The world is apparently your oyster

“The world is your oyster”

First of all, I don’t like oysters.

Regardless, is the sentiment actually true? Is the world/oyster really ours for the taking, to pry open, so that we might reap its pearly rewards?

We never really hear anybody say the phrase absent of optimism, do we? After finishing up my masters, getting engaged, and moving to Switzerland, that’s what people told me. “The world is your oyster now! Seize all the opportunities and enjoy them!” So my assumptions were that: a) the world is oozing opportunity; b) everyone can access opportunities; and c) opportunity leads to reward.

Now, let me clarify: I’m not a negative Nelly! Sure, when I started reflecting on this phrase, the direction of my thought process was entirely different than where this post is going… Anyway, today I’ll submit, hands held high, the sentiment isn’t far off; the world IS our oyster. But let’s be clear; it shouldn’t be taken lightly, saturated with promises of abounding opportunity and treasures.

a) “the world is oozing opportunity”

In reality, that oyster is either buried at the bottom of a shark-filled ocean or lying between a rock bed plummeted by unrelenting, violent waves. Opportunity isn’t available just because we want it. We have to know where to look, search really hard in those places, and even then, we’ve got to get there before anybody else.

b) “everyone can access opportunities”

With that out of the way, seizing the opportunity is entirely dependent on our tenacity and/or sheer luck. But let’s not forget, not everybody can swim. And even if you can swim, it takes courage to dive deep down into the unknown. And then, even if you’re blessed with all of these qualities, you’ve got to beat the birds, sea otters, fish, and crabs to it because they see and smell the opportunity too.

c) “opportunity leads to reward”

If we succeed in taking it before those crafty otters, then we have to struggle to unleash its potential opportunity. Oysters aren’t always easy to get open! And in the end, an oyster is only worth what’s potentially contained within it. I stress “potential” because the fact is, even when we’ve found it and broken our nails trying to prise out what’s inside, we still don’t know what its fruits are going to look like.

Opportunity doesn’t necessarily lead to reward. Indeed, at the end of the endeavour we might get that shiny pearl. Or, equally probable, we might get a blob of snotty gloop. True, if you actually like the texture and taste of oysters then you could technically win either way. So here’s another outcome; you might just get a bad oyster!

Either way, my conclusion is that after all the searching, struggle, and accomplishment, what we get at the end isn’t always what we expected. That might sound pessimistic, but that’s okay. If we keep diving down, expecting an abundance of oysters and reward, oftentimes we’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pessimist. I’ll keep on diving in the hope of discovering that fruitful oyster. And when the ones I find turn up empty, I won’t forget that opportunity is out there somewhere. In actual fact, those empty oysters are a reminder that opportunity did live there at one point and that we’re not the first (nor the last) to struggle through this journey.

So what do we do? We learn to swim deeper, fight harder, and ultimately, get there first.

There you have it, a realistic optimist’s interpretation of oyster diving. Let me know what you think!


One of those times the oyster did indeed turn up treasure
Feel free to check out and follow my Instagram @kateisbritish to see where I’m at!




Who am I?

Hi, I’m Kate.

In case the title of this blog was ambiguous, I’m British. This is me.

I like coffee and hot places.
“British?!” I hear you interject. “Aren’t the Brits known for drinking tea and surviving cold, wet weather?” Indeed, you’d be right. That’s why I’m going to stop you right there and clarify that my “Britishness” ends at my accent, and my passport. Coffee in hot places = happy Kate.
It also makes for a much better photo.
This photo, on the other hand, was taken in London during the summer.
If the disgruntled look of distress isn’t clear, I can confirm that this isn’t my happy face. No amount of tea makes up for how I felt at this moment. So if I have to sacrifice good ol’ British tea for hot foreign weather, then get me on the first flight out of here. And that’s where my story begins actually. Albeit, not quite so dramatically. Though, ironically, this photo was taken just before I got my Visa at the American Embassy. It was like Britain’s middle finger response to me leaving the country. But I digress.

So, who am i?

When I named this post, I thought I’d just put together a no-nonsense, impersonal blurb about myself:
i.e. 22 y/o British/Filipolo* female; studying at Grad School in the US; currently coming to terms with the ridiculously huge gaps in bathroom stalls and the size of burritos at Chipotle. 
* The distinctive fusion of Filipino and Polish ethnicities
However, while pondering about how I could introduce myself (without sounding like a lonely, miserable alien who had made a rash decision to move to America, and subsequently document her painfully normal life on the internet), I realized that the question I had given myself wasn’t actually that simple. In fact, “Who am I?” suddenly became the most difficult question in the world. Well, after “Why is that person watching me through the gap in my toilet cubicle?” and “What is cilantro and why won’t you accept that I don’t want it on my burrito?” Once again, I digress.


Sorry, but I can’t.
A new country, new surroundings, new cultures, and new communities have thrown that question up in the air and now I find myself embarking on a journey where I’m asking myself that very question.
I’ve been here for three months now, and so it’s time to take a good look at my new environment and document some of my new experiences. And eventually, maybe I’ll start to figure out the question: who am I?
But for now I still want to know why there is so much goddamn cilantro in my burrito.
This whole “find myself” journey thing might take a while.