Monday, February 26, 2007

The great big happy-along

After I finished my previous post about how I've been enjoying life in academe these days, I got to thinking that this enjoyment is what brought me here in the first place. At the end of my senior year of college, feeling the angst of impending unemployment, I finished my senior thesis. I was so excited! I did well on it, too, which no doubt helped me take the plunge into grad school.

Spring was in the air, and spring in Massachusetts is a beautiful thing. Maybe I was just being my usual self, high on the changing seasons, but did I ever want to just keep that feeling of being high on life - or, as my favorite burrito shop says on its wall, "Drunk on dreams, high on life, and just now seein' the sky!"

I'd also started downloading music, but only a little, since my hard drive was very small. I remember typing into Google - or was it Yahoo back then? - the lyrics to a song that kept coming into my head as I took my "last" walks around favorite haunts on campus: "All I want is to feel this way / to be this close, to feel the same / All I want is to feel this way / the evening speaks, I feel it say...." I don't think that the actual meaning of the song really applied, but something about the sense of joy and longing still came through.

I don't think I really had that rush very much at all during my master's program, at least not for what seemed like days on end - not until I almost got into my current program. They had waitlisted me, and one night, I heard news that made it possible I might get in. I wandered down to the Charles River in Boston on a similar purple-skyed spring evening so like the ones I'd had in college, and thought of those walks and that song that was in my head. I didn't get in that year - so I waited it out and got in another year, and here I am.

Now, strangely, it's back. I'm not asking why (though I think it has to do with my thesis and current area of interest being quite similar) and I'm not expecting it to last (but maybe? Maybe a little something could stick this time?). Regardless, like a marker or a signpost, it's good to see that once again, I'm back where I started, knowing the place for the first time (to borrow my favorite line from T.S. Eliot). Sheepish Annie is right; those weeks are a happy time in my life to look back on, and hopefully in a year or two when I'm stuck in dissertation doldrums, this time will be one too.

In that mode, I've decided to join Zarzuela's Happy Along!
All I have to do is 1) knit something that makes me happy...

Blue cable sock

Yes, I think that'll do the trick (and so does Mage)!

And 2) make someone else happy. Since Coffeeboy and I are at diametrically opposite points in our grad school careers (he wants a divorce from his dissertation and mine's in that early rush of blushing possibility), I really need to do anything I can to help him finish the darned thing in the next week, to be precise. If finishing will make him happy, then help with the finishing I shall!

Speaking of finishing, we've both gotten a lot accomplished... a finished object, finished exam, and finished dissertation post (or set of posts) is in the works over the next few days!


cathy said...

Happy, happy, happy :)

Julia said...

Your reasons for going on to grad school were almost exactly the same as mine. Boy, they really rope you in with that senior honors thesis, don't they? I like the idea of divorcing my dissertation :-) Enjoy the honeymoon with yours!

Teri S. said...

I know that happy comes rarely but when it comes, it's great! Your description of it was spot on. Good luck to Coffeeboy (and you) with finishing the dissertation!

Jen said...

Happy is good. Donovan had a song that ran: "Happiness runs in a circular motion, love is like a ..." A mantra. I think the happiness is the constant, and occasionally we just forget that it is there.

Sheepish Annie said...

Perspective is a beautiful thing! You can find the happy in pretty much anything if you look hard enough...even if it's just the prospect of it leading to something better. Savor the happiness and use it later to perk up the boring times! Enjoy that happy knitting!