Thursday, April 09, 2009

Can I have a do-over, please? Or just more time in life.

I was talking to my boss yesterday (and this is not a work-related post by any means, so I can officially say I was talking to my boss and not "someone I know" or "some random lady who controls me during the day" or "the Sugar Momma who bought me the tasty Eggs Benedict on Monday morning" even though all may be very true) about what I recently decided I want to do with my life, which, again, is totally not work-related as far as what I do now, so it's okay to talk about it.

She said something along the lines of, "Doesn't it stink that you have to decide what you want to do when you're young and not when you're older, when you do figure it out?"

And yes, it does suck the biggest monkey toes around.

Sure, I love to write, I love the whole grammar thing, I love to edit, I love to draw and paint and make up funny cartoons and design things and take pictures and make jewelry and cook and read and listen to music and write about music, but that's not what I want to do in life. I wouldn't mind doing any of those things and get paid, don't get me wrong. I thrive on creating things, whether it's something tangible or something in my head that I'm just talking about or dreaming about. I think I've always been that way.

But the one thing I do know about myself is that with all of the above, I can drop any one of them and not pick it up again for the rest of my life and I would be okay.

Well, I take that back - most of them. I think I will always write. Which sort of leads me into what I've decided I want to do.

I've always been interested in people and how they think. I over analyze people in hopes I can figure out why they do what they do, which I'm sure most people do not do and yes, that makes me a tad nuts. I'm really interested in what makes people do what they do, think how they think, and how the brain works. I started listening to more science podcasts (especially Radio Lab, just about the best darn science podcast out there), and that's when I discovered this thing called Neuroscience.

I've heard the term before. It meant nothing to me, but yes, I've heard it. Basically it's the study of the nervous system. But it's also so much more than that. At least, it can be.

There is a branch of neuroscience called neuropsychology - and that is what I'm most interested in. So I looked up Stanford to see if they have a degree in it (yes) and then told my husband I was going to Stanford to become a neuropsychologist. He said something like "good deal," which really means, "Yeah, sure, another dream of yours that won't pan out...." But the thing is, is that I really am interested in this. Like, I could see myself doing this. And I can see myself writing books about the brain, similar to Oliver Sacks (who is just the cutest flipping old man around and yes, he wrote Awakenings, a movie I have always loved (have yet to read the book though)) and Steven Pinker, and V. S. Ramachandran to name a few. See how I can bring that whole writing thing into this new interest?

If I had no family relying on me, I would figure out how to drop it all and go back to school. Since I do have family relying on me, I just have to wait. I can be the oldest neuropyschologist out in the world. Why not. I already plan on bring "fun" back to neuroscience.

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