[journals] A Brief Noting on Transitioning From School to Break


[journals] A Brief Note on Transitioning From School to Break

31 May 2016

I remember one calm afternoon, about a year ago, spent quietly sitting in my apartment at Berkeley. I was reading an interview with the famous sociologist Zygmant Bauman. This is when I had first begun to realize that the pursuit of a degree in computer science would be a hellish one for me. I was confused as to what other alternatives I might enjoy, and so I had checked out a variety of sociology books in an attempt to explore the field. Anyhow, in this book Bauman gave a peculiar response to a particular question that to this day, my mind will often wander back to.

The interviewer asked him why he chose to study sociology. Bauman gave an answer somewhere along the lines of ‘it allows me to understand this world that I live in. And that brings me a lot of satisfaction.”

The interviewers then asked him, “So  would you say sociology has given you a happier life?”

Bauman responded by saying that he hasn’t ever had a happy week in his entire life. Only days of happiness every week. 

I liked this answer because it reminded me how misguided it is to demand that every day be a happy one. Since that moment, I try to allow myself three bad/okay days every week as opposed to at even the slightest hint of sadness, throwing myself into a whirlwind of confusion and frustration at not having figured out this thing called “living.” (I find that I’m especially prone to these episodes when I forgo a disciplined schedule, good sleep, the company of friends, and exercise.)

Today it occurred to me that this idea might also be applied to the singular day. From a very literal perspective, there is no such thing as a happy day. Only a day filled with happy moments.

I don’t know why but there are certain seasons in Life, in which I sometimes feel like I’m feverishly keeping a real time record of how happy I am moment to moment. My feeling is that this is a foolish endeavor.

Perhaps I should just let the day happen, enjoying the happy moments as they come while also letting myself feel more deeply all the other moments and feelings.

Note: I’m two weeks in to my new summer schedule. The past few months I was in a certain rhythm up in the Bay and now my days are suddenly incredibly different. I wake up at different hours, I’m around different people, I have different tasks on my plate. I think I’m still getting acclimatized and tuning my routine. These unusual mood swings I’ve been having are actually very much to be expected. I think I forgot that I am indeed in a state of abrupt transition. That’s kind of a relief.