This has been a summer of scientific, natural, world, and self discovery. I've seen caddisflies emerge to to fly for the first time, had my scientific works change legislation, swam with the largest daphnia you've ever seen, and realized that every place is the same in many ways. I've rediscovered my redneck past time of fishing in an elegant way and managed to see whats around me without feeling like I was wasting time. What I'm getting at is, well... that this summer has surprised me a bit.
I was worried that my summer before graduate school wasn't going to be enough of a break since I wasn't going off to Costa Rica or some far away place, instead I ended up discovering happiness in my own back yard. It's not the Bachelor's degree or anything I've studied for. I've learned how to live with myself this summer.
As I prepare for another venture towards my self appointed goals, I remind myself that life is completely and totally what you make it to be. I've seen professors that shouldn't be professors, and had my life dramatically impacted by my colleagues and mentors. Almost anyone can get a Ph.D. if they try hard enough, but it is a select few that do more than just endure the entire process and gain much more from it. So I didn't get into Yale, nor is Sean B. Carroll going to be right down the hall. Iowa City isn't Ithica, NY, nor is my dissertation likely to reshape our view of the world. However: I do promise that I will get everything out of my doctoral program that a star scientist is meant to. For once I'm proud of myself despite not attaining the highest achievement known to man and finally, I feel at ease with some level of Zen-like balance in my life.
Alabama, It's been grand, but once again I've been afforded the chance to restart and reshape my destiny. Here's to kicking some butt in the upcoming months!