Wednesday, January 16, 2008

chasing rainbows

photo by altopower

I wanted to pass along a motivational post that my friend Sean shared with me yesterday. It had me thinking for the rest of the day about what I really want out of life:

Ever watch someone building a dream? Ever wonder about building a dream and catch yourself thinking, I wish I was meant to do that?

Why would some people get to have their dreams and other people have to go without?

It can’t be luck. It can’t be money. It sure can’t be smarts. Look around. Those things don’t decide who gets what.

How would a universe choose which stars get to shine and which don’t?

I think one of the best things about this blogging community is that we get to see people living their dreams every day. Whether it's losing weight, finding true love, writing a book, finding a really great job, or clearing away years of clutter, we see daily evidence that people just like us can make changes in our lives.

I like what a commenter said in response to the "Change the World" post:

I can only speak for myself of course, but the person who turns the dream into reality enjoys the journey towards the goal - including the set-backs.
The ‘onlooker’ only (IMHO) sees mountains, rivers and other obstacles in his/her path, so never starts the journey - too much ‘hard work’ of climbing, going round, finding a way through, over, under the obstacle. And missing out on all the discoveries along the way.

I've felt a little lost since I finished my Ph.D. I haven't been without a big goal in front of me in years. I have a new job, a new (old) house, and now a Ph.D., but none of it feels like the big "hoo-rah" finish line I had hoped for. It must be a little bit like postpartum depression: "This isn't quite the way I thought it would be. Was it really all worth it?"

As odd as it might be to say so, there were times in the midst of writing the dissertation that were pure joy. If the writing was going well, the whole day had a rosy glow. A lot of it was pure hell too, and I had to force myself to do it most of the time. But I miss it, and miss the time I had by myself to work. I wish I had made myself enjoy the journey a little more, instead of staying so focused on the finish line.

I think I'm going to have to start thinking about a new project... maybe a smaller one for now, until I feel a little more settled and everyone's out of the hospital.


  1. I think what you're feeling is definitely akin to post partum depression - not that I've ever even had a baby but still. The Diss took you years and years of school and planning and writing, all culminating in the defense and graduation and the new job all rolled together. Not to mention the move.

    Yes, you have what you set out to achieve and have arrived at the next step on the journey of life. And it's time to figure out what might be a good Next Thing. Maybe writing - you do it well and enjoy the intellectual exercise of putting words together. Maybe something physical like training for a race.

    Whatever it is, you will find it because you are now ready to see.

  2. p.s. - so glad you like the double rainbow picture!

  3. Great quote, beautiful picture.

    Glad you are posting more often. And I'm looking forward to seeing what your new project is going to be!

    Have a super weekend.

  4. I too felt empty when I completed a Ph.D. a couple of years ago....I think it is typical, especially for women who have to struggle harder for this accomplishment. It took me several months to feel that it was ok not to be working on that degree that I had already completed....makes no sense I know....if you are in new surroundings that will just make it easier in the long run as you will have no old infrastructure that will need modifying in light of your new credentials. Get some exercise, have some fun, join a club of professionals and you will be so busy that time will pass and you will be all acclimated to your new life.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07