On Caffeine

My dear friend James has this saying "Guys, I'm on caffeine." What he means is he's had more coffee than usual and is feeling the rush. Barbara always replied,  "James, you say that like it's a thing. It isn't a thing." And I always found it funny, so I try to use the phrase as much as possible.

Because I'm a lightweight when it comes to everything, I've experienced "being on caffeine" before. But it's always been in the context of writing a paper or studying for finals. Wednesday was a tad different. I had my usual morning cup of coffee PLUS the coffee I'd brewed Tuesday during lunch and had completely forgotten at home before going back to work. It was also something like 87 degrees on Wednesday so iced coffee (or at the very least, cold coffee) felt like a necessity. So I pulled out my jar o' coffee and sipped while I took lunch in the trunk of my Outback. You may have seen it on instagram...

Suddenly I felt it. My heart started pumping a little faster, my eyes felt wider, my mind clearer. I was on caffeine.
Quick tangent: During an academic counseling session back in college, my professor asked me what my post-grad plans were. At this point I wasn't engaged and only nebulously thinking about marriage, but grad school was already on the radar. So I told him I was interested in studying environmental policy more in depth. Being a good mentor, he prodded further, asking what exactly I wanted to study. I couldn't quite answer. He didn't let up, "Okay, well, who are your favorite environmental policy authors?" I was stumped.
I couldn't answer because at that point, I hadn't realized that grad school is 100% different from undergrad. And I hadn't actually put any thought into what I'd submit as a research proposal.

Flash forward to Wednesday when the caffeine high rush hits. I've been lugging around this feeling of purposelessness for about eight months and haven't been able to shake it or think of a way to improve my life. All of a sudden I knew what I needed to do with my life! I started writing in that hipster journal I told you all about. It was a frenzy. I couldn't get my words down fast enough. I ended up just making a list of broad areas I want to work on/broad goals I have. Among the goals is finding an answer to Rosco's question from two years ago. I can't simply dream about going back to school and romanticize the process. It will be work, hard work. I'll need to have a specific idea of what I want to research and focus on, and I'm never going to get there if I stay ignorant.

So I took to Google and Amazon in search of some books because I love lists (obvi). Here are the titles of some--yes, there are more--of the environmental policy books that stuck out to me (keep in mind while still high on caffeine).

  • The Environmental Case: Translating Values Into Policy
  • Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans
  • The National Wildlife Refuges: Coordinating a Conservation System Through Law
  • The Environmental Policy Paradox
  • The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France

Ahh, sounds thrilling and fulfilling. As in: my heart is currently swelling with granola joy just thinking about reading these books.

Luckily, I have a starting off point with The Environmental Case thanks to my public policy class last year. Unfortunately, the bookcase was the first (and is the only) thing we've packed up in preparation for our move, so I'll have to wait about two weeks before I can crack out the book.

Not only did I have an epiphany about grad school, I also had a surge of motivation to get my act together. I want to build stronger habits like making my bed every morning, getting back into my yoga practice and setting aside time throughout my day to read and write. I spend so much time in front of a screen (honestly, who doesn't these days?) at work and then my breaks on my phone and then watching TV when I get home. But I'm 24, slowly but surely creeping my way to 25, and I feel like this is my prime and I need to take advantage of it. I have anywhere from five to seven years before I want to have kids, and I want to push every last crazy minute to it's full potential. That first means organizing my life in some capacity.
Since I'm a lister, I'll also give you the titles of other books on my Amazon wishlist.
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood
  • Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God
  • Restless: Because You Were Made For More
  • Heartburn
  • Don't Worry, It's Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood
  • Historical Capitalism and Capitalist Civilization
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe
Now, I have to remind you, this is a recap of the thoughts that fired off in my brain within a 45 minute time period. FORTY FIVE MINUTES of intense thinking and processing, all thanks to an extra cup of coffee.

Until Monday,
♥ A

1 comment:

  1. Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen.

    Congrats on the grad school epiphany. Good things happen whilst on caffeine.

    I own Someday, Someday, Maybe and I love it. I also love all things Nora Ephron.