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Ice Cream and Undying Passion

Ask any of my friends or family members… I am obsessed with ice-cream… definitely to an unhealthy degree. lol.

The best: chocolate chip cookie- dough… but of course when life is going really badly and I need to feel better… Ben and Jerry’s Half-baked is always there for me and my sadness…and well if you have looked at my blog recently you probably can come to the conclusion that Ben and Jerry’s Half-baked and I have been BFFs. lol

Seriously… I think all occasions should call for ice-cream… whether really happy occasions or really sad…

But sometimes… ice cream and I have to go on ‘breaks’… Ice cream always knows that I love it… but sometimes all the saddness and the Ben and Jerry’s starts adding on the pounds… and well this passion of mine becomes unhealthy… right now ice cream and I are on a bit on a hiatus because of the cold… while ice cream may help my heart and fill my stomach it can take the bone chilling cold from outside and make it become an internal feeling… and we all know I hate the cold… sometimes I just get tired of ice-cream… although I LOVE it… sometimes you can have TOO MUCH of a good thing… I always return back to it though… I can never go that long from it…

So what this all boils down to though is that I am passionate about ice-cream. 🙂

Even though this passion is often unhealthy and it can often burn me out… I always find myself returning to it…

LOL… so why this long ode to ice cream? Well I believe that in order to be happy in life… one needs to be passionate about what they do… and as we all know… I’m questioning my current life path… am I passionate about it?

Academia (for me) is very unhealthy… in fact the field work for academia is what caused my OCD to become severe.. it also makes me a constant perfectionist that I don’t know how to not be that makes me constantly freaked out about work and have absolutely nothing of a social life… academia makes me feel lonely… because I don’t have many friends b/c I’m constantly trying to be a perfectionist about it… and also I don’t get enough sleep because I’m always trying to stay up to do work that I haven’t done because I just don’t have the passion or want to do it.

But maybe it is just because I am burnt out? After all I am passionate about ice cream… but I can have too much and I need to take a break… well… I’ve taken breaks… winter break… summer break… many weekends… and am I really ever craving for the semester to start again or to get to my work? Not really… I may be craving to not be bored any more… but that is kind of just like craving for food in general compared to ice-cream… I never crave to jump into research full steam ahead! or into the reading I need to do… in fact I always dread it…

but I am passionate about certain ASPECTS of my field… I love how the research that I do helps others… and that I am educating students so that they broaden their minds and see how beautiful the world really is.

so should I risk being unhappy in all other aspects of my academia just for this one portion??

You know what else I absolutely love? The Potato… I love potatoes… they are seriously the best food in the entire world… I am completely and utterly passionate about eating potatoes…

EXCEPT… I refuse to eat potato salad… I HATE potato salad… yes I love the potato… but I don’t like the mixture of it with mayonnaise, onion, pepper, egg, and celery… individually all of those are pretty good… but somehow mixed together and with potatoes… it really makes me want to vomit… therefore I am only passionate about one part of it… but all together I hate it and therefore I don’t eat it.

Can I apply this to academia? If I only like one aspect of it (and it isn’t even the main component of it like the potato is in potato salad) is it worth wanting to feel like I want to vomit all the time?

I think the answer should be no… at least that seems most logical to me…

Can’t I find other things in which that one aspect is a part of that I love more? I love various potato casseroles, MASHED POTATOES ARE AMAZING, baked potatoes are amazing, chips, and fries, soup with potato, potato pancakes, really potato in anything (EXCEPT wrapped in dough.. but that might just be because I culturally grew up eating perogies and have a mental block against them lol).

So therefore can’t I look for a different career path in which I can help people and empower them that doesn’t have to be in this field of academia?

But I’m good at making potato salad… but I still hate eating it… I’m good at academia… and I still hate being a part of it… making potato salad though for others and them enjoying it is really nice… but in this one case.. I think it is ok to be selfish… this is MY LIFE after all… if I can only cook one thing in the world for others to enjoy and for me to eat… why make potato salad just for others if I don’t want to eat it? How about finding something better that uses potatoes… and you know what?… I may not be good at making it for others at first… and they may dislike it… but I will eventually learn and get better at it… and enjoy the food I am finally making…

but can I really correlate food to career paths? But shouldn’t passion be passion? It should be all the same?

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Slow reader…

Ok… so I am being a terribly slow reader at reading Captivating… I just keep getting distracted… I seriously think I have ADD… seriously thought process in my brain:

“This book Captivating is so great. I can’t wait to learn from it all and finish it!”
“I also can’t wait to finish that pizza in the fridge”
“Speaking of pizza, I can’t forget to check on my meals on chefville”
“Oh, they have a new game now called Coasterville I wonder whats that about”
“Hmmm, I wonder how Marlene’s job at disney is going these days”
“I miss that girl… oh that day I set our apartment on fire”
“Speaking of fire… what is that smell”
“Ack! The pizza is burning!!! Fire!!!”

Of course it is much funnier in my head… but oh well… what can one do about that…

But anyway… back to Captivating… I came across another part that really spoke to me… especially about my current life difficulties with figuring out what I should be doing with my life path….

Quick word of warning this is a long quote… but I think I need to include all of it so y’all can get more of the meaning…

“Why did God curse Eve with loneliness and heartache, an emptiness that nothing would be able to fill? Wasn’t her life going to be hard enough out there in the world, banished from the Garden that was her true home, her only home, never able to return? It seems, unkind. Cruel, even.

He did it to save her. For as we all know personally, something in Eve’s heart shifted at the Fall. Something sent its roots down deep into her soul- and ours- that mistrust of God’s heart, that resolution to find life on our own terms. So God has to thwart her. IN love, he has to block her attempts until, wounded and aching, she turns to him and him alone for her rescue.

‘Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;she will look for them but not find them.’ (Hos. 2:6-7)

Jesus has to thwart us too- thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling, our hiding, thwart the ways we are seeking to fill the ache within us. Otherwise, we would never fully turn to him for our rescue. Oh we might turn to him for our ‘salvation,’ for a ticket to heaven when we die. We might turn to him even in the form of Christian service, regular church attendance, a moral life. But inside, our hearts remain broken and captive and far from the One who can help us.

And so you will see the gentle, firm hand of God in a woman’s life hemming her in. He’ll make what once was a great job miserable, if it was her career that she found shelter. He’ll bring hardship into her marriage, even to the breaking point, if it was in marriage she sought her salvation. Wherever it is we have sought life apart from him, he disrupts our plans, our ‘way of life’ which is not life at all.

[the authors then proceed to tell a story of a woman named susan who had a horrible abusive child hood and when life became hard she went into a defensive posture… she needed to learn how to be vulnerable once again… the woman then writes:] ‘Every day I must choose to lay down my defensiveness and allow the healing balm of Jesus to attend to my wound and allow him to be my God, my Strength, and my Defender. He told me that I didn’t need to defend myself anymore, that was his job, he is my Defender and Advocate Would I let him be that for me? I said yes. There was a huge weight lifted off that I can’t fully explain'” (Eldredge and Eldredge 2005 89-90).

I have used my current career path as a way to find life ‘on my own terms.’ From late high school into the beginning of college… I had my heart set on being a missionary… actually I’ve wanted to a missionary since kindergarten… or at least pictures of a board in my kindergarten class room that had our names next to what we wanted to be when we grow up tells me so.

But I was also focused on making my family happy.. sadly not God… but my family… so I went the path they thought I would enjoy the most… the path that they basically told me to do… it was also the only way I could prove to my family that I was smart.. they only believed you were smart if you were in a math or science… so I had to get straight As to prove that a social science could be included in that… my main concern was and still is “I don’t want to fail my family or my life”… and I never think about “I don’t want to fail God”… but that is what I should be thinking… when I die, all i want to hear is God tell me “Well done, dear one”… but how can I if I don’t know if I am on the path I should be on?

I usually characterize the end of my second year of college (which I did in three years) as the time when my OCD really started acting up in my non child hood life… but in reality it was the summer between my first and second year… that was when the Pure obsessions began and I began obsessing over obsessing…

I don’t remember much except for the fact that I was taking two summer courses, I had to drive to get to my summer courses over a bridge (major OCD trigger), and I was having a quarter life crisis of what to do with my life.

I had started to realize that the field of social science that I was in was not for me… but I didn’t know what else to do with my life… all I knew was that I loved community service so the logical thing for me to look into would be Social work… I spent the summer refining my application to the social work school at my college and sent it in… I got in… but the week that classes began I started obsessing that I was destroying my life by not going full force into the social science that I had chosen… my advisor in the social work school was really getting annoyed with me b/c in the week of add/drop I probably added and dropped my courses three times before I finally just told her that I couldn’t do it.

What scared me was that I was ruining my life… then as my OCD slowly progressed… academia is what I began to hide within so that people wouldn’t notice that there was something wrong with me… I could hide my perfectionism within it because who didn’t want to get all As to get into the best grad programs? It steadily got worse as I began to give things up that I loved (such as being Director of Community Service for a program I was part of and spending time with friends) in order to feed into the perfectionism because I was terrified of failing… the only way I could defend myself from failing was to put ALL my time and effort into academia… I felt alone… I had to defend myself… I had to protect myself… and then as my OCD got even worse (hard to imagine lol) academia became my prison… the place I remained so that I could somehow have a small impact on the world but remain apart from everyone else… it was my way of defending everyone else from me (because I believed I was such a horrible person)…. it was my way of controlling the world and me.

But what this passage brought to light to me was… first of all… I am not my defender! My only defender is God… no matter where I try to find my salvation… whether it be in academia… or in a relationship that I thought would save me from myself… I cannot obtain it unless I go through God. I also cannot control anything (something I have a very hard time accepting lol).

I need to turn to God to save me… save me from this fear of failure… this fear of my obsessional thoughts… this fear of ruining my life and others… My life is really miserable a lot of the time… I keep turning to God and for a brief moment I am with Him and everything is ok… but the moment I get my fill I leave thinking I can live on my own without him… but I can’t… I need Him all the time… every moment…

I need to follow in God’s path.

But then I keep thinking… maybe I’m just getting cold feet about academia… maybe this is actually a trial… and I am supposed to remain in academia and it is just Satan trying to convince me that I shouldn’t be here… but I keep looking at all the evidence…

(1) The number one reason most people are in the field that I am in is because of the fieldwork… everyone loves it… I hate it… I absolutely hate it… there are some aspects about it I LOVE… but those aspects are the secondary aspects that surround the main field work…. the main reason for doing the work and the actually doing of the work we are supposed to be doing… I hate… it is PURE misery to me… and I have done field work MANY MANY times with the same results every time…

(2) I hate the in school portion… I constantly hate having to prove my worthiness to my professors just for a paper with an A on it..

(3) I hate academic conferences… I know most people love the drinking part the most (I don’t drink so… yea).. but people are usually pretty interested in the things being presented… i hate it… I hate sitting there having to listen to someone talk for 15 minutes… my thoughts are constantly “can this be over already?”

(4) I hate obsessing over doing work and never allowing myself to do anything else because I haven’t finished my work

…..

You would think that all of those are pretty big red flags… but I do love to teach the material, I do sometimes like research (it really depends on the topic… and then I only like doing the research portion… I hate the writing it up portion), I like that I get As…

but really… if that is all… why pour the one life I get into this??

My friend Jodie recently told me that after a long discussion with her mother that she is quitting her job. She dislikes it. She isn’t sure what she wants to do right now… she had her heart set on med school but didn’t get in the first round… but she knows that her job is making her into a person she really doesn’t like… so even though she makes great money… she is going to quit… and she is 5 years older than I am… part of me is afraid to quit because I fear it will put me behind… but if she can quit and be ok with it at 27… then I should be able to quit at 23 and be ok with it…

I wish I was as brave as Jodie… I hate what academia does to me… This is my 6th year in academia (3 years undergrad, 2 years MA, 1st year PhD)… out of all those years… my favorite is my first year of college (b/c well it was my first year away from home!) and then the first year of my MA program…

Thats what keeps getting me in trying to determine whether I should quit or not… I had a great first year in my MA program… yea I was a basket case the majority of the time… but I had an amazing group of friends… but just because I made the wrong decision in going into academia doesn’t mean that God abandoned me and wouldn’t provide me with a great group of friends… I keep trying to think of the material we learned… did I like it? honestly? yea I kind of did… I was still passionate then about what I do… but I was also new to my area of specialization and was getting to know the information…

urg… that one year is what is throwing me off…

I just don’t know…

I just wish I knew how to hear God’s voice better… people keep saying He will lead you in the path He wants you to go… but honestly… I have NO idea what that path is… I’m good at what I do… look at my transcripts and it will show you… I got a 4.0 in undergrad… 3.9 in my MA (two freaking A minuses!– and lets not forget I got diagnosed with severe OCD during my second year of my MA), and I got all As last semester… but am I good at it because I am controlling that aspect and forcing myself? If I was to let God control would I still be here? Or would I be elsewhere?

Urg.. I don’t know… I thought when writing this post I had a clarifying moment of “Academia sucks! I need a new life path!” but now… i’m just as confused as always…

Sigh… well at least that is one thing I don’t fail at… confusion… I bet I am the best out there at being confused… 😉

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Fight

I don’t know why I am fighting myself on this. I don’t know why I know deep down I am going to end up going to the PhD program. I don’t know why I so ARDENTLY want to not go to a PhD program and find a new path in life. I don’t know why I’m so scared.

All I DO KNOW is that I don’t want to lose myself again.

REASONS TO GO TO PHD PROGRAM

  • I’m academically prepared
  • I have funding
  • A friend from my current location will also be going to a PhD program in the same city.
  • I will get to study what I am more interested in
  • I have breaks during the school year
  • I’ll get a new start
  • There will be new things to do.
  • I’ll be done with my PhD soon

REASONS NOT TO GO TO PHD PROGRAM

  • I’ll get to break out of my academic prison
  • I won’t be stuck in a life and career of criticism, arguing, bickering, etc
  • I won’t be married to academia!
  • I won’t be stuck in a world of books, lectures, and undergrads
  • May find myself outside of PhD program
  • I will have new things to do.
  • If I do… my OCD would NEVER leave me alone
  • If I do… even though I will have breaks… they won’t really be breaks… I’ll either be in the field or freaking out about the work that I need to do

REASONS TO FIND A NEW LIFE PATH

  • I’ll get to find something that brings me joy
  • I can continue finding me
  • I’ll get to break out of my academic prison
  • I’ll have time to have a hobby even if I don’t like the job I get
  • I’ll have a new start… extremely new
  • New things to do
  • When I do have breaks I won’t be freaking out about how much work I have
  • I can teach at a community college if I miss my former academia
  • I’ll have time to do volunteer work

REASONS TO NOT FIND A NEW LIFE PATH

  • I’m scared
  • I’m not good at anything besides academia
  • Parents will be mad
  • If I decide to return to academia it will take longer and may not possibly receive funding again
  • I’ll probably live with my sister and we might kill each other
  • Might ruin my life
  • when I do have breaks from work they won’t be long breaks like they are in academia.

I don’t know about you guys. Let me know what you think. But it seems to me. That the answer is staring me right in the face.

**************************************************

Answer: I shouldn’t go into the PhD program

What will I really end up doing: I still have no idea

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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