Kartika Review about the last days of my Japanese obāsan's life + her battle with dementia.
I finished my dissertation + became a doctor!
I finished playing Bioshock Infinite on both medium + hard levels (not 1999-I kept running out of $$$). And maybe, just maybe, I had a small crush on Elizabeth. I also fucking loved the quantum mechanics narrative at the end, which was brilliant.
So yes, by all means, I've had a few seminal moments in my life since the beginning of 2013, some of them huge, others simply fun + self-defining. But the problem with getting your PhD (if getting a PhD can be a problem) is that you go from have a clear-cut path for 4-6 years (4 in my case) with guaranteed funding, amazing conversations in + outside seminar + a sense of purpose, you get to vaporize a shitload of life-changing novels (which you can't really appreciate because you're reading them too fast), evolve intellectually, work with some of the best fiction writers + scholars in the whole damn world, live in a cool (+ totally unsustainable) city like LA + exist in a perfectly linear trajectory for all of grad school.
But now what? I just went from one of the most pivotal moments in life ("I'm so awesome!") to being unemployed ("I'm so sad!). I went from knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life to having no idea what I'm doing, from having enough cash to buy so many books + posthipster clothes my heart could almost burst, to being gradually poorer, from hoping for the best situation with academic jobs to considering the crappiest comp jobs you could imagine at the lowliest community colleges, just to get by. It's something you don't wanna think about while you're pounding away on your dissertation because you can't even think straight when you have a soft deadline for your thesis defense + a hard deadline for submitting your dissertation to the Graduate School for formatting. But once you're done with all that, you look around + you go: fuck, now what do I do?
Don't get me wrong. I'm an eternal optimist. I believe in people. I believe in myself. I believe that good things will happen. I could get a literary agent next week. My second novel could be accepted for publication by an indie publisher next month. My collection of short stories could be accepted for publication sometime in Autumn. I could get an email for an interview for one of the many academic jobs I applied to, like tomorrow. But the thing is, my life as an aspiring literary fiction writer + professor-to-be is one big contingency plan, a perpetual lesson in professional + existential uncertainty. Things can work out. I believe things will work out. But right now, I have to say it kinda blows.