The Time We Have Not Yet Seen

I am currently confused about the path my life may take in the future. Currently, I am be groomed to begin a six week long teaching program for sixth graders. I’ll be teaching them earth science, and it will probably be a challenge, and quite a bit of work, with many long hours. But it may also be rewarding, fun, and or informative–hopefully, to both me and my students. I am a bit nervous about doing work again. I haven’t really done much in the way of that kind of activity since finals ended about a month ago, and so I can no longer sleep late each day and wake up to go the gym, my friends’ house, etc. However, that is not actually a problem. It is only a bit of whining.

Actually, what I’m most concerned about is what happens after that. There are no great risks, and I am not at a loss for time, I just am unsure about my current tentative plans, and that is stressful. At the moment, I plan to find work (unpaid, likely) at a neuroscience lab that seems like a schlep (40+ minutes) and which I’m also concerned I will not like. This is a silly concern, given that it is hard to not like things (with any evidence) before you try them, but I have an untrustworthy taste in my mouth that may or may not wind up resembling old socks. So, I suppose I take that as I will, and see where it goes. It is mostly useless to attempt to foretell the realization of my preferences before they can be clearly exercised. But if I did like, which would be great (because it is good to do things that one likes), I will be happy. And if I don’t like it, I guess, I will cross it off the list, and maybe or maybe not know what to do next. There are still things, as a sprightly young person, that I want to do. For instance, I still want to return to south america, and perhaps work on a farm for a while. I also would like to start a business, however small. I want to go surfing, and mountain biking, and do some writing. But I also (I guess?) need to find a career, a passion, a way to satisfy myself professionally and financially. I need to stake out a life for myself independent of my parents, especially our family home, build new relationships, and grow. I also wouldn’t mind spending some time on a boat.

So, on the one hand, I have some desires that don’t seem unquenchable. On the other, things are very vague and unsettled. I think a job in academia would be rewarding, not morally challenging, but intellectually so, and as one professor recently told me, you get to interact with young people, which I suppose is good. Regardless of that, it’s nice to talk and think and write, and all those seem satisfied my job as a professor in one form or the next. But in what discipline? Philosophy is great, and I’ve loved the time I’ve spent unearthing the foundations of my most precious assumptions about the world and life, and the arguments and the idealism and the searching for is indeed close to my heart. For some reason, I’ve also fetishized science over the past few years, as some holy vault of objective knowledge to which no other discipline with epistemological aspirations can hold its head up to. Of course, I know there are problems with objectivity, and I also know, that the scientific method is not alive in all disciplines. And I think I know that the work is tough, and often unrewarding, and slow, and mundane, and perhaps it is only the conclusions and arguments over methodology that I really treasure. Or perhaps I’m not asking the right questions, and I don’t know if I could stomach doing philosophy for the rest of my life, but also don’t know if I could do lab work for even a semester — many signs to my intolerance for tedious and monotonous laboratory manipulation, biological manipulation, irreverence for supposed kinds…I did not like my bio 2960 lab, I did not like my plants lab at Auckland, labwork has never seemed sexy or interesting, it only seems an inevitable obstacle to a career in science…what am I doing? My parents have already spent hours of their lives finding out just what kind of abbreviations I could earn next to my name a scientists, how many years of school it might require, and happiness at the possibility of my finding a passion. Of course, this is no way to make a decision. And I cannot give up now before I try it. And I must finally settle this deeply personal question that may seem so obvious to so many others. And I must prepare to alleviate a heavy doubt I have for my future aspirations, and perhaps satisfy myself with small projects and small goals, and hope that that way my life will be defined meaningfully, and satisfyingly, and perhaps my guessing is not worth the words on this page. But it is so hard to know.

And that’s kind of what I’ve hand in mind for the past few weeks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: