Passions, Priorities and Perpetual Motion

These last few months have been a blur for me. I started a new full-time position with a planning department. I wrote an intensive application for a graduate scholarship. I began a number of graduate school applications. I hung out with friends. I went on some dates. I ramped up my work on Drexel Smart House. And at no time, until these few moments I am stealing, did I pull back from all the activity in order to assess and to reflect upon what I have been doing, learning, accomplishing. In these few borrowed minutes I think I see a dilemma that I am about to run into head on. Passions, Priorities and Perpetual Motion.

I am incredibly passionate about my own education and research , the development and evolution of Drexel Smart House into a sustainable organization, becoming a professional architect, and creating an excellent design company.

Luckily some of my passions are also able to be my current priorities. Unfortunately Drexel Smart House and the job that adds to my professional training are leaving me little room for anything else. My thesis work is receiving a few hours every two weeks of production time (of course I think about it everyday), my NCARB/IDP process is stagnating (I haven’t touched that stuff in months), my graduate applications and GRE are afterthoughts at the end of the day, and I can’t even find the time to schedule a hair cut, let alone sit down to eat good meals each day (I’ve seriously a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter underneath my desk at work).

And then there’s the perpetual motion. On a good day I’m getting 6 hours of sleep. In general I’m floating around 4-5 for most working days of the week. Why? Because I find myself insisting on celebrating what could well be my final year in Philadelphia for some time. Requests to grab a drink at a bar or to come over for dinner certainly are not falling on deaf ears. Of course such celebration is also a cause for my concern. I have to be careful that I don’t over do it all. I feel I’m a hockey puck gliding swiftly across the ice. If I don’t stop sometime I think I’m going to come crashing down.

All that said, what is really nagging me is “what comes next” and being ready for it. I absolutely want to continue on to graduate school for urban planning. But, will all the great things I am doing that are strengthening my character and honing my professional and personal skills also beginning to cut too deeply? Will I let them stop me from being ready for moving on?

I guess I’ll find out soon enough. Until then it’s all about balance.

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