16 November 2009

The Itch for the Next Step

From the moment I stepped onto campus as a college freshman, I have been a self-proclaimed academic. In my mind, the real world is tedious, meaningless, boring--it's in school that I belong. And I've begun living that dream. I'm living in the United Kingdom studying philosophy as a postgraduate--watching & engaging in real philosophical discussion with the people who are at the forefront of the debates. I'm not sure if it's what I expected (as I wasn't sure what to expect), but I'm definitely finding it interesting.

But I have something to confess... This self-proclaimed academic, enemy of all that is normal, is, without warning, hankering after a normal life. I'm not sure when it happened--maybe last week, maybe before--but I suddenly have the urge to get an apartment of my own and find a solid job, perhaps go on walks in the evening with Jonty after dinner, and enjoy a nice meal out and a good glass of wine on a Saturday night.

Maybe it's that I'm realizing that I'm too old to still be sharing an apartment. It could be that the philosophy talk is growing tiring as it sometimes does halfway through a semester. But I don't think it's either of those. I think the problem is twofold: (1) the back-and-forth life that I'm still living and (2) dependency.

Ever since I was four years old, I've been living a back-and-forth life. My parents got divorced, and I was stuck sharing my sense of home, and of family, between two places. When I finally started to live on my own, I had very little time with a stationary life (except for a few months in the dorms), sharing time between my place, my boyfriend's place, and my mom's home. Even studying abroad took me away from my flat a couple of weekends per month. And now, away from the multi-directional pull from my two families, my friends, my own place, here I am again, sharing my sense of home between my flat and Jonty's house. I'm not really complaining--I love Jonty and I'm happy to be able to spend time with him, no matter where I am--but the life of the nomad can be so tiring, so unsettling. I'm ready to be in control of my life, to keep it in one place for a while.

Also, studying full-time as an involved postgraduate, there isn't really time to work. It's funny: I was able to juggle school, work, and sorority as an undergrad, but now it seems like just keeping up with my studies is incredibly hard work. I planned on getting a job, but unless it's just a few hours per week, it's just not in the cards. Which makes me reliant on my dwindling savings account and, more importantly, my parents. My mom and dad are happy to help out, and I appreciate their support, but it does become problematic because I worry not only how my actions will affect my budget, but also how they will affect my parents. For example, Jonty and I have been talking for a while about going to Prague or Greece over spring break. But if I continue to rely on parental support, I would feel too guilty spending money enhanced by them to do so. It would be nice to have freedom from that--not that that would mean I could do anything I want, but at least if something is within my means I can do it without restraint.

So I guess the overriding factor here is freedom and stability. I want the freedom to do what I choose (within reason) and the stability to make that possible.

The upside is this: A small decision is made. I was having trouble deciding whether or not to apply to PhD programs, and this inclination I'm feeling is telling me to wait. I can spend a year gaining stability, and then I can consider whether or not further study, and what kind of study, is right for me. [And for someone who has problems making decisions, this is big!] For now, though, I will try to live in the moment, and to enjoy being involved in seminars, conferences, and lectures, as well as formulating my own ideas and arguments and drafting them.

I apologize for the gigantic post today; I guess I mostly needed to cash things out for myself, to figure out what was going on.

It's much too late for me to be still on Blogger. Night night, all! (Good afternoon, California. I miss you!)


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