wow, it’s been a while since i’ve posted anything up over here. i thought after i started up the scientopia blog i’d come back here for the personal thoughts, but look, it’s been something like 6 months and here i’m just getting around to dust this place off a little.
damn. [gets spray-air can, choking, sprays around]
anyway, long story short, i’ve wrangled my career back on whatthefuckever track it’s on (if you can identify it, let me know, because i have no idea where the hell it’s going) and i’m re-assembling my personal shit piece by piece. work is busy but peachy. i got the challenges i was asking for- i got more than i asked for, frankly. i have the science rolling at unprecedented levels of awesome, and i’m on track to produce some nice, solid papers to establish myself in this shift-of-subfield. the personal shit seems harder to regroup than the career, but i suppose that’s a matter of fucked up priorities. i’m workin’ on it. but in the meantime, for something quantifiable, i’m back to my early grad school weight (if not pre-first-year… i can’t say i kept track back then, foolish me.)
i’ve been thinking how the other times i’ve made some big change in life/career phase, i’ve taken it as some kind of eye-opening experience. in particular, college gave me a brand new lease on life in so. many. ways. not the least of which was finally having a reliable roof over my head, but in so many other ways i experienced a life i had never seen before. i wiped the scuffs and the dirt off my trampled soul along the river and in the trails of that place, let it dry and re-harden in the clearings under the sun and the tall grass, and i learned who i was on the inside. i had never had that kind of undistracted opportunity to think and reflect.
but now, in the productive postdoc phase? nothing. i can’t process this new, this unfamiliar.
i realize i need to go home. to that muddy water rushing over the rocks, to those rock faces that induce sheer heart-lifting joy, to the lookout point where the perspective is so very different in every way. ostensibly, yes, the trip is to go visit my family. but in reality? those wild places elsewhere in the state are calling me by name.
it’s been years. i am not that same girl who took the first steps on this trail. i am not the one who made the last hike with the girls before moving out and moving on to something unfamiliar. i’m not the second-year grad student who came back wishing only for things to be simple like they used to. i’m someone different- the experiences necessitate the change.
but who am i now? i want to take a break, to let go of the things dragging on me over the years. i want to spend my hours on the trails actively distracting myself from the things that don’t need to be on my mind. i want to lay on my back on that big rock face in the sun and see nothing between me and the sky. like i used to. i learn things up there that i just can’t figure out where i am right now.
you can’t go home… but you absolutely can be your present self in a setting that helped you change your life for the better once before.