The Jungle was fun. There was a little frog in my bathroom, a coqui, that hopped around all over and made his little frog noises. I showered staring at the ocean (the showers were all outdoor). I rode a horse on the beach. And snorkeled with unreal looking fish and sea turtles. I drove a Jeep around, listening to pop and classical music. And ran miles down a pier, staring at the mountains on larger PR. And I ate quite a bit of very good food.
While there my boss forwarded me an article in The Chicago Tribune about the work we are doing and I felt a sense of pride that all of the hours and back and forth and everything is beginning to bud into real progress that we can share with the public.
The dissertation I am turning into a paper and my own MA thesis proposal got hammered out on the trip and shortly thereafter, as well. I also read Night of the Gun by David Carr and was haunted by my own past and appreciative of his honesty and gratitude.
Once I got back yoga training was completed. My stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. Completely treatable. The best of bad news but still bad news. And I visited a friend in a substance use rehab facility for Family Day, under the pretense of research. And in the afternoon, sitting, holding his hand, that it hit me that it wasn't for any research. I was there to support and because that is what I want to do for this person. And what my role is for many others. It is somewhat of a default (because I don't quite trust my own emotions and some of my reactions) to get heady, internalize, and come up with some super academic solution. That's okay. And useful. In some ways but maybe not so much in others.
This is challenging for me and always has been. Especially with family. Good thing I am getting a lot of practice. Sometimes I still just want to run away and hide under all of my books.