Discovered this poem mid-paper, a lovely calming moment in the middle of a hectic day. Week. Month? Year? Lifetime?
Time to plant trees is when you're young
So you will have them to walk among --
So aging, you can walk in shade
That you and time together made.
--James Hayford, "Time To Plant Trees"
Here's the trouble, though.
Trees that you plant will blossom slow,
Far slower than youth would have them grow.
One of the things I hoped to learn in graduate school (and I think I am and will) is how to think on slower timescales, longer timelines, bigger pictures. Become comfortable soaking in vast oceans of uncertainty without immediately thrashing towards a shore I can't see. Balancing things with short-term action and exploration enough that I can remain spontaneous in the short term while hewing to a more constant long-term conmpass, instead of ripping down and rebuilding my entire life from scratch over and over; building roots and letting myself set down, commit to something, accept that imperfection will occur regardless of how long I forestall solidity.
I've learned that I react better to options than to obligations, but I really do need to invest more in a few options so that they actually happen. Complacency eventually turns into stagnation, and I learn nothing when I'm too afraid to grow.