So far, I’ve been trying not to shoot too many photographs so as to avoid having to choose one that gets the “official shot of the day” title; but I couldn’t avoid it for today’s post. Between a photograph with more meaning and a photograph with more visual appeal, I chose the one with more meaning.

The sticker appeared on that pole in the last week or two. I was struck by its economy of message–a black-and-white print of a nondescript, if somewhat creepy, face paired with a simple statement that people who encounter it are free to interpret as they wish. (Geez, doesn’t that sound like I’m reading too much into it.) There’s little question that I wouldn’t have paid it much attention were it not for my own struggles with goals: not so much that I lack them, but rather that I’m hard-pressed to make any progress towards achieving them. The situation is such that there is but one logical path I can follow–only one choice to make–and it may or may not lead where I want. The reasons for this could occupy their own blog entry, but I will, in the interests of time and discretion, leave them unwritten.

One foot in front of the other, I suppose.

aaaaaand…we’re back.

Now that I’ve had a bit of time to recover from this whirlwind school year, I have to say that it really feels like the year went by kind of quickly. If you were to have asked me how I felt during the school year, my answer would have been completely different–the year couldn’t have been over fast enough–but in retrospect there is a twinge of sadness accompanying the sense of accomplishment at having survived a year of classes (and organic chemistry in particular).

The problem is twofold, I think: now that classes are pretty much done (I may have to take a couple more classes, but I have the next two years in which to complete them), it’s back to the [more than] full-time grind at the job for me, replete with the reminders of why I’m doing this in the first place. The slow realization that I’ll be at the job for another couple of years is, sadly, rather soul-crushing; it has caused me to wonder on more than one occasion if I shouldn’t try to find something else to do during this time, such as do something more healthcare-related, something that will help to answer the question “do I know what I’m getting myself into?” (Which is, apparently, what med school admissions boards want to know.) Normally, I think that would be a fine plan, but given the state of the economy, it’s probably best if I remain at my job and try to complete my responsibilities as best I can.

The other thing that makes this ending somewhat bittersweet is that I didn’t take the time until later in the school year to start to get to know some of my classmates… and now that school’s out and it’s back to 40+ hour work weeks, I just won’t have the time to hang out with them all that often. (Not like I had free time during the school year–but scheduled class time kinda counts. Ahh… that brings back memories of all-day cramming sessions before organic chemistry exams…) Whether or not that actually ends up being true is well within my control, however.

Oh yeah, and there’s the MCAT. I should, uh, get right on that.

It’s not a total downer, though. It’s admittedly nice to be able to focus more of my time and attention on a single thing, rather than trying to juggle multiple things. People seemed to be rather surprised (and perhaps a bit amazed) when I explain that I’ve been working full-time hours and taking two classes; in retrospect, I’m amazed I pulled it off. (Of course, I know how I pulled it off… by shortchanging at least one area of responsibility, though I won’t say which one(s)…) Speaking of, last quarter saw an A- in bio and a B in chem. My requirements were to not get C’s or lower–so I think I can consider that requirement verified. (eeew, engineering-speak.)

The best part, though, is being able to spend non-working hours actually doing fun/relaxing things, hence actually having the time to futz around with my poor, neglected website, finally putting up that photoblog I’d been meaning to do for quite some time now and actually writing this stupidly long blog post. (I feel as if I need to make up for a few months of inactivity… and also, a brain dump in this manner is remarkably freeing.) Of course, whether or not I’m just typing into the ether is a different consideration entirely (but some of us prefer illusion to despair).

What’s next, then? Catching up on what feels like a year’s worth of backlogged work responsibilities (not to mention culling/editing 1800+ photos from Jessup week), working on the whole med school application process, and maybe actually trying to enjoy life. (‘Cause there probably won’t be any time to do that once I’m actually in med school.) Who’s with me?