Monday, June 04, 2007

This is me being introspective.

You know, I could completely be a bigamist, that' s how separate I've managed to keep my two lives. It is true that a few people in Illinois have met Catherine, but I could have easily have prevented that from happening. There is such a complete disconnect between here and there it's amazing. A short anecdote to demonstrate this:

I have been growing out my hair since last March. It's been longer and shorter over the past 1.25 years, but it's mostly been over my ears and collar--unusually long for me. A couple of weeks ago, I got it cut back to something more bearable. When I was in Illinois last week, every single person I saw commented on the short hair. But this weekend, when we were with all our Indiana friends, no one noticed, because to them, it was completely normal, the same length it's always been--no one in Indiana has seen me for any length of time over the past 2 years, so how would they know that I've been wearing it shaggy for the past several months? Anyway, it's a small story, but it's those little details that make me realize that I'm not doing a very good job at balancing the here and there.

In other news, I am doing more introspecting.

You know, I'm not completely stupid about my work. I realized it's political. In fact, I had a very real moment of fear earlier this semester when I looked over the sum total of my work this year and realized that if I published it all, no BJP-led government would ever let me back into India. So, I'm not really blind about what I've been working on and what I've been writing about. I'm also not totally unaware of the fact that it is MY work. I've been without an advisor for a year, and I've really been relying on my own brainpower and abilities to connect the invisible dots to produce my article drafts. I can see that (again, not totally stupid). But what I hadn't realized is that my work is somehow an extension of my self. Okay, that seems obvious--my ideas, my words, my work, blah blah blah. But yesterday, when I realized that the person I hate most in the world had accidentally acquired something I'd written, it wasn't the intellectual or political I was worried about--it felt like a personal violation. I've worked SO HARD to keep my private life private, to keep everything about me guarded and protected, only to find out that for the past two years, *I* am the one creating the chinks in the armor. How stupid is that I would simultaneously exhaust myself building up my defenses with one hand while drilling the wall full of holes with the other? Pretty stupid, I say.

This is me, still being introspective.

Yeah, no, I'm not ecstatic to be leaving the country for ten weeks. It might sound like a vacation to some people, but it sounds like a hell of a lot of work to me. It's going to be a long, hot (did I say hot? I meant HOT) summer of balancing classwork with my real work, and it's not going to be easy. So, yeah, no. Not caring so much about going to India. Also, I don't want to take my new pajamas with me, because you know they're going to come back all ruined. Why go at all, if you can't take your pajamas?

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