You may have noticed I changed the title of this blog, along with adding a tagline. To be frank, I have not been an undergrad for almost two years as of this post, and I don’t think I’ll be attending college again in the near future. I won’t go into why that is; I’ve discussed it with numerous friends and acquaintances and it’s a difficult topic for me to talk about without getting emotional. In short: I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had during that time with personal growth and the friends I’ve made, but I did not like how my academic path went, per-se.
During the one and a half years I’ve been out of school, I’ll admit, I don’t feel as stuck as I was during college. Yet, even after moving to Madison in late August/early September and after getting myself in a routine, somewhat, and having a life again…I still feel stuck.
In short, there are three interests of mine I want to pursue and dedicate time towards: writing, nature, and boxing.
Writing is something I wanted to do, and majored in, during my second semester of college. It’s an aspect of me I hold dear and identify as, and I still write to this day when possible. It’s a skill that I’m naturally good at and want to perfect and share with the world (and, in a way, I have). One goal I’ve always wanted to shoot for was to write a novel, regardless if it gets published through a publisher or I self-publish it; it doesn’t matter to me if it “sells” or not. I know I may not be the best writer, but many have come to enjoy the stories and academic papers I’ve written over the years; that’s…something that’s kept me going.
The topic of nature is just as broad as writing, if not more so. But I’m specifically covering Biology and the general appreciation of what’s outside your window. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been so…fascinated by nature, to some extent: from it’s aesthetic appeal and spiritual significance, to the macro and micro interactions species have with each other and their environment. I used to go on walks every so often to just clear my head on whatever nearby trail I know of that was close; it didn’t have to be at some huge park, just a small trail surrounded by trees, flora, and fauna. I also used to take a lot of pictures with a digital camera and, sometimes, my phone on these walks; thankfully I still have them. It’s no wonder I went for a Biology major and got involved with the furry fandom.
Boxing is an interest I’ve had off/on for…quite some time, actually, the same can be said with wrestling. Thing is, I’ve never done either in high school or college (though I did try out a student-run boxing club at college for a couple months). I don’t have a favorite fighter or wrestler, or watch matches very often; I just…like it for what it is, you know? Though, I will admit, within the past few years, this interest sort of…took over. Now, I wasn’t able to find a place close enough to properly train boxing while in Platteville that was less than a half hour away; thankfully the furry fandom provided that outlet, somewhat. I did role play (RP) matches, got art, wrote stories, all centered around wrestling and then boxing. Over time, many viewed me less of a writer and nature-lover, and more as a boxer and wrestler, neither of which I am in person.
I did try boxing again a few months ago, this time taking a couple classes at Ford’s Gym in Madison; it’s definitely what I expect a proper gym to look and feel like and not one that’s part of a chain. I do not regret trying out boxing again and I would’ve gladly continued, though a couple things turned me off about going to that gym in particular:
- You were required to register with USA Boxing to spar there. Granted, it was the Wisconsin Golden Gloves “training center,” so to speak, so I can see why. But I invested so much by this point, I didn’t want to spend even more money in case I dropped it again. Also, I have zero interest in competing, but it’s one of the few gyms in Madison that offer boxing lessons/equipment and sparring. Believe me, once you get over that initial fear of getting punched in the face, it can be tons of fun. However, I’m not looking to compete or go pro, and I don’t want to risk getting roped into something I might not enjoy being a part of in the long run or unable to dedicate time towards.
- The construction going on around the gym. Good! Lord! I can deal with having to park on the street due to limited parking spaces due to a nearby construction project. What I can’t deal with every time I go is the whole road and then some being torn up end to end, and the route to get on said road changes almost every week. I don’t have a clunker car, but it’s not some mid 2010’s or newer model either; I simply don’t feel comfortable driving through a construction zone to go to a gym with limited parking.
Maybe once the construction settles down and I figure out how to find time for boxing, I might put the gloves back on. Still, just like with writing and studying the natural world around us, boxing takes time and dedication, even if it’s just for workout purposes or learning and practicing some self-defense techniques.
This is why I feel stuck and lacking a sense of purpose; three parts of me I quite enjoy all require dedication and discipline. There’s no way I can balance all three; two would have to take lowest priority over the one I choose to pursue. However, that’s not to say I can’t continue to dabble in the other two every so often, or even incorporate the other two into the one I choose.
I guess what I’m trying to figure out, really, is which of these is more “me”? Which of these would I rather have others associate me with or see me as? Some see me as a writer, most see me as a boxer, few see me as a nature guy. Regardless of what others think of me, what do I see myself as?