I'm not in Kansas anymore
It's the height of midterm season here on campus. And I've been having a bit of a meltdown. In my previous life, I was really good at figuring out how great things could be, and planning how to make it happen, and then making it happen. I got lots of money and praise for these skills. I thought they would transfer nicely to my new life. What I didn't realize was how much it cost me to do it. What ended up happening was that I seriously overestimated how much I could get done, and even how much I wanted to get done. My "planner brain" came up with a great roadmap to my shiny future, which involved among other things starting grad school next fall. Well, I'm here to report that it just ain't going to happen. First of all, my professors have assigned an insane amount of work. All of it, taken bit by bit, is really interesting. However, when I have to read dozens of scientific journal articles about topics I barely understand in the next few days before I can even begin to write the take-home exam for physiology, it ceases to be fun. And the point of my new life is to stop doing things that aren't fun. Tiny conflict here. Plus, I've made zero progress toward studying for the GRE, or researching grad schools, except to find out that most of them require completed applications by January 1. Uncle. I'm not going to grad school next fall. Finally, I don't have time for bat stuff!!!!! This is the suckiest part. I know that what I'm learning is important, but I was really hoping I could get started on some kind of research project. Nope. Not so far. Back to that planner brain of mine. Once it comes up with that glorious plan, some kind of irrational enthusiasm sets in and I get attached to that outcome. You know what happens next, of course. I fall short of the plan! I get resentful of the unrealistic goals. I begin to sabotage myself by getting sick, or not being able to concentrate. In physics, you might say that resistance, or impedance, increases. Everything gets hard. I turn into a stress puppy. And I'm not even getting paid for it. Is it possible to leverage my planning skills in a way that is healthy? What does that look like? Can I learn to recognize the symptoms of resistance in my body, and trace it back to whatever I'm resisting, before I get sick? Will I finish the semester with any respect for physiology? Stay tuned for the next chapter, same bat-time, same bat-channel.