Every year, I write down a list of resolutions for myself. Admittedly, many of them – perfectly packaged into calendar boxes and elaborate checklists – do not see the light of day. I quickly discover that ‘life happens’, taking over at times in unexpected ways.
This year, foregoing the resolution list, I vow to embrace the uncertainty which will mark the coming months of my life in Washington. As I prepare to begin my final semester at SAIS, I have no concrete plan for where I will end up after graduation. For a serial planner like myself, this feels oddly liberating.
If there is anything that graduate school has taught me, aside from the academics, it is to build relationships and focus on the causes that matter to me. It is to engage in meaningful dialogue with my peers and professors, tapping into perspectives that either build upon or challenge my own ideas. These conversations, some of which take place with my housemates at ISH, naturally take time away from crafting cover letters and submitting job applications. However, they leave me with ideas to ponder. At times, they inspire me to take the next conceptual step in forging a path which would best address the issues I care about.
This is where life happens. These are the moments I hope to savour in my last five months as a graduate student and as a resident of ISH. The serial planner in me will likely emerge soon in protest, and I will probably let her guide my choices on occasion. But as my father once told me, we must allow ourselves the flexibility to embrace a future that is even better than the one we had dreamed of. I do not know what that future will hold. In the mean time, I will dance with uncertainty and let life work its magic.