Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October Crisis

What the hell am I going to do?

I just watched the movie-version of RENT, a musical I loved and sang throughout my teenage days. I wanted to preface teenage days with 'happy' but perhaps that's inaccurate. In any case, the days of me singing and dancing to RENT, and waiting outside the Royal Alex for cheap tickets, and all the rest, were happy.

And today I'm sad.

I hate grad school. There's nothing good about it. I don't feel passionate about any of the stuff I'm doing and I have no idea where it's leading me. Sitting in that stats exam today really knocked me out. I got into the program because of my so-called stats ability and I couldn't hack it.

But the problem isn't the program exactly - it's only a year and the year will pass by quickly - it's my life. I have no idea what my life will become. The safety net of school is finished because school is no longer safe. I want to live a life where my time is my own. I want a job that I can love or at least feel good about doing, and that I can leave behind me in the evenings and on weekends so I can appreciate the people and city and life around me.

An academic career (and many other careers, I know) consumes your time and your mind and your soul. Or at least mine. And at least for now. I can't imagine doing a six year Phd so I can spend my lifetime doing this kind of work

Okay, so if I come to that decision then what else can I do? Where can I go? I want to live where I'm living with the friends that I have and be the person that I am but I need to do something that doesn't drain everything out of me. What is that?

For the past few years I've been on kind of a quest to find what I'm passionate about. In my early undergraduate days I expected passion to hit me. Then later on I realized I must seek it out, and I revisited things that from my past had made me overwhelmingly happy, then I went to Israel and Korea in an attempt to find something in myself or the world that would drive me.

All these things have been good for me but I still feel as lost as ever. Can anyone send me passion in the mail?


At October 25, 2006 12:25 a.m. , Blogger Kiran said...

it's the time of year jessica...
it gets everyone. for me it's worse around christmas. stress, stupid school, dumb cold weather, walking in slush and being cold and wet, and having no money and everything sucks.

just keep going on. things will always work themselves out i guess. right now, i'm not doing anything even close to what i thought i would be doing right now. hell, i thought i would be planning a halloween party for korean five year olds right now, but alas, twas not to be. instead, i've just finished a midterm, i'm sitting at home by myself and i can't even have a stiff drink.

at least you can have a stiff drink! hell i'd love a stiff drink!

don't quit anything, don't leave anything, or run away, you just end up back where you started. just follow one road, until a new one reveals itself to you.

ps: i'm still waiting for my prize for winning that contest of the cities awhile ago... ;)

At October 25, 2006 8:07 a.m. , Blogger Shells Bells said...

I'm 30 and I still don't have a real grip on what I want! Don't quit school, at least you will have your masters and it will open doors for you should you choose to walk through them will be your choice. At least you will have the options. Hang it there and when the going gets tough..go to your closest Korean grocer and get some soju that numbs everything ;)

At October 25, 2006 12:19 p.m. , Blogger greyguitar said...

advice from a struggling grad student of one year: stick with it. it'll all make sense someday. not that it's making much sense way down south here, but it's starting to. and today i've had the 2nd worse TA'ing experience ever while teaching. i nearly lost my nerve and snapped a few times. and i'm generally a nice guy.

and talk about not doing well on tests..i'm definitely in the same boat. it's a big deal too. you feel like you should know so much more than what the tests reflect. but remember, this is all your choice and if it's not the right choice, then it'll work itself out. and if it is, then it'll work itself out too. is it a strange catch-22? well, i don't know, i've never read that book.

maybe that's my problem.

anyways, cheer up! think of how cool you are being in grad school. especially after all you've done so far!

At October 25, 2006 6:13 p.m. , Blogger Kiran said...

it's a terrible book...honestly...

At October 25, 2006 6:37 p.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Hey gang,

You guys are cool.

Kiran, you're right, I do owe you a prize and it's been weighing on me for months. Then again you never sent me your address. Coming to Toronto? I'll buy you a nice, stiff drink.

And anyway, you're doing a really cool program that seems to capture a bunch of your interests so I envy you.

Shelldog, hey! Thanks for the encouragement. If you're 30, I got plenty of time!! ;)

Rob, so it never really makes sense? Again, you seem to really love what you're doing so I envy you too. If only sociology was as exciting as rocks...

And to all, quitting is not even an option so we don't have to worry about that. Getting kicked out is more of a possibility...

At October 26, 2006 11:34 a.m. , Blogger Kiran said...

i'm pretty sure i did send it to you in an email...oh well
can we go to the biergarten?

At October 26, 2006 11:36 a.m. , Blogger Kiran said...

hey, you know what's an inspiring song to listen to..download it now!

baz luhrman's "everybody's free to wear sunscreen"

it'll make you feel much better...

At October 26, 2006 3:23 p.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Yes! Biergarten is fine - I've never even been there myself.

Or you can send your address if you won't be here for a while. Up to you! I think the prize promised to blow your mind or something along those lines.

Thanks for the song recommendation. I'll look it up ASAP. In the meantime I've been listening to this great song called "The Shankill Butchers" but the Decemberists. Top notch.

At October 26, 2006 8:23 p.m. , Blogger Kiran said...

ok i added you on msn...
see you


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