There and Back Again?

It’s the question mark at the end of the title that terrifies me.

I’ve done a fair amount of moving around; certainly less than a lot of other people, but enough to have a strong grasp of what the process is like.  The moving isn’t what bothers me, it’s the coming back part.  This is the first time that I’m moving somewhere, without having a good sense of what’s coming next after the period ends.

It feels weird thinking about that when I have such an amazing opportunity ahead of me.  I have the incredible privilege of spending two months in Kathmandu, working with local farmers to try and improve their livelihood, and then an entire academic year in Berlin.  The experience is so phenomenal that I can hardly conceptualize what it’s going to be like after I step on the airplane.  The best I can do is just take things day-by-day.

But perhaps it’s precisely because of the fact that the next year seems so opaque that my mind is focusing on the only point of clarity: when the program ends; and to me, the day I receive my degree(s) feels like the edge of a cliff.  For now, I have nothing lined up after that, and if you know me at all, then you’ll know that I don’t handle uncertainty well.  Everything from what I’ll do, to who I work for, to where I’m going to live feels completely up in the air, which is a difficult thing for me to deal with (also, don’t tell my mother that there’s a possibility that I won’t be returning to the US).

I’m notoriously bad at following my own advice.  I often tell others not to worry about things that they aren’t in control of, which is clearly not what I’m doing now.  And that tendency has made this blog post dramatically different from how I originally envisioned it, so let’s refocus back to the main message (if you couldn’t tell, my posts often get lost in a stream of consciousness).

I stand before a tremendous series of opportunities.  I often feel bad talking about it because I get the feeling that I’m bragging.  But I would not be where I am today if it were not for a gaggle of amazing family, friends, colleagues, teachers, and mentors that have supported me as I progressed to this moment.  To list out every single one of those people would test your patience with my writing more than it already has, but suffice it to say that you know who you are.  Thank you for having a positive impact on my life, and I can only hope that I’ve had a somewhat positive impact on yours.

And now here’s a random collection of photos that I’m sharing just for shits and giggles.


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