May 10, 2010

Rambling...

I suppose now is as good a time as any to use the blog for its intended purpose - namely the relieving of Writer's Block and/or acute frustration at having to do something I really don't want to do (in this case, craft several annotated bibliographies for my Comprehensive reading list and examination). I am currently in the process of writing about anthropogenic (human induced) climate change and providing rationalization for the necessity of the study of climate mitigation as it relates to social and environmental injustice. These are the moments when I sit here working away (albeit slowly) at things and I think to myself.... Good Lord...what the hell has life become?

I have been looking at Facebook updates and status changes lately, reading about the various ways in which people's lives have changed in the years following high school. I am (at twenty-seven) finally at that age where marriage seems to be en vogue and, for those who married earlier, so too are the first round of births. While children and parenthood have never piqued my interest (as a thing to pursue myself), as an avid reader of romance novels I must admit to liking the idea of weddings (weddings, not necessarily marriage) and engagements. Having been with my bf for just short of a decade, however, marriage still seems like a different life. Somebody else's life. Either way, that issue is moot.

What I really cannot help but marvel (and cry a little) at is how little my life has really changed in the past decade. Sure I've moved a little, but really only to the other side of a city. I have the same relationship I did when I left high school. I attend the same university I entered when I was nineteen. Sure I have two degrees under my belt and I am currently in pursuit of a third, but what does that mean, really, if I haven't used them to procure a "real job"?

Part of my problem is the fact that I am slow to change, slow to adopt change, and have difficulty embracing any form of difference, no matter how small. For better or worse this has kept me in a static state (academically, romantically, geographically etc.) For my fear and caution I have a decent sized bank account to show and I live under pretty great circumstances, especially for a student... But I can't help but wondering at the point of it all.

When I think about what I expected of my life and for myself, I realize that it was never this. I wanted to be successful, but never expected to be hindered by a wallflower personality that has difficulty interacting with others (to the extent that fear becomes a crippling emotion). I assumed that by twenty-five I would have bought my own condo in our bustling downtown metropolis, man or no man. In fact, I assumed no man because I figured I would have been loving the single life far too much to settle for anything that didn't sweep me off my feet. (In fairness to my bf, he is a great guy, but he really was supposed to be a fling...and so was I.) :P

After twenty-five I expected to spend years traveling, fulfilling one of my greatest passions globe-trotting and seeing the things that other people only dreamed about from behind their picket fences, between soccer games and PTA meetings and two-point-four kids. But reality hasn't lived up to that.

I bear my own shackles, the tightest of which is a PhD dissertation that, after a year of coursework, is only just beginning to get off the ground. Traveling comes far too infrequently in pursuit of such a goal as many students living on a student stipend would be only too quick to point out. Washington was amazing for precisely the reason that it was something different... unfortunately these experiences are far too fleeting in my life.

I love the fact that I am doing the work that I am doing... It's important, valuable and necessary work... But I hate the fact that it isn't life, nor should it be.

Most people (parents, professors etc.) have told me to have patience - that the future will come when it's supposed to and that all the things I want will happen in due course. Maybe they're right, maybe not. I don't know anymore. Perhaps that's why the dissertation is the toll on the soul that it happens to be...because it is a constant reminder of what isn't.

I have half a mind to spend a handful of my savings on a dream of a lifetime trip to the Galapagos and to say "to hell with it all...Life Happens".

But that isn't me.

And what IS me is sad.

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