I had a dream.
I wanted to be a doctor. Not a doctor of medicine, a doctor of philosophy. I wanted to teach people about writing. I was going to do this PhD and teach people about the flash fiction and all it can offer us as creative, reflective, constructionists of our reality.
I'm not sure about that dream anymore.
I'm not sure I will ever work, let alone as a lecturer or a tutor.
Some probably think I'm giving up too easily, but the fact is, I have been fighting to be able to work all my adult life and it has pretty much led to nothing. Sure, I can work for free, in a voluntary capacity, and that is worthwhile, I admire people who are happy to work as volunteers, they are truly self-less.
But I wanted to work and earn a wage. To see my work compensated with a dollar value. I don't think that will ever happen for me.
I was feeling depressed about it, but I think I'm coming out of that.
I want to get my philtrum pierced. Everyone hates the idea. Even the people who say they don't hate the idea, hate the idea. I don't care. I see my friend Julia facing death square in the face. There is a certainty about her death that most of us don't have, it's incredibly sobering. She has posted about how this knowledge has spurred her on living the life she always wanted. This has affected me deeply.
A family friend died on Sunday, he was 75 and had been living with cancer for six years. Seventy-five is a good age, and he was ready to go, so his death was not a shock. The knowledge of his own mortality softened him a lot in the last few years, according to his family. He started to enjoy his life more, and let go of the rigidity which had built a wall between him and other people.
So, I was told today, in all kindness mind you, that getting a piercing in my face would be the death knell of my academic career. This may well be true, the academy is a rigid, conservative place, even within the creative fields. I thought about it for a while and came to this conclusion. I can forget about getting my philtrum pierced and hope that somehow this will open doors for me into academia and into paid work, even though not having piercings in the past has not seen welcome mats fluttering to my feet...
Or, I can live my life, do the work I love doing, continue to live the life I have been living to this point anyway - no paid work, studying, raising kids, etc. and accept that the odds are well and truly stacked against me anyway, and if people like my work enough, they will not be so shallow as to overlook me because I have a tiny stud in my philtrum.
Also, maybe I just don't want to be an academic after all.
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