Friday, February 8, 2013

the blog

I have always wanted to have a blog, but lamented the fact that my life was SO boring that I would have nothing to talk about.  I'm a PhD student.  The only thing I ever have to talk about is my work.

I used to laugh about quarter-life crises because they sounded so ridiculous, I was sure they didn't exist.  How could a 25-year old have a life crisis?  A mid-life crisis, I get.  I can understand how that can happen.  But a quarter-life crisis?

Well, guess what?  I'm 25.  I'm in crisis.  Crises?  I'm crising?  However you would put it, the quarter-life crisis is real.  And the need for a blog has become more important than ever before.

Within the past month or so, this crisis has brought me to a point of contemplation over my life.  Just a little background to set the stage for the rest of this post...

I am working on a PhD in Sociology.  I love sociology, I really do.  And I think that EVERYONE should love sociology.  If they did, I truly believe the world would be a better place.  People would have more perspective, more understanding.  My minor is demography.  Go here to get an awesome, applied example of what demography is.  Demography is a word that everyone should know and understand.

I have come to realize, however, that I am staring down into the world of publish or perish.  If I go through with this career choice, I will be a slave to writing and pleasing reviewers.  I can't believe I am saying this, but graduate school has made me hate writing.  It's sickening to think about because writing is how I endured my childhood traumas, how I medicated myself... I survived on writing.

In my opinion, nothing takes the joy out of writing more than graduate school.  I know plenty who would beg to differ, and that's okay, but for me... grad school took the fun out of it.

I was in the middle of a breakdown and my wonderful friend Amy was talking me through it.  She helped me realize that if I were to continue to pursue this publish or perish lifestyle and make that my career, I would be unhappy for the rest of my life.

After this realization, I wept at the fact that my life was over, that I would be homeless and live on the streets in a cardboard box.  Amy reminded me that I had a Master's degree and that it was WORTH something.

Quick tangent.  The person responsible for the best parts of me, Angie (best of friends since freshman year of college at the beloved Miami University), and I used to discuss that because we were in the thick of graduate school and had not used our Bachelor's for anything, it felt as if our degrees were non-existent.  We would forget that we were college educated and that only about a quarter of the U.S. population had Bachelor's degrees.

Fast forward a few years.  Here I am with a Master's degree, which only approximately 7% of the U.S. population have obtained, and I am whining about my future.  Because I have been drowning in this doctoral world, I forgot that there are two degrees hanging on my wall.

A text to a friend, my dear, lovely, beautiful Kirsty at Momedy - "So... I am really toying with this idea of not getting my PhD... I realized that I would be unhappy writing in a publish or perish world for the rest of my life.  I am trying to find my destiny... I want a 9 to 5, another dog, free weekends, an eternal companion (LDS lingo for spouse, to give the coarsest of definitions)... That is what I want to accomplish before I am 30... I want to devote myself to church and building a family and developing hobbies, which at this point I have none.  I want to be a real person, not a grad school zombie.  I would rather shape academia than participate in it, honestly... I want substance.  I feel like my life has no substance.  I am only on this earth once, and I want it to count.  I want my time here to be happy and worthwhile... It just seems silly to dread my future career.  I should be excited about it... My priorities need to take a more central position in my life.  My dream is to build a family, a family that is a unit, one where people take care of each other and pray before leaving the house and have family and friends over and embody happiness... I know I can make my future and family everything that my past was not.  Work is secondary.  Family first.  Love first... I realized that I never really wanted a PhD.  My mom wanted me to.  It has been pounded in my head since I was a child.  I am starting to live for myself now... And some of the reason that I was motivated to get a PhD was revenge on my family.  Now I don't care.  All I care about is being happy with my beautiful liberal Mormon family."

Please pardon all the ellipses.  The above is a combination of multiple text messages.

Getting a PhD is not, by any means, a bad thing, nor is it an undesirable thing.  There is logic in my mother pushing me to get a PhD, but I am now realizing that it can greatly contribute to my unhappiness.  I am okay with being mediocre educationally (haha).  In all seriousness... I could be very happy with a job that I obtain with only my Master's.

So here I am... realizing what makes me happy.

Like I said, I have always wanted to have a blog, but lamented the fact that my life was SO boring that I would have nothing to talk about.  I was letting school take over my life and eat away at my happiness.  It's over.

So welcome to the blog!  This is a blog about love, happiness, joy, and finding myself, as well as my future.  The title of this blog is because the one thing I love the most in this whole wide world is my dog, Opie.  Opie is the definition of unconditional love.  For you dog people out there, you get me, but for those who are not, for all you cat people (just kidding, haha) and anti-animal people (maybe not so kidding)... you can't understand pure love on this earth without a dog.  Yes, this is my opinion, but when it comes to Opie, my opinion is fact (haha).

There is this place called Poco's that I take Opie to occasionally so he can romp around with other dogs... they have a dog-bone shaped sign that reads:


True that.

Anyway, each post in my blog will be about something I love.  And of course, my first post will be about Opie.

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