Whew. It’s been almost three weeks since I began grad school, and all I can say is: WHOA.
As expected, it’s been pretty intense. For anyone who’s ever gone scuba diving, this morning feels a little like that moment when you come up out of the water, remove your mask, and take that first breath without a pressurized system actively pushing air into your body.
In three weeks, there have been two midterms and almost 7 hrs of daily lectures. We’ve covered epithelium, embryology, cell biology, and pathology, and next week it’s midterm #3, covering bone, cartilage, connective tissue and the integumentary system. This post isn’t so much about me telling you what I have been doing in school (because, let’s be honest, that would be pretty boring… unless you’re interested in things like phosphotidlycholine, mannose-six-phosphate, and syncytiotrophoblasts — and, really, who isn’t these days?!). Rather, this is just an opportunity for me to take a little break, enjoy my coffee, and flex my wanderlust muscles before they atrophy.
Per usual, all this science and studying makes my wanderlust light up like a firefly in a glass jar. I try and keep it contained most of the time, but if I do that too long it begins to expand around me like a too tiny wet suit. My little soul is boiling over with travel cravings — particularly for Southern Spain, a place I crave constantly (I like to think it’s because my ancestors, who were from there, are trying to get me to “come home”), or for more foreign-to-me places like Thailand, Zimbabwe, and Israel. Where does all this wanderlust come from? Sometimes I wonder…
While I am very happy and grateful to be where I am, doing what I am doing, studying what I’m studying, working towards what I am working towards, I can’t seem to ditch that little flickering light of wanderlust. Although it must be quieted for now, it doesn’t seem to get dimmer no matter how much science I bury it under. In a way, all the science has heightened my appreciation of other things; I find myself more touched, more affected, more grateful for the littlest beautiful things I see, hear or read about.
As far as my wanderlust goes, I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know where, but that little tiny glow is going to take me somewhere, eventually. It will get its chance to light up more than just a jar again soon, and I genuinely cannot wait for that moment. But until then, I’ll enjoy the dark blues of being under this (sometimes overwhelmingly) vast new sea. There is some pretty cool stuff down here, too.
Thank you for that breath of fresh air. It is now time to put the scuba mask back on…