A Year in Reflection
While at work today, I’ve been distracted by blog postings and tweets and facebook chatter. Jimmy Fallon is filming his late night show today featuring Obama at my alma mater and it’s making me a bit of a sob story. Gasp!
This isn’t something new for me though; nostalgia hits me nearly every change of season and I reflect back and wish and want and learn. It’s good to be self-assured and aware. I think you have to look back to gain perspective on your life. This time last year, I was scrambling to graduate. Finals, LDOC, long nights at the library, bad food, energy drinks. I did it 8 semesters in a row, not counting my summer sessions. Now, however, I find myself missing it.
Do I miss the annual library streaking the night before the first exam? Yes. Do I miss the flash rave in the Pit organized by one of my friends? Yes. Do I miss the way the light falls across those brick sidewalks and across the tops of the buildings nestled between the trees at 7 am when I’m trudging back to the library after leaving at 2, backpack laden with supplies to keep me going for another marathon study session? Yes, actually.
I miss the pressure, the sense of urgency, the momentum pushing at my back (see what I did there?). I’m starting to believe this is what my job is lacking. I like the unpredictability of hours -long study sessions into the night. I like watching the deadline creep up on me as my Adderall-addled brain starts cranking out more and more words in a last ditch effort to finish a paper on time. Honestly, it’s when I have some monster of responsibility (a class I must pass, a test in the morning, a paper due at midnight) breathing down the back of my neck that I discover a font of untapped resolve deep down inside.
I don’t necessarily want to go back to school, but I hate the day to day monotony of post graduate life. I’m not being pushed is what I’m saying. Sure, I can push myself but there are only so many days when it is dark and rainy in the morning that I have the energy and dedication to convince myself to get out of bed and go perform. My job doesn’t offer me any deadlines or bosses waiting by my office door with open expectant hands. Instead, it’s like working at the library for 8 hours a day and constantly being granted an extension. It’s the same spot in front of the same window with the same people and the same food and bad coffee and distractions.
I often find I tire of workspace very quickly. Sometimes just moving my laptop to another place rectifies the need I feel to be constantly moving. The problem is I can’t do that here. It is the same – day in and day out. I can’t go lay on the quad. I can’t set up in my bathroom (done that) or sprawl my notes across the couch. I can’t sit in the rocking chairs in front of the Student Stores overlooking South Road. I can’t even visit an old yet cherished workspace in the libraries I spent a majority of my time in school.
It’s a small reflection of the larger wanderlust that creeps up on me every so often, whispering in my ear no sort of solution but simply pointing out that I need to be doing something different, something strange or off the wall or better. It’s a gift and a curse because it allows me to constantly dream, but it also is a thirst I can’t slake and I know somewhere, sometime, it will come back, as insistent and pulling as ever.
My curiosity with the world is a near constant itch I can’t scratch and is part of the reason I know deep down in my heart, deep down in the place where my soul resides, that I need to be doing something creative. I need to. It’s something I can’t help, deny, or control. It’s something I can ignore only for so long before it bubbles up in me, angry for being kept at bay for so long.