You think you know who you are until you don’t. You think you know what friendship is until everything changes. You think you know what you’re worth until the world tilts sideways. You think you know so much about life, but you actually know nothing. *That double ignorance though…
When I moved out East I had a vague idea of where I was headed and now, well, I feel a little lost. I’m still adjusting to my move. I’m still adjusting to all of the changes. I never expected everything to be easy but I did anticipate a smooth transition, which I got. Honestly, despite minor hiccups here and there I haven’t really encountered any huge barriers to my new life. Still, it’s difficult. I don’t miss Ottawa so much as I miss my routine and the person who I was last year. I’m not unhappy with who I am now. I’m just a little confused about who I am right now. My MA is a year-long program, which basically means that in a few months my life could easily be uprooted again. This tension gets to me and it prevents me from putting down too many roots. I’ve put down enough roots not to blow away, because the wind and rain here are something else, but I still feel like I’m floating.
I’ve basically avoided blogging since I arrived here. The truth is it’s more difficult out here for me to get in touch with myself because I’m at a loss as to who I am. Who ‘I will be’ and who ‘I was’ no longer fit me. Like I’ve written before this is Season 5 Sam, and she’s a little lost, not clueless, but she does dumb stuff living on her own. She boils water for tea then pours the water down the drain without filling up her tea cup. She doesn’t go to sleep at a regular time. She reads early in the morning and wakes up later to stare at the ceiling. She constantly listens to music and audiobooks. She writes fanfic when she can’t write her essay outlines. She calls her parents more often than they probably anticipated she would, but she loves talking to them. She catches up with her friends from back home more consistently now than before because the distance pushes everyone to make more of an effort. She’s sarcastic. She buys candy for the tutorial she TA’s and shakes her head when only a third of it is taken. She could write a novel about herself but she won’t, because she’s not sure that it would help her figure out who she is right now.
When did you realize who you were? When did you realize what you wanted? Who you wanted?
I’m a little afraid of asking these questions because I think the answer is going to end up being, “It just happened.” I know that life happens to us, with or without our say. As my mother would say, “Man plans, God laughs.” Life happens and we need to make of it what we will. I’m trying to make the most of being out here. I’m in a great program that challenges me. I still have mini existential crises almost every week but I’m definitely not alone in my struggles.
My cohort is definitely one of the best things about Dal. It’s scary because I think that there are people here that I truly connect with but I’m also conscious of my time here. I’m constantly trying to balance learning to be alone and wanting to be with my new friends as much as possible. Still, I am not interested in choosing between having a life and being successful in grad school. I want both. I will do both. To me academia has always been a home away from home, but sometimes I need a home away from academia. School cannot be the defining factor of my existence anymore. So, I’m trying new things and embracing the opportunity to engage with the amazing group of people I happen to find surrounding me. It’s not easy to make new friends, but it is so worthwhile.
So, I might not know who I am, but I don’t think that’s as big a problem as it sounds. Truly, I don’t think any of us really know who we are and that’s absolutely okay. There are things that I do know that matter more to me than boxing myself into a defined corner. I want to be kind. I want to be a scholar. I want to make people laugh. I want to help people believe in themselves. I want to succeed and fail in equal measure throughout life, because without the taste of failure there is no sweetness to success. I want to be the type of person who is too busy being and living to worry about defining who she is at the moment.
Season 5 Sam is coming at you future; she’s lost, confused, and set on enjoying life!
Join me on my journey?