The Journal


I just had a breakthrough. After spending the first three weeks of grad school feeling pretty certain that I was the most inept fraud ever to trip through the front doors of the ivory tower and erratically bursting into tears every time I thought about the mounds of reading I had to do and papers I had to grade, and telling myself to cheer up, it’s all in the way I look at it, I realized that IT IS all in the way I look at it.

Trust me when I say I thought I had made a huge mistake at first. I felt incredibly stuck and tied down…two feelings that make me want to sprint as fast as I can in the other direction. I was seriously examining all exit strategies I had available (which didn’t appear to be that many, as I’d signed a contract to teach), wondering if disappearing to some remote island off the coast of Bali was too extreme. What am I doing in an English graduate program that focuses on preparing you to teach? I don’t want to teach! I want to write! And I want to be a photographer and an actor!

While the particular grad program I’m in isn’t exactly my perfect cup of tea (earl grey with a splash of milk and sugar, thanks!), I just came to the conclusion that I could learn to like it. Or at least tolerate it for the next two years. I even just got slightly excited about the prospect of becoming educated in areas I’ve never explored or considered. I feel like this might just be great.

We’ll see how long it lasts.

Just keep paddling 🙂

Photo from our trip to Glacier National Park two weeks ago.




  1. Lynelle says:

    It is a liberating moment when you realize that even if this “sucks”, you are ultimately going to be “OK”.
    I read about a psychologist who came up with a way to cure people from panic attacks, she said to go out and seek the situation that caused you to panic. Go ahead and have your panic attack. Because really, a person can’t panic forever, eventually you stop panicking and realize that you are kinda tired and hungry and this is pretty silly because, there is no tiger about to eat you and you are just fine. So then people stop panicking, climb down all on their own and go and have a sandwich,(and maybe a cuppa tea to go with it). It is kind of an extreme example but it works for the little fears as well.

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