HOLY FUCKBALLS I AM GETTING MARRIED IN FIVE WEEKS.
These last few weeks have genuinely been the most exciting, manic and nerve-wracking weeks of my life. I think that the lead-up to your wedding really makes you question everything, or certainly, it has for me, as I have such an overly-critical mind. While I've been planning the wedding, I've also been working on ideas for my Masters dissertation, and been thinking about post-graduation options, and this has made the future seem all too imminent. Today I really feel I made a bit of a breakthrough in my academic career. For the last few months I have been questioning whether an academic career is for me. I didn't want to commit to a PhD if I thought that it might not be for me, so I've been spending a lot of time weighing up career options. From September onwards, I'll be officially out of higher education and I have to make some sort of positive decision about what I'm going to focus my attention on from then. The options I'd been entertaining were:
1) Continue to work part-time, while concentrating on writing part-time.
2) Apply for PhDs starting whenever would be possible. It would be very difficult for me to do a PhD without funding, so this is all dependent on if, when and where I could get funding.
3) Try to find a full-time job with Glasgow Life in a field that interests me, as this wouldn't be too much of a departure from my current part-time job.
Today I had a meeting with a University professor to discuss my dissertation ideas. I have decided to focus on graphic novels, probably primarily on the role of women in Bryan Talbot's 'Grandville' series. This series claims to have been inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle, Rupert the Bear and Quentin Tarantino, so it's absolutely fascinating. When giving me ideas of where to start with my research, this tutor mentioned online criticism of representation of Irene Adler in 'Sherlock'. I had literally been ranting about this in the pub the night before with my friends.
When I got home, I emailed another professor to discuss an essay on the same theme. In my email I mentioned how I thought this was a very relevant topic at the moment because of recent adaptations of 'Sherlock'. The professor emailed back with an academic essay her colleague had written on the issue I had been ranting about in the pub. In my email I had also asked to have a chat about post-grad options, and she invited me to come in on her office hour next week to discuss this. I guess that, at this point, I just realised that this stuff is the stuff I am really passionate about - reinterpretations of Victorian culture/literature in popular media. I also realised that I need further study. I just crave it. I would not be satisfied leaving with my Masters and taking a full-time job long-term. Literature, essays, media, these are the things that excite me. I feel more passionate about these things than I do about anything else in the world. To leave my studies behind for good would break my heart and I would always regret it.
I am wracked with nerves about my meeting next week. I worry that I'll be told I haven't got the grades to get PhD funding, or that my ideas aren't strong enough, or that for some other reason, it is just not an option for me. My secondary worry is that if I choose to do a PhD, I will have to relocate to wherever I can get funding and acceptance to a programme. While Bob has said he is happy to move elsewhere in the U.K. so I can get on a PhD programme, I am still concerned that Bob is forced to follow me because my ambition is bigger than us. And then I think that maybe getting married at 27 is a bad idea, because I feel my ambition will just continue to grow and get in the way of our marriage. I know Bob sometimes worries he's not as smart as me, not as driven, and I don't want my ambition to become a source of conflict/insecurity. Bob says all he wants is a nice house by the sea, some cats, some kids and to be with me. In my dreams, I have all of those things but I am also continuing with my studies. We talk about moving to Brighton once we have enough money, but this would only work for me if I could get a PhD place nearby, e.g. in London.
I am so very nervous about everything and over-thinking it all. I just feel like life is too short to do all the things I want to do. I want to live my life by Buddhist ideals and not to constantly be craving new things, but I feel my ambition was squashed so much in the past and I don't want to regret not following my dreams. And prioritising one dream over another dream is hard. I fear I am not like other people, and that I will never settle for what I have.
I am so fucking scared. And excited. And scared. Everything is changing too fast.
x L x