For example, I am good at evolutionary biology and I enjoy it most of the time, so this seemed like a good educational path. Did I ever want to be an evolutionary biologist? I don't know. It just sort of happened. I think it was the right thing for me to do and in that way I'm lucky. I can remember being a little surprised though when I started applying for positions as an academic scientist. Most grad students want that job badly. It was never my goal to become an academic scientist though. I just did the best science I could and I became competitive as an academic scientist.
I feel like in the last year I have been defining things about myself. What colors of nail polish I want to wear. What kinds of clothes I want to wear. The sort of people I would like to have as friends. What I want to read. What I want to say. How I want my house to look. I think I should have developed this part of myself a long time ago, but somehow I didn't, and this is still a hard thing for me. I struggle to decide what music I want to listen to. It is hard for me to decide how I want to spend my time. It's sort of like how I knitted for three years before realizing I hate knitting. It's so strange that it should take so long to decide that I don't want to knit.
I think I am more capable of making decisions now than I have been before. It's good because I have a lot to make. I want to fall in love, but I don't even know what I want, or should want from a relationship. The only thing I usually think of is someone to load the dishwasher while I pack suitcases. That isn't enough. I could hire the neighbor kids to do that for me for about $5.00. I need a relationship worth more than that, but I have no idea what I want it to be like.
I want to move out of Merced and there are a few different ways of doing that. Going into industry (bad idea in this economy), becoming an instructor (I don't want that), applying for a job outside the US (probably Europe), sticking it out in Merced until I get a grant (that may not ever happen). Do I want to move to Europe? I don't know.
I think that I can have whatever I decide I want, but I am not quite sure how to do that.