I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that in a month’s time, I’ll have done a whole year of grad school. April is shaping up to be the busiest month so far. Last week was a bit shit as the motivation fell out of my life in a big way. All I wanted to do was avoid work and feel free and daydream about the money I could be making soon or strolling through Paris (if the damned school doesn’t cancel the program like I’ve heard grumblings about,..). My mind was everywhere at once and taking that time for total irresponsibility had me working twice as hard this week.
I discovered the new Pantha du Prince album the other day and I’ve been happily rocking it, especially the song above. It’s definitely struck a nerve.
I’ve been examining recently my feelings about the program. For a long stretch, I hated it. Last semester (and 2009 in general) was all about life upheaval and I really did end in December wanting to quit. My program can be very alienating because it seems like there’s a culture in place where you’re expected to give up everything else you have going on to hang out on the floor and exclusively with program people. With the exception of a friend or two, I just didn’t click with anyone there and instead of running headfirst into it, I stepped back and carved out my own path. It hasn’t made me the most popular 1st year, but at 29, I’d rather have a life I can happily call my own than be miserable trying to fit in. And this semester has felt different as I’ve followed my own passions more to take some non-typical classes and create a schedule and life balance I feel happy with. I might scream if another person asks me if I’m a part-time student, but I feel like the intellectual satisfaction I’ve had lately really keeps me from giving a shit what the average fellow program person thinks.
I’m at the point where I can always think of something else that I would like to have that I don’t (a bigger apartment, being able to avoid the end of the semester poverty, a nice guy to indulge me in my nerdy talk), but the abject misery I felt as a cog in the corporate world is one thing I do not miss. It feels nice to smile and laugh and mean it. And I wouldn’t trade making it out of the last crazy few years well-adjusted for anything else.