I’m subject to the incessant debating of the scientist in me and the artist in me. They have differing views of my future, and they’re actively engaged in a verbal battle that doesn’t really include me.
The scientist screams, “You need to go back to school! Get a PhD! Earn people’s attention with a combination of good writing and original research!”
The artist yells back, “Go experience the world! How the fuck are you supposed to become a real writer while you’re distracted by all that science crap?! Go work on a farm! Go work on a boat! Go travel the world taking whatever odd job comes your way in order to make it to the next country! Just keep fucking writing!”
I think both sides have good points, but the scientist’s route is certainly more comfortable. I can still travel for research (I think), or enroll in international programs (more sure about that one).
The artist also calls the scientist a sellout, which hurts because the scientist considers himself a bit of an artist. The scientist calls the artist lazy and says he’s not considering our future. We all want a family, and we all want that family not to want for anything.
“Well if you’re a famous novelist with a more reputable life partner (doctor, lawyer, whatever), that’s totally doable!” the artist says.
“Sure, but what are the odds of that happening?! The numbers are against you! We need the stability of working at a university! the scientist spits back.
Neither is winning, neither is conceding, and my head is left spinning in their wake.
“Shut up!” I tell them.
“Yeah, shut up!” the artist says to the scientist.
“You’re a child,” says the scientist, and the cycle begins again.
I’ll buy the scientist a masters program application, and I’ll buy the artist a sewing machine, and maybe that’ll distract them long enough for me to catch a break. Needy little bastards…