|What do I do?
||[Aug. 20th, 2007|04:04 am]
A perfectly reasonable question I often get asked is "what do I do?". Professionally, that has finally stabilized, now that I have a project that I will be working on for the foreseeable future. But as for other aspects of my life, I don't really have a good answer to that question.|
I haven't been back to my hometown for about seven months, which if my memory serves me correctly, makes this the longest period I have been away. It's not that I don't want to be there, but "what would I do?" My last several visits there have left much to be desired. When I'm there it's usually during holiday seasons, and being a college town, that's exactly when people are away and not much happens there. Also, when I'm there I stay with my parents, and even if they tried their best they'd be inherently limited in their ability to keep me entertained, given our differing interests. Not that they do even that; it feels like half of my time there is taken up by doctor's appointments, shopping at chain stores, and various other tasks that I feel could be accomplished just as well if not better elsewhere. I'm sure many of my friends from my childhood are still there, but I sometimes wonder if I've grown so distant from them that it'd be too hard to catch up. It's sad, given I feel that among my family I'm the one who felt the most at home in the town and in the state. Maybe it's just the time and distance I've spent away from there that have distilled my thoughts of there, being reminded of it by what I'm missing here, whether I really had it there or not.
Not only have I not been in my hometown for a while; I have stayed within city limits continuously for the past four months. My quick explanation for that is that I've been busy doing research. But that is at best an excuse and at worst a lie. If I knew where I wanted to go, or if had someone to see, I surely would have sought the time and means to do so. I've been in this part of the country for two years now, not far from many of my college friends, but only once have I gone out of town to visit anyone, and not once have I had someone visit me. As I have more flexibility in my time than I used to, I should start taking the initiative rather than just waiting for someone to show up or invite me. The means of doing so, on the other hand, is a less trivial issue. My movements have pretty much been confined to places I can reach on foot. Bus routes get me places a little faster but don't cover much extra ground, and don't run at all during weekend daytimes. Without a vehicle, places otherwise considered nearby seem hard to get to, leaving me unable to take myself there, much less taking anyone else.
So what do I do here? My old excuse was that I was busy; quite justified, given how much I struggled with classes and exams. But that doesn't apply, nor was that the whole story when it did. One of my deep disappointments about my life here is how poorly I connected with many of my classmates in my department. Rather than being a group I could lean on for support, they became an additional source of frustration. I keep them at a distance now, but this leaves a void where there would otherwise be an obvious group of people I would be spending my time with. At times, I'd feel there are few people, if anyone, I could turn to for attention. Lately I have been gravitating more toward those in the same part of campus as I am. Do I share their interests? Would they want me to be a bigger part of their lives? There is potential with them, but it remains largely untapped. I've missed perhaps a year's worth of shared experiences; I hope it's not too late to catch up.
So what do I do? I've just written an entire entry about what I'm not doing, but I still haven't answered the question. Perhaps you can help me answer it.