Rare, Vaguely Existential Ramblings

Last night I popped over to the blog I kept when I first moved to the city to establish a date on something – I’m glad I blogged that year, there’s so much I’d forgotten – and it reminded me once again that I was quite a funny writer at one time. I’ve been digging through my archives and putting them on Dropbox and found my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, which I abandoned about five thousand words in, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. And I thought: Huh, maybe I’m more creative deep down than I really think I am. Which bodes well for my next stage of graduate study.

But before I can get back to creative writing, I need to finish my Harvey Fellows application. My chances are very slim – I’m not being modest, they are slim for a few different reasons – but I have amazing, wonderful recommenders and at least a shot and it would cover tuition entirely, so it’s worth the angst. It’s due November 1, so I’m hoping to get it submitted by mid-week. Then I can go back to noodling around with essays and conference paper abstracts and the like.

By way of quotidianity: It’s been in the seventies here the last few days, which is thoroughly confusing. I do like warm weather. But I also relish the scarves and sweaters, and whenever the warmth extends too deeply into fall, I get nervous that I won’t get enough winter to satisfy my need. I’m such a northerner. I need seasons to feel settled. And I do want snow – preferably by the New Year, because it’s just so happy-making to have white stuff on the ground when the year ticks over.

And on the subject of years: Every year ends and I say, wow, that was quite a year, but this year really was on so many levels. I am much older at the end of it than I was at the beginning. For instance – and this is simply one instance of many, but you’ll have to buy me a coffee or a glass of wine if you want more – at the turn of the last year I had just finished and submitted my thesis and had no real intention of pursuing further graduate study or seriously pursuing a job in academia. Then I got offered one out of the blue. And then I was convinced by a couple of conversations and some gentle Almighty-nudgings that no, this is for me, and I need to go for it. And now here I am: applied and accepted in a program I’d only sighed wistfully over before, and working full-time with a proper office and students who call me professor. It’s freaky. And fabulous.

That leaves me wondering what on earth can be in the cards for 2011. People sometimes write me emails to ask how I have gotten into the jobs and opportunities I have, and at this point all I know to say is that the only thing I do is make myself extremely available to – well, to whatever – and I work really hard at whatever I’m doing at the moment.

From what I can tell, from my fairly naive and inexperienced vantage point, it seems the line between success and failure is just showing up and doing whatever you’re given to do.  And doing it well. And on time. And with a smile and a sense of wonder.

It helps to have some good traveling partners along the way, though. In that, I am blessed.

One thought on “Rare, Vaguely Existential Ramblings

  1. Thanks for the tips. I take serious comfort in knowing that there are people like you, a few years older and more experienced than I am, who have success. Best wishes to you!
    Ben

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