“What am I? What am I in my own dear eyes? I say it so much what am I what am I what am I makes no sense no more” ~ Jamie T: Introspection & Distractions

I intend to keep my New Year’s resolution of at least one blog entry per month. However, at the moment I must admit that, cornered up against the end of February’s 28 days, it suddenly feels more of an onerous challenge than it should be. Certainly, I hadn’t hoped to be as prodigious in output as my good friend Andy. By the by, I recommend anyone with free time get to checking out his ever-evolving blog-including the most recent monkey riding a pig photo entry.

I have had far too little free time to ponder, let alone write, about things that aren’t related to Syria/nuclear reduction/Poland/Georgia/Ukraine/etc. Perhaps it’s the curse of work mixed with graduate school or perhaps it’s the blessing of visitors. In either case, February has been a month of distractions.

One distraction: The Maccabees (a night after Ra Ra Riot) in Houston. Good show, great energy from the lead guitarist/crazy man.

One distraction: The Maccabees (a night after Ra Ra Riot) in Houston. Good show, great energy from the lead guitarist/crazy man on the far left.

These distractions come in different shapes and sizes. I’d be overly optimistic if I ignored those that have been sheer pratfalls: simply, it feels a bit like my professional goals are being besieged this year after what felt like careful staging to get to them. I will skip the more tedious details but the gist is I do feel some of the applications I genuinely sought, worked extremely hard on, yada yada-well they ended with the standard, “Thank you,” form letters only to be once more out of reach. Oh, I wistfully wish to have grown up loving computer science, chemical engineering, and being a polyglot…Or something. Anyway, I suppose solace is that if things were easy, desire would not serve to motivate.

In any case, setbacks and the nearing of the completion of my time in Texas has forced some introspection. Not of the deeply personal sort (I’m content with a {young} friend’s recent description of my “heartless, hipster-emo music loving, old man”-self)…rather; what is to be done after graduation (part 2.0 in my case) becomes more prescient when the most aspired for options are, at the very least, temporarily delayed.

Introspection...now what.

Introspection/winning at cards face.

I do believe a neat, hermetic blog, built upon the traditional story model would have a nice conclusion right about here. Something like, “thankfully I’ve resolved to start an NGO in Macedonia saving seals that are about to be clubbed” or something…Unfortunately, I’ve got far too many more questions/ideas/know nothing about seals (if that weren’t clear by what I’ve said and and my enjoyment of this meme). So, the conclusion may have to wait until May…but…

Austin Botanical Gardens

Austin Botanical Gardens

I also must take a lot of joy from the other distractions this month. New nieces. Upcoming Belle & Sebastian concert. Great visits from friends led to-and this is an abbreviated rather than an extensive list-wonderful botanical gardens in less than beautiful weather, some fantastic concerts, some big Chess/regular sized cards, and some crucial water fountain fixing that seemed along Biblical proportions. Basically, distractions of hilarious and joyous memories that will serve to further strengthen future bonds.

In Big Chess, you must protect the King (or beer if they don't have that piece)...great times.

In Big Chess, you must protect the King (or beer if they don’t have that piece)…great times.

I think the importance of all these distractions-especially the positive ones-is to remember (as stolen from a new song I’m loving) how great the sinking sun is as opposed to only worrying what is next on the rise. It would be selfish to ignore the support that family and friends has immediately offered in light (horrible…pun…) of some of the negative setbacks. Next month I’ll be embarking on a trip with friends that covers the Grand Canyon, Vegas, LA and more. I will keep working hard for certainty to settle whatever is to come next-but looking in can remind you to embrace the distractions.

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