Monday, February 22, 2010

Ambiguous ends

It's easy to loose yourself in graduate school, especially when you're three quarters done but feels like an eternity yet before you'll finish. And it's easy to forget why you started, or where you're going. Things get lost by the roadside (like blogging). Lately, I feel like no matter what I achieve or sacrifice, I'm failing. So I've been trying to reconnect myself with the inspiration behind why I started back in school and where I am going with this education. And I've been surprised to find it's not what you might think. It's not *all about* the insects or learning a new (aquatic) and exciting system. Not solely, anyway. It's to attain success in life, and to balance that with the wholeness that makes it worth family, friends, a meal worth taking a moment to savor, having the time to enjoy the weekly rituals of chores and visiting my local co-op. Graduate school and research has come to feel like the end-all, rather than a means to an eventual job with aquatic systems that allows me to make a difference in ways I value.

I took a mental break and indulged this weekend in laundry and a sunny-day bike ride to my local co-op. As a reward for hard studying, I gave myself a special treat: blog-hopping. Blog-hopping forces me outside of my self-centered world to peer into the lives of others, sometimes inspiring and sometimes shaming me into a fresh perspective.

Grad school has demanded a lot of late. And while I've hung in there through a tough situation beyond what most students would have, I'm not sure my perseverance has put me any closer to completion. With good reason, only those who can pay the price of sacrifice cross the finish line. I don't know if I'll cross the finish line. But I have learned that every once in a while it's important to put life -- and anything in it that blocks out the sun -- into perspective, to remember why you started and where you're going, and that there are many ways to define success. Thanks for the gentle reminder of all that and the perspective, blogosphere.

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