A little less than two years ago, I could be found sitting in my bedroom frantically trying to figure out what to write about before midnight. No, I wasn’t experiencing a bizarre Cinderella in the cornfields of Ohio scenario; I just had to get something posted so I could keep my goal to “Publish a blog post once a week.” Ultimately, I wrote about books, and while it was nothing earth-shattering, it ranks as one of my favorite posts because it kept my goal going, which ended up producing some of my most cherished blog articles.
It’s been 144 days since I wrote Thank U, Next (the blog post, not the chart-topper sung by Ariana Grande). And while I wish I could come on here and write about how the past few months have been full of aha moments and unwavering positivity, I’d be lying if I gave that impression.
You may be here expecting to read salacious details of my recent resignation, or you may be here simply because you love a good Ariana Grande bop and are hoping for more of her in this post. I hate to disappoint you on both sides, but this won’t be a detailed hit piece explaining why I left my job, and there won’t be much more Ari in this post.
One of my favorite times of the year is when I sit down to come up with my next year’s list of goals. I love this exercise because it allows me to think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year while pushing me to think outside the box and to challenge myself.
Having recently made my way back into the world of academia, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by leafing through some of the papers I wrote during my time as an undergraduate student. One that stood out to me was a book summary I wrote about Susan Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire.
Today I want to share something I wrote and then proceeded to keep to myself for over four years. I wrote it at a time when I was vulnerable and searching, and I have been scared to share it because I knew that doing so would highlight the flaws I wish weren’t still so visible in my life. I would have probably continued keeping it to myself if it weren’t for the events of recent weeks, but before I dive into that story, here is what I wrote in July 2014:
My goal to “join a group” has hung over my head throughout the past year. This is primarily because I would go back and forth on which group to join. I initially considered joining a running club, but I decided against this after straining my knee and observing how unnecessarily energetic those in athletic clubs tend to be. So after the dream of joining a weekly running club ended, I began to set my sights on something much more sedentary. And that was when I decided to join a book club.
I woke up on the second morning of my Canada adventure feeling rested, and like the day before, I pushed myself to enjoy the morning instead of rushing. Once I was finally ready to go, I packed my belongings and drove down to the beach for a final swim before beginning the trek back to Ohio.
Of all the goals that I set in October 2017, the one to “Put an end to any grudges” has intimated me the most. This is because I tend to cling to grudges with the vice-like grip of a toddler clutching their favorite toy. Knowing this as I planned the upcoming year’s goals, I decided to attempt to abolish this practice.
Not many people work in a job like mine where they are encouraged to explore unrelated involvement opportunities during times that would typically be reserved for their full-time job. I was recently reminded of this when I worked with the Wave Program.