So.  The actual “school” part of grad school ended up being a lethal combination with work, side projects, and my general tendency towards laziness whenever anything resembling the possibility of procrastination presents itself.  Either way, this blog found itself in the realm of most of my blogging projects — briefly shiny and interesting, but ultimately relegated to the attic.  Like that toy you begged your parents to get you, and they did, and you end up playing with the talking pull-string Roger Rabbit doll for 45 minutes until it eventually ends up under your bed next to the model dinosaur and the pile of decepticons.

Speaking of me referencing Roger Rabbit and decepticons, guess who’s officially entering his early/mid 30s in less than a month?

All this is to say that I have officially closed out Brandeis and have two years down at the University of Oregon.  As the narcissist’s mirror-cum-marquee Facebook has proclaimed over the years I have completed my masters paper, walked, and have a second (or third, if you include my dual degree program as two separate degrees) masters resting on my desk in a thick blue folder.  Here’s hoping that it serves some purpose other than as a cruel mockery of my survival skills, or a testament to the lengths to which I’ll go to avoid the job market.  At least, that’s what the tiny little heckler who lives in my brain is constantly saying.  When the past four or five years have felt like a holding pattern your own personal Don Rickles is bound to set up shop in there.

A lot has also happened in those four or five years.  I’ve changed residences six times or so (on two different continents) and had three incredibly random — but they make sense in context — health scares.  I’ve had two major life setbacks with my life’s rug being yanked out from underneath of me.  I became what one acquaintance termed an “emotional prude,” fearing to connect or put down roots.  I’ve even doubted my own sanity and goodness.  But I like to think that being beaten up a little bit was good for me.

At the same time I’ve learned my worth.  I like to think I’ve gotten a tiny bit stronger, and gained a little bit of an edge.  I’ve definitely gained some perspective: a lot of my problems are fixable, and I have resources that I’m damn lucky to have — a close family and some very good and loyal friends among them.  In short, at least 99.8% of my problems are “first world problems.”  That’s more than a lot of people can say.  I’ve also become aware that that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.  It does, however, imply a need for humility.

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