Decisions

I seem to have continued my summer-streak of not writing much.

It’s not from lack of thoughts, but rather an abundance of them. I keep wanting to write the same post over and over again, from slightly different angles, and just end up writing nothing. I don’t want to be repetitive, even though the web inside my head has been spinning around the same issues.

This is the continuation of the journey that came to the forefront with this post. I’ve gotten pretty close to convincing myself that the MFA path is a good idea, but I’m getting hung up on a thing or two. I’ve sat down to try and write a “statement or purpose” or at least a “summery of purpose” or heck I would settle for a “bulleted list of purpose”.

I keep feeling faintly silly, like I’m handing someone a hollow Easter bunny rather than a solid chocolate delicacy. Why should someone let me in their institution to make things, beyond “cuz I want to”? What would I do with the degree if I got it? Is 20 years of scattered, diverse practical experience enough to make up for the lack of a BFA?

And then there’s the guilt. I spent many teen years scoffing at people in the arts and humanities, for not being “real jobs”, and here I am now, considering abandoning my “real job” and the sweet sweet engineering money.

This isn’t just about the job. It’s about the identity, my self-image as Holly the engineer. I worked hard to get that degree, to feel ok calling myself an engineer. I came into college with what I now recognize as a healthy dose of Imposter Syndrome–I made contingency plans because I was so sure I would fail out of engineering school! [Spoilers: I did not.]

And don’t even get me started on the guilt of potentially being “another woman to leave the tech world.” uurrgghhh.

Yet I can’t lie to myself that my identity has always been constructed around engineering and tech. My dad calls himself a “Jack of all trades and a Master of none”, and I think I may have inherited that particular curse. I’ve always been interested in, if not always good at, many things, and there’s a certain sense of satisfaction and some ironic chuckles of being the person to start off with a Bachelors of Engineering and then get a Masters of Fine Arts. Gods know what the PhD might be…..

I don’t know. My problem isn’t that I need to make a plan. I have several plans. My problem is I need to pick one, before time and necessity force me out of some. In my last year in Syracuse, am I going to focus more on Ballet and Modern? Should I try to convince the local professional(ish) company that I’m useful, to get more performance credits? Should I pour more time (and money) into ballroom competitions, again for the resume lines? Or am I going to put more effort into my current choreography and teaching, to set the ballroom students up for continued sucess when we are gone and fulfill my current artistic urges?

July has felt like an interlude, a slow, introspective moment between the travel and mini-intensive that was June and the travel and ramp-up that will be August. I’m tempted to wait until after our upcoming European Romp to “organize my life”, but if I do that I run the risk of being slammed in the face with the semester starting and kicking off ALLLL the dance classes. Best to embrace new dreams, let go of some old ones, and make the characteristic checklist whilst I have the brain-space.

Wish me luck.

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