Something I’ve been musing over lately is how different my life is now than what it was while I was in graduate school.
I hardly see any of the friends I made during my graduate studies and fieldwork due to the time constraints of my current job and how disconnected I am now from the activities happening on campus.
I also feel disconnected from my deeper purpose. It’s been eight months now since I graduated. Am I still able to say I “just” or “recently” graduated? I’m tired of explaining away my current job when people ask me what I do. I want to be able to say that I’m an artist or a performer. Maybe I can still say those things, though it’s harder to feel when I spend so much of my time doing other things.
I still live in the same town. I still shop at the same grocery store.
But my apartment is different. My social circle is different. Even the car I am driving around town is different.
The people I meet are different. The conversations I have are different.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in sci-fi novel – like I’ve been dropped into some parallel universe version of my life that is *just* close enough to what it was to be recognizable and comprehensible, but it’s still jarring at times.
I stayed in this town ostensibly to save money and figure out where to move *to,* but also so I could keep some sense of continuance in my life – same town, same friends… mostly the same life just minus graduate school.
But when I only moved here FOR graduate school, that doesn’t really work out so well.
My life is drastically different from what it was, whether I want it to be or not.
You can’t stop change.
Life changes, with or without your consent.
Nothing you try to do to stop it from changing will work.
So you might as well *choose* or at least ATTEMPT to choose the ways in which your life changes.
Because if you go with the flow you might just find yourself further upstream than you wanted to go. And without a paddle.
So that’s my next step. Thinking about what changes I could consciously implement in my life to make it better. Because standing in place didn’t stop everything from shifting around me. So I’d rather cause at least some of the shifts (keeping in mind that life always likes to throw us curveballs, too).
And part of that is going to be scheduling more time to write. Not just here, but also partly here.
If I can set aside X hours per week to work toward the kind of life I want I think that will be a better use of my time. And maybe one of those days can be actively strategizing, rather than doing things in spurts when I don’t feel tired.
If I accept that I will always be tired and stressed out to one extent or another and that these are not valid reasons to not do anything, maybe that will help me get things done. I also have more practice dealing with firm deadlines, so I need to find a way to set deadlines for myself that will work as well as ones set in syllabi, and then I can work backward from those dates to break things down into smaller chunks.
I think my goals are too broad or fuzzy right now. I need to know exactly what I’m doing rather than stabbing in the dark.
It’s time to embrace change again and seek it out, rather than trying to avoid it.
Because it’s going to find me one way or another.
And I could do with some more positive changes in my life.