Loved your response, Nav; I can feel your zest for life through your words. I think I can relate, too, to what you say. I am so grateful for the ways in which my life changed since leaving grad school, and the work and lifestyle I have now are much more aligned with my own spirit… but at the same time, I feel like I’m still making the transition to a “fuller” focus on my passions, so I still get little glimmers of feeling unfulfilled. (I wrote a piece a a few weeks ago that talks honestly about this.) I guess it’s a work in progress for most of us!
That said, I’m thankful for what my grad school experience taught me about looking unhappiness in the face rather than seeking to rely on distractions — because I feel like, otherwise, I would have been more easily tempted to retreat back into jobs, places, and relationships that felt more “familiar” during that major life shift — and choices like that would’ve meant missing out on a lot of chances to advance toward my most cherished dreams.