April 23rd - So Much Time

Oh, sinking back into the well-worn trenches of habit. It’s unfair to feel so rusty after such a short time away. Is it really April 23rd already? (24th, by time of writing) It doesn’t matter that I have in fact done so many things this month, time is passing by too quickly. I never got to do everything that I thought would (or everything I wanted?). It feels like every day and week goes by unfinished (save the rare few I truly live to the fullest), but the day ends regardless of my progress.

And this is the time anxiety that being a student has forced on me. The unorthodox schedules and avalanche of new concepts to learn and the deadlines, especially the big one that’s going by now, the Final Exam you must be fully prepared by. This bleeds over into my hobbies, my social life, my chores. Yes, I love the freedom that a student’s schedule brings, but I’ll be happy to see the constant stress go. To be replaced by new, less exciting stresses I’m sure. But maybe ones that don’t make me feel like my hours are always be counted.

The truth, as I know it, is it really doesn’t matter if you spend 2 hours or 200 hours on a project if you end up where you wanted. And unlike the 13-week semester cycle, graduating now I have SO MUCH TIME!! It’s really starting to sink in how much is available to me. A four-year degree is nothing against a lifetime. I could spend an entire year of evenings working on one story if I wanted. I could pick an instrument I find cool and practice until I’m fully comfortable. If there’s one thing I’ve taken from this writing challenge so far, it’s an absolute faith in incremental progress (a year of weekly estrogen shots does the same). If I keep taking even tiny steps I will get better. And I have so much time.

the trick here is to pick things to commit to. it’s fine to jump between different aspects of one topic when the old one bores me, but i want full understanding, not the surface level comprehension that rushed and incomplete learning brings

i know my writing calendar/ trying to post every day thing runs counter to this philosophy, but that’s just a great way to force myself to fit writing into my chaotic student days. i think the goal of having something to post every day might be outdated if I want to move towards longer projects

speaking of longer projects, is this a full-on blog post now? i was going to stop after the first paragraph, which is nearly a century, but it turned out to be a good segway into other thoughts i’ve been having. neat!

After four years of dragging myself through physics classes, it almost feels like a dream to spend a year or more working my way through Griffith’s electrodynamics textbook, truly getting to know the content inside and out, strengthening every individual mathematical muscle in the field instead of just those the prof feels are fit to be tested. I love physics! I love solving problems and learning new conceptual frameworks to understand the world with! I signed up for this!

But I never felt like I had a chance to breathe, a chance to really explore whatever was being talked about. When I did have free time I wasn’t going to spend it on the same topic when I could be taking a break from my labours. External deadlines very often find me doing the bare minimum to meet them. On my own time I think I could really stretch out and find my limits. What would I have done for that GIS project if I wasn’t constrained by the project requirements and the deadline? This probably doesn’t make me a very good university student. And that’s a whole post for another day (one looking back, as this one looks forward?)

Is this something I might actually do? Study physics on my own time? I have no idea. At the very least I need a long recovery period before I let myself fall back in. And just as I had to learn how to work best in a schedule and deadline-focused environment, I’ll need to take my time learning how to work in a space with more freedom. Maybe I’ve learned enough already, it’ll be easier this time.

Tangent: playing with these ideas in my mind, I’m seeing similarities between moving from structured to free work and writing purely centuries before trying some longer things. That switch felt/feels incredibly liberating, just getting to streeeetch out my sentences,,, take my time,,, be really lackadaisical about it. It’s filling out a page-long description, letting your words wander as your eyes would, instead of trying to capture a view’s essence in a few short fragments. Centuries still have their place, of course, but their limitations feel lesser now that I know I have options, but am taking them on anyway. This comparison maybe doesn’t contribute much to what I’m trying to say, but it was on my mind and I can say whatever I want on my website. Lackadaisical. Where did I learn that word? Why did it suddenly come to mind now?

I digress.

very often, with great enjoyment

This is getting too unstructured. I should end the post now. Give the nearest cat a little kiss on the forehead for me, if you can!

900 words? girl I know you have So Much Time but you need to be in bed an hour ago!!

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