If you want to have a long career then you must first and foremost love process. All else should pale in front of the love of what you are doing as you make your work. Elizabeth Featherstone Hoff

This is my mantra: I love what I am doing. It is worth the work, the effort, the sleepless nights, the dark bags under my eyes. It will be worth it when I have an amazing career, worth it when I’m traveling the world.

I have a final project due on Tuesday, a data analysis of FARC and al-Qaeda, with a final threat assessment of one of them. My partner and I have reached 125 pages of writing. Charts, photographs, maps, implementation plans. I’ve read so many documents that my head is spinning. The 9/11 Commission Report? All 585 pages? I’ve read it.

After class the other evening my professor pulled my partner and me aside. “Is this really what you want to be doing, Caitlyn?” I didn’t even hesitate before I answered yes. He smiled, told me that I reminded him of himself when he was my age. Headstrong, fairly intelligent, slightly cocky.

I know that this field is hard. My partner for the project is irritated because she recently found out that she’s pregnant. Well, not irritated per se, but more worried about being able to become an analyst while going through pregnancy. She doesn’t know if she will be able to juggle the demands of this job with the demands of child rearing. When I actually break into the field, which will probably be soon, I more than likely won’t have time for relationships. For a boyfriend, a fiance, a husband. For children. I’m trying to decide if I really want anything of those things more than I want this job, but I really don’t think that I do. I want to want those things, but I really have no appetite for them. I go through occasional pockets of time where I think of coming home to a boyfriend, to mahogany bookshelves and him in a leather chair. But it’s just not realistic.

Anyway, must get back to the logistical planning and communication techniques of al-Qaeda. Will post more about this past week- about the first two of our basketball games. About how J, my ex-boyfriend, showed up at my house with Italian food (his dad owns a crazily expensive Italian restaurant) and we danced. About how an old guy popped out of the woodwork and asked me out for next week.