Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Alright, the silence here is deafening. I've been swamped, (mostly work, some play) but this is too much!

Just FYI, I've been feeling an undercurrent of freak-out-itude these days. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to make some decisions about where I want to go with this whole science and science journalism thing. You know, career life in general.

I really, really enjoyed work this summer, and I know I want to involve writing in my future career path. But it's time to break it down into specifics. It's traditional to do a postdoc after getting a biomed. research Ph.D. Do I want to do that? Is it necessary? Would I gain any good experiences from it? Also, "writing" is pretty damn broad. Do I want to pursue work for a biotech company? Perhaps for a research journal? Or a mass media outlet? I feel a big pull towards mass media. But it's hardly a field I have any training in, really. I also think it would also be really cool to teach, specifically at a small liberal-arts type of university... and this leads me to thoughts of combining things. Could I teach and freelance?

I've also been thinking about where I want to be, location-wise. Finding that balance between living somewhere I enjoy, and somewhere that's work-compatible, while taking into consideration how close I want to be to people who are important to me.

All I know right now is that I want to finish grad school. Sooner is preferable to later, so I need to focus on my research now, yet still keep these other aforementioned ideas in mind so I seek some experience in these "non-traditional" career paths.

The existential crisis at hand, which is really not a crisis at all but just classic Nicole Overthinking Shit, was mostly precipitated by the flurry of questions which I've been getting about my summer. Especially being interviewed by a in-house reporter here at the medical center (very weird being on the other side of the questions) about what led me to doing that fellowship, discussing what I want to do now, etcetera.

And when I further try to figure out what brought on these changes, this rethinking of things, I summarize it in two words: New York. Yes, in ten weeks flat. It's not just the city, but the people I spent time with, the work I did... yet I still feel like New York sums it up. I know. It's so horribly cliche. It pains me with its cliche! I mean, I'm *from* (the) New York (City metropolitan area) -- I obviously didn't think it was so great when I used to live in (the) New York (City metropolitan area) -- so, why was I so impressed?!

And *then* that REM single, "Leaving New York," comes out, all....

"You might have succeeded in changing me
I might have been turned around...
Leaving New York never easy..."

Oh good GOD. It's not even that great a song! But nevertheless I become all sappy, remembering... love... for a city and its vibe and energy and culture, structure, architecture, and writing and a boy and the wonder of meeting and connecting with new people and old friends and still with so many more people I wanted to see, things I wanted to do...

Well, yeah, you get the idea.
I just had to get that out in the open. Sorry. but I feel better having that all out there.

Now! Back to our regularly scheduled programming, which is... oh, right. There is no regularly scheduled programming.


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