So I think I'm going to drop the class. It just feels like the right thing to do, like a relief from a burden I didn't know I was carrying. I pushed through last semester, just to see how it would go, but there's virtually no reason for me to be in it anymore, career- or education-wise. And since I don't have the internal drive to learn it the way I did with some of the languages I studied in the past, I don't see why I should bother to stick with it. Dropping it is something of a sign that I need to do some reexamining as to where I'm going when I finish this program, but if that's the case, then so be it. I was already becoming aware that I'm less and less interested in a government position with every passing day. What I am interested in, I can't quite say, at least not yet. Some of the options that have crossed my mind recently are Ph.Ds in various fields (English lit, Sociolinguistics, Creative Writing...), but a Ph.D would essentially require that I spend the rest of my life in academia, and I want to wait and see how the TAship goes next year - whether I enjoy teaching or not - before I make that call. PA school has also crossed my mind - a way to do medicine without going through a thousand years of school - but that decision too will have to wait, until the end of the EMT course. Other, goofier options, like an administrative position at a summer camp, are floating around up there too, but those are just misty, half-formed thoughts at this point.
We'll see. That's really all I can say at this point.
In the meantime? I want to focus on Phonology, Historical Linguistics, and Language Acquisition. I want to read my 1300-page EMT book and get a feel for that field. I want to swim with the club team three nights a week. I want to start the process for becoming a linguistics TA next year, and study until I feel like I have a confident grasp on the field again. I want to run three days a week. I want to start lifting weights again. I want to play loud music, eat junk food, spend weekends at the beach with Liz, go out dancing, watch movies, have a little fun. And I want to casually explore new areas, new courses, new schools, new ideas - without feeling pressured to pick one and have a new Life Road Map as quickly as possible.
I mean, really - I'm 22. I'm not supposed to have every detail of my life planned out through retirement, am I? Liz and I have had multiple conversations about how graduate school is supposed to be like this, supposed to kick our asses, supposed to make us reevaluate ourselves and what we want out of life - so I actually don't feel too panicked, although that usually is my initial response to life throwing curve balls at me that deviate from my 'best-laid plans'. I will find what I'm supposed to be doing. Someone with my smarts, my varied interest areas, and my passion for life isn't going to just 'settle' for something I'm less than ecstatic about. I have to believe that there is something out there that will hook me, that I'll love doing, that will get me excited to wake up every morning and go out into the world. I will find it. It just may take a little longer than I'd hoped.
((Oh yeah, the half marathon. It was awesome - Monique and I both RAN the ENTIRE race, no walking, and all I had afterwards was a little muscle tightness and general fatigue, none of this can't-walk-for-a-week crap that happened after the River Run. There were bands, photographers, and costumed characters lining the course, drivers and spectators shouting encouragement, and cool gimmicks like 'speaker tunnels' where one could pick a chute to run through depending on what kind of music s/he wanted to hear for those two minutes or so. I finished in 3 hours exactly. Very very very cool race, and yes, I'm quite proud of myself. Wonder how long it'll be before I get up the guts to try a full marathon? LOL.)