A Tantrum of Grace

I will most likely look back on these days and say that they were one of the best things to happen to me. But not today. Today I want to have a tantrum, and shout and say it’s not fair, but the problem is this. I am still learning from the experience. I am becoming a better, more determined and vaguely more adventurous version of myself because of these days. So a tantrum of grace it will have to be. (Definition of a tantrum of grace – when you you know you want to be cross but you don’t want to be cross and so you’re kind of cross but not really, all you want is somebody to tickle you and tell you to stop with the tantrum.) Second time in a week too.

On Monday I had an interview for a PhD studentship. Yes, I know, I was supposed to be giving up on the dream, but the opportunity dropped in my lap and it seemed wasteful not to at least apply. On Monday afternoon, my mum arrived for a few days. I actually enjoyed the interview, and enjoyed my mum’s visit too. Even when I didn’t hear about the position. After a few days of running around and reacquainting myself with the sewing machine, I dropped my mum at the train station, and collected Little Person from school. Like me, she was tired, and spent the afternoon requiring cuddles on the sofa. Which was handy when the news came through that I didn’t get the position. So that really is the end of the dream. And that’s where the tantrum comes in. Because I know I would be good at it, and I don’t want to be a housewife.

But here’s where the grace comes in. I read Proverbs 31, mainly so I could shout at God and say, listen, there has to be more to life than just being a Proverbs 31 housewife. Except, the Proverbs 31 woman (for those who aren’t familiar with the passage, it’s a description a mother gives to her son, a king, of the kind of woman to look for as a wife, and is normally held up as a standard to which all woman should aspire to be) isn’t actually a housewife. There is no mention of her darning socks, or doing the ironing, or any of the seriously labour intensive stuff. She’s wise, and she’s talented, and she uses her talents appropriately. So. No way of having a tantrum there then. Because it’s the first time I’ve looked at a passage with my critical thinking hat on and asked “what’s not in there?”.

Here’s the grace. There are alot of things that I can do that make me a good candidate for doing a PhD, but those same characteristics also make me a candidate to do some other stuff too. Things that don’t require me to be competitive and jump through hoops trying to figure out what I am supposed to say, things that will help other people, and not just me.

So I’m starting another journey, an exploration of creativity if you will. I hope you will be able to join me. I plan to set up another blog (an addition to this one) to chronicle the adventure.

I’m trading my tantrums for tickles, thank you very much.

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One thought on “A Tantrum of Grace

  1. Hi Rox,

    A setback doesn’t have to mean you giving up on your dream, and I hope that you don’t. It’s a precious thing to know what you want from life and even more precious knowing that you’ll be good it!! How many people (do you know) go through life not knowing what they want from life? I can think of quite a few.

    I’ve experienced a similar thing to you this and last year. I went through countless applications, proposal write-ups and interviews. I genuinely nearly gave up; I even stopped for 3 months, promising myself that, that was it and that I’d no longer subject myself to the embarrassment of failing another interview. A turning point for me, however, was when I sat down and (re)evaluated the alternatives. I suddenly realised that no matter what else I did I’d always regret not doing this, and that part of the process was accepting that it was competitive and that at some point it would be my turn (And seriously, there is no way that I would fit working in a business environment; I tried that and hated it!!). I think it’s as much about luck as anything else, but there are a number of factors that I’ve noticed along the way that I feel help the process.

    Seriously, don’t give up, and drop me an email if you want to talk about it.

    As a side note, I’ve noticed a lot of masters students are working (often part-time) as voluntary research assistants. I’ve been told this helps a lot and is especially relevant at an institution that has lots of funding; just being there makes people think of you.

    Like

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