I’m starting to figure out what my real life looks like: the life that exists after I’ve reached my big goals.
How do I want to spend my days and my nights? How do I want to fill my time?Up until recently I made the choice to pursue my academic goals. That wasn’t a bad thing, but that particular goal occupied a lot of time.
Though I certainly made time for other passions and pleasures throughout pursuing my Masters degree and later my Ph.D., I couldn’t fit everything in. There were trade-offs.
Now that I don’t have those tasks occupying my time, I am making time for those things that I’ve always wanted to do but have made excuses for.
Guitar playing is one example. I’ve owned a guitar (sometimes guitars) for years. Probably a decade at this point. But right now, I can only play a few songs. I don’t know all of the chords. I can play one scale. I feel really self conscious about writing this, because it really is ridiculous. But when you consider how little time I’ve invested in learning to play guitar, it makes perfect sense. I learned a bit to get by, and then stopped because anything more was too challenging.
On the other hand, I have to give myself some credit, because school was challenging. I didn’t invest a ton of time in a tough hobby, because I was already doing this really hard thing. So it makes some sense.
But it still feels ridiculous.
Regardless, in the interest of living daringly, one can choose to start or restart any old time. So there’s no time like the present. I’ve got 30 minutes on my schedule nearly every day to play guitar. Right now I’m concentrating on finger exercises to loosen up these joints and get my muscle memory going. I’m also filling in the major and minor chords I’ve neglected in learning. I signed up for a Udemy class that is comprehensive, and I’m working my way through that.
My short term goal is to be able to play decently. My longer term goal is to actually be good. Baby steps.
On top of that, I’ve put language learning on the schedule as well. I’ve been taking time each day to do Spanish and French activities on DuoLingo. I want to supplement my Spanish beyond that, because I’m planning a trip to Guatemala next year… My French is so-so, but DuoLingo is helping with my vocabulary.
I guess I’ve gotten over my Star Trek slump. (Though, admittedly I’ve moved on to Voyager now. I’m just not watching it in as big of chunks of time.)
I’m making time for art, music, and language in my life. The only thing missing right now is writing time, since I do still want to write my book. It is started, now I just need to make progress on it and finish it. Soon enough that will be on my schedule too.
Oh, and today I’m even challenging myself by trying to fix up an old chest that I bought!
So what does my real life look like? It’s looking more and more like me. All of the things I enjoy are becoming priorities. Soon I’ll be moving to a place of my absolute, own choosing, simply because I want to live there.
Grad. school was a real experience too. But it was one that skewed my priorities in certain ways. Now I’m finding balance, and I’m finding the life of my choosing fits me well.
I look forward to continuing to grow into it.