Thursday, December 18, 2008

oranges on the beach

I feel I should give due credit to my friend Perseus who, several years ago, suggested the "selling oranges on the beach in Jamaica" alternative lifestyle option I made use of in my last post.

As you may have noticed from a few of my posts here, I, like many other grad students, have the tendency to grow depressed and feel sorry for myself from time to time. In two cases during my time here as a student, acquaintances have literally died as a result of their failure to deal with this phenomenon (and likely other problems in their lives). In reaction to these tragic events, Perseus suggested that you should always consider the worst possible scenario - you fail your comprehensive, your girlfriend leaves you, you are deported, you are fired from your part time job at Wendy's - and realize that its actually not really that bad; there are still options available that would result in happiness, like finding your way to the tropics and figuring out how to make tourists + local fruit = enough money to live on till the next day.

Whenever the pressure seems too great, my work seems too trivial, or I feel like some one is finally going to catch on that I don't have the talents needed to continue on in my current endeavors, I try to think of that. If all goes to hell, I will simply point my way towards warm weather and sort something out - it might even turn out to be more fun anyway!

1 comments:

Mark said...

"I feel like some one is finally going to catch on that I don't have the talents needed to continue on in my current endeavors"

Ben, I can assure you that this feeling NEVER leaves you... at least, in my experience as an academic. I'm always waiting for that moment that someone says, "hey... wait a minute... you've got NO CLOTHES!!!" I remember my PhD supervisor telling me he had the same feelings throughout his career too. So, don't look for the Orange-career yet!