Graduate School is Crazy.

So, I woke up this morning with the clear, unalienable insight that my decision back in 2010 to go to graduate school was completely insane. I mean it, off the rockers nuts. No one with a smidgen of sanity and mental/emotional wherewithall would have attempted it. Heck, going through with it was even more so, born of the stubbornness that led my ancestors to fuck off from parts familiar to lands they knew not of -- better the devil you haven't met yet than the one at your heels.

So, yes. Crazy. Utterly bonkers. Still is. There is nothing sane about what I'm doing -- nothing. I'm doing it because it makes me happy and it's what I really want to do, but even within that, practicality would be far better served by me doing what my mom suggested and becoming a med tech somewhere. I am the most impractical of things, a scholar and teacher in an age that values neither; I am the misfit in Christmas Town.

That said... I think there's a risk in making sanity and practicality the primary virtues in life. There is a danger of consigning all our actions to the scale of the mundane. And I am a hypocrite when I say this, because I don't really want my children to do dangerous things for the sake of dreams... or rather, I do, so long as they have back-up plans and parachutes and contingencies, which I like to think is my job as a mom but might simply be me panicking my mom panic.

The real truth, for all that I am crazy to be doing what I am doing, at my age and my point in a career, is that all the best things in my life have come from the insanity I am perpetuating out of sheer stubbornness. My relationship with my husband, my sense of self-worth, the work I'm doing that I believe in, the stability in my life as contrasted with my previous existence... it all comes down to that crazy thing. This is not to say there's no downside (most of which is filed under the crazy heading), and I feel those downsides keenly enough. It's just that the awesomeness succeeds in counterbalancing it. If I weren't happy, I would quit. Knowing that makes all the difference.

So... yeah. Crazy. But crazy can be a good thing. Crazy can be what lets you climb mountains instead of follow trails. Crazy can be what makes great out of good. Crazy is also what makes things blow up in your face, so plan your crazy carefully and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand. But someday crazy is worth the risk. Choose wisely -- or don't, but keep your insane, crazy wits close about you in any case.

Popular Posts