Life comes with so many transitions and changes. I’ve been in a continual growth process and it’s been interesting to reflect back on how things have changed. Living in multiple states, changing jobs, and trying to navigate different professional goals has been challenging. My partner and I have been contemplating moving out of state for the past year, but now we finally have a timeline and a moving date. After settling in and getting used to having all my favorite stores and restaurants within a 15 to 20 minute drive, it’s time for another environment. I remember when I was always looking for something new and exciting and plotting the next place I would live. The feeling of contentment has been a foreign but welcome change of pace. Time for (another) new thing.
This morning I was reminded of the fact that today marks a year since I defended my dissertation. It was one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my life and it was one that I didn’t really prepare for. You heard that right. I started practicing what I would say about two hours before it happened. I did horrible on the practice tries and my voice was shaking because I was so nervous. Afterwards, I just sat with a glass of my favorite wine and waited until I saw the email that confirmed I had passed. It was an incredible feeling. I wrote around a year ago that what I wanted to have a more permanent home base and that I wanted to seriously consider settling down. I moved several times and finally settled down and started working in my field. I started three new jobs and had an entire life overhaul. I’m a bit closer to believing that finishing the degree was worth it in the long run. I would still be paying back the loans regardless of whether I finished or not. I’ve traveled to several countries and decided to work a more flexible schedule. It’s been a roller coaster with a lot of changes. I’m still writing a lot but most of it is in response to my students and the traveling bug continues to bite me. I’m curious to know what the next year will bring.
I’ve always been the kind of person who got bored easily. This is particularly evidenced by the fact that I decided to pursue a graduate level education in three different fields. I’m always thinking about the next move, the next step, the next trip. I love variety mixed with consistency. This seems like a contradiction but it really isn’t. I love the idea of settling down and having a long career but it needs to be on my terms. I don’t know how long I could manage my time being allocated by someone else. It just seems like a form of cruel and unusual punishment. I’ve gotten the chance to meet a few people and I mean a few who truly live their lives on their own terms. These are people who are content about where they are in their lives. While they are striving to fulfill the rest of their goals, they have also cultivated the habit of enjoying the journey and not taking themselves too seriously. As someone who had a grand total of about 4 moments of contentment last year, I’m challenged to find value in the little things of life. Being easily bored just means that I have to get a lot more creative when I have to accomplish a long and monotonous task. In a similar way, I think it’s equally important to be constantly advancing in some way that helps you develop the right tools to be of help to others when they need it.