Saturday, December 04, 2004

'Tis, as they say, the season

for unrestrained greed. In that spirit, I've been assembling wishlists--but somehow I can't get into it. I look at these lists of material things and think, oh boy, another piece of cargo.

What I really want, more than the most fabulous gift, more than having people I care about shower me with attention (whether in the form of trinkets or of stroking my hair and telling me I'm fabulous), more even than Twoo Wuv, is to finish this gosh-darned dissertation. I want to be done with this long slog. I want to be standing in front of my committee on feet that seem to be at a great distance from the rest of me, waiting for the question that's going to make me bite my lip and look at the ceiling and count backwards from ten before trying to answer, my voice coming out as an embarassing girlish squeak. And then I want to be finished. I want to stop struggling and pushing, just for a little bit. I want to stop comparing myself to people who seem to fly through this process so effortlessly. I keep reminding myself that when you get to the top of the mountain nobody's going to ask if you strode up in energetic bounds or if you crawled and tore your hands to shreds grasping at rocks and sometimes found yourself dangling over an abyss hanging on with your teeth--that the getting there is the key, not the grace or even the speed with which you travel. But I'd like in any case to be done with the climbing, just for a little while.

I'd also like a really big pastrami-on-rye sandwich. Fortunately I'm in Manhattan right now where such things are easy to come by.

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