I’m starting to miss Regular Life. Life without schoolwork. Life without homework. Life without reading lists and syllabi and part-time jobs. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone who’s met me in the past year, but this whole Moving Across the Country Away From My Friends And Family, Living With A Boyfriend For The First Time, Managing My Own Finances, and Starting A Quite Rigorous Graduate Program? Yeah, it’s really hard. My days are generally spoken for, and even when they aren’t, my mind is occupied with what’s coming up, what’s next.
I think a lot of people – especially academics – thrive in this state, when everything melts away except for your work. I think I could go places in academia if I could live that way. But I can’t. I am acutely aware of what I’m giving up, living like this, and it makes me miserable, even if the work is objectively enjoyable, the subject matter amazing. I can’t focus. I can’t surrender.
Oh, there are moments of joy, that’s for sure, and moments of giddy exhilaration about what I’m doing here, the life I’m preparing for, the opportunities I have. It’s all very thrilling, but it’s also very stressful and exhausting.
If I were better suited to this kind of work, I think, I would look at this unhappiness and think about how to change my work, how to challenge myself. Instead, I find myself trying to inject my School Life with Real Life whenever I can.
Yes, I will drive 16 hours to spend 3 days with my family over the holidays.
Yes, I will wake up an hour early everyday so I can just SIT and BE for awhile.
And on Saturday, we went to the Jamaica Plain Lantern Parade.
I’m not really sure why I wanted to go.
All you do is walk around a pond, holding a soda bottle lantern with a candle in it.
I had homework to do.
And the boys I dragged with me were under-impressed.
But it was within walking distance of my apartment. An it’s going to be winter soon so I should enjoy the outside. And there were a number of adorable little kid costumes to be seen. And yes, we bought a cool Pac-Man lantern.
And it seemed like Real Life.
Like something I’d do before I moved to Boston and entered School Life.
And speaking of,
You can add friends on there… somehow. It’s kind of confusing, but add me! I respond very well to competitive little word-counter bars,
and with the School Life in the way,
I’m going to need all the help I can get.