I’m due to go back to school to complete the final requirements in my urban management master’s program. I’ve only a month left to review 1.5 years of material which I haven’t seen or touched (they’re stored somewhere) for three years. I chose to defer the comprehensive exam and thesis development requirements as I wasn’t clear yet on my thesis. At the time, I had five or so thesis subjects going on in my mind at once although my interest leaned toward innovations in land use planning (e.g. transit-oriented, pedestrian-oriented development) to the extent that I tried to enlist a mentor from the field. But then I won a research contract that took up a huge chunk of my time hence my decision to defer.
I realized during this time that in order to pursue the land use planning track, I would need to engage an architect and an engineer. But I needed not just any architect and engineer, rather an architect and engineer who understand or at least are open to learning and collaborating with another – me – on the social aspect of land use planning. Where will I look for such individuals? How will I go about looking for them? Two years trying to, no one showed up on my horizon. I thought, maybe I just needed to wait some more. Maybe I needed to apply for a grant so I can search abroad. Then I went back to work. And got lost in work.
Getting nearer to the day I’m required to re-enroll in the program, I’m discovering there is truth in the saying that there are years that question and years that answer, because somehow I now know what I really want to work on as my thesis and it’s not land use planning per se.
I’m amused by this change. I’m by nature impatient. I want to have all the answers right now. I get frustrated and kind of obsessed when I don’t. In the extreme search for the answer, I could go days without sleep. I’m not comfortable with waiting for the universe or others to provide the answer. But paradoxically the years have taught me to be a little more comfortable with that– sometimes the answers just unfold and yes in the most unexpected places. But the catch in this methodology so to speak is that one has to be able to recognize that what’s unfolding is the answer.