If you can’t think of the last time you weren’t having an identity crisis, does that mean you have no identity or that crisis is your identity?

October 9, 2007

I’m on another career-related emotional roller coaster, the newest, twistiest addition to the overanalysis theme park that pretty much is this blog. So, if you are less than four emotional feet tall or you are sick of my self-centered blathering, don’t jump over this break… 😉

It happened rather suddenly. After months of feeling fairly resigned to not liking any of my options after graduation next summer, I started feeling hopeful again. Not just hopeful, downright inspired. I stopped thinking about myself as being rooted in place by the prospect of D needing to complete his accounting thingy so he can get an overworked job at the public accounting firm where his dad works. I stopped thinking about myself as being forever bound to fear of having no money. I started thinking about myself actually liking one or two things about the field I committed myself to pursuing two years ago, library & information science. I started writing more of everything.

Last week all this hopefulness kicked into high gear when my current library prof brought a medical librarianship fellowship program to my attention. If you know me, you know I am easily swayed by such things as positive attention and any synonym of the word “award.” Plus, my work so far in that class has really got me thinking that as a field, medical librarianship might be a way of combining my current training with one of my wilder flights of identity crisising, the idea of dropping everything and working towards medical school. Also, it’s an in-demand field, and one that realistically offers time to write on the side. (Oh my! It’s the perfect job! Where have we heard that before?) So I totally started grooving on the idea of applying to this thing, and maybe I will, and who knows. Stranger things. I wouldn’t be a shoo-in by any means, but stranger things.

I can imagine myself just going with this if it were to work out, although I am suspicious of that feeling too, seeing as that’s the same kind of feeling that got me here.

But then again, here is not bad at all. Here is also a creative writing program with some good faculty members and some great ones, a program that I am doing pretty well in. I’ve got a little tiny scholarly publication on the way. I’ve got more encouragement than I know what to do with… and that brings me to the first dip in the roller coaster: when people in the English department ask me what I’m doing next year, and I say I don’t know, why do I feel so sad? Is it because all of the most likely scenarios have me taking my final English class ever next spring? Is it because I’d like to be saying, to hell with it, I’m applying for a PhD, I’m sending my stuff out like crazy, I’m taking my writing as seriously as a med student takes boards? I honestly don’t know.

I’m usually pretty happy with whatever I’m doing until I start thinking sentences that have the word “should” in them. Even though I know life doesn’t generally operate on should terms, I persist in thinking that there is a righter and rightest choice to make here, not just a necessary and expedient one.

Overall, this semester is going so well. I think I’ve finally hit on the right balance of work, study, and relaxation–which seems to be lots of the first,  more of the second, and a very judicioius amount of the last one. But I’m a Libra so we’ll see how long that lasts, eh? So I really don’t want to get bogged down with future planning when it’s still so far in the, you know, future. But. But. It seems like there’s so much I could do, I just want to make sure I end up doing something.

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