Really though, who cares? This is the reason I stopped blogging. It’s 2016, three years after my last post. Let me tell you what I tried to do. I tried to take any time that I had to work on putting my journal entries together from my trip to Haiti. It seemed like it was going well but it’s thoroughly depressing for me to do. It’s a reminder that I have a Masters degree in Anthropology with nothing to show for it besides an insurmountable accumulation of debt. I’ve entered into a debt forgiveness program because there is absolutely no way I would ever be able to pay back all that I have in student loans. My undergrad debt was merely $20,000, a reasonable amount. My graduate school debt was $80,000. By now I have almost $130,000 in debt because of interest consistently being tacked on, and will be for the next 25 years. Why spend so much on grad school? Because society lead me to believe that getting a Masters degree from a highly regarded school would lead me to be successful; with the magical idea that the higher degree you have, the more money you will make. I attended Boston University Graduate School of Medical Sciences with promises of access to unique and incredible opportunities.
I’ll tell you right now, that did not happen. I was swooned by the idea that there would be access to an outdoor decomposition “body farm” and the Boston Medical Examiner’s Office (across Albany Street), and opportunity to work with specialists. The “body farm” was not available, we never stepped foot into the ME’s Office and my advisers were too busy for me and refuse to respond to my emails post-graduation asking for support in applications to other universities and jobs. I submitted a letter to the Dean of BU-GMS and had a meeting with her. She was new. Nothing came of it. She asked for suggestions and I provided her with some. I asked program directors if I could simply monitor the lab while students worked and help with general questions (to gain experience for my resume). The answer was no. I asked if I could participate in activities that the next class were participating in. They said no. BU says FU alumni and then asks for money.
How did I get through this? I didn’t at first. So sad and holding on to a little hope that something would work out. Then I went to yoga teacher training. It was westernized and about learning the postures for the most part. There was a bit of theory and a solid amount of mindfulness. Mindfulness helped me. Mindful movement through yoga postures allowed me to understand what mindfulness meant. I was an athletic person who exercised nearly every day. Now, after a few years of teaching, I think I have a sense about being mindful without athletic movement.
Enter Buddha. Yes, it’s cool to find a cute Buddha quote and post it to your Insta. It’s profound and almighty. Who are we posting this for? For ourselves. To share with others. To remember Buddha. To show off. To pretend like we know what it actually means. Try to understand what it actually means.
Needless to say, I have a great story from my time in Haiti in 2012 but I can’t write it because of how depressed it makes me feel about what happened with my grad school experience. I studied Anthropology with a cultural concentration and minor in Political Science in undergrad and then Forensic Anthropology with a thesis is bone growth after traumatic injury. I truly believe having studied primarily cultural aspects of the field prior to grad school gave me a different point of view from my more medical-based fellow classmates, and my professors would agree. Understanding all of the circumstances in which an event occurred is critical to making an assessment. Many people would use this evidence to secure a definite theory. My experience led me to be flexible with my analysis and never secure something 100%. What is the absolute truth in anything (especially in science)? We’ll save that one for another day. I wanted to do a field study but couldn’t afford any of them. So, I essentially created my own and went through a small organization that would place me with a family who participates in advocating certain topics. I went there with the intention of advocating for HIV/AIDS. I fund-raised, threw a party, did all of this stuff but when I got there it was a joke and I was used as a prop based on the color of my skin. I’m not mad about the racial discrimination. I’m mad and frustrated that I just wanted to complete one anthropological field study but everything in the universe was pulling me to NO. You’re too poor, the universe said. But those in Haiti saw my white skin and thought I was rich. It was dangerous. I left after a couple of weeks.
Perhaps my experience was an immersion theory anthropological field study. My goal was to be as objective as possible, which is always interesting to try to do since it will never be 100%.
Everything happens for a reason though. Let’s use this as how I got here instead of regret. Mindful. Present. Losing the past. Not fearing the future.
Losing the past, like don’t hold onto it. Whether it be in forethought or stored in the back of your mind. How to let it go. Meditation. Allow your mind to go in circles and circles. Let the process take place. Free yourself from the suffering of ignoring the issue. I have little experience with any of this. I’d like to say I’m trying but I’m not. I want to take advantage of being able to do one of these things when I have the time to do it. Rather than worrying about doing it. Not fearing the future.
Over these last few years I’ve developed a yoga business, got married, bought a new house, had a baby, and returned to the corporate world. By next year my husband, son and I will be in Thailand. My brother in law lives there and we’re setting our sights on spending a year there. I’d like to blog about this process because it is quite challenging and interesting. Cheers to slowing the eff down.