On the personal side, I went from living with my ex-boyfriend and two cats to living alone. That involved a drawn-out transition that I believe is finally coming to a close. My house is much cleaner and more peaceful than before, and I'm confident that I've made good, if difficult, decisions in light of the circumstances life handed me. I am now free to help my family on short notice if my dad's condition suddenly changes. When I'm not visiting family, I am able to focus more on myself and redirecting my life along a more satisfying path. I am becoming more the me I want to be by the day. That involves new career goals, new and renewed hobbies, and learning from all the trials of recent years.
Professionally, I admitted my passion for language and broad learning. As a scientist, I'd face deep learning and technical, utilitarian writing--not the best fit. Because of this seemingly obvious epiphany (as so many are in hindsight), I began to seek training in journalism. A couple of the instructors from the journalism department at my school are working with me to plan a curriculum that will fit with my PhD work. I'm really excited to meet with them in a couple of weeks! I feel more certain in my career plans than I have in years even though they're still developing. I'm running on pure faith that I'll find a way to pay off my undergrad loans (I suppose that's not much of a change).
My hobbies and hope for the future carry me over all the hurdles I face. Part of my life is unpredictable right now because of my dad's illness, but it does not comprise my life. In pursuit of being the best me I can, here some of my goals:
Six monthsInstead of feeling lost as I have for many months, I'm excited for all the opportunities coming this year. I only dread two possibilities: letting fear get in my way and my dad's treatment not going well. The former I can prevent. The latter I will ignore unless it happens because there is no way to prepare for it.
- pass my prelim
- complete the first objective listed in my PhD research proposal and present the results at a national professional conference
- submit the MS paper
- ride a century (100 miles)
- gain experience in journalism and/or science writing, either through a class or an internship
- test for my blue belt in jujitsu (a stretch, but not impossible)
- continue to read as if my books are disintigrating before my eyes
- complete more of the PhD-specific goals I'll come up with as part of my prelim (TBD)
- have a portfolio of usable writing clips
- start working on the first paper based on my PhD research
- ride my bike a bunch--at least one century next season
- gain proficiency in jujitsu to at least the level of green tip
- travel somewhere new
To end on a positive note, I am elated about my upcoming tour of the East Coast. I can't wait to visit so many places and good friends. It'll be a great adventure!
Posted for the August 2010 edition of Scientiae, hosted by Alyssa at Apple Pie and the Universe.