I've been considering starting a blog for a while now; and yes, I realize that I did start a blog while I was in Panama last year doing field work, and while that doesconstitute me starting a blog, I feel differently about this one. The goal of Adventures in Toading was to share with my family and close friends what exactly it is that I do, as a behavioral ecologist. But as we all know (or the 3 people that read my blog know), I hastily grew weary of updating people on my goal-less project, and dropped the blog right in the middle. Though it was great experience, and there are epic plans to evolve it into something else (to be announced in a later entry), my toading blog will not return. But I digress....
This blog, this blog is for me. It is my outlet, to share with the masses about my crazy life and the things that make it worth living. Why should you care? I'll tell you why; because I'm simultaneously living a dream and a nightmare, and I'm level-headed enough to make it work.
The dream: last year, I met the love of my life (details on that later). Yesterday, we got engaged. I am so incredibly lucky to find another level-headed, over-ambitious, crazy fool such as myself, that I couldn't even fathom how I ever lived without him (that was the last of the mushy, I promise). Also, I am working on a graduate degree with a wonderful cohort of students (mostly girls), and an amazing advisor who is exactly who I need as a mentor at this time in my life. I love my department and my program, and I pour myself into my work.
The nightmare: My fiancee (woah, first time I've typed THAT!) lives six hours away in Austin, TX. Our entire relationship has been long distance, we've never lived in the same city except for a few days before I left for Panama (more on that later, too). It's a struggle, especially with the craziness going on with gas prices right now, but we do the best we can to make do. Also, grad school is hard. Like, seriously, capital H-A-R-D, hard. I work all day and all night, I write about things that don't even make sense to me, and I get my pride and self-worth ripped out and trampled on at least weekly.
So yeah, that's my life. With a few other interesting tidbits thrown in; I have a few great girlfriends whom are now scattered all over the states, I function on a mildly strange diet (no milk or yellow cheese, no piggy meat, no starch after 3) for both health and weight-loss reasons. I have also recently decided that I am IN LOVE with Austin, Texas, and will do everything in my power to stay there for ever and ever and ever.
As someone who is closer to 30 than I am to 20 (and fairly recently so), I can honestly say that I have learned many of those "life lessons" that we're supposed to get through in our 20s, and I'm ready to keep trekking up that hill towards the rest of it; the marriage, the house, the kids and all the rest. So if my life sounds even minimally interesting so far, then keep reading.... so far, it's been one heck of a ride, and I can only imagine that it gets more interesting as it goes!