about a past experience that brought you not only joy, but wisdom.

I only hope my career choice ends up being one I look back upon with happiness and not dread! XD

You can choose whatever carrier you like, unless it doesn’t leads you to the negative side. What is an orthodontist ? Never heard of it, sorry. My bad ✌️ .
Yeah, “Hot in Australia:”. They talked about it worldwide, even in Malaysia. I heard there’s open burning there? Lol, I guess the Sun just shine on the forest and it burnt. Even everyone was lazy to go out on a “very” hot day.

An orthodontist is a dental specialist; they deal with braces and straightening teeth. :D

Yes, there have sadly been some bushfires here in very hot areas with lots of trees. Some animals also died… the heat was pretty intense.

Since you worked on that vodka website, do you get some of the vodka for free? XD

Wow. Are Australian summers always that hot? We’ve never tried that kind of temperature here in the Philippines. O_o

I’m glad that you learned positive and good things from that experience!

Have a good day!

That is scorching hot! But at least it is not humid, so that the heat doesn’t make you sweat quite as fast. I wonder how all those people who work outside handle it!

We are currently in this age group where older people still think that we’re “young kids” but all children think we’re grown because many early 20-somethings are working full-time and living on their own (at least in the US; I can’t speak for any other country). So “men” sounds too old because I associate that term with people who are older than me and “boys” sounds too young because I associate that term with schoolchildren. The guys have it easy; they can just call each other “guys”. Perhaps “guys” would feel less strange if there were an equivalent for girls, but I just don’t think that one exists.

Your mom was so nice to get you to work with the dental people when you were in high school! Better to find out earlier than later that being in school until you’re thirty is not for you. The amount of time you have to be in some form of school to be in the medical field is astounding, and probably keeps a lot of people from wanting to become doctors.

For a while, I also wanted to be a geologist! Gemstones are sooo pretty! But your mom is right; in America, geologists can only be professors, government law-enforcers/inspectors, or people who work for oil companies. Luckily, the more I learn about geology from my geologist friends, the more I think that geology is boring/not for me.

I’m glad that you’re on a good path in life. From what I can see of your blog designs, you are probably getting better and better at your job, and you will continue to be an inspiration for me, all the way across the Pacific Ocean.

Oh, hahaha now I know what’s orthoden(whattt) means. Hahahaha. Yeah, poor animals. :(

Staying off Twitter is a good way to be productive! I decided to go a day without checking social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc), and man… I was really productive that day. It also made me realize how often I checked them, because I’d find myself almost going to the site multiple times.

Ouch, that sucks that your tongue was burnt that bad. I’ve burnt it before where I couldn’t taste much, but I don’t think it hurt to talk. I hope it gets better soon!

Wow, your weather sounds like our summers. It gets that hot too, which I hate. I’ve lived in Texas for years, and I still can’t take the heat that well.

That was really nice of your mom to call up the oral health center for you :) I think it’s great that she cared about your dreams so much, and it’s awesome that the center let you work with the tools. Even though you didn’t go the path of an orthodontist, positive life changing experiences are always good to have!

I guess after you use twitter over and over for so long it eventually becomes easier to quit. The same with Facebook and BBM and things like that – at first, you’d think that you wouldn’t be able to do it, but then you realise that you actually aren’t missing so much. (Y)

I hate having my tongue burned like that, but spicy food is the best. :D Curry, chilli, anything like that I love. Everyone says milk is good for spice, but I can’t stand milk, so I’m stuck with water and ice cubes. O_O

Going to the oral health center sounds like fun – although I’d probably break everything cause’ I’m pretty clumsy. It still sounds like fun though! 🙄 At least you know what you definitely want to steer clear of, job-wise.

I love geology as well…here in Scotland there’s a lot for geologists to study, and on the Isle of Arran near where I live they get loads of geology students from all over the UK staying there doing their own research over the summer because it’s a very diverse landscape: that’s how my parents met. Dad was a geology student from England and Mum was a something-else(is it really bad that I don’t know what she did at uni) student from here who lived in Arran in the summers because a friend of her parents had a cottage there. Every time we’ve been to Arran Dad insists on educating me about every rock I stand on. XD

Also, 42°C?! That would kill me. 20°C just about kills me, to be honest. I am not designed to be warm. Though for some reason I can cope with temperatures above 30°C abroad, but can’t handle 20°C here…makes no sense, I know.