After spending four years completing a double major while balancing a rigorous honors program and (somehow? without going completely insane from sleep deprivation?) graduating magna cum laude, I found myself in that floating space between college and graduate school. When I returned from a beautiful and wild summer backpacking through eastern Europe, my graduation present to myself, the purple face of my GRE prep book taunted me from my desk –reminding (and almost demanding of) me that it was time to plunge back into the educational grind.
The more it stared me down, the more I began to ask myself those early 20s freak out questions: Where am I going? Where have I been? (insert Joyce Carol Oates reference here). What passion do I want to chase and what changes will I make in myself to be successful in my endeavors? Beyond educational achievement, what will make me happy? What will fulfill me and challenge me?
Although I treasure academia and the general pursuit of knowledge, I realized that what I truly wanted to chase was myself. So I decided to take pause before pursuing my masters to delve into something outside of the often Edwardian droning of a lecture hall. Something more radical and less tame, something in direct opposition to the rigid requirements of the academy:
Always the vixen and ever the voyeur, I have long been attracted to being a companion. I’ve fantasized about the connections and conversations, imagined the thrill of spontaneity and possibility, mused about the potential for discovering any and every thing new. I’ve always had an eager and salacious mind, satiated through frequent journaling and avid reading, but I’ve come to develop a craving for more than just cerebral titillation. I've started to covet the moment when budding attraction becomes active passion, to long for the feeling of temptation fulfilled. As John Berger so aptly observed, “To be desired is perhaps the closest in the life anybody can reach to feeling immortal.” Unable to fully extinguish my love for the classroom, I still take some standalone courses -I’m currently on an Angela Davis kick. But for now I’m shying away from institutional education and leaning inward. Now majoring in hedonism with a minor in adventure, I attempt to master myself.