There is a problem with my writing that is not endemic to academic zeal. It extends to casual e-mails, social media updates, and–yes–even blog entries. I use words, swirly fonts, and photos of cute things to distract from what I’m really trying to say because I’m afraid of the power of my words. Before I even proposed my thesis, I sent THREE topics to my advisor, because I was afraid the one I really wanted to do wouldn’t be good enough, and I didn’t want to seem like I was too invested in it. Even after my dream topic was approved, I buried my argument in pretty transitions, cool historical anecdotes, and self-depreciating humor so that no one would know how much I had invested or how much competence I actually possessed. I had an argument; I had a goal in mind, but the end–or rather, the potential of not achieving the end–terrified me.
I’m the same way elsewhere. In a relationship, I can’t bring myself to say, “I like you.” It’s hard enough to say “I miss you and I want to be near you.” So, I will say something else instead, like, “Hey, everyone [editor’s note: “everyone” means “you” in the singular 82% of the time] you should totally come play tonight, but don’t worry if you’re busy because I don’t really care all that much and I have other friends and stuff so here’s a really cute picture of a motivational panda to keep you going through all the hard work you’re doing! Keep it up!”
So, then you ask yourself, how am I supposed to move ahead with anything, to connect with anyone, if I’m constantly telling people that I don’t care? I try to be nonchalant so that people will like me, so that I will be “cool” and “chill,” but it’s killing me. I’m dissolving into my nonchalance. I’ve become nothing. I can write “HELP ME” all over my face in permanent marker, but if I am throwing glitter everywhere and waving around tie-dyed flags while dancing with roses in my mouth no one’s going to notice.
I’m doing it again right now. Did you notice?
Believe it or not, those first three paragraphs have nothing to do with why I’m writing this post. Interestingly enough, they were just supposed to tell you why I’m not going to go on talking and distracting you from the main point. They were supposed to explain why I’m not going to start off this blog entry with a story about how I was thinking of turning into a Hogwarts ghost and calling myself Nearly Jobless Jen. Am I still typing? Do you know what I’m going to say at the end of this post? Do you feel distracted by my words while my emotions are hiding deep within my soul? Do you even know what the heck is going on right now?
Oh, that’s right! I haven’t told you yet! Because, honestly, a part of me is still afraid to write about it. The last time I said I had an interview, everyone got excited for me, and I had to disappoint everyone by not getting the job. The first time I thought I had gotten a “real job” after college, it turned out to be a temporary position–how embarrassing! So, yes, I’m terrified of my excitement, and I still haven’t told you, because if I keep making up words you’ll either stop reading or forget how you ended up here in the first place.
But, okay, deep breaths. Maybe you should sit down. I’m sitting down. On my couch with my cat and a bowl of salad. Right. The news. This just in. I have been offered (and I have accepted!) a Museum Educator position at Hale Farm & Village. Yes, there will be costumes and children. No, I am still not sure how long the position is set to last or what exactly my salary will be. But! I am older and wiser and these are questions I will be sure to clarify when I meet with them on Tuesday. Guys, I’m not giving up. I will start my career in public history, and I will start it here. I can think of no better place.