Well, my first grad school rejection arrived yesterday. Hopefully my only rejection, but based on Evidence and Feelings, I am fully expecting a second rejection to arrive on Monday. How am I feeling? Okay. The rejection that came was from a school I wanted to go to (obviously, I applied to schools I want to go to), but not one of my top tier choices. It would have been nice to have it as an option, though. It was my top choice in the south, and I kind of wanted to stay this side of the Mason-Dixon line. Plus, I have a friend currently working on his dissertation there, and it would have been nice to join a program that a friend has nearly completed and loved.
Ah, well. The thing is, this rejection and the one I sense is impending have made me think. What if I don't get into any schools? I've always recognized this as a possibility, but the waiting to hear back seemed to take so long I didn't really think about it. I've loosely planned-- move to Richmond or D.C., look for history-based jobs. But, I feel like maybe not. What do I want to do if I don't get into any of my top choices? I feel like so many people know what they want from life. Several of my friends know they want to be writers, some are certain they want to be filmmakers, others know they belong on the stage. Others felt certain about law school and a career in that field. Some know they belong in politics. What do I want to do? If I can't do material textuality, what then?
The possibilities are, I suppose, endless. Part of me wants to become a dollmaker. I know that sounds silly, but I think opening an etsy shop would be really fun. I like creating things, tangible things. Part of me wants to move to England-- to do what, I do not know, but the one thing I do know is that I belong in England. It might be the one thing I know for certain about myself. I've never felt that artistic drive that others talk about in terms of novel writing or theater. I wish I could. But I feel, oddly, like being in England feels as certain to me as the fine arts do to others. That's one reason I study early modern and eighteenth-century England. The place calls to me.
But what do I want to do? Besides literary theory, history/book history, and early modern England, what drives me? What do I feel passionate about? What could I see myself doing day in and day out? From what work might I derive joy? I feel now, more than ever, that I need to really confront these questions and work them out for myself. It's a daunting task.