01 March 2008

News for the Weekend

So today at long last I found out that I did get the Cambridge Fellowship.  Sweet! as they say here. I will be spending a full academic year at Wolfson College, Cambridge, (that's it on the left) with no teaching duties, or indeed duties of any kind.

Unfortunately, finding this out didn't really make me feel better for longer than about 15 minutes.  I think this is, first of all, because it took so long.  I was afraid that by the time I heard I would be so keyed up that hearing would cause only relief, or at least more relief than happiness, and it seems I was correct. Mostly, I just feel relieved that now I don't have to feel anxious anymore.

Also, I think it simply doesn't yet seem real.  After all, I won't be leaving for five months.  To be fair, though, February's gone by in a flash, so perhaps the next months will go equally quickly. And my semester is nearly over - or at least there are only two weeks until spring break, and only another six after that.  I think that could go quickly.  What's more, I suspect that once I start organizing things, making plans, and generally getting ready to exit my home and my country for a full calendar year, the fact of my going will come to seem much more real and exciting.

But, finally, I have to admit that I'm in part not happy because until this moment I have been able to imagine that getting the fellowship, and announcing it, would fix everything in my life:  that I would make it known, and certain circumstances would come under instant review and positive alteration.  Now that I have the fellowship, however, I have to acknowledge that that won't happen, that the best that can happen is that I will make it known in certain circles, and destabilization may occur, causing things to work out for me in the long run.  And compared to instant change, possible incremental change is depressing -- even definite incremental change would be depressing.

I never can decide whether or not I'd be better off if I thought more positively of myself and my circumstances.  If I just said, "You know what?  This is all going to work out for me in the long run!  I can sort this out the way I want, no problem," would I be better off?  I think that if I do that and it doesn't work out, I will feel worse than if I hadn't had positive beliefs in the first place.  On the other hand, maybe if you believe positively you make positive things happen:  send positive energy out into the universe, carry all before you with your confidence, are more likely to sway people and be powerful because you yourself believe in yourself...whatever.  I suppose the only way to determine which is true would be to change my lifelong habit of refusing to think confidently and positively, then see if that works.  But I'm not sure I'm capable of effecting such a wholesale change all in one fell swoop.

Anyway, I'm going to Cambridge!  And no matter what that makes happen or doesn't make happen, it means I will have a year filled with occurrences and circumstances I can't even imagine now.  And that in itself is positive and exciting.

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