Lots of things have happened.
I got busier than I thought I'd ever find myself in, though I suppose that's really just life.
I've had to do a lot of thinking lately, some of which has been imposed upon by other people.
There was once a person who told me that she found it ridiculous that I was the kind of person who would value their academic work over anything else in their life.
I always used to think that she was wrong. I wasn't that kind of person. I just wanted to try hard.
But am I?
Life experiences have shown me a lot of examples of what I don't want to be. I didn't want to be a particular kind of person who didn't care about anyone close or considered important to them. I didn't want to discard them like old yet reliable dishrags. I didn't want to isolate them, push them away by letting my academic life take over completely.
Today, a person whose recently very close to me commented on how they had wished I had put in more effort; tried harder to sustain our connection. A small voice in my head indignantly replies that they are not trying hard enough either, but then, I don't think that I'm doing enough. Sure, I'm thinking a lot, but I'm having to take actions that are now being thought of as straining or severe, contradicting the severity and intensity of the thoughts that otherwise occupied me.
I'm talking to them less because "I have to write up notes"
I'm planning on seeing them less because "I have to write up notes"
I'm taking fewer initiatives and becoming less proactive because "I have to write up notes"
My entire being can be summarised in 3 words. Write Up Notes.
I don't even message my family as much as I should, call them as much as I should, talk to them as much as I, and any other family member, should.
And you know what? It's all ironic. A small portion of my achievement is for my satisfaction and pride. But one of the major if not only motivator I've ever had for trying so hard academically was so I could be that supportive individual who had the ability to protect the people important to them, no matter what situation.
And now, I can see it like a deceptively beautiful set in the play.
When the lights go up, the set shines beautifully.
It is only when the lights go down, that you realise how cracked this set is, how it's slowly breaking into a thousand pieces. I can see it.
Nevertheless, I've come so far already, I can't give up. No matter what happens, even if I end up will nothing but a pile a shattered shards, I will gather it up, create and polish my outer sphere, build my inner wall, and lower the temperature once more.