oceantheorem: (Solitaire)
I've been kinda flaily the last few days. I found a new author on teh intarwebs, and read a bunch of his articles, and came across one about how NaNoWriMo is terrible. Because most people fail, and then those people think they can't be writers.

Holy crap, I thought. That happened to me. That goddamn happened to me.

And I'd already been a bit flaily about work for... oh... a few years (ha! no, but really, the last two months have been kinda trying). What am I DOING? Do I want to keep doing lame lab tech benchwork for the rest of my life? I mean, sure, it's relatively easy, and I'm relatively good at it, but it's also pretty boring and not very meaningful. It's... honestly, it's not even paying very well. I want to be doing something more interesting, and more challenging, and something less... irrelevant?

I don't know what that "something" is. It's probably NOT writing.  It did take me a while to realize that one can "be a writer" without writing novels, and I still don't think I want to write novels (though maybe I'm wrong. I do want to revisit that last failed NaNo story and see if I can fix it now that I'm not trying to slavishly produce 1667 words every day. it had time travel AND pirates). But trying to create a blog or a large base of short stories or some other written body of work that would produce income also sounds pretty horrifying. And like a really good way to kill my passion for writing altogether.

So, I'm still pretty flaily about what I want to do with my career, but after a couple of days of intense thought, and several really good conversations with my spouse and my incredibly intelligent friends, I think I am going to start a blog. And write about non-traditional life choices - everything from sexuality to diet to childlessness. I set up a wordpress and I'll link over to it once I've got a few articles up. I have ideas for a bunch already, and I guess I'm sitting here writing this instead of over there writing those because I still kinda needed to give myself a pep talk telling me it's okay to do it. Even if it won't make money (I expect not to). Even if I don't keep up with it for five or ten or fifteen or two years (I... expect not to). At least I will be doing something creative, something I enjoy, something that will stretch my brain a little - and maybe something that will help other people think about the way they live their lives.
oceantheorem: (was lost now I live here)
I've been thinking a lot lately. This is probably a bad thing, and is likely a product of me not being in lab and class all day long. Luckily my normal hectic life resumes tomorrow, and I become a prisoner of science once again....

Before I get into all the thinkingness, I just wanted to mention that I had a really good spring break, despite being bitterly lonely for most of it. I don't know when I became a social creature; the transformation seems to have snuck up on me. I used to be so antisocial and so afraid of other people. It seems weird that these days I'm so dependent on the company of others. But I did have a good break, and the solitude allowed me to some things I hadn't been able to do in all the hubbub of grad school academic and social life. I watched The Chronicles of Narnia, which made me cry. Such a good movie.... I finished knitting the Cascade 220 bag I've been working on forever, and have learned 1) that it really does matter how long the cable is on circular needles and 2) you really can't felt something in the bathroom sink unless you're a lot more patient than I am. I shall have to bribe a friend with a washing machine. I've also read about half of the second book of the Bridei Chronicles, which I bought about a week ago. I love Juliet Marillier. Her books are amazing. They seem to take hold somewhere inside my heart and then proceed to pull out all of my most secret inner longings about love and life and honor and strength. Her stories speak to me in a strange way that most other stories don't. Then again, I cry at commercials, so maybe I'm giving her too much credit. But this book is amazing, and it makes me wish I had the first one here in Connecticut so I could read it again, since I don't remember most of the minor characters, and Ms. Marillier has a nasty way of making her sequels about minor characters instead of about major ones.
Also, I saw 300 on IMAX the other day, and it had a weird way of actually making me feel violent. Actually violent. I got into the bloodthirstiness of the Spartan killing tactic, and I WANTED the Persians to die. And when the Queen (all right, I won't say anything for those of you who haven't seen it; I don't want to spoil it) does that awesome thing she does, I relished the violence of the moment. It felt good. This led me to realize that I am, in fact, withholding a great deal of anger. This, again, is probably a bad thing. I think I need an outlet for all of this anger, or something really bad is gonna happen.

Anyway.

I've been thinking a lot about my life and what I want out of it. What I want to do with it, who I want to become, where I want to live, how I want to make my living. I listened to last week's This American Life last night, and they sang "California," and for some reason the song hit home in such a strong way that I actually stopped knitting so I could stare out my teeny tiny cell window. I felt like ice. I felt like I had this huge, momentous decision before me, and I knew the way I was supposed to choose, and I knew the way I would choose, and they were different. I'm supposed to go home to California and be something else, do something else, follow some other life path. But it's easier to take no action, to continue following a course already set out, and that's what I've chosen to do. Besides, what kind of other life would I lead? There seem to be so many options, and all of them are terrible, or at least depressingly difficult.

1) Stay here, follow current path, do postdoc in California, etc. Be geneticist.
2) Re-apply to grad schools this coming fall, transfer to UCSF, Berkeley, or Stanford. Be scientist.
3) Move to California (or, more realistically, Reno) and buy a flower shop. In Reno, I bet you anything I could talk my mom into helping me do this, because she tried to about three years ago, and would have succeeded if someone hadn't outbid her on the shop she was trying to buy.
4) Throw a ton of money at a really nice camera, and somehow fight my way into the realm of respectable photography. I could then either be a travel photographer (and writer, there's no way I could travel and not write), or photograph weird inner-city wildlife like deformed pigeons and tame rats. I have no idea where this idea came from, but my dark and twisty brain really likes it. Photography would be so much fun.
5) Re-apply to grad schools, except this time for marine biology. Like Woods Hole and Scripps. Be scientist. Study whales, like I planned in the second grade.
6) Stay here and work on PhD and write a novel. Publish novel, become horribly rich, drop out. Become writer.

Most of these options seem to be horribly flawed in at least one way. Several of them, I know, are completely inviolate (that's a word, right? too lazy to look it up).

In the end, I don't even know why I bother updating about this sort of thing. I know in my heart that, even if being here is utterly wrong for me, I'm too weak to take any action on that decision. I've made my choice in coming here, and am too terrified of being left alone and starving in the cold to leave my current career path. I have no money and so much debt as it is; how could I possibly end the only income I've ever had to throw myself at a dream that may turn out to fail horribly? Or that I may turn out to be bored with? Perhaps I underestimate myself, and I'd be bored to tears as a florist or photographer. I know that spring break is boring me to tears....

I can't help but wonder if all of this insanity and upheaval over HIM is because I'm really all insane and upheaved about ME. I think I'm projecting. I think my own life is a crazy mixed-up confusing mess right now, and I'm living something I'm not sure I believe in (haven't I always yelled at people who don't follow their dreams?), and I'm transferring all of that upsetness over to him so that I'll have something concrete to be frustrated at.

I'm angry. I want to throw things. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure I'm mad at myself. I shouldn't have made the decision to come here, and once I did I should have given myself over to it completely. And since I haven't, I should make up my damn mind about what I want to do, and then I should have the balls to follow through with it and DO something about my misery. I'm so mad at my own unwillingness to help myself. That's a quality I despise in other people, and it makes me livid to see it in myself. AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH.

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