For some reason that I don't consciously recognise, the busier I am at work, the more random thoughts pop up in my mind. This has been happening for many years and even more so in the past few. Perhaps this is an involuntary, sub-conscious psychological response to the stressful condition.
Every now and then the random thoughts are different, depending what is on the current agenda.
Most recently my second dream of pursuing a doctoral degree in history revives and tops the list. There are mixed signals, as far as I can conceive, but I don't know if they have been deciphered and understood in the correct light. In any event, Ian got it blunt and clear – I need to identify an advisor who finds my research proposal, whatever it is, of his/her interest. I am almost ready to put aside my original interest in diplomatic history of medieval China. But what else I should do? And even if I have nailed down another research area, how can I be assured of a good chance of its acceptability? No clue at all. This predicament has been haunting me for some years. I can't wait to have a crystal ball to tell me the answer – a definite "yes" or "no" – so that I don't have to waste any more time and effort on something that will never come in my way. Time is precious and irrecoverable. I can't really afford to waste any more. If I could, I'd rather give up and move on. While the battle between "hang in there" and "forget it" lingers on, my impatience is ablaze and it would be great if a permanent armistice can be concluded before long. Whichever wins, I don't really care now.
The next item on agenda is that my contract with the current company will expire in about six months. Should I renew or move on to somewhere else? If I opt for the latter, where to? There are pros and cons everywhere, and what ultimately matters comes from the bottom of your heart. I have been looking around casually over the past few weeks, but haven't come across anything of interest yet. Whatever my answer to the question may be, keeping an eye on the market is certainly worth doing.
To answer the first question of the second item, there is another important factor taken into account: How much weight should be given to the balance of life, which essentially is the only appeal working here? Am I prepared to put up with a bunch of fossil-minded creatures for another three years, or even more, so that I can have more time to put my energy and brainpower to more meaningful causes? How can I resist the inclination of being assimilated and transformed into one of them but stay proudly as who I am?
In addition to working on these brainpower-consuming questions, my dreams at night are also filled with dear friends, their happiness and problems, just like vivid playbacks of our enjoyable gatherings. The lack of quality sleep, albeit limited in duration, feels like a red-light warning of the fast-filling up brain memory, which will reach its ceiling in no time. Perhaps this means I need a relaxing trip to let go some of the useless rubbish, or install another 1,000 TB hard disk. Not to mention the desperate urge to make up for the spoiled trip, which, I confess, irritates me still.