Thoughts are rolling around my head: SIP; moving from Ohio; being home; moving back to Michigan; family; past relationships; more recent relationships (friendships are relationships); other people; present people; not so present people; generalities; what am I doing after college; why should I care what I’m doing after college; I should care; I need to look at the GRE; I need to write my SIP; but I want to read about other things; why all these fucking standardized tests; I really like running; I don’t always like running; I want to throw away everything I own; let it go; can’t give it up; guilt; not so much guilt; sometimes regrets turn into forgets; money; health and all that goes into it; blah; blah; blah; I’m another boring human being.
Alright, I’ve puzzled piece packed my car with a bike (no bike rack), a bunch of cooking supplies, all of my clothes, and a bunch of other random shit that I don’t know why I’m still carrying around, and soon a bunch of kittens are going to join me in the front and we’ll be off to the east coast. Though actually I’m lying because I still need to throw all that random shit in. So unceremonious after all of my arranging everything else.
Last night in Wooster. My emotions are a bit all over the place, in light of a plethora of posts from Bridgett (love and excitement), saying goodbye to friends here (sadness and wondering), and my neighbor is burning his toast (yuck). The house smells like burnt toast and that’s not fun on a last night. I’m sleepy, a little bit teary eyed, and probably not ready for the next couple weeks. But life’s moving forward as it does and I’m going with it.
Oh right, there’s those emotions that come along with the leaving, the packing, the moving, the goodbyes, the reuniting, and the realizations that my SIP needs to be written and probably written well, that the GRE might need to be thought about, that my fall schedule might drive me mentally insane, that my stuff needs to all fit in a medium sized car so that I can drive myself home only to drive myself back and beyond to Michigan in two weeks.
A few (more) things I've learned this summer: working, relationships, and personal sanity eddition
Go to social work events. Go to 5Ks or out to lunch or anything. Even if you’re an occasional recluse who would rather be knitting and watching Breaking Bad on Netflix or sleeping (referencing myself), go to those work related social events (even if you get lost getting there). You might end up getting tipsy off of your PI’s home brew and hearing stories about how a bunch of scientists got to where they are. And it may make working in the lab that much better.
If you’re living in a place by yourself, make sure you text the number you were given of someone who can show you around. Go to that party even it’s a bunch of people you don’t know. And try to have a good time doing it. You might make friends who will make your summer so much better than it would’ve been if you had just been a recluse watching Netflix.
Go ahead and get that drunk a couple times. Have some fun, make some memories. With those friends you made.
I’m the type of person who lacks a certain amount of passion and a certain amount of enthusiasm. I joke that I never got excited as the other kids growing up, and it is true. So I’ve learned that even if you don’t have that enthusiasm, fake it. Or explain it. The people you work for want to see that you care about what you’re doing.
Procrastination by reading the NYTimes and NPR probably looks better to those walking in and out of the grad student office than Facebook and Tumblr. Unless of course you work in social media. But I don’t.
Don’t procrastinate as much at work. Your PI will walk in every time you pull up Facebook, even if it was only for two seconds.
If a guy keeps asking you out to dinner, wants to hang out too much and you really have no interest (because he’s am awkward hard core Republican and makes you angry every time he talks) realize right away what he’s doing and run away quickly. Run away!
If you’re talking to a hard core Republican and you’re starting to get really proud of being Liberal and you really give a damn about being a woman and having certain rights and you’re tired of hearing about rich white men from rich white people schools who do rich white men things, learn to argue and express how you feel. It’s fun. And it’ll help with the “I’m not interested” thing.
Don’t let hard core Republicans annoy you too much.
Have fun conversations at work with your hippy PI. Let people get to know you. Creating relationships with people in and out of work is something I’ve found to be really important this summer. I’ve struggled with that at school. At least in the professional setting. I don’t suck up to professors because I’m a) too shy sometimes and b) have trouble realizing what I’m struggling with to go and ask them for help.
Make time for those people you really care about back home or at school too. Send the occasional care package, make those phone calls that you’ve been putting off, sort things out with people if you need to. When I needed support at the beginning of the summer, it was there for me, and I’m always ready to give it right back. We all live in this crazy, chaotic world and having someone who will listen to you cry about how the water comes out of the faucet brown or how you don’t understand a single thing about genetics really helps.
Take care of yourself. Eat right (to an extent) or at least make sure you’re eating enough and not forgetting because you live by yourself and sometimes eating alone is tiring. Maybe join a gym, maybe start running, or just let yourself go on walks without your phone, without your music, and just your thoughts, or really just do whatever makes you feel happy. Let yourself not go running, let yourself not do work sometimes, and let yourself stay in and be antisocial. Give yourself what you need.
A few things I've learned this summer: living alone edition
If you’re out of ideas for what to do with food that’s about to go bad, and you have an idea that might be a recipe if someone out there was creative enough to actually make it, Google search it. Squishy bananas and too much zucchini? Banana zucchini muffins! Eggplants and lemons? Risotto! Oatmeal, flax seeds, and peanut butter you’re sick of? Peanut butter balls! Creativity is yummy. Otherwise, throw a bunch of things in a pot and hope it works.
Living alone is absolutely wonderful most of the time. Have a feeling it might be nice to walk around almost naked when its 98 degrees in your apartment? Guess what, you can! Want to cook for three hours and make an enormous mess? No big deal.
Living alone can also suck. Motivation to do dishes is out the door, sometimes loneliness kicks in, too much Netflix might be watched, and there are some nights when all you want to do is be by the ones you love but they too are scattered across the globe.
It’s fun to get accidentally drunk by yourself every once and a while.
Money disappears faster than you think it will. Food, gas, nights out, traveling, toll booths, stupid necessities like toilet paper and frying pans and silverware…all add up.
If your roommate takes the coffee pot mysteriously, you learn to use that Italian espresso peculator you brought from home and you learn to like really strong, occasionally shitty coffee. Its a learning process. Improvisation is key.
I’m not very good at using the library.
Not unpacking everything, because you know that you’re just going to have to move your life around again in 10 weeks is ok. It might even make leaving easier.
“I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of “Fuck the Police”? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!”—
So SIP writing is fairly fucking difficult. I’m writing like one damn sentence per half hour. I’ve got all these acronyms floating around in my head: Cbf, Vrn-H1, vrn-H1, Fr-1, LT, PP, COR…there’s many more. I don’t even know what barley tastes like. Besides if it’s been in beer. After all of this I want to take up beer brewing with some malted barley and drink the damn stuff.
Today was a long day in the lab during which I actually didn’t touch much, because well, I’m not allowed yet to play with the radioisotopes and create a probe and blah blah science talk Bonnie shut up. Anyways, there was much waiting around so my PI and I got to talking. At random moments throughout our conversations he would throw out little comments about me that took me by surprise. One being that he doesn’t think I seem to carry much emotional baggage. So either I’ve gotten good at hiding my issues, or I’m doing a whole lot better than I used to. Another thing he threw out there was that I seemed self-aware. This was after I told him I knew I was hopeless at jazz and improvising, but I could play classical, and so that’s all I do. The ironic thing here is that he told me I seem self-aware on a day when I’m actually going insane with worry because well, I don’t have data yet, and it may not work, and I have about a week, and I don’t have a manuscript, and I feel fucked.
Another thing he said is that I just don’t know what I’m doing. In terms of a career direction Which of course is true. At this point in time, I’m lacking a passion for something. And I don’t know what that something is. I thought this summer would help me find it, but so far, no luck really. Genetics is cool. Especially when I’m drunk and surrounding by people really passionate about genetics. But get me sober again, and I’m back to being confused and directionless.
I’m going to stop rambling, because really this is a boring post about how I’m surprised that I don’t come off as more of a lunatic emotional basket case.
The 9th premiered on a bright day in May, the sun bouncing off the grey decadence that was Vienna in the summertime. The streets and their people busied themselves as I walked to the Kärntnertortheater around midmorning, greeting…
Honestly, I was moved to tears at the end of this! And I’m not even wine drunk. Fran Hoepfner's got some skills.
I’m so back and forth. Today is one of those nights where I just want to get on the highway and head either east or west. West is Kalamazoo. East is home to New England. Either would be nice. Ohio has grown on me, or maybe not Ohio, but certain places and people here have grown on me. The people in the lab and their passion for working on agricultural genetics while not corrupting their moral beliefs. But still, I could leave in an instant tonight. The coolness in the air makes me restless for movement.
My roommate is listening to the Jesus channel on TV. Or something equally crazy with a guy talking about maggots eating him and sharks going crazy. Time for me to leave the house. Oh my god, she found another one. Leaving.