It’s been a long time since I’ve written! There are a few reasons why…mainly I didn’t feel like I had a reason to blog. But I enjoy writing and I’ve missed it. Recently several people have encouraged me to write. Just for writing’s sake. So I’m going to try that. I really don’t have any overarching theme for this blog or any specific destination. This should be a fun experiment because I’m really not that type of a person!
Life has been good post-China. Matt and I enjoy living in Santa Barbara and our apartment is our favorite home yet. We have explored several parts of town and feel comfortable here. We live near the ocean again. That right there is enough to make it worth it.
I work for UC Santa Barbara and am always amazed at and interested in the research conducted on campus. I’ve participated in several programs/lectures/training sessions that have educated me on a number of topics, such as undocumented student issues, trans identity issues, sexual violence among students, and prisoner re-entry programs. I’ve toured our art museum, REEF tanks, and new dormitories. I’ve walked pretty much every inch of campus on my breaks. There is a wide variety of trees and plants that I photograph almost daily. I’ve advised prospective students and their parents, both on and off campus. I’ve learned a whole lot about the admissions process for the University of California system and Santa Barbara in particular.
So my now is good but I’m concerned about my future. Like really stressed. I suppose it’s common among folks my age. I, too, want to do all the things at once (Washington Post), worry about my retirement (USA Today), but am feeling exhausted (Forbes).
What to do? Get a PhD? Apply for a fellowship? Focus on my current career path? Stay in the U.S.? Move abroad? Stay here but vacation frequently? Start a family? Enjoy just the two of us and the life we have built/are building? Cultivate new hobbies that will hopefully bring with them some fulfillment?
I can imagine several different paths I wouldn’t mind my life taking but I really feel like I can’t do everything that I’m interested in in the amount of time I have left, assuming I die of old age. I’ve weighed pros and cons. I’ve sought the advice of a financial planner, a therapist, people in established careers, people whose careers have tanked, current co-workers (short timers and old timers!), people who’ve switched careers, websites, books, etc. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice but I’m still stuck.
So, you know, life is good. I’m grateful. I have nothing to complain about. But there is this nagging feeling that I’m missing something. That there is more for me to be involved in, more of myself to give.