Thursday, September 20, 2007

Looking Back to Look Forward

As the Dean of BGI said at orientation (paraphrase), "Going to grad school can bring out all sorts of unexpected emotions and reactions". I am experiencing them.

I am re-examining my decision-making process that brought me to BGI. Combined with the activities I participated in at Channel Rock last week, recent personal events have turned my attention to where I am, where I would like to go, and what is truly important to me. The consequences of attending a school located on the other side of the country, despite it's sustainable business leadership, is sinking in. Will the network transfer to the Northeast? Will the "brand recognition" carry enough weight here? Am I contributing to more complexity in my life than I can handle?

A comment Gifford Pinchot made when we were discussing entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship as a group addressed the importance of timing; there may be a better time to launch something than "right now". Makes sense. Launching a new home decorating service in a downward trending housing market may not be the best idea. Given that this undertaking is a bit of an entrepreneurial activity (a stretch?) on my part, does the timing make sense? Have I deeply evaluated the effect this decision will have on the other aspects of our lives? Is what I am looking for in my future career dependent upon an advanced degree at all? I love the idea of an academic pursuit, but the right environs could make it easier.

I decided to leaf through some of my old journals a few nights ago. They have been sitting on the shelf on my bedside table for a few years, dating from the start of 2004. It was fascinating to read what I wrote; 1) some of my narrative was quite well-written, and 2) I have been saying the same thing to myself about what I am looking for for at least three years, probably longer.

What have I been saying re: career/life that has kept me in knots for the past 5 years or so?
  1. I'd like to integrate my interest in sustainable business in my work, and share it with others
  2. I have isolated myself from friends and family; this is unhealthy
  3. My social needs (sharing with people of like mind) are not being met
  4. I love exploring and learning about new things (business, social concepts, etc.) and applying them
  5. I want to work/live in the same place
  6. Working passionately instead of working for something else (vacations, "stuff", etc.)
  7. Innovative, holistic, and forward-looking people charge me up!
OK...BGI certainly has these elements. But, are there things in my current situation that I am overlooking that would allow me to integrate these elements? I tend to throw up my hands and say to myself, "That's it! I'm leaving outta here." Does that really make sense? Have some of the drastic changes I've made in the past six years just exacerbated my confusion? I bet they have.

I wonder what it's like to think through a decision rationally and thoroughly, not in hindsight?

By the way, the photo is from a small field of corn near the center of Lincoln, MA. I rode my bike yesterday and snapped it whilst pausing to see who called.

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