May 20, 2009

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions...

Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
- Mark Twain

Ah, the artist formerly known as Clemens - he was so very, very wise. Of course he also has been quoted as saying, after seeing opera for the first time, "I haven't heard anything like that since the orphanage burned down!" Which is why he's my hero.

A month ago I applied to a fellowship up in D.C. I haven't heard word one since I got an email indicating my application had been received. As far as I know, none of my references have been contacted. Every day I check my email accounts (yes, accounts, plural... how else am I supposed to maintain my various secret identities?) with my heart in my throat, waiting for some news. Every day, I am disappointed. And every day, a little voice in my head gets louder and louder.

Why would they pick you? It sneers. You haven't given any talks or published any papers. You're not the expert in anything - no one knows your name. And even if they gave it to you, what could you possibly do with it? You're stuck in a dead end job because you belong there, because mediocrity is the best you can achieve. Just give up.

I want to keep away from small people. But sometimes it seems that I'm the person belittling my ambitions. *sigh*

By the way, I've noticed an increased frequency of "voices in my head" references. Don't worry - I'm not developing schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder. At least... I don't think I am.

4 comments:

outdoorchica said...

I hear ya girlfriend... I'm putting in some applications for things and I'm finding it hard to sell myself, mostly because I'm kind of in a funk about life in general. It's tough, and it's even tougher now, you know? Blargh.

Monkey Sri said...

Hey! I saw your blog post - good luck with your applications :D

GGG said...

You're right about those voices - we all have committees in our heads trying to get us to do or not do what we want/need/ought to do. It's too bad that they aren't limited to 1-2 minutes by an inner Timer...

But you're not right about opera. I'll see what I can do to change your mind.

Monkey Sri said...

Ha, good call. And I don't actually have an opinion either way about opera - I just think burning children is hilarious.