I mentioned in my previous post what my goals are. Since then, I've been making a bit of headway toward most of them, if not in action, then in thought. Today starts my big push of the first step, learning Lojban. My journey, as I've been saying, will be a long and difficult one. The first four goals will take me a good decade, possibly even longer. In other words, I'll be 40 before the some of the most arduous times of my life are over. Middle-aged. Just thinking it makes me feel old.
I was hoping to start a family by 35. Hoping to buy/build a house by 35. Hoping, hoping, hoping...
I could just drop everything, of course, and just for for someone else for the rest of my life. Make someone else money. Make someone else rich. Just work until I retire. Retire until I quietly pass away. Live an unlived life.
Bleekness aside, I would have a family sooner rather than later. I would get my loans paid off and not get new ones. I would get a home sooner and have it paid off earlier.
I'm not saying that the PhD and family are mutually exclusive. They simply repel each other like two north oriented magnets. It is perfectly reasonable that I could fall in love and get married while working on my PhD.
Even leaving out the big stuff, I have a LOT of little things to do. I need to: improve my speaking skills, improve my writing skills, learn some research skills, relearn a lot of low level computer science (mostly algorithms and data structures), pay off my student loans, read up on the seminal papers of my field, become proficient in Lojban, become competent in Japanese, relearn to program in Java, create a personal philosophy, write a book on my personal philosophy, get the book published, study for the GRE, retake the GRE, write a parser for Lojban, gain admission to the local CC to take Japanese, apply to teach in Japan, live in Japan for a year, research PhD programs, apply for PhD programs, survive a PhD program... The list goes on and on.
Am I really the type of person who can handle all of this? It almost seems like a major shift in personality.
Much to think about.