• Maia Carolsfeld

Returning from the Depths: Thoughts on Finishing my Degree and Returning to EcoThink.

After 5 months of sequestering myself away in some hole somewhere to finish my master's degree, I can finally say with full confidence that:

I have survived!

Picture taken from a trip to Quebec nearly 4 years ago! Look at me surviving the tumultous waters ;)

Thank you to everyone (if anyone is actually out there) for your patience and understanding while I disappeared. At the start of summer, I chose to put a pause on anything EcoThink related while I ran to the finish line of my final project for school. Yuko and I chose to take a break from the podcast (Which by the way now has over 600 downloads! I never would have thought anything we did would reach 600 pairs of ears...what an odd thing to think about), and I put this blog and other projects on the back burner.

In the meantime, Matt and I moved into a beautiful house as property caretakers here on Vancouver Island, I wrote like a madwoman to finish my research paper, and we scrambled to figure out how our lives were going to change with new jobs and new schedules. I knew that taking such an extended break meant essentially starting EcoThink again from scratch, but for the sake of my mental health (and that of Yuko and Matt), it was necessary.

So thank you for waiting.

Now that I have returned, I wanted to let you know the plan moving forward with EcoThink Productions. During my break, I realized that the two main things I wanted to focus on that were public facing were the podcast and this blog. As such, I am gathering together a list of interview guests and researching podcast episode topics, with a hopeful relaunch date in early January, 2022. This blog will also be rekindled, though I have not yet decided on a schedule for it. Topics for this blog include educational pieces related to the research we are doing on the podcast, opinion and lifestyle pieces related to what I am doing in my life, and potentially more review posts of books and other resources as they come across my desk.

Other projects for EcoThink will continue to happen behind the scenes, and I am definitely excited for a particular board game project that I have already mentioned on my Instagram. However, I definitely learned my lesson when it comes to sharing project information too early or getting overzealous on social media. As it is, I want EcoThink to be a fun and engaging hub of information, storytelling, and curiosity for anyone interested in engaging with the climate change conversation. To me, that means focusing my attention on the blog and podcast, because they allow for a more in depth conversation with you all. Certainly you can still follow us on social media, and goodness knows there will be plenty of announcement posts and little thoughts shared there over the coming days, but I am choosing to take a slower, more measured approach with EcoThink than before, which means actively choosing NOT to keep up with the demanding schedule Instagram and Facebook algorithms require.

You might be wondering, "But Maia, how do you feel now that your degree is over?" (you might not be wondering this at all actually, but I'm going to share with you how I feel whether you like it or not. It's my blog after all.) And that is an excellent question.

The truth is, I'm not yet sure how I feel. I'm happy and relieved that it's over, and a little bit proud to be sure, but there is also a sense of...being adrift? I think when we are told to do a degree of some kind, we are given an image of something straightforward and immediately useful. Do a degree in this subject, and it will result in your career success in a timely fashion. Certainly this may be true for many fields, and I have no doubt that many of my classmates are already reaping the benefits of their degree, but for myself I am still a little muddled about the whole thing.

And to be honest - I think that is okay! I took this degree because I wanted to change my career, and it has allowed me to do that in some small way already. It will take time for other things to fall in place, and there is more hard work to be had. I know that. I am already working with a great organization locally on some of their climate action projects, and I imagine that over the months and years to come I'll be doing things that will make doing the degree worth it.

Anyway, to wrap up this rambling post, thank you again for your patience!

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