Bittersweet flare

Thoughts on my first semester of life in graduate school.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s59X_EKJw4E. Blast that on your headphones/speakers. No earbuds or low volumes allowed.

This has by far been the happiest part of my life. I'm incredibly thankful for everything and everyone that helped get me here.

I've had a while to come to terms with it, but it still feels unreal. Wow. How did I get here?

Academically, I'm just fascinated by everything in my lines of research. I've always had a lingering fear that what I eventually ended up doing wouldn't be that satisfying to me, but I can safely consider that emotion crushed. I love what I'm doing, and can't wait to do more of it. I'll talk more about my projects when they're closer to publication.

That fear came with this underlying sense of insecurity and imposter syndrome. That's gone too. I feel like I've passed the "activation energy" of the academia reaction, and that I could learn the skills and knowledge needed to do what I have to do. I feel like I've been given a real preview of what it's like to do research. I've still got a lot of learn, but I feel like I'm in a good position to learn it.

For all this, I have my advisor to thank. An absolutely wonderful human being. A great teacher and guide. Fascinating to listen to and learn from. I had to make a difficult choice when picking between various advisors, and boy, did I make the right one... I got incredibly lucky.

I've also met wonderful peers during my time. I think I found a group of people that I can claim are "my kind of people". Absolutely wonderful, kind, fun, intelligent, and honest people. The very best. I will cherish these friendships till I die. I can't express how much I truly appreciate them.

I've been exposed to lot of new music too, most of which has been pretty interesting and engaging. Fantastic!

I've been in good mental and physical health too, something I did not expect given the state I was at when I begun my semester.

It hasn't been all roses. It has become evident to me that I have heartache issues. I gotta stop letting my emotions about certain people, happy or sad, completely stop me in my tracks. Life circumstances sometimes just do not work out. Ahhh! Stuff to work on.

However, with all nice things in life, can't rely on them being around for too long. I'm sure complications and challenges will soon creep up. I'm sure this is just a honeymoon phase. That's alright.

It's just a bit difficult enjoying the good while I know Change might be right around the corner. Given how much I've had to deal with Change, you'd think I'd be fine with it. But Change is painful when the present's this dreamy. Guess I'll take the bitter with the sweet.