All of my life (to this point, anyway) I always wondered what I’d be when I “grew up”. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a detective. I wanted to be a web designer, a photographer, a JAG officer in the Navy, a teacher, a mom, a museum curator, a librarian, a professor. My favorite answer to that question, when I was about seven, was simply “Nancy Drew.”
I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to be 18. Nancy was 18, and she was a real grown-up. She had a super cool car, a boyfriend, a dog, and a really cool job solving mysteries. What could be better?
18 came and went. I didn’t feel like a grown up. Then 19. Then 20. Then 21. Now I’m 22, seven days away from graduating from Ohio State, seven months after I finally decided what I want to do with my life (be a professor and a medievalist and the authority on Le Roman de Melusine), and three months after all of those plans were put by the wayside since, hey, things didn’t exactly go according to plan when every one of the six grad schools I applied to said, “No thanks.” I finished my last class of undergrad on Thursday, finished the first version of my article (that my professor wants us to publish! more on that later) on Friday, and I don’t have any finals.
I still don’t have a car, but I do have a boyfriend who, in my opinion, is even better than Ned Nickerson. I don’t have a dog, either: somehow I’ve turned into the crazy cat lady of Patterson Ave (well, I live in a house full of them. So I guess technically we’re the house full of crazy cat ladies on Patterson). The mysteries I solve, lately, come in the form of puzzling out dates, authors, and timelines from obscure footnotes on late 14th century France.
I’m okay with that. Even though I would like a dog and Eric said no to getting one. But I digress.
My point with all of this is this: I think I’ve passed a lot of the “grown-up” markers, and my life doesn’t exactly look like I had expected it to. Sure, I’m moving to Washington, D.C. with the man I love more than anything and two cats, but I’ll be unemployed until I can find a job there. I’m no closer to figuring out what I’m “supposed” to do with my life than I was when I was seven; I thought I had a plan, and then I didn’t get into school and Eric did and we decided that I’d wait to apply again until he finished school and got a job.
The only difference between then and a week from now will be 15 years of school, two diplomas, and the absolute peak that my nerdiness could ever reach: examining medieval manuscript leaves in a Lord of the Rings-themed pizzeria at the Medieval Congress. True story.
On the bright side, my advisor and I revised the first version of my paper (the culmination of my 2 years of research) and we decided to turn it into a 25-30 page article. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it by July, and she wants me to submit it for publishing. Which is like, super-super cool. I won’t go into the details here, because I know that I’m researching an obscure 14th century romance that no one that reads this knows or cares about, but still. AWESOME. 😀
In short, I’m excited and sad and ecstatic and apprehensive about graduating and moving on and getting a job and leaving Columbus, all at the same time.
It’s going to be an interesting summer, that’s for sure.