if you haven't already guessed, i'm very sentimental, and am ruled by my heart more than my brain...


i had a heart-wrenching, self-revealing moment yesterday. you know the kind i'm talking about? you've had them too. and there's nothing like it. you realize that you have much to learn about yourself and don't know as much as you thought you knew...and you're not as confident as you thought you were. that's the moment i had. i found out that i'm a very weak and broken person indeed.

i finished some agonizing papers yesterday--i felt like i had vomitted out every word--trying to sound academic and logical about something i had barely began to understand. this has been my experience in academia--constant posturing. i drove my car, windows down, along wasatch blvd. all the way to campus. parked my car outside the beautiful modern humanities building. felt the wind blowing, and the heat of the sun rushing through the windshield. i walked slowly into the building, and up the turquoise glass steps to my professor's offices. on my way, i looked down from the second floor and into the lobby--there was one of my professors: Professor Durbach. my favorite. but she doesn't know it because she's one of those people that i am in so much awe of, that i can rarely muster the guts to talk with her.

i waved. she waved and gave me a cheery "hello." she was following around her toddling son. i asked his name. it's a name i would have picked out myself. small talk. that's it. what i really wanted to say was: i loved your classes more than anything. you have a gift for making complex ideas clear while making us laugh all at the same time. you're charming and beautiful. i think you are the most beautiful woman i have ever known. i think i wish i was you. i didn't say any of that. not even close. as soon as i turned around to walk away i started crying. thank goodness her son was distracting her--i am embarrassed of my emotions in front of certain people. i'm sure you understand, yes?

most of my days i'm content with my life. but this was a sharp, clear moment for me. why do i wish to be like Professor Durbach? she's the most balanced person i know. i think. she is the kind of beautiful i strive to be: simple, elegant, intelligent, witty, and kind. i am in awe of people like her who are so very practical and determined. in my heart i want to teach classes like she does, but i know i wouldn't survive one day of working on a PhD--there'd be too many vomited words and posturing. she studies a part of the world that i am in love with--britain. how lovely it would be to go to London for school. what is it about this dream i have? why do i want something that seems so very much different from who i am? i know i am not an academic, but i love books and discussing.

so this 1 minute moment made me wonder, yet again, what i want to do with my life. i love yoga and teaching it, but there's something missing there that i haven't figured out. i love school and the sharing of ideas, but there's something terribly missing there too. i find it hard to stay away from thoughts of inadequacy--feeling that if i was just more practical and determined i would be able to survive and thrive in academia. i worry that i also lack the dedication to really survive and thrive as a yogi. i'm pretty sure these days that the job i want doesn't even exist, let alone is there even a "market" for what i want to do.

looking for more grace, elegance, practicality, wit, and intelligence in my life. had part of this discussion with a friend the other night. i don't have any answers, and have no idea how you become a graceful person in this world. those who have done it, have my utmost respect.

the image, above, is one i love. i think simple women with dark hair and eyebrows are the most beautiful. professor durbach is beautiful in this way too. i want to find simplicity in my life. needing a fresh start.

photo via the sartorialist


julia said...

i feel so similarly. grace is an art form i'd love to learn. figuring out my true life calling wouldn't be a bad thing either. great post.

Caroline said...

Who says you have to settle for doing only one thing with your life? Do all the things you love; everything will shake out into its proper place.

Anonymous said...

reading that...I felt like I was reading about myself. So fitting to how I see myself and feel in my surroundings and my place in the world. I definitely think there is a job I want that doesn't even exist, I can't even explain what it exactly is that I want to do. A part of me feels reassured that there is someone like me...but a part of me is sad too.

Katie said...

gosh you remind me of me,I love nothing but studying [ the same sorts of things you love studying - history,britain etc] its all I do,I can never get enough.

But yet I enter academia and all the glory of it goes,it is so bloodless there.I agree with a woman who wrote that writing in academia is like being locked in an airless room.

It is too reasoned,too masculine, there is no equity of right and left.I push myself to be objective but how can anyone depart from themselves?

I think you might like this article by robert fisk it changed my life.

Ann Marie said...

thank you, katie!
"the poisonous language of academia..." what a great article! thank you so so much for sharing this and for commenting on my blog. it lifted my heart.