There's a little voice in the back of my head that's been screaming for the past week or so, that none of this can possibly be real -- that I'll wake up soon enough and be in high school for another year or so. I was going through my e-mail messages and deleting a bunch (and sorting out the rest) and I have to e-mail some of the people I had interviews with to tell them about my decision, and I need to find someone to do a rotation with, but none of that really needs to be done very soon (except for the first part about e-mailing people) and it all just feels like a dream. Like none of this could possibly be real; because part of me still feels like the uncertain sixteen year old asking Bill if I could work in his lab over the summer. Let me rephrase that. A lot of me (most of me?) still feels like the insecure sixteen year old asking Bill if I could work in his lab over the summer. And this whole polite assertiveness thing is incredibly difficult to pull off, and just about necessary.
And then there's the half of me that's saying "This isn't growing up; you're going to school for another five or six years and after that you're going to mess around in lab for a career? You want to be a scientist? What are you, five? Grow up and find a cubicle!" and the half of me that's saying "Holy shit this is for real and grown up and what the hell am I doing?"
And I know that the reality will be halfway in between (at least I think the reality will be halfway in between) and when I start feeling like there is no solidity left in my world, I remind myself of the present, and my current work, and the cloning that might be done, and the experiments to do, and that gives me some sense of perspective. Yeah, it's scary to think of things a career at a time, but thinking of things an experiment at a time is doable. It's comforting. I can handle an experiment.
And I might be done with cloning, which would be, maybe, the most miraculous thing of all.