It's a bit after midnight in the middle of the week. I've just finished making an ungodly amount of broccoli cheddar soup that I will likely be working my way through for the rest of the year.
While the soup was simmering, I was reading through a book I just got from the school library that was recommended by my Theory TA (and personal touchstone). It's the kind of book I'll have to read with my notebook at hand because just the introduction has me stupidly excited and a little sad that I'm getting sleepy.
I can't be too sad, though, because I want to be rested for my morning meeting with a researcher who I accosted at a faculty-doc student mixer early in the semester and then spoke with more when she gave a talk about her emerging research agenda. Whether she knows it or not (and she's bright so I suspect she's got an idea), I've decided we need to collaborate and be friends. We have similar backgrounds, similar research interests (though she's pretty firmly in HIV whereas I have been less so in recent years), and she just exudes an excitement about the work that fills any room she enters.
Yeah, I'm excited.
Great book, exciting meeting, yummy (though slightly salty but that's ok because I'll be freezing it) soup, and the beginning seeds of a dissertation idea (Including a recent decision to commit to primary data collection).
This is it; I'm living the dream. Yes, there's the drudgery of midterms and memorization but there's also the love of new ideas and thinking about big concepts and so much potential.
It really can be a great life if you let it (especially if it sneaks up on you).
Mental note: remember this feeling when things are looking bleak.