Recall my rose-colored post. Such optimism, such surety was evident in every word; the spirit poured forth even in those paragraphs composed in a cautionary tone.
It did not last for long. I’ve devolved once more into confusion, a reality resembling a whirlpool more than the natural downward swing of a pendulum. I am spinning down, down, down into the dark depths of despondency with no rebound in sight. My thoughts have run amuck as such:
I’m here, I’ve arrived, I’m pursuing my dreams with nothing to hold me back. Yet I wake each morning uneasy at the thought of the day that lies before me: the day in which I drive for an hour to sit in a lab and analyze data much in the same way I drove for half an hour to sit in an office and analyze data but now, but now, I am not being paid.
I drive home and I study, which is not so bad except I’m no longer very good at it. I yearned to go back to school, to learn of all the things on earth and in the minds and hearts of people far smarter than I. How much of this path is simply because I desire to sit in a classroom once more? It feels like it is the only thing I’ve truly liked, and ever since I left I’ve been trying to get back. I was almost there, so so very close; I did my time, I paid my dues, and I was heading to Austin. But then, I wasn’t by myself anymore. And I did not want to be by myself. Some things are more important than “just me.” And so I made my decision and stayed here. Now, a full five years will pass between my graduation and matriculation.
This waiting game: is it worth it? One cannot live on bread alone. (And here bread is green.) But yes, one must have bread to live. And no, it’s not just the money that weighs heavy on my mind. It’s the “after” school and it’s the “getting to” school. I’ve addressed the “getting to” quite enough, I am a broken record. But the after? Why did I not become a physicist? The other half of the equation, complementing the fact that I dreaded leaving my newly formed family, is that I’m not sure I wanted to be a physicist. I did not want to sit in an office and analyze data. What about a doctor? Likely I will not be sitting in an office and analyzing data. But also I will not be around that much with my family. 12 years must pass until I can become a full-fledged surgeon, and these 12 years will be filled more with tests and rotations and residencies than with family hikes and enjoying the outdoors and walking sweet boomer.
Oh dear sweet pup; you may be gone by that point, and what will I do without you? How many hours will you have to spend alone in a windowless room because I am walking down this path? It weighs heavy on me little one. It weighs heavy. Will I like being a doctor? I think I will. But it seems I hate every step I must take to become one. What would allow me to offer a blessed and full life to my loved ones and lead a blessed and full life of my very own? I do not know, I do not know where that lies in this reality.
I imagine in my farfetched daydreams a stay-at-home life in which I offer my services to someone remote from my sunroom table or the cozy couch or, on warm summer days, outside with boom at a cafe somewhere. I picture an ordinary life, a deep satisfaction, a job that does not interfere with my loves and days which are easy and honest. I would chase excellence in my character and in my gym and in what I offer to those in my community. And that would be enough. That is enough.
This has no resolution. My dreams, both of them so different, are at odds with one another. The first is practical in the most impractical way; it offers a chance to make an impact in the world, an opportunity to build a stable environment in which A can chase his dreams, and a medium through which I will be able to extend and cultivate my intellectual and human capacity. The second seems right, true, but also a fairytale; it is the life of generations past, or generations never, the stuff of storybooks that were my constant companions through my first two decades and make me question the reality of this third one I now live. It all seems a cruel joke.
And with that, I must wipe my eyes and go to sleep.
p.s. ohs #75 today felt good first five felt bad last twenty. and my abs are weeksauce.