A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Existential Angst

Hi folks,

I've been wanting to blog for a few days but alas not had internet access. Oh well. Luckily the kind people at uni have kept me on their server (my access expires at the end of July) so I can make the long walk to campus... lucky me. I moved out of my house and I'm living with my friend Sophie. She's an awesome cook so it means that she cooks the dinner and I wash the dishes. Good system if you ask me :) We also watch lots of Star Trek, although on Friday, alas, I fell asleep during the Next Generation episode in which Professor Moriarty holds Picard etc. hostage in the holodeck until they find away to get him and his holographic girlfriend out. What a pity they hadn't mastered the holo-projector thing that allows the Doctor to move so freely in Voyager... oh well. Speaking of which, do take a look at Captain Picard's Journal. It's absolutely wonderful.

Term's over. I'm trying to get a job. Annoyingly my phone was out of signal yesterday when I was supposed to get a call back about job seeker's allowance (commonly known as the dole). So I'm as skint as ever. Poot.

Right now I'm not exactly glowing with ambition jobwise, because I just want to get a job that'll help pay off my debts and give me some time to think about what I really want to do. It really rather depresses me how there seems to be a specific pattern, as if once one becomes a graduate, one is expected to do graduate type things... Like the way that my school spent so much effort preparing us for university, even though there were some who just didn't want to go to university.

And the people in the houses
All go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
And there's doctors and there's lawyers
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

It sometimes seems as though the whole point of education is to kick out any sense of individuality and personal ambition and to make us into mindless drones just like everyone else.

Of course I am probably just being unduly cynical since in fact it's been at university that I've dared to be the most non-comformist. I suspect after graduation I'll post a nice fluffy entry on all the great things I've done during university...

This last year was such a struggle. Jim, my supervisor whom I love to bits, seemed a little concerned as he spoke to me about my final grades. I sometimes, oddly, wish I was a bit less, well, clever. Two of my exams (which, like most of my exams, I didn't do much revision for), the Paper Criticism exam and the Calculations Paper, I'd got above average marks for. Because both papers were more logical than factual, I didn't need to remember much for them and thus, thankfully, they helped get me my well-earned 3rd :) (It was so cute - the night after I got my results, two people gave me massive hugs for getting a 3rd because they did too... And they seemed to understand why it would make me so happy... which is mainly 'cause I was expecting nothing...)

Jim lamented that I was obviously doing something right. It seemed to him not that I am just a foolish and incompetant biochemist, but that I'm actually potentially a really good biochemist who somehow managed score steadily worse in all my exams.

It's always been a problem... when I was at school teachers used to complain about this all the time. They wouldn't have been offended if I'd not been able to do the work, it was just that I obviously didn't want to. Since reading Summerhill: A free range childhood by Matthew Appleton (see Summerhill's website), I've begun to have some doubts about education as it is anyway... The thing was, I didn't want to let anyone down. I would like to learn a lot and make a difference to the world... it's just that often I found myself thinking there were a lot more interesting things to be doing than trigonometry or the industrial revolution. Is forced education really such a good idea? You couldn't make someone a gourmet by force-feeding them...

This year was a struggle for similar reasons. I used to be in love with biochemistry. I fell out of love. We didn't talk any more... we slept in separate beds... we only met at lectures... I found it hard to exert any passion beyond duty on it. In fact I was more caught up with difficulties in theology and faith, and all my degree really brought me was anxiety.

What do I want to do? The question seems a dangerous one because it's not what I ought to do, what I am likely to do, what other people want me to do or what would make other people happy to see me doing. Those questions seem somehow safer, I guess because they don't demand that I trust myself and I find it really hard to trust myself. I guess I have a fear of failure. I love to write but I've fudged so many essays, rushing them off before deadlines... or even after deadlines. I want to help people but I haven't had much volunteering experience. I want to travel but I don't have any money and I'm not good at saving up. I want to work with children but again I don't have much experience and I've never really known how to stop them from misbehaving... I want to follow God but I ask too many questions and have too many doubts and don't really understand him. Heck, I want to get a job but even Wetherspoon's didn't get back to me.


I love how Jesus commands "do not be anxious"... Last week in the end-of-term service someone was reading the "do not worry" passage whilst I was angsting. I figured perhaps Jesus might have had something to say about that.

I want to fall in love. Not with a man - but then, I wouldn't mind that either, please get in touch if you're interested* ;) - I want to have some kind of purpose. I don't want to drift through life doing things I "ought" to do, or things that just pass the time or ease my loneliness. I would like to do something worthwhile, achieving something... I want my life to have meaning.

Right, and there we are. Thank you for reading this angst. This is one of those entries that I write not because I think you'll all enjoy it but 'cause it's so cathartic letting all that angst out. Phew :)

Thanks for your thoughts re: the last entry. I'd like to post some more on it soon if I have time and respond to some of your comments. Thanks so much for taking the time to actually comment so I have something to respond to :)

* I accidentally typed, "Please get in touch if you're interesting", which works too :)



  • At 4:15 am , Blogger BruceD said...

    Hey Girlie! You must be awful busy. You're missing all the fun!


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