I’m Okay

I’m still writing. Why do I do this to myself? What really sucks is I have to do it all again for Thursday. Aargh. I would say that next semester will be different, but this semester was supposed to be different as well. Oh, and did I mention that my computer shut down by itself while I took a nap and I lost the 8 pages I had written? I’ve been up since trying to reconstruct it, but it’s not going all that well. It’s not like I can tell my teacher my computer ate my paper; how lame is that? I don’t know what to do. I am supposed to present this paper in class. I need to just embrace the fact that I am a procrastinating slacker and get used to the idea of no sleep for a few days. But I can’t really be content with that, either. Also, part of me wonders if the fact that I put off all of my grad work until the last possible minute indicates a lack of sincere interest in the subject matter and in academia in general. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether or not I want to pursue my PhD after this, and the more I think about it the more I think spending five additional years in school on top of the two I’m dedicating to my master’s would drive me absolutely batty.

As much as I love delaying the real world and being paid to go to school, I don’t know that I really and truly and passionately love school itself. It’s weird for me to say that because those of you who know me probably think of me as that nerd who lives for school, but I don’t think that’s really who I am anymore, at least not entirely. Part of the reason for that may be because I no longer find my entire identity in my schoolwork so I don’t need to throw my entire life into it. I used to be so wrapped up in being the smartest and the best because I felt the only way I could ever make a mark in the world was by doing the one thing I thought I was good at–school. I’ve since come to realize that 1) it’s pointless trying to be the smartest and the best because there will always be someone better; 2) being smart really isn’t going to make that much of a mark on the world, as I doubt my writing about masculine authority in Troilus and Criseyde will revolutionize much of anything; 3) school isn’t the only thing I’m “good” at (I think.); and 4) I’m not really all that “good” at school if you consider the amount of time I have to work on school in proportion to the amount of time I actually spend working on school-related stuff.

Basically what I’ve concluded is that my love of books and learning will not be sufficient to carry me through a doctoral program, and I’m okay with that. I can love books and continue learning outside of graduate school, and I might even be able to do that in a way that’s more fulfilling and enjoyable, since it will be on my terms and not simply compulsory. It’s why I’ve been thinking about becoming a librarian at a university or teaching high school. It’s why I’m at peace with where I am right now because I definitely believe that coming to grad school at UT was what I was supposed to do, if only to show me what I’m not supposed to do after it’s over.

Hmm, perhaps I should write blog posts at 5 am more often. 5 am brings a surprising amount of clarity to life.

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