Give pause

Over the weekend, Dan, Bryan and I hiked the Fourth of July Creek to Icicle Ridge near Leavenworth. It was an unassuming day with a mediocre-to-bad forecast (rain rain rain showers), as many days often are in the PNW winter/spring. We were just hoping to stay dry, but it’s always sort of amazing when expectations are not only exceeded, but defied. Time and time again this spring, I am simply bowled over by how beautiful it is out here. I can’t really find any better words to describe it, and images seem to fall short. It’s so alive, and wild, and nurturing — and incredibly incredibly peaceful.

I think in every graduate student’s career, there is the underlying tension of “what comes next?” Academia is a toss-up. There’s no guarantee of where or when or what job becomes available, and therefore, no real sense in tying oneself to a specific place. I still have years left in my program, but already, I find myself grappling with the unrealistic desire to stay here in Seattle when I’m done.

Fulfillment in life seems increasingly complex, a delicate game of weights and balances, of which no combination of choices satisfies all desires. I suppose in a sense that it is the ultimate “wicked problem.” Of course, my feelings also have a proven tendency to shift with time. When winter comes, maybe I’ll be antsy to escape again.


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