Sunday, Mar. 28, 2004 - 5:54 p.m.
Old wood floors lit by very late afternoon sun are the most beautiful thing I know of. And right now, if you stand at the right angle, you canít even see the layer of pollen on the floors, the stereo, everything in my apartment. Even the cat has taken on a powdery yellowish-green cast this weekend, but sheís giving herself a bath right now and has temporarily reverted to gray. I refuse to close the windows, though. I am too in love with spring.
Iíve just finished rereading Emma, after doing the same with Pride and Prejudice, and I am overwhelmed by how good they are.
My mom always wanted me to read P&P when I was younger, and to this end she would check it out from the library several times a year. I, however, always refused to read it. Iíd looked over the first few pages when I was eight or nine and found it so boring that I resolved never to read it, and certainly not at her urging. And I didnít. I read not so much as a word of Jane Austen until I was required to for a college class. Maybe I first grew up when I had to admit to my mother how good Pride and Prejudice was.
Growing up is stalking me everywhere these days, the way any bout of self-awareness is always mirrored in the surrounding world. Iím working my way through the second season of Buffy, which (as much as L rolls his eyes over it) is all about duty and destiny and becoming an adult. And Iíve heard so many stories of college and job rejection in response to my own that Iím astounded it took me this long to have to deal with it. Itís because I never put myself out enough to be so firmly denied, I suppose. I applied to colleges and jobs I knew would accept me.
But my energy and positivity have returned with the azalea buds and the longer, warmer days, and Iím beginning to wonder if, even if I get into the school in Chicago, I even want to go there. The more I think long and earnestly about it, the more I realize that my reasons for wanting a PhD are not enough to sustain me through the certain hell to follow of fighting for tenure. I do love being part of academia, but more than that, I want a PhD because I want to be a person who has a PhD. I want to be Dr. Moore. Shitty reason, no? I also want summers and spring breaks off, and I want to continue to be unsupervised, alone for whole semesters, befuddling my students as I wish. Teaching is, in some ways, an awfully anti-social profession. I go for days without seeing colleagues, and though I do the best I can for the studentsí sake, I can hardly imagine how much Iíd have to screw up for anybody to hear about it. But Iím not sure itís good for me, this solitary plodding. My mind gets cut loose too easily, swirls and obsesses without regular nitpicky tasks to sharpen my claws on. I am lazy when left alone. I am not antisocial, but I end up that way if not forced to interact.
So Iím looking at copy editing, proofreading, editing, and even technical writing and copywriting jobs now. This has always been my Secret Backup Profession, and I have somehow managed to put together a sufficient number of experiences inside academia for an entry-level position somewhere, I hope. I hate the Career Advice industry, hate the word ďresumeĒ and instructions on networking and how to dress, but Iíve been wading through it all and am gratified by the seeming existence of other things I can be besides a scholar. I knew it was all out there, but I am considering it seriously and happily for the first time ever.
L and I watched one and a half episodes of ďMr. ShowĒ last night and fell asleep long before midnight on the couch, he with his head back and mouth open and me with my head in his lap. I havenít slept so soundly not in a bed in years. And when we finally did move to the bed, I had extraordinarily vivid dreams of being driven off a cliff thousands of feet up when a friend took a corner too quickly, everyone climbing out of the car as it fell and plummeting down to the valley floor while I managed to spread my pale green windbreaker like wings and steer myself towards the road running along the cliff, managed to slow my speed enough that when I hit the road I bruised my thigh badly but suffered no other injuries. A well-known author was driving down the road, and he stopped and took me with his family to a candy store a little further down. The store was in a tiny log building, and we all ate rock candy and stood around laughing. Falling dreams should always end so well.