When you are little,you envision your future in a certain way, like I'll do this, I'll go here, I'll have such and such a life. But as you grow older, you realize that the reality is much much further than anything you had imagined. It is better in some ways, and not quite up to the mark in some ways. Somehow you accept that as your lot in life and learn to live with it.
For the past few weeks I have been haunted by the strongest feelings of nostalgia that I have ever had. The funny thing is, they are from different phases if my life. And in that moment, I would literally give anything to be back in that time and age.
I am back in Innsbruck for a weekend for a conference, up in the mountains, a place called Obergurgl. I have only stayed in this city for about six months, and I left it only four months back. But for some strange reason, all I can think about is how perfect my dorm room was and how beautiful everything was when I was here. And t fills me with a strange,deep sadness. I remember that I was very excited about the possibility of moving to a different country every six months,meeting new people,seeing new places etc, but now that I am living that life, I am not quite so sure. Of course the traveling bit and the scholarship bit are great, and I am studying something I dearly love, but the constant packing and moving and paperwork, all that is a pain in the ass.
There are 7 girls in my batch,and 8 boys. Our program me started only about three years ago and ours has been the most balanced batch ever since. We were talking a while before about how our lives would be like, after PhD and Postdoc and all. Being in a closely knit program like ours also means that we get to see our Professors' lives at close quarters. And that is what scares almost all of us. After Postdoc, it would take at least ten years to get a permanent position. Till then we will have to keep moving maybe every couple of years. That is all very well when you are single. But when you have a family,what happens then? You can't exactly uproot your family every time. The alternative is to put your career ,for which you have worked all your life ,on hold. That is unappealing as well. We had a professor from Toronto last semester. Her husband is also from the same field. So when she came to Innsbruck, he managed to obtain a postdoc position in the university as well, and shifted here,with their kid. I have BEEN that kid. My dad is an academic too, who moved around quite a lot. I wasn't uprooted very much, but that meant I almost never got to see him and my mom too sometimes, as I was growing up. That isn't an ideal situation exactly. It is kind of a vicious circle. I really am worried about what my life is going to be like in a few years...sigh :-s
It is almost June. But up here in the mountains, it is still snowing. It is all heartbreakingly beautiful. But that means our planned hike just got cancelled. Well, you can't have everything, right? Except, I want everything :o