Monday, March 10, 2008

Reason, Voice of

Dear choice and gorgeous people I call Friends and Family,

So I'm feeling much much better about Grad School (or lack thereof at the moment). I had a good cry yesterday and let myself feel what I needed to feel and it was gloriously cathartic.

I have many stars to issue on the matter. I truly have some of the choicest group of friends on the planet. I've got a blazing bright future and I know that and I promise I won't forget.

I also have an amazing family.
I talk about them frequently.
Ad nausium probably. Most of you know this.

They're amazing for many different reasons and one of them is that they ignore me when I say "I don't want to talk about it", are strong enough to get me to talk about it, and manage to say exactly what I need to hear in a way that I'll understand.

One of the most visible people with this capacity is my cousin Patrick.

Patrick and I had an exchange yesterday that I think is totally representational of what I was truly crying about and what I needed to hear to stop and if I was to dive into a conversation about the last few days it would probably be a cognate of this exchange.

LIZ: Thanks for the call last night and your message. I'm a mess right now but I'll be OK. I just need to finish crying about it. I hope that's soon - I've had to redo my make up three times today. I can't believe how much of myself I've tied up in this. And I have to tell everyone that I respect that I'm not good enough. I don't know what faction of the Carma Bureau I pissed off but this feels like Catholic Penitence.

PATRICK: I'm sorry I missed your call back. I was pretty beat and I just crashed after I didn't get you.

You've been on my mind a ton. I even dreamt I went with the two guys who owned my gym in Tuscon, and stormed the campus and forced them to let you in. And one of the decision makers was an alien. But that is neither here nor there. And I totally get dropping a lot of one's identity into something. I do it like nobody else.

But to say you're not good enough is pretty obtuse for a girl as smart as you. I bet it feels as such, but the net of their decision is that you weren't a good fit. Not that you personally or even academically weren't good enough.

Believe it or not - I think this might be a blessing. That decision has you free to architect your future in a myriad of powerful ways.

Just a thought. I love you so much. And let's keep talking.

LIZ: I love you too and all your points make sense. Absolute brilliant sense.

You're right and I do feel a bit of relief knowing I can proceed any direction I want at the moment but it feels foggy and so uncertain and I don't feel qualified to recommend myself to much. I don't mean to be obtuse and I don't think I'm a window-licker by any means, but I'm not someone that apparently is qualified to do much besides be a coffee mug wisdom maven.

On paper I am very ordinary sadly. Grades and test scores are the only language these people speak or value sadly. And you have to play the game to change it and I feel like I can't even get a ticket to watch.

Its enough to just make you want to disappear.

PATRICK: I could speak to this at length at some point over coffee and Mexican Cokes. And I understand it lands as simple and trite - but if you believe it, then it becomes accurate. I think you are infinitely qualified. And in an infinite number of way that one can't be taught. And as such one can't put a price tag on you

And you are now potentially free from the linear path that academia provides. I think you and I will come up with a way to market you once you know what direction you wanna take.

Its not time to disappear. Its time to shine. And I'm with you.

LIZ: Then I can't loose can I? Maybe I should just focus on finding a brilliant and wealthy husband and content myself to being a kept woman with charming children.

PATRICK: Always a solid strategy. And you're certainly qualified to snag one of them.

I need to stand back more often and realize how well I'm looked after and how well I'm known and loved. And honestly, that knowledge is worth more to me than a PhD, despite the earning power attached.

I'm out of the emo pit and I have a good amount of work ahead of me but I wanted to blog about this because I don't want to forget what it was like there, who went there with me, what I learned there, and who brought me home.

all the love I have to give and more,
~Lizzie (Jane)


Nicole Bullock said...

I love you Lizzie. I can't wait for the ways you are going to rock the world by not being tied down as a Ute. I totally want to hear you pursuing peace corps, or becoming a worldwide travelling poet, or gol'darnit...finding a wealthy benefactor who can afford all your expensive tastes and loves you ridiculously much.

Mr. Hall said...

You are one of the most intelligent people I know, and I trust that you will be successful in whatever your pursuits may be. Your experience reminds me of an experience that Hugh B. Brown shared concerning a little kern bush. . . if you don't know what I'm talking about, do a google search for "Hugh B. Brown + The Gardener." It is an awesome talk and is certainly apropos.

Quixotic Healer said...

I'm really super glad you're doing better. I've been thinking about you a lot the past few days (mostly at work where cell phones are prohibited :( ).

Never underestimate your own circle of influence. You effect us all in many positive ways.

(Also, though it's a bit premature,if you decide you can't live without that PhD, you could try again next year. That's what my roommate did.)