For the Thousandth Time


I feel like a hypocrite for writing this all over my blog at various times. But thank you for not calling me a hypocrite. Thank you, self, and blog self world, for letting me decide, “No, I’m not going to do this” only to turn around a few weeks later and say, “Yes, I’m going to do this.” And doing this many times over.

I am going to apply for a PhD in English.

I have a school: UC Riverside.
I have a deadline for the application: December 10th.
I have my GRE scores: 80th in Verbal, 93rd in Writing (14th in Math, but I’m not Math, no no no). And they expire next year so I need to do something with them.
I have a course of study: Consumer culture/materialism, Feminist Marxism, with some Poetry mixed in for good measure.
I have a letter of intent (written last year when I thought I was applying somewhere else and I was all pregnant and full of happy hormones).
I have a writing sample (that needs to be edited) and some ideas of where I might get three letters of recommendation (still thinking about that)…
but I have never pulled the trigger and actually applied.
I am finally doing it now.

I am shoving a piece of bread into my face (part of lunch) and typing so fast that I am making a ton of typos and permanently lodging breadcrumbs into my keys. I am doing this so fast because the baby is STIRRING, and that means I have about fifteen minutes to wrap this up (blog, lunch, using my brain for something other than peek-a-boo and bottles).

I am also doing this so fast because I am ravenous.

My brain was in the mom-land fogs just a few days ago (compounded by my natural tendency to find contentment in every circumstance, even if it means I’m truly unhappy with a core part of my life). Then I attended a lecture, Friday night, and all weekend was destroyed as I quarreled with my husband, triggered one of my chronic headaches, and cried angry, frustrated, scared-out-of-my-fucking-mind tears all over his lap. And the baby was kept alive somehow.

In this lecture, I saw a woman, 42, just five years my senior, lecturing with passion. She was articulate, smart, commanding, brave. She addressed a group of talkative men with such force. I almost wrote her an emotionally-sloppy letter when I got home thanking her for basically resurrecting me from the dead, but thankfully I slept on it because it would have been so professionally inappropriate.

But she was so inspiring because she was using her brain! Yes, she was exhausted (her own admission), but she was doing it.

And I want to do it too!

You know how some women are excited by crafts? Or food? Or raising lots of babies and slaying dragons of germs, boogers, poopy diapers, and dinners? Or PR firms and corporate America accomplishments?

I am excited when I read a book, and I draw a connection to something else I have read/seen/learned, and I get to process it through writing (which is my favorite), or at the very least by thinking about it and talking about it. I am excited by learning, but more specifically, by the kind of learning done in school.

Not to brag, but my Master’s program? It was such cake. I was 23 and killing it. KILLING it. I had professors telling me I needed to look into publishing my essays. But I didn’t do it and you know why? I was too scared. I didn’t think I could really do it. Even though they were telling me this stuff (and probably not telling it to everyone), I did not do it.

So now, thanks to the incredible support of my husband, my biggest fan, and the life of my son, I am going to do this.

And I’m not really afraid of it.

It’s like when Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone series walks outside of his house and yells to the two bumbling burglars trying to break in: “Hey, I’m not afraid anymore! Do you hear me? I’m not afraid anymore!”

Of course, he does scream again and runs back into the house, and I may do that, but goodness it feels good to scream courage into the unknown.


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