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Lateral drift

March 23, 2008

I came across the following passage in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance tonight and it seemed a fitting description of my own situation:

“I settle back in the grass and rest again.  Maybe it’s not having answers that’s defeating both of us.  I don’t want to go ahead because it doesn’t look like any answers ahead.  None behind either.  Just lateral drift.  That’s what it is between me and him.  Lateral drift, waiting for something.”

I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut lately.  My program at U-Mass is utterly unstimulating, leaving me feeling anxious to move on to bigger and better things–which is the same feeling that prompted me to come to graduate school in the first place.  I have ideas, energy, and passion that I want to invest in making improvements to peoples’ lives and communities yet I’m stuck attending classes that teach me next to nothing and doing assignments that I could do in my sleep. 

So what do I do?  Do I wait it out and finish grad school so that perhaps my degree will boost me to bigger and better things a year from now?  Do I drop out after this semester and move on to bigger and better things this yearAre there bigger and better things for me to move on to?  What is bigger and better?

I don’t have answers to these questions so I drift, laterally, not feeling quite like I’m moving forward nor backward.  I’m just passing through time waiting for answers to come, in turn prompting me to question whether I should be waiting or whether I should be taking initiative and making a new move…

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