Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trip Installment: In Which I Accomplish Things And Let Myself Be Happy About Them

First of all, let me take a moment to be proud of myself. I've buckled down to this graduate school application like never before. I still have a ways to go, but I've done an excellent job of networking, and that means a lot to me because it's always been terribly hard. When I needed to switch shifts with someone at work, I was so uncomfortable asking a coworker for a favor that my mother had to dial the phone and thrust it, ringing, into my hand while yelling "YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW!" So when I say that I met with two students in the program and have a meeting with a professor next week, that's a big deal for me.

One of my foremost rules of motivation, I've decided, is never under any circumstances to listen to "Creep" before anything important. I went into my meeting with the grad students thinking "What the hell am I doing heeeeeeere... I don't beloooooooong heeeeere..." Luckily, I am way better now at realizing when I'm ringing the "crazy" bell. What the hell am I talking about, I thought. Literally every other person in view is a bookish kid in a winter coat carrying a notepad full of half-formed ideas for dissertations. So shut the hell up and rock this thing, alright? And lo and behold, it was as easy as that.

I can't even describe how good it felt to be on campus, pursuing an academic goal. I felt like I'd spent the past two years living in a foreign country and I had finally heard my native language again. I even, apparently, seemed organized and goal-oriented and all that other stuff I never feel like I am. So, success.

No-Cynicism November is a slightly trickier proposition. I hadn't really realized how cynical I tend to be, and that a lot of the time I'm afraid to admit to being anything else. Cynicism is what all the cool kids are wearing this year. I'd come to rely on it as a protective coating, which isn't all that logically sound, is it? Does failure hurt less when other people think you expected to fail anyway? I find I'm more upset to think that other people will consider me naive and gullible for getting my hopes up than I am not to get what I want. I have kind of a paranoid fear of being taken advantage of, but expecting that to happen leaves openings for it all over the place, doesn't it?

I've been making a conscious effort to leave that protective cover off, and it's not been easy. All the things I've been worried would end in my seeming naive and overoptimistic, though, have worked out wonderfully. I'm not calling it a lesson yet, but it's a good start.

For my next trick, I suppose I will tackle my fear of success. Any good ideas about how to handle that one?

Posted by Silent Five @ 8:51 PM

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YAY! I am so beyond proud of you for getting out there and Doing This Grad School Thing. I know you've been scrapping with a veritable Whack-A-Mole-esque panoply of doubts/fears/etc, and I am delighted that you are prevailing.

Cynicism sucks. I totally relate to that realization of, "Wow, I'm more cynical than I thought, and it's doing me more harm than I realized." Time to embrace the brightness again.

Posted by OpenID olyphant @ 11:39 PM #
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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