Megan Stypulkoski

Summertime Reflections

The days come and go so quickly, and it’s frightening to think that summer is already nearing its end. As with the close of every season, I find myself being overly introspective and self-reflective. These past few months have provided me with a great deal of clarity. I began this summer with the intention of pursuing graduate school, perhaps for plant biotechnology or chemical ecology. While I researched graduate programs and professors, I had found myself working for an organization that could be the poster child for the non-profit industrial complex, boasting inexcusable hypocrisies, shameless nepotism, and a disregard for hard work and ambition. Work hard I do and ambitious I am, and it was difficult for me to spend so much time in such a work environment that prevented me from pursuing my goals.

As my ideas and projects grew both in size and number and my contempt for my work situation persisted, I had found myself feeling increasingly stifled. With every passing week, the work I did went without validation, and the meager paycheck I made was absorbed into various expenses. Thoughts on graduate school slowly waned, and I began to see the necessary steps to achieve graduate status as a chore rather than a life choice. Instead, every corner of my mind flooded with creativity. The after-work energy I had could only be used for art, which had demonstrated itself to be my priority over all else.

When I was freed from the 40 hour per week schedule, ideas quickly evolved into plans, and plans were fleshed out into goals. Goals were then, rather naturally, dissected into sub-goals which were laid out with strict self-imposed deadlines and rigorously managed time to maximize productivity. Motivation and determination seemed to maintain themselves, and I finally felt that I was doing exactly what I should be doing.

Of course, there are loans to pay and resources to invest it. While I love the various part-time jobs I have, I often feel overwhelmed by my shifting and chaotic schedule. It seems that, once again, I’ve managed to overextend myself. I am certain that I will come back here to write more soon, hopefully to establish it as habit, but I am doubtful that posts will be a regular occurrence. There are so many angles and perspectives on art and agriculture that I want to tackle, but it’s something that will have to come naturally when I feel particularly inspired.

For now, I need to settle into my new work schedule while I adhere to my reading deadlines and maintain a steady flow of finished illustrations and paintings. I am so grateful for those who have supported me as a I transitioned from aspiring scientist to aspiring artist and writer, for you are the ones who give me confidence in pursuing this endeavor. I look forward to the fruits that Fall will bring me and another chance to reflect come the winter solstice. I will write again soon xx