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Ick. I didn’t get into any PhD programs. I’ve been… - Amanda — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Amanda

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[Mar. 16th, 2012|11:51 pm]
Amanda
Ick. I didn’t get into any PhD programs. I’ve been depressed ever since I found out, not because I really wanted to go to graduate school, but because it would have been a direction in life and now I don’t have one. What should I do?

In the end, psychology was a go-with-the-flow thing, not a follow-your-heart thing. If I were going to follow my heart, I would do something big and sweeping for the world, something crazy and creative. I want to express myself. I don’t know. The world is just so huge and everything is open to me and it’s overwhelming to try to organize in my head everything I want to try out before I’m through.

So, the worst thing is I have to worry about getting through college. I am so close to finishing, because I’ve passed every class up till now and I have no bad grades this semester! The worst thing will be getting my stupid lit paper done and my psychology paper. I wish I had never done this stupid honors project. I didn’t think it would be like this. I thought I would get the opportunity to do something that really meshed with my interests and that I would have some degree of control and say-so in the project, and that I would be analyzing it myself. Well I didn’t get any of that! My professor essentially chose the topic, and it seems that every time I got into the topic he would change it a little to something I didn’t want to do. He tried to make it seem like I had a choice, but I really didn’t. He wouldn’t let me take part in any of the actual bureaucratic stuff that professors do, barely even made it transparent with me, so basically I’ve been slaving away the same way I did when I was a research assistant in someone else’s project, but I'm supposed to "take ownership" of it. And I recently found out that I won’t be working on the analysis at all, the ONE thing I find interesting! He said if I wanted I could read stats books on my own time so that when he does the analysis I can understand what he did. Whatever. I’m so done with the academic world. I just don’t know how I’m going to get through this and write a research paper in a style I hate on a topic I HATE.

My only consolation is that it doesn’t matter anymore. I mean, I can’t totally slack off. Whatever field I go into, they’re not going to like that I undertook a project in my last semester and then completely fudged it. But I don’t have to do this shining job of it and make it of publishable quality and get him to write me a shining recommendation, because who cares? I don’t care about the science. It’s completely and utterly useless! It’s not going to help anyone. Academics mainly just love to hear themselves talk, and they can sometimes sound like stoners who always think they’re major philosophers when they are just mumbling clichés. They think they have an impact on the world, but they only impact their small homogeneous circle of academics. But anyway, I don't have to worry so much about the study anymore except insofar as it will affect my grade. I am so sick of this, I can’t even stand it. I just want to run away and never come back. I would, but I'm wise enough to know that wherever I go, whatever city, there's no reason to think there will be anything for me there significantly better than this. You can’t survive unless you’re someone’s slave, at least with my lack of charisma. Academic slave or corporate slave or retail slave, it doesn’t really matter, so I may as well stay. Someday I know I’ll have the opportunity to do something I’m passionate about, but that day is far away and I have to work towards it, it won’t just fall in my lap.

So now let’s ask the question… what AM I passionate about? Veganism and animal rights, for sure… and I think I am doing pretty well with networking actually. Well I could be doing better but I am doing an internship with a really awesome organization and I am going to events. I should probably go to more in the city where there are more people doing cooler things, and I should probably do more online networking, blogging, and commenting, maybe even tweeting. I don’t know.

And then there is music. Ah, music. My fucking life. My fucking LIFE. I can’t even stand how much I love music sometimes. I just want to like become one with it and never have to think about anything else ever. Is that weird? Is that normal? Does that mean anything? I really don’t know. But judging by recent experiences I may actually be too much of a loner to join a band. I can’t remember why I wanted to join one. Is it because I thought it would make it more likely to get success? I mean, it might, but you have to figure in the likelihood of my finding a group of people I could be around all the time, and that we would also mesh artistically and appreciate each other's styles. Well I guess it could happen, but yeah, I don’t know.

I just... the first thing is, I intrinsically love music, and that is a fact. If I were the last person on earth, making music devoid of its social associations, I would still want a guitar there and I would use it to express myself to no one or, well, to myself. Music is just so beautiful, harmonies, unison, chords, keys. I don’t know, those are just random musical vocabulary words, but whatever it is that comes together, it MAKES MY LIFE. It’s everything. It’s oxygen. Singing is just like breathing but better. Breathing could be likened to drinking Kool-Aid on a nice day, and singing is like a glass of cool water on a scorching day after you spent a couple of days dehydrated. Or something like that. I don’t know. I just love singing. And I like accompanying myself, now that I have built up the basic skill level, more than I like being accompanied by someone else. Today I think I wrote the skeleton of my first song, and for the first time I have been able to do a few acoustic covers and my technique is improving quickly.

But the other thing about music is that it’s so personal, and it’s so emotionally expressive, that it’s a better form of communication than words or anything like that. I do love me some good words, but music is just better. Or maybe it’s the words that I like, and music is the bonus, I’m not sure. But when I listen to people’s songs, especially the lyrics, I get attached to them and I feel like I know them in a way I don’t really feel like I know anyone else. I’m usually pretty easy to get along with, but for some reason I’m not the easiest person to reach any level of intimacy with even though I crave deep human connections. (Ironically, I think it’s my hatred of superficial socializing and relationships that prevent me from having meaningful ones, because the former lead to the latter.) But anyway, I feel like music could do that for me. If I were a musician, and I could be friends with other musicians, I feel like we would automatically reach a meaningful level of interaction, just from hearing each other’s true selves through music, and we could just skip over all the garbage small talk you have to do before you can truly be yourself around someone. Maybe other musicians feel that way too, or maybe I am just crazy or an alien. I feel like that a lot. But anyway, it can’t hurt to make my own music and improve my skills and just bite the bullet and start sharing and see if anyone likes it enough to befriend me or collaborate with me. This is a time to explore and be open-minded. I really am getting to a point in my life where I have very little to lose. And for some reason, this just made me feel like I should really have a Bouncing Souls day tomorrow because it would be just the thing to lift this dark cloud off my head.

Anyway, so music is done with. Um, the only other two things are healthy living (with which I go back and forth), and my HUGEST passion, which is forming a sense of community in the world so that people don’t get left behind and turn to doing bad things to the world. It's a vicious cycle. We all close ourselves up and refuse to talk to strangers mostly because we are afraid of them, or worse, because we are so afraid of losing our own security that we don’t have time for the rest of the world. Well guess what—we wouldn’t have to worry about such insecurity if we had an airtight community! I don't know, I just really hate meaningless things. I like to think that the way I feel is in essence what human beings feel. Unlike other animals, we aren’t concerned primarily with surviving, we are always looking for meaning… although, we are also the only animals that get bored and require constant entertainment. Me, I start to hate myself if I do something for too long that I know can never help anyone in any way. I feel like you’re harming if you’re not helping. So my whole shtick in life is that I want to create more meaning and just force it into everything that goes on in this here planet. I want people to be satisfied with meaning and simplicity and not require external stimulation all the time. But then again, I might be wrong because I do have low requirements for stimulation and some people are physiologically not like that. I just want them to get their stimulation out of meaningful activities, that’s possible.

So I don’t know, I think I should do something big. It's my dream to make a big impact. If I could, I would be so proud and never tire of watching people learn from me or get opportunities because of me and just see what an impact I’ve had. Why wouldn’t I do it? I really don’t know. But there are other things I should try in the meantime, like volunteering, blogging, vlogging.

I’m really tired and I’m going to bed.
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