Thoughts from Tallahassee
Plenary sessions, I have come to believe, are designed to scare off would-be academics. You put a bunch of professors in a room together, they bemoan everything from the rise of Youtube to the loss of tenure-track positions and by the time the PhD candidates add their two cents about the job market (or the lack thereof) you find yourself thinking, “Hmm… maybe writing is a more sensible choice than academia.”
(At least that’s what I took away from this weekend’s end-of-conference round up. Presumably the superstars of dance scholarship left feeling recharged and excited by the “challenges” of the twenty first century.)
I had hoped that my trip to Tallahassee would help me to narrow my choices in terms of where, when and how to pursue my PhD but I’m just as confused as ever. The US or the UK? History or dance? Remotely or on campus? And, more importantly, now (as in before I get married and live happily ever after) or never?
Speaking of confusion, I’ve been thinking about the way things went down with the Bovary Reading Bachelor. (What else is a girl to do when she’s got a huge suite and king bed all to herself for three lonely nights?) It’s occurred to me that he and I were entirely too similar to have a shot at success.
I’ve written before about Jane Austen’s assertion that a woman’s “imagination” jumps from “admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” In this regard, I am definitely guilty as charged; I’d even go so far as to call myself a poster child for the rapid “jumps” of a “lady’s imagination” and although this has caused me a far amount of grief over the years, I like to think it’s never had a negative effect upon anyone else.
Then I met the Bovary Reading Bachelor. And two delusional hopeless romantics do not a good relationship make. With no one to keep those “jumps” of the imagination in check, the potential for romance spins out of control. I thought it would be nice to date a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, who liked me and didn’t mind telling me he liked me, who assured me he could quit his job in a few years and join me in London if there’s where I chose to return to school, but our “break up” felt akin to a nuclear meltdown—complete with the guilt that I was the one who initiated this meltdown— and we’d only spent four hours in each other’s presence!
Last week’s unexpected turn of events would suggest that it’s okay for one partner to get caught up in the possibility of having found “the one” but not both— that a lady’s imagination can make those rapid jumps from admiration to love to marriage without significant damage to the other party if and only if the man’s imagination isn’t doing the same thing. As a result, I’m left wondering when it’s okay to be “hopeless romantic” and when it’s not.
11 Responses to “Thoughts from Tallahassee”
Wondering is good. Wondering is the stuff this life is made of. Introspection is good.
Conclusions are always suspect. Looking at the label, “hopeless romantic,” for instance, one could say one is a Republican and still be in favor of, for example, public funding of the arts. In any label there is a range, in this case from “Fatalistically Hopeless Romantic” to something like “Mildly Hopeless Romantic.”
The point I am circumnavigating is that every situation is a learning situation. We are here to choose what we like and don’t like by individual experience, not by category.
So ends my advocacy of hopeless romanticism. Thank you for sharing your journey. It is always entertaining and endearing.
Thank you, Jess. You’ve made a good point!
Wow, he said he’d quit his job to move to London? I’m speechless–
I was too!
Don’t stress about it all, There are no “wrong” decisions. What ever decisions you make with regard to When, Where, If, they will be the right decisions bcause you will make them work, you’ll make the most of all opportunities, and have a life that will all work where ever you are and how ever many initials follow your name.
I don’t think it’s ever wrong to be a hopeless (hopeful?) romantic, Kat. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders and it’s much better to be a romantic than a big ole’ cynic (like me).
As the pithy saying goes ~ you should trust your intuition and you’ll know it when it happens. *barf*
Haha, so true! (If a bit pukey) 🙂
It sounds like he got caught up in the possibility of you being “The One” before he even met you. I don’t want to be harsh, but the case is more than just “hopeless romantic” on his side. I hope he finds what he is looking for but maybe it would be easier if he wasn’t looking so hard…
Yeah, I think we both did… 😦
2 hopeless romantics together make up a swirl, and a black hole eventually. Sounds better if one side is a substantial star, that a double star system could be formed with balance. 2 substantial stars form a very stable (and boring) double star system, though. Yes I am pretending to be scientific 😛
(This is my first time commenting here, though I have been reading your blog for quite a period of time. Hope you don’t mind for such a stranger reader. No worry, I am a reader from the far side of Pacific and I would never have anything to do with your PSMs (sounds really scientific, as if they’re some sort of chemicals contained in flasks and test tubes). Anyway, nice to meet you!)
Haha, thanks for commenting Frederick! I love pretend science 🙂