I have a bad habit of trying to do too much. Those of you that have known me for a while have seen this, have told me this, and have watched on the sideline as I drive myself into the ground. Up until this point though, I’ve done a pretty good job of not only doing everything that I’ve committed to, but doing those things well. My senior year was a great, and perhaps the most extreme, example. I overloaded in classes both semesters, started my Honors thesis in October, finished it in 6 months, led an alternative fall break trip, was one of three heads of an organization, oversaw a rather ridiculous selection process, was a counselor for a retreat before school, TA-ed a class, was an Admissions Ambassador, somehow made time for friends, and still played frisbee three times a week. I think the one thing I consistently missed out on was sleep. So it was no surprise to anyone that I decided it would be possible for me to write a journal article about my research while having a full time job completely unrelated to water.
Almost a year later, I’m throwing in the towel, and part of me really hates it. This is the first time I can remember giving up doing something I had set out to do that I still want to do. What made giving this up even harder was the fact that I created this, put so much of myself into it already, and am incredibly proud of what was created. It is comforting to know that the work is going to continue anyway though. It would be a whole different animal if I didn’t know that.
I think I would have continued to try to make it work if I thought going to grad school or med school was still a possibility, but at this point I think the likelihood of either of those happening is less than 5%, at least in the next few years. Especially since I do want to be in Las Vegas for at least 5 years. But at the end of the day, trying to be present in two places at the same time was just too draining. David Cain had a really excellent piece on The Hidden Cost of Commitment. Despite the regret I have for not finishing what I started, I know I’ve made the right decision just from the feeling of being unburdened that has accompanied me over the last week. Also, this is the start of a pretty fun weekend/series of weekends, and I want to be able to enjoy being here fully without worrying about other responsibilities. Time to focus on friends, community, my job, and the ever growing stack of books I’ve been accumulating.