Friday, May 16, 2008

Finding a place

I can't think of a way to say this that won't be at least a little trite, but I need to say it, so I'll just get it out of the way: I haven't been blogging because I haven't liked who I am and I haven't been able to figure out where I belong or where I'm going, so I've been trying to find myself.

Should I have put quotation marks around "find myself"? Would that have been suitably ironic? Does it count that I just did, albeit a sentence too late?

Anyway, yes. I found myself, not long ago, subject to more and more violent mood swings - admittedly most of them from "normal" into "crushing depression" - and I realized I had to, essentially, change or die. Reducing the amount of time each day I spent listening to the news helped immensely; I already know how the Presidential election is going to turn out, for example, so stressing out constantly about the petty details and Hillary's latest offense against basic integrity and decency was just causing my blood pressure to spike with unhealthy frequency. One news program per day is quite sufficient. I still enjoy the local features of our NPR station and the in-depth programs, but I had to relax and let the world take its course.

Once I stopped raging, though, I started to realize that a large part of the reason I was getting so pissed off about the ways the world needs to change is because I'm quite unhappy with my place in it. I don't really know who I am. Rather than ranting about this as I ordinarily would, however, I'll just say that I've been avoiding updating here because I just haven't known what to say. I don't know what direction I want to take. This is true both in life and in this blogspace.

Diverting all my energy away from pointless rage has allowed me to channel it into introspection and creativity, and I have realized that in the last six or eight years I really haven't made much progress on the "What do I want to do?" question. I'm currently working a more or less dead-end job, which I took only in order to lead to more jobs that actually involve bench science and might help me get into grad school. Unfortunately, I don't really know what grad school program I want to go into, or how to best go about it. I do, at least, know that I want to get into grad school in some sort of PhD program, because even if I don't stay in professional science, I want to experience it. I want that background, because a couple of the things I know I might do are science education and science journalism.

I can't help, sometimes, but to picture myself as a high school teacher. We'll see if that's how it ends up. I know that would be a good place to make a real difference, but it does have its obvious drawbacks as well.

Anyway, that's the story. Once I've got things figured out a little better, have no doubt I'll talk about it to no end; meantime, I'll try to find interesting things to talk about that are compelling in their own right and don't focus on me.

I want to know if people know who George is in "A Talk with George." (Yes, you can listen to it for free.) No fair just Wikiing the song.

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