It has been a long few weeks. All of which started because of presenting at the Water and Health Conference a almost two weeks ago. I took the red-eye on Friday night and managed to make it into Chapel Hill without being too delirious. What proceeded over the next few days was a whirlwind adventure of work (got the final data on Friday, equations were done Saturday morning in Cleveland during my layover, and then the next few days had lots of analysis) and living in the moment of being back at my home of the last four years. It was a little bit stressful to be back and attempting to do work and preparing for a conference when all I really wanted to do was see my friends that were still there. It was undeniably different being back, and a friend described it really well, saying that for her it would be like “returning to a movie set with an entirely different cast.” It hasn’t gotten to be that for me, but it will be in a couple of years I guess. None the less, I’m sure I will never pass up a chance to go back to Blue Heaven.
I got to hear one of my favorite bands play, caught up with old friends, hit up some of my favorite local haunts, and pretend to be a college student all over again with regards to my work locations, but the reason I was back was to present my thesis work at the Water and Health Conference. Got some good news and found out that the work had already gotten one grant and there was the potential to get more funding too. Strange to think that something that was done in a little over 6 months turned out to be as awesome as it did. It was also weird to go back and present on work that I hadn’t really contributed significantly to in about four months. Luckily, I had a pretty awesome, (and amazingly good looking) team, all three of whom I can call good friends.
The presentation went well, (of course it did, I was wearing my lucky shirt that I have wore for everything remotely important since senior year of high school), and then I got to go give a presentation about Venture for America and the Downtown Project that night. Yes, I was really lazy, and gave a presentation sitting down (which breaks rule number one of giving presentations).
Tuesday was a long day. I got to fly back to Las Vegas at god awful o’clock Wednesday morning, but my work was not yet done. One I had to catch up on the work I had missed over two days. And two, my adviser sent me a lovely email at the beginning of last week wondering where I was with regards to paper writing. Oy vey.
There is definitely a part of me that wishes I had stayed with my research, because I hate leaving something half finished. Even publishing a paper or two might not give me the sense of closure that I am looking for, but it might allow me to be fully present in one place for the first time in a long time. I’m really lucky that I had two pretty great opportunities to choose from at the end of my time in college, but boy am I ever ready to focus on just one instead of attempting to do both at the same time.