Sunday, July 27, 2014


...for all the melancholy posts lately. I've had many difficult experiences this summer, and had to make a lot of tough decisions. And, as I mentioned, the president of the university unfairly asked my therapist to step down. So, yay, fun times all around!

I stumbled upon yet another frustrating reality this evening when looking at my calendar. In marking down the dates that my boss gave me for his travels next month, I found that the only three days that he will be available, I had planned on being in San Diego. The two steps left towards my graduation are editing my thesis, and publicly defending my thesis. The latter is the more difficult, as I have already defended my thesis to my committee; in my program the public defense is more of a formality, an event to commemorative the hard work of the student. Friends and family attend and the department hosts a party complete with champagne afterward. But the entire committee must be in attendance.

I have plans to go to San Diego because my boyfriend has a conference there for work and we thought it would be a great opportunity to travel. We had a three day vacation in April, which was wonderful. We were both very much looking forward to the trip.

Now I have to decide if I should keep my plans and resign to not officially finishing things up until September, or if I should cancel my plans and immediately begin making calls to try and get my money back for the hotels, plane, car, etc. Then again, I haven't even cleared the date with my other committee members, so the point might be mute... and what if I go through all this trouble, cancel my plans, and one of them has a sudden change of plans? After the last six years it seems like I should just do it and get it done with... "Graduating seems more important than a vacation," said my boyfriend.

But I feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. I'm choosing jobs to apply for, and have decided not to apply for many that I would have two or three years ago. Before, I thought that I should take the absolute best job I could, no matter where it was. I don't think that's a recipe for happiness, though. The reasoning that I should sacrifice my present happiness for a better job in the future also seems weak to me; I just spent six years largely sacrificing my present happiness, in terms of time, salary, and environment. I'm seeing that there will always be a reason to put aside present happiness to ensure a "better" future. I'm pretty tired of that, though. My friends are settling down, buying houses and having children. I don't want any of that yet, but in comparison, is it so much to ask that I be on the same coast as my boyfriend, friends, and family? Is it so illogical to make such important professional decisions based on emotions? How else can we expect to be happy, unless we incorporate happiness into our decision making process?

I think I've made my decision. Not officially finishing shouldn't (I hope) really hold me back. I know others who have been hired before publicly defending, so again, that shouldn't be an issue. And I've day dreamed about my defense; after six years, shouldn't it be a happy occasion, not one where I'm conscious of having given up a week in California and unable to have one of my biggest supporters, my boyfriend, present? The logical, "responsible" decision might be to cancel my vacation. But if I don't choose everyday happiness for myself, who else is going to?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The reason why children have their own rooms

Children have their own rooms separate from their parents. If you've ever thought about this, you might have assumed this is because they need their own space when they are big enough or old ebough. Or maybe because it's one of the first steps in learning independence from mom and dad, or even because moms and dads want time to make more little children!
The truth is, adults and their offspring have separate rooms if at all possible because they drive each other crazy. Going to sleep at night in your own private space is a cease fire agreement. All disagreements and differences of opinion will have to wait until tomorrow. Temper tantrums and snoring are removed from the immediate area, preventing further agitation and fixation on stormy exchanges.
Physical space is a luxury, and one I cherish. The opportunity to create an environment of my own choosing is precious. I'm aware that I pay hundreds more I'm rent than I would with a roommate but for this indulgence, I pay it. I love having silence. I love dim lighting and cushy places to recline and snuggle. I love warm blankets and having well worn books all around. Happiness comes from within, but creating a physical space which reflects that calms my mind so that it can drift back to the pleasant peaceful places it seeks.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Going on a family vacation when you're in your mid to late twenties sounds like a great idea. You've been out of the house long enough to feel like an adult, and yet don't make enough money to pay for your own grown up vacation. You think that the family adventures will be fun and nostalgic; you can build new memories and start to appreciate your parents as individuals.
In reality, you will struggle to hold back the urge to strangle your father every time he goes the wrong way but still insists that he is the only one who can drive, your mother after the five millionth time she mishears you at a normal audible level and then asks why you are yelling when you raise your voice, and your sibling when they absolutely refuse to acknowledge that the chances are extremely slim that in the small portion of your time that you spend enjoying the views while hiking rather than from inside of the car (roughly 5%), you will be attacked and mauled by bears.

Of course, I can't say that it's all bad, because tonight my father actually let me take the check for dessert, which is probably the first time in my entire life that he has let me pay for anything. He never even let me pay for things when I was a kid; none of this teaching the value of money stuff. He'd let me save up, and then buy whatever item it was I wanted with his own cash. I guess this is generous, but might contribute to the fact that I am somewhat poor at spreading out my purchases; generally whenever I shop it spurs more shopping, not less.

Anyway, it's still been a great time, beautiful weather, wonderful views and pungent musk oxen. But if I don't post again for a while, it's probably because the bears got me.