Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My biggest fear:

There's this guy I know and really can't stand who likes to ask people very shortly after meeting them what their biggest fear is. When he asked me this, I said failure, because that's how I've answered that question for as long as I can remember. 

But (as I actually knock on wood) I think I'm reaching the point in my life where failure doesn't really seem like a threat anymore. I don't say that to sound cocky or like I'm entitled to some kind of fabulous life. You never know what the future holds. But no matter what deviations from the "plan" I'll take, whether I wind up being a professor or something else becomes my end goal, I already look at my life and what I've accomplished and see success. And no amount of future change can erase that. I can change my goals, and maybe even change them due to unforseen circumstances, but I simply don't believe that I can, at this point, fuck up so badly that I'll deem myself to have failed overall. 

So what am I scared of? I came across this quote by Sylvia Plath on my friend's blog, and it really resonated with me.

" What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age."
 I think what scares me most now is irrelevance. The whole point of becoming a professor and living an academic life is to matter to someone somewhere, to do something important that might help or at least inspire people. I'm scared no one will give a shit. 

1 comment:

  1. Sylvia Plath is the motherfuckin' shit.

    That is all.