I’m in California very rarely (only a few days every 6 weeks or so) yet I still managed to be in town for a housewarming party for a couple my husband knows from work. So, instead of spending a quiet evening at home with my husband, I was at a party with lots of astrophysicists.
I hate going to things like that.
I am not so good at meeting new people. Especially people that I have nothing obvious in common with. I am shy, I don’t know what to say, and inevitably whatever conversation I start sort of dies off after awhile and I’m left sort of staring at my conversation partner with nothing left to say.
But beyond that, I’ve turned into a terribly one-sided person. I go to lab and do work. That’s it. I don’t watch movies. I don’t watch TV except for Stargate Atlantis (actually, that might not have been a bad conversation starter in that crowd, but I didn’t think of it). I barely read any books and what books I do read are trashy vampire romance novels because that’s all that I have the brain power to read these days. I knit a little bit. That’s it. My life is boring.
I used to not be this way. I used to be like a normal person. I went to movies and watched TV and even went to plays and musicals every so often. I read tons of books and not just trashy ones, either. I had lots of hobbies to talk about.
And then, I went to grad school.
One by one, the extra things I did–the things that made me fit in with normal people–fell away until I was left with nothing but lab. This is one of the things I really mourn about my time in grad school. I used to be a multi-dimensional person. Now I have one dimension and that is lab. I can barely even talk to my family for cryin’ out loud because the conversation inevitably goes something like this:
Them: So what have you been up to?
Them: How’s that going?
Me: Well, my experiments seem to be working okay right now, so I’m making some progress.
Them: Well, that’s good.
Them: What else have you been doing?
Me: I don’t have time for anything else.
And that’s pretty much the end of what I can contribute to the conversation.
See, that’s what I hate about the long hours. It’s not the work, per se, because I don’t mind work. It’s the fact that there’s no time left for anything else. Even if I lived with my husband, we wouldn’t get to spend all that much time together that wasn’t sleeping.
I am so tired of grad school and the fact that my entire life seems to be the lab. I’m tired of living it, I’m tired of complaining about it. I just want it to be over.