What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

I’m still asking this question well into my adulthood. I have wrestled with the idea of going back to school to work on a Masters, and maybe even a Ph.D. Yet other times, I think what I really want to do is to get away from the city…the whole:

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade…”
-(Yeats, The “Lake Isle of Innisfree”)

But I am often encouraged by people around me to really delve into what I’m already studying and get the proper credentials for it. I’ve been talking to the faculty of a university nearby that has a research grad program in English, and my current place of work has a professional development fund, so it wouldn’t all be paid for, but the majority would. If it weren’t for these others constantly letting me know I should do it, then I may not entertain the idea as much. I had put it on the back burner until my husband saw a friend who asked him if I was still considering it–and she seemed to be encouraging. It is good to get feedback from others about my potential, since I am often indecisive about it. If I did this–even if I could get accepted (I had a strong GPA in college, but got my undergraduate degrees in the 1990s, which might too long ago)–it would be an intense year or two because I would also have to keep working full-time. I’m wondering, then, how much abuse I am willing to take. Luckily, at this one particular university, courses start right when I usually get off work, so they are during evening hours, but I’d also have to work out something with my job to be able to adjust my hours some. And I know I would be very tired a lot. I was thinking maybe I could close submissions at my press for that year or so, but I’m also already accepting 1-2 books during that time period. However, I may push them back.

Also, would my husband miss me during this time if I’m always working on something?

It’s still in the maybe stage for sure.

Even thinking about such a large commitment makes me appreciate even more so the “easy” times I have now–running every week, working full-time, running a part-time business, keeping up with environmental outreach in the form of news about literature and art. Life is full but doable now.

Yesterday I went on my first run since stubbing–or what I thought was fracturing–my toe, but it has healed nicely. I have to get up by 10K by the end of the month for the Great Climate Race, so the goal is 5K this weekend, 7K next, and 5K the following, and then the 10K on the 30th. I ran the same race last year after having not trained at all due to those back issues, and still ran it completely, so I’m not too worried.

Yesterday’s run was very pleasant. This is my favorite time of the year for running–it’s cool and sometimes rainy. Yesterday I ran two miles through part urban areas and part trail, looking for bears again in the “bear neighborhood”–it was trash day again! Didn’t see another bear though. But it was just misting out, and the little pocket of forest I ran through had the typical indicator plants of the rainforest–I took a photo of a fern. I also listened to the “Lore” podcast, which is so interesting. Aaron Mahnke is the host and has a good voice for storytelling; he lives in the heart of Lovecraft country in Massachusetts.

Anyway, I am really loving podcasts. One of my authors, Ron Melchiore, who wrote Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness, and I have talked about doing a podcast about his book. But if you really want to do podcasts, it has to be a regular thing. I just don’t see my current and potential schedule having any time for that. As it is I want to write two different articles for Eco-fiction.com, and they both require some reading first.  One would be about ecological weird fiction (I have some used books on order), and the other would be a rebuttal about one author saying that there is no attention to climate change by current authors and artists. MY FOOT.

Anyway, life sure does seem full. Running, especially on trails, gives me a sense of leaving everything behind, just temporarily, and I love that part of my life so very much. I am very appreciative that my body is still intact and able to run.  I have to also be grateful that I still have my mind and can consider further education.

That someday will come when the body and mind will start to go, but I think life is good when you can really both live and appreciate the potentials of a full life. I am starting to sound like my dad!

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