Let people call you crazy for the choices that you make

I’m starting to lean towards big life decisions (probably because I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately, and I do my best thinking while I’m on the road). Mostly, I think I am going to drop out of grad school after this semester. Of course, I haven’t completely decided on this just yet, but I’m leaning toward it more and more lately. There are a lot of reasons for this and maybe now would be a good time for me to justify some of those to myself:

Mainly, I’m just really uncertain about the program I’m in right now. Hell, I can’t even decide between the two different concentrations of the program. At first, I wanted to teach…then I thought maybe professional writing would be better…now I’m not really thrilled about either. I’d just feel better about being in school if I was confident about my reasons for being there.

So why rush? I’m still young; I just turned 22. Maybe I should take a breath and be happy that I got my Bachelor’s degree. It’s not like I don’t have the rest of my life to go back to school if I decide it’s what I really want. Not to mention, I’m pretty happy and comfortable working as a freelancer…have been for a while, actually. There’s no reason as to why I couldn’t make a good living off of doing that, at least until I decide to get a big girl job.

Of course, I also can’t ignore the fact that being with Craig would be a hell of a lot easier if I weren’t in school AND working about forty hours a week. It would be nice to be doing one or the other…I realized, while working at the publishing company this summer, that I actually kinda like working full time. Getting a real paycheck. But trying to do that while also taking three classes and constantly driving all over the place to develop a relationship I’m very invested in is seeming to be a little more than I can take right now.

It’s stupid, though, that one of the biggest things I’m afraid of is telling people I’m dropping out. I imagine the conversation with my mom and dad…and that might not actually be so awful. But for some reason, the thought of telling people at school terrifies me. I would hate to break the news to Bill, who I am working for as part of my assistantship. I would hate for the people who wrote me recommendation letters to see that I’m dropping out. But at the same time, it’s my life…my decision.

I guess what I keep telling myself is that, regardless of what decision I ultimately make regarding grad school, I’ll do just fine. I’m not worried about that. I’m more worried about what other people will say and about abandoning such a big commitment, but those are both things I can get over. Or maybe I will get over this whole thing about wanting to drop out in the first place. I don’t know. I still need to give it until the end of this semester, at least. Right now, it’s just so hard to care.

—–

On the drive home from Auburn early this morning, I was feeling really good about all of this. I was thankful for the dark, quiet drive and the time it gave me to think. I felt like I really got somewhere. Each drive home makes everything a little more clear. I was listening to the new Mountain Goats album while thinking about all of this, and a couple of lines jumped out at me. And the timing of it all…I just don’t think can be explained by coincidence.

Woke up on lockdown one more time/my visions won’t ever learn
But I see the light that much clearer/every time I return.

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