A Sense of Direction

I had an interesting conversation last night about my job and my future. For the past semester, I have been working at a research lab. I started working for course credit, and as summer came, I was offered to work full time on my own mini-project before I head out of Chapel Hill and begin my summer travels. I was rather excited to start my own work since up to that point I was mostly “shadowing” one of the post-docs working at the lab.

But as the days went by, work became more and more of a drag. When I was actually working, prepping samples for analysis, making solution, or anything along the lines of doing something active, it was ok. The problem arose though when I had downtime. Many times during the day, I have to wait for things to happen: cell culture to be fixed with alcohol solution for an hour, centrifuge a sample for 30 minutes and repeat 5 times, freeze-drying samples for two days.. these are just a few. And so, in that downtime, I attempt to read science publications that I cannot, for the life of me, become interested in enough to actively take in all the information they present. Moreover, because they all deal with the same similar topics, they become extremely repetitive (as does the research process in itself). I probably should not admit this, but I go online when I have to wait, check Facebook, BuzzFeed, The HuffPost, learn Portuguese, practice French, and catch up with Friends. Bad employee award.

So back to last night, I was telling a friend about this predicament and how I’m glad I am done with research in two days. And he responded that it is unfortunate that I am wasting time at a desk, when I can probably do something else that would make me happy and would be more rewarding for me. So I responded with “it’s only temporary,” and that I do not intend on staying in research.. which is true. But it got me thinking about this whole picking a career path, and figuring out what to do with your life. I try to think about it.. and I reach a combination of a cross-roads and roadblocks. I can see myself doing different things.. many different things that I have interest in, but I cannot see the way to them. I’ve been so invested in the sciences for that  branching out seems impossible.

So I wonder if it will even hit me as an epiphany of some sort. Will I have a moment of clarity in which I will realize what I want to do? Do I have to look for it? Or do I just let life lead me there?

I’m looking for a sense of direction.. and I guess I got some. I realize that I CAN’T sit a desk or stay in lab all by myself all day long, and that I want to work with people, but that’s all I’ve got so far. I’ve been thinking about this whole thing a lot lately because it feels like I’m wasting time.. and I don’t wanna do that. I hate the feeling of wasting time.

And so, without concrete conclusion, I end this weird blog post.. ha! The irony.

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Barefoot

It’s been raining for two days straight here. As much as I prefer 80 degrees and sunny, I do love the sound of rain (I complain about the weather.. even when I don’t want to complain.. that’s another blog post). I find it calming, raindrops against plexiglass now creating an odd pattern of sound that at first seems like a cacophonie but then forms a soothing tapping. I love hearing rain when I’m in bed, when I sleep or wake up. There is just something indescribable in the melancholy of grayness  that makes me enjoy solitude, and take a break. But enough about this (f)artsy descriptions.. I am one for linguistic acrobatics, but not right now.

I’ve grown to have a habit of walking barefoot in  the rain. Maybe it’s from my days of going to middle school in a Kibbutz (where they just don’t believe in shoes), but I still do it. I just hate the feeling of wet shoes and socks –same goes for wet sleeves. I drives me mad when the edge of my sleeve gets wet when washing hands. The stickiness against my skin is unbearable to me. And so I take off my shoes, carry them in hand and walk. I figured that nature/god designed us to last through water better than canvas or any artificial material can, so we might as well make use of it. Plus, I’d rather get my feet wet than ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes!

I like feeling rushing water over my feet. It feels good, natural, and –believe it or not– clean. But another aspect of it that I’ve come to appreciate is other people’s reactions. They come in many forms: disgust, surprise, and laughter. So as I walk, I gauge their attention. They see me approaching in their direction in just walking in their vicinity, notice my shoes in my hand, and their gaze scans my feet. They stare, they look at me and then I either get a weird, judging stare or a smile. And both of these reactions make me smile and laugh to myself. I find the tight-asses too stressed out, too occupied with the ‘appropriate,’ and I love that I shook them up a little. And the other ones, the smilers, it makes me happy that I made them smile. It makes me happy to realize that such a small gensture could impact a person for just a second, be light and laugh, and realize that rainy days aren’t so bad.