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Seven Things: To check off my list before turning 26

I generally try to do my Seven Things post on the 7th of the month, which this month happened to also be my birthday.  I’ve been planning this post for quite a while and just haven’t had a computer and/or been too busy when I have to actually get down to posting.

So here I am “on the wrong side of 25″ as a friend so kindly put it in an email recently. I’m not nearly so negative about it, especially since this year has been filled with all sorts of great (or at least necessary) events.

7. Finding a job (or 2) in a recession economy.
Oh man.  After 6 or 7 months of searching, countless numbers of unreturned emails and applications and resumes sent out, and plenty of tear filled and frustrating days I managed to come up with 2 part time job offers within a week.  And with them came the realization that while it took longer than I hoped or imagined, I was right where I intended to be: holding down a couple flexible jobs that would allow me to work like crazy for a couple weeks, and then take 4 or 5 days off to travel.  While neither job tickled my fancy, they did pay the bills and then some, and forced me to face just what I would take in employment.  The results:  cleaning up poo, yes dealing with horrible co-workers, no.

6. Re-evaluating what I wanted out of a graduate program.
After a decade of wanting desperately to be a part of the space program, 2 years in Tanzania forced me to rethink what I wanted for the future.  While my daydreams will always land amidst the stars, getting my hands dirty and making this plant more sustainable is what is really important to me now.  And thus, mechanical engineering with a focus on renewable/alternative energy sources was the direction I decided to go.

5. Planting a wicked garden
And living on fresh tomato sandwiches for a summer. Yum

4. Travel.
Plenty throughout the US.  Visiting beautiful places and so many people that I wish I could see more often.

3. Accidentally applying to, being accepted by, and deciding to join a PhD program.
Seriously.  I clicked the wrong button.  Well not the wrong button, but a button that I thought was going to have a seriously different outcome than this.  And in doing so I learned not to underestimate myself, and how to ask someone I love to make a choice for me.

2. Moving to Michigan.
Which included buying a car, starting to learn my way around said car as the battery died an annoying death, packing all my possessions into said car, driving through Chicago at rush hour, having a Police greatest hits sing along with my dad, wandering through Kalamazoo looking for wireless internet service, arriving at my summer house at 12:30 am, buying a new car battery and starting to get my bearings in my new home.  Finding the nearest Target and becoming a member of  the food co-op have also happened.  Next on my list is becoming a MI resident and changing the license/tabs on my car.

1. Starting the summer as a Graduate Research Assistant at UofM.
OK, so technically I started this on my birthday, and was already 26 when it happened.  But I’m counting it anyway.  Lots of reading.  Lots of paperwork.  A trip to California in the works for the end of July.  I know I’m not always going to be this excited about this program, but I’m soaking it up now.

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One Comment on “Seven Things: To check off my list before turning 26”

  1. Kristin Thomas Sancken Says:

    Congrats on moving to Michigan and on the PhD program! I hope you continue to stay passionate about it, that seems to be the hardest part of a PhD program – motivation. I also wondered what happened of your dreams of becoming an astronaut, interesting to hear your change in direction. Adulthood has made me also question what I want out of life (multiple times … especially after having a baby). I wish you all the best and can't wait to hear more!

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