Saturday, December 01, 2007

Self-Created Missed Opportunities, or I Am Very Upset

I am currently stressed over an impending IRB deadline (which means turning in my protocol for the research design, two surveys, and prospectus), writing two papers, applying to a Ph.D. program I am not sure is right for me but may be better than the crappy one I'm in now. The IRB deadline is the most immediate worry: 12/6. I am mostly done with all of the research and work. And it is going to be a part of my prospectus at any rate, which is what I have to turn in for Research Methods--and I have a draft prospectus, I just need to refine it and tack on the appendices. And that leaves just two papers to finish for my Organizations (micro, macro) classes, which I've started and which should not be a problem.

I am currently stressed about applying to an interdisciplinary PhD program, which I am going to do because it is very little cost in time and effort and money (4-5 hours, $75, by 12/15). But I am having anticpatory stress over what it means to defect from the horrid SJD program to a Ph.D. program: how much more time am I looking at? Will it really make me that more marketable? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Should I just finish and go on the market in 2009, whatever my prospects are? I really must email some of you profs privately first before I put up my thoughts publicly. It is so distressing.

I was having a wonderfully relaxing day of work, cooking, and running, until for some reason an upset trigger made me feel like crap:

I'm very, very upset that because I waited not even two days to book tickets to Washington, D.C., it is now much more expensive to go, almost to the point where I wouldn't go because I did not plan on going at this time of year anyway. I admit, I am not currently there. I am so upset that for once I will admit where I am not, because it is not the same as admitting where I am.

I was going to ask you blog readers, "Hey, anyone in the area who wants to meet the semi-reclusive Belle Lettre from 1/7 to 1/14, email me!"

But alas, the Virgin promotion increased its prices since 11/29 such that I would be paying a full $100 or more for the roundtrip.

This greatly disincentivizes the trip, although I might still book the tickets anyway because it's the only free time I have to see The Best Friend, TC, and HLP before teh summer, when I will not be guaranteed to have the time or money to visit at any rate. But if I do buy the tickets, I will feel like I've just had my intestines gouged out with an ice-cream scoop. I will feel, as it were, like the biggest sucker, having screwed over myself. Never wait for confirmation from your friend who works for the security of our nation by going to DOD meetings in other parts of the world: you won't hear back in time, you will not get the bargain fare on the awesome airline (we are talking BARGAIN for the fact that I get inflight TV and stuff!), and you will not go to DC and hang out with your best friends and other blog readers.

And you know what? I am so pissed and indecisive about sucking up the price differential that I will wait two more days and effectively prohibit myself from going at all, the decision having been made for me by virtue of its economic infeasibility.

This is the story of my life: waiting so long that I hurt my own chances at anything and give up.

This is why I need to get an email out ASAP to trusted law prof advisors to ask them about transferring. Because I need some encouragement to get this application out in time even though it is no big deal for me to get it out in time) rather than flip-flop and fence-sit until the deadline passes and the decision has been made for me by virtue of it being too late. And this, my friends, explains why I so often miss the boat on fellowships or applications to schools I think I have no chance in hell of getting anyway. If you wait long enough, you can't try anymore.

Really, it is no different than going to D.C., one of my favorite cities where dwell some of my best friends. An opportunity presented itself, and I waited too late, and now instead of having options I have an either/or, that as more time passes, turns into "or," and then "could have been."

I am prone to getting very upset over little things I extrapolate to larger themes in my life. Fortunately, this is something do very rarely, keep internally (well, I'll blog about it but I will not take it out on the people in my life and will likely not talk about this with The Dude, The Roomie, etc.), and do not do to other people. Somehow, the element of personal responsibility over my ticket-buying is the same as my personal responsiblity over applying to grad programs and fellowships, and if I had been just a little bit more responsive and responsible, I would be going to D.C. in January, I would have applied to more fellowships to fund my current crappy program, and two years ago, I would have applied to the proper Ph.D program and not be stuck in this spiralling hellhole of self-doubt reduced marketability that I am now.

If you wait long enough, you create your own missed opportunity, and you get upset at yourself. More than anything or anyone or the world at large, I am upset with myself for not doing the smart/right/proper thing in 2005 (hell, 2001), and not doing the smart/right/cost-saving thing on 11/29.

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