I’m shifting away from personal, ethical responsibility in my day-to-day actions. I used to self-flagellate for eating meat; for flying; for buying new things; for making any choice other than the lowest-impact option. I’m letting go of this weight and anxiety on my life. Instead, I give more money to causes I care about. If you want to donate and don’t know where to start, please reach out. I’m trying to find the balance between living the life I want to live and supporting the future I want in the world.
Thanks for sending me photos. Here’s an early draft of my wall in Chicago (it’s about five feet wide):
The Ph.D is an isolating path — and I feel so lucky for the people in my life.
Recently, I had a big miscommunication with a close friend and took a step back from the friendship. It was the hardest thing in my life since my depression last summer. I’m glad I could set a boundary. I’m also so grateful for the friends I called and texted at odd hours. You are still there, even when I’m a vulnerable mess. I’ve grown a lot from the experience, and I’m channeling the extra energy on myself.
I’m learning how to ice skate. There’s a rink right next to campus. Ice skating is such a wholesome activity: couples holding hands, kids zooming by, old folks on their winter “walk”, snowball fights with the Zamboni’d snow. I’m getting more confident every time I go, and I’ll keep going once the bruises on my ankles heal.
It’s too cold in Chicago to take winter quarter classes. So I’m traveling often to meet friends, family, and other researchers. I feel like it’s the academic’s version of “being on tour”. (Yes, I read the biography on Paul Erdős and I loved it.) Where am I these days? Find out here.
I have high hopes for the year. I feel settled in graduate school, enough to focus on other parts of my life. I wonder less “what kind of person do I want to be?” and more “what kind of person am I?”. How can I live a life I’m most proud of, within a system where I have so little control? As my friend likes to say: “That’s the thing about being alive… there’s no way back!”
What’s on your mind?
Some things I’ve liked recently: