I woke up yesterday and I was 28. And if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have remembered it.While last year on my 27th birthday I was all cheery and happy about the possibilities, my 28th birthday was overshadowed by pulling all-nighters, homework, trying to find decent accommodation and the logistics of settling down in a new city which has proven more challenging than I thought.
I woke up yesterday and I am 28, but felt almost exactly in the same situation I was when I was 18. Here I am in a new city (and country), couple of months into the first year of a university program and kind of lost in between all the administrative nonsense that has to be done.
Last year, I was super excited about not knowing where I will be in a year and while still in the same city, I am half way into the first semester of a terrific yet challenging program, quite a change of what I thought I’d be doing, but after living on the road, out of a suitcase for a while getting back into real life is not very easy.
Last year was a great learning year with a lot of travel and a mix of random experiences. I was getting ready to settle down again (however briefly) and going back to school is proving to be quite the adjustment.
Being a grad student at 28 while starting up in a new country and a new language presents its own challenges and it is different from 18. I realized that it is much more difficult to be conforming into a schooling system at 28, it is much more difficult to pull all-nighters and life is certainly not as care-free ( not that care-free was ever the right adjective to describe me or my life) as it was at 18. I guess time has its dues and age does eventually take a toll on you, I didn’t think I was going to get to these conclusions until my 30s but its seems like I am getting there a little sooner, which despite the realization doesn’t make the experience less important.
I am excited about the potential a new program in a new city with a random mix of people have in store. Challenge is good and even at the times when I want to pull out my hair in frustration, it is enough to be reminded that I am where I am because that’s what I have chosen, because I wanted to move to Paris and because I wanted to study philosophy.
If anything hasn’t changed from my 18th birthday is that! Taking charge of my life and choosing my battles (even if sometimes I underestimated the challenges) is the most liberating decision/capacity I acquired and for that I am thankful. And here’s hoping that in the last ten years, I gained the maturity required to stand up to the challenges and use the opportunities presented to me in the best way.
Cheers to a year of less moving and uncertainty, yet more challenge and responsibility!
Фонтана – fontana
For many people seeing this picture or passing by this fountain is goes merely unnoticed. However, there is a beautiful and sad story of resistance behind this fountain.
Гентрифицатион – Gentrification
Just like any city, Belgrade is not immune to gentrification. The waterfront has many warehouses that are now closed for many reasons and over the last decade or so they have been turned into various bars, restaurants and shops right on the river side.
Now there is a project, funded by
трг – Trg
There are 32 squares in total in Belgrade, many of which were used for markets at one point in the past. This photo of a bench made from the tree that once stood in its location is the Akademski Square, also commonly referred to as the Studentski Square. Everyone I met so far knows this place to be the students square however, if I understand correctly, the student square used to be in an adjacent area that is now a major bus stop.
This particular square does however, have a diverse history; having once been a place of prayer surrounded by mosques, a graveyard and an open market space at different times and centuries. Today, it is located across the street from the University of Belgrade and is a popular hangout spot for students.